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730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community

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New post Updated on: 08 Jul 2019, 15:04
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Dear folks,

while I took some time I have finally completed the first milestone on my way to the MBA dream.
To make sure I had a verified score I had to wait a couple of days with my debrief.

I took the GMAT on Monday (2nd of July) and scored a 730 (Q47/V44/IR7).
Without this community, this score would not have been even remotely possible.

Readers interested in the cold, hard facts please just skip the next paragraph, I feel a little bit like a kid who got drafted into the NBA.

Before going into the nitty-gritty details of my preparation and the experience on test day I want to use the opportunity to say thank you to a couple of members;

ScottTargetTestPrep - Without your programme, I would probably still have a quant score 30s. Thank you for creating TTP and for being very honest in your initial assessment concerning the effort necessary to achieve my target score.

GMATNinja - Sir, you are truly the Bunuel of the verbal section and I think there is no higher compliment to give here on Gmatclub.

nightblade354 , billionaire , MikeScarn , hazelnut

Thank you guys for your opinions, support and guidance along the way.
I am always happy to see familiar faces on the chat, also I started to slowly feel cornered by "gang green". ;)

bb - Thanks for creating this amazing place!

Brief information regarding my background;

I am a 26yo guy from Germany who is working with numbers on a daily basis in the office but still has quite a poor foundation when it comes to high school quant skills.
While English is not my native language, I spend some month living in the US, CA and UAE respectively did my undergrad in English and work on international projects frequently.
This is not to tell you how great I am (trust me I am not :-D ) but rather to point out that I am no wunderkind but rather that I have been exposed to the English language to a higher degree than the average German test taker.

History of my GMAC prep tests (I took no diagnostic test before preparing):

27.05.2018 34Q / 42V / 630
07.06.2018 35Q / 46V / 660
18.07.2018 42Q / 41V / 680

I switched jobs departments after a promotion towards the end of last year.
While the new job is very exciting and international, lots of travel really impaired my strive towards the Gmat, therefore there is quite a considerable gap between my prep tests.

20.06.2019 46Q / 40V / 700
26.06.2019 46Q / 45V / 730 - This one got me quite happy and confident, especially as I was aware that I miss clicked on one Quant question that I could have solved.
29.06.2019 42Q / 44V / 710 - This one scared the living hell out of me and was a big warning not to get complacent. I made sure to devote additional time into the review of my TTP material afterwards.




Test Day Experience

Verbal:
I had as bad of a start into the big day as one could imagine. Due to very high temperatures over the course of the entire weekend, my room had a temperature of around 30 degrees celsius even at night and I got about 4-5 hours of sleep the nights prior to my test. However, I tried to compensate by gobbling up as much healthy food as I could get my hands on. I read somewhere that almonds, walnuts and kiwi would stimulate brain activity so I ate tons of these things in the hopes to make up for my lack of sleep.

The test centre was located in my hometown and I got there around half an hour early and took the obligatory photo and hand scan.
While the people in the test centre were super friendly, the workers at the nearby construction site were less understanding of my need for a quiet test environment.
So I started my test sleep-deprived to the sounds of jackhammers which were slightly dulled by the headphones the test centre provided.

I went for the following test order: Verbal - Quant - IR - AWA.
As I am much more confident in my verbal abilities I wanted to make sure I started out with this section to build my confidence back up.
While it felt like the test started off well and I was in a good flow, my pace was entirely off. I noticed that I had about 30 minutes left while I was working on question #26.

After a brief shock, I tried to make the most of the generous time buffer which I had given myself involuntarily and tried to really reason my way through every question as detailed I as could.
While I certainly do not recommend this approach, I at least had the feeling that I did pretty good on the last 10 questions.

The reading passages seemed quite alright and the topics were mostly focused around science and history/politics. In general, the passages were not as convoluted and difficult to understand as some of the RCs I have encountered from some prep companies. The questions were mostly focusing on general concepts and the relation of certain statements to the overall passage or the author's opinion. As far as I remember I was not asked to simply restate details at all.

Among the topics tested in the verbal section, I felt like SC was of a little higher difficulty than what I was expecting based on my Gmatprep tests. If I would have to categorize, I would say that most of the questions based on grammar were a little on the easier side. However, I encountered quite a few questions which were very focused on subtle differences in meaning.
For all those who are aiming to score in the 40s on the verbal section, I would, therefore, recommend having an additional look at meaning-based questions as I feel like you guys are going to encounter a couple of tricky ones on the test.

