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670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months

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670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 14 Aug 2016, 06:27
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I finished the GMAT a few weeks ago and earned a 760. Here is my story, along with links to the resources that helped me, reviews of the materials I used, my prep strategy, test day experience, and tips for GMAT takers of any level.

If you have ever struggled with studying the material, taking practice tests, staying motivated, or developing the sustained passion to defeat the GMAT, then keep reading. If you’re just looking for quick tips, scroll down to section 6.3.

Contents
1. Background
2. Materials Used
3. Baseline tests
4. Three Months of Practice Tests
5. Test Day
6. Tips for Success
    6.1 Material Reviews
    6.2 Section Tips
    6.3 General Tips
7. Links and Articles
8. Pictures
    8.1 Dot Method
    8.2 Books used
    8.3 Test progress



1. Background

I had been considering business school for a while and knew that the GMAT was important. A couple years ago, in 2013, I bought the 10-book MGMAT set and worked through some of the material. After a few practice tests, however, I became pretty discouraged. The verbal questions just didn’t seem to click and I wasn’t cracking the 700 barrier on the tests. I was becoming occupied with some other priorities, so the GMAT was put on the back burner.

Fast forward to 2014. Around summer, I decided again to take the GMAT and wanted to score well. Since I could dedicate a significant block of time outside of work, this was probably my best chance to perform well on the test. I began by reading GMAT Club posts to figure out an effective study strategy and was surprised by the variety of ways that folks were able to earn their high scores.

I noticed that, in general, high scorers used several books, took many practice tests, and knew proper test-taking strategies in order to perform at their peak. As far as zeroing in on my study plan, I decided to incorporate every facet of every successful strategy I had read about. This meant purchasing many books and online resources, dedicating significant time to building content knowledge, and developing the best test-taking skills. Thus, my journey to a 760 spanned 8 months, 19 books, and over 2,000 problems.



2. Materials Used

MGMAT Set (10 books)
MGMAT Foundations of GMAT Verbal
MGMAT Advanced GMAT Quant
Official Guide
OG Quant
OG Verbal
OG IR supplement
Powerscore CR Bible
Powerscore LSAT RC Bible and Workbook
Cambridge LSAT Difficult RC Passages
Kaplan Premier 2015 (only for the tests)
Pocket GMAT app (iOS)
GMAT Prep w/ Question Pack 1 and Exam Pack 1
GMAT Write

*Picture is below in Section 8



3. Baseline Tests

I started with GMAT Prep and scored a 670 (Q48 / V34) on the first test. I also used a couple of the free exams available through various sites (Veritas, Kaplan). I worked through the diagnostic test in the OG, which revealed my weak areas in verbal, specifically CR and RC. I struggled with the general-level questions in RC and several of the question types in CR. Quant was relatively strong, but with some weaknesses in prime number, probability, and rate questions.



4. Three Months of Practice Tests

GMAT Prep 1 - 670 (October 2014)
MGMAT 1 - 610
MGMAT 2 - 620
MGMAT 3 - 690

The MGMAT tests were difficult, and I felt like I wasn’t making much progress. I took all of January to work through the OG and understand the concepts behind the questions. Specifically, I was correcting small mistakes in quant and began to separate the types of logic required for each CR question. For CR questions in particular, I’d refer back to the CR Bible and reread sections as needed. Then, with renewed confidence, I decided to buckle down and do a practice test every Saturday morning, mimicking actual test conditions (start time, breaks, snacks, essay included). I believe this approach, done for 3 months straight, built my test-taking stamina to a peak level that was required for a high score. Remember, it’s not just the content that you need to master; the mind and body must also be prepared.

February and March:
Kaplan 1 - 730
Kaplan 2 - 730
Kaplan 3 - 720
Kaplan 4 - 710
Kaplan 5 - 730
MGMAT 4 - 670
MGMAT 5 - 660
MGMAT 6 - 700

After the consistent ~730 scores on the Kaplan tests, I finally gained confidence that my studying had begun to pay off. At this point, I signed up for a test date in mid-May. With 6 weeks left, I took a week to work on the OG Quant and Verbal books, and then decided to finish the official tests.

