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Scored 760: sharing my experience and some questions

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Scored 760: sharing my experience and some questions [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2003, 18:05
Hi,

This is my first posting in this forum. I actually posted this a couple of days back, but somehow it never showed up. I'm not sure what the deal is, and I certainly hope that I did not piss off BB or some high up.

First, I want to share with you guys my in GMAT preparation experience. I had about three weeks to prepare. When I first started, I hit 670 in the Arco diagnostic test. Then I did a lot of exercises from ARCO & PR software, and took 3 tests in which I hit 800, 750 & 720. However, then I could not prepare for the next week (business trip). When I got back, I had exactly 4 days left before the test. I took 2 tests, both 710. It seemed like I was stuck at this 710 level, so I stepped back, took a deep breath, and analyzed what I was doing different from the week before (before the interruption). I discovered two things that really helped:
- doing some practice exercises before starting the test ... I guess this is the equivalent of warming up before running a race, especially as in this case, the start is all-important, and you can't afford to be rusty at the beginning of the test.
- deep breathing to consciously relax myself. Especially helped in quant and RC, as it helped me pace myself (when I was scoring 710, I was hurrying through too fast and making too many mistakes).

These steps helped me to hit 760 in a test that I took the night before the test, and again in the real test (760 with 48 each in Quant/Verbal).

Second, I want input from you guys to find out what my chances are for getting admitted to of good business school like Berkeley in the evening MBA program. I graduated in electrical engineering from IIT Kanpur, which is regarded highly in the U.S., but my GPA was not very good (< 3.0). However, I am hoping that 760 in my GMAT will counteract this. I also have more than five years of technical sales, marketing and product management experience in the high-tech startup company in the Silicon Valley. I have read that admission officers look for growth in the applicant's job, and I believe that I can demonstrate that. I would appreciate advice on how to demonstrate this best. All your input would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Raj
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Re: Scored 760: sharing my experience and some questions [#permalink] New post 02 Aug 2003, 23:58
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artieraj wrote:
Hi,

This is my first posting in this forum. I actually posted this a couple of days back, but somehow it never showed up. I'm not sure what the deal is, and I certainly hope that I did not piss off BB or some high up.

First, I want to share with you guys my in GMAT preparation experience. I had about three weeks to prepare. When I first started, I hit 670 in the Arco diagnostic test. Then I did a lot of exercises from ARCO & PR software, and took 3 tests in which I hit 800, 750 & 720. However, then I could not prepare for the next week (business trip). When I got back, I had exactly 4 days left before the test. I took 2 tests, both 710. It seemed like I was stuck at this 710 level, so I stepped back, took a deep breath, and analyzed what I was doing different from the week before (before the interruption). I discovered two things that really helped:
- doing some practice exercises before starting the test ... I guess this is the equivalent of warming up before running a race, especially as in this case, the start is all-important, and you can't afford to be rusty at the beginning of the test.
- deep breathing to consciously relax myself. Especially helped in quant and RC, as it helped me pace myself (when I was scoring 710, I was hurrying through too fast and making too many mistakes).

These steps helped me to hit 760 in a test that I took the night before the test, and again in the real test (760 with 48 each in Quant/Verbal).

Second, I want input from you guys to find out what my chances are for getting admitted to of good business school like Berkeley in the evening MBA program. I graduated in electrical engineering from IIT Kanpur, which is regarded highly in the U.S., but my GPA was not very good (< 3.0). However, I am hoping that 760 in my GMAT will counteract this. I also have more than five years of technical sales, marketing and product management experience in the high-tech startup company in the Silicon Valley. I have read that admission officers look for growth in the applicant's job, and I believe that I can demonstrate that. I would appreciate advice on how to demonstrate this best. All your input would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Raj



Raj, you did not, man :lol:

I rarely delete posts.* A few other people have Moderator rights and can edit/kill posts, but I don't think they did. Let's attribute it to tech issues :wink:

Congratulations about the score.





*Statement does not apply to Curly.



-=-

Added: Actually I ran a search and I did move your message :oops: ; it was quite different and I moved it to the Applications section, which is a little weak right now.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2003, 08:44
did you find the arco stuff helpful or was it way off? did you use the "master the gmat cat 2004 " arco book with a picture of an empty classroom on the front? i took the test 3 weeks ago and i am retaking again. my concern is that i have already done the kaplan AND princeton CD roms with the cat's and i can't use them to study (because i am familiar with the questions and answers). i also have done most of the green "OFFICIAL GUIDE (10TH EDITION)" what other materials are out there for me to utilize?
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2003, 10:57
goldsjo wrote:
did you find the arco stuff helpful or was it way off? did you use the "master the gmat cat 2004 " arco book with a picture of an empty classroom on the front? i took the test 3 weeks ago and i am retaking again. my concern is that i have already done the kaplan AND princeton CD roms with the cat's and i can't use them to study (because i am familiar with the questions and answers). i also have done most of the green "OFFICIAL GUIDE (10TH EDITION)" what other materials are out there for me to utilize?


