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710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways

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GMAT 1: 710 Q44 V41
710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 30 Jul 2018, 02:26
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Hey everyone,

first of all I want to thank you all so much because signing up for Gmatclub was the best decision I made during my GMAT study time! The abdundance of guides, questions and discussions is invaluable and has helped me to improve tremendously.

I scored 710 (Q44, V41, IR7, AWA 5.5) yesterday and am very happy about it. The hard work payed off and this is actually what matters most to me. This is because I enjoyed the GMAT journey, but I also realized that it consumed a lot of time and required a strong discipline and focus. Hence, it was very important that this sacrifice payed off.

If I summarized my GMAT score I would say the following: "Even when you do a lot of things right, there always will be something to improve upon". In my case, thats my quant score, which turned out to be significantly worse than those during my prep. I honestly think that it will bother me for a while, but as the total score is still very good I can't really complain too much. I'm considering to retake the GMAT to reach a higher quant score but I will collect information first about whether I would benefit from scoring even higher. My MSc. program has an average GMAT of 620, hence I should already be above-average. If you have any advise for me, I would be grateful to hear it :-)

My background:

21 year European male with a pretty average GPA. I was also good, yet not exceptional at both English and Math. The GMAT was the second standardised test that I took (first one was the TOEFL). As I had already received my admit to HHL Leipzig I knew that I wasn't required to score 700+ but I was highly motivated to do so because of my low GPA and other personal reasons.

Test Day Experience:

Woke up at 8:30 AM and was refreshed after a nine-hours-sleep. Had breakfast on my way to the test center because I valued sleep higher than a classic breakfast at home. I ate two bananas and a few nuts because I ate both a lot during my prep. I arrived at the test center a half hour before the exam started. Hence, I had enough time to get accustomed to the location and to focus on the upcoming challenge. I started with Quant, which went very well during my prep. However, I had problems with my time management and didn't manage to come into my flow that I usually had. Perhaps the cause was the nervousness...Anyways, after finishing the quant section I stayed to stay calm even though I was aware that I performed worse than expected. Despite that, I started verbal with a lot of confidence. I have to admit that verbal went better than expected, I even had six minutes left for the last two questions. At this moment I wasn't really sure whether I **** up hard or just breezed to the verbal section :-D After finishing verbal I knew that the essential part of the GMAT was done now, a fact that helped me stay calm during the last two sections. IR was pretty manageable but it also didn't give me any great trouble during my prep. AWA also went well thanks to chineseburned's template. I didn't really practice AWA and scored a 5.5, hence I can recommend to learn the template and to be confident in your writing skills.

General takeaways:

1. If you want to study, commit fully to it. I had several interruptions during my studies and after those breaks my performance dropped significantly. If you study on-off then it will take you way longer to reach your goal than if you studied consistently. I first started studying last October, but my dedicated study approach started after I finished an internship in March. Hence, my "effective" study time was between April and June. However, I feel like this was enough time to prepare in-depth and to build and practice all concepts needed to score 700+.

2. The GMAT is a marathon, not a race. Try to study everyday to reinforce your knowledge about concepts that you already know. If you study new concepts, make sure that you practice them enough so that they become part of your knowledge. Its better to commit two hours of studying everyday than to study six hours on two days of the week.

3. Accept that you will make many mistakes. Once I understood this I felt better and kinda relieved. Do you want to score 760 like a few students here on gmatclub did? Keep in mind that even these exceptional students probably made around 5 mistakes in both quant and verbal sections. Getting questions wrong is part of the GMAT and hence it is advisable not to get enraged when one gets a question wrong.

4. Try to be interested in the stuff you learn on the GMAT. This may sound a bit weird but I think it is helpful to have a mindset of learning everything that crosses your way. Stuyding for the GMAT will require a lot of time so you should try to be interested in the stuff you read there. My best example is that I know very well about the asteroid impact that presumeably lead to the exctinction of the dinosaurs now :-D It was mentioned in several RC passages and SC questions and I recognized that. So if you recognize stuff you can perhaps connect some information and it will possibly help you to understand a question in a better way.

5. Try to train your mind, but don't be oblivious about training your body as well. During my prep I tended to spend a lot of time in front of the computer and not to work out. Two weeks before the exam I realized that my lack of physical fitness hampered my learning progress a bit. It was more a feeling than factual proof but it made go jogging several times over the last two weeks. I really felt better after these workouts and I would recommend strongly that you do the same.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are a lot of smart people around here and there is a good chance that someone will answer your query, even if it may require some time. A forum is meant to communicate with other students, therefore you should use that to your advantage!

Quant Takeaways:

I only scored Q44, a performance that is pretty weak compared to the quant performance of most other users in this forum. Anyways, I will tell you a thing or two.

