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# 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39

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Intern
Joined: 17 Nov 2010
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Location: Moscow, Russia
660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2011, 16:30
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Hi guys,

I am just back from PearsonVue test center with mixed feelings. +

Really good part, the one i am proud of, is my verbal. Last time it was only 31 and this dumped my score to 660 (Q49). This time it is 39 and I am happy i was able to improve it immensely (don't know whether one would consider such increase as immense but i do) in quite short period of time - less than a month! Here I want to thank personally bmillan01 (members/member-75397.html) and shovitdhar (members/member-108847.html). They were the only two, who suggested how to improve my verbal score when i posted 'help post' after my first attempt in December (how-to-get-from-q49-v31-to-q49-v40-help-needed-106931.html). I followed their advice - bought SC Grail and RC 99, read Powerscore LSAT Logical Reasoning bible, and practiced with LSAT questions (they are available for free in aristotleprep) and seems it helped! I was unsure whether i can improve this 'hard for improvement section result' but studying did its job.

The sad part is that while focusing on verbal part on my second try i was not able to retain quant at least at the same level as it was during first go. My 'second attempt' Q dropped to 46 ... However, i know precisely why it happened - virtually all the questions starting from the second were incredibly hard (i believe i had 10 five lines wordy data sufficiency in a row, several questions with variables in the answer choices and four or five non-standard geometry quizzes) and although i knew how to solve them (I practically calculated out every single question) it took me a while to go through some of them ... so i lost pace and had to guess the last five questions or so! Incredible thing! Never happened with me before - the max i could guess was one question but not five! So those five and surely several Qs before ate the 3 points i hoped to retain .....

So my goal isn't achieved - no 700+ ... Stay in 600+ loser's club BUT i am cool I improved my verbal quite significantly.

I am not going to take the GMAT again. At least for the next several months (in case if schools won't admit me). That's it. I want to hear nothing about the GMAT! A total of three months without sport with only two dates and GMAT for breakfast - lunch and dinner were exhausting! I believe i gained a lot of fat sticking my bum to the chair and preparing for GMAT days and nights. I will try to apply with what i have and hope that schools will admit me! I wish they looked at my two scores - combined high quant from the 1st and decent verbal from 2nd and consider me potentially high scorer and talented student I know it sounds silly It's only my wish

As a final note, I wanna thank the creators and moderators of this forum - they are doing a big thing for GMAT students, especially those outside USA, who have no access to live MGMAT, Knewton etc. classes.

For those of you, who wanna know more details about my study process i am writing a short debrief below.

First try

At the beginning, I used different books, such as Princeton Review and some other irrelevant material (I thought they were good) as I didn't really know what to start with. After week or so thanks to god i stumbled upon OLD (from 2001 or smth) Spidey notes. There were links to MGMAT books and gmatclub.com forum there (among everything else). So i got MGMAT SC strategy guide, read it once and felt splendid - book from the heaven! I went to their site - purchased all of the strategy guides and only then my preparation started! So consider I already lost at least three weeks before i found really great material! So i studied after work, I studied a lot during weekends. Scheme was straightforward - read MGMAT Strategy guides and practice theory with OG questions (strategy guides give references for them). Two weeks before the test i took vacations. This time was crazy, I stood up until 3am, then slept till 3pm and did nothing but read strategy guides, practiced questions, and watched Thursdays with RON in between (Ron is tutor from heaven - God blessed man - anyone who is preparing for the GMAT should watch his sessions or attend his classes in person if possible - he is the KING OF GMAT!). Thanks to strategy guides i gained a lot of confidence in quant and scored in the range of 48-50 in all six MGMAT CATs, four 800 score and GMATPrep tests. On the other hand, my confidence in verbal was weak. Even though sentence correction became much clearer for me, RC and CR were enigmas. My Verbal scores on practice tests fluctuated like 2nd echelon stocks on MICEX - from 30 to 39. And even when i got them high i didn't know how it happened and why.