Hi Goldsjo,

I found ARCO very good ... I actually have a soft corner for it it, since I used ARCO to write GRE on 1.5 days notice (& did quite well in quant & verbal). I am not quite a believer in PR & Kaplan's "strategizing" .. I believe they over-analyze simple things & make them complex (there is a term for it: ANALYSIS PARALYSIS). OTOH, arco focuses on getting the basics right (tons of exercises), which worked great with me. Especially RC, SC & quant problems were quite good. CR was ok (hard to get that wrong) but DS was too easy. Since I was mostly preparing on breaks that I got at work (& while travelling), I worked almost exclusively off the CD software. BTW, the A R CO book that I have is not green, it is yellow.
I believe that the content is the same as in the book. I would suggest that you not be worried about already having seen the Kaplan & PR questions: I believe that BB recommends repetition, as have some of my friends who have also done well in the GMAT. The drawback of that is, that you will not have a good idea of your score going in, but on the plus side, you will have prepared very well indeed.
Hope this helps,
Raj
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2003, 13:49
artieraj wrote:
goldsjo wrote:
did you find the arco stuff helpful or was it way off? did you use the "master the gmat cat 2004 " arco book with a picture of an empty classroom on the front? i took the test 3 weeks ago and i am retaking again. my concern is that i have already done the kaplan AND princeton CD roms with the cat's and i can't use them to study (because i am familiar with the questions and answers). i also have done most of the green "OFFICIAL GUIDE (10TH EDITION)" what other materials are out there for me to utilize?


Hi Goldsjo,

I found ARCO very good ... I actually have a soft corner for it it, since I used ARCO to write GRE on 1.5 days notice (& did quite well in quant & verbal). I am not quite a believer in PR & Kaplan's "strategizing" .. I believe they over-analyze simple things & make them complex (there is a term for it: ANALYSIS PARALYSIS). OTOH, arco focuses on getting the basics right (tons of exercises), which worked great with me. Especially RC, SC & quant problems were quite good. CR was ok (hard to get that wrong) but DS was too easy. Since I was mostly preparing on breaks that I got at work (& while travelling), I worked almost exclusively off the CD software. BTW, the A R CO book that I have is not green, it is yellow.
I believe that the content is the same as in the book. I would suggest that you not be worried about already having seen the Kaplan & PR questions: I believe that BB recommends repetition, as have some of my friends who have also done well in the GMAT. The drawback of that is, that you will not have a good idea of your score going in, but on the plus side, you will have prepared very well indeed.
Hope this helps,
Raj


Hi everyone!

First of all, Congratulations Artieraj on a terrific score. That's kick up your application a few notches at ANY school in the world.

Having said that , I just want to insert a little caveat here when reading the preparation stories of people who score VERY high on the GMAT.

Simply put, some of them do VERY well simply because they are VERY VERY VERY friggin smart. Which means that their study habits will not exactly yield similar results for people who are just regular SMART, or even VERY smart.

The very first time I took the GMAT (in 1990), I didn't study at all because I was not really serious about it and I had studied a little for the LSAT. While the LSAT studying certainly helped CR and RC, I winged Quant and SC blind. I got 740. Most people would be happy with that, but I would never advise anyone to study that way. It's just that my background and education at the time allowed me to do it that way.

Since then, I have scored much higher (really) but I still would not advise my students to study the same way i do.

I have been teaching the GMAT privately for about a year, and I have found that the best approach is to taylor a program of study based on a student's background, education, enthusiasm, and creativity. No two students are alike and to cookie cutter a program based on someone else's success would not be productive.

As a student, you need to take inventory of YOUR own personal strengths and weaknesses, and taylor a sensible plan to overcome those weaknesses while simultaneously enhancing your strengths. What is useful to a person with a 160 IQ might not be so useful to you, and what was a waste of time for that person may be your most valuable resourse. Simply parroting the experience of successful test takers with not typically yield some magic formula for study that will help you succeed.

Just my humble opinion.
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Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
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MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

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 [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2003, 18:58
I hate to play devil's advocate, especially in lieu of your experience as both a teacher and an accomplished test taker. However I believe that study methods are applicable when a future test-taker can find a poster they identify with. This is why many test-takers are asked about their original practice test scores, so that browsers can make the necessary adjustments when choosing their own study program by accounting for a posters' intelliegence, education, etc. I'm sure that many people come to the gmat experience section hoping to understand what steps others in their position have made to improve their scores.
Not everybody can afford a private tutor to assess their strengths and weaknesses on their behalves and even fewer are capable of making this assessment on their own. If you are saying that you need to create your own study plan by taking into account the ability of the person whose post you're reading I agree. But if you are saying that the information is irrelevant and rarely applicable, I dissent.
There aren't enough study tools available to be that careful when choosing whose study plan to emulate (many will be suitable for a variety of abilities). Also if you hope to achieve the same target score as someone who started with a higher score than you did, eventually you will have to be able to answer the same types of questions they were (whether you're as intelligent or not). It just means that you will have to master more rudimentary principles before you attempt this very ambitious endeavor.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2003, 22:04
pkatz wrote:
I hate to play devil's advocate, especially in lieu of your experience as both a teacher and an accomplished test taker. However I believe that study methods are applicable when a future test-taker can find a poster they identify with. This is why many test-takers are asked about their original practice test scores, so that browsers can make the necessary adjustments when choosing their own study program by accounting for a posters' intelliegence, education, etc. I'm sure that many people come to the gmat experience section hoping to understand what steps others in their position have made to improve their scores.
Not everybody can afford a private tutor to assess their strengths and weaknesses on their behalves and even fewer are capable of making this assessment on their own. If you are saying that you need to create your own study plan by taking into account the ability of the person whose post you're reading I agree. But if you are saying that the information is irrelevant and rarely applicable, I dissent.
There aren't enough study tools available to be that careful when choosing whose study plan to emulate (many will be suitable for a variety of abilities). Also if you hope to achieve the same target score as someone who started with a higher score than you did, eventually you will have to be able to answer the same types of questions they were (whether you're as intelligent or not). It just means that you will have to master more rudimentary principles before you attempt this very ambitious endeavor.


