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2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)

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New post 14 Sep 2018, 19:39
Hello all,

Wanted to thank you in advance for all the help over the past few weeks or so, during my roughly 1 month long prep. (Since the beginning of August).

I took the GMAT today and scored 600, Q32V40 (21 Percentile, 90 Percentile), after doing 4 GMAT practice tests, the Manhattan GMAT Quant Basic book, tutoring, etc. Unfortunately, this quant score isn't an improvement from the first two practice tests, although I did manage to get it to 31st percentile (oh boy!) on the 4th one I took.

My verbal is clearly my strongest, and at this time I am not seeking to spend time improving it. (I've scored as high as 98 percentile on one of the practice tests), but without a Quant of at least 44 (JUST 50th Percentile), I'm not remotely likely to get into my desired program which has an average GMAT score of 600 and Quant above 50th.


I've got 16 days till my retake (admin deadline November 1, and want to get all squared away with some time to spare), and all I'm looking to do is get that 50th percentile and some more to spare. I am currently not working so I have all day everyday to study. I attempt to identify weak areas (and at my score, what isn't weak?) and for the most part it seems to be algebra, and when it is combined with exponents, and data sufficiency questions. My theory seems to be quite weak, but attempts to improve it through going over the more basics doesn't seem to do the trick.


I'd assume 16 days is enough to get to this 50th percentile, any tips? (Also, though this is of less concern for me, my IR is also abysmal-got an 11th percentile today- 2/12. Part of this I believe was just due to frustration and exhaustion by that point, as I've gotten a great 40th percentile on two practice tests, so tips to improve this too would be greatly appreciated).


Thanks!
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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2018, 05:05
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OilGMAT2018 wrote:
Hello all,

Wanted to thank you in advance for all the help over the past few weeks or so, during my roughly 1 month long prep. (Since the beginning of August).

I took the GMAT today and scored 600, Q32V40 (21 Percentile, 90 Percentile), after doing 4 GMAT practice tests, the Manhattan GMAT Quant Basic book, tutoring, etc. Unfortunately, this quant score isn't an improvement from the first two practice tests, although I did manage to get it to 31st percentile (oh boy!) on the 4th one I took.

My verbal is clearly my strongest, and at this time I am not seeking to spend time improving it. (I've scored as high as 98 percentile on one of the practice tests), but without a Quant of at least 44 (JUST 50th Percentile), I'm not remotely likely to get into my desired program which has an average GMAT score of 600 and Quant above 50th.


I've got 16 days till my retake (admin deadline November 1, and want to get all squared away with some time to spare), and all I'm looking to do is get that 50th percentile and some more to spare. I am currently not working so I have all day everyday to study. I attempt to identify weak areas (and at my score, what isn't weak?) and for the most part it seems to be algebra, and when it is combined with exponents, and data sufficiency questions. My theory seems to be quite weak, but attempts to improve it through going over the more basics doesn't seem to do the trick.


I'd assume 16 days is enough to get to this 50th percentile, any tips? (Also, though this is of less concern for me, my IR is also abysmal-got an 11th percentile today- 2/12. Part of this I believe was just due to frustration and exhaustion by that point, as I've gotten a great 40th percentile on two practice tests, so tips to improve this too would be greatly appreciated).


Thanks!


Hi OilGMAT2018,

It may be difficult to improve your score by a huge margin in 16 days but you can surely try. If you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

Lastly I would also encourage you to purchase GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2018, 05:08
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OilGMAT2018 wrote:
Hello all,

Wanted to thank you in advance for all the help over the past few weeks or so, during my roughly 1 month long prep. (Since the beginning of August).

I took the GMAT today and scored 600, Q32V40 (21 Percentile, 90 Percentile), after doing 4 GMAT practice tests, the Manhattan GMAT Quant Basic book, tutoring, etc. Unfortunately, this quant score isn't an improvement from the first two practice tests, although I did manage to get it to 31st percentile (oh boy!) on the 4th one I took.

