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720 (49Q, 40V) - First GMAT Experience

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GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
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720 (49Q, 40V) - First GMAT Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2018, 11:39
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I've been lurking on this forum all throughout my GMAT prep, but I haven't really posted much. I just finished my GMAT this morning, and thought I would share my experience, as my preparation was a little different than most people's. Just to start off, I'll share a little background about myself:

I am a (soon to be) fourth year student from a good school in Canada. I actually took the GMAT with the hopes of pursuing a PhD, not an MBA. I am an accounting student, with a somewhat quantitative background (Linear Algebra, Calculus, some Economics courses). Prior to wanting to do a PhD, I wanted to try my hand at law school, and took the LSAT last December. I took a diagnostic about 3 months ago, and scored a 660, although this consisted of a lot of guesses that were luckily correct.

I found that since I studied for the LSAT, I didn't need to study for verbal at all, and ended up with a pretty good score. As I plan to re-take the test, I'm going to review sentence correction a little more, as that was my main area of weakness. My main advice for the verbal section, though, is to study using the PowerScore LSAT Bibles. Those helped me do fairly well on the LSAT, and I found the GMAT verbal questions (reading comprehension and critical reasoning) to be significantly easier than those on the LSAT. LSAC also provides a whole bunch of real past exams, which can be helpful. I found that the reasoning they tested for in the LSAT was pretty much identical to that for the GMAT, so I don't think you're doing yourself a disservice by using LSAT material to study.

The Quant section was where I really struggled. Like I said, I took a diagnostic around 3 months ago, and I've been studying off an on. What I mean by that is, I would go two weeks studying every day, and then the next two weeks not studying at all. I tried multiple different study approaches, starting with the Manhattan Prep books. I found that, though the Manhattan Prep books are loaded with information, I'm just not much of a book learner. I'd rather have someone explaining the concepts to me, but i didn't want to pay a huge amount for a full-on course, as I felt I didn't necessarily need it.

Next, I went with the Magoosh online course. This was probably where the turning point was in my studying. Listening to the videos was a HUGE help to me, and I found their question bank realistic and equal in difficulty to the real thing. There's also a huge variety of questions for all topics in Quant. I listened to the videos on the topics I needed the most help on, and I felt that I was really improving. At this point, I was only taking the MGMAT prep tests, and after a few weeks of listening to the Magoosh videos, I decided I wanted to do around 1 practice test a week to gauge where I was. These were my scores:

MGMAT Test 1 (Diagnostic) - 660 (43 Q, 37V)
MGMAT Test 2 - 630 (39Q, 37V)
MGMAT Test 3 - 670 (44Q, 37V)

At that point, I was feeling super discouraged. I had spent a few weeks listening to videos, doing questions, and I definitely felt like I was improving, but my scores weren't really reflecting that. I had only gone up by 10 points from diagnostic, and I peaked at 670, with only a 44 in Quant. This was super disappointing, because it didn't really reflect what I thought I deserved, based on the questions from Magoosh and the OG.

So, as I usually do when something's not working, I decided to switch how I studied again. I felt like the ways I was trying to study were giving me a lot of information, but not enough practice. So, after MGMAT Test 3, I decided that I would just go ahead and do as many OG questions as I could, to solidify the concepts that I'd been learning. I went through nearly all of the Quant Problem Solving questions, and half of the Data Sufficiency questions while marking down all my errors along the way and reviewing the harder questions. After a couple weeks of trying this, I thought I would try my hand at MGMAT Test 4, and see how far I'd come now that I'd had extra practice.

Around July 31st, I took MGMAT Test 4 and got a 640 (39Q, 38V). Yup, this was about a week before my test (which I hadn't scheduled at the time). By now, I knew for a fact that I was finding the questions (especially for Quant) significantly harder on Manhattan Prep than I was for the OG. Still, I felt this wasn't a good reflection of what my ability and understanding was of the concepts.

So, the next day, feeling extremely discouraged, I decided to just go ahead and take the first GMATPrep test. I had been saving this one up until the end of my prep when I felt ready for the actual test. I was nearly ready to give up on prepping for the GMAT, because my target score was a 730-740, and I hadn't even cracked 700 yet, and I wanted to write my exam in Mid-August. I sat down at around 8AM that morning, and wrote the Quant and Verbal sections only, and ended up scoring a 730 on GMATPrep 1 with a 49Q and 41V. I literally couldn't believe that I had scored that high, especially because very few of my answers were complete guesses.

The next day, I decided to just go for GMATPrep Test 2, to see if the prior day had just been a fluke. That morning, I scored a 760 (50Q, 42V). I had topped out on Manhattan Prep's Quant at a 44, so these scores made me super happy. This is the level I thought I should've been performing at. So, the next day, I scheduled my test for August 8th. I scheduled it for the next available date at my testing centre because of two key things:

- I felt like I had a good understanding of most of the concepts being tested
- My confidence was at an all-time high for the GMAT

For the next few days, I just reviewed general concepts, memorized a few formulas, and took it easy. I didn't study much for the GMAT - I mostly just reviewed questions I was having trouble with before. The morning of, I woke up, had a big breakfast and my morning cup of coffee, then took an Uber to the testing centre. While writing the test, I did find it a little harder than the GMATPrep tests, mostly because concepts I'm relatively weak at (Probability, Geometry) showed up more frequently.

