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750 (Q51/V40) using free materials!

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Joined: 27 Feb 2018
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GMAT 1: 750 Q51 V40
750 (Q51/V40) using free materials!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 13:48
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I took my first shot at the GMAT two days ago, and ended up scoring well enough to rule out ever attempting it again (unless it expires!). 750 (Q51/V40/IR8) - around what I was expecting from my mocks and questions bank accuracy. Just a little disappointed by how I handled the verbal section, but overall relieved that no school will reject me solely because of my score as long as i have an otherwise solid application.

Background- Fresh out of college, decided to take the GMAT early on so that I could simply live life later and soak up experience at work! It would suck to worry about math problems and grammar while things that are much more important keep happening around you. Anyways, I plan to apply to bschool at least three years from now, hopefully to the best places there are. My dream school is still undecided, but I'm leaning towards UCBooth or Haas (aim high!) for now.

Resources:
Everything I used is free and available on GMAT Club. Early on when I started preparing, I read an article by a 770 scorer who had similarly done everything using free material. I connected with that, and made it a model for how I would crack the GMAT- cheap and effective. Did nothing but prepare for a month and voila! 750. Mostly, I practiced on 700-800 level qbanks, with theoretical support from the material on site. Bunuel qs as a finisher for quant and rounded out verbal with harder questions from OG posted on forums. Strict monitoring of your own performance and catching yourself when you slack are key to improving steadily when you don't have someone waiting behind you with a cane in hand.

My mocks
I took a whole bunch of them towards the end (Saved all the free mocks expecting that they would pay off eventually).
MGMAT1: 680 - Earliest one before any prep
GMATPREP1: 760 - Midway through prep. These are not representative because i came across around 25% of the questions before
Kaplan: 740
Princeton: 740
Veritas, economist: around the same

About mocks: Mocks should try to be as representative as possible, but most mocks felt nothing like GMAT prep to me. Princeton's quant was too easy. Veritas had really strange questions in verbal and its quant was way too hard. Despite that, with a 50% accuracy, I scored a 740. The Economist actually had some wrong advice on some its RC questions that threw me off my game for some time. Kaplan was the only test that I felt tried to replicate both the difficulty and the results of the actual test. Anyone can design a test of any difficulty and run a regression to get accurate result scores, but its important to simulate the difficulty of the test, something i felt only Kaplan managed to do.


Random things:
1. If you have a theoretical base stronger than what the GMAT demands, nothing can stop you. The GMAT says that it tests high school concepts, but many of its tougher quant questions simply play around with higher concepts and Zero-integer-pos-neg traps. If those higher concepts are old news for you, and you can keep calm and stay on the lookout for traps, it will reflect in your quant score.

2. Verbal is a beast. At higher difficulties, it becomes harder to find qbanks that seem like quality material and you might end up ignoring actual flaws in your process when you start doubting the quality of a qbank. OG doesn't help much- the toughest questions i found online didn't match up to what i faced on the actual test. Only in the last few days did I realize that an 80% accuracy isn't good enough when you get a bunch of questions wrong in the final section. And thats exactly what happened to me in the test. Oh well. I knew i had messed up in verbal but I maintained my composure and didn't jump to any conclusions. Went on to score Q51 without a break.

3. My IR score was surprising, but it seemed reasonable enough because the section itself was a breeze. IR questions are a blessing close to exam date. They're a good mix of verbal and quant reasoning, but not too rigorous on either, and useful to keep your mind sharp in the run up.

4. On exam day, I chose the VQRA sequence. I never tried any other format and maybe i should have. You never know how the initial panic and the process of getting into second gear hurt your initial section unless you experiment.

5. Massive qbanks are the pillar to GMAT preparation. Build a solid theoretical foundation, attack qbanks with discipline, mark your mistakes and return to the theory to improve. That's all I did.

About GMAT Club- brilliant site, great community, awesome resources, incredibly dedicated people and so much more. Its really great that despite being named "GMAT" club, they realize that the test is just one step in the application. I love the focus on MBA advice, school info, and all of the general stuff that's going to help post-GMAT people like me. The test is just a test, get it done and move on!
Economist GMAT Tutor Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesMath Revolution Discount Codes
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Re: 750 (Q51/V40) using free materials!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2018, 22:12
Congratulations on the great score! Did you just use the GMAT Club Error log to keep track of your questions? Also by questions banks, do you mean the GMAT Club forum questions or some other workbooks/sources of sorts?
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GMAT 1: 750 Q51 V40
Re: 750 (Q51/V40) using free materials!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2018, 04:10
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Thanks nkin! I used 700-800 level qbanks I found by searching on the forums here. Qs were sorted topic wise and I could immediately see that they were quite comprehensive, so I went for it and made those central to my prep.

I did maintain logs but only on excel and that too of my daily progress. I didn't maintain logs of specific errors although I marked all the answers I got wrong and logged my subject wise accuracy. I have a good theoretical base so I used only the GMAT club math book + guides that I found on forums + math shortcut guides that, again, I found on the forums. I felt that verbal guides were too cumbersome for a 1 month period so I left them out- bad decision, now that I see my performance in CR.
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Re: 750 (Q51/V40) using free materials!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2018, 07:44
Congratulations bud!!

Now you can just chill & work on the applications at your pace.

Using the same approach as yours for the prep, no $$$ paid so far, probably will be only for the GMAT test.

All the best!


Thanks,
GyM
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Re: 750 (Q51/V40) using free materials! &nbs [#permalink] 28 Jun 2018, 07:44
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