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# 680 to 770 in ~6 weeks

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Intern
Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 5
Own Kudos [?]: 17 [7]
Given Kudos: 2
Location: United States (CO)
Concentration: Strategy, Healthcare
GMAT 1: 680 Q48 V35
GMAT 2: 770 Q49 V46
GPA: 3.41
Tutor
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Status:Expert GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Tutor / Coach
Affiliations: Harvard University, A.B. with honors in Government, 2002
Posts: 1180
Own Kudos [?]: 2427 [1]
Given Kudos: 273
Location: United States (CO)
Age: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GMAT 4: 730 Q48 V42 (Online)
GRE 1: Q168 V169

GRE 2: Q170 V170
Intern
Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 5
Own Kudos [?]: 17 [2]
Given Kudos: 2
Location: United States (CO)
Concentration: Strategy, Healthcare
GMAT 1: 680 Q48 V35
GMAT 2: 770 Q49 V46
GPA: 3.41
CEO
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Re: 680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
Congrats jgordon257 and mcelroytutoring

It is so heartening to see such a huge jump in the score(especially in Verbal)
It would be very helpful if you could detail your strategy for CR and SC.

All the best for the application phase jgordon257 and congrats once again!
Intern
Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 5
Own Kudos [?]: 17 [1]
Given Kudos: 2
Location: United States (CO)
Concentration: Strategy, Healthcare
GMAT 1: 680 Q48 V35
GMAT 2: 770 Q49 V46
GPA: 3.41
Re: 680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
1
Kudos
I'm sure Brian will want to opine on this, but I viewed this as kind of entrusting him with the process and simply followed his guidance as I prepared.

There were a few books and materials that he wanted me to go through such as Meltzer's Complete Guide to SC and Powerscore Bible, but I probably spent less than 10 total hours on those resources. They were helpful, however, for helping me begin to understand how the GMAT "thinks." I particularly liked the Meltzer "Cheat Sheet" which I tried my best to internalize and mentally referenced during the test.

Besides that I did 40+ problems per week from OG or GMAC Question Packs on the targeted area that I was trying to improve. This started as 100% SC for two weeks, then moved to SC+CR for the next few weeks. By the end of this, I had done every problem in the OG on SC/CR and nearly every problem in the GMAC Question Pack 1 on SC and CR (all of the hard and mediums, most of the easy ones). Nothing about this is revolutionary, but I would have never been able to hold myself accountable for such work doing it alone. Additionally, kind of like how the Meltzer and Powerscore helped get into the GMAT frame of mind, the 1-1 sessions were pretty much exclusively going through problems that I had gotten wrong and then learning how to adjust my thinking/approach to fit what the GMAT was looking for. In going through those problems I also got a sense for how to codify the different types of wrong answers and avoid them.

At the end of the day, doing a ton of practice problems, systematically going through wrong answers to understand flaws in thinking, and having external accountability did the trick.
Intern
Joined: 27 Jul 2017
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Re: 680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
jgordon257 wrote:
I'm sure Brian will want to opine on this, but I viewed this as kind of entrusting him with the process and simply followed his guidance as I prepared.

There were a few books and materials that he wanted me to go through such as Meltzer's Complete Guide to SC and Powerscore Bible, but I probably spent less than 10 total hours on those resources. They were helpful, however, for helping me begin to understand how the GMAT "thinks." I particularly liked the Meltzer "Cheat Sheet" which I tried my best to internalize and mentally referenced during the test.

Besides that I did 40+ problems per week from OG or GMAC Question Packs on the targeted area that I was trying to improve. This started as 100% SC for two weeks, then moved to SC+CR for the next few weeks. By the end of this, I had done every problem in the OG on SC/CR and nearly every problem in the GMAC Question Pack 1 on SC and CR (all of the hard and mediums, most of the easy ones). Nothing about this is revolutionary, but I would have never been able to hold myself accountable for such work doing it alone. Additionally, kind of like how the Meltzer and Powerscore helped get into the GMAT frame of mind, the 1-1 sessions were pretty much exclusively going through problems that I had gotten wrong and then learning how to adjust my thinking/approach to fit what the GMAT was looking for. In going through those problems I also got a sense for how to codify the different types of wrong answers and avoid them.

At the end of the day, doing a ton of practice problems, systematically going through wrong answers to understand flaws in thinking, and having external accountability did the trick.

