GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

 It is currently 18 Nov 2018, 04:21

### GMAT Club Daily Prep

#### Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

## Events & Promotions

###### Events & Promotions in November
PrevNext
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
Open Detailed Calendar
• ### How to QUICKLY Solve GMAT Questions - GMAT Club Chat

November 20, 2018

November 20, 2018

09:00 AM PST

10:00 AM PST

The reward for signing up with the registration form and attending the chat is: 6 free examPAL quizzes to practice your new skills after the chat.
• ### The winning strategy for 700+ on the GMAT

November 20, 2018

November 20, 2018

06:00 PM EST

07:00 PM EST

What people who reach the high 700's do differently? We're going to share insights, tips and strategies from data we collected on over 50,000 students who used examPAL.

# 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans

Author Message
TAGS:

### Hide Tags

Manager
Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 79
Location: United Arab Emirates
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: 770 Q49 V47
710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

28 Feb 2018, 03:40
So, I did my first GMAT on the 26th and scored a very acceptable but not stellar 710.
The below is a breakdown of my study, where I went wrong, and why I think I could have nailed a 730/740 the first time with a few tweaks to my study plans

The starting stats
Age: 31
Gender: Female
Major: Chemistry
English Level: Native Speaker

Let's first examine my pros/cons going into my first mock exam

Quant
PROS -
STEM graduate, probably most ideal academic background behind Maths, Physics or Engineering Major
around 100 study hours.

CONS
- Although I'd done maths to the most advanced level possible in my country in high school, the courses I did were extremely pure and heavy on the kind of calculus, algebra and proof that are not tested in the GMAT. I'd done very little applied maths. (for the curious, I did Scottish Advanced highers, which are excellent courses but break down maths into two separate subjects, pure and applied, of which I only did pure)
- the maths in Chemistry courses is almost exclusively related to quantum mechanics and thermodynamics - again, and not the kind of math that's tested on the GMAT
- the maths in the GMAT, for me, fell into at least one of the following categories - math I'd never done (e.g number properties), math I'd done but to a much more basic level (e.g. permutations) or math I'd done 15-17 years ago could barely remember. So, despite my reasonably numerate background, it was always going to be an uphill battle
- not done any kind of number work since leaving university 10 years prior

Study sources - OG guide, Princeton review 1138 GMAT practice questions, Manhattan Advanced Quant, Veritas Tests and Question Bank

Verbal
PROS -
Native English speaker
Female
Generally more word-proficient than the average physical science grad

CONS -
I dropped all humanities at the age of 13. Yes, since then I have done no academic study of history, geography, politics etc
Dropped English at 16. The English courses I did were almost exclusively literature-based, I couldn't tell you what the past perfect tense is to save my life
Only 15 hrs study, mostly from the OG guide (more on that later)

Study sources - OG guide, Princeton review 1138 GMAT practise questions

First mock test - 720 (Q47,V42)
Hit the books hard for 5 days, exclusively Quant (more on this was a mistake on below)
Second Mock test - 730 (Q48, V42) (disappointing gain of only 1 point)

I went into the exam expecting a 700-720 score. It was a morning exam and I am both not a morning person and an anxious sleeper, so I knew I'd likely be doing the exam on a poor sleep, and also don't tend to perform well under pressure. I also get extreme bathroom nerves and have the world's tiniest bladder (in my uni finals I would always use the bathroom at least 2 or 3 times)

Night Before: Took a Z-12 (sleeping supplement) and a 2mg melatonin to try and sleep early (I had to get up at 7, but my usual sleeping hours are 3am-11am). Poor decision, as I had horrible test-related nightmares from the melatonin. Slept around 4-5hrs

Day of exam: Woke at 7.15 and had my normal eggs on wholemeal toast breakfast and 2 cups of coffee. Arrived at the test center at 830am. Sat around for 30 mins. No other GMAT test takers.

I did the verbal section first and was surprised by the length of the RC passages - 3 long ones. Finished 4 mins early. Took my break, had some water and chocolate hobnobs. Felt a bit ****/nauseous.
Tackled the quant section, was pushed for time as expected. Missed hitting the submit button on the last question by about 5 seconds oops. Very distracted for half the section due to extreme need to use the restroom! Had to guess quite a good few questions. Particularly nasty permutations question involving very large numbers and no immediately visible shortcut (Class of 20 students?! Many different "disallowed" patterns, and all answer choices close in number. Yuck!)
Did the AWA and IR. I don't know what my AWA is yet but I'm expecting a 5.5 or 6, as I'm pretty verbose and fast reader and typist. I find the AWA very easy, the IR I just rush through as I want it over.

result 710 - Q47 (OK), V41 (ugh) IR 9 (decent). I accepted the score hesitantly, in case I don't do better the 2nd time around. No point in cancelling a reasonably score.