April and May:
GMAT Prep 2 - 730
GMAT Prep 3 - 740
GMAT Prep 4 - 730
GMAT Prep 1 (Redo) - 760 (Q50/V42)
GMAT Prep 2 (Redo) - 760 (Q50/V42)

I was surprised by the last two tests. Though I did recall some of the questions from the previous exams, I didn’t expect to score 760. Nevertheless, I presumed that my actual GMAT would be back in the 730-range given my previous performances. I was hoping for a 750+, but nonetheless knew that at the very least I had studied as much as I could have.

Regarding the MGMAT tests, I actually went through several tests once again (you can reset the question pool after completing all 6 tests). This time, however, I didn’t set a time limit and went through a few of the tests for comprehension. Because the MGMAT tests are much more difficult, I didn’t feel I got accurate scores before. Plus, since I was still learning the material, I wanted to test my new level of comprehension against the tests now.
MGMAT 1A - 730
MGMAT 2A - 750
MGMAT 3A - 720
MGMAT 4A - 750

I don’t recommend doing the untimed tests, only if you have a lot of time on your hands or want to gain confidence over the MGMAT test questions.

LSAT Reading Comprehension:

I had read some brief posts about people who had used LSAT material with varying degrees of success [10]. Basically, LSAT reading passages are much more dense with more difficult questions, thus requiring deeper levels of comprehension. I had done some passages during the 8 months sparingly. However, I was worried in the last month of my prep that my RC hadn’t improved. As a result, I worked through about 25 reading passages from the LSAT Bible and the Cambridge LSAT passages [11]. Although I wasn’t sure how it would translate to GMAT success, the GMAT passages did seem relatively easier when I went back to them.



5. Test Day

My test time was scheduled for 8:00 AM. Woke up at 6, got ready and had breakfast. Driving to the test center took about 15 minutes. I had visited the test center a few weeks prior in order to familiarize myself with the directions and center itself. I got checked in and was escorted to my test booth. After getting settled with the keyboard and test instructions, the test began. At this point, I normally might have felt nervous or stressed. After all, this test is going to count and all the schools I apply to will see it! However, since I had taken so many practice tests consistently leading up to the exam, it felt like a normal routine.

I kicked into my habit of writing out the skeleton of the essay, identified a couple of flaws and knocked out the writing section. IR section was next, and I took some time on each question. I finished the last question with 1 second left, so I wasn’t sure if it got recorded. Feeling a little frustrated, I went into my break but resolved to just focus on the remaining two sections. Had some Gatorade, nuts, and chocolate, then started the quant section. For the most part, I was able to answer all the questions but was tripped up by some tricky ones. Finished with a few minutes left and went into the second break. Ate an energy bar and had more Gatorade while reminding myself that the verbal section counted just as much as the quant. Since it was my weaker section I was definitely nervous but told myself to just focus on the fundamentals for each question. I got some tricky CR questions, and even some SC questions caught me off guard. For some reason, the RC passages were manageable and I felt confident answering those questions (I think the LSAT material helped). I finished the 4th reading passage by question 30 and knew the next 11 would be only SC and CR. Remininding myself that every question counted, I made sure to stay calm and collected through the last question. After finishing, I hurriedly clicked through the questionnaire and saw the unofficial score:

760 (Q49/V44), IR 8. Received my writing score shortly after and earned a 6.0.

My highest verbal score in practice tests was a 42, so I was very surprised with the 44. I attribute this to the RC practice, especially the LSAT passages in the last few weeks. I must have gotten lucky on a few CR questions as well.



6. Tips for success

6.1 Material Reviews

MGMAT Set (10 books) - A must have. Great for fundamentals.

MGMAT Foundations of GMAT Verbal - Not necessary. The MGMAT set covers the same stuff, but if you need an extra book to feel comfortable, it doesn’t hurt.

MGMAT Advanced GMAT Quant - Great to test your quant skills. There are 150 problems with explanations. These questions are hard! If you can get even half of these correct, you’re probably doing okay.

OG - A must have. The real benefit comes from doing these questions a second time.

