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    Strategies and techniques for approaching featured GMAT topics

710(Q44/V42) to 660(Q48/V32) to 720 (Q47/V42)!!!!!! *UPDATE*

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GMAT 1: 710 Q44 V42
GMAT 2: 660 Q48 V32
GMAT 3: 720 Q47 V42
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710(Q44/V42) to 660(Q48/V32) to 720 (Q47/V42)!!!!!! *UPDATE*  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 08 Sep 2018, 12:11
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*UPDATE*

So I just got back from the test center with glowing results 720 (Q47/V42)!!

After a 710 with subpar Quant good Verbal, and 660 with Subpar Verbal and good Quant, I was incredibly frustrated and documented my experience below. After that test, I went back to the grindstone by doing the following:

Quant
-Utilizing GMAT Focus Questions: You can take GMAT Focus up to 4 times without seeing any repeats. The 24-question tests are computer adaptive and adhere very closely to actual GMAT content. I highly recommend these tests as a source of questions with the caveat that there isn't too much in the way of Coordinate Geometry and no Geometry questions? (Weird, I know). Go over these after you've taken the exam
-Using GMATQuantum's GMATPrep questions database: Although I had used this resource extensively prior to my first two attempts, going over questions whether I got them right or wrong over and over again and reviewing Dabral's accompanying video explanations for every single problem helped me stay sharp.
-Using Dabral's curated collection of AMC Math problems on GMAT Quantum: On the GMATQuantum website, Dabral has curated a set of extremely difficult questions from the American Mathematics Contest which can be solved using GMAT concepts. These problems are incredibly challenging and will help boost you to the next level without question.

Verbal
-Sentence Correction: I'm pretty strong in SC, and a native speaker so I practiced using GMATPrep, Magoosh, and Manhattan Prep materials somewhat haphazardly. Also, Magoosh's SC videos are quite good if you need to start from the basics
-RC and CR: USE LSAT MATERIAL!!!!!!! I can't emphasize enough just how helpful this has been for these 2 question types. RC passages will give you a workout no matter how advanced you are, and the CR questions require extremely careful thinking required of GMAT CR. Echoing GMATNinja's (whose explanations on Verbal are all incredible by the way, his posts are another important go-to resource) discussion about the efficacy of using LSAT for GMAT, the LSAT uses language in a way that's a fair bit tighter than the GMAT, and GMAT CR question correct responses tend to leave a wider logical gap connecting premises to conclusions than LSAT questions do, but the sheer number of psychometrically valid questions in a format that approximates the GMAT at the higher end of the Verbal difficulty scale makes LSAT material also indispensable. LSAT RC questions tend to be a little less Science-focused, but the level of detail in the passages combined with their length makes them ideally suited for working through in preparation for the GMAT. If GMAT RC passages are a thick forest to get lost in, working on LSAT RC questions will put fuel in your flamethrower.

I'm going to hit the bar right now, but I'm happy to chat on this thread about my 6-month/1 year long journey to 720 as someone not particularly good at standardized tests.

If I can do it, you can too.

____________________________________________________________________


Hi everyone. Long time lurker, first time poster.

I'm an Ivy League Econ Major 3.6 GPA URM Native English Speaker. Somewhat lacking in quant background.

About a year ago I became interested in potentially pursuing an MBA in the somewhat near future, so I decided to begin studying for the GMAT.

At first from about July-December, I relied on a trifecta of Magoosh, Target Test Prep, and the OG materials.

There were benefits and drawbacks to each of these 3 sets of study resources:

Target - Solid interface, broke learning into digestable modules and provided video explnations to many many of its practice problems. While I made some serious learning gains through Target, the ongoing expense combined with the fact that the pedagogy didn't focus on strengthening lacking fundamentals ultimately led me to conclude that it was not right for me. I believe many will find TTP helpful, but for someone who was struggling to understand how to even begin convoluted 700-Level problems it was not right for me at the time. Target Test Prep teaches and hones various skillsets that can be used to tackle many GMAT problems quickly and efficiently, but I needed a more nuanced understandimg of the underlying theory in order to get to the next level.

Magoosh - Super cheap, and plenty helpful for verbal and its Q+V question bank and video lessons, but I needed something a little more in-depth to help me get where I needed with Quant.

OG - I made the HUGE mistake of burning through OG material early in my prep. Handle your OG books with care as this is an incredibly valuable source of questions not to be approached lightly. There is an underlying elegance to official problems that no third party can replicate!!! The questions in the OG (many of which are certainly easier than what appears on the actual exam) test reasoning skills in a very very similar way to what can be found on the actual exam. While any given OG problem may not look exactly look like what you may see, I guarantee you that every full exam will test concepts that can be learned by mastering OG questions easy/medium/hard. The way that the problems 'unfold' is exactly like what you may see on the exam.

In January of this year, sensing that understanding the OG was the key to cracking the code, I sought out a resource which would help me work with the OG: enter Dabral of GMATQuantum.

