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790 with 1 week of studying (holding your pee works!)

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New post 23 Aug 2010, 14:04
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I took the GMAT today and received a score of 790. I started studying about 6 days ago. Am I smart? Yes. Am I smarter than any of you? No. With that said, I just wanted to share my experience and how I studied, with the hopes of helping people who are at a low 700 level (with a roughly balanced verbal and quant) make the most of their study time and reach 750+

My Week (I didn't specifically plan it out this way, it's just an account of what happened):

Day 1 - Practiced questions of all types. Not timed. Focused on the logic of how one would come up with the answer to a question rather than the answer to the question itself.
Day 2 - Did a GMATPrep exam, did not know what I was facing so completely bombed Data Sufficiency and Sentence Correction questions - Scored 700. Practiced only Data Sufficiency and Sentence Correction questions. Made a mental checklist of Sentence Correction rules to check off when faced with difficult question. Learned to completely ignore whether a sentence "sounded right" (it's a huge distraction and disrupts focus) and rely purely on rules.
Day 3 - Practiced only Data Sufficiency questions. Every question I got wrong, I wrote down the reason on a sheet of paper. I then figured out which were because of a lack of knowledge/unclear understanding of basic concepts (e.g. number theory, standard deviation, etc). Looked up articles on Wikipedia to supplement knowledge as well as made a cheat sheet of concepts (e.g. standard deviation of a set increases by x% if you increase every element in the set by x%)
Day 4 - Kaplan free GMAT practice test - scored 670. Decided it was crucial that I get any 750 level questions I encountered (usually DS) in the first 10-15 questions right. Practiced only 750 level DS and a few PS questions that I found online. Figured out I needed to work on timing - did a bunch of DS questions, timed to 45 seconds each, but instead of getting an answer (execution), understanding the question and figuring out the process needed to get an answer (whether it was a calculation, or trying even numbers, etc). Found this helpful since with DS questions, wrapping your head around what it is they want you to do (e.g. oh okay, so it's telling me to figure out the number of prime numbers between 20 and 30) is often the hardest part. Another note about this is, if you have a few questions left at the tail end of the quant section, and you've only got a couple minutes left on the clock, this can help you guess more accurately than if you were just randomly picking answers.
Day 5 - Continued to practice DS and SC questions. For DS questions, I gave myself 2 minutes to come up with the answer or to make a guess. Basically focused on training myself to maximize my guessing chances in the case that I spent 3 minutes on a questions, came up with some insights, but didn't have enough to get a 100% certain answer.
Day 6 - GMATPrep Exam 2 - scored 760. This might seem unorthodox and yes you can call me weird, but I did a ton of DS questions while having to pee really bad. The sense of urgency and stress that puts you under, I find, is extremely helpful in simulating exam conditions (especially when you see the clock, and you're worried because you spent 4 minutes on a question). Having to focus with that distraction there was really helpful in making me quicker. Took a brief look at AWA tips (didn't really care about this section) before going to bed.

There's probably some stuff I left out, so let me know if you have questions. Hopefully there's something in that mess (Im jacked on Redbull from the exam, so apologies if I'm incoherent) that helps. If not, I fully accept any bashing that ensues.

Cheers :)
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Re: 790 with 1 week of studying (holding your pee works!)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2010, 14:30
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I can't say this post will help me too much. I suppose it's nice to see that there are some that have no problem scoring high on the GMAT. I think 99% of the people taking the GMAT will have to study a bit longer than 6 days though, to have a chance at the high 700 scores. For the other 1%, all the best luck to you on your apps.

Also, what was your breakdown on the official score? How did you feel about the actual test itself?
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 15:57
Wow. this is unbeleivable.
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 15:59
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 16:22
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My breakdown was Q51 V48. I thought the actual test was quite difficult right from the beginning so i was surprised I got a 51 on quant. I actually had to guess the last 3 quant questions (not completely guess, narrowed the choices down) but the other ones I was fairly confident about. Speaking post-GMAT, I would say, practice the most difficult questions for quant, and focus on the most difficult questions if you are aiming for a high score. None of the easy questions I did really helped much, and on the actual GMAT, almost every question I received felt like it was medium-hard to hard difficulty (I dunno if I felt this way because of the stress or it was actually like this). I really liked the 700+ questions on GMAT club and also the 750 level questions that you can find scattered around the forum. I would've loved if there had a been a larger bank of those 750 level questions though.

Also, when I practiced, I never did the AWA, so I found that to be a bit of a distraction and mentally draining, although eating a snack during the break did help a bit. I would say, definitely practice structuring the AWA, if not writing it out fully during mock exams.
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 16:24
haha, looks like I'm not the first to discover the pee method
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 18:21
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thejasonyang,

Unbelievable score. Perhaps you should moonlight with one of the test prep companies!

http://www.manhattangmat.com/gmat-prepa ... -tutor.cfm
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 19:02
Here you go: http://www.manhattangmat.com/instructor-jobs.cfm
I would probably not bring up your method of getting an extra edge until you pass the interview.
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 19:05
looooool.awesome. great job man.
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 20:54
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congrats..... :clap:
but honestly i kind of find it strange that guys working their socks off are struggling to pull a decent score whereas people pursuing the one week ..two weeks plan seem to be reaping rich dividends...maybe the current advice of taking it easy in the last few days needs a revisit...maybe gmat is more a test of short term memory :think: ....lots of maybe's here but its good to know that with a few tricks and a better guessing plan its possible to score quite a few notches above what one would score with the conventional approach....wish if some expert could weigh in with his/her take on this.
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 22:17
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So what does it take to get a 800? What should the split be? 51 51?
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 22:26
Great score and great method :)
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New post 23 Aug 2010, 23:31
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mainhoon wrote:
So what does it take to get a 800?


Based on the story by thejasonyang, a lot more holding apparently :lol:
Alternatively, you may want to combine with stabbing your toe on the chair really hard.
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New post 24 Aug 2010, 00:00
Sweet, man!
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New post 24 Aug 2010, 01:42
Great for you but unrealistic for most, unless they're math majors, engineers or naturally apt at maths
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New post 24 Aug 2010, 12:47
Statistically, highly improbable. Folks have to study for months/years to get to that score. You can get lucky on a few questions, but it's hard to pull it off by strategic guessing in both the sections. While I come to this forum very often to read about inspirational experiences, I am always on the lookout for highly embellished stories that are designed to throw most folks off the scent (typically tall tales by some folks about scoring in excess of 750 with just a few weeks of study). Let's keep in mind that most of us are preparing for the same exam to apply to the same set of colleges. Confusing your competition is one of the strategies employed by some.

And no - even math majors cannot score such a high score in a such short span. A score of 790 implies a near perfect Verbal score.
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Re: 790 with 1 week of studying (holding your pee works!)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2010, 16:15
wow! .. so what do u think worked out better for you holding the pee or studying for 7 days :P

great score dude... good luck for the apps ahead.....
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New post 24 Aug 2010, 16:41
i call BS
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New post 24 Aug 2010, 16:56
jordanhendrix wrote:
i call BS


Amen!!
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New post 26 Aug 2010, 10:08
Nice score.
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Re: 790 with 1 week of studying (holding your pee works!)   [#permalink] 26 Aug 2010, 10:08

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