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I have this crazy story, and I doubt anyone here wants to hear it, but I cannot resist - so here goes.
In July of 2010, I sat for the GMAT. It was my first attempt and I had studied intensely for 3 weeks and 3 days. I walked out with a 760. Not too shabby, I certainly had the GMAT part of my app checked off.
A week or two later my genious but lazy brother-in-law needs help moving out of his apartment, and I spend the afternoon helping him. I tell him all about the GMAT and how I did. His apartment was a total mess, and I left at around midnight, because I needed to get to work the next day, he ended up working through the night. He comes to my place the next day, catches a couple of hours of shuteye, but is awake for the rest of the day.
I come home from work, and he starts asking me how I think he would do on the GMAT. I say, "you would probably do very well so long as you prepare properly, the content is relatively simple but the timing and question style complicate it".
Then I say "if you are really curious, go to mba.com and download and take their free sample CAT's. That should give you an idea of where you stand right now."
He says "Ok, I'll do it now".
I was like "dude, you've slept for two hours over the last 48 hours, go to sleep and do it in the morning"
So he does it. With zero prep, without having ever seen a GMAT question in his life, and under extreme sleep deprivation he scores a 790! I am not kidding. He got nothing wrong at all in Verbal - 51, and he got a 50 in math (total of three wrong). I was flabergasted. I noticed there was no scratch paper at his comp so I was asked, what did you use for scratch paper. He goes, "oh your allowed to use scratch paper, you should have told me, I did all the math in my head"
I've noticed that when you throw in the constraint of no scratch paper, your brain focuses on getting to a right answer through the most efficient means possible rather than trying to "solve" the problem as you do when you have scratch paper to work with.
This can be disheartening for people who spend months studying and still don't get the score they are looking for. _________________
If you like my post, a kudos is always appreciated
Thanks, I tried to talk him into it, but he is a computer programmer/mathematician - with no interest in business school and a very slight interest in law school. He is considering taking it to get a tutoring gig
Overall, the GMAT asks for high school basics. Maybe your brother has enjoyed a much better or more focused education than all of us have? That might be a reason as well for his performance. _________________
this is very difficult to believe, sorry... or I simply don't want to believe it
I have my own version of the story....
This guy is probably good, and when you told him about your GMAT plans and everything, he started studying it because he is very competitive, he wants to impress you (he likes you?) and wants to know how he would perform in the exam.
He then started to take one prep test after another for the last weeks and he knows by heart every question in the GMAT Prep software.
Then he waited till the perfect moment to show you how great he is...