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410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights

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Current Student
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Status: Eagles Become Vultures
Joined: 19 Jun 2014
Posts: 62

Kudos [?]: 19 [2] , given: 13

Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: LBS '18 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V39
GPA: 4
WE: Corporate Finance (Energy and Utilities)
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410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2015, 06:52
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Hey all :)

My God... I have waited for this post for so long.

I've just come home from my exam. I'm a proud 700+ club member with a 710 (91%) - Q48 (73%) V39 (89%) IR 6 (67%)

Thank you GMAT Club! I could not have done this without this wonderful community.

Thank you e-gmat! I am a non-native speaker. Please DO believe the hype that e-gmat is selling regarding its SC course. It IS the best out there for non-natives. Period. No discussion.

Anyway, I won't bore you with "how I felt during the exam" or "what I ate during my breaks". I will just cut to the part that most read (I know I do!) in these kinds of posts: THE PRACTICAL ADVICE!

My tips/tricks/insights:

- Your raw (first/unprepared) mock is NOT indicative of your true level. I made a 300 point improvement. Believe me when I say this, I am NOT special. I am not stellar in math, but I UNDERSTAND what GMAT is testing and I use this understanding to my advantage.

- Most of you probably have either Q or V as your stronger point. Either that or either Q or V will be more NATURALLY appealing to study. Go with your gut and study your stronger/more interesting section first. Mine was Verbal. I went to V40 during my mocks and was very confident in it. Use one of the sections as your PIVOT point and know that if all else fails at least your stronger section might counterbalance the other weaker section.

- Do a massive amount of Official Guide questions at least once. No exceptions. This is the single best way to improve. I did OG 2015 (Q+V) and OG Verbal/Quant Review-II. I counted close to 1,000 questions overall in my self-made spreadsheet. There is no waste in going through the questions over and over. After 500 questions, believe me you WILL NOT remember the answer to every question, especially those which left you clueless. You need to understand the mechanics and limitations of the GMAT. I honestly stopped doing non-official questions when I realized that they were actually hurting my REAL performance.

- Invest some time in building a very simple spreadsheet/log to track the questions. The GMAT spreadsheet is a very good tool, but I've found that I was much more engaged and dedicated knowing that this is a product of my own work. The bare minimum info I suggest to key in: question category (SC/CR etc.), sub-type (assumption, verbs etc.), number, source, TIMING (this was crucial. Time yourself for each question and note down a "YES" or "NO" if you finished the question in under 2 minutes. Do not feel discouraged if you have lots of "NO"s... I had at least 30% of "NO" but still scored 91% overall because during the real deal your mind will NOT attempt to shortcut like in simulation quizzes (deep inside you KNOW it's not real, so you are not 100% committed) and it will be working at 200% output (hopefully!)

- On some questions I intentionally put a "NO" right from the start because I thought to myself "I REALISTICALLY don't know how to solve this in under 2 minutes. Let me crack it the hard way/backsolve it" This is a very important point. You must UNDERSTAND the solution. But it is even better if you arrive at the solution YOURSELF. Even if it took me half an hour to crack/understand the problem, I persisted. Why? Because I knew that if I spot this question on the real exam (or its variation), I will do it in 1 minute tops. I kid you not, I had 3 such quant questions during the real exam. Of course, let me qualify this tip by saying that you MUST know when to skip a question during the real exam. Obviously, you will not have the luxury of spending as much time a you want during the real exam, but at least you can develop a solid understanding of many question types. Most questions have a little trick that reappears in patterns. Find the trick and you will know how to deal with similar questions.

- For Quant, I used e-gmat after I was discourged with MGMAT. The latter was overcrowded with details, while the former was very clean and straight to the point - it gave you all the basic tools and made you use them ON YOUR OWN.

- DS = not as hard as it seems. You DO NOT need to fully solve either statement. It took me a while to get my head around this. Work out the details in your head "I have this then I can get this and then this... OK.. Done... NEXT!" Will the variable simplify in the end leaving a unique solution? Yes. No need to waste time trying to arrive at the ACTUAL solution.