OG Quant and Verbal - Good for 600 extra official questions. Only use this to add volume. If you’re low on time or energy, stick to the single OG book and go through it again.

OG IR supplement - This was on the back of the OG book. It has online access to 50 questions. I found it useful, but IR doesn’t require much prep on its own. The online access is good for 6 months, so activate it at the right time.

Powerscore CR Bible - Essential for CR basics. This teaches you the exact reasoning for each question. I made some flash cards and referred to them constantly. This book is a gem.

Powerscore LSAT RC Bible and Workbook - Lots of RC practice, but some of the fundamentals are overkill for the GMAT. If anything, just use it for practice.

Cambridge LSAT Difficult RC Passages - 20 LSAT passages for $10. I used this for the last 2 weeks of my prep and it came in handy. If RC is a weakness, then try the LSAT materials.

Kaplan Premier 2015 (only for the tests) - The tests are fantastic. I didn’t use many of the other materials on the webpage, but there are practice sets and videos. The book itself has a lot of practice questions, but stick to the OG.

Pocket GMAT app (iOS) - Great for on-the-go practice. Categorized in the same way as the MGMAT books, and has over 360 cards. You can mark questions to review again so it’s great for reference.

GMAT Prep w/ Question Pack 1 and Exam Pack 1 - GMAT Prep is fantastic for the 90 questions and 2 tests. The tests are precious though, so I recommend using one at the very beginning of your study to get a baseline, then using the second towards the end. Resetting and retaking the tests is also a good idea to practice your test strategies and gain confidence. 404 additional questions on the Question Pack are useful, but remember to value quality over quantity. Same goes for the Exam Pack. Doing one question a few times over will yield you better results than doing several questions just once. I decided to add volume to my preparation so it was great for repetition once I had the fundamentals locked down.

GMAT Write - The essay has a computer score and human score that are averaged, and this tool allows you to practice four essays that reveal the computer algorithm. If you want to know every angle of the test, this is nice way to eliminate some uncertainty about the essay. You get two topics and two attempts for each one.


6.2 Section Tips

Essay - First and foremost, the chineseburned template! http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6- ... 64327.html. It’s important to have a template that you’re comfortable with, so go ahead and create your own. The key to acing the essay, though, is having a solid template and some generic filler sentences that create solid transitions and attack the argument. Use varied sentence structure. The MGMAT book about the essay makes a good point that if your word count is above 500 and your words per sentence is around 25, you’re probably in good shape. I tend to do poorly in timed essays, so I was pleasantly surprised with the 6.0. However, I attribute it to the many practice essays I did in order to feel comfortable about how I was structuring my argument. In fact, if you’re having trouble writing out argument flaws, use the CR reasoning skills to get some quick points. Items such as cause and effect, poor data, alternate use cases or scenarios can all be applied to most of the arguments. Try GMAT Write to gain confidence with your template.

IR - Most people will say that studying for the two main sections will automatically prepare you for the IR section, and I agree. You get an average of 2.5 minutes per question, so there’s usually enough time to get through all of it with time to spare. During the test, it’s important to remember not to exert too much energy here. The two main sections count the most, so maintain your reserves and pace yourself. As long as you can get some practice questions done, either through GMAT Prep or elsewhere, you should be fine.

PS - Make sure you can understand the fundamentals of each of the subjects in PS, be it geometry, algebra, number properties, etc. I tend to approach problems algebraically, but others may prefer to plug in numbers. Find your style and stick to it. I also tend to try and solve problems outright, but this has the disadvantage of extending the time taken on the question. I had to learn to solve the problem “for the GMAT”, which meant crossing out some answers in between and making educated guesses when I had no idea. The MGMAT books are great for learning these fundamentals and question strategies.

DS - At times these questions felt less difficult than PS. I think that if you know the quant fundamentals and can “pre-think” the information that might be needed (just like CR arguments), it becomes a lot clearer. For example, on a rate problem, you might need to know both the distance and the time, but if either of those metrics weren’t provided, you wouldn’t be able to use either statement to answer the question. This question type is just tricky, so it takes a lot of practice to get in a rhythm.

