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560 to 680 in one month. Thank you.

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560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2009, 14:22
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Hi, new member here, and I wanted to share my story. First I wanted to use this post to say thank you to this site and the users in the forums. The content provided on this website definitely helped me improve my score.

Here is NOT how to study for the GMAT:

I was born in the US and have an undergrad degree in business. Due to some events I realized it would be best to accelerate my plans to enter grad school sooner than I thought. After talking with admissions for the specific program I want to enter they informed me I was still eligible and advised me to take the GMAT soon. They told me I would need at minimum a 600 or a 650 to be a competitive candidate.
Embarrassingly, I completely underestimated the test. I purchased the Kaplan book and CD and the supporting guides for verbal and quantitative and my studying focused almost exclusively on the Kaplan book. While working full time I studied for 4 weeks and did two Kaplan practice cats, the first was 540 and second was 560. I read that Kaplan severely underscores your tests so I was confident that I meet the modest requirements for the program.

When I took theGMAT last month I was completely blown away by the test. I struggled with the quant portion and didn’t have enough time to even read the last three questions, I had to enter an answer and go with 3 seconds to spare. I kept thinking how the format of Kaplan’s math questions didn’t match the test questions very well. The verbal was better and I finished with 5 minutes on the clock. I finished the test with a 560 (31Q 37V). That was a huge blow and it showed me how unprepared I was.

Take 2:
I did some searching and came across this forum. After reading through the experiences and tips from other users I decided to expand my studying. I purchased the official guide and downloaded GMATprep and committed a significant portion of my time to studying. Math has never been my strongest subject so I did a blitzkrieg on quant in an effort to improve my score. I downloaded the GMAT timer and used it to control my pacing while I did blocks of practice problems. I did multiple tests using GMATprep and watched my score climb from 630 to 660. The last one I took I got a 710 but didn’t trust its accuracy since a few of the questions were repeats. I did the free practice test from Manhattan and scored 660 and the last week I took one more Kaplan test to practice timing and finished with a 570.

So 4 weeks later I went back to the testing center unsure of how much I could improve upon a 560 in such a short amount of time. When the test began I could already tell how much of a benefit the OG was. I was used to the question format and came across familiar elements and finished the section with plenty of time left. The verbal went better than previous and once again I noticed similar problems to those I already solved in the OG and GMATprep. I was nervous when my score came up but I finished with a 680 (42Q 41V). I know it’s not an earth shattering score but I was very happy to be able to make such an improvement in one month.

So lessons learned: OG is an absolute necessity. Without going over every problem in that book I don’t think there was any way I could have scored better. Kaplan was a bit of a disappointment and the problems did not make me feel comfortable with the test. I think Kaplan should only be used as support material for someone wanting more practice. I think it’s best to round out your studying by using different sources and reading about the experiences of others, it certainly helped me.

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Manager
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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2009, 15:48
Dude..really appriciate ur honesty.....thnx a ton for sharing this...it was a booster for me...

ALL da Bst :wink:
_________________

Bhushan S.
If you like my post....Consider it for Kudos :-D

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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2009, 16:11
Awesome job man. Improving 120 points in one month is a mighty impressive accomplishment! :-D

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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2009, 19:05
Thanks for sharing your experience. This is truly inspiring. Good luck with your grad school application.

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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2009, 19:08
Good luck.

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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2009, 22:17
Good Job Mate. You killed it! Almost..
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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2009, 10:12
Nice1 It is refreshing to hear such an impressive jump in quant. It seems like many on the forum are trying to improve the Verbal more than anything.

CONGRATS!

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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2009, 18:13
Great post

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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2009, 18:26
thank you for sharing your story!! I took my gmat last saturday and was severly depressed after that since I scored a 520. I told myself how stupid I was over and over again for the rest of the day. I heavily relied on Kaplan in my preparation and now I am taking a rest before I will go into my second phase of gmat studying. this time I will use this website's resources, create rigid practice test sessions, and use GMAT online CATs. I hope I will have a similiar result!

You motivate me. thanks so much for sharing!

Mimi

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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you. [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2009, 04:14
Great improvement in one month. Good job!!!

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Re: 560 to 680 in one month. Thank you.   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2009, 04:14
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