My verbal is clearly my strongest, and at this time I am not seeking to spend time improving it. (I've scored as high as 98 percentile on one of the practice tests), but without a Quant of at least 44 (JUST 50th Percentile), I'm not remotely likely to get into my desired program which has an average GMAT score of 600 and Quant above 50th.


I've got 16 days till my retake (admin deadline November 1, and want to get all squared away with some time to spare), and all I'm looking to do is get that 50th percentile and some more to spare. I am currently not working so I have all day everyday to study. I attempt to identify weak areas (and at my score, what isn't weak?) and for the most part it seems to be algebra, and when it is combined with exponents, and data sufficiency questions. My theory seems to be quite weak, but attempts to improve it through going over the more basics doesn't seem to do the trick.


I'd assume 16 days is enough to get to this 50th percentile, any tips? (Also, though this is of less concern for me, my IR is also abysmal-got an 11th percentile today- 2/12. Part of this I believe was just due to frustration and exhaustion by that point, as I've gotten a great 40th percentile on two practice tests, so tips to improve this too would be greatly appreciated).


Thanks!


Dear Oli,

the following post my be interseting for you:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/a-way-to-inc ... l#p1120652

Best regards,
Chris
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A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated! :)

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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2018, 05:55
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Hey OilGMAT2018

Welcome to GMATClub!

It is very difficult to say if 16 days are enough to crack the 50th percentile or not. However, for
that to happen it is absolutely necessary that you have a solid plan in place. The first step would
be to carefully understand the concepts and this can be achieved in one of two ways - Manhattan
Strategy guides(there are 5 of them - so with the time constraint I would look up only those few
topics where you are really weak. In order to reinforce these concepts, you could go through the
link - GMATClub Quantitative Mega-thread.

Whenever you practice questions, try to understand if you are able to apply the learning to the
problems. Every time you aren't able to solve a question go through the thread(where the question
has been discussed) and go through the various methods that have been used to solve the problems.
In my experience, you will come across a few methods that will help you save some time. Try and
adapt these methods while you solve questions during practice.

Work on maintaining an error log and go through the mistakes you make from time to time. This
retrospection will definitely help you improve your scores.

You could also check these links on GMATClub for more GMAT Quant related information
1. GMATClub Quantitative Mega-Thread
2. ALL YOU NEED FOR QUANT ! ! !
3. PS Directory by Topic and Difficulty
4. DS Directory by Topic and Difficulty
5. Q44 -> Q50
6. Timing strategies

The third and fourth links are for practice only.

Hope that helps you!
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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2018, 08:59
I wanted to thank you all for the tips/advice/pointers that you've given me. I'll let you know what the results are from my second Kobayashi Maru (for those of you familiar wit Star Trek).


Thanks again!
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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2018, 12:45
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Hi OilGMAT2018,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you've really studied for just 1 month, then that would help to explain why you have not scored higher yet. By extension, you will likely need more than another 2 weeks to raise your Quant Scaled Score from a Q32 to a Q44. While I understand that you want to be done with the GMAT sooner rather than later, it's not a good idea to try to 'rush' this process - especially if you end up with another GMAT Score that won't be competitive-enough to get you into your first-choice School.

I'd like to know a bit more about your Official GMAT:
1) What order did you take the sections?
2) Did you have to rush to finish the Quant section (and if you did, then how many questions did you rush through at the end?)? Did you leave any questions unanswered?

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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2018, 13:10
Hi Rich,

Appreciate the response, and agree/appreciate the truthfulness in that this 2 week attempt has a relatively low chance of succeeding given the typical 3 month prep, and that an application for next year's fall semester may very well be the more likely eventual outcome (assuming I can raise my quant score by that time, of course).


