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Director
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Sparky reporting [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 13:28
I took the test few days back. It was my first attempt. My score was 740 (98%) (Q50 95% and V39 89%) :-). I am pretty happy with the result, especially because I never broke 700 on mock tests.

Materials used for preparation excluding the forum, studied in the following order
Kaplan GMAT 800
Kaplan GMAT2005
OG10
Some RC's and CR's from LSAT published by Kaplan, Arco, and some retired official LSAT questions

Practice tests taken, from the first to the last

Kaplan 2005 Paper test 690 94% (Q48 87% V44 97%)
PP1 670 89% (Q48 90% V 34 70%) - before OG
PP2 680 (90%) (Q47 86% 36 79%) - before OG
Kaplan Diagnostic 620 87% (Q38 V39)
Kaplan CAT 1 590 73% (Q42 V30)
Kaplan CAT 2 630 83% (Q50 V33)
Kaplan CAT3 640 85% (Q48 V35)

Forum challenges in the order taken(I have done them almost every day since I got access)

C23 30 89%
C22 26 78%
C20 24 58%
C21 25 89%
C16 18 66%
C15 22 87%
C24 30 97%
C19 31 93%
C17 30 93%
C18 30 95%
C14 27 95%
C13 29 93%
C12 31 95%
C11 33 95%

Exam

Nothing special, really. Math - Kaplan level, Verbal OG level, maybe a little bit above.
I got 1 bold face - not really hard, two 75 liners :) but I didn't have any troubles understanding RC's. The last passage was the longest and the hardest.

My timing was perfect. I didn't have to guess on any questions. I finished each section with 2 minutes to spare.
CR's were straightforward (this is my strongest area in verbal). SC's were also not very hard. I only had to semi-guess on one idiom question.

Math had equal mix of DS's and PS's, few of them involved tedious calculations and there was only 1 question (PS) I was unsure about. Some questions were really easy (probably experimental). I had percentages problems, 1 easy permutation, work problems, set problems, little tricky geometry, unusual number of interest problems 2 or 3, only 1 number property, and few inequality DS's.

My total preparation time for this exam was a little under 2.5 months. I tried to study every day, minimum 1-2 hours. I did questions in groups of 40-50 to build up my stamina, timing myself of course.
I did all the questions in the books I listed above. I did OG CR's and SC's twice - the second time was when I was going through explanations - very useful.

LSAT CR's really made me understand how GMAT CR's work.


Since I have already taken the test, I feel like I can give advice.

For math

do challenges, after doing them math section of GMAT test would look easy
do Kaplan
read Math drill section in OG10 - where they explain what is what - even, odd, integer, remainders, etc You need to remember the definitions by heart to not make stupid mistakes in math.
don't pick numbers in most cases, solve the problems - if you fully understand the problem you can solve it. (I know some people might object but this is my personal opinion)
learn efficient problem solving style - read HongHu's posts in math forum, the way she does math is extremely efficient and clear
inequalities - before picking numbers, if you must, rewrite it in such a way that you get zero on one side and a product on the other.

Verbal
practice, practice, practice
read, read, and read - especially non-native speakers of English
for CR's and RC's - LSAT

In conclusion, I must say that I am really in debt to this forum for getting a good score on GMAT. I would like to thank people who post problems and participate in discussions.
I would also like to thank all the people who create and maintain the challenges, which were an important part of my preparation process.

If you have any additional questions - feel free to ask them here. I will try to be around.

Last edited by sparky on 03 Jul 2005, 00:37, edited 4 times in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 13:31
Congratulation sparky! It is a fantastic score and I wish you all the best in your applications. Time to parteee :beer :banana
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Paul

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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 13:33
Congratulations Sparky!!

I told you that you'll get well above 700 :)

Those tips are great. Please try to hang around.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 14:19
Congrats Sparky!
Finally it is done! All the best for your application process.
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Well-done !! [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 15:02
Congratulations Sparky ! You were among the active responders to my posted CR's questions and were also very strong in math. Your sucess is no surprise to anybody here.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 15:22
No wonder you surpassed 700 Sparky...Congratulations...
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 15:27
Thanks guys :)

So those PP mock tests don't mean 100% that one is doomed ;-)
I am saying this because my biggest fear was my PP results 670 and 680, and there is a tendency that real GMAT scores will float somewhere in the vicinity of those. The preparation helped me to add 2-3 scaled points on math and 3-5 scaled points on verbal. The biggest improvement was on my verbal - my weakest area.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 17:09
Congrats sparrky and good luck as you apply. I hope you'd still hang around and participate in forum discussions :lol:
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 17:15
Hello Sparky

Congratulations for that score. Thanks for that detailed note.

I am glad the challenges helped. I am happy that the percentile on a number of challenges is close to what you got in your Quant section.

As always, the best way to thank this forum and the hard working people who participate is to give back, participate and contribute in whatever way you can.

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Congratulations, Sparky [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 17:33
Thanks for sharing your GMAT experience. Wish you best luck in your applications! :)
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2005, 17:34
congratulations sparky!!!!!!

well done. you did it with fantastic score. gr8 job....
all the best......
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 02:16
Awesome score Sparky. Time to party. :musband Best Wishes for the application process.

