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Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-)

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Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 03:44
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I've been following this forum for the last 6 months. After seeing a lot of other users writing about their GMAT prep experience I've decided to start such a threat as well.

I hope that writing here regularly will keep my study motivation on a high level, and that I'll collect some kudos to get free access to the GMAT club tests along the way :wink: Perhaps the thread can also be of some help to others taking the test.

My GMAT is scheduled for Dec. 7 so I have a bit more than 1 month to go. I've put in quite a few hours so far, though have not followed a strict study plan. I plan on taking four days off prior to the test (if work allows it).

Here's an overview about my study progress:

Test scores (updated)
GMAT Prep V2, test 1: 760 (Q49, V47)
GMAT Prep V2, test 2: 720 (Q49, V39)
GMAT Prep V1, test 1: 770 (Q50, V46)
MGMAT 1: 700 (Q47, V39)
MGMAT 2: 700 (Q47, V40)
MGMAT 3: 730 (Q49, V40)
Free GMATCLUB quant test: 34/37

Preparation materials used
NOVA: done
MGMAT SC: done
Powerscore CR: halfway through
MGMAT Number Properties: finished
MGMAT Word Translations: finished
OG 11: done except for CR (did only harder questions in each section)
OG 10: done only difficult quant questions
GMAT Club: solved some quant questions on a daily basis

My plans going forward:
- Finish Powerscore CR
- Go through difficult OG10 questions
- Maybe buy the MGMAT or Veritas Geometry book (get a lot of those problems wrong)
- Do other 5 MGMAT tests and 2nd GMAT Prep test
- Maybe do a few GMAT Club tests (probably won't have time)

My main goal for the remaining weeks is to primarily work on my quant as I feel that it's weaker than my verbal.

Here my initial questions to the community:
- Which geometry book do you prefer, the one by MGMAT or the one by Powerscore?
- What helped you more in improving your quant score, doing GMATCLUB tests or MGMAT tests?

Many thanks for reading this and for answering my questions :wink:

Last edited by stanford2012 on 03 Dec 2010, 12:52, edited 4 times in total.
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 05:27
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 08:41
kissthegmat,

many thanks for your reply, much appreciated.
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2010, 03:40
I've written a SC summary based on the MGMAT SC book. It's by no means comprehensive but rather focused on what I perceived as the more advanced issues in SC. I guess it would be most useful for people who already have a fairly good command of verbal but want to improve further.

I'd be happy to upload the summary if anyone is interested. I'm just wondering whether this represents a copyright infringement (as I copied out some info directly from the MGMAT SC book). Can someone please let me know. Thanks.
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2010, 06:01
Good luck to achieve the killer score. I liked MGMAT geometry guide but I haven't tried either powerscore guide or veritas guide.
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2010, 00:41
Just took GMAT Prep 2. Got a score of 720 (Q49, V39). Verbal score was 8 points lower than on GMAT Prep 1 while quant was identical.

I generally have problems with focus when doing CR and RC problems i.e. my thoughts tend to deviate. Did anyone else experience this? What did they do to overcome this issue? Any advice would be appreciated...
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2010, 18:58
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Focus is the key in RC/CR questions. Basically you have to keep your interest level high, no matter what.
Check these links:
gmat-club-s-reading-comprehension-strategy-guide-83101.html
http://gmatclub.com/blog/2010/01/knewto ... rehension/
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2010, 19:09
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stanford2012 wrote:
Just took GMAT Prep 2. Got a score of 720 (Q49, V39). Verbal score was 8 points lower than on GMAT Prep 1 while quant was identical.

I generally have problems with focus when doing CR and RC problems i.e. my thoughts tend to deviate. Did anyone else experience this? What did they do to overcome this issue? Any advice would be appreciated...