In regards to the order, I took it as Verbal, Quant, IR, Writing. I attempted to take one of the practice exams Quant first, thinking "Is it possible I'm devoting too much mental energy on verbal, can I do better on quant if I flip the order?" but this only lead to a marginal improvement in the quant section, I believe 31st percentile, but the loss of confidence/concentration going into the verbal dropped me down to something in the 70th percentile or something. Now while quant is obviously more important for business schools than verbal, since my school wants at least 50th percentile, and I'm probably at best, only good for 50th and plus some, a high verbal score will be my saving grace, or at least that is the hope. The school average is a 600, with 50th+ in math, so if I could pull a 50th and another 90th in verbal, a 690 (I'm hoping) would be enough to overcome that I "Just" got their lowest "accepted" quant level. So I guess long story short, I don't think re-ordering them is likely to help. Though, obviously, if you had some tips/pointers in regards to being able to "shrug off" whatever the quant may be and go into verbal full of confidence, then obviously I'd like to hear them.


In regards to the timing, I felt a bit rushed overall, even in the verbal-knowing this was the real thing, I was much more attentive to my choices-perhaps sinking into a bit of paranoia "Well I need to do well on verbal because it's my strongest etc", and similarly for the quant. For the quant, I think the last 10 or so were a bit of a rush; ~18 minutes left, so a little less than 2 mins for each. So no "5 minute dashes", but the pressure was certainly there-I think the rush was a bit self-induced. Some of this I think was just nerves knowing it wasn't a practice but was actually the real thing, which I assume will dissipate slightly on my next one. But overall, time management was relatively good, though I must watch for ever "freezing up" or "going into my head" on a question here or there. So tips on how to maintain the smooth steady flow would be great.


Fortunately, I didn't leave any quant questions unanswered. Which may be in itself unfortunate, as it means my quant was truly that bad.

I've also heard mixed things about the variable approach method when it comes to DS-while its no place for truly knowing the theory. or the logic of the question, and therefore isn't an ideal approach to 99th percentile quant, all I'm aiming for is that 50th, so I'm curious what your thoughts are on it.

So, I guess in closing, your thoughts/tips/tricks whatever/wherever, will be greatly appreciated all around!

Thanks!
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New post 15 Sep 2018, 18:53
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OilGMAT2018 wrote:
I've also heard mixed things about the variable approach method when it comes to DS-while its no place for truly knowing the theory. or the logic of the question, and therefore isn't an ideal approach to 99th percentile quant, all I'm aiming for is that 50th, so I'm curious what your thoughts are on it.
I'm not sure what you mean by "the variable approach" to DS questions, but I doubt there is any one way to approach an entire question format.

Normally I'd say that moving from 30 to 50% is easier than moving from (say) 70 to 90%, but do you know what's holding you back? I ask because you probably don't want to be one of those test takers who leave points on the table just because they lack confidence in their quantitative abilities. Keep in mind that the GMAT is a test of reasoning skills that just happens to use basic quant and verbal concepts (to test those reasoning skills). Also keep in mind that you got a 90% in verbal on the actual exam. On your first attempt. And that you scored a 98% on one of your practice tests.

The complete imbalance in your scores tells me that you lack the basic tools (and not the ability) needed to do well. Sure, there could be other reasons for what we're seeing with your scores, but for all practical purposes, I suggest that you reevaluate what you feel about going over the basics again. You are just not there yet when it comes to the basic concepts.
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New post 15 Sep 2018, 20:37
AjiteshArun,


In regards to the variable approach method for DS, it is a technique that (and I'll try to explain it to the best of my ability, as I've only recently come across it), has to do with looking to see how many unknown values are given in the original statement, (variables), and then looking to see if the number of equations "match" the variables given, and then narrowing down answer choices accordingly. Now, the way I describe it comes off as little more than connect the dots, but it's certainly more substantial than that. It's connected to the "Math Revolution" test prep program and Max Lee-not sure if the names ring a bell or not.


