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  • The winning strategy for 700+ on the GMAT

     December 13, 2018

     December 13, 2018

     08:00 AM PST

     09:00 AM PST

    What people who reach the high 700's do differently? We're going to share insights, tips and strategies from data we collected on over 50,000 students who used examPAL.
  • GMATbuster's Weekly GMAT Quant Quiz, Tomorrow, Saturday at 9 AM PST

     December 14, 2018

     December 14, 2018

     09:00 AM PST

     10:00 AM PST

    10 Questions will be posted on the forum and we will post a reply in this Topic with a link to each question. There are prizes for the winners.

100 points increment- From 600 to 700

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Intern
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Joined: 06 May 2018
Posts: 5
GMAT 1: 600 Q47 V27
GMAT 2: 700 Q50 V34
100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2018, 10:23
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1
After a yearlong stint with Quants and Verbal, I was finally able to reach the 700 mark in my 2nd attempt (Q50, V34). In my first attempt I scored 600 (Q47, V27).

I was nervous to the core on the exam day even after all the preparations and mocks. The experience of 1st attempt was haunting me. But when the screen finally showed 700 as my score, that moment was worth all the stress and anxiety. Before I share my insights let me give a brief background about myself. I always considered myself to be good in Verbal but was skeptical about quants since I was out of touch for many years. It’s been 6 years since I am out of college and have practiced quants in any form. So for my 1st attempt I focused a lot on quants and took verbal for granted. My score reflected my negligence of Verbal. I wouldn’t have been shocked of 600 if I got low scores in quants, but this was verbal, my strength area. I couldn’t digest the fact that I bombed verbal. After all, I am a published author. I decided that I have to re-take GMAT, just to prove to myself that I am good at Verbal. However, it took me 8-9 months to gather the courage to start studying again from scratch. That’s when I came across the E-GMAT verbal online course. It was a game changer, definitely recommended for anyone who’s struggling with verbal.

Below are some key learnings from my journey:

1. I found E-GMAT to be the best course for both quants and verbal preparation (I have tried Kaplan, magoosh, and veritas). The scholarium tool provided by e-gmat helped me a lot to analyze where exactly I was weak. I tried manhattan advanced quants, but felt it was way too tough. E-gmat’s approach of explaining the concepts and then allowing us to practice in guided manner worked very well for me. I was able to pin point where exactly my approach digressed from the taught approach.

2. You can never study enough for the verbal. No matter how confident you feel with English, never take verbal for granted. This mistake cost me heavily in my 1st attempt. Practice as many questions as you can, especially RC. Now that GMAT is 30 mins shorter, they have 4 RC passages. Hence it becomes even more critical to master RC.

3. The only mocks you need to give are the official GMAT mocks. Over all I gave just 4 mocks. 2 free ones and 2 paid mocks from mba.com. Instead of focusing too much on mocks, focus on learning the key concepts and strengthening your weak areas.

4. GMAT Club is an excellent forum for your doubts and also to practice questions for free. But it is an ocean. Have a proper plan before jumping into it. It is easy to get lost otherwise.

5. IR and AWA would not take you more than a day or two to master if you’ve mastered quants and verbal. They are just extension of the skills learnt in quants and verbal.
Attempt your stronger section first in the exam. I felt more comfortable in verbal and hence chose to attempt that first.

6. Meditation helped me immensely to calm my nerves. I started practicing 2 months ago and felt an increase in my concentration level. It is still difficult to meditate for more than 5mins but I force myself to sit in silence for at least 10 mins every day. I also joined a gym and forced myself to workout at least for an hour daily. It helped me get the much needed break from studies.

7. Superstition can help. My mom asked to buy a bamboo plant for good luck. I did that and watered it every day believing that it would bring me luck. To my greatest surprise, one of the CR questions that came in exam was the exact same from the official mock. In that moment I said to myself, “No way in the world could this have happened without the bamboo plant!” Whatever helps you have faith in something greater, do that. It wouldn’t harm in any way.

All said and done, this is just the first step.. Still have long way to go!!!  ☺
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Re: 100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jul 2018, 23:31
Wow! a published author with a 700, is an amazing combination!!

Congratulations!! 100 point improvement shows some serious hard work & dedication. Kudos on such an inspiring achievement.

Good tip for the engagement on GMAT club, it is indeed overwhelming.

Any tips for RC prep? Do you suggest to practice 2-3 passages daily, as is suggested by some experts?

Appreciate you posting your inspiring story.


All the best!!


Cheers!
GyM
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Re: 100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 00:47
The best way to prep for RC is to solve as many passages as possible with the time limit. Choose questions from the topics that you find difficult. I was comfortable with topics like humanities, psychology, sciences act, but not good with politics, history and economics. Hence I focused more on those passages. While solving, try to find a pattern in the errors. Is there a specific type of question that you falter at? For me, finding the main point was a challenge. Often my selection would either be too narrow or out of scope. This is where the e-gmat course helped me. Try your hands at various courses (most of them have free trial offers) and then choose the one that suits you best. Last but not the least, always remember that RC is as much binary as quants. There's only 1 right answer. Keep eliminating the wrong ones till you are left with only one choice. Elimination is the best approach when it comes to Verbal..

Hope this was helpful..
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Re: 100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 06:55
Thanks!, that sounds like a good strategy.

Have heard great reviews about the Egmat verbal course, i think i will give it a try.

For Quant, on the real test, the difficult questions were from which section? Was it Combinatorics, Number properties or Statistics or some other topic?

