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770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)

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Joined: 20 Jul 2019
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GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V44
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770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2019, 23:39
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I'm going to keep it short.

I started my preparation the week after Memorial Day and took my exam on July 17, so that's almost exactly 7 weeks, while working full time. In aggregate, I would say that I sank about 140 hours into preparation. This is by far the most I have ever spent on any type of exams.

I used Magoosh, OG and MGMAT and went though roughly 2500 questions in the 7 week time span. I had two practice tests. The first one was Magoosh's (quant and verbal only). I got a 690. The second was MGMAT's CAT. I got 720 and 7 IR. I took the Magoosh one 5 days before the exam and the MGMAT one the day before the exam.

I spent roughly 60% of my time on Magoosh, 30% on OG and 10% on MGMAT.

My original plan was to get a base line around 700 on the first try and get 750+ on my second try. I was fully prepared to scrap the score, so much so that I rushed through the first section, AWA, on test day, thinking that it was good enough since I won't be using the score from the attempt anyway. I had 9 minutes to spare when I clicked next. Had I spent the 9 minutes polishing it, I would've definitely scored better than the 5.0 that I got. I felt pretty comfortable with the IR and Verbal sections of the exam, but I did not feel anywhere near comfortable with Quant. The first few questions were very difficult, and it seemed like the questions got easier as I progressed through the set. For IR, Quant and Verbal sections, I was able to complete them with roughly 1 minute to spare for each. Given my feeling on Quant, I was fully anticipating a score between 670-720. I was elated when I saw the score of 770 with 8 on IR. I clicked accept so quickly that I started to doubt myself immediately afterwards thinking that I may have been hallucinating. I was relieved to find out that I was not hallucinating when the proctor handed me my score printout.

Unfortunately, I can't really share any insights on how to study for GMAT, since the intensity of my study routine will likely burn the vast majority of the people out in 2 weeks let alone 7 weeks. However, I would still like to encourage everyone to focus on the matter on hand when he/she is studying for GMAT, or for that matter, anything. I find that many of my friends, who spent months or years prepping for GMAT yet still failed to obtain a 700+ score, did not focus on the exam as much as they should have. The nature of the material in GMAT demands a high level of proficiency, meaning the test taker must have seem all of the types of the questions fairly recently and have a good grasp of the concept in order to quickly match the pattern to the question.

Best of luck to everyone who is still trying to get a high score. It is doable!
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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2019, 00:41
jzhan026 wrote:
I'm going to keep it short.

I started my preparation the week after Memorial Day and took my exam on July 17, so that's almost exactly 7 weeks, while working full time. In aggregate, I would say that I sank about 140 hours into preparation. This is by far the most I have ever spent on any type of exams.

I used Magoosh, OG and MGMAT and went though roughly 2500 questions in the 7 week time span. I had two practice tests. The first one was Magoosh's (quant and verbal only). I got a 690. The second was MGMAT's CAT. I got 720 and 7 IR. I took the Magoosh one 5 days before the exam and the MGMAT one the day before the exam.

I spent roughly 60% of my time on Magoosh, 30% on OG and 10% on MGMAT.

My original plan was to get a base line around 700 on the first try and get 750+ on my second try. I was fully prepared to scrap the score, so much so that I rushed through the first section, AWA, on test day, thinking that it was good enough since I won't be using the score from the attempt anyway. I had 9 minutes to spare when I clicked next. Had I spent the 9 minutes polishing it, I would've definitely scored better than the 5.0 that I got. I felt pretty comfortable with the IR and Verbal sections of the exam, but I did not feel anywhere near comfortable with Quant. The first few questions were very difficult, and it seemed like the questions got easier as I progressed through the set. For IR, Quant and Verbal sections, I was able to complete them with roughly 1 minute to spare for each. Given my feeling on Quant, I was fully anticipating a score between 670-720. I was elated when I saw the score of 770 with 8 on IR. I clicked accept so quickly that I started to doubt myself immediately afterwards thinking that I may have been hallucinating. I was relieved to find out that I was not hallucinating when the proctor handed me my score printout.

Unfortunately, I can't really share any insights on how to study for GMAT, since the intensity of my study routine will likely burn the vast majority of the people out in 2 weeks let alone 7 weeks. However, I would still like to encourage everyone to focus on the matter on hand when he/she is studying for GMAT, or for that matter, anything. I find that many of my friends, who spent months or years prepping for GMAT yet still failed to obtain a 700+ score, did not focus on the exam as much as they should have. The nature of the material in GMAT demands a high level of proficiency, meaning the test taker must have seem all of the types of the questions fairly recently and have a good grasp of the concept in order to quickly match the pattern to the question.