In regards to if I know what I am missing, that's the hard part. Clearly I am, and for example I know a few problem areas of mine-data sufficiency being a large one (probably more so than typical problem solving) but its not that I don't understand the setup of DS, but the concepts. I've attempted to fix problem areas as I come across them-circles for instance-had to brush up on those formulas, etc, but it always seems that whenever I'm able to improve in that one area, it never shows up again on the practice exams, and in its place is something else.


I thought going through the Manhattan Foundations of GMAT math book would be helpful-covers basically everything "basics" wise-fractions, decimals, square roots, word problems, etc, but obviously I am still missing something...(To which I bought the other 4 or 5 of their quant series books today, and am hoping this will help me improve in those areas).


Anyways, appreciate the repsonse and kind words concernig my verbal score/overall ability-it was nice to hear that there is yet hope for me in quant!
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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2018, 14:31
Hi OilGMAT2018,

Since you've 'experimented' a bit with the order of the sections on your CATs, it would likely make sense for you to continue facing the Verbal section first and the Quant section second. From what you described, you didn't have too severe of a 'rushing problem' when you faced the Quant section on the Official GMAT - which is good - and your ability to 'let go' of any questions that are too hard or too weird will be essential to hitting your Score Goal. You actually do not have to correctly answer ANY Quant questions that you think are too difficult to hit that Score, but you will have to keep the little mistakes to a minimum.

In regards to your potential application plans, having a strong overall Application for a November 1st application deadline may or may not be realistic. You don't have to change your plans right this moment, but again you will likely need more than an additional 16 days to properly prepare; having the flexibility to adjust your plans (and applying for whatever deadline is next after the 11/1 deadline) would certainly be helpful to achieving your overall Goals.

Data Sufficiency is a question type that's unique to the GMAT - and it tests a variety of skills that are not, strictly speaking, "math" skills - including your organization, thoroughness, attention-to-detail, ability to PROVE whether a pattern exists or not, etc. With some basic math skills, and the willingness to do work on the pad, you might be surprised how easy many DS questions can actually be. You shouldn't try to 'shortcut' your way through that work - as it's really not necessary to think in that way - but you do have to do the proper work to make sure that you have the correct answer. DS questions have no "safety net", meaning that if you make a little mistake, you will not realize it (and you'll convince yourself that one of the wrong answers is correct).

Were any of your practice CAT Scores close to your Official GMAT Score (and Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores)? If so, then we can use that CAT as a reference point for further analysis. "Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about your last CAT. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing each section of this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?

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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2018, 18:36
Hi Rich,

Appreciate the time you're putting into helping me with my quant issue. In regards to the CAT scores, the GMAT Practice Tests 1-4 (bought an extra 2) they were all in the relative ballpark 600, Q32V40, 620 Q31 V44, 620 Q35V40, 590 Q36V35 (That last one was where I did Quant than verbal vs the verbal, quant order). So minus the 590 31st percentile, the highest was 28th percentile on the 3rd one, Q35. My official gmat was a carbon copy of my first practice test, Q32V40 600.


Going over the 3rd practice test, where I scored my highest quant, I came across 3-5 mistakes that after seeing the explanation, they were rather silly mistakes/questions that were just a hair's width away from my grasp, so if that was taken into account, it'd have been 21,23/31 right vs the 18/31 I got. The only problem with that is if I had gotten any of those questions right or another wrong, its impossible to say whether or not the algorithm would've shown me those questions in the first place. But if you're looking for a more general answer, then yes, I have made a handful of mistakes, either silly and careless errors, or something that was "just" out of my grasp.


Those that were wrong on subjects not immediately clear to me after reviewing them were up to say, 5, and maybe 3,4, that were kind of iffy-knew how to do the problem but either made an error or kind of froze on it-a relatively simple ratio problem, for example.


Now I realize that all those "wrong" don't tally quite to 13 wrong, as there is overlap as to what category of "wrong" they should go into.


