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Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500

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Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500 [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2011, 04:00
Decided three and a half weeks ago to take the GMAT, to get a masters at a good school. My planning was really bad, and because I'm already doing a masters at another good school, my motivation wasn't on top.

Anyway, I had a real hard time doing practice tests. I only tried the quant-questions, and thought I was doing okay. I decided to only study quant. The problem was, that I had barely touched math in high school 5 or 6 years ago. Frankly, I sucked, and didn't even know how simple things such as how you simplify the sum of different fractions.

I used the MGMAT books for quant, and just read them from time to time. I thought I was understanding, but just doing the problem sets were not really sufficient prep for the GMAT. I didn't touch the verbal section, even though I am a non-native english speaker in the early 20's.

So yesterday, after a couple of weeks of ineffective quant studying, I took the test. The quant section was really, really tough for me. I completely stressed out, and most of the questions were stuff I didn't recognize from the MGMAT material. I barely had time to finish, and some questions I just took a wild guess. An early evidence of my failure was that I didn't use much of my paper to do the math on.

Verbal, I actually thought it was really funny. I even finished with 20 minutes left.

Then my score showed up:

OVERALL: 500 (34% percentile)
QUANT: 24 (14% percentile)
VERBAL: 36 (73% percentile)

Well, as you can see, my quantscore really screwed the test. I thought it was kind of funny how big difference it was between the percentiles of quant and verbal.

I got until the 28th to do another GMAT, but I don't know if it's worth it. GMAT is pretty funny, but expensive and would ideally precede months of training.
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Re: Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500 [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2011, 04:16
Ur verbal score is really impressive, I wish I get this verbal score on test day! My date is within 4 days. Can u pls suggest me how to tackle RC?
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Re: Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500 [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2011, 04:33
willigetmylifeback wrote:
Ur verbal score is really impressive, I wish I get this verbal score on test day! My date is within 4 days. Can u pls suggest me how to tackle RC?


Well, most generally, I tried to think of the "weight" or "relevance" of the answer. My impression was that a lot of the choices could be linked to the text, but wasn't really "relevant". Also, I think the right answers more often are "general" and not specific. I think I spent more time reading the questions, than reading the text.

I am not an expert, just my thoughts!
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Re: Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500 [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2011, 19:44
Your verbal score is pretty decent. Use your MGMAT Quant guides(and verbal too, if you feel you need more strategies) and do all the OG 12 problems.If you do not understand any particular concept, use this forum to ask away your questions or/and use a high School Math book to get more clarity. This will get you ready for a higher score.
What is your target score? depending on that you can make a study plan for yourself. PErsonally, I feel it is much easier to improve on the Quant part as compared to Verbal. Just get the basics right and memorize relevant formulae. Couple this will OG practice.
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Re: Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500 [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2011, 21:32
hey larsgrans, after reading your excerpt on GMAT prepping and the exam, I can't exactly figure out what it is you're trying to do with your GMAT. Do you want (or need) an MBA? If so, what's your target school range? In terms of your score, your verbal is impressive. Follow the MGMAT and OG will help do the trick in quant. You're absolutely right; you will need time and dedication to prep for GMAT. Plan yourself a month or two with an hour each day for GMAT studying.
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Re: Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500 [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2011, 06:47
larsgrans wrote:
Decided three and a half weeks ago to take the GMAT, to get a masters at a good school. My planning was really bad, and because I'm already doing a masters at another good school, my motivation wasn't on top.

Anyway, I had a real hard time doing practice tests. I only tried the quant-questions, and thought I was doing okay. I decided to only study quant. The problem was, that I had barely touched math in high school 5 or 6 years ago. Frankly, I sucked, and didn't even know how simple things such as how you simplify the sum of different fractions.

I used the MGMAT books for quant, and just read them from time to time. I thought I was understanding, but just doing the problem sets were not really sufficient prep for the GMAT. I didn't touch the verbal section, even though I am a non-native english speaker in the early 20's.

So yesterday, after a couple of weeks of ineffective quant studying, I took the test. The quant section was really, really tough for me. I completely stressed out, and most of the questions were stuff I didn't recognize from the MGMAT material. I barely had time to finish, and some questions I just took a wild guess. An early evidence of my failure was that I didn't use much of my paper to do the math on.

Verbal, I actually thought it was really funny. I even finished with 20 minutes left.

Then my score showed up:

OVERALL: 500 (34% percentile)
QUANT: 24 (14% percentile)
VERBAL: 36 (73% percentile)

Well, as you can see, my quantscore really screwed the test. I thought it was kind of funny how big difference it was between the percentiles of quant and verbal.

I got until the 28th to do another GMAT, but I don't know if it's worth it. GMAT is pretty funny, but expensive and would ideally precede months of training.


The parts in bold up above explain your results. It sounds like you signed up for the GMAT on a whim, did a little cursory "studying," then took the test without really understanding many of the main quant concepts or the basics of the test itself.

Glancing through MGMAT a few times isn't going to help you much. But if you study them thoroughly, you won't see many surprises on test day.
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Re: Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500 [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2011, 07:59
I agree with above. Since your verbal is already high, concentrating on math alone with be much easier.

If you decide to look at the MGMAT guides again, I would definitely recommend doing the "In Action" problems at the end of the chapters and applying the concepts to the OG problems as well. In your debrief above, you don't mention taking GMATPrep at all. You probably should take it before your second exam to see where you are and if you are within reach of your target score.
Re: Two sides of GMAT - how I got 500   [#permalink] 06 Feb 2011, 07:59
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