Please let me know the name of the LSAT book you used for verbal. Also let us know about how you prepared the essays.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 06:15
congrats sparky..

any 'solids' problems on the exam? series (arithematic or geometric)? calender? coordinate geometry? median/average? and what's the level of difficulty of these, if any?

thanks..
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 07:50
awsome sparky....amazing....you deserve it

please stick around we need your expertise...
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 13:24
Awesome score sparky ! congrats !
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 13:51
Dan wrote:
congrats sparky..

any 'solids' problems on the exam? series (arithematic or geometric)? calender? coordinate geometry? median/average? and what's the level of difficulty of these, if any?

thanks..


I don't remember seeing any of those.

most of the problems on math were Kaplan level, only few were more difficult. However, none of the problems took me more 2.5 -3 min to solve, one problem took me close to 4 min but only because of lots of calculations. I didn't have to guess on any of them, although some of them I sure answered wrong.

I never lingered on a problem, and moved on quickly, without giving second thoughts to problems that were behind me. At the same time I never took a single problem lightly and gave each problem equal respect, no matter how easy they were or looked.

I think my "i-don't-give-a-damn" and "let's-get-it-over-with-quickly" attitude helped me.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 14:06
Sparky,

which LSAT CR book did you use? Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 14:34
AJB77 wrote:
Sparky,

which LSAT CR book did you use? Thanks


Let me think ...
as far as books are concerned - I do loath Kaplan GMAT 2005 with CD and Kaplan GMAT 800 for cheating and ripping off the customers. Instead of writing new questions for each book, they use duplicate questions and sell them to you twice in different books and CD's.
Kaplan CD is packed with questions from Kaplan GMAT 800 . :evil:
Also they don't even bother to include enough questions on a CD in order to equally support all CAT tests they offer and all practice excercises.
I did 3 first CATS and when I tried to do the 4th one, the computer program politely told me to @^%* off because it didn't have enough questions in the reserves.
Also, a lot of hard questions on Kaplan CATS are taken directly from Kaplan GMAT 800.
I mean - what is it? and I have to spend $100 on this kind of books?
I respect ETS publications in that sense - they at least clearly state that questions in their PP software, OG, and paper tests overlap and by how much.

ok, now back to your questions, AJ, sorry I just had to vent.
I got those books from the library. So they weren't up to date
Arco LSAT (late 90's edition), good RC passages, long, informative, GMAT type
100 Official LSAT questions (or something like that, 90's edition) - has total of 300 real LSAT questions (no explnations) - good CR's, ok RC's - long but easy, very much watered down, not really packed with info.
and Kaplan LSAT 2005 - as you might expect some CR's are from Kaplan GMAT 800, RC's passages - impossible as usual. At times I think Kaplan gets its passages by using a computer program that randomly picks words from a Webster dictionary.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 16:34
Hi sparky,
Congrats for your awesome achievement!Last month I took GMAT
but could mop up only 510(41Q,19V).I feel utterly depressed.I've just found this forum & overwhelmed by its content; I'm also greatly moved by your achievement.Can you guide me in following fields,
1)I'm a full time worker.I can spend max 20 hrs in 7 days . From today onwards when should I schedule my 2nd attempt?(I'm now eyeing for GMAT only,regardless of admission itinerary).
2)Should I take it by 2005,otherwise ACT may change the test pattern FOLLOWED BY ETS
3) I've got these materials
KAPLAN2005 +CD
PR2005+CD
KAP800
PR VERBAL(JUST PURCHSED)
PROF DAVE BOOK+CD
OG(LAST TIME I GOT THIS 5 DAYS PRIOR TO MY TEST)
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2005, 17:22
BULLdoser wrote:
Hi sparky,
Congrats for your awesome achievement!Last month I took GMAT
but could mop up only 510(41Q,19V).I feel utterly depressed.I've just found this forum & overwhelmed by its content; I'm also greatly moved by your achievement.Can you guide me in following fields,
1)I'm a full time worker.I can spend max 20 hrs in 7 days . From today onwards when should I schedule my 2nd attempt?(I'm now eyeing for GMAT only,regardless of admission itinerary).
2)Should I take it by 2005,otherwise ACT may change the test pattern FOLLOWED BY ETS
3) I've got these materials
KAPLAN2005 +CD
PR2005+CD
KAP800
PR VERBAL(JUST PURCHSED)
PROF DAVE BOOK+CD
OG(LAST TIME I GOT THIS 5 DAYS PRIOR TO MY TEST)


hey Bulldoser,

I would give it at least 3 months of preparation time until your next test if you want to move to upper 600's, or 700's

Browse this forum, there are a lot of materials here, both in download form or discussions. There is also lots of great preparation advice here, check out CMAT forum for instance.

I am familiar only with OG and Kaplan, and they are good for GMAT preparation, OG is the bible of GMAT.


Study Kaplan 2005, don't do the tests yet, except maybe for the paper one
Take 2 PowerPrep tests (free ETS CATS you can download from http://www.mba.com)
Go thru OG, read all the explanations - this is really necessary if you want to learn how GMAT works.

then you can do Kaplan 800, LSAT CR's and CR's - very important, and other thing that you might find necessary as you go.

You migh not want to schedule the test right now. Study Kaplan 2005, and after doing PP CATs and Kaplan paper test schedule the real GMAT, relying on the feeling of how much more time you will need to prepare.
  [#permalink] 01 Jul 2005, 17:22
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