Most CR question felt quite manageable, also due to the strategies provided in the great guide written by Nightblade which I will link later in the resource section of this debrief.
The questions where a good mix of Strengthen, Weaken, Assumption and Boldface, nothing seemed very unexpected or out of the ordinary.

As I slowed down my pace on later third of the test substantially I only finished about 5 min. early despite being far to fast at the beginning of the section.

Quant

This was the part I was super afraid off. During the break, prior to quant I devoured as many almonds and walnuts as possible and went through the one or other concept in my head.
It started off with many questions that were asking for X in terms of Y and so on. Furthermore, there were many questions on Geometry (mainly triangles and rectangular solids, I encountered nothing about circles.)

The latter part of the test had a lot of tricky number property questions, mainly in the DS format.
Moreover, I saw 1-2 questions that asked for the evaluation of relatively complex graphical information, that was something I was not really expecting.

I had a decent feeling about my performance in this section despite having guessed on 3 questions I did not really comprehend.

I have to thank TTP, without their programme my quant score would have likely been ten points lower.


IR

This felt quite a bit harder than in the prep tests. I think I might have been a little overconfident after I had scored two 8´s on my latest prep test with minimal preparation.
While the graphs were relatively straightforward, some of the text and visualizations I encountered threw me off a little bit.

In conclusion, I recommend to be a little smarter than me and at least put 1-2 hours into preparing for the different types of texts/graphs you might encounter.

AWA

I did not prepare for this section apart from reading the most popular guide on Gmat Club:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6 ... ml#p470475

I tried to keep the structure that is mentioned in the guide in mind and pretty much just went with the flow.

A few thoughts on my Quant preparation
:


This was the dreaded topic for me. While Verbal always seemed to click, I managed to score as low as an 8 (yes, I did not forget to attach a digit) on one of my Gmatclub quant tests.
While I have never been bad at quantitative subjects in particular, I severely lacked in the quant fundamentals one would usually pick-up between 10th and 12th grade in high school.
Initially, I tried solving as many problems as I could find and thought brushing up on the concepts would be enough. After 2 months of “studying” this way, I managed to lift my quant scores from the low 30s into the mid/high 30s that was still miles away from the score I needed to achieve a 700+.
At this point in time, I purchased a subscription to a prep company (not TTP) to address my weaknesses in a more structured way. While their curriculum was not bad, it did not help me at all, as it addressed many of the more advanced concepts I did not understand yet. Furthermore, there was little focus on the very basics of what makes up the GMAT quant section, which was exactly where I was struggling.

TTP to the rescue:

I was already quite frustrated with my progress in Quant (or lack thereof) when I reached out to ScottTargetTestPrep. We had a lengthy phone conversation and Scott was pretty honest in his assessment and told me that I would likely take more than a month to really address my weaknesses.
TTP is a very detailed and comprehensive program. The topics covered on the GMAT are split into different lessons that all comprise a theory part and subsequent tests to make sure the student can apply the concepts.
The interface is nicely designed and has an analytics section that allows for a very detailed overview of topics, mistake types and even mistake reasons. I would highly recommend to follow the curriculum and maintain your error types/reasons to utilize the program to its full effect.
As the program covers a lot of topics in detail, one does need a consistent time commitment to make sure there is noticeable progress. If you can only commit 1-hour 1-2 times a week the sheer scale of topics and concepts covered might be overwhelming.
Personally, I can highly recommend TTP because of its focus on details, great content and very user-friendly interface. I would like to encourage especially those readers who, like me, feel that their quant skills are holding them back from getting their dream score to check out the free trial. I do believe that TTP offers the tools necessary to score substantially higher than Q47 too.
Lastly, I want to point out that I noticed that there are no “easy” shortcuts to GMAT quant. Yes, there are questions that can be solved in multiple ways, some of them quicker than others. However, to identify those shortcuts and clues one needs to have a good understanding of the concepts tested, whether it be formulas, rules, algebra or arithmetic. There is no “free lunch”.