With this level of readiness i sat my first GMAT exam. I could not sleep the night before - i stood up until 4 am (exam was at 2pm) and drunk energy drinks and ate chocolate before the test (that's what i read in some thread on this forum). Doesn't know how that affected me precisely - maybe negatively who knows. During first try Quant was pretty easy, i finished ahead of time but thought i scored low (because questions seemed easy for me). On the contrary, verbal looked rather difficult. Even though i tried to read carefully and thoroughly and thought i did well i run out of time, and had to guess one question. Overall score was 600 (Q49,V31) - frustration I wanted 700+ returned home and scheduled next exam straight away for the closest possible date - i felt the score was unfair!

Second try

So i got around 3 weeks of study ahead as we have long New Year's holidays in Russia during the first week of January and i went to my home city during this time and spent it with family. So i didn't study much during that first week. This time I decided to ignore all quant preparation and focus on verbal. As mentioned above all my studying rested on reading / practicing four books (in that order) - SC Grail, Powerscore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible, LSAT question bank from aristotle prep, and finally RC 99. Here i should say that RC99 is another incredibly helpful material. I am not sure how it works exactly but after i went through 73 passages in it and did my only practice test day before the actual test i made no single mistake in RC - this was impossible before!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (my accuracy was hardly 50%!). bmillan01 and shovitdhar recommended to read American fiction books - i printed some of them out but never had time to read Once again, I didn't study quant at all - only practiced with Question of the Day from GMATCLUB.

Second test experience was more relaxed mentally. I slept very well night before, i drunk no energy drinks, i didn't push myself as much as i did for the first time. I spent much less time for preparation overall and as i already had certain score i calmed myself by saying that I can't do more harm to where I am already is - I don't lose anything by retaking. So i arrived at the test center (this time different one). It was so much better than the first test center. Here they gave me earplugs, two new and sharp black pens and 10 laminated pages (as opposed to 10 old out of filler markers, no earplugs and 3 dirty pages in the previous center. Here is the tip for Moscow test takers - if you have to chose between the test center in Yugo-Zapadnaya and in Oktyabrskaya go for the last one!!!! Much nicer experience! I believe they also have newer database of schools to send report to - in the first center i could not find some of the schools i wanted to apply!).

So Quant - took a deep breath - started section - first one - eh pretty easy, second one, damn, hard, solved it, third, damn - even harder - solved it and since then it started to get only harder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i felt i had to struggle through every single question!!!!!! When i passed 10 data sufficiency where you have to read 3 to 5 lines of text before you get to two the statements i bumped into a question, which involved manipulation of 4 variables at a time and the answer was expressed in terms of those 4 variables! D'OH!!! All the section was very stressful! I run out of free space to write in - raised my hand three times before administrator satisfied my claim for the new booklet (thus, wasted some time waiting) ... Also run out of time - had to guess five last questions. Finished! Stepped out of the testing room shaking - i virtually trembled - my teeth did ... noshed a Snickers, used rest room and returned to the testing room. Now verbal - started - felt so smoothly and nicely ... i understood every CR, RC looked very easy at all! and even SC! finished 5 minutes ahead of time!!!!!!!!!!!
Looked at the final score - damn just 690 looked at the verbal score - wow 39! but still not 700 + and Since then i have these mixed feelings

So the morals - you have to be really good in both parts at the same time! No bias!!!! This is the devil of the GMAT! you either do well in both parts or you suck even if you are either quant or verbal genius but poor performer in opposite section. I think the best strategy is to allot comfortable amount of time for preparation (at least six months) and keep studying / practicing with equal rage for both sections. No thinking such as - eh i will master my quant and it alone will do the trick (or the verbal). You should understand really well both of them - no reliance on intuition or common sense (especially for verbal - that's what i thought would work for me when i sat the GMAT for the first time)! Don't push yourself too much! Keep working, keep practicing sport - to feel good (i feel not fit right now ). But private life is smth you can limit safely - your bf/gf will understand everything. Choose right strategy - don't waste time for useless schools and books. Follow proven and popular paths - MGMAT, Aristotle, LSAT books, etc.! Subscribe for The question of the day from GMATclub, watch all Thursdays with RON sessions, and keep working! I believe this is the only way. Be focused.