I JUST finished writing in my post about this problem. I always had issues focusing because my thoughts used to wander off and I always ended up finishing my practice tests with like 25 minutes to spare in each section and I'd end up with a 670-700 because I wasn't focused enough. So I kind of locked myself in a room this time, while taking the GMAT Prep and I refused to let anything else distract me. For the RCs and CRs I wrote down points of importance (since I'm a fast reader this was okay). Especially for CR I rechecked my answers to make sure that it made sense, so I got like 2 CRs and 2 RCs wrong, while I got 3 SCs wrong (All were modifier based questions).

For SC I highly recommend the process of reading vertically and eliminating in groups. And actually writing down the A B C D E and crossing them off. This helped me a lot during my test today (And I ended up with a 770).

:)
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2010, 05:15
@ rg1: many thanks for the links.

@ whiplash2411: Thank you for the great suggestions. I'll definitely try these strategies when I give the next sample test. I checked your other thread. Congrats, 770 is a superb score though it doesn't come as a surprise to me :-D. I wish you a lot of perseverence for the last month of study preparation.
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2010, 14:51
I received the Veritas Geometry book a few days ago, and I have to say that it's pretty good. Below's a short review for those interested:

Pros:
- theory section is very concise, yet seems to cover everything essential
- 79 practice questions, including 20 challenge questions
- practice questions seem to resemble those that would actually be asked on the real GMAT (unlike MGMAT geometry book)

Cons:
- a bit on the expensive side (via amazon approx. $20) considering that it's printed in black and white and has only 143 pages
- only one question per page (utter waste of paper)
- question explanations could be a bit more thorough (it didn't disturb me but might be an issue for someone using this book in the beginning of his/her studies when they are not yet familiar with all the formulas etc.)

Conclusion:
- I would say that this book deserves 4 out of 5 stars
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 26 Nov 2010, 16:21
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OG 10 file

I discovered an xls file, which categorizes OG 10 questions according to their level of difficulty. Since OG 10 contains a lot of easy to intermediate questions, which I wanted to skip, I found this file very useful.

To the best of my knowledge this file is not copyright protected so feel free to download and share it with other people.
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2010, 08:18
I've just completed MGMAT test 2 and got a score of 700 (Q47, V38). To be honest I'm not that happy about my performance, especially in the verbal section. The results are also quite a bit lower than what I got on the GMAT Prep tests (760 and 720, respectively), though it's in line with the result of MGMAT test 1 (700).

I'll take four days off before the exam next week and I hope that studying full time instead of just 1 hour a day will help me to boost my score. I also intend to deviate from my previous strategy of focusing almost exclusively on quant and study a lot of verbal because based on the previous test results I think that's where I have more potential to improve (got V47 on GMAT prep 1, I hope it wasn't just a lucky punch).
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2010, 09:28
Thanks for the OG 10 file. I must buy that! How did you feel the OG10 compared to 11? Out of curiosity, why didn't you get 12?
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2010, 09:55
As for OG 10, I only did the PS and DS questions considered to be difficult (according to the xls file). I felt that they all were on the 600 - 700 level, certainly very few, if any, were 700+. I'd say that that those questions are about on the same level as the last third of OG 11 in those two sections (can't speak about verbal).

So if you're looking for additional realistic quant (as well as verbal) practice questions in the 600-700 range I'd definitely recommend OG 10, probably more so than the OG quant guide. I personally didn't get the OG quant guide because from what I read it mostly contains easier questions.

I got OG 11 from a friend so I figured that it's not really purchasing OG 12 because of the overlap between the two editions.
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2010, 14:50
stanford2012 wrote:
I've just completed MGMAT test 2 and got a score of 700 (Q47, V38). To be honest I'm not that happy about my performance, especially in the verbal section. The results are also quite a bit lower than what I got on the GMAT Prep tests (760 and 720, respectively), though it's in line with the result of MGMAT test 1 (700).