Helpful topics for Verbal

General:

I highly recommend the following thread for all those who like to learn from YT videos:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-live- ... l#p1936104

Quite long and detailed, but certainly worth the read:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... l#p1643215

A collection made by people much smarter than myself, although posting a collection in a collection might be a bit of an inception:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... l#p1863647

Another very helpful collection:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmatclub-ver ... l#p1122343

SC:

Nice, concise overview of a coupel of sentence correction rules:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/very-useful- ... l#p1401022

Detailed overview of rules and concepts for all those looking for SC help:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/sc-tips-shee ... l#p1475810

For those of you that are already good but strive to become great:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... l#p1836416

More tips and tricks regarding SC:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/sc-tips-tric ... l#p2128902

CR:

Helpful chapter notes from one of the premier CR books:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/powerscore-c ... ml#p937472

A CR guide by one of our mods who is preparing for the LSAT, very structured and certainly worth reading:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/mod-nightbla ... l#p2272709

RC:

Very comprhensive and honest RC guide:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topi ... l#p1857560


I´ll keep updating this debrief with study materials etc. but I wanted to get the first version out already. :-D

All the best & thanks to anyone who makes this forum such an amazing and helpful place,
Chris
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Originally posted by Arro44 on 06 Jul 2019, 08:10.
Last edited by Arro44 on 08 Jul 2019, 15:04, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2019, 08:28
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Congrats on the phenomenal score Chris!

Elevating from Q-30 to Q-47 is a remarkable feat of your Odyssey :)
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2019, 09:27
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Xylan wrote:
Congrats on the phenomenal score Chris!

Elevating from Q-30 to Q-47 is a remarkable feat of your Odyssey :)


Thank you, it was one hell of a journey but I am super happy that it worked out.

And I am quite certain that this community has done its fair share of turned scary GMAT story into positive ones.
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2019, 09:58
Congratulations Arro44!

Its amazing to see your level of hard work and determination!

I can only dream of that verbal score. Some pointers to approaching the verbal section would be great!

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2019, 10:49
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Congrats Arro44 !!!

Fantastic results!!!

GMAT pass is not the easiest one, but you DID IT!
All the best with your future application and other plans! :angel:
Keep us updated ;)
Attachment:
giphy.gif
giphy.gif [ 1.9 MiB | Viewed 4445 times ]



p.s. will be waiting for your updates on this post about study materials, tips and tricks of GMAT :blushing
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2019, 11:36
Arro44

Congratulations for fantastic score. Your Quant improvement shows your hardwork.

I am very much looking forward to hear from you about how you used TTP to increase your Quant.

All the best for your applications.
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2019, 12:17
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Well, we've lost another one :problem:

Congratulations Chris!

Heck of an improvement! You certainly put in the hours and it all paid off. Couldn't be happier for you.

You've been a blessing to this forum and community. Thank you for taking the time to help others.

I look forward to seeing all of the great schools you get admitted into.
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2019, 20:32
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Chris, congratulations on the absolutely amazing score -- especially that epic verbal score! I'm amazed that you managed to do that on 4-5 hours of sleep, and effective immediately, I'm switching to a diet of walnuts, almonds, and kiwis. (Though I might supplement with pretzels, schnitzel, wiesswurst, and bhindi masala. And maybe a few other things...)

And thank you so much for the kind words! A comparison to Bunuel really is the highest possible compliment in this corner of the internet. Did you know that mosquitoes refuse to bite him, just out of respect? ;)

You're one of the people that I'm always happy to see on the forums, and I'm thrilled to see a happy ending to this part of the journey. Please let us know how the applications go for you, and if you end up on this side of the Atlantic, let me know, and we'll grab a beer. I'm in Boston fairly regularly to visit family, just in case that's where you land. :cool:

Congratulations again, Chris! It's a huge honor to have played a tiny, tiny role in your GMAT adventure.
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2019, 21:26
Congratulations Arro44

Indeed a great debrief and All the best for your apps!
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2019, 02:06
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Arro44 wrote:
Dear folks,

while I took some time I have finally completed the first milestone on my way to the MBA dream.
To make sure I had a verified score I had to wait a couple of days with my debrief.

I took the GMAT on Monday (2nd of July) and scored a 730 (Q47/V44/IR7).
Without this community, this score would not have been even remotely possible.

Readers interested in the cold, hard facts please just skip the next paragraph, I feel a little bit like a kid who got drafted into the NBA.

Before going into the nitty-gritty details of my preparation and the experience on test day I want to use the opportunity to say thank you to a couple of members;

ScottTargetTestPrep - Without your programme, I would probably still have a quant score 30s. Thank you for creating TTP and for being very honest in your initial assessment concerning the effort necessary to achieve my target score.

GMATNinja - Sir, you are truly the Bunuel of the verbal section and I think there is no higher compliment to give here on Gmatclub.

nightblade354 , billionaire , MikeScarn , hazelnut

Thank you guys for your opinions, support and guidance along the way.
I am always happy to see familiar faces on the chat, also I started to slowly feel cornered by "gang green". ;)

bb - Thanks for creating this amazing place!