SC - To be honest, I can’t give much advice on Sentence Correction. As a native speaker of English, I approached each question by trying to figure out which answer “sounded best.” Although I tried some textbook methods such as parallelism, subject-verb agreement, and modifiers, I found myself drifting back to older habits. I do recommend the MGMAT SC book, though. It helped correct some of my repeated errors in the three areas I mentioned before. I think those are the three main items, along with idioms, to look for in GMAT sentences.

CR - I struggled with CR when I first started. I would miss about half of the questions with no idea how to improve. Using the CR Bible and MGMAT CR book was a lifesaver. I created a visual guide on both books to organize the chapters and topics. http://gmatclub.com/forum/critical-reas ... 99999.html. Having used both, I can say that the Powerscore book is far superior. Here’s a little secret that Powerscore doesn’t tell you - it’s a copy of their LSAT Logical Reasoning book! Some sections are removed, but all the practice questions and remaining sections are the same. In case you were using LSAT materials for CR study, you wouldn’t be too far off from GMAT logic. Always read the question stem first. When you read the argument, try pre-thinking possible gaps in logic as you go through each sentence. The CR Bible’s strength is that for many of the main question types (Strengthen, Weaken, Assumption), pure logic can get you the answer. This was difficult for me to digest at first, since I was getting so many of them wrong. For the more difficult questions, the context of the answer matters. Two answers could differ by only a couple of words or emphasize one area of the question stem differently. If you practice enough of the official questions, you’ll also find that the GMAT recycles many question topics (environmental, economics, finance, travel, etc.). Even being familiar with such topics can give you an advantage on test day - you won’t be caught off-guard.

RC - This was another tough area for me. I never understood how some people could just read a passage and answer all the questions correctly. After suffering through RC, I have great respect for those who take the LSAT and go through law school - they do reading comprehension every day! The only way I saw an opportunity to improve was to practice: I went through all the OG passages, the LSAT RC Bible passages, and a set of 20 difficult passages published by Cambridge LSAT. I thought that if I challenged myself with LSAT passages towards the end of my prep, it might make the GMAT passages seem a little easier. I do believe this helped, because a lot of the answers seemed to “pop out” when I was taking the actual test. There are a lot of strategies that are advocated for RC, but I found that doing one full read-through of the passage helped me the most. Take notes on the passage, especially if there are twists or intermediate conclusions. After doing so many passages, I did notice some patterns about how passages are organized and written. The advantage was that I could “anticipate” what was coming in the next paragraph and helped me to unlock some of the more complex connections in difficult passages. I also was able to detect a pattern of correct answers based on the general vs. specific questions. Often in general questions, it will ask about the purpose or main point of the passage. Incorrect answers seem to be focused on the main point of a single paragraph. By identifying this, I was able to knock out 2 or 3 answers and boost my chance of finding the correct answer. For specific questions, the note taking helped me to distill the passage information into comprehensible chunks that I could use to navigate the answer choices. As with other sections, take time to practice and identify a strategy that will work for you.

Overall Reading: Since my RC performance struggled early on, I switched my daily reading habits for some time to acclimate to complex writing. I used the following sites, but there are plenty of others that work as well:

MIT Technology Review
Harvard Law Review (really tough)
Economist
Wall Street Journal
New York Times
National Geographic
Scientific American



6.3 General Tips

For a high score, consider devoting at least a few months to study for the GMAT. No matter your starting point, a high score takes dedication and building good test-taking habits takes time. The test is not only challenging your aptitude, but your test-taking ability as well. It’s not a knowledge test, it’s a reasoning test.

Stay motivated! Because my study program was protracted, I had to keep myself inspired in several different ways. Have a vision of where you see yourself. Internalize the feeling of walking out of the test center with a high score. Reward yourself after a good study session or practice test. Know that the GMAT isn’t everything but that it does matter. Find motivational stories from the other members on GMAT Club. Derive inspiration from others’ struggles and triumphs. In the final five weeks of my prep, I was sick for one week and had to travel for another, but dug deep to stay focused on my goal. Above all, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Stick to official questions. The OG 13 has over 900 problems; the OG Quant and Verbal books have 600. Add the GMAT Prep software and you have 90 more. Add the Question Pack 1 and you have 404 more. After going through the MGMAT books for the first few months, I used only official questions for the remainder of my preparation.