Do you think the questions were wordy in general & had lengthier stems, especially word problems?

Since you obviously must have encountered few highly advanced questions on your way to Q50.

Appreciate your kind reply.


Thanks!
GyM
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Re: 100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2018, 10:12
Congratulations nr700 on your score and all the best for your application and beyond :-)

From 600 to 700, now thats quite an impressive improvement.

Also, since your GMAT is over, pass the bamboo plant to me now, so that i can bestow myself with the foreseen perks :lol: :thumbup:
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Re: 100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2018, 02:57
Received few queries related to the Quant prep strategy. Here's few points on the same:

1. The tough questions in Quant sections were mostly from geometry. I am not sure if it is just me, but in both my attempts I saw quite a few questions from geometry towards the end. The one thing I did differently this time was memorising the trigonometry formulae and a few other things like the fraction to decimal conversion. Having this simple tool handy increased my performance multifold. I used this on 3-4 questions and got answer within 30 secs. It was a huge time saviour, allowing me to use few extra seconds on other questions. If you can, memorise few of these quick formulae.

2. Number property is the single most important topic that you must master in order to cross Q45. There are just too many questions where we need to use the number properties.

3. Stats wasn't as difficult as it is usually perceived, but it required a clear understanding of what exactly does mean, median and mode denote. any confusion among these three can be fatal.

4. Word problem did get a bit lengthy towards the end, but the same technique as RC helped to quickly understand the meaning. Read slowly and understand each line before moving to the next. This might seem counter-intuitive but it saves time in the long run.

5. If you are stuck at a particular score, I would strongly recommend try the e-gmat quants course. It starts from the very basics and goes on till very advanced. Scholarium provides an option to sort the question by difficulty level topic wise. Hence you can focus on your weak areas better.

6. Even if you can't invest in the online courses, do try their free trial packs and attend the free webinars. They are very informational.
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100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2018, 22:10
nr700

Can you share additional two cents regarding how did you handle timing in
your actual exam and at what interval you used to give mocks?
Approx how many questions / hrs were you able to manage to give in between
two mocks?
Additionally what links you found useful for (6)? Can you share links for the same.
There are couple of folks having hard time handling nerves and meditation can be immensely useful
to counter stress.
TIA and all the best for your apps!
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Re: 100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jul 2018, 06:05
nr700 wrote:
Received few queries related to the Quant prep strategy. Here's few points on the same:

1. The tough questions in Quant sections were mostly from geometry. I am not sure if it is just me, but in both my attempts I saw quite a few questions from geometry towards the end. The one thing I did differently this time was memorising the trigonometry formulae and a few other things like the fraction to decimal conversion. Having this simple tool handy increased my performance multifold. I used this on 3-4 questions and got answer within 30 secs. It was a huge time saviour, allowing me to use few extra seconds on other questions. If you can, memorise few of these quick formulae.

2. Number property is the single most important topic that you must master in order to cross Q45. There are just too many questions where we need to use the number properties.

3. Stats wasn't as difficult as it is usually perceived, but it required a clear understanding of what exactly does mean, median and mode denote. any confusion among these three can be fatal.

4. Word problem did get a bit lengthy towards the end, but the same technique as RC helped to quickly understand the meaning. Read slowly and understand each line before moving to the next. This might seem counter-intuitive but it saves time in the long run.

5. If you are stuck at a particular score, I would strongly recommend try the e-gmat quants course. It starts from the very basics and goes on till very advanced. Scholarium provides an option to sort the question by difficulty level topic wise. Hence you can focus on your weak areas better.

6. Even if you can't invest in the online courses, do try their free trial packs and attend the free webinars. They are very informational.


Damn Advanced Geometry under time pressure is a very scary prospect. To visualize geometrical figures when the brain is already fried, especially towards the end of exam, is a tough task.

Kudos to you, keeping your cool & smashing them geometry questions out of the exam hall :grin:

Good tip on using trigonometry, a few extra seconds saved are definitely handy.

DS word problems can be tricky if misread, good tip to read them slowly & deliberately.

Appreciate all your valuable tips!!


Keep sharing!


Cheers,
GyM
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GMAT 2: 700 Q50 V34
Re: 100 points increment- From 600 to 700  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2018, 03:28
adkikani wrote:
nr700

Can you share additional two cents regarding how did you handle timing in
your actual exam and at what interval you used to give mocks?
Approx how many questions / hrs were you able to manage to give in between
two mocks?
Additionally what links you found useful for (6)? Can you share links for the same.
There are couple of folks having hard time handling nerves and meditation can be immensely useful
to counter stress.
TIA and all the best for your apps!


1. Timing is not an isolated issue. It is tied up with accuracy. During my practice I always used to move ahead to next question in 90 seconds, irrespective of whether I solved the question or not. If you can't solve a question in 2 mins, there is no point in solving it at all. Most of us can easily solve GMAT Quants if we have a full day to crack it. The questions are not inherently tough, what makes them difficult is the time limit. Hence it is absolutely essential to practice within the time limit at all times. for all CR and SC questions, my target was 60 secs. That gave me sufficient time to read the RC passage. For quants I tried to solve within 60-90secs for medium and 2 mins for tough questions.

2. I usually gave 2 weeks gap between the mocks. Every day I spent 3-4 hours practicing on the e-gmat scholarium tool

3. For meditation I used the mobile app called "Calm". The free version has sufficient variation of meditation options for everyone.
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Re: 100 points increment- From 600 to 700 &nbs [#permalink] 16 Jul 2018, 03:28
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