Hey! Congratulations on your success, Can you please share the study material you might be having.. I am planning to give my GMAT in February 2018..Also please guide me how to plan my preparation strategy for next 2 months

Sent from my GT-N7100 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Tutor
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Status:Expert GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Tutor / Coach
Affiliations: Harvard University, A.B. with honors in Government, 2002
Posts: 1180
Own Kudos [?]: 2427 [2]
Given Kudos: 273
Location: United States (CO)
Age: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GMAT 4: 730 Q48 V42 (Online)
GRE 1: Q168 V169

GRE 2: Q170 V170
680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
2
Kudos
Top Contributor
Outside of very specific strategies pertaining to Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning, jgordon257 has done a good job of summarizing our approach.

Of course, any attempt to summarize a test as complex as the GMAT will inevitably fall short. Despite the relatively small set of knowledge you need to memorize for the test, the GMAT is a highly difficult and competitive, world-class test of math, English, reasoning and writing skills. However, it can still be conquered through perseverance and the right strategy.

There is no "one size fits all" fix for someone with two months to study. You need to practice and discover your own weaknesses, then construct a study plan that fits you. For Jason, he just needed a crash course in SC and CR--he was already very solid in Quant.

Sentence Correction can get complicated, and has many facets. Thus, you will have to wait until my GMAT book for that one, but until then, the Meltzer book is an excellent substitute. For Critical Reasoning, we stuck to the core principles: 1) Identify your Conclusion, 2) Identify Your Evidence / Premise, 3) Predict Your Answer, 4) Eliminate Pre-Evidence, Out of Scope and Post-Conclusion Incorrect Answers, 5) Compare your Top 2 answers (if necessary) and 6) Verify correct answer. We also discussed visualization strategies to more fully understand each Critical Reasoning question type, and expanded on the five main categories of Assumptions (from "Ace the GMAT"): Cause and Effect, Comparison and Analogy, Representativeness, Implementation, and Questionable Evidence.

Part of why he succeeded is that he diligently completed (and reviewed!) every single question in the OG and QP1, as I asked him to do.

I am a strong believer that Full Practice Exams are overrated once a student has reached the high 600s/low 700s. At that point, it's more about obsessively working your way though every official question you can find (and reviewing them meticulously, making sure to note the reasons why each incorrect answer is incorrect). Outside strategy guides such as the Meltzer and Powerscore books, and GMAT Club Spreadsheets will also help with this process.

Especially when it comes to Verbal, it makes sense to practice with real GMAT questions only, since imitation Verbal questions inevitably fail to replicate the precise wording, unwritten rules and "feel" of real GMAT Verbal questions.

As far as study plans, strategies, learning resources, etc, you can check out My GMAT Action Plan (linked below in my signature). I have also released a free GMAT e-book / strategy guide of my own, as a publicly accessible Google document, which includes specific tips for Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning.

That being said, there is also great value in discussing questions one-on-one, in real time, with a GMAT expert: being forced to verbalize your struggles often helps you to resolve them. This approach is hard to replicate without a tutor, but you could always join a study group, etc.. In addition, as Jason mentioned, there is value in accountability, and having a teacher, private tutor or "study buddy" who checks on your progress once a week.

Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 02 Dec 2017, 15:23.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 09 Jan 2018, 09:16, edited 2 times in total.
Senior Manager
Joined: 24 Jun 2016
Posts: 335
Own Kudos [?]: 133 [0]
Given Kudos: 21
GMAT 1: 770 Q60 V60
GPA: 4
Re: 680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
That's an incredible improvement and an amazing end result. Congratulations! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Also, if you have an ESR from your attempt, I would encourage you to share it here: https://gmatclub.com/forum/information- ... 21111.html so we can draw insights about the GMAC algorithm to benefit the GMAT Club community.

Congratulations again, and good luck with applications!
Tutor
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Status:Expert GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Tutor / Coach
Affiliations: Harvard University, A.B. with honors in Government, 2002
Posts: 1180
Own Kudos [?]: 2427 [3]
Given Kudos: 273
Location: United States (CO)
Age: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GMAT 4: 730 Q48 V42 (Online)
GRE 1: Q168 V169

GRE 2: Q170 V170
680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
1
Kudos
2
Bookmarks
Top Contributor
For privacy reasons, it's jgordon257 's decision as to whether he wants to share his entire ESR, and I'm sure that he's busy with work, applications, and/or preparing for New Year's Eve celebrations. However, I also have a copy of his ESR, and I'm sure that he wouldn't mind if I shared selected portions of it with you--with his personal information removed, of course.

Here is his score summary:

Here is his Quant section. You can see that he correctly answered 6 of 7 counted questions (86%) in all 4 quarters of the test.

