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Scored 670 today... how to get 700+?

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Scored 670 today... how to get 700+? [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2013, 10:09
Hi everyone,

after two months of prep (approx. 25-30h/week), I scored a 670 (Q44, V38) on the exam today. For once I'm happy that I surpassed my minimum goal of 650, on the other hand however, I would really like to score 700+. And I think it is a realistic goal given that I scored a 700 on GMAT Prep and 690 on MGMAT earlier this week.

My mock scores were:
MGMAT #1: 670 (Q44, V37) --- 4 weeks before exam
MGMAT #2: 690 (Q45, V38) --- 1 week before exam
GMAT Prep # 1: 700 (Q48, V38) --- 3 days before exam

(Yes, I did only take three mocks tests, and I should probably have taken more...)

Clearly, the quant section was my problem today as I scored on par with practice scores in verbal. Since most people say that MGMAT quant is more difficult than real GMAT quant, I thought I would be in the Q46-48 range and the Q48 on GMAT Prep confirmed that. What happened today though was that my timing got a little off towards the end... I had been 1-2 minutes ahead of schedule until question 30 or so, which was quite uncommon, as I usually tend to be more like 1-2 behind schedule. Moreover, the questions felt very manageable, I guessed 3-4 but knowledge-wise there were no huge surprises. Then towards the end I suddenly didn't have enough time for the last 3-4 questions and thus I had to guess the last 3 questions. This probably hurt my score a lot and turned what could have been a 690 or even 700 into a 670. Verbal went smooth just like in the practice tests, no timing issues, finished about 2min early.

Now, I'm determined to take the GMAT again in a month or so and I would like to ask the experts for some advice on how to go from this 670 to 700+. My goal is to get a SURE Q48 and ideally also raise verbal to V40 or 40+.

What do you suggest?
Should I just continue as I have been studying, but do more practice tests in real test conditions with emphasis on timing? This would be helpful for quant, but how to improve verbal?
Should I get a tutor?
Should I take a course that guarantees a 50+ points score raise?
What is a good source for tough verbal questions?


Some more details on how I have been studying so far...

Quant: My quant skills were not really great when I started off, I deliberately didn't take a diagnostic in quant since I knew I would probably be absolutely demotivated by my bad performance without any preparation (I once took GRE Quant without preparation and scored a 490). So I knew right from the beginning that I would have to put a lot of effort into quant...
Here's what I did:
- Went through all MGMAT strategy guides (4th edition) and completed all OG questions at the end of each book (used Manhattan's Companion to verify solutions, found these explanations much more helpful than OG explanations)
- Kept an error log and reviewed it
- Got the GMAT Club tests and completed approx. half of the 600 / 700 math questions (stopped doing 500 level questions after around 50 questions as I consistently got 100% correct)
- Went through GMAT Club Mathbook and noted down all formulas and short cuts, tricks etc.

Verbal: Although I'm not a native speaker, my English is fairly good as I have been reading and writing a lot in English. I scored a V35 on MGMAT without any preparation. I then decided to focus on SC as this seemed to be my weakness. Watched all of Thursday's with Ron SC videos and went through the Manhattan SC guide and did approx. 60-70% of the SC questions in the OG. This increased my accuracy in SC to 90%+ and I can solve most questions in <45-60sec. CR wasn't much of a problem either, I sticked to the strategies mentioned in Manhattan CR (5th edition) and my accuracy here is about 85%. Within the verbal section, RC is definitely my weakness, here my accuracy is only around 50-60% and I often take too long to read the passage. Definitely think there is still room for improvement to get a V40+.

I would really appreciate any comments, recommendations or tips you have!! Thank you very much in advance!
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Re: Scored 670 today... how to get 700+? [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2013, 19:46
Expert's post
Quick food for thought -- 670-700 is basically within margin for error. I think you've already identified your biggest area for improvement -- time management. For the type of score improvement you are looking to make -- fixing that time piece could make a HUGE difference......

Thoughts?
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Re: Scored 670 today... how to get 700+? [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2013, 00:50
Thanks for your reply, Brian!

Yes, I completely agree that time management is my biggest area of improvement in quant. What would you suggest to improve time management?

I timed the majority of my practice questions (quant) and solved most 500/600 problems in <1-1:30min and most harder 600/700 questions in 2min or 2:30. During the test I used a table with the number of questions in intervals of 5 and time left in 10min intervals (e.g. question 5 completed - 65 minutes left). Basically I checked every 5 questions or 10min whether I was still on time and I was until the last 5 questions. Next time I will make sure to have more than 10min left for the last 5 questions... Would you recommend to take more time for the last couple of questions since there will probably be less experimental questions?
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Re: Scored 670 today... how to get 700+? [#permalink] New post 28 Sep 2013, 17:29
Expert's post
I wouldn't get into a big focus about whether or not the last couple of questions have more/less experimental questions. I do like the idea of ensuring you are banking enough time across the entire test to spend 'real' time on every question. I hesitate to ever encourage that anyone spend more than 2.5 minutes on any one question. Odds are, if you haven't gotten it right by that point, you're not going to.

Does that make sense?

-Brian
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Brian Lange | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | North Carolina


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Re: Scored 670 today... how to get 700+?   [#permalink] 28 Sep 2013, 17:29
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