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680 first try (44Q 38V) Advice?

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Joined: 28 Aug 2011
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680 first try (44Q 38V) Advice? [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2011, 18:17
I've been lurking and picking up study tips and bits of information since I started studying for this journey of a test. I want give a general thanks to everyone. I've gotten some genuinely great advice about specific problems, test mentality, pacing, what to wear, etc.

Here is a bit of background on my study routine (or lack of). It was pretty disjointed and the only sense of organization was going from Manhattan GMAT book to MGMAT book. I am not recommending this approach, please understand.

I only took three CATs over the course of 3ish weeks.

Free MGMAT: 640

After this I started working on my first few MGMAT Quant books (Number Properties, Equations, Fractions Decimals and Percents). The way I studied through these was reading all the subjects and taking notes on all the subjects I wasn't familiar with. The following day at work I would go through the 3-4 subjects worth of practice sheets in MGMAT books. This often resulted in some pretty late nights where I was tired and likely wasn't retaining everything I was reading.

I did this for roughly a week and took a second CAT.

1st Official GMAT CAT: 630

This worried me. I learned all kinds of new techniques and subjects (only math), but scored lower. Though I forget the breakdown between verbal and quant, I remember thinking that I needed to work on verbal if I wanted to get to my target score. So over the next few nights I began to rush my way through the remaining quant and gave a read through the verbal topics. At this point I only had a week left to go. I decided to focus on sentence correction, which was the crux of my verbal score. I was doing pretty well with CR and RC. The Saturday before my Monday test, I took my final CAT.

2nd Official GMAT CAT: 650

This made me feel a bit better but it was now clear that, baring a test day miracle, my target of 700+ was unlikely. The remaining bit of Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning was spent on targeting data sufficiency. I somehow reasoned that if I knew the principles in such a way that I could DS, I would know them well enough for PS.

Test day - wake up, exercise a bit, read through the notes I took while reading MGMAT books. Go to test. Leave test with 680.

While I fell good about a 680, I am somewhat disappointed in the score (myself) because I know that I can achieve what I want (700+) if I come up with a more comprehensive and thorough study routine.

Self observations:
- I feel like a big problem that I ran into was that I spent relatively little time doing problems out of the official guide once I had read through a given MGMAT section. I mistakenly thought that being able to answer the questions in the format given on the review sheets would be sufficient. So when I started working heavily on OG questions - only the last couple of days - I was horribly inefficient at apply the techniques I learned.

- I am surprised with how good I feel about my essays. On all the CATs I skipped the essays and did not use any of the prompts in the OG to write practice ones. That said, I did feel a bit like I had already completed a marathon after finishing the 1 hr essay section.

- In my undergrad I generally did a lot of studying late at night and I did very well at retaining the information. I don't feel like this works quite as well for me with the GMAT because I genuinely care about the subjects I studied in my undergrad, unlike the subjects on the GMAT. I really would be just fine tomorrow if x turns out to be less than y, just fine.

I took the GMAT because I'd like to get into a good MSc Finance program. Think Vandy, BC, Columbia or maybe Duke MMS. The question I have is whether or not it is worth investing another month or two of my life in a more structured study routine to achieve a 700+ (this would have to be, or if the difference between a 680 and low 700s is negligible for the level of school I'm trying to get into. (Assuming essays are well written, 3.5 cumulative gpa, 4.0 finance, good references)
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesMath Revolution Discount Codes
680 first try (44Q 38V) Advice?   [#permalink] 29 Aug 2011, 18:17
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680 first try (44Q 38V) Advice?

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