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530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!!

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Joined: 12 Apr 2017
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Location: India
Schools: HBS '19, Wharton '19
GMAT 1: 730 Q50 V38
GPA: 3.76
530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2017, 21:15
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The last 4 months have been like a roller coaster for me. As a non native, I was really concerned when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States (and I know that I was not the only one!). A lot of his talk seemed focused on keeping out non Americans and since I wanted to get my MBA from a top10 US school, I thought my plans might be derailed. After watching his behavior and everything that happened in response, there is no way to predict what will happen next but I am not letting that uncertainly keep me from my future plans. At the very least, it looks like applications were down this past year (some of my competition must have decided not to apply), so maybe they will make the same decision not to apply this year (and then my chances of getting in will improve!)

I took my gmat yesterday morning and needed a day to celebrate because I was so excited with the results. I started studying in late November and I first took a practice test because many experts said to do so. For that first test I scored 530, which I was okay with because I was not good at certain subjects (re. sentence corrections and data sufficiency).

Since I wanted to score a coveted 7-- after that first practice test, I decided to reach out to a few companies that list their services here. One of them tried so hard to sell me their super-expensive tutoring that it made me feel like I was reading emails from a Nigerian prince trying to get my bank numbers. The cost of just 2 hours of their tutoring was ridiculous (and most of what I saw on their website is teaching that I found in the posts here for free). For the price of 4 hours of their ‘tutoring’ I was able to get:

-my fee to take the actual gmat
-3 months of empowergmat
-all official practice tests
-all manhattan practice tests
-OG 2017

It was not even a debate in my mind. I followed the empower 3 month study plan to the letter and the resulting score speaks for itself. The team at empower was super helpful. Every time I reached out, Brian, Stacy, Rich and Max answered all of my questions in less than a day. After I emailed them today, they also set me up with an applications consultant who is giving me a free consultation on my round 1 applications.

I also want to give a special shout out to all of the experts and moderators here – seeing so many responses to all of the questions that were asked provided far more insight than you probably know.

A coworker of mine who is also studying for the gmat asked for any advice, so I will tell you all what I told him:

1. Take notes on every question. Once I started doing that consistently, I was able to cut out all of the mistakes.
2. Learn how to properly consider questions. The gmat writers write their questions in a very specific way. They leave hints that you can follow to answer the question. Look for those hints!!!
3. The OG is not quite inline with the actual gmat, but some of the questions are pretty close. I saw a bunch of DS today that reminded me of questions from the OG.
4. Take the entire practice mock test every time. You need to learn to work, take notes, et al. when you are tired because that happens when you take the real gmat.
5.Make sure to have the right snacks when you take your breaks. Rich said the brain needs fuel to work properly and he’s right!

Best of luck everyone!

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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 19:40
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Hi Talanc,

First off, a 730/Q50 is an OUTSTANDING score (it's above the 90th percentile overall), so you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. By extension, you shouldn't hold back when it comes to your applications. By locking in your score now, you've also given yourself plenty of time to work on your applications - which should help you to properly craft each of them. It's important to remember that highly-competitive Schools see lots of applications (even in a 'down' year such as this past one), so it's important that you have a strong 'overall' profile AND that you properly 'market yourself' to each of the individual Schools that you apply to. Considering the smart choices that you've made so far though, I suspect that everything will turn out well.

1) Do you know which Schools you plan to apply to?

Another GMAT Assassin has been made!
Rich
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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 21:40
Congrats on a great score.

I have read so many debriefs and few points are common in all such as:
(1) Take full length mock tests
(2) Take notes of the errors
(3) Review all the questions no matter they are wrong or right
(4) While solving questions, look for patterns as they start repeating after some time
(5) Right food and exercise

All these points that you all share really work. Thanks for taking the time out and sharing your experience and strategies.
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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2017, 20:58
Quote:
1. Take notes on every question. Once I started doing that consistently, I was able to cut out all of the mistakes.
2. Learn how to properly consider questions. The gmat writers write their questions in a very specific way. They leave hints that you can follow to answer the question. Look for those hints!!!
3. The OG is not quite inline with the actual gmat, but some of the questions are pretty close. I saw a bunch of DS today that reminded me of questions from the OG.
4. Take the entire practice mock test every time. You need to learn to work, take notes, et al. when you are tired because that happens when you take the real gmat.


These are very solid pieces of advice. Thanks. I'm seriously considering these for myself.
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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2017, 05:29
congratulations on your score!

Can you please share with us what snacks you had during your breaks. It will be a valuable input, I will be taking my test in a short span.
I usually have carrots and sip some lemon water when I take breaks during practice test. Is that okay?
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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2017, 09:59
It is a good debrief! May I please know what are the number of questions you practiced in total during this time of prep?

the more the practice the better they say - did that help you?
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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2017, 22:09
Hello friends and future gmat assassins! I am happy to answer your questions.

Rich - Thank you again for everything! I am really interested in Harvard and Wharton, but Sloan and NYU also look like good options!

Shiv2016 & musunna - These advices might seem like maybe yes/maybe no choices, but in my opinion everyone should follow them. They made all the difference for me.

MelP - I too like carrots! I packed mine in ice so they would be cold and crunchy. I also included water, nuts and a bit of chocolate.

Pretz - Between online, books and mocks, I would guess I answered close to 3000 questions. Some of those were questions that I retried though.

SajjadAhmad - I took 10 mocks in total. Anything specific you would want to know?

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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 08:16
Hi
Congrats on the score.
Could you please share your mock test scores?

Also please share the strategy you followed to improve

thanks
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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!! [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2017, 21:16
:-D WOW CONGRATS :-D
Your post motivated me :)

Can you share the list of RIGHT FOOD to eat during the breaks?
Did you have any specific routine while taking the tests?

I took GMAT Prep Exam 1(Free) yesterday and scored 720(Q48,V40,IR7), and I have given 3 Optimus Prep mocks before.

1] My brain gets totally exhausted during the test so much so that I am not able to give my 100% during the test. It affects my verbal score.
What should I do?
2] After scoring 720, I have no idea how to improve my quant score. I have gone through Manhattan Prep Books, whole Optimus Prep on-demand course, OG 2016 2/3 PS and 1/2 of DS done. I am now thinking of studying Veritas Prep Books as their sentence correction book has helped me a lot.

Could you just briefly advise me on how to study further? My dream score is 750 :)

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Re: 530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!!   [#permalink] 03 May 2017, 21:16
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530 to 730 (q50, v38) GMAT DONE! Anyone Can Do It!!!

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