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# Some insights from a 640 attempt

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Senior Manager
Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 291
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q44 V34
GMAT 2: 700 Q42 V44
GMAT 3: 680 Q44 V39
GMAT 4: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.7
WE: Project Management (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 12

Kudos [?]: 66 [0], given: 915

Some insights from a 640 attempt [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2012, 11:52
Dear GMATClub members,

in the following I will try to share with you a couple of insights, which I gathered through my preparation and my actual GMAT. I sat for the exam on December 11th and scored 640 (Q44, V34), which actually is below my expectations and the predefined goal.

As this still is not a success story, I will try to keep this thread concise and to the point. For further information, please feel free to refer also to:
1. My 740+ study diary
2. My So what and How to improve to a mid 700 score thread, in which I hope you guys together with the experts will help me decide which path to take and what focus to choose for the next 1-2 months prior to visiting the test center again

Bottom line - what I learned so far

1. Try to avoid interruptions in your study process - Try to find enough time allowing you to study on a regular basis (no matter if in the evenings or weekends), just prevent interruptions. At least in my case, an interruption between April and October was crucial for my overall score aspirations (and in particular SC, which I had studied before the break)

2. Plan enough time for the practice - At this point I understand what almost all buddies in my diary had told me. You can divide your GMAT studies in 2 parts - theoretical and practical, and their importnce depends on your Quant and Verbal level. Though both parts are important, initially I thought - "When I read and take notes of all MGMAT Guides (roughly my prep amterials) I should be fine for 700+" - MISTAKE. I could be, but this is not necessarily the case. Unfortunately, in the end I had just 7-10 dys for revision, CAT, GMATClub and hard question sets (GMATClub) practice and this was waaaay too short. So do me the favour and plan enough time for redoing your error log, doing at least 5 complete CAT's, finishing all GMATClub Quant and Verbal tests and doign the vast majority of 700+ questions here on the forum. This automatically means - about 1 month time JUST for these things! Of course, this is only the case if you aim high (700+) and want to work with hard question sets

3. Book your GMAT ones you know you have enough time - This is kind of related to point 2, but I booked my date before having finished all the materials (nor having thought at all about the points in 2) and did badly. It is sometimes good to book a date in advance so that you have a goal, but be sure that this goal is not over-optimistic

4. Concentrate on harder GMAT problems - Without any doubt you have to complete all official problem sets (OG12/QG/VG/GMATPrep) at least once, including all easy problems. BUT once you get scores of 600 and above you have to focus on hard sets, because you can learn many twists that way and jump in 650+ or 700+ regions.

5. Still it is very difficult to learn a concept based on questions and their respective OG/MGMAT answer explanations - It is hard to derive knowledge on theoretical aspects solely from CAT's and questions sets. You still need the study process with prep material in order to have the basics. I have also heard of guys scoring 760, based just on completing OG12 question sets and understanding really well the answer explanations - sure, but they probably had a decent understanding of theoretical aspects before they started preparing. I wouldn't say I was weak and therefore using just OG materials for preparation still is a mystery for me.

6. Don't underestimate IR - while IR still is not that important for business schools, it could become in future. So scoring above 5 should be the goal. In addition, it is a section placed right before Quant and Verbal. Therefore, it is very important (in psychological terms) to do well on this section. Of course, it is not equally important as Quant and Verbal, but still think about the strategy you will apply there. A mistake I did here was trying to answer all questions, while 8 could be enough. Unfortunately, the easiest question type for me came at question 12, when I had lost too much time.

Background

Currently 26, about a year ago I decided to sit for the GMAT in order to boost my performance on consulting analytical tests, as some of the question types are pretty much similar. My wish for a future MBA (in 2-3 years time) made me target a 740+ score, something which would allow me to apply in Top Business schools. I have a MSc degree in Financial management.

Preparation materials and Review

1. Manhattan GMAT Math Foundations - nice warm-up material, but it turned out that I had underestimated my Quant level, but I would always recommend it, if you have enough time. It cannot harm.***
2. Manhattan GMAT Verbal Foundations - nice warm-up material, but it turned out that I had underestimated my Quant level, but I would always recommend it, if you have enough time. It cannot harm. ***
3. Manhattan GMAT 8 Strategy Guides (except for CR) - I think that MGMAT is probably the best companion for preparing for the GMAT. The Books are all written in a nice language which catches your attention. Though they are 8, I would say that Sentence Correction, Number Properties, Equations and Inequalitiesq and Word Problems are most useful. I give all of them *****, and the remaining books ****, because many of them do have some repetitions. If you have time, buy all of them, if not - focus on the above-mentioned.
4. Powerscore Critical reasoning Bible - very, very useful book. All CR question types are broken down and described thouroughly, in my eyes I would prefer this book over MGMAT CRm which I had the chance to had a look at once. *****
5. Manhattan GMAT Advanced Quant - unfortunately, I did not have any time to complete a single problem out of this book. Will remain on the list for my next attempt.
6. OG12, VG2, QG2 - Must Have *****
7. MGMAT AWA and IR Guide - It is a 140 pages book, which may help you with IR. Nevertheless, for AWA focus barely on chineseburned's guide (******* stars for chineseburned).
8. OG13 - Must Have ***** (if you start your preparation now, buy directly OG13)

My enquiry
I would be grateful, if you guys could help me define what to focus on, in order to achieve in my next attempt this mid 700 score I want. I do have some opinion on that, but would be happy to discuss it with you in my So what and How to get to a mid 700 score thread! Thanks in advance! Kudos guaranteed!

Feel free to ask every possible question here! I will be happy to answer all of them!
_________________

Thank you very much for reading this post till the end! Kudos?

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Some insights from a 640 attempt   [#permalink] 15 Dec 2012, 11:52
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