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770 (Q50, V46)

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770 (Q50, V46)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2018, 12:54
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Hi all,

I took the GMAT yesterday and was excited to score a 770 (Q50, V46)! I'm typically the type to just lurk without posting, but I found a lot of great advice on this forum before taking my GMAT and wanted to pay it forward.

Basic Background


I just graduated from undergrad and decided to take the GMAT now while I have some free time before starting work (and because I think I might forget how to study after a few months working). I haven't decided if I want to pursue an MBA, but since the score lasts for 5 years, I thought it was worth taking the GMAT.

Practice Scores


Kaplan 1: 740
Kaplan 2: 730
Kaplan 3: 740
Kaplan 4: 740
Kaplan 5: 740
MGMAT 1: 750
MGMAT 2: 770
MGMAT 3: 770
GMATPrep 1: 770
GMATPrep 2: 770

GMAT: 770

Practice Materials Used


I pretty much exclusively used the Kaplan GMAT prep book, which I found to be quite good. After I ran out of Kaplan CATs, I bought the MGMAT 6-pack of CATs. I also started to peruse all of the Bunuel Quant packets (posted somewhere on this forum) towards the end of my studying, which I found to be a really great Quant resource.

How I Studied


I took the paper Kaplan diagnostic (found at the front of the book) to get a sense of my baseline and found it to be around 720 (if I had to do everything over, I would have taken an actual diagnostic CAT, but I didn't really understand at that point how much the CAT changes things). Quant was the area I knew I could most improve if I studied diligently, so I began working through the Kaplan Quant section over the next couple of weeks. I did all of the practice questions at the end of each section, and although I didn't keep a thorough error log like some people, I noted any specific concepts I knew I was weak in, as well as some general rules that I began to realize were crucial (e.g. never assume numbers are integers, always test "2" when prime numbers are involved, etc.).

After I worked through the study materials, I decided it was time to take the first Kaplan CAT (this was about 3 weeks before my test). Personally, I recommend completing most of your studying before taking practice CATs; otherwise, you're more prone to thinking "I only scored poorly because I haven't studied that section yet" which is generally not a good growth mindset. I found some of my problem areas -- pretty much all Quant-related -- and reviewed the relevant sections. From that point on, I took a new CAT every 2 or 3 days, reviewed all of my mistakes, and did additional practice problems in the intervening days.

In the week before my GMAT, I took a CAT every single day. I think this strategy really made a difference for me. Before this point, I had stagnated a bit, scoring around 740 in nearly all of my tests. Once I started taking a CAT each day, I started improving and getting into the 770 level. When you take so many practice tests, you start to see similar problems over and over again and your brain gets noticeably better at pattern-matching. Additionally, your body gets used to the time pressure and test fatigue and adapts to it. By the time I took my actual GMAT, I was so used to it that it felt no different than sitting in Barnes & Noble and taking one of my practice CATs.

One important note about practice CATs, and I can't stress this enough: take the entire exam under the standard GMAT time constraints. Taking just the Quant or Verbal section will help you practice the concepts, but it won't be a realistic measure of your ability, since it won't mimic the actual test. Some people (like me) do better on the Quant and Verbal sections after doing the AWA and IR sections, since it warms their brain up; others do worse, since their brain begins to fatigue. Either way, you want to understand exactly how the full test affects you so you can learn and adapt.

Test Day


There's not much for me to say here -- as noted above, if you take enough practice CATs, the real one feels almost the same.

One question I had before going into the real test was which practice tests are most reflective of the actual exam. I've seen different answers all across this forum, but from my experience:

- GMATPrep: these tests are by far the most reflective of the real test. I would say the actual GMAT Quant is a tad more difficult, but not by much, and the Verbal is spot on. Save your two free GMATPrep tests until the very end of your practicing. I think they give the most realistic prediction of your actual score.