At the end of the test, I saw that I got 720 with a 49Q and 40V. If I had never done the GMATPrep tests, I would've never had the confidence to sit my exam today, and I might've even given up at some point. My LSAT prep went a lot smoother than this, so this is the first time I've ever had such a crazy test prep experience. I hope this post can serve as encouragement for people who might be struggling with the Manhattan Prep tests. Although their tests definitely do cover the same concepts, the questions aren't really similar to the real GMAT's at all, in terms of difficulty or style. I found the way the real test asked their question to be a lot more clear and logical, whereas a lot of MP's questions confused me in terms of what they were actually asking. To me, the GMATPrep tests were a GREAT indicator of my ability. I'm not upset about the discrepancy between the 760 and the score I received today, because that was likely an outlier. All in all, this was one of the best testing experiences I've ever had.

This is a lengthy post, but let me know if you have any questions about my testing experience, and best of lucky to everyone planning to write their GMAT!

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Re: 720 (49Q, 40V) - First GMAT Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2018, 16:30
Congrats for an amazing score and thanks for a great debrief luckluck123. I am also using Magoosh and mgmat books for my prep and have heard that mgmat's quant is way harder than the real thing. Also heard that the verbal isn't representative of the real GMAT too.

Good luck with your applications.

Cheers!
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Re: 720 (49Q, 40V) - First GMAT Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2018, 10:41
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GyMrAT wrote:
Congratulations!! Nice score!!

Did you find the Verbal on actual test difficult than the GMAT Prep?


Cheers!
GyM


I found it marginally harder. My biggest area of difficulty in the Verbal section is Sentence Correction, and I thought the SC questions that I got on the real thing were a little harder , and more subtle than the ones I got on GMATPrep. I would still say that looking at all the tests, I would say that the Manhattan Prep test's Verbal Sections were a bit harder than the real thing. Also, I didn't find a huge difference between the RC and CR on my GMATPrep tests and the real GMAT. To me, they were pretty much the same in terms of difficulty. Hope this helps, and good luck studying!

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Re: 720 (49Q, 40V) - First GMAT Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2018, 23:49
luckluck123 wrote:
At the end of the test, I saw that I got 720 with a 49Q and 40V. If I had never done the GMATPrep tests, I would've never had the confidence to sit my exam today, and I might've even given up at some point.

First of all congrats. I too experienced something similar. I was scoring in the 680-710 range in various tests and when I took a GMATPrep mock I was suddenly at 740+.
That encouraged me and I went on to purchase the GMATPrep exam packs and that helped immensely in my prep.
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GMAT 1: 750 (Q50; V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5)
Debrief: https://gmatclub.com/forum/first-attempt-750-q50-v40-ir-8-awa-245721.html

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Re: 720 (49Q, 40V) - First GMAT Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2018, 09:19
Thanks!! luckluck123

That is very helpful. Good to know RC & CR on actual test are similar to GMATPrep.

Any tips for time management on Verbal, i always seem to run out of time in Verbal. Mostly due to RC & CR.


Thanks,
GyM




luckluck123 wrote:
I found it marginally harder. My biggest area of difficulty in the Verbal section is Sentence Correction, and I thought the SC questions that I got on the real thing were a little harder , and more subtle than the ones I got on GMATPrep. I would still say that looking at all the tests, I would say that the Manhattan Prep test's Verbal Sections were a bit harder than the real thing. Also, I didn't find a huge difference between the RC and CR on my GMATPrep tests and the real GMAT. To me, they were pretty much the same in terms of difficulty. Hope this helps, and good luck studying!

Posted from my mobile device

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Re: 720 (49Q, 40V) - First GMAT Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Aug 2018, 02:57
GyMrAT wrote:
Thanks!!

That is very helpful. Good to know RC & CR on actual test are similar to GMATPrep.

Any tips for time management on Verbal, i always seem to run out of time in Verbal. Mostly due to RC & CR.


Thanks,
GyM




luckluck123 wrote:
I found it marginally harder. My biggest area of difficulty in the Verbal section is Sentence Correction, and I thought the SC questions that I got on the real thing were a little harder , and more subtle than the ones I got on GMATPrep. I would still say that looking at all the tests, I would say that the Manhattan Prep test's Verbal Sections were a bit harder than the real thing. Also, I didn't find a huge difference between the RC and CR on my GMATPrep tests and the real GMAT. To me, they were pretty much the same in terms of difficulty. Hope this helps, and good luck studying!

Posted from my mobile device


My tips for CR and RC would just to do as many passages as possible. I think the more I did them, the easier it became to distinguish between what information was important, and what wasn't. For the RC section, the GMAT pretty much tests the same concepts every time (main idea, author's opinion, etc.) and so, my main strategy is to just keep those questions in mind when I'm reading through the passage. I think your main goal should be to read the passage in its entirety only once, but read it slowly and carefully so you don't need to read huge chunks of it again. For me, the only way I was able to get better at that was to do lots of practice! If you've already exhausted the OG questions, I'd suggest doing some untimed questions from the LSAT PrepTests. They are similar in terms of what they test, but the LSAT passages are quite a bit harder (at least, imo). If you can handle those, the GMAT passages will seem like a piece of cake.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your studying!
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Re: 720 (49Q, 40V) - First GMAT Experience &nbs [#permalink] 11 Aug 2018, 02:57
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