Here is his Verbal section. You can see that he correctly answered 7 of 8 in the 1st quarter (88%), 6 out of 7 in the 2nd quarter (86%), 7 of 7 in the 3rd quarter (100%) and 8 of 8 in the 4th quarter (100%).

Here is his IR Section. He answered all 9 counted questions correctly (100%).

Also, HanoiGMATtutor, why does your (unverified) GMAT score say Q60, V60 when we know that 51 is in fact the maximum possible score on both the Quant and Verbal sections? GMAT test-takers aren't going to take you seriously as a tutor if you're being less than honest about your own GMAT score.
Tutor
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Status:Expert GMAT, GRE, and LSAT Tutor / Coach
Affiliations: Harvard University, A.B. with honors in Government, 2002
Posts: 1180
Own Kudos [?]: 2427 [0]
Given Kudos: 273
Location: United States (CO)
Age: 44
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GMAT 4: 730 Q48 V42 (Online)
GRE 1: Q168 V169

GRE 2: Q170 V170
680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
Top Contributor
Congrats on getting into / matriculating at Wharton, jgordon257!!! Amazing news and good luck in Philly.

-Brian

"Trust the Process."

-Joel Embiid

Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 29 Mar 2018, 19:30.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 04 Apr 2018, 22:56, edited 3 times in total.
Senior Manager
Joined: 08 Jun 2015
Posts: 259
Own Kudos [?]: 83 [0]
Given Kudos: 145
Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q48 V29
GMAT 2: 700 Q48 V38
GPA: 3.33
Re: 680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Outside of very specific strategies pertaining to Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning, jgordon257 has done a good job of summarizing our approach.

Of course, any attempt to summarize a test as complex as the GMAT will inevitably fall short. Despite the relatively small set of knowledge you need to memorize for the test, the GMAT is a highly difficult and competitive, world-class test of math, English, reasoning and writing skills. However, it can still be conquered through perseverance and the right strategy.

There is no "one size fits all" fix for someone with two months to study. You need to practice and discover your own weaknesses, then construct a study plan that fits you. For Jason, he just needed a crash course in SC and CR--he was already very solid in Quant.

Sentence Correction can get complicated, and has many facets. Thus, you will have to wait until my GMAT book for that one, but until then, the Meltzer book is an excellent substitute. For Critical Reasoning, we stuck to the core principles: 1) Identify your Conclusion, 2) Identify Your Evidence / Premise, 3) Predict Your Answer, 4) Eliminate Pre-Evidence, Out of Scope and Post-Conclusion Incorrect Answers, 5) Compare your Top 2 answers (if necessary) and 6) Verify correct answer. We also discussed visualization strategies to more fully understand each Critical Reasoning question type, and expanded on the five main categories of Assumptions (from "Ace the GMAT"): Cause and Effect, Comparison and Analogy, Representativeness, Implementation, and Questionable Evidence.

Part of why he succeeded is that he diligently completed (and reviewed!) every single question in the OG and QP1, as I asked him to do.

I am a strong believer that Full Practice Exams are overrated once a student has reached the high 600s/low 700s. At that point, it's more about obsessively working your way though every official question you can find (and reviewing them meticulously, making sure to note the reasons why each incorrect answer is incorrect). Outside strategy guides such as the Meltzer and Powerscore books, and GMAT Club Spreadsheets will also help with this process.

Especially when it comes to Verbal, it makes sense to practice with real GMAT questions only, since imitation Verbal questions inevitably fail to replicate the precise wording, unwritten rules and "feel" of real GMAT Verbal questions.

As far as study plans, strategies, learning resources, etc, you can check out My GMAT Action Plan (linked below in my signature). I have also released a free GMAT e-book / strategy guide of my own, as a publicly accessible Google document, which includes specific tips for Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning.

That being said, there is also great value in discussing questions one-on-one, in real time, with a GMAT expert: being forced to verbalize your struggles often helps you to resolve them. This approach is hard to replicate without a tutor, but you could always join a study group, etc.. In addition, as Jason mentioned, there is value in accountability, and having a teacher, private tutor or "study buddy" who checks on your progress once a week.

Congrats jgordon257 for your 99+ score !! I agree with you mcelroytutoring that - "Full Practice Exams are overrated once a student has reached the high 600s/low 700s. At that point, it's more about obsessively working your way though every official question you can find (and reviewing them meticulously, making sure to note the reasons why each incorrect answer is incorrect)". Best wishes on your application !!
Re: 680 to 770 in ~6 weeks [#permalink]
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