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710 to 750

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Intern
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Joined: 21 Aug 2018
Posts: 31
Location: United States (IL)
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: 750 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.45
710 to 750  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2018, 17:14
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Hi All,

Just back from my 2nd time taking the test. Though others had said 710 would be ok and applications are about more than just GMAT (totally true, I am not rejecting that at all), I visited some schools and that got me really motivated to try to better my score. Here's a quick debrief of my story if it would be helpful to anyone else.

First score was 2 months ago. My background is very much not in math, so I knew that would be the hard thing for me. I studied for about 4 weeks, started by taking a MGMAT Q section (40), and then seeing which topics I missed. I made a list of those on a long piece of paper, and until I understood the topic I was looking at, I didn't allow myself to move on. I also used OG questions extensively to test myself. I felt stronger in V, so I didn't do much beyond studying some idioms and doing some OG questions. I started around 70% on OG, and got myself up to about 85% by the time I took the test. I also made a ton of flash cards with things to memorize like formulas and decimals, etc.

I took the 2 GMAT prep tests 1&2 to prepare and scored:

1. 730: 46Q 44V - 2 weeks before test
2: 730: 47Q, 44V - 1 week before test

So, I felt good heading in. Before taking the test, I decided that 710 would be the lowest I would accept without cancelling. To start, my section order was V, Q, AWA/IR. This may have been a mistake as I felt a bit hazy during the beginning of the test and it might have hurt my verbal score. That wasn't the biggest problem though - I felt I got some really hard to decipher verbal questions and was pretty sure I had not done well on them. In fact, when I went to the bathroom during my first break, I thought about just stopping right there. I'm glad I didn't, as I scored 710, 47Q, 41V. I had gotten a score I wouldn't cancel, but I still left the testing center not feeling like I had done my best. The Verbal section had really thrown me, and I was surprised. Either way, I decided it was probably enough and to let it go.

1.5 months went by where I didn't think about the GMAT at all. I had lots of work going on, had started to prepare my essays and applications, and was overall ready to go with everything. Then I visited a couple schools. I felt these schools were reaches, and I wanted them to be more approachable from a GMAT standpoint. In fact, at lunch during my 2nd school visit, I sat in the cafeteria and booked my GMAT for today. It was the last possible day for me to take it before the applications are due (and before I head out for the holidays), so I figured even though it only gave me 10 days, I'd go for it.

My second stretch of prep started with a cold GMAT prep test (3). I had not looked at a problem since the last time I took the test, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I scored:

3. 740: 48Q, 44V

That was really great, but seemed a bit like a fluke. I struggled to remember some things, but felt so much better on the verbal and it shows. Overall, I really wanted a 730-40 on the test, so I wrote down every question I got wrong or even doubted my answer on. I then retried each one, and worked on the concepts behind the problem. I only had 10 days, and some of those were filled with holiday parties, etc, so I made sure any time I worked, I was intentional. I spent a lot of time on probability, overlapping sets, combinations, and geometry. I also worked on Verbal through OG problems and by studying strategies for GMAT Verbal - which were mildly useful.

I took my last practice test (4) on Saturday (as I had a holiday party that night and expected Sunday to be a bit of a blur after whisky, ha)

4. 740: 49Q, 42V

I felt strongly that my Q was in a good place and was not so happy about the V, but it was what it was. Again, I wrote down every question I got wrong and those I thought I got wrong. I went through each one. Then last night, around midnight, I went through all my flashcards (about 60-70 in total) and only had 2 I was unsure about. I researched these before getting in bed.

Test today:
I was a bit groggy this morning, so I drank a few cups of coffee and headed out early. I went to Starbucks by the testing center where I did 5 PS and 5 DS problems. I drank a coffee and went through my flashcards again. Then I headed to the testing center. I pumped up with some music in the car and went in. This time I shifted my order to Q, V, AWA/IR. Q was good - I knew I felt good when I got to problems I had no idea how to solve :-D . Then V, I felt really good about this too - until I got to a passage that was nearly undecipherable. I spent 5 minutes on one question - I didn't let it get to me too much though, and finished the section with about 30 seconds to go. IR/AWA was fine - though I realized I missed a question on IR after hitting next which was annoying. Overall my score this time was 750 49Q 44V.

This is all to say - trust your heart. I knew I had better in me. It might make no difference in whether I get into any schools, or it might. Whichever, I knew I had it in me to top 730, and I worked to get there. I wasn't going to let myself wonder if I had done enough. Right now, I'm just so glad. Having a celebratory snack and then back to essays.

Random things:
-For me, I didn't need a course. I felt I could motivate and decipher my own problems well enough.
-I used Khan Academy to exhaustion. Listening to and watching Sal explain how to do problems was really helpful to me. I highly recommend this to anyone and everyone. It was a lifesaver once I figured out what my issues were. His work on probability is really useful. (At least to me)
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Re: 710 to 750  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Dec 2018, 18:15
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Congratulations and thank you for sharing. You motivated me


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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
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New post 18 Dec 2018, 19:07
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Congratulations! Great job!

P.S. I was able to squeeze into a low 750 with Q49, V42.
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New post 18 Dec 2018, 21:23
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Congratulations on the Amazing 750 and all the best :thumbup: for your apps!
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GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
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Re: 710 to 750  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 00:16
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Congrats Music2mba. Well done on listening to your gut feeling and grinding it out after a 710. :-)

Words of wisdom right here -

Quote:
This is all to say - trust your heart. I knew I had better in me. It might make no difference in whether I get into any schools, or it might. Whichever, I knew I had it in me to top 730, and I worked to get there. I wasn't going to let myself wonder if I had done enough. Right now, I'm just so glad.


All the best for the next stage of MBA Journey.

Best,
Gladi
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Intern
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Joined: 21 Aug 2018
Posts: 31
Location: United States (IL)
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V41
GMAT 2: 750 Q49 V44
GPA: 3.45
Re: 710 to 750  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 13:10
bb wrote:
Congratulations! Great job!

P.S. I was able to squeeze into a low 750 with Q49, V42.


thanks bb - yeah, I think 49q44v can go either way 750 or 760, but i won't complain :tongue_opt1
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Re: 710 to 750  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 09:39
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Congratulations!! Thats a great score!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Cheers,
GyM
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Re: 710 to 750   [#permalink] 20 Dec 2018, 09:39
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