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6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6

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6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 18 Oct 2018, 05:58
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Hi all,

First I would like to thanks all the GMAT Club community for all their help / posts / support.
Many of us have already shared their gmat experience - I don't want to be redundant so I will try to focus on the things that are not out there.

I am a European Western Male working in NYC in Consulting. I decided to go for an MBA at the beginning of the year and I started the 25th of March the preparation for this exam without knowing at all the difficulty of it. My Girlfriend was guiding me through the overall process as she already graduated from HBS. She literally studied 3 months for the exam and got 720 while being non-native so I thought it should be pretty easy - Big mistake...

1. First rule - Do not listen to people to gauge your level.

My GF scored a Q46 / V44 . Back in the time I had no idea of the split and the difficulty to get a V44. The truth is she had an amazing education and a very good english already which I did not. I started learning english very late at 16/17 years old.

2. Second rule – Do not go blindly to the process of learning

I wish someone had told me that back in march… I just followed the same process of my GF and went to the OG and did all the questions. Naturally I improved but the gap was too wide. You can learn from OG to a certain extent, I learned a lot just by analyzing pattern but if you have tremendous gap in your knowledge, it won’t be enough.

3. Third rule - Make a plan, establish deadline and stick to it.

Here is what I did and I strongly recommend you to not do the below if you want to optimize your process:

a. April – mid May : OG only
b. Beginning of May – I did my first gmat prep and scored 620 with V33. As a result I decided to buy all the Manhattan books. That was absolutely useless for the verbal and good for the quant  1 months of study for the overall 9 books I think.
c. Beginning of June I scored 640 with q 48 and V something. This is when I realized that it will be hard and I will have to do something for the verbal.
d. I bought E-Gmat and spent til end of July doing all the Program.
e. August – back to math with my notes from Manhattan Books and I bought GMAT CLUB test for math + regular GMAT PREP TEST
f. Here are my result:

a. Retake GMAT PREP 1: 740
b. Retake GMAT PREP 2: 770
c. GMAT PREP 3: 740 (q48, v42)
d. GMAT PREP 4: 690 (q48, v42)
e. GMAT PREP 5: 690 (q47, v37)
f. GMAT PREP 6: 730(q49, v41)

This is my advice for all non-native:

First do a gmat prep test to assess your level.
Based on your weakness:
• Enroll to EGMAT for both Quant and Verbal if needed.
• Enroll to GMATCLUB TEST for pushing to q50+
• Do the GMAT PREP test at the end – all of them.

4. Work your butt off.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

I worked a lot:
• I was studding roughly 20 hours/week from march to may
• After the purchase of Manhattan Books 25 hours for 1 month til early June
• From early June til 1 October  30+ hours: 2 hours the morning – 1 hour at lunch and 2/3 hours at night on week-day. Then 6/7 hours on the weekend on each day.

Yes I had a miserable life  and to be fairly honest – I only realized the amount of work I put just by writing these lines…

5. The Theory is different than the real exam.

My first attempt I scored Q44 and V35 - 650 the 4th of September – you can review my post after on the same forum (link do not work)
The truth is , I found the exam very different than what I went through. There are more working problems on the quant part than you can expect.

I will attach both my ESR: the verbal volatility is crazy. I had amazing score on CR and RC in my 650 attempt while a bad SC.
3 weeks later I scored 710 – Q50: V36 with amazing SC, and RC but very very low CR ( I don’t really understand it..)

I don’t think there was much difference between the 2 exams in my preparation for the verbal and during the exams (not nervous, feeling good or whatever – I was feeling similar). How do I explain the difference between SC and CR?
I deeply think as a non-native that there are a lot of volatility because your vocabulary is limited and if the exam tackles things you are not familiar with – it will be very hard or easy as the thing you have practice home.

As for the Quant – the exams throws you a lot of working problems – so I just bought e-gmat and went through all this section + geometry and ding Q 50.

6. Be confident – don’t be afraid to fail

As you can see there a lot of volatility in the exam, so just be confident in yourself and it will pay-off. When I first had q 44 it was a shock especially because I was scoring very high on gmatclub test. But I kept going and believe in myself.
I don’t have the right to edit link but I strongly advise you to watch a video of schwarzy regarding deadline/plan/ confidence and failure – absolutely brilliant.

7. Material Improvement.

E-Gmat is awesome for both Quant and Verbal – it teaches everything you need. However regarding the test to gauge your ability – this is a joke. I got q42 2 weeks before the exam on their platform and v 31. One can argue that this is the purpose of it – make question super hard.
This is absolutely ridiculous – they should rework on this part. Apart for breaking your confidence this is useless. Make a bit harder yes but that hard ? Please.
For each question, they give you the recommended time. If you add up all the recommended time for each question at one specific test, it goes to 50+ min. But it gives only 35 min for the test. Yes absolutely ridiculous – you end up guessing the last question and getting a bad score, and reflecting all day long about your ability.
Same for Manhattan Gmat I score q 38 one week before the exam..
As for gmat club test I scored Q 49 Q 48 Q 50 with 10+ min on the clock roughly on average at the end for each test. So just add a bit of time on the clock and it is quite good.