If you reread my statement, I do not say that the information is irrelevant or rarely applicable. I merely said that it MIGHT be, hence, you should not take someone elses GMAT experience as gosple.
The gist of the entire statement is that everyone has different backgrounds, hence different approaches with work with different efficiencies from person to person. My opeining caveat was that blindly aping the study habits of very high scorers, many of whom are simply geniuses, is not a good idea simply because YMMV (your mileage may vary). I don't think you will disagree with that, will you?

You are right that test taking strategies are appropriate when a test taker find an example he/she can identify with. I heartily agree. My concern is that they make that assessment in an honest manner.

BTW, if you think I"m trying to drum up business for myself, which I am not (I have plenty of work which is why I am willing to donate time here for free), consider this: 1) no where did I ever advocate hiring a tutor or getting outside assistance; 2) the vast majority of people I know who score 750+ did so without tutors or a prep course.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2003, 23:31
Wow, you'd make a heck of a prizefighter. Very feisty, not to mention ultra-competitive. I never meant to imply that you were attempting to drum up business for yourself or others in your profession. In fact it would be highly unlikely that anyone posting here would live close enough to take advantage of your expert services (sincere not sarcastic). If I weren't on the other side of the country I am sure I would be soliciting more advice (and you'd regret ever offering it).
The reference to people not being able to afford tutors was included for one major reason. I planned on retorting your claim (what was plainly my misinterpretation of your claim) by saying that few people are capable of accurately assessing their own needs. If this is assumed to be the case, then an outside source is needed, in order to make this process more efficient. In ruling out private tutors I in no way intended to hurt your business, defame your profession, or denigrate the services you provide. I was simply pointing out the fact that this is not a feasible option for many people. By default, the forum section would therefore be a last resort for those without readily available professional advice.
In your response you pointed out a number of the assumptions I made without warrant. Hopefully I have made clear how you might have read too much into what I wrote. The only reason I contested your post is because I thought that, by implication, it might make the "GMAT experience" section of the forum obsolete. Many people come here in order to learn the best possible modes of studying, which, as we both have illustrated (now clearly enough for laymen like myself) that such advice should be sought with temperance.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2003, 03:12
pkatz wrote:
Wow, you'd make a heck of a prizefighter. Very feisty, not to mention ultra-competitive. I never meant to imply that you were attempting to drum up business for yourself or others in your profession. In fact it would be highly unlikely that anyone posting here would live close enough to take advantage of your expert services (sincere not sarcastic). If I weren't on the other side of the country I am sure I would be soliciting more advice (and you'd regret ever offering it).
The reference to people not being able to afford tutors was included for one major reason. I planned on retorting your claim (what was plainly my misinterpretation of your claim) by saying that few people are capable of accurately assessing their own needs. If this is assumed to be the case, then an outside source is needed, in order to make this process more efficient. In ruling out private tutors I in no way intended to hurt your business, defame your profession, or denigrate the services you provide. I was simply pointing out the fact that this is not a feasible option for many people. By default, the forum section would therefore be a last resort for those without readily available professional advice.
In your response you pointed out a number of the assumptions I made without warrant. Hopefully I have made clear how you might have read too much into what I wrote. The only reason I contested your post is because I thought that, by implication, it might make the "GMAT experience" section of the forum obsolete. Many people come here in order to learn the best possible modes of studying, which, as we both have illustrated (now clearly enough for laymen like myself) that such advice should be sought with temperance.


I appreciate you taking a second look at what I actually said.

Once, again, I never even came close to implying that the GMAT experience was obsolete. I merely warned people to be careful when evaluating the study experience of those who score very high because what worked for the high scorer might not be the best practice for someone else, particularly if the high scorer is a "genius". Nor did i come close to implying that people need outside assistance to make that evealuation. That is all i said.

Period end.
_________________

Best,

AkamaiBrah
Former Senior Instructor, Manhattan GMAT and VeritasPrep
Vice President, Midtown NYC Investment Bank, Structured Finance IT
MFE, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, Class of 2005
MBA, Anderson School of Management, UCLA, Class of 1993

  [#permalink] 09 Aug 2003, 03:12
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