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What the hell just happened...

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Intern
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Joined: 08 Dec 2012
Posts: 8
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What the hell just happened... [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2012, 12:20
I got a 640 (Q47, V32) on my first attempt. This was shocking, I had not prepared that much, maybe around 60-80 hours total, but here are the results from my practice tests:

GMAT Official - 710
Kaplan CAT 2 - 750
Kaplan CAT 1 - 97% on Quantitative
Kaplan CAT 5 - 97% on Quantitative
(I didn't complete the full test on the last 2)

On the actual GMAT my percentile was 73 for Q and 64 for Verbal, when I have never scored less than 90 percentile on either section on practice tests. The funny part is I thought my actual one went really well! I couldn't sleep well the night before and it bothers me a lot when I don't sleep well, but never thought it was going so badly.

So I have literally 3 weeks to salvage my Masters applications, and I wanted to get some solid advice on how I can spend my time to maximize my results. I've heard some fantastic stories on these forums, and with some help maybe I can be one too :) I'll try to ask some specific questions, but general advice is more than welcome!

1] In practicing OG questions, how does one actually improve? Do you track the types of questions and types of mistakes, etc? Any good method to do this? Many times I have felt, especially with SC, that the explanations are too complex - I could have never thought like that myself... So not even sure if I'm getting better. And would you recommend I do all questions from all sections? Or focus on harder ones?

2] What tests should I take? Manhattan? Kaplan? I feel like Kaplan overestimated my scores..

3] Where to get a good grasp of theory / fundamentals? I feel like I did a lot of work on strategy, but nothing at all on the actual theory/fundamentals. Especially with SC, that remains a big problem area.

Verbal is clearly the bigger problem area, SC and RC seem to be my weaknesses in that order. Anyway, please do advise and point me to resources that you found especially helpful - timing strategies, idioms, etc. I haven't fully explored this site so even links to that would help. Sorry if I'm being too general, I have only 3 weeks and I feel confident that I can do a much better job. But I've never been clear on how to devote my time, so please do help!
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesManhattan GMAT Discount Codes
Manager
Manager
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Joined: 04 Sep 2012
Posts: 135
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
GPA: 3.3
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 17

Re: What the hell just happened... [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2012, 10:42
My story is quite similar to yours; did well on Veritas practice exams, but bombed the GMAT w/ a 620. Here's what I did to get up to 760 after 4 weeks of study:

-Powerscore Critical Reading Bible - Read and do the exercises (even if some seem silly)
-Manhattan SC book - I made flash cards for every single idiom and important concept (subjunctive tense)
-Kaplan Tests - I actually scored very similarly to you as well, but since these didn't work for you, I recommend buying the Manhattan GMAT & 800score practice tests. Do them all and make sure you understand all of your incorrect answers.

Good luck
Intern
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Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 10
GMAT Date: 12-17-2012
GPA: 3.85
WE: General Management (Transportation)
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Re: What the hell just happened... [#permalink] New post 18 Dec 2012, 20:11
I'm in the exact same boat. Not a very fun place to be!
Had 720 and 740 on GMATPREP ended up with a 650 (q42 V38) I had the exact same problem when studying verbal, most books are on theory, but theory is useless unless you know how to use it. I started with the GMATCLUB free book to get the basics done, (the problems are way too easy) then after got some concepts down went to Manhattan SC to reinforce then did all OG13 & V2 problems. These are where I gained the most. Starting off I was getting probably 50% or more wrong on even the easy ones, but by the end I was over 75% on the hard ones. You can start seeing concepts that the GMAT actually tests, and learn what they like. Manhattan gmat has the "OG Archer program" that you can use when answering OG & V2 & Q2 and it will keep track of your time and subject matters. Now that being said. I only got a 650 so I'm not really one to talk.
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Re: What the hell just happened... [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2013, 09:08
710 on second attempt! Pretty damn happy, though I think I could have done much better (spent around 6-8 mins on a really easy Quant question)
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Joined: 05 May 2011
Posts: 358
Location: United States (WI)
GMAT 1: 780 Q49 V50
WE: Research (Other)
Followers: 7

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GMAT Tests User
Re: What the hell just happened... [#permalink] New post 06 Feb 2013, 21:08
corporatehippy wrote:
710 on second attempt! Pretty damn happy, though I think I could have done much better (spent around 6-8 mins on a really easy Quant question)


nice rebound, that's a great improvement. What did you do in between your tests to prepare?
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Joined: 13 Aug 2009
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Re: What the hell just happened... [#permalink] New post 08 Feb 2013, 19:25
Congratulations on the huge improvement, corporatehippy! I hope you finally got some good sleep afterward. ;)

Good luck with your applications!
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Helping students kick the GMAT in the nuts since 2002... www.gmatninja.com.

Re: What the hell just happened...   [#permalink] 08 Feb 2013, 19:25
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