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740 debrief - thank you GMAT Club!

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740 debrief - thank you GMAT Club!  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2019, 17:56
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Around fall of last year, I hit a slump in life where everything became so routine. I would wake up, go to work, come home, and repeat. When I came home I was especially unproductive and wasted so much time watching either netflix or nba games. Since I wanted to get an MBA in a few years, I thought to myself why not just start studying now. If anything, I could just study for the next 2 years and hit my target score (730+). Around September of 2018, I purchased the OG book and forced myself to do 5 quant questions a day (I enjoy math more, so I figured it would be a better way to ease myself into studying). Although the material wasn't necessarily difficult, I lacked the motivation to push through everyday. I would get to question 3/5 and would want to just skip the last two. This happened for the first few days, but eventually I started to do 5 questions everyday and within a few weeks I was doing 10 questions a day. I would Google any question I didn't understand, and more often than not, GMAT Club would be the first link that appeared. And that is how I discovered this awesome community.

It took me about 2 months to start taking prep seriously, but around November 2018 I started to devote my entire nights and weekends to the GMAT. I became addicted to this test and I can't exaggerate this anymore, but every single second not spent at work, I was studying for this test. Ironically, I still had thought of taking a mock test (official or not). Once I finished every question in the OG book, I went to GMAT club and went to the CR, SC, and PS sections and solved questions non-stop. Every question from page 1 - 30 were all marked purple because I did them.

It was at this time, that I started reading the success stories on here and REALLY started to think about what my goals were for this test. I wanted to be realistic, but also give myself a challenge considering I've spent the last month studying so I told myself if I got 730 on the test I would be happy. Up until this point, I still haven't taken a mock test (BIG MISTAKE). Anyways after reading other stories here, I realized that I needed to take a diagnostic test to see how I would do. Sometime during the winter holiday season I took my first test and scored a 730. I was pretty excited to see that, but I knew that score wasn't the real deal, since I didn't follow the test rules strictly. If there was a question I didn't know how to do I would pause the exam and think it over until I got an answer. I'm sure this inflated my score by a decent margin. I realized I did this because I was afraid of scoring really low on the mock exam and that would crush my motivation.

Understanding that the score wasn't 100% legit I continued to power through GMAT Club questions everyday after work and on weekends. I probably put in close to 40 hours a week studying for this test (4 hours every weekday and 10-12 hours Sat/Sun). I would NOT recommend this for anyone since your chance for burn out will be much higher and there are other important things in life. I stopped talking to friends, stopped going out, and pretty much became a hermit. I don't have any regrets since I accomplished my goal, but I think I could've score the same without the lifestyle I lived.

I gave myself an ultimatum since I did not want to miss out on other things in life. I would take the GMAT in 1 months time and in that month I would work even harder than I have the last few months. This was the last week of January, and I booked my test for today (02/25/2018).

On that week I also purchased 6 CAT tests from GMAT Prep, 6 CAT tests from Manhattan, and 6 Tests from Veritas. I would take a practice test every other day to get myself familiar with the testing structure and the types of questions asked. My biggest challenge up until this point was not solving any question, it was more so the timing. If I could get the timing down, I knew I could hit my score. Anyways I followed through with my plan and started with the 6 tests from Veritas, then the 6 tests from Manhattan. There was not a single exam I could have finished on time since I had to pause the test to think through several questions. I scored on between 690-760 on the tests (I'll create a scoring break down below).

With two weeks left until exam date, I was starting to freak out since I still couldn't finish an exam completely and I had too much of an ego to guess on questions. My biggest weakness was CR and Quant. I would be able to solve every question but It just took me 5 minutes per question... I read from another user here that the GMAT club Quant tests were really helpful with math, so I looked into it. I was so shocked to learn that GMAT Club had there own tests and I had not heard about it until this late. Anyways I used some of the points I racked up from participating in discussions to purchase a 2 week subscription. In the next week and a half I would take a GMAT official mock exam every other day and spend the rest of the time doing the GMAT Club tests. I sadly only got through 23 of the 25 Quant exams by test day.

Once I got to the center, I got briefed on the policies. Pretty standard, but for some reason at my center they did not allow jackets. Wasn't a big deal since the room wasn't cold, but this could be an issue for other test centers if the AC is cranked high. I would recommend wearing a long sleeve shirt or a sweater.

The test itself was pretty straight forward and I felt more challenged on the Verbal section than normally. Quant I felt wasn't that bad. The IR section was quite difficult but the only studying I did was the questions from the mock exams. The AWA was quite easy and I practiced writing an essay once (I did, however, spend a few nights falling asleep reading other peoples essays) <<< I am so lame haha.

I finished the exam and received a score of 740 (Q49/V42). I was actually surprised by my low quant score since I didn't feel like any question was particularly challenging so I must have made some careless mistakes. With that said, I'm glad that hard work paid off and hope it will for other members of this community!

My test score breakdown:

GMAT Mock exam 1: 730 (Q51/V44)
Veritas 1: 700 (Q51/V35)
Veritas 2: 730 (Q51/V39)
Veritas 3: 730 (Q51/V39)
Veritas 4: 730 (Q51/V39)
Veritas 5: 710 (Q51/V37)
Veritas 6: 700 (Q51/V35)
Veritas 7: 740 (Q51/V41)
Manhattan 1: 720 (Q49/V39)
Manhattan 2: 700 (Q49/V37)
Manhattan 3: 710 (Q49/V37)
Manhattan 4: 710 (Q49/V37)
Manhattan 5: 710 (Q49/V37)
Manhattan 6: 690 (Q49/V35)
GMAT Club quant tests ranged from Q49 - Q51.
GMAT Mock 2: 740 (Q49/V42)
GMAT Mock 3: 720 (Q50/V39)
GMAT Mock 4: 760 (Q50/V42)
GMAT Mock 5: 740 (Q50/V50)
GMAT Mock 6: 760 (Q51/V44)
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Re: 740 debrief - thank you GMAT Club!  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2019, 23:23
Wow... 740 on the 1st try.. amazing! How did you practice the verbal?
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Re: 740 debrief - thank you GMAT Club!  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2019, 13:38
Congrats on the great score! Very inspirational that you worked so hard, I appreciate you sharing your story. Best of luck with applications!
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Re: 740 debrief - thank you GMAT Club!   [#permalink] 21 Mar 2019, 13:38
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