Go home, nap. Cocktails in the evening. Anything over 700 is worth celebrating IMO

Most important takeaways for me, where I went wrong, and why I think I can make 730/740 reasonably quickly

Having sat the exam, I've realised how important it is to practise at the appropriate level. For verbal, I'd done about 1/2 the questions in the OG guide. The problem with that, is that most questions are too easy for me, and I needed to be practising exclusively the 600+ questions, not the lower level ones which had lulled me into a false sense of security
2) KNOW WHAT YOU'RE CAPABLE OF
I'm probably never going to get a Q50/51. I top out about Q49. In my retest, I'm aiming for a Q48, but no higher. I think this is probably true of most people who aren't math/physics/engineering majors, and especially true of those who have been away from maths for a long time
3) KNOW THE POINT OF DIMINISHING RETURNS
I spent 5 days working very hard on quant, but was only able to boost my mock test score by 1. This was because I was very close to topping out on my quant score. I should have spent that time on verbal
4) DO NOT GET SWAYED BY THE PERCENTILES IN THE MOCK TEST
I looked at my mock percentiles (73rd on Q, 94th on V) and assumed that meant I was too weak on Quant and needed more study on that area. I was wrong, because I hadn't considered the demographics of the other test takers, and the fact that so many people are very strong on quant and weak on verbal. So considering my background (native speaker, not an engineer, 31 years old), I was actually doing relatively well on quant, and weaker on verbal. Incidentally, this years test takers are even stronger on quant/weaker on verbal than they are in the mocks, as a Q47V42 in the mocks translated to 73rd/94th whereas in the actual test, Q47/V41 garnered me a a 63rd/94th ranking
Not a maths, physics or an engineering grad? Don't chase a Q50/51. Native English speaker? You should aim for a high verbal score. Look at the number, not the percentile. Just because V41 is now a 94th percentile score, doesn't mean it's a good score for you.
6)IF YOU'RE A STEM GRAD, BEWARE THE PASSIVE TENSE
This is one of my biggest verbal challenges. After 4 years of writing lab reports in the passive tense, it just doesn't "look" wrong to me. Most stem grads will have this issue and it takes a while to un-learn
7)AT THE 700 LEVEL, SPECIALISE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU STRUGGLE WITH TIMING
Consider the following scenarios
a) I study all quant areas equally at the 700 level. I get ok at them, getting maybe 50% of questions correct. In the exam, I get served 6 700+ questions, and I attempt all of them, taking an average of 3mins per question. Total 3/6 correct, in 18 mins. I've lost 6 mins that I could spend on other questions
b) I study half the quant areas at the 700 question level. I get great at them, getting 80% correct and in reasonably time. In the exam, I get served 6 700+ level questions. Half of them I don't know how to answer so I guess immediately and move on. The other half, I spent 2.5-3mins, and get them right. Total 3/6 correct, in 7.5-9 mins.
8) THE OLDER YOU ARE, THE MORE YOU NEED TO WORK ON MENTAL STAMINA
I am 31 and self employed. I am very unused to sitting a desk focussing hard for a 4hr stretch. I did 3 mock exams and it wasn't enough - I needed to do more, as my attention seriously wandered in the verbal section.
9) IF YOU'RE NOT A MORNING PERSON, DO NOT SIT A MORNING EXAM
Unfortunately I didn't have this choice, as my test center does not offer afternoon exams. I am a poor sleeper under stress and also a late sleeper, so I was sitting the exam on about 5hrs sleep. I feel I would have got 730 if I had been less tired as it really impacts my focus and I make a lot of unforced errors. I am considering flying out to another country in the region just so I can do an afternoon exam. A bad nights sleep can easily ding your score by 20 or 30 points
10) KNOW WHAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH
So your preferred school has an average GMAT of 730, and you scored a 700. Can you "get away" with a lower than average score or should you resit?
The people who have the most advantage in the GMAT are engineering/maths/physics grads who are native english speakers, and reasonably fresh out of university. Not a native speaker? You can get away with a slightly lower V score. Liberal ArtslHumanities grad? You can get away with a lower Q score. Female? You probably can get away with a score 10-20 points lower than average for that school, because more men than women sit the GMAT, and there simply aren't enough high-scoring female applicants to go around. To keep the classes from being too overwhelmingly male, the average female scores at the top schools tend to be 10-20 points lower, so that 730 average actually works out at 720 for females and 740 for males. So, while 29-year-old History graduate Fatima still has an OK chance at Harvard with a 700, they're probably be looking for a 750 from 25 year old engineering graduate Joe.