1. Understand what the most important concepts are. MathRevolution has a great guide on which sections are needed to reach atleast Q49. For example, combinations/permutations is a topic that will only appear when you're doing extremely well in the quant section. Hence, if you know that you won't go that high skip preparing for this topic and focus on others.

2. Practice to solve problems on time. Of course it is great if you can solve a certain problem at all, but can you do it in less than two minutes? The latter question is actually crucial because thats what matters on test day. You dont get points for the ability to solve a question, you only get rewarded for solving it on time and moving on to the next 30 questions. In conclusion, always use a timer when practicing and try to find a faster way if you're too slow.

3. Don't try to calculate exact values in DS if it isn't neccessary! I can't stress this enough because this is a great way to save time. Remember that DS is all about proving which statements you need to answer the question. So if the question is "what is the value of x" and you can safely conclude that only one statement will lead you to answering this question, don't waste time on actually calculating x! However, it really depends on the question so pay thorough attention when trying to apply this strategy.

4. Use Gmatclub quant tests! They are really apt to prepare quant because they include a lot of tough questions and in-depth explanations. After I did a few of them my confidence in quant rose sharply. Yes, my quant performance on the actual test wasn't that great but I'm sure that this has nothing to do with the quant tests :grin: Additionally, I feel like buying these quant tests is only fair for all the value that this forum offers.

Verbal Takeaways:

1. Practice at least two RCs a day! I know that a lot of students hate RC, but this is the very reason why one should practice it the most. I have to admit that I also didn't practice RC too much when I began practice, yet I committed more and more time to studying it. As we all know RC is even more important in the new format and hence a good preperation for it is essential. Additionally, it is a section that you can only improve on by practicing a lot.

2. For RC: Try to read one paragraph as a whole and write down the key findings afterwards. I found that this method helps to understand the overall tone and flow of the passage. If you read one sentence, stop to write something down and then continue reading again you will have a hard time understanding the passage as a whole. Additionally, pay thorough attention to the answers because they oftenly have some truth in it, which is mixed with a false statement. Therefore, I would advise you to question every part of an answer. For example: "Yes, the author is concerned about evaluating a new research concept but does he really mention a second concept?". If one part of an answer isn't plausible, search for a more fitting answer.

3. For CR: The oftenly recommended Powerscore Bible is a very good source, which I can recommend to everyone. Apart from that, the LSAT question bank is a valuable resource to practice CR questions that are on a level with GMAT OG questions. However, CR is a section that requires a lot of practice as well because there are fewer strict rules than in SC.

4. For SC: Try to understand all the basic rules before tackling questions. However, don't forget that SC is strongly meaning-based and that only adhering to grammar rules won't bring you that far. Don't try to act like Microsoft Word that marks words that it doesn't know or seemingly incorrect constructions. Take an active approach and try to understand what the sentence tries to express! Moreover, try to understand the sequence/significance of the events described in a sentence. Those are also criteria influencing the correct answer, especially for high-difficulty questions.

Thanks for reading through all of this! I will add a few more details later so make sure to come back in a few day. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them :-)
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My goal: 700 GMAT score - REACHED :-) | My debrief - first attempt 710 (Q44,V41,IR7)

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Originally posted by Masterscorp on 01 Jul 2018, 02:50.
Last edited by Masterscorp on 30 Jul 2018, 02:26, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2018, 09:42
Thank you for the detailed debrief!

Even though I witnessed just the later part of your journey, it is always a good thing to see hard work paying off.

With regards to the questions you faced in Quant:

Were there any concepts which turned out particularly harder/easier than what you faced on the partice tests?

Best regards & congratulations,
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, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 02:30
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Arro44 wrote:
Thank you for the detailed debrief!

Even though I witnessed just the later part of your journey, it is always a good thing to see hard work paying off.

With regards to the questions you faced in Quant:

Were there any concepts which turned out particularly harder/easier than what you faced on the partice tests?

Best regards & congratulations,
Chris

Thank you very much, Chris! :-)

The chat sessions were really helpful as well and it was interesting to discuss with you and others about future plans.

The only thing I remember is that the Geometry questions were harder than I expected. As Geometry is one of my weaker quant sections this certainly hurt my quant score. Apart from that I don't really remember much because I was focused on the test itself and not on the question contents. What I might add is that I didn't face any absolute value questions, a fact that bothered me during the test already because I knew that absolute value questions typically as higher-level questions.

Hope that helps a bit.
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My goal: 700 GMAT score - REACHED :-) | My debrief - first attempt 710 (Q44,V41,IR7)

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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jul 2018, 11:45
Congratulations!!

Plenty of good stuff in your debrief!! Totally agree about the RC practice.

If you could spare some time & answer the below questions, that will be helpful!

What is your source material for Verbal especially RC?