I've elected to throw myself into the lion's den once more on Oct 4, giving me ~17 days to study. I've also purchased the Manhattan Prep Quant Books as well as their advanced quant book, and plan to hopefully finish all of them, at least the theory, by this upcoming Sunday. (I'm sure there are a few hundred problems in all of them combined, and I've got a good 200 or so of the remainder of the roughly 300 from purchasing the Official GMAT verbal and quant package remaining), so I'll be quite busy with those over that last week and a half before the test.

I understand I can purchase an Enhanced Score Report of my offical GMAT I just took-do you believe it would be helpful?


Thanks!
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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2018, 11:20
Hi OilGMAT2018,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your various CAT Scores - along with your Official GMAT Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 600 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the Test consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. It's also possible that you have gotten 'stuck' at this particular score level - which is another reason why I think that you should push back your Test Date.

Based on your Official Score - and the additional information that you have provided, I do NOT think that purchasing the ESR would be necessary at this point. It's fairly clear what issues you are facing in the Quant section. I want to reiterate that your Goal Score IS achievable, but you have to give yourself enough time to achieve it - and it seems like you're letting deadlines dictate your decisions instead of building your plans around your big-picture Goals.

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New post 17 Sep 2018, 11:35
Hi Rich,

I agree that trying to rush this isn't ideal, and would rather have found myself in a position with more time to study, but due to various circumstances, I find this is the best path forward for me at this point in my career.


Appreciate your advice regarding the ESR, and all of your advice over the past few days on ways to improve my score.
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New post 18 Sep 2018, 13:44
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Hey mate,

If this is still relevant, Target Test Prep is 100% the way to go. I was hovering around Q32 - 34 and managed to score Q44 and Q48 on my two official GMAT Prep Practice Tests. Its certainly isn't the most fun if you're not good at quant (like me), but after 3000+ practice questions you should be able to pretty much guarantee yourself Q42.

Hope that helps!
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New post 18 Sep 2018, 13:50
Hi jonnybuck93,

Appreciate the input; I'll certainly look into it! I'm curious, how long did it take you to reach that 44-48 level once you began studying via TTP? As you know, my time till my retake (which has been set as Oct 4th) is more limited than I would like, but it is what it is.
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New post 18 Sep 2018, 13:57
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Hey mate,

It took me a little while, perhaps about 3 weeks? I know you're looking for a magic bullet (I certainly was), but I really don't think there is one. From my perspective, at the Q40 - Q45 level, the challenge comes much more from being able to spot what you're actually being asked to do, versus tricky computations. Doing 3000 (IMO very realistic) questions means you've got a much better shot of actually understanding that you need to factorize / distribute / divide etc. etc.

Feel free to PM me mate but honestly, I would say those guys are your best bet if you're trying to up your quant in 3 weeks.
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New post 05 Oct 2018, 12:48
Hello all,

I wanted to update you guys of my progress. I took my retake yesterday and scored a 680 Q42 V41 IR4 (82%, 43%, 93%, 38%) up from a 600 32Q, 40V, 2IR (56% 21% 90% 11%) on Sept 14th. During this time, I used the 5 Manhattan Prep Books as well as Target Test Prep, and while both were very helpful, I believe the Target Test Prep was undeniably the more helpful of the two. Furthermore, I would recommend Target Test Prep without reservation for anyone attempting to improve their quant score.
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New post 05 Oct 2018, 13:55
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Hey Oli,

glad to hear of your improvement, all the best for your applications.

I can also fully second your statements on TTP!

Best regards,
Chris
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A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated! :)

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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44)  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Oct 2018, 19:19
Hi OilGMAT2018,

Congrats on your GMAT!! Improving from a Q32 to a Q42 in two weeks is NO JOKE, so nice job!!

I’m so happy you were able to find success with TTP.

If you need anything moving forward, feel free to reach out.
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Re: 2 weeks to break Q 50th percentile from 21st Percentile (32-44) &nbs [#permalink] 07 Oct 2018, 19:19
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