The question you might have after reading the above is -
WHY WAS I ABLE TO GET A REASONABLY HIGH VERBAL SCORE? Given my study for verbal was both very limited (15hrs!) and also unfocused (generic questions), and I do not have the academic background that lends itself to a high verbal score, I consistently get a higher score in that area than you might expect. Why?
The only thing I can think of is that I read, a LOT. I don't own a TV and consume all my news as long-form articles. I read a fair amount of non-fiction. I have a very fast reading speed and when I do SC questions, I have a reasonably innate knowledge of what "feels" right, rather than applying grammatical rules. Most of my incorrect SC questions are obscure idioms and stylistic differences.

Therefore my tip for those struggling with Verbal is simply - read more, and read long-form analytical or essay-type articles. If you know you're planning to sit the GMAT at any point within the next year, turn off your TV and read, even before you start studying for the GMAT. You will internalise a lot this way

My plan -
I plan to resit in 16 days, if I can get a slot (I live in Dubai, where there is only one test center, which is currently fully booked with other exams - hopefully they can add a workstation for me)
I will be focusing on high level verbal questions, especially CR, because this can ALWAYS be answered correctly. I want to get 100% of my CR questions right. There's no point in my learning obscure idioms which may or may not come up
My target score is Q47-48 V44 (740)

Why am I resitting a 710? Because I know I can make 730/740 with more appropriate study tactics. And I'm a raging perfectionist. And I want at least an average mark for the schools I'm applying to. And I was really tired when I sat the test and I think it dinged my score by 10-20 points

MATERIAL REVIEWS
OG guide - useless purchase for those looking for 700+ scores. Borrow a friends, go online and do only the hard level questions. There are just too many easy questions in this book
PRINCETON 1138 Practise questions - harder questions than the OG guide but there are lot of typos in this book
Manhattan Prep Advanced Quant - definitely a good purchase. Probably the only one I'd repurchase
Veritas Prep CAT Tests - I bought these when they were on sale, 7 for \$15. The quant is harder than the actual test. Despite that, these tests tend to overscore you by a couple of points in quant and underscore you by a couple of points in verbal. They also adapt fast and start serving you 650 and 700 level questions faster than the actual test. The Q questions also take a lot longer - I've never manged to finish all 37 in time.
Vertitas Question bank - good that it allows you to pick your question type. Not so good in that it doesn't allow you to pick your question level, and it's a waste of time for a 700+ student to study below 550 questions. Contains some fiendishly difficult DS questions that are written even more sneakily than the OG

Question for the community - can you chose to send your results to schools after you've seen your scores, rather than at the start of the test? I selected my schools beforehand, and, not wanting to cancel a decent result, they now have my 710. Not ideal given the averages for these schools are 725, 730 and 740 respectively.
Director
Status: Professional GMAT Tutor
Affiliations: AB, cum laude, Harvard University (Class of '02)
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Posts: 669
Location: United States (CA)
Age: 38
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GRE 1: Q168 V169
WE: Education (Education)
710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

Updated on: 28 Feb 2018, 14:11
Top Contributor
tinyinthedesert wrote:
Question for the community - can you chose to send your results to schools after you've seen your scores, rather than at the start of the test? I selected my schools beforehand, and, not wanting to cancel a decent result, they now have my 710. Not ideal given the averages for these schools are 725, 730 and 740 respectively.

Hi tinyinthedesert , first, congrats on the 710! Only the top 10% of GMAT test-takers are ever able to achieve such a score.

Second, yes, your scores will be sent to the programs you selected on test day, unless you cancelled your score. But there is no harm in your schools seeing a 710 on your score report, especially if it's followed up by a 730 or 750, etc. later in the process. As a general rule, no score above 700 needs cancelling, in my opinion...though I have certainly had perfectionist students who have done so in hopes of attaining a higher 700 later in the process.

The "conventional wisdom" is that you should cancel any score you don't like, so that B-schools can only see the one score you want them to see. But I think we need to push back against that idea a bit--I've heard from several adcoms lately that they actually do want you to take the GMAT more than once, because it shows determination to improve.