Do you remember how many long & short passages you had, in the real exam?

Is the SC on real exam, similar to the official questions or much harder?

Appreciate your detailed debrief.


Thanks,
GyM
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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2018, 06:48
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GyMrAT wrote:
Congratulations!!

Plenty of good stuff in your debrief!! Totally agree about the RC practice.

If you could spare some time & answer the below questions, that will be helpful!

What is your source material for Verbal especially RC?

Do you remember how many long & short passages you had, in the real exam?

Is the SC on real exam, similar to the official questions or much harder?

Appreciate your detailed debrief.


Thanks,
GyM

Glad that its helpful to you!

I only worked with RC passages available on GMATClub. I focused on those available in OG, GMATPrep and Magoosh as they seemed to be most logical to me. I made the experience that some passages from other prep companies were flawed, meaning that two answers were very viable without any good distinction applicable.

I think I had two long and two short passages. Anyways, all of them were well manageable and I didn't feel any time pressure while dealing with the related questions.

SC on the real exam was very much comparable, there are a few very challenging questions but the OG also proviedes a few of them. Despite that, there wasn't any questions that made me feel "lost" - I was always able to narrow the viable choices to two answers.

If you have more questions, feel free to ask them :-)
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New post 13 Jul 2018, 22:28
Congratulations!!! Masterscorp

710 is pretty good score :-)
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New post 13 Jul 2018, 23:58
NandishSS wrote:
Congratulations!!! Masterscorp

710 is pretty good score :-)

Thanks Bro! :-)

It was a good and helpful time in the chat with you.

You see, there is always area for improvement even with such a score :-D
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My goal: 700 GMAT score - REACHED :-) | My debrief - first attempt 710 (Q44,V41,IR7)

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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2018, 00:35
It seems that you have executed your plans very well. 'Focus' is definitely the word to hit at. Congratulations on your excellent score and keep us posted about your apps.
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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2018, 11:13
shubham1985 wrote:
It seems that you have executed your plans very well. 'Focus' is definitely the word to hit at. Congratulations on your excellent score and keep us posted about your apps.

Thank you very much!

You're right, I really focused a lot on the GMAT and made sure that I got better everyday. Now, two weeks after the exam I'm even more happy about the hard work that payed off well for me. I am really convinced that one should pay maximum attention to tests such as the GMAT while studying for them so that one can properly relax after finishing them with a great score.

Luckily, I'm already done with my applications - I will go to HHL. However, I managed to receive a scholarship because of my good GMAT score :-)
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My goal: 700 GMAT score - REACHED :-) | My debrief - first attempt 710 (Q44,V41,IR7)

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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2018, 06:55
Wonderful bro...!!

That's a debrief that will help a lot.
Key takeaways:
1. 'strengthen your strengths first' , skipping 'Combinations and permutations/probability', if you are weak in that, will not only save a lot time but also build confidence to learn such chapters/areas later.
2. Do complete at least 2 RC's everyday, this definitely changes the game by saving a lot of time.

Thank you very much...!!
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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2018, 01:20
TheGraceful wrote:
Wonderful bro...!!

That's a debrief that will help a lot.
Key takeaways:
1. 'strengthen your strengths first' , skipping 'Combinations and permutations/probability', if you are weak in that, will not only save a lot time but also build confidence to learn such chapters/areas later.
2. Do complete at least 2 RC's everyday, this definitely changes the game by saving a lot of time.

Thank you very much...!!

Glad you could learn from it! :-)

Let me know if you any queries, I might be able to help you because of my experience.
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My goal: 700 GMAT score - REACHED :-) | My debrief - first attempt 710 (Q44,V41,IR7)

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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 00:49
Congratulations on your great score!
your debrief is very motivating.

Can I get at least V35 if I complete all OG verbal questions?

Thank you!
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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 02:24
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Bala0801 wrote:
Congratulations on your great score!
your debrief is very motivating.

Can I get at least V35 if I complete all OG verbal questions?

Thank you!

Thank you! Happy to hear that you could learn from it :-)

Complete doesn't say anything about how well you performed when answering the OG questions. However, I am pretty sure that if you get around 80% of the OG questions correct you should definitely be on a good way for V35 and more. In the end it also comes down to whether you can spot and work on your mistakes. Try to find error patterns so that you can learn from them.

Additionally, you should look at some more questions than those in the OG because the OG questions are limited in number. For a sufficient practice I would recommend to do Magoosh and GMATPrep questions as well.

Hope that helps :-)
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My goal: 700 GMAT score - REACHED :-) | My debrief - first attempt 710 (Q44,V41,IR7)

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Re: 710 (Q44, V41, IR7) first try - my takeaways &nbs [#permalink] 30 Jul 2018, 02:24
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