Regarding foods and drinks before the test, what i suggest is don't drink energy drinks - no good thing for the test when you need concentration, not shaking hands and racing heart.

For now, my story with GMAT is over - yes i am not satisfied BUT i am proud of my verbal. I will try my luck with schools and fingers crossed. Once again, all of you guys THANKS A LOT! GMATclub is 5 rated forum !!!

P.S. I didn't practice for AWA in neither study sessions. The result for the first one was 5.0

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Intern
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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2011, 17:14
Things are difficult for us, non-natives Envious to people who get 770 from the first go 770-first-attempt-q49-v47-108420.html

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GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V31
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2011, 23:25
Congrats !! Nice improvement.

Do not worry about the retake as of now. Enjoy the life and try hard for the admission.
I wish you good luck for the future. I really wish u get through.
I like your debrief and its one of most sincerely written.

BTW which schools are you applying?

PS: Kindly spare a minute to review the test centers -
review-gmat-test-centers-96476.html
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Gmat test review :
http://gmatclub.com/forum/670-to-710-a-long-journey-without-destination-still-happy-141642.html

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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29 Jan 2011, 23:40
gurpreetsingh, you make me wanna give my GMAT another shot at it after reading that. True inspiration man, true inspiration.
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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2011, 04:19
Great debrief Darya!

I think that 690 is quite a good score and -/+10 points does not really matter. You are very competitive with such a score. Don't worry about it.

Quote:
I wish they looked at my two scores - combined high quant from the 1st and decent verbal from 2nd and consider me potentially high scorer and talented student I know it sounds silly It's only my wish

some schools indeed look at combined scores and calculate the GMAT score based on best Q and V scores (look for the table of scores in my signature and see your maximum GMAT potential).

Your progress in verbal is really wonderful.
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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2011, 05:00
Ohh la la la. Congratulations,Darya! I'm really happy for you and I couldn't be happier to see my name up there in your post
I think you should be a competitive candidate at most of the schools with a 690. However, you may wanna just research a bit before applying to schools as some top schools such as NYU,Columbia and Wharton prefer candidates with more than 80%ile on the Quant section as their curriculums are a lot Quant centric than other schools .However, as Pkit said, they may also take the best of your scores on each section and the Overall best school.
Basically, the schools are not all that finicky about scores till the time you've anything above 680.Above 680,it all boils down to your profile,essays,GPA,LORs -in short, your complete application package.

All said and done, you've made a fantastic progress within such a short duration.Congratulations again!

By the way,I have a question here. I don't understand why SC Grail and RC99 are not in the recommended books sections here on the forum given the fact that almost every person on the forum here seems to be using them and have found them helpful. Pkit,any reason ?

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2011, 06:11
shovitdhar wrote:
Ohh la la la. Congratulations,Darya! I'm really happy for you and I couldn't be happier to see my name up there in your post

Your input and advice was invaluable saved me a lot of time and apparently worked! Thanks!

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2011, 08:27
Quote:
By the way,I have a question here. I don't understand why SC Grail and RC99 are not in the recommended books sections here on the forum given the fact that almost every person on the forum here seems to be using them and have found them helpful. Pkit,any reason ?

No particular reasons.

I will suggest these sources.
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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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01 Feb 2011, 21:38
By the way, which all schools are you applying to ? And are you applying for Fall 2011 or will wait for the next session ? Just curious!

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2011, 21:21
690 is not a bad score in itself, it's a good score actually. It's just that when you look at what could have been that it starts to look a little unimpressive.

I would suggest you now concentrate on your apps and essays since 690 is a very competitve score at any bschool in the world. Just my 2 cents

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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10 Feb 2011, 11:25
Good! What a progress! Pozdravlyayu))
PS: I am going to retake the test on Feb 19 at the new test center on Oktyabrskaya. Glad to hear pos feedback on it.