- Kaplan: both Quant and Verbal are slightly harder than the actual test. I don't think the scores on these tests are well calibrated either (they seem to over-penalize for missing a "low" difficulty question, much more so than the actual GMAT would), but they are great practice.

- MGMAT: Quant is much harder than the actual test. Verbal can be either harder and easier depending on your draw of questions -- I find that the Verbal questions are not written super well, since many of the answer choices could be correct and you're often left with trying to find the one that is "most" correct from MGMAT's perspective. If you can get a good Quant score on these tests under the time constraints, you should be good to go for the real GMAT.

Takeaways


1. Kaplan GMAT prep book is good and I would highly recommend it
2. Take as many practice CATs, under realistic conditions, as possible before test day
3. Save your GMATPrep free CATs until the very end of your studying
4. As you do CATs and solve practice questions, create a list of Quant rules and Sentence Correction rules that you see pop up frequently; review this list often
5. Don't stress out too much on test day!

Good luck to all, and feel free to ask me any questions!
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770 (Q50, V46)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2018, 13:03
2
Hello my friend,

1st of all congratulations are in order, your score is amazing!!

Moreover, thank you for the detailed debrief and for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

I think you significant focus on doing so many CATs differs quite a bit from the bulk of the crowd, therefore this point is of particular interest to me.

Was there any area which you felt deviated a lot from the concepts seen in the practice CATs?

Best regards,
Chris
_________________

A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated! :)

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Re: 770 (Q50, V46)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2018, 23:58
OGinNYC wrote:
Hi all,

I took the GMAT yesterday and was excited to score a 770 (Q50, V46)! I'm typically the type to just lurk without posting, but I found a lot of great advice on this forum before taking my GMAT and wanted to pay it forward.

Basic Background


I just graduated from undergrad and decided to take the GMAT now while I have some free time before starting work (and because I think I might forget how to study after a few months working). I haven't decided if I want to pursue an MBA, but since the score lasts for 5 years, I thought it was worth taking the GMAT.

Practice Scores


Kaplan 1: 740
Kaplan 2: 730
Kaplan 3: 740
Kaplan 4: 740
Kaplan 5: 740
MGMAT 1: 750
MGMAT 2: 770
MGMAT 3: 770
GMATPrep 1: 770
GMATPrep 2: 770

GMAT: 770

Good luck to all, and feel free to ask me any questions!

First of all, congrats on the awesome score!

A couple of pointers:
1) Interesting to note that you didn't mention anything about OG. Didn't you use it at all? Even for practice?
2) It would be useful if you could share the approximate dates of the practice tests. It'll help people understand your progress.
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GMAT 1: 750 (Q50; V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5)
Debrief: https://gmatclub.com/forum/first-attempt-750-q50-v40-ir-8-awa-245721.html

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Re: 770 (Q50, V46)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jul 2018, 22:24
OGinNYC wrote:

- GMATPrep: these tests are by far the most reflective of the real test. I would say the actual GMAT Quant is a tad more difficult, but not by much, and the Verbal is spot on. Save your two free GMATPrep tests until the very end of your practicing. I think they give the most realistic prediction of your actual score.

- Kaplan: both Quant and Verbal are slightly harder than the actual test. I don't think the scores on these tests are well calibrated either (they seem to over-penalize for missing a "low" difficulty question, much more so than the actual GMAT would), but they are great practice.

- MGMAT: Quant is much harder than the actual test. Verbal can be either harder and easier depending on your draw of questions -- I find that the Verbal questions are not written super well, since many of the answer choices could be correct and you're often left with trying to find the one that is "most" correct from MGMAT's perspective. If you can get a good Quant score on these tests under the time constraints, you should be good to go for the real GMAT.

Takeaways


1. Kaplan GMAT prep book is good and I would highly recommend it
2. Take as many practice CATs, under realistic conditions, as possible before test day
3. Save your GMATPrep free CATs until the very end of your studying
4. As you do CATs and solve practice questions, create a list of Quant rules and Sentence Correction rules that you see pop up frequently; review this list often
5. Don't stress out too much on test day!