On any particular day, I solved both quant and verbal questions. Get your mind used to switching subjects repeatedly, you’ll have to do that on the real test.

Keep an error log. Going back and understanding my errors in thinking or strategy at that particular moment allowed me to condition my test-taking skills [5]. I referred to it informally, but to each their own.

Even if you’re focusing your prep on weaker areas of the test, don’t forget to practice the areas you’re strong at. For me, the idea was to keep my quant score high and build up the verbal as much as possible – the quant score was my anchor though, and I didn’t want to let that slip.

Take as many practice tests as you can under real test conditions to build stamina. Always do the essay and IR sections. It’s important to understand how your stress levels and mindset change as you shift from writing to solving problems [1,5]. After GMAT Prep, I thought the Kaplan Premier tests were the next best set of exams. They replicated the difficulty level pretty closely to the real thing. MGMAT was good for a tough challenge, but could feel overwhelming at times.

Practice, Practice, Practice. Even if I didn’t score highly, I could have at least been content with my preparation. Use all the available resources out there that you feel comfortable with. I did over 2,000 problems, which I readily admit is overkill! I think it’s a perfectly good strategy to use the OG and go through it twice while keeping an error log, but do what you feel is right for you. The important part is to stay consistent with your studying. I took a week off early in my prep, and felt a little rusty when I started practice problems again. Avoid doing this if you’re on a compressed study schedule.

On the GMAT, every question counts. Don’t listen to the people who talk about the first 10 questions, last 10, etc. Check the link below from the GMAC Summit, they dispelled the myth. “The location of a problem in the test does not impact its weighting.” [12,13]

The GMAT is a beatable test. If you ever have moments of struggle, remember that it only matters how you perform for 4 hours on 1 essay and 90 questions. That said, it’s important to understand its nuances so that you can maximize your chance for success.

Stay healthy! The GMAT is a test of body and mind. It’s a marathon, so you have to keep your mind fresh for almost 4 hours. Keep a small exercise regimen to consistently clear your mind. The brain runs on glucose, so have sugary snacks and drinks for your breaks. I used Gatorade, chocolate, and energy bars. Make sure you get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night for at least the week before the test.


This has been a humbling experience for me. Though I dreamed of earning a 99th percentile score, I didn’t actually think it would happen. I’m thankful for everyone’s previous posts about their own successes as they provided me with constant bursts of motivation. I wish you the best in your GMAT journey.



7. Links and articles that helped me:

[1] 700 vs 760: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/arti ... erence.cfm
[2] Last 14 days: http://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/ ... game-plan/
[3] Powerscore CR Bible supplement: http://www.powerscore.com/crbible/supplements/
[4] GMAT Second level: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... -the-gmat/
[5] CR videos from Ron: http://gmatclub.com/forum/thursdays-wit ... l#p1132577
[6] Rough score table: http://www.mbagambit.com/wp-content/upl ... -Table.gif
[7] MGMAT iOS app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pocket- ... d690677182
[8] Official GMAT products: http://www.mba.com/us/store/store-catalog.aspx
[9] P&Q LSAT guide: http://poetsandquants.com/2014/10/05/us ... l-mastery/
[10] Cambridge LSAT: http://www.cambridgelsat.com/
[11] GMAC Summit: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... fall-2014/
[12] All Ron Purewal videos: https://vimeo.com/search?q=thursdays+with+ron



8. Pictures

The Dot Method: This is a time saver when you’re crossing off answers on the test. 5 dots are much faster to write than 5 letters. Additionally, you don’t need to write the question number since you’re going sequentially. Try it out and see if it works for you.