Brief information regarding my background;

I am a 26yo guy from Germany who is working with numbers on a daily basis in the office but still has quite a poor foundation when it comes to high school quant skills.
While English is not my native language, I spend some month living in the US, CA and UAE respectively did my undergrad in English and work on international projects frequently.
This is not to tell you how great I am (trust me I am not :-D ) but rather to point out that I am no wunderkind but rather that I have been exposed to the English language to a higher degree than the average German test taker.

History of my GMAC prep tests (I took no diagnostic test before preparing):

27.05.2018 34Q / 42V / 630
07.06.2018 35Q / 46V / 660
18.07.2018 42Q / 41V / 680

I switched jobs departments after a promotion towards the end of last year.
While the new job is very exciting and international, lots of travel really impaired my strive towards the Gmat, therefore there is quite a considerable gap between my prep tests.

20.06.2019 46Q / 40V / 700
26.06.2019 46Q / 45V / 730 - This one got me quite happy and confident, especially as I was aware that I miss clicked on one Quant question that I could have solved.
29.06.2019 42Q / 44V / 710 - This one scared the living hell out of me and was a big warning not to get complacent. I made sure to devote additional time into the review of my TTP material afterwards.




Test Day Experience

Verbal:
I had as bad of a start into the big day as one could imagine. Due to very high temperatures over the course of the entire weekend, my room had a temperature of around 30 degrees celsius even at night and I got about 4-5 hours of sleep the nights prior to my test. However, I tried to compensate by gobbling up as much healthy food as I could get my hands on. I read somewhere that almonds, walnuts and kiwi would stimulate brain activity so I ate tons of these things in the hopes to make up for my lack of sleep.

The test centre was located in my hometown and I got there around half an hour early and took the obligatory photo and hand scan.
While the people in the test centre were super friendly, the workers at the nearby construction site were less understanding of my need for a quiet test environment.
So I started my test sleep-deprived to the sounds of jackhammers which were slightly dulled by the headphones the test centre provided.

I went for the following test order: Verbal - Quant - IR - AWA.
As I am much more confident in my verbal abilities I wanted to make sure I started out with this section to build my confidence back up.
While it felt like the test started off well and I was in a good flow, my pace was entirely off. I noticed that I had about 30 minutes left while I was working on question #26.

After a brief shock, I tried to make the most of the generous time buffer which I had given myself involuntarily and tried to really reason my way through every question as detailed I as could.
While I certainly do not recommend this approach, I at least had the feeling that I did pretty good on the last 10 questions.

The reading passages seemed quite alright and the topics were mostly focused around science and history/politics. In general, the passages were not as convoluted and difficult to understand as some of the RCs I have encountered from some prep companies. The questions were mostly focusing on general concepts and the relation of certain statements to the overall passage or the author's opinion. As far as I remember I was not asked to simply restate details at all.

Among the topics tested in the verbal section, I felt like SC was of a little higher difficulty than what I was expecting based on my Gmatprep tests. If I would have to categorize, I would say that most of the questions based on grammar were a little on the easier side. However, I encountered quite a few questions which were very focused on subtle differences in meaning.
For all those who are aiming to score in the 40s on the verbal section, I would, therefore, recommend having an additional look at meaning-based questions as I feel like you guys are going to encounter a couple of tricky ones on the test.

Most CR question felt quite manageable, also due to the strategies provided in the great guide written by Nightblade which I will link later in the resource section of this debrief.
The questions where a good mix of Strengthen, Weaken, Assumption and Boldface, nothing seemed very unexpected or out of the ordinary.

As I slowed down my pace on later third of the test substantially I only finished about 5 min. early despite being far to fast at the beginning of the section.

Quant

This was the part I was super afraid off. During the break, prior to quant I devoured as many almonds and walnuts as possible and went through the one or other concept in my head.
It started off with many questions that were asking for X in terms of Y and so on. Furthermore, there were many questions on Geometry (mainly triangles and rectangular solids, I encountered nothing about circles.)

The latter part of the test had a lot of tricky number property questions, mainly in the DS format.
Moreover, I saw 1-2 questions that asked for the evaluation of relatively complex graphical information, that was something I was not really expecting.

I had a decent feeling about my performance in this section despite having guessed on 3 questions I did not really comprehend.

I have to thank TTP, without their programme my quant score would have likely been ten points lower.


IR

This felt quite a bit harder than in the prep tests. I think I might have been a little overconfident after I had scored two 8´s on my latest prep test with minimal preparation.
While the graphs were relatively straightforward, some of the text and visualizations I encountered threw me off a little bit.

