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500 to 700, my road to MBA

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Joined: 28 Apr 2004
Posts: 3
Location: Buffalo,NY
500 to 700, my road to MBA [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2004, 10:53
December, 2002 my first attempt at conquering GMAT I ended up with a score 500. Now, a year and a half later I am in the process of deciding whether I should go to Yale or Carnegie Mellon. Day and night, what a difference.
I still remember that day, it was a Friday afternoon, and after sitting in front of the computer screen in the test center for more than 3 hours I had a gut feeling that this was not my day. After 6 months of preparation I thought I would at least get a 630 on my exam, but 500? Needless to say I did not have a good Christmas that year. I am not that type of person who give up easy, after been depressed for a couple of days I decided to try it one more time.
I sat down and designed a study plan for myself, did a little SWOT analysis on myself. My biggest weakness is the verbal section, I guess I could use be a non native English speaker as an excuse for my poor performance on the verbal section but again GMAT doesnтАЩt measure how well you understand English, it measures how well you understand the ETS English. I did relatively better on my Q section, but I understand for me if I need to get 700 or better I need to get 49 or better.
The second time I gave myself 4 months to prepare the GMAT, at the time I was a junior in University taking 5 classes. So on top of my school work I set aside 2 hours everyday to study GMAT. My plan was very straight forward, practice, practice, practice, and more practice. I used two books as my study guide, the OG which everyone has and the Kaplan study guide. The Kaplan study guide is the same book Kaplan students use in their $2,000 GMAT course. WhatтАЩs even better is that my study guide is the TeacherтАЩs edition which has all the additional footnotes on it. It talked about what questions are important and how to explain these questions to the students.
One thing I did wrong during my preparation for the first test was that even though I did a lot of practice questions but I did not spent too much time on the explanations of the questions. Especially for the OG verbal, the explanations give you a clear picture on how people at ETS make up their questions. So in 4 months I redid all the questions on the Kaplan and OG three times and basically memorized the explanations. Four months later I can just look at the questions and know the answer instantly.
I seen some posts people claim that they study for 2 or 3 weeks and got 700+ on their first try. I donтАЩt know how much truth is in those, I guess I have to admit some people are really smart, but for the rest of the 99% of us there is no short cut but practice.
April, 2003 I took the GMAT for the second time, I had 700 Q49 and V36, a 200 points improvement. I almost yell out loud when I saw the score on the computer screen. I was a little disappointed about my V scores, but still it was huge improvement from the first test. I remember during the V section I had 12 RC in my first 15 questions which was a little overwhelming for me but I took time because I know how important the first 15 questions are.
Get a good GMAT score was only the first step, the application process took me about 5 months. So far I have received acceptance letter form Yale and Carnegie Mellon and still waiting to hear from Stanford and NYU. Also I am graduating in one week from my undergrad program.
I am glad that I am all done, but I could not do all this without the support of my families and friends. The only advice I can give people is that do not give up and practice is the key. Share your experience with people on this forum, I am sure you will find that you are not alone and many people feel the same way as you feel. IтАЩll be moving out of my apartment in two weeks and since I donтАЩt need the GMAT study materials anymore, if anyone is interested I still have the Kaplan study guide ( teacherтАЩs edition ). It is the same book used in the $2000 Kaplan GMAT course.
You can reach me at
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Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Posts: 1
Location: Los Angeles

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New post 04 May 2004, 20:06
I was just seeing myself when i read your post. Actually I wrote GMAT like a month back and scored only 580. I was hoping high. I exactly did the same as u. I am now getting back the momentum and preparing back. Let me know how shd I get the prep materials from u.

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Joined: 15 Dec 2003
Posts: 4288

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New post 04 May 2004, 20:33
sg8899, your experience is very enlightening. Indeed, many of us out here do not score 700+ after 2-3 weeks of practice, myself included. I really like the story of your perseverance. Congratulation for your acceptance at Yale and CM. That is really great and thank you for sharing your invaluable experience.

Best Regards,


  [#permalink] 04 May 2004, 20:33
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500 to 700, my road to MBA

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