Attachment:
DotMethod.JPG
DotMethod.JPG [ 2.93 MiB | Viewed 23725 times ]


Books I used:

Attachment:
GMATBooks1.JPG
GMATBooks1.JPG [ 3.15 MiB | Viewed 23689 times ]


My test progress:

Attachment:
ScoreTrend.png
ScoreTrend.png [ 253.87 KiB | Viewed 23397 times ]

Originally posted by rf3d3r3r on 16 Jun 2015, 20:50.
Last edited by rf3d3r3r on 14 Aug 2016, 06:27, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2015, 00:31
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gr8 debrief ... +1 to you and your efforts to summarize the stuff for us :)
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2015, 05:11
This is the single best summary covering ALL components of studying for the GMAT that I've read on this site. Major kudos, and thank you for writing. You deserve that incredible score.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2015, 07:35
Great score! Congratulations.

Can you please provide details how often you studied every day and did you take time off from work.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2015, 19:39
khanaaa wrote:
Great score! Congratulations.

Can you please provide details how often you studied every day and did you take time off from work.


Thank you! On weekdays I studied maybe 1-3 hours each night, and on weekends about 4-6 hours. I didn't take any time off from work besides normal holidays. By doing practice tests every Saturday, I got into the habit of a normal 5-day work week and prepping myself mentally on Friday nights for the test.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2015, 06:47
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Thank you I really appreciate your feedback!
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2015, 09:08
First, congratulations! Your study plan seemed to be very well developed and dedicated. Second, thank you so much for sharing the information and your successful strategies with us. Reading this helped to point me in a few directions of materials, such as using the LSAT prep for RC questions! THANK YOU!
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2015, 11:06
Congrat!

Btw, where can you get "Cambridge LSAT Difficult RC Passages" for $10?

I wans't able to find it.

Please help me out!
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2015, 21:14
Wonderful Debrief. I love the dots Method suggested. Very good effort in summarizing your journey. Best wishes. ☺
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2015, 22:23
koreafortress wrote:
Congrat!

Btw, where can you get "Cambridge LSAT Difficult RC Passages" for $10?

I wans't able to find it.

Please help me out!



You can download it from here: http://www.cambridgelsat.com/problem-se ... rehension/

Scroll down the page and you will see it at the end.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2015, 07:55
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koreafortress wrote:
Btw, where can you get "Cambridge LSAT Difficult RC Passages" for $10?


Updated the post with the direct link, thanks kul8aks for the link as well.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2015, 10:53
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Hats off dude, this information is gold! You really are the Roger Federer of GMAT! :-D
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2015, 00:13
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Nice detailed debrief :-D You have the exact breakups as I have apart from IR. :-D
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2015, 00:51
Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your experience.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2015, 17:20
kinjiGC wrote:
Nice detailed debrief :-D You have the exact breakups as I have apart from IR. :-D


Thanks! What were your IR and AWA scores? I didn't see them listed on your post.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2015, 20:55
Congratz on your superb score!

You mention that Kaplan Premier Tests were very good, even I am using the KapTests from the Kaplan Premier 2015 Book, however I feel the score they provide is inflated- I got a 720 Q51 V 30 after 12 mistakes in quant and 20 mistakes in verbal, Is Q51 even possible after 12 mistakes?

What is your insights on the scoring they provide? Is it worth the time and effort taking Kaplan's Cats considering the inflated score?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2015, 21:17
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Alchemist14 wrote:
Congratz on your superb score!

You mention that Kaplan Premier Tests were very good, even I am using the KapTests from the Kaplan Premier 2015 Book, however I feel the score they provide is inflated- I got a 720 Q51 V 30 after 12 mistakes in quant and 20 mistakes in verbal, Is Q51 even possible after 12 mistakes?

What is your insights on the scoring they provide? Is it worth the time and effort taking Kaplan's Cats considering the inflated score?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Ray


I felt the same way about some of the scoring on the tests. Looking at a standard score table, I agree that some of Kaplan's scoring can seem skewed. I had a couple of Kaplan tests that were inflated. I wasn't as worried about their scoring, though, as much as I was trying to mimic the test difficulty. In this area, I think Kaplan is as good as GMAT Prep. Compared to a Veritas or MGMAT test, the Kaplan tests "felt" difficult at the right times and seemed to follow an adaptive algorithm much like the official tests do.

