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Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!!

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Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 06:09
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Okay guys, I posted something here a while ago regarding my first attempt. I got a 690 (Q44, V40). It's not a bad score but my dream school has a cut off (or a guideline, call it what you may) of 75 percentile for each of the tests. I'm not ready to give up on my dream just yet - so I decided to retake the test. I'm not going to kid you...GMAT is one of the hardest things one can do. I'm not a natural that can achieve a stellar score of 750 with just two weeks browsing through GMAT materials, so I made it a point to study hard, and study hard I did.

So, here's the debrief:

For the first attempt, I used all MGMAT books. These books are golden. They are the best way to reintroduce you to the concepts that you may have forgotten since high school. My absolute favorites are the Number Properties and the Sentence Correction. The two other verbal books are not indispensable, but IMO, the rest of the quant books need to be read (even Word Translations - don't let the name fool you - it's packed with info).

Did the OG12 + Verbal2 + Quant2 in conjunction with the MGMAT guides. The OG collection is the best way to orient yourself with the test and would serve as a preview of what to expect come test day, naturally. After doing both of these for four weeks full time - I decided to put my new found skills to the test.

I tried the GMATPrep for the first time. These were my results:

GMAT Prep 1: 720 (Q49, V40)
GMAT Prep 2: 750 (Q50, V40)

So, armed with this knowledge, I marched into that testing room, confident I was at least going to get a 700. But that wasn't meant to be. To be honest, I was shocked with my quant score. After a week of moping, it was back to the grind.

For the second retake, I retook the whole OG collection, to see if I was going to get my mistakes right the second time. Redoing the OG makes you zone in your problem areas so it's really important to do them again.

But the highlight of the training was the GMATClub Tests. At first I didn't get why everyone was raving about them. But when I did the GMATClub Tests, I swear, they are the best way to train your self for quant (sorry, I didn't have time for the verbal :( ) I CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW GREAT A RESOURCE THE GMATCLUB TESTS ARE!!! Not only does it show you where you are weak conceptually, it also shows you what test taking manners you need to improve on. For me, when it came to number property DS for example, it was forgetting to always keep in mind the premises. I assume too much. And it also makes you come up with techniques to improve your test taking skills. For me, it was the need to redraw geometric figures for DS when new info is given. Believe me, it's the best way to improve on quant.

Anyway, did a redo of the GMATPrep. I didn't notice an overlap with my first take - maybe two questions tops, but I managed to scrape the following scores:

GMAT Prep 1: 760 (Q51, V41)
GMAT Prep 2: 750 (Q50, V40)

But, knowing how things could go wrong terribly, I still didn't cling to the fact that I got very good scores on my practice.

On D-day, I was nervous. Really nervous. I didn't actually get to sleep. Jitters I guess. Because if I don't get this test right, my dream goes away (okay, that was way over dramatic). I know a lot of you know what I'm taking about.

So the test started normally - and then right at the middle, I was getting really tough questions - a good sign. But, I noticed that I had about 7 minutes with about 7 questions left. Really bad time management. Saying I panicked is an understatement. Chose random questions just not to be penalized. Then slowed down. I felt like crying when I got a question similar to this:

What is 2x - 3 < 8x + 4? And the choices were just simplified versions. But I finished strong, and I feel I got the last two questions right.

But it was a disaster. I felt like canceling right then and there. I felt horrible - just wanted to get out from that testing center. But, I tried my best to complete the test. Pulling myself together for verbal, I surged on. But you know, I was bugged with how quant went.

So, I was really sure that I was going to bomb the test again! But then, to my utter delight, I got 720! With a high quant! I really couldn't ask for more.

I guess what I'm trying to say is - try your best, procure all of the best books you can (just read the posts in this utterly wonderful, fabulous forum to get an idea) and surge on. For the first test, I felt confident, then I got a "bad" score. But when I retook it and thought I bombed it, I got a great score. So, with the GMAT, you'd really never know. I know it's different from my practice tests, but it's really different in the test center - I guess I'm not really a good test taker. And frankly, I can't be happier with the results - I can get in the school I want with that score.