Good luck to all, and feel free to ask me any questions!


Congrats on getting a V46 and the 770 :thumbup:
As a non-native who suffers in Verbal it would be beneficial if
you could detail your Verbal preparation(especially in CR & SC)

Hope you now make it into your first choice B-School.
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New post 28 Jul 2018, 09:44
Hello OGinNYC

First of all congrats for your amazing score. V46 is truly amazing.

Can you please let us know the practice questions or sectional tests you used for Verbal apart from official guide's.

I am interested to know the strategy you used for RC section which is the Achilles heel for most of the test takers.

All the best for your applications.
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Resources
Ultimate GMAT Quantitative Megathread | ALL YOU NEED FOR QUANT ! ! ! | SC Blogs by Magoosh | How to improve your verbal score | Things i wish i could've done earlier | Ultimate Q51 Guide

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 13:26
1
Thanks to everyone for the kudos / congratulations!

Arro44: I didn't feel like any concept deviated significantly. As I mentioned, the Quant section of MGMAT is much more difficult (in my opinion) than the real GMAT, particularly the Geometry and Combinations/Permutations questions. The Kaplan Quant is slightly more difficult than the actual test and the GMATPrep tests are pretty spot on. With regards to Verbal, it varies quite a bit -- my general sense is MGMAT and Kaplan try to make questions more difficult by making the correct answer more ambiguous, while the actual GMAT does a better job of testing actual critical thinking so that a correct answer is clear.

nishantd88: I didn't use any OG prep books or questions besides the two free GMATPrep tests. I took about 5 practice tests over the course of 2-3 weeks (once every 2-3 days) starting 3 weeks before my test, and then another 5 tests the week (basically one per day) leading into my test. I took the two GMATPrep tests last.

pushpitkc and akadiyan: Honestly I was much more focused on Quant than Verbal, since Verbal was my stronger section. I had prepared pretty meticulously for the SAT about 5 years ago and found the grammar/syntax and reading comprehension rules to translate pretty well over to the GMAT. I briefly reviewed the SC section of the Kaplan book as a refresher, but didn't study any RC materials aside from taking practice exams.

My suggestion for Verbal, especially for non-native speakers, would be to 1) read through SC rules in a good prep book like Kaplan, especially rules governing idioms, as those are the ones that seem fairly confusing if you're not used to using them and 2) practice as much as possible, making sure to read the explanation for every question, including ones you got right (many times you can choose the right answer for the wrong reason). RC will improve with practice as you get used to the types of questions that get asked.
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Re: 770 (Q50, V46)  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 13:31
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Thank you, especially the statements about quant and the general accuracy of the GMAT prep test are somewhat encouraging.

Really appreciate you sharing your thoughts and opinions!
_________________

A couple of things that helped me in verbal:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-strategies-268700.html#p2082192

Gmat Prep CAT #1: V42, Q34, 630
Gmat Prep CAT #2: V46, Q35, 660
Gmat Prep CAT #3: V41, Q42, 680

On the mission to improve my quant score, all help is appreciated! :)

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Posts: 261
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Re: 770 (Q50, V46)  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2018, 22:56
OGinNYC wrote:

nishantd88: I didn't use any OG prep books or questions besides the two free GMATPrep tests. I took about 5 practice tests over the course of 2-3 weeks (once every 2-3 days) starting 3 weeks before my test, and then another 5 tests the week (basically one per day) leading into my test. I took the two GMATPrep tests last.


Awesome. You started off on a high note with your first mock itself. Good stuff on taking that a notch higher. Good luck for whenever you decide to apply.
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+1 kudos if you find this useful
GMAT 1: 750 (Q50; V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5)
Debrief: https://gmatclub.com/forum/first-attempt-750-q50-v40-ir-8-awa-245721.html

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Re: 770 (Q50, V46) &nbs [#permalink] 30 Jul 2018, 22:56
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