If you take it the GMAT only once and miss out on the school's average score by 20 or 30 points, it could imply laziness / lack of work ethic / poor planning in that you didn't bother with a retake. That's why it's a good thing to have that 710 on your score report, whether or not you eventually score any better than that.

Could you have waited to send any scores in the first place, choosing instead to pay extra to send them later? Yes, and that is a good strategy for some, but if you are outside of the 72-hour cancellation window, then there is no looking back.

-Brian

p.s. Are you sure that you got a 9 on IR? 8 is the maximum score on Integrated Reasoning.
_________________

Harvard grad and 99% GMAT scorer, offering expert, private GMAT tutoring and coaching worldwide since 2002.

One of the only known humans to have taken the GMAT 5 times and scored in the 700s every time (700, 710, 730, 750, 770), including verified section scores of Q50 / V47, as well as personal bests of 8/8 IR (2 times), 6/6 AWA (4 times), 50/51Q and 48/51V (1 question wrong).

You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y94hlarr Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

GMAT Action Plan and Free E-Book - McElroy Tutoring

Contact: mcelroy@post.harvard.edu (I do not respond to PMs on GMAT Club.)

...or find me on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/GMATpreparation

Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 28 Feb 2018, 08:14.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 28 Feb 2018, 14:11, edited 1 time in total.
Manager
Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 79
Location: United Arab Emirates
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: 770 Q49 V47
Re: 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

28 Feb 2018, 11:24
mcelroytutoring wrote:
tinyinthedesert wrote:
Question for the community - can you chose to send your results to schools after you've seen your scores, rather than at the start of the test? I selected my schools beforehand, and, not wanting to cancel a decent result, they now have my 710. Not ideal given the averages for these schools are 725, 730 and 740 respectively.

Hi tinyinthedesert , first, congrats on the 710! Only the top 10% of GMAT test-takers are ever able to achieve such a score.

Second, yes, your scores will be sent to the programs you selected on test day, unless you cancelled your score. But there is no harm in your schools seeing a 710 on your score report, especially if it's followed up by a 730 or 750, etc. later in the process. As a general rule, no score above 700 needs cancelling, in my opinion...though I have certainly had perfectionist students who have done so in hopes of attaining a higher 700 later in the process.

The "conventional wisdom" is that you should cancel any score you don't like, so that B-schools can only see the one score you want them to see. But I think we need to push back against that idea a bit--I've heard from several adcoms lately that they actually do want you to take the GMAT more than once, because it shows determination to improve.

If you take it the GMAT only once and miss out on the school's average score by 20 or 30 points, it could imply laziness / lack of work ethic / poor planning in that you didn't bother with a retake. That's why it's a good thing to have that 710 on your score report, whether or not you eventually score any better than that.

Could you have waited to send any scores in the first place, choosing instead to pay extra to send them later? Yes, and that is a good strategy for some, but if you are outside of the 72-hour cancellation window, then there is no looking back.

-Brian
Thanks Brian

What I mean is, do you have to chose before the exam to send your score, or can you leave that section blank, do the test, view your score, and send it to schools afterwards?

I'm probably going to travel to Beirut to do my second test, as there are no slots in Dubai at all for March or April. Is that normal? There's only one testing center in the entire city and they offer lots of other tests, so get booked out way in advance. Should I write to GMAC?

Sent from my [device_name] using [url]GMAT Club Forum mobile app[/url]
Director
Status: Professional GMAT Tutor
Affiliations: AB, cum laude, Harvard University (Class of '02)
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Posts: 669
Location: United States (CA)
Age: 38
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GRE 1: Q168 V169
WE: Education (Education)
710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

28 Feb 2018, 14:13
Top Contributor
tinyinthedesert wrote:
Thanks Brian

What I mean is, do you have to chose before the exam to send your score, or can you leave that section blank, do the test, view your score, and send it to schools afterwards?

Happy to help! No, you do not have to choose where to send the 5 free score reports before your next GMAT exam. You can leave that section blank when taking the test, and send your scores later for an extra fee.
_________________

Harvard grad and 99% GMAT scorer, offering expert, private GMAT tutoring and coaching worldwide since 2002.

One of the only known humans to have taken the GMAT 5 times and scored in the 700s every time (700, 710, 730, 750, 770), including verified section scores of Q50 / V47, as well as personal bests of 8/8 IR (2 times), 6/6 AWA (4 times), 50/51Q and 48/51V (1 question wrong).