So to all, thanks for letting me ramble. :p Good luck on your studies! And never give up! :)

Edit: My previous debrief: 690-q44-v40-95174.html

Last edited by bb on 29 Jul 2010, 23:45, edited 1 time in total.
690 debrief added
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 06:17
Great debrief! Congrats :)
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 06:21
Thanks whiplash! :)
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2010, 01:14
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2010, 01:27
Great Score.....V40 is good, but for me Its GREAT !!!
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 04:55
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Congrats RGM :)
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 06:48
Congratulations RGM !
Good luck with your applications.
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 07:03
Congrats! I will be taking the GMAT on Saturday (first attempt)! I've already registered for my second attempt exactly 31 days from this Saturday to 1) ease off the pressure 2) backup attempt in case I don't do well.
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 09:14
Thank you for the post RGM, it gives me hope for my retake to get over 700.
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 18:27
RGM wrote:
Okay guys, I posted something here a while ago regarding my first attempt. I got a 690 (Q44, V40). It's not a bad score but my dream school has a cut off (or a guideline, call it what you may) of 75 percentile for each of the tests. I'm not ready to give up on my dream just yet - so I decided to retake the test. I'm not going to kid you...GMAT is one of the hardest things one can do. I'm not a natural that can achieve a stellar score of 750 with just two weeks browsing through GMAT materials, so I made it a point to study hard, and study hard I did.

So, here's the debrief:

For the first attempt, I used all MGMAT books. These books are golden. They are the best way to reintroduce you to the concepts that you may have forgotten since high school. My absolute favorites are the Number Properties and the Sentence Correction. The two other verbal books are not indispensable, but IMO, the rest of the quant books need to be read (even Word Translations - don't let the name fool you - it's packed with info).

Did the OG12 + Verbal2 + Quant2 in conjunction with the MGMAT guides. The OG collection is the best way to orient yourself with the test and would serve as a preview of what to expect come test day, naturally. After doing both of these for four weeks full time - I decided to put my new found skills to the test.

I tried the GMATPrep for the first time. These were my results:

GMAT Prep 1: 720 (Q49, V40)
GMAT Prep 2: 750 (Q50, V40)

So, armed with this knowledge, I marched into that testing room, confident I was at least going to get a 700. But that wasn't meant to be. To be honest, I was shocked with my quant score. After a week of moping, it was back to the grind.

For the second retake, I retook the whole OG collection, to see if I was going to get my mistakes right the second time. Redoing the OG makes you zone in your problem areas so it's really important to do them again.

But the highlight of the training was the GMATClub Tests. At first I didn't get why everyone was raving about them. But when I did the GMATClub Tests, I swear, they are the best way to train your self for quant (sorry, I didn't have time for the verbal :( ) I CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW GREAT A RESOURCE THE GMATCLUB TESTS ARE!!! Not only does it show you where you are weak conceptually, it also shows you what test taking manners you need to improve on. For me, when it came to number property DS for example, it was forgetting to always keep in mind the premises. I assume too much. And it also makes you come up with techniques to improve your test taking skills. For me, it was the need to redraw geometric figures for DS when new info is given. Believe me, it's the best way to improve on quant.

Anyway, did a redo of the GMATPrep. I didn't notice an overlap with my first take - maybe two questions tops, but I managed to scrape the following scores:

GMAT Prep 1: 760 (Q51, V41)
GMAT Prep 2: 750 (Q50, V40)

But, knowing how things could go wrong terribly, I still didn't cling to the fact that I got very good scores on my practice.

On D-day, I was nervous. Really nervous. I didn't actually get to sleep. Jitters I guess. Because if I don't get this test right, my dream goes away (okay, that was way over dramatic). I know a lot of you know what I'm taking about.

So the test started normally - and then right at the middle, I was getting really tough questions - a good sign. But, I noticed that I had about 7 minutes with about 7 questions left. Really bad time management. Saying I panicked is an understatement. Chose random questions just not to be penalized. Then slowed down. I felt like crying when I got a question similar to this:

What is 2x - 3 < 8x + 4? And the choices were just simplified versions. But I finished strong, and I feel I got the last two questions right.

But it was a disaster. I felt like canceling right then and there. I felt horrible - just wanted to get out from that testing center. But, I tried my best to complete the test. Pulling myself together for verbal, I surged on. But you know, I was bugged with how quant went.

So, I was really sure that I was going to bomb the test again! But then, to my utter delight, I got 720! With a high quant! I really couldn't ask for more.

I guess what I'm trying to say is - try your best, procure all of the best books you can (just read the posts in this utterly wonderful, fabulous forum to get an idea) and surge on. For the first test, I felt confident, then I got a "bad" score. But when I retook it and thought I bombed it, I got a great score. So, with the GMAT, you'd really never know. I know it's different from my practice tests, but it's really different in the test center - I guess I'm not really a good test taker. And frankly, I can't be happier with the results - I can get in the school I want with that score.