It's a shame that more people don't know about his site. The course costs are reasonably affordable, and in addition to full video lessons on pretty much every concept that will appear on the GMAT, he provides FULL video explanations to his expertly self-drafted problems which reinforce the lessons of his concept videos, which stress learning the underlying algebraic logic of any/every problem so that you have a flexible, 'general approach' that can be tailored to any question. Every chapter comes with corresponding homework from the OG which familiarizes you with the actual language and expectations of the testmakers. This is all in addition to video explantions for EVERY OG/Quant OG problem, EVERY GMAT PREP, EP1, EP2, QP1, GMATFOCUS, and Paper Test problem. Holy Cow! Without Dabral's help there is absolutely no way I could have gotten to a respectable Q48. (more on this later)

Over the months, I studied on GMAT Quantum for quant, Magoosh for Verbal, getting 47Q/41V on average on my GMAT Prep mocks. However, because of time constraints I was not able to take any exams in full, instead taking sections individually as time allowed.

I had initially planned on taking the first test in late May, however work obligations forced me to reschedule 2 weeks earlier just 2 days before the test! In Mid-May I went to the test center super relaxed, knowing my first attempt could be a Mulligan, but I walked out with a 710 a total score that was reasonably satisfying, but a score split that could spell trouble in admissions: Q44/V42

I was absolutely distraught by the result as I had dramatically underperformed in Quant! Chalking this up to nerves/unfamiliarity with the exam process. I took the exam again yesterday 6/23/18 hoping for a similar score with a more even score split, and I walk out with 660 Q48/V32....This result was another shock! I had never scored below 40 on Verbal nor higher than 47 on quant in my mocks. Prior to my second test, I had made sure to devote equal time to studying both quant and verbal as I specifically wanted to avoid this predicament....the week prior to the exam I took a Verbal practice test and scored a 41, so I figured I was in a good spot...apparently not. Waiting on my ESR to figure out what exactly went wrong.

I definitely want to do a third retake as it is clear that I have the knowledge necessary to hit 720-730 with a well-balanced score split. It's very much just a matter of putting it all together.

In the meantime, does anybody have any advice about how to proceed? Are there any Verbal resources you would recommend in addition to the forum? I seriously wouldn't mind sitting for a retake for a third, fourth or fifth time. My 2 scores are cancelled so they will not show up on any external score report. My only concern is that some schools like Booth and Columbia ask about number of GMAT attempts on applications and look down upon more than 3 attempts. How many other top programs ask this question? I would take a lot of solace in knowing I still have 6 lifetime attempts to crack this nut.

Takeaways: The GMAT Black Box for scoring is wild. For Quant GMATQuantum deserves recognition along with the big boys of the prep world.

Thank you for your consideration!!



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Originally posted by stideshighdives on 24 Jun 2018, 04:10.
Last edited by stideshighdives on 08 Sep 2018, 12:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 710(Q44/V42) to 660(Q48/V32) to 720 (Q47/V42)!!!!!! *UPDATE*  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 06:11
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Hello, Have you been taking the exams under real test conditions?

How have your patterns been over your practice tests? Could you publish the list? Also, have you taken your test along with IR and AWA?
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GMAT 1: 710 Q44 V42
GMAT 2: 660 Q48 V32
GMAT 3: 720 Q47 V42
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Re: 710(Q44/V42) to 660(Q48/V32) to 720 (Q47/V42)!!!!!! *UPDATE*  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Jun 2018, 18:46
Hi Pretz,

Because I am naturally strong in Verbal, I have pretty much taken individual sections of GMAT Prep tests apart from one another as I was seriously weak in Quant at the beginning of my study process. (I literally could not finish Manhattan Prep CAT 1) This has not created the most realistic practice environment per se. GMAT Prep 1 was taken in January, Manhattan Prep 1 was taken last August. GMAT Prep 2,3,4,5 were taken in April-May and June.

My scores have been

GMAT Prep 1 Q Only: 46
GMAT Prep 2 Q Only: 47
GMAT Prep 3 Q Only: 47
GMAT Prep 4 Q Only: 47
GMAT Prep 5 Q Only: 47

GMAT Prep 1 V Only: 40
GMAT Prep 2 V Only: 41
GMAT Prep 3 V Only: 41
GMAT Prep 4 V Only: 41
GMAT Prep 5 V Only: 41

GMAT Focus 1: 46-50
GMAT Focus 2: 40-47
GMAT Focus 3: 43-49

I still have yet to take GMAT Prep 6, any Veritas Prep Tests or any Manhattan Prep Tests. For both of my full exams, the section order was V-Q-IR-AWA.

Originally posted by stideshighdives on 25 Jun 2018, 06:32.
Last edited by stideshighdives on 25 Jun 2018, 18:46, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 710(Q44/V42) to 660(Q48/V32) to 720 (Q47/V42)!!!!!! *UPDATE*  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2018, 13:43
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First of all thank you for such a detailed describtion, that makes it a lot easier to understand where you are coming from and give potential advice. :)

With regards to your Quant results I do feel your pain, even though you are already a couple of steps ahead of me.

I can recommend a combination of the Gmatclub test together with the MathRevolution allinone51 course, it is fairly affordable and I have the feeling it is a quite good combination in terms of getting you up to speed in Quant. Furthermore, there is a Gmatclub Math book which gives you a good overview about the various concepts beeing used.

Last but not least there is a topic from the MathRevolution founder in which he talks about the most common topics in the Gmat Quant sectiond and the likelyhood with which you are going to see which style of question.

Ill try to provide the link tomorrow once I have rediscovered that specific thread.

Hope this helps and all the best for your next try mate!

Best regards,
Chris
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A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated! :)

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Re: 710(Q44/V42) to 660(Q48/V32) to 720 (Q47/V42)!!!!!! *UPDATE* &nbs [#permalink] 25 Jun 2018, 13:43
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