Given my prep schedule, I wanted to get all the non-official tests out of the way so that I could finish up with the GMAT Prep tests. The main benefit of using the Kaplan Premier tests was the repetition of 5 tests (6th one is in the book). I was diligent about taking a test every weekend, so instead of worrying about the score too much, I was building up the stamina and understanding how to switch my brain to different types of logic every couple of minutes. For this reason, to answer your question, I do think the Kaplan Premier tests are worth the effort.

The only reason I would worry about their final scoring is if it fluctuates dramatically. If you're scoring around 720 each time, then don't worry too much. If you're getting a lot of fluctuation, it might be the test algorithm, getting lucky/unlucky on some questions, or weakness in certain content areas. In any case, use all the non-official tests early on and save the score analysis for the GMAT Prep tests. Hope this helps.
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2015, 23:03
rf3d3r3r wrote:
Alchemist14 wrote:
Congratz on your superb score!

You mention that Kaplan Premier Tests were very good, even I am using the KapTests from the Kaplan Premier 2015 Book, however I feel the score they provide is inflated- I got a 720 Q51 V 30 after 12 mistakes in quant and 20 mistakes in verbal, Is Q51 even possible after 12 mistakes?

What is your insights on the scoring they provide? Is it worth the time and effort taking Kaplan's Cats considering the inflated score?

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Ray


I felt the same way about some of the scoring on the tests. Looking at a standard score table, I agree that some of Kaplan's scoring can seem skewed. I had a couple of Kaplan tests that were inflated. I wasn't as worried about their scoring, though, as much as I was trying to mimic the test difficulty. In this area, I think Kaplan is as good as GMAT Prep. Compared to a Veritas or MGMAT test, the Kaplan tests "felt" difficult at the right times and seemed to follow an adaptive algorithm much like the official tests do.

Given my prep schedule, I wanted to get all the non-official tests out of the way so that I could finish up with the GMAT Prep tests. The main benefit of using the Kaplan Premier tests was the repetition of 5 tests (6th one is in the book). I was diligent about taking a test every weekend, so instead of worrying about the score too much, I was building up the stamina and understanding how to switch my brain to different types of logic every couple of minutes. For this reason, to answer your question, I do think the Kaplan Premier tests are worth the effort.

The only reason I would worry about their final scoring is if it fluctuates dramatically. If you're scoring around 720 each time, then don't worry too much. If you're getting a lot of fluctuation, it might be the test algorithm, getting lucky/unlucky on some questions, or weakness in certain content areas. In any case, use all the non-official tests early on and save the score analysis for the GMAT Prep tests. Hope this helps.


Yes!

What you tell makes a lot of sense. In 3 kaplan tests my scores were 720, 710 and 710 and I used to sweat after the Kaplan Verbal section. Their Verbal was way too extreme escpecially the RC. But their tests are helping me build stamina.

Thank you for the advice :)
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2015, 14:55
Hi Alchemist14,

You've mentioned using 3 Kaplan CATs, but have you used any other CATs (such as the ones from www.mba.com)? It would be good to have a basis for comparison. You also have to factor in how realistically you made each CAT "event" - did you skip sections, pause the CAT, take it at home, do ANYTHING that you won't be allowed to do on the Official GMAT, etc? The more your CATs deviate from the Test Day norm, the more likely your scores are to be inaccurate (and often 'inflated').

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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2015, 19:05
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Alchemist14 wrote:
Yes!

What you tell makes a lot of sense. In 3 kaplan tests my scores were 720, 710 and 710 and I used to sweat after the Kaplan Verbal section. Their Verbal was way too extreme escpecially the RC. But their tests are helping me build stamina.

Thank you for the advice :)


One item you mentioned previously was that you were looking at number of questions missed. I don't think that's the best way to approach an assessment of a practice test. Look at the location of the missed question to gauge your performance. For example, if you missed a few questions at the end, it's probably not a bad thing because they were at your difficulty level, since a CAT will adjust it's difficulty to your ability. However, if you were missing questions in the beginning of the section, then it's either some test-taking issues or fundamental concepts that need retooling. Good luck with the prep!
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Re: 670 to 760 (Q49/V44, IR 8, AWA 6.0) - No Stone Unturned for 8 Months   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2015, 19:05

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