So to all, thanks for letting me ramble. :p Good luck on your studies! And never give up! :)


congratulations! very inspiring
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 19:10
Many Congratulations! Thanks for the excellent advise. Its true, one should never give up and persistence pays.
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 23:10
Congrats to you for this high score! And thank you for the debrief, it is really great.
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2010, 23:46
Expert's post
Great job - I added a link to your previous debrief: 690-q44-v40-95174.html
Also added your story into the "Retakers Thread" should-i-retake-gmat-thread-retaking-gmat-strategies-83339.html#p624689
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 01:24
Sorry to not have been back in this thread for so long - I'd just been really busy with apps. But I'd like to say thank you so much! :) Not only for the congratulations but also for the support that you guys give in this forum to people like me. To be honest, when I just got back from my first attempt, I really felt lost and I didn't know what to do. But you guys helped me get over it, and made me want to show the GMAT who's boss! :p

jcbriun and jbrowntown, the best of luck on your retakes! I'm sure you guys will crack it!
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 01:29
bb wrote:
Great job - I added a link to your previous debrief: 690-q44-v40-95174.html
Also added your story into the "Retakers Thread" should-i-retake-gmat-thread-retaking-gmat-strategies-83339.html#p624689


Thanks bb! Also, thanks for adding this post to the retakers thread. :)
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 07:16
Congrats man. I had the same experience as you. 690 (q43 v41) on my first attempt; I felt horrible. 720 (q47 v41) on my second attempt; I felt redeemed. I took both exams at around the same time as you. I also got almost the same exact practice test scores as you except with a higher verbal and a little lower quant. Congrats!
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 07:45
osdihg wrote:
Congrats man. I had the same experience as you. 690 (q43 v41) on my first attempt; I felt horrible. 720 (q47 v41) on my second attempt; I felt redeemed. I took both exams at around the same time as you. I also got almost the same exact practice test scores as you except with a higher verbal and a little lower quant. Congrats!


Hey congrats osdihg! I remember you from my first debrief. It's really different isn't it? The real test from the practice? Not in terms of content, but the pressure gets to you. But yes, redemption is sweet. Funny that we got the same first and second attempt scores. Haha! Congratulations again! :)
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 07:57
RGM wrote:
osdihg wrote:
Congrats man. I had the same experience as you. 690 (q43 v41) on my first attempt; I felt horrible. 720 (q47 v41) on my second attempt; I felt redeemed. I took both exams at around the same time as you. I also got almost the same exact practice test scores as you except with a higher verbal and a little lower quant. Congrats!


Hey congrats osdihg! I remember you from my first debrief. It's really different isn't it? The real test from the practice? Not in terms of content, but the pressure gets to you. But yes, redemption is sweet. Funny that we got the same first and second attempt scores. Haha! Congratulations again! :)


Well I spent the day before my test calming my nerves and during the second exam I was MUCH more relaxed. It felt just like a practice test; maybe because I took like 70 practice tests so I got used to the feeling haha!
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 08:24
osdihg wrote:
RGM wrote:
osdihg wrote:
Congrats man. I had the same experience as you. 690 (q43 v41) on my first attempt; I felt horrible. 720 (q47 v41) on my second attempt; I felt redeemed. I took both exams at around the same time as you. I also got almost the same exact practice test scores as you except with a higher verbal and a little lower quant. Congrats!


Hey congrats osdihg! I remember you from my first debrief. It's really different isn't it? The real test from the practice? Not in terms of content, but the pressure gets to you. But yes, redemption is sweet. Funny that we got the same first and second attempt scores. Haha! Congratulations again! :)


Well I spent the day before my test calming my nerves and during the second exam I was MUCH more relaxed. It felt just like a practice test; maybe because I took like 70 practice tests so I got used to the feeling haha!


Lucky you. I really was a nervous wreck on the test date. Oh well...it's done, did well and couldn't be happier.
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Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!! [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2010, 08:59
osdihg wrote:
RGM wrote:
osdihg wrote:
Congrats man. I had the same experience as you. 690 (q43 v41) on my first attempt; I felt horrible. 720 (q47 v41) on my second attempt; I felt redeemed. I took both exams at around the same time as you. I also got almost the same exact practice test scores as you except with a higher verbal and a little lower quant. Congrats!


Hey congrats osdihg! I remember you from my first debrief. It's really different isn't it? The real test from the practice? Not in terms of content, but the pressure gets to you. But yes, redemption is sweet. Funny that we got the same first and second attempt scores. Haha! Congratulations again! :)


Well I spent the day before my test calming my nerves and during the second exam I was MUCH more relaxed. It felt just like a practice test; maybe because I took like 70 practice tests so I got used to the feeling haha!


70 practice test????

interesting.....can you please list them down
Re: Second time's the charm...720 (Q49, V40)!!!   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2010, 08:59
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