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2011, 09:36
Congrats,Darya for the great progress on Verbal within such a short period of time. Can you please tell me how difficult is the actual GMAT vis-a-vis the MGMAT CATs ?

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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18 Feb 2011, 22:31
freakshalini wrote:
Congrats,Darya for the great progress on Verbal within such a short period of time. Can you please tell me how difficult is the actual GMAT vis-a-vis the MGMAT CATs ?

Easier than the MGMAT CATs, from what I've heard. (specially the quant part)

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 05:46
bob75 wrote:
freakshalini wrote:
Congrats,Darya for the great progress on Verbal within such a short period of time. Can you please tell me how difficult is the actual GMAT vis-a-vis the MGMAT CATs ?

Easier than the MGMAT CATs, from what I've heard. (specially the quant part)

Thanks Bob for the reply. Any idea how good are the Kaplan CATs and are they worth attempting ? Any personal experience with them ?

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2011, 14:42
Congrats on your score - 690 is a great score actually. And, like others have mentioned , your admit will depend on your whole profile so another 10-20 points may not really help you.

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 04:39
freakshalini wrote:
bob75 wrote:
freakshalini wrote:
Congrats,Darya for the great progress on Verbal within such a short period of time. Can you please tell me how difficult is the actual GMAT vis-a-vis the MGMAT CATs ?

Easier than the MGMAT CATs, from what I've heard. (specially the quant part)

Thanks Bob for the reply. Any idea how good are the Kaplan CATs and are they worth attempting ? Any personal experience with them ?

I have taken two Kaplan CATs from the Kaplan CD Companion and did not find them very useful. I got a damn 580 on one of the CATs and become quite depressed with the score. However, when I researched more on the internet about the Kaplan tests, I read a lot of people writing that the algorithm of the Kaplan CATs is flawed. I had read one Kaplan representative admitting that the algorithm of the CATs is flawed and that they are going to replace it soon. This post was probably written in 2007. It's been more than 3 years and I doubt that they have done anything about the algorithm. By the way, does anyone have any experience of Knewton CATs ?
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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 22:21
Quote:
Thanks Bob for the reply. Any idea how good are the Kaplan CATs and are they worth attempting ? Any personal experience with them ?

I wouldn't recommend them. I actually found an error with one of the SC questions in the tests on the CD Companion - they had used 'considered to be' as the correct idiom

Would suggest you stick to Manhattan tests and the GMATPrep.

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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07 Mar 2011, 05:16
bob75 wrote:
Quote:
Thanks Bob for the reply. Any idea how good are the Kaplan CATs and are they worth attempting ? Any personal experience with them ?

I wouldn't recommend them. I actually found an error with one of the SC questions in the tests on the CD Companion - they had used 'considered to be' as the correct idiom

Would suggest you stick to Manhattan tests and the GMATPrep.

Thanks,bob! What is CD Companion ? Are you talking about the CD which Kaplan gives with their book ?

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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12 Mar 2011, 00:12
freakshalini wrote:
bob75 wrote:
Quote:
Thanks Bob for the reply. Any idea how good are the Kaplan CATs and are they worth attempting ? Any personal experience with them ?

I wouldn't recommend them. I actually found an error with one of the SC questions in the tests on the CD Companion - they had used 'considered to be' as the correct idiom

Would suggest you stick to Manhattan tests and the GMATPrep.

Thanks,bob! What is CD Companion ? Are you talking about the CD which Kaplan gives with their book ?

Yeah, CD Companion is the CD which comes alongwith the Kaplan GMAT books.

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39 [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2011, 10:00
bob75 wrote:
Yeah, CD Companion is the CD which comes alongwith the Kaplan GMAT books.

Okay, thanks!

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Re: 660(Q49,V31)=>690(Q46,V39) in 3 weeks: wish it was Q49,V39   [#permalink] 16 Mar 2011, 10:00

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