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Retake Strategy Advice required

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Joined: 09 Aug 2010
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Retake Strategy Advice required [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2012, 13:02

So I took my GMAT and scored a 650 today(Q-49 V-31). I am planning to start studying for a retake. Scored 720 and 700 on undiluted gmat prep and 670-710 on manhattan cats. My quant was on par with practice test, but I did a lot worse on verbal. Now I am planing to retake in May/June before the new format comes in .I am wondering about the best strategy. I have gone trough the manhattan books . Since Knewton has a 50 point guarantee should I go for that? I would be MORE then happy to pay some if I get 720 so I get a free lunch with any point over 650!
My target schools are mostly ISB, Said, Judge, NUS and Insead.

If you got some retake strategies or/and have taken the knewton course please post your advice!

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New post 09 Mar 2012, 02:28
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Some of my students have had good experiences with the Knewton materials. If nothing else, it would be a good source of new tests if you have exhausted the Manhattan and GMATPrep exams. Also keep in mind that a new edition of the OG is coming out next month, and that should be a great source of additional problems.

Having said that, I should emphasize that most people don't see improvement simply from working through more material. It's much more important to thoroughly review and understand the material you already have. Perhaps you've memorized every answer in the OG by now, but can you pick up any verbal question in there and explain why each answer is right or wrong? If your timing is not a big problem, this is probably the single most important thing you can do to improve, especially in verbal. If you have worked through our materials, you know quite a few rules and strategies. The trick is applying them consistently, and interpreting them flexibly in different situations. Detailed analysis of individual problems can really help there. It helps to do as much analysis as possible *before* checking the answers/explanations. Force yourself to come up with clear reasoning for your eliminations and selections, and you should make some noticeable improvement. My post here provides a list of good questions to ask yourself: help-reducing-sc-errors-127473.html

It is also useful to put some safety measures in place to make sure you are answering the right question! You'd be amazed how often I find even my higher-scoring students completely misidentifying the question, and therefore choosing an inappropriate answer. Spend some time studying how different question types are phrased. How can I tell when a CR question is asking me to strengthen the argument ("Which of the following, if true, provides support for the statements above?") rather than make an inference ("Which of the following is supported by the statements above?")? Then make sure you always take a moment to pause and identify the task before tackling the answers.

Good luck!

Dmitry Farber | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | New York

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New post 20 Mar 2012, 22:04
The Official Guide 13th edition came out this past week - so you should consider using the extra questions there as "official" practice.

What your GMAT Strategy will be will depend on what weakness you're trying to attack. It looks like verbal - if so, which particular section is troubling you? If you're aiming for 700+ you should be ultra confident that you have near 100% on at least one of the verbal sections. Which verbal section will you ace?

We've had some students who have used Knewton before and an Oxford MBA student as well. I'll leave the feedback up to words they say. But yes, GMATPill also has a 50pt guarantee.

On retake strategies - you really need to decide whether you even tried studying in the first place. If you did before, then you need a new attack strategy and thinking process when doing your retake.
Re: Retake Strategy Advice required   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2012, 22:04
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