Best of luck to everyone who is still trying to get a high score. It is doable!



Hi jzhan026,

Welcome to GMATCLUB! Congratulations on a fantastic score and thank you for sharing your debrief. I am sure a lot of people will appreciate you taking some time out to share your experience. Did you give any mocks during your preparations? How did you perform in them?

Thanks and we look forward to your engagement with the community. All the best!
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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2019, 02:01
Congrats on 770 !
I have a few questions though.
Did Magoosh really help? If so ,how good is it for Verbal?
I have enrolled for TTP and it seems like a solod course for quant.
Still worried about verbal.
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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2019, 02:39
Congrats on a great score and thanks for sharing your debrief.
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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2019, 11:23
Congratulations on your great score. Even if it will burn some people out, some of us still don't mind to hear how you prepared for the exam in Seven weeks. I have similar set of materials you used and i want to learn how you quickly breezed through all in 7 weeks. Hope to hear back from you. Cheers.

Posted from my mobile device
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770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2019, 14:05
5
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Sammysat wrote:
Congratulations on your great score. Even if it will burn some people out, some of us still don't mind to hear how you prepared for the exam in Seven weeks. I have similar set of materials you used and i want to learn how you quickly breezed through all in 7 weeks. Hope to hear back from you. Cheers.

Posted from my mobile device


aniriddha wrote:
Congrats on 770 !
I have a few questions though.
Did Magoosh really help? If so ,how good is it for Verbal?
I have enrolled for TTP and it seems like a solod course for quant.
Still worried about verbal.


ok. I think my response will answer both of your questions.

At the very beginning of the preparation, I took a week off from work, and combining that with the two weekends, it ended up being 9 days. I used it to kick off my preparation. I had never studied for GMAT before this. I immediately dived in using Magoosh. During the 9 day period, I spent about 10 hours a day on GMAT, watching videos and going through practice sets. I finished all Magoosh videos and questions by the end of the 9 day period. Magoosh helped me build a very strong foundation.

The rest of preparation was a lot slower than the first week and half given that I had to work full time. I immediately shifted to using OG and practiced about 50 questions a day whenever I could muster the energy and concentration. At the same time, I was also reading the MGMAT books for any other tips and shortcuts that I could use (I would say that MGMAT perhaps provided me with a handful, over 95% of the shortcuts/strategies were covered by Magoosh, and Magoosh often times presented them better).

I was averaging about 90% correction rate on both the Quant and Verbal OG questions sets that I did. The most important thing though was not the correction rate, but the fact that I understood immediately why I was wrong when I saw the correct answer. For 99% of the time, I was at least able to narrow down the answers to two, one of which was the correct one. I would always go back to those questions and make sure that I understood why the wrong answer gave me trouble, even when I got the questions right.

I did not end up using any MGMAT online practice banks. However, I did take the first MGMAT CAT set that was free and got 720 (Q47, V41, IR7.3). That's about the full extend that I used MGMAT. I was saving those question banks for my second try, which turned out to be unnecessary.

At the end, I would say that Magoosh helped me the most by far. If you use Magoosh, make sure you watch EVERY single video. Don't skip any of them just because you think you know the concept. The videos often contain shortcuts and strategies that can optimize the way you approach a certain type of question.

This was a very front loaded study routine that required a lot of will power. More than half of the time that I spent studying was in those 9 days. Studying 10 hours a day for 9 days straight was not easy by any means. I did not step out of the house a single time during that 9 days. 100% concentration and 100% dedication in a short amount of time and hopefully get it done before complete burnout. Many would consider this crazy, but this has worked very well for me over the years. I would imagine that most people can't do it due to the intensity.

Magoosh+OG can get you to 750+; you just have to know how to use them.
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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 06:48
Hi jzhan026,

Welcome to GMATCLUB! Congratulations on a fantastic score and thank you for sharing your debrief.

Which schools are you planning to apply?
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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 10:35
jzhan026 wrote:
Sammysat wrote:
Congratulations on your great score. Even if it will burn some people out, some of us still don't mind to hear how you prepared for the exam in Seven weeks. I have similar set of materials you used and i want to learn how you quickly breezed through all in 7 weeks. Hope to hear back from you. Cheers.