In conclusion, I recommend to be a little smarter than me and at least put 1-2 hours into preparing for the different types of texts/graphs you might encounter.

AWA

I did not prepare for this section apart from reading the most popular guide on Gmat Club:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6 ... ml#p470475

I tried to keep the structure that is mentioned in the guide in mind and pretty much just went with the flow.


I´ll keep updating this debrief with study materials etc. but I wanted to get the first version out already. :-D

All the best & thanks to anyone who makes this forum such an amazing and helpful place,
Chris



Hello Arro44 my friend !

Congrats on phenomenal score :clap:

Nice debrief :thumbup:

LBS is waiting for you :cool: :fingers_crossed:

No need to set for less ;)

This is Ivy league score, in case you decide to shoot across Atlantic as well :cool: :idea:
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Jul 2019, 07:38
Oh wow. Congratulations. You did it! This will motivate the rest of us still studying for the test.

Best wishes!

Originally posted by bebs on 07 Jul 2019, 05:35.
Last edited by bebs on 07 Jul 2019, 07:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2019, 06:07
Congrats Arro44! I just got introduced to you in the Chat and glad to see you have a great score. Good luck with your future

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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2019, 07:14
Congratulations on the score!

Great writeup.. keep sharing. :)
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2019, 07:23
Congrats Chris, this is very motivating.

Great improvement at Quants.
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2019, 11:04
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GMATNinja wrote:
Chris, congratulations on the absolutely amazing score -- especially that epic verbal score! I'm amazed that you managed to do that on 4-5 hours of sleep, and effective immediately, I'm switching to a diet of walnuts, almonds, and kiwis. (Though I might supplement with pretzels, schnitzel, wiesswurst, and bhindi masala. And maybe a few other things...)

And thank you so much for the kind words! A comparison to Bunuel really is the highest possible compliment in this corner of the internet. Did you know that mosquitoes refuse to bite him, just out of respect? ;)

You're one of the people that I'm always happy to see on the forums, and I'm thrilled to see a happy ending to this part of the journey. Please let us know how the applications go for you, and if you end up on this side of the Atlantic, let me know, and we'll grab a beer. I'm in Boston fairly regularly to visit family, just in case that's where you land. :cool:

Congratulations again, Chris! It's a huge honor to have played a tiny, tiny role in your GMAT adventure.


You are a big reason for my verbal score and I have even watched your Quant videos on YT, so those kind words mean a lot! :-D
Although I think the healthy things might have helped my score, the latter part of the diet described does sound much tastier and I would switch almonds & kiwis for schnitzel and bhindi masala any day.

I actually plan to apply to Sloan (likely my only US school) and would chose them over any other school, so there is a 0.01% chance I might end up in Boston.
However, if I end up in Boston I´d love to grab a beer.

Brief update on the debrief (no pun intended):

I also want to say thank you to everyone who has send me good wishes, I really appreciate it!
I´ve updated my Quant prep section with some thoughts on TTP and I will compile a list of helpful bookmarks on Verbal tonight.
Furthermore, I plan to also share some more thoughts and ideas on verbal.

However, if something I say ever conflicts with someone who is actually knowledgable, trust them and not me! :tongue_opt3

Regards,
Chris
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2019, 13:13
Arro44 congratulations on the amazing score! Your journey is inspiring indeed. Good luck with your school applications.
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New post 08 Jul 2019, 15:06
I have added some of my verbal bookmarks, maybe some of the topics are going to be of help for you guys too.

Generally, I still plan to include my own thoughts looking back at the verbal section, but as this might take some time I think sharing the material might be of immediate help. :)

Best regards,
Chris
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Amazing job! I’m thrilled to hear that TTP was such an integral part of your GMAT success!! Could you provide some more details regarding how you used the TTP course?
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jul 2019, 18:36
Great debrief mate! Interesting to see your verbal score essentially maintained throughout.

I note that you undertook GMATClub CATs. When did you take these and what were your scores like?
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2019, 10:41
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dcummins wrote:
Great debrief mate! Interesting to see your verbal score essentially maintained throughout.

I note that you undertook GMATClub CATs. When did you take these and what were your scores like?


In the beginning I suffered from very poor command of a lot of topic, therefore my scored showed a significant fluctuation.

The scores are in cronological order.

2018:

Q37
Q35
Q24
Q29
Q42
Q39
Q27
Q35
Q37
Q31

2019:

Q42
Q48
Q48

Best regards,
Chris
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Re: 730 / Q47 / V44 / IR7 / AWA 6 - An ode to this community   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2019, 10:41

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