You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y94hlarr Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

GMAT Action Plan and Free E-Book - McElroy Tutoring

Contact: mcelroy@post.harvard.edu (I do not respond to PMs on GMAT Club.)

...or find me on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/GMATpreparation

Manager
Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 79
Location: United Arab Emirates
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: 770 Q49 V47
Re: 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Mar 2018, 06:40
1
1
Update : scored 770 the second time around with q49v47 - a nice balanced score. I'm thrilled

Sent from my [device_name] using [url]GMAT Club Forum mobile app[/url]
Study Buddy Forum Moderator
Joined: 04 Sep 2016
Posts: 1253
Location: India
WE: Engineering (Other)
Re: 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Mar 2018, 06:51
tinyinthedesert wrote:
Update : scored 770 the second time around with q49v47 - a nice balanced score. I'm thrilled

Sent from my [device_name] using [url]GMAT Club Forum mobile app[/url]

tinyinthedesert

Wow what an amazing improvement in Verbal !

You aptly justified your username since a score such as yours is rarest and will be a huge advantage in yours applications.

+1kudos for believing in yourself to achieve such an elite score.

All the very best for your future journey and do let us know where you finally land in.

Sent from my SM-G610F using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
_________________

It's the journey that brings us happiness not the destination.

Manager
Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 79
Location: United Arab Emirates
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: 770 Q49 V47
Re: 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Mar 2018, 07:07
tinyinthedesert wrote:
Update : scored 770 the second time around with q49v47 - a nice balanced score. I'm thrilled

Sent from my [device_name] using [url]GMAT Club Forum mobile app[/url]

tinyinthedesert

Wow what an amazing improvement in Verbal !

[/url]

I can't say I did too much more work in verbal. In the two weeks, I spent easily 5x as long on maths than verbal and indeed did really very little verbal study at all. I will note that I underperformed badly in verbal in my original exam, so it's not as big a jump as it looks. I was really at v43 level the first time.

I do feel there is a lack of good verbal material for those looking for a high verbal score. Veritas is decent, GMATclub is good for RC but less so for the others - too many errors in the question. I credit my high verbal score to being a native speaker, an extensive amount of reading over many years and a science background, meaning that the RCs can be about reasonably familiar concepts to me

What is most strange to me was that I only managed IR6 this time, which is far lower than any mock test I've done (usually get 9 or 10). And I actually thought the IR went fine!
My original AWA was 6, I don't felt I wrote as well-structured an essay the second time but we shall see.
Study Buddy Forum Moderator
Joined: 04 Sep 2016
Posts: 1253
Location: India
WE: Engineering (Other)
Re: 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Mar 2018, 08:26
tinyinthedesert

Quote:
I do feel there is a lack of good verbal material for those looking for a high verbal score.

Did you by chance use LSAT in prep for RC and CR?
_________________

It's the journey that brings us happiness not the destination.

Manager
Joined: 26 Feb 2018
Posts: 79
Location: United Arab Emirates
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: 770 Q49 V47
Re: 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans  [#permalink]

### Show Tags

15 Mar 2018, 08:47

Did you by chance use LSAT in prep for RC and CR?

Nope. I used OG guide, Princeton Review book, a few Veritas and a few GMATprep questions. I didn't need any extra material because I didn't need to do a that much study for verbal, but LSAT is good for CR practise, I hear - although IMO CR is the easiest part of verbal. You probably need to focus more on SC and RC, as you need to aim to be reasonably equal ability across all sections. No point getting great at CR if you're getting easier SC questions wrong, because the test won't even give you the hard CR questions. In my last OG mock, in which I got the same score as my test today, I got 4 questions wrong - 1 RC, 1 CR and 2 SC. So I do think consistency across the three types is very important. It's not like quant where you can afford to be rubbish at a couple of the subtopics

As far as RC comprehension goes - consider the topics. It's usually history, economics, business, science stuff. If LSAT RC matches this then go for it, otherwise I wouldn't bother. I would recommend the Princeton review book for verbal, as it has more questions than others and grouped into sections so you can get in the swing of the question types and make a strategy for answering them.

To improve SC just read more generally to develop a more innate feel of what's correct. Osmosis learning
Re: 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans &nbs [#permalink] 15 Mar 2018, 08:47
Display posts from previous: Sort by

# 710 first GMAT (Q47V41 IR9) - study and test post-mortem, future plans

Moderators: chetan2u, bb, EMPOWERgmatRichC

 Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.