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# After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680

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Manager
Status: Go Duke!
Affiliations: ACFE Member, CalCPA Member
Joined: 16 Jul 2010
Posts: 172

Kudos [?]: 25 [2], given: 0

Location: Northern California
Schools: Duke - Fuqua
WE 1: CPA & CFE with 7 years of experience
After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 11:29
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I just finished my exam. My unofficial score is a 680 (Q44, V38). Right now I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. If people would like a debrief, I'll write one. You can also just go to my journal "My Rough Start" that I've been updating over the past two months. I'll write more later once I've absorbed this.

Alright, I've finished a nice hike and feel like I've destressed enough to write a bit more. So, as I already mentioned, you can really see my journey from the above link that bb was nice enough to add. As for my feelings now, after finishing, here you go.

I started down the GMAT route pretty recently. In July, after thinking about my options, I decided to try the GMAT. I was on this website as well as other websites researching the best prep methods. With what I learned I ordered the complete MGMAT series. I also ordered the OG 12th as well as the Verbal and Quant books put out by GMAC. These books arrived in late July and that's when I started my studying.

I won't go into all of the details as I've already written at length on my other posts. To sum up though, I will say that it is definitely possible to increase your score. I started with a very poor prep test score of 420. I took the test cold without really cracking a book or reading anything. I also believe that I could have continued to improve my score if I were willing to invest even more time. There is a point that I think each of us reaches where the balance of time vs improvement reaches a plateau. To overcome this requires an amazing investment of resources (i.e. time and money) to push your score up a few points. I feel like my score is a reflection of said plateau. If I want to improve my score I would likely have to invest in further study materials to get a different perspective on the questions as well as a large additional chunk of my time. Now if I honestly felt that an increase in score of perhaps 20 points was going to make or break my apps, I would seriously consider it. For me, I don't feel this is the case as I think my profile has other favorable points that should help me stand out. So I guess what I'll say is this: each person needs to seriously consider their goals, have an honest idea of their professional profile and the score they need, and then balance their score requirements and expectations accordingly.

As for the materials I used, I would say that the MGMAT Number Properties book was absolutely a great buy. It helped me immensely as there was just so much content that I had previously forgotten (keep in mind that my last math class was 13 years ago). I also would say that MGMAT's Sentence Correction was quite helpful. Those two books were great and provided a LOT of content that was necessary for my score. The other two MGMAT verbal books were next to useless for me. As for the other Quant books, they were also good, but not nearly as helpful as NP and SC. The OG books were good for questions but I often found their explanations wanting. I think MGMAT does a much better job of explaining WHY something is correct or incorrect, which is incredibly helpful. What's the point of getting a question wrong or right if you can't learn WHY? Finally, I also watched some videos on YouTube in conjunction with OG 11th to go over some Quant questions. That was helpful is solidifying some of the concepts.

As for the amount of time I put in, I would guess it was somewhere around 150 hours (perhaps as much as 200 hours) over two months. It is hard to guestimate though, as I really didn't keep track. This is nothing in comparison to my prep for the CPA, which was at least 200 hours per test (and there are 4 tests) over the course of a year. Still, I think that about 2 to 3 hours a day was about what I averaged over the two months.

My prep test scores were 420 (in late July) and 590 (August 5th). I didn't retake as I thought I would. I planned on a final try on Thursday but decided that a little relaxation the day before my test was more valuable. As for my MGMAT scores, I took 5 of them and the mean was 672 and the median was 670. Based on this, you can see that I was pretty close to my final score.

So in conclusion, I'd say that each person should do their research when they first decide to go the GMAT route. Plan your strategy, be realistic, and jump right in. Let me know if there are any questions. Best of luck!

Last edited by VinceCPA on 01 Oct 2010, 18:07, edited 2 times in total.

Kudos [?]: 25 [2], given: 0

Moderator
Status: battlecruiser, operational...
Joined: 25 Apr 2010
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Kudos [?]: 172 [0], given: 71

Schools: Carey '16
Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 12:08
dude. you did good!

I'm in the same boat you are. I'm about to take mine again on the 23rd of this month! Rest up and I want a full 100% debrief once you get back
_________________

Last edited by bb on 01 Oct 2010, 16:28, edited 1 time in total.

Kudos [?]: 172 [0], given: 71

Intern
Status: Work hard, Play harder!
Joined: 10 Apr 2010
Posts: 20

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 19

Location: Dublin, Ireland
Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 13:25
Good work man! All the best with you application!

How much did it took you to study?

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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 14:15
Vince, I understand that you might feel let down after so much preparation but you should really be proud of yourself - a 420 to a 680 is a HUGE jump and you have done remarkably well. Don't lose hope! This is a very good score by itself

Kudos [?]: 2230 [0], given: 210

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Kudos [?]: 172 [0], given: 71

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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 19:15
Yo i completely agree with you about the plateau part. As a matter of fact me and my dad were talking about that during dinner tonight and how it would probably take a lot of time and money (just as you said) to improve a little more. I think I've reached my plateau as well and will probably not invest further money (but definitely time until test date) just so I don't forget what I learned and keep fresh.

Mad respect for you man. That's an awesome score. My plateau score is a few under yours but we'll see. +1 for an awesome debrief and being an active member and not being one of them that just drops in with a "oh I got a 760" debrief and then dips. Mad respect for you man.
_________________

Kudos [?]: 172 [0], given: 71

Senior Manager
Status: Upset about the verbal score - SC, CR and RC are going to be my friend
Joined: 30 Jun 2010
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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 20:10
Good score. Good luck for your apps. How did you feel while quant ? Was it difficult or easier?
_________________

My gmat story
MGMAT1 - 630 Q44V32
MGMAT2 - 650 Q41V38
MGMAT3 - 680 Q44V37
GMATPrep1 - 660 Q49V31
Knewton1 - 550 Q40V27

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Manager
Status: Go Duke!
Affiliations: ACFE Member, CalCPA Member
Joined: 16 Jul 2010
Posts: 172

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Location: Northern California
Schools: Duke - Fuqua
WE 1: CPA & CFE with 7 years of experience
Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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01 Oct 2010, 20:47
Dreamy wrote:
Good score. Good luck for your apps. How did you feel while quant ? Was it difficult or easier?

I can't say there were any major surprises on the actual exam. Really, the ones I missed were likely concepts I didn't understand completely. I didn't even see certain concepts that I had actually spent a bunch of time studying, which kind of sucked.

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Manager
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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2010, 00:46
man what a great jump from 420 to 680!!!!
congratulations on your score, you really did well
and I do believe you can get over 700!
anyway good luck with your application
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Nanquam Fractum

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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2010, 19:26
Hey Vince,

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm looking forward to a full debrief once you're 100%. Keep us posted.

Kudos [?]: 2 [0], given: 0

Manager
Status: Go Duke!
Affiliations: ACFE Member, CalCPA Member
Joined: 16 Jul 2010
Posts: 172

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 0

Location: Northern California
Schools: Duke - Fuqua
WE 1: CPA & CFE with 7 years of experience
Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2010, 19:38
Andreweng wrote:
Hey Vince,

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm looking forward to a full debrief once you're 100%. Keep us posted.

I did the debrief. Look at my first post on this thread. I went back, edited, and added my debrief.

Posted from my mobile device

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 0

Manager
Status: Go Duke!
Affiliations: ACFE Member, CalCPA Member
Joined: 16 