8. Few personal thoughts

This forum is awesome, and the community that is on it is genuinely kind / nice and helpful. Truly inspiring – thanks for all of you.
Thanks to the gmat I had the opportunity to improve a lot my English and I am grateful for that. Even though it seems that a monkey wrote this debrief as there is a lot of mistakes and it is not very well articulated. Sorry for that - I guess the most important is the message.

Finally, I deeply think that this test is not that hard for a well-educated native speaker. If I can get less than 10 mistake on 36 questions and be in the top 80% on verbal while I hardly understand sometimes some CR or some RC (no kidding – I had one RC on my last attempt that I didn’t understand at all).
Well sorry to be dramatic but this is a shame if you do more than 5 mistake while being native. And doing less than 5 mistake push you to V44+ and then it is very easy to get 720. Look even my GF got this – joke joke joke… Anyway, probably the American education is not as good as the European in term of verbal who knows – In Europe you had to read so many books when you are young from big author or philosopher. On the other hand American are very good in communication.. I guess a mix of both education should be a good recipe .

9. Next steps

I am planning to pass the TOEFL ASAP. I learned from my previous GMAT mistakes and this time I will ask : What do you recommend in term of course or stuff? According to my GF it should take only 2 weeks, but according to her I should have had the GMAT 3 months ago - so she is not very reliable in term of exam…

Anyway since I worked in US and I had a good verbal score I would assume very light studding if not should be enough?

Let me know your thoughts and the course + material.

If you have any questions – I will answer so don’t hesitate. As for whether I plan to pass it again to improve? Well hard to tell – I plan to apply to the top 8 MBA + the toefl so I think I will be short in time. Unless I am ahead of plan in November and have a lot of time – I don’t think I will. Luckily I am not overrepresented as a country so having a 710 should have a slight negative impact – clearly a 730 would be better though so will see. I think I could get a v 39/40 and a q49+ on a good day with good text good cr and good SC and not lot of prep so I might give it a try if I have a bit of time.
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Originally posted by stevenb28 on 08 Oct 2018, 14:26.
Last edited by Narenn on 18 Oct 2018, 05:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 09:58
Congratulations Steven. Inspiring and motivational at the same time. I am giving my GMAT this Monday (22nd October, 2018), super scared and nervous. Good luck on your admissions.
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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 11:10
thx vishnusheth - don't be scared neither afraid. You can pass it up to 8 times so no worries. Meditate a bit on why you are scared exactly, dig deep inside yourself and clear your doubts. If you have work really hard, you have no reason to be scared.

It will reach a point at the exam where you will freak out coz you won't understand a passage, an entire RC, a CR or whatever. This is why having already meditated and clearing your doubts before to go to the exam is very important. They will come back at that right moment when it is tricky.

It happens to me for an entire RC - i told myself: what the hell are we talking about here? all the fears came back to me and i just took a deep breathe and said it is all good - you have been through that already - just be methodical and analyze mathematically the passage to answer each question. One question at a time and don't lose the focus - be discipline and reject all these stupid thoughts that might interact your performance.

Good luck man.
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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 12:35
Hi Steven, this is a great score! Congratulations! I hope you can get the best school you are intending to go.

I would an opinion from you: I am Brazilian, and I did not have a good English enough in order to get higher scores on the GMAT and TOEFL. So, I moved from Brazil to US in December 2017, as an ESL student in order to improve my English skills and get ready for the both tests. I have been studying since June of this year for the GMAT and TOEFL. My GMAT scores today are around 540. I have some barrier to improve my pacing answering the questions, specially in the Verbal section.
I am using the Veritas Prep on demand that I purchased, but I would like you have any suggestions that could be helpful for me. Your history above is inspiring. Tks for sharing.

I have an official GMAT test scheduled on the 20 of November.

Congrats again!

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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 13:07
Thanks Daniel.

What is the split of your 540? what is your target score?
The timeframe is short you have a month in front of you.
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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 13:30
Steven, thank you for answering me back.
Yes, it is a short time, but it is the time I have left for now. I am ok if I need to retake the official test again in December, but this would be my last chance of taking the official Gmat test.

Scores:
Q - 43
V - 21

Target: 640 or higher.

Thank you very much Steven

Best
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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 13:39
Steven, you or me can send emails to have more details about my studies and preparation to the Gmat. My email is grossmann.daniel@gmail.com

Best

Daniel


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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 13:47
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Hey I am consistently scoring around Q45-46 and want to improve to Q50. Did you use the free GMAT Club tests or did you pay for them?
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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2018, 08:58
Congratulations on you score! I am in the process to get my 700+. On tuesday I got 670 with a good verbal but a bad quant, really lower than my practice test. I will need to work harder.
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Re: 6 months of hard work to 710 - Q50 - V36 - IR 6 - AWA 6 &nbs [#permalink] 25 Oct 2018, 08:58
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