I'll take four days off before the exam next week and I hope that studying full time instead of just 1 hour a day will help me to boost my score. I also intend to deviate from my previous strategy of focusing almost exclusively on quant and study a lot of verbal because based on the previous test results I think that's where I have more potential to improve (got V47 on GMAT prep 1, I hope it wasn't just a lucky punch).


I took GMAT Prep a while ago and scored a 770, and then I took the MGMAT CAT (2) and scored a 720. I found the Verbal Questions to be remarkably longwinded and really really tedious to read through. The Quant, I don't even have to say anything about it. I got 13/37 wrong and I had some 5-7 Geometry Questions and at least 5 Questions from Combinatorics/Probability, which I think is unrepresentative of the actual GMAT, according to a lot of friends I've spoken to. So I wouldn't worry too much about the MGMAT score if I were you. However, I would definitely go through the math problems again. Yesterday when I was reviewing the problems I found that I made a number of really silly mistakes that I could have avoided to end up with a 50 or 51. Like, there was one problem with mean and median that said the set had DISTINCT integers - I neglected that one word - Wrong. And another problem where I answered with the diameter instead of the radius. Things like this will actually disrupt your scores a lot. So I recommend going through the test really thoroughly and seeing if your mistakes are mostly due to lack of conceptual knowledge, or just carelessness. I believe this will help.

As for Verbal, I am not too sure how representative MGMAT is. I finished with like 35 minutes to spare, which is probably why I ended up with a 58% hit rate in RC (ouch). The passages were SO bloody boring and like 4 paragraphs long, which again, I hope won't be the case with the actual GMAT. But with perseverance and hardwork, anything is possible. Feel free to PM me if you want to share your insights or talk about the last legs of prep. When's your exam, btw?
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2010, 16:24
Whiplash, thanks for the encouraging feedback and for the pointers.

I also got the impression that the MGMAT tests are not exactly representative of the actual GMAT (math problems require too many computation steps, way too many probability/combinatorics questions, reading passages too long, CR problems focusing on tiny details, etc.). However, there are only 2 GMAT Prep tests and from what I've read on this forum the consensus is that the MGMAT tests are still pretty useful so I'll go ahead and do the other four tests.

I reviewed the questions I got wrong and like you I tend to make a lot of careless mistakes in the math section. I still suck at geometry though I feel that the veritas book helped quite a bit.

I'll probably retake the GMAT prep tests prior to my exam, which is scheduled for December 8 (so soon :? ). When I was at university I tended to perform best when under pressure, I hope that will also be the case when I take the exam :)
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 27 Nov 2010, 16:59
Haha in my case I'm still in university :)

You do know that there are two VERSIONS of GMAT prep with two tests each that you can take twice without many repeats right? So that's 8 tests. :)

But yes, MGMAT is definitely a good way to go!

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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2010, 06:37
I just completed MGMAT CAT 3 and got 730 (Q49, V40). I again found the math section pretty difficult. There was one geometry question which asked to calculate the minimum distance between the surface of a sphere (with edge 10 inch) inscribed in a cube and the vertice of said cube. If anyone can answer this within 2 minutes I tip my hat to this person (I'm sure this is an easy question for some of the engineers on this forum :-D ) Also, I managed to get the first question wrong on both the math and verbal section, hope that won't happen on the actual exam.

Overall I'm pretty happy about the result though. I'd love to once see Q50 at the end of the test but I guess I'm just not there yet.

Whiplash mentioned that there are two different versions of GMAT Prep. I'd really appreciate it if someone could provide me with a link to the older version so that I can attempt some additional practice tests.
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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2010, 13:48
If you scroll up to the top menubar and look at "All GMAT tests" you'll find a link to the GMAT prep tests :)

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Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-) [#permalink] New post 30 Nov 2010, 10:23
Thanks whiplash, just downloaded GMAT Prep V1 and will do one of the tests this Thursday.
Re: Quest for a killer GMAT score ;-)   [#permalink] 30 Nov 2010, 10:23
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