Posted from my mobile device


aniriddha wrote:
Congrats on 770 !
I have a few questions though.
Did Magoosh really help? If so ,how good is it for Verbal?
I have enrolled for TTP and it seems like a solod course for quant.
Still worried about verbal.


ok. I think my response will answer both of your questions.

At the very beginning of the preparation, I took a week off from work, and combining that with the two weekends, it ended up being 9 days. I used it to kick off my preparation. I had never studied for GMAT before this. I immediately dived in using Magoosh. During the 9 day period, I spent about 10 hours a day on GMAT, watching videos and going through practice sets. I finished all Magoosh videos and questions by the end of the 9 day period. Magoosh helped me build a very strong foundation.

The rest of preparation was a lot slower than the first week and half given that I had to work full time. I immediately shifted to using OG and practiced about 50 questions a day whenever I could muster the energy and concentration. At the same time, I was also reading the MGMAT books for any other tips and shortcuts that I could use (I would say that MGMAT perhaps provided me with a handful, over 95% of the shortcuts/strategies were covered by Magoosh, and Magoosh often times presented them better).

I was averaging about 90% correction rate on both the Quant and Verbal OG questions sets that I did. The most important thing though was not the correction rate, but the fact that I understood immediately why I was wrong when I saw the correct answer. For 99% of the time, I was at least able to narrow down the answers to two, one of which was the correct one. I would always go back to those questions and make sure that I understood why the wrong answer gave me trouble, even when I got the questions right.

I did not end up using any MGMAT online practice banks. However, I did take the first MGMAT CAT set that was free and got 720 (Q47, V41, IR7.3). That's about the full extend that I used MGMAT. I was saving those question banks for my second try, which turned out to be unnecessary.

At the end, I would say that Magoosh helped me the most by far. If you use Magoosh, make sure you watch EVERY single video. Don't skip any of them just because you think you know the concept. The videos often contain shortcuts and strategies that can optimize the way you approach a certain type of question.

This was a very front loaded study routine that required a lot of will power. More than half of the time that I spent studying was in those 9 days. Studying 10 hours a day for 9 days straight was not easy by any means. I did not step out of the house a single time during that 9 days. 100% concentration and 100% dedication in a short amount of time and hopefully get it done before complete burnout. Many would consider this crazy, but this has worked very well for me over the years. I would imagine that most people can't do it due to the intensity.

Magoosh+OG can get you to 750+; you just have to know how to use them.


Congrats once more and thank you for taking your time to explain further. I have learnt some tips about your method. Though it's always good to use what works best for one. In your case, crashing your studies was always effective and while it will work for some people, to others it will not. Overall great debrief. Cheers.
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770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 15:30
Wow! Congratulations! Great score!
Are you applying this year?

P.S. 140 yours in 7 weeks is roughly 20 hours a week? That's not super intense (I am saying it not to disagree with you but just to say that prep like that is expected usually :-) and not extreme. You are not abnormal :) ) I did 2-3 hours per day of studying during the week + 10 or 15 hours on weekends. 20-30 hours per week was a normal schedule for 2 months out of 3 and even more if you take into consideration reading books to build my grammar and RC skills.


P.S. Sorry, i started typing this without seeing your reply about your schedule. I was able to shift my studying into mornings and do it before work. I would show up at work around 9 or 10 AM (It was an arrangement with my manager who was fine with it). I would study from 7 to 9 or smth like that (sometimes 6 to 8). Not having a phone next to me and being disconnected made that time last a lot longer!
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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 21:06
Hi jzhan026

Welcome to GMAT club!!

Congrats on the 770!! It's an amazing score.

All the best for your applications :)
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770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 22:08
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Great description.

Your preparation style was was unique. All studying crammed into one set of several weeks. This style can work for certain classes of testtakers, eg those who can sustain motivation and already possess basic competencies.

The salient point I noticed was that you took only two practice tests. This dovetails with my knowledge that doing a large number of practice tests is very detrimental. It is much more important to fine-tune competencies in selected topics and use a very limited number of practice tests to develop testtaking skills.

Thanks for sharing your story.

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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2019, 19:10
I took a practice today and got a Q50 V45 that registered as a 760. I know it’s just a practice but it’s weird that you got the 770. I would have thought they would use the same algorithm.

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Re: 770 on first attempt (Q50, V44)   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2019, 19:10
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