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720 (Q50 / V38 / AWA: 5.5 / IR 7) in 2 months

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Joined: 05 Dec 2015
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Location: Brazil
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V38
WE: Investment Banking (Investment Banking)
720 (Q50 / V38 / AWA: 5.5 / IR 7) in 2 months  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 10 Jul 2017, 12:33
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Hey guys,

I took the GMAT today (7/5/2017) and for my disappointment, I scored only 720 :shock:.
I know that this is a great score but I was expecting more given the result of my last mock exam (further information below).
I have already bought another exam and will focus studying verbal this month.

Background


Brazilian, 26 years old, 4.5 years of work experience (including a 14 months internship) in a bulge bracket IB in M&A, 3 years in Brazil and the last 1.5 year in New York.
I took a 7 months sabbatical :-D and started to study for the GMAT upon my return on May 2017.
I purchased the exam back in December 2015 but my workload was so heavy and unpredictable (average of 100 hours/week, record was 137 but I'm not proud of this :() that I ended up postponing the exam 5 times (I basically paid the price of 2 exams :cry:).
I was a regular student in college, top 25% for sure, could have been better, but I have always had to balance my studies with work (been working since I was 5 or 6 with my parents during weekends, holidays and summer/winter vacation).
I am aiming to apply for Business Schools next year and will focus solely on Harvard, Stanford and Insead.

Materials used


Entire MGMAT book set + PowerScore GMAT CR Bible + OG 2017 + GMAT Club free forum questions

Mock exams


MGMAT CAT 1 (12/6/2015) - 650 (Q43 / V36)
MGMAT CAT 2 (5/12/2017) - 630 (Q44 / V32)
MGMAT CAT 3 (5/17/2017) - 650 (Q44 / V35)
MGMAT CAT 4 (5/24/2017) - 650 (Q44 / V35)
MGMAT CAT 5 (6/6/2017 ) - 650 (Q43 / V36)
MGMAT CAT 6 (6/13/2017) - 680 (Q46 / V37)
GMAT PREP 1 (6/22/2017) - 710 (Q49 / V37)
GMAT PREP 2 (6/28/2017) - 710 (Q50 / V36)
GMAT PREP 3 (6/30/2017) - 720 (Q49 / V38)
GMAT PREP 4 (7/2/2017) - 750 (Q49 / V42)

General strategy


1. Went through all the MGMAT books (except for RC and CR)
2. Read the PowerScore CR Bible
3. Did all the OG questions
4. Reviewed all the mock exams in detail
5. To improve quant, I did the 700+ questions posted in this forum
6. To improve SC, I focused on the official GMAT questions
7. Towards the end of my preparation, I started to focus only on GMAT official questions

Words of advice


1. Doing exercises with and without timing are two completely different situations; learn early how to deal with the time pressure, the sooner the better
2. When reading other people's responses to questions in this forum, be extremely careful with their explanations; in my case, I relied solely on the reply of experts
3. Take more than 5 full mock exams and try to get the maximum out of them, you should review each answered question, wrong or right, carefully
4. MGMAT exam scores will probably let you down, but MGMAT is known for providing very hard quant questions, so don't give up
5. I highly recommend purchasing additional GMAT PREP exams
6. Don't study the same topics over long periods; I used to mix my study (i.e. quant in the morning, verbal in the afternoon)
7. For quant, I recommend searching for questions posted in this forum and reviewing Bunuel's responses; he is a genius, his solutions are simple and smart
8. For CR, PowerScore was a great resource; everything spins around the conclusion, learn how to find it
9. For SC, the videos of GMAT Prep Now, e-GMAT and Magoosh helped quite a bit, but your main guide should be the MGMAT SC book
10. For RC, I didn't practice much, but I heard that reading newspapers such as the NYT helps a lot
11. Reading the past GMAT experience of other users also helped me a lot

Test day experience


Since my exam was scheduled for 8:00am, I decided to got to bed early the day before. I went to bed around 9:00pm and I woke up at 12:00am, and couldn't sleep until 3:00am. Woke up the next day feeling a drowsy but there was nothing I could do about it at that point. Reached the test center at 7:30am and my exam started 10 minutes later.
AWA: no surprises just follow the guide posted in this forum
IR: again, no surprises, practiced it through my mock exams
Quant: didn't have any major issues or doubts
Verbal: my weakness, I just couldn't concentrate well during this section. I felt that the verbal questions were more difficult than the ones in the mock exams (which could have been a good sign) but when I saw the score I got really disappointed

Final remarks


I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this forum. There are so many things you can learn here that no books can teach.
Special thanks to bb, Bunuel, walker, carcass, souvik101990, VeritasPrepKarishma and GMATNinja.

I will not give up :)

"If you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth"
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Originally posted by lukera on 05 Jul 2017, 14:51.
Last edited by lukera on 10 Jul 2017, 12:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 720 (Q50 / V38 / AWA: 5.5 / IR 7) in 2 months  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 11:07
Congrats on thee score and all the best for the re-take.
Hopefully, the new feature on the GMAT - Select Section Order will be of some assistance for you!

Here's more on that :
https://gmatclub.com/forum/big-gmat-cha ... 42718.html
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GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V38
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Re: 720 (Q50 / V38 / AWA: 5.5 / IR 7) in 2 months  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2017, 17:31
Congratulations for a decent score, and best of luck for the re-take. As GMAC will incorporate section order from July 11, you would definitely be able to benefit from this change. Best wishes.
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Re: 720 (Q50 / V38 / AWA: 5.5 / IR 7) in 2 months   [#permalink] 06 Jul 2017, 17:31
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