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460 to 690

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Joined: 23 Feb 2015
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Schools: Duke '19 (M)
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460 to 690  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 13 Jun 2016, 08:54
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Well, the journey is finally over. Just took the GMAT for the 5th and final time, scoring a 690 (Q46/V38/IR6/AWA6.0). Nothing in life worth having comes easy – and this is a hell of an understatement. This was one of the most frustrating hurdles I have ever had to overcome and it feels damn good to be done. There are a ton of great debriefs in extreme detail on this forum so I am going to keep it short and to the point.

Before I dive in, I would like to give a disclaimer and the #1 most important factor when determining which products to use. Find out what works best FOR YOU! There are a ton of courses out there and all of them are good. I tried most of them and a lot of them didn’t work for me – this doesn’t mean they won’t for you. Figure out your learning style and match that with a program. Do you do better doing a deep dive into concepts? Do you need a MASSIVE volume of problems and repetition (that’s me)? Do you do better using algebra or testing numbers? Figure this out first and you will save yourself a ton of time and effort.

Special thanks to ScottTargetTestPrep and Jeff from Target Test Prep and EMPOWERgmatRichC

Scores:
GMAT 1: 460
GMAT 2: 610
GMAT 3: 650
GMAT 4: 660
GMAT 5: 690

Books/Programs used:

GMAT 1 - I started off studying with Magoosh and the Manhattan guides. I went through all of the videos and did the books. The beginning was basically a complete relearn of math and getting familiar with verbal. I studied for 3 months, about 15 hours per week.

GMAT 2 – Obviously I was shocked that my score was so bad so I knew that I needed to change some things up. I started doing only official problems and I started using GMAT Club, Beat the GMAT, and other online resources.

GMAT 3/4 – Improvement but not there yet. This is when I first talked to Rich and got the EMPOWER program. It started clicking with me and I really enjoyed the course. The tactics helped me improve my score and I started doing better on the practice tests. I took the GMAT twice and scored 650/660 (1 month between tests). There was still something missing.

GMAT 5 – It took almost a year to discover the key to my studies – A massive amount of practice problems. Jeff from Target Test Prep got in touch with me and recommended I give TTP a try. I signed up and everything just immediately fell into place. Their quant program goes really deep into quant theory – something I needed. The way the entire course is laid out totally fits with what I needed. I stopped doing official problems (had gone through everything twice) and I did 1,500+ practice problems on TTP. My practice test scores immediately jumped and I scored a 670 and 700 on GMAT Prep #5 and #6.

- Official Guide 15
- Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review
- Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review
- Powerscore CR bible – you must have this book

I did the MGMAT tests and thought they were way too hard and not similar to GMAT Prep. Now that there are 6 full GMAT Prep exams, that is all you need to study.

Tips:

- Only use official material for verbal. After you do enough questions, you will recognize patterns and similar language that will help you “decode” GMAT verbal.

- When looking around the forum to see what study programs worked for other people, don’t assume it will work for you. Error logs work for a lot of people; they didn’t help me one bit. Again, find out what works for you and stick to it.

- Review, review, review. Never go any significant length of time without revisiting old topics.

- If you can’t figure out a rare concept, find a few questions and memorize them – the question, the numbers, the answer, everything. I could never figure out Comb/Perm mixed with probability. I found a few questions in the OG and memorized them. I did this with several concepts including some 600-700 problems in Work Rate, Speed, Probability, Mixtures, Word problems. In all, I memorized about 25 questions and exactly how to solve them. On the actual exam, I used these problems 3-4 times to get answers.

Closing thoughts
I hope this post and my experience provides motivation for anyone who is struggling. Learn from my mistakes. When I saw 460 pop up on the screen after studying for 3 months, I thought I was hallucinating. I got my ESR and I'm fairly certain I got every single DS and CR problem wrong. Don't let a few bad scores get you down.

Originally posted by Dondarrion on 03 Jun 2016, 09:26.
Last edited by Dondarrion on 13 Jun 2016, 08:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Target Test Prep Representative
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Status: Head GMAT Instructor
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Joined: 04 Mar 2011
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Re: 460 to 690  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2016, 11:30
Congrats on the great score! I'm pumped that Target Test Prep was able to help you achieve GMAT success!

If you ever need anything else, feel free to reach out.

Jeff
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Jeffery Miller
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GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
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Joined: 19 Dec 2014
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Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: 460 to 690  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2016, 16:17
Hi Dondarrion,

That's outstanding news about your recent GMAT score. A 690 is a fantastic performance (it's just shy of the 90th percentile overall), so you should apply to any Business Schools that interest you.

1) Which Schools are you planning to apply to?
2) When are you planning to apply?

Depending on the Schools/Programs, and whether you're interested or not, we have a go-to Admissions Expert who we recommend to our Clients. As an EMPOWER Alum, we can set you up with a free consultation (you can email the Support Team at Info@empowergmat.com and they'll help set you up).

Congrats again on your success!

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Re: 460 to 690  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2016, 19:24
Congratulations, dondarrion!! Thank you for posting your story!!

Best of Luck,

Scott
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Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
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Re: 460 to 690  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2016, 08:54
AWA score received, got a 6.0

Followed the chineseburned example verbatim
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Re: 460 to 690  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2016, 13:21
Congratulations! Great debrief. Best of luck on your future endeavors!
Re: 460 to 690 &nbs [#permalink] 18 Jun 2016, 13:21
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