- SC = e-gmat. Please go there and invest 30$ (or whatever it was) in that course. Stick to the concepts and you will get 90%+ hitrate. Easy.

- RC = visualize the passage. If it is about African-American civil rights, then IMAGINE African-Americans doing whatever during WW2. It will make reading effortless as your mind fills all the details into a complete package.

- CR = find the conclusion. Try to visualize the argument in your mind (not as easy as RC, because you are given far fewer details). I used Aristotle Powerscore CR. It is the best for this section. Hands down.

- Overall Verbal was VERY VERY representative of OG questions. I came across at least a couple of questions for which I intuitively knew the answer because I went through 500+ OG questions. Most questions are patterns. It is NOT a myth, believe me.

- Lastly, if you come across questions that you think are "too" easy, do not fret. I had this happen to me several times, and I got a bit nervous. Actually, towards the end all of the Verbal questions seemed too easy... but I still got 89%. So go figure, right?

Whew... BRAGGING RIGHTS! :-D

Best of luck to everyone out there. If anyone has any specific questions on strategy/tips/etc send me a PM or post here!

Kudos [?]: 19 [2] , given: 13

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Status: On a 600-long battle
Joined: 22 Apr 2016
Posts: 142

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 392

Location: Hungary
Concentration: Accounting, Leadership
Schools: Erasmus '20
GMAT 1: 410 Q18 V27
GMAT 2: 490 Q35 V23
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Re: 410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2016, 00:19
Congrats! Good luck at LBS!
_________________

"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going!"

|Welcoming tips/suggestions/advices (you name it) to help me achieve a 600|

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 392

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Joined: 18 Aug 2016
Posts: 6

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Re: 410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2016, 10:29
Wow, this might be the highest score jump I've seen. By the way I totally agree about MGMAT Quant, it's tough and after awhile its pretty disheartening

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410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2016, 16:40
Top Contributor
Great job!! TONS of great advice in this debrief!!

In particular, I like what you said about DS questions:
"not as hard as it seems. You DO NOT need to fully solve either statement. It took me a while to get my head around this. Work out the details in your head "I have this then I can get this and then this... OK.. Done... NEXT!" Will the variable simplify in the end leaving a unique solution? Yes. No need to waste time trying to arrive at the ACTUAL solution."

Likewise, I think all students should heed your advice about Official practice questions:
Do a massive amount of Official Guide questions at least once. No exceptions. This is the single best way to improve. I did OG 2015 (Q+V) and OG Verbal/Quant Review-II. I counted close to 1,000 questions overall in my self-made spreadsheet. There is no waste in going through the questions over and over. After 500 questions, believe me you WILL NOT remember the answer to every question, especially those which left you clueless. You need to understand the mechanics and limitations of the GMAT

Great stuff!

Cheers,
Brent
_________________

Brent Hanneson – Founder of gmatprepnow.com

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Kudos [?]: 2160 [0], given: 347

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Joined: 09 Aug 2016
Posts: 7

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 22

Re: 410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2016, 20:46
Congs! For how many months did you study?

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 22

Current Student
avatar
Status: Eagles Become Vultures
Joined: 19 Jun 2014
Posts: 62

Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 13

Concentration: Finance, Strategy
Schools: LBS '18 (M)
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V39
GPA: 4
WE: Corporate Finance (Energy and Utilities)
Reviews Badge
Re: 410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2016, 11:12
Thanks everyone! Apologies for the delayed reply, as I'm at bschool now - if anyone wants actual admission tips and tricks drop me a line.

Mulumba, studied 1 June through 15 August.

bd428, thanks much appreciated. To be fair, I think that a lot of people have unrealistically low initial scores, since I doubt many universities in the world prepare you for GMAT-like questions. When I read my first question (DS) I was like WTF?!

Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 13

Re: 410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights   [#permalink] 29 Sep 2016, 11:12
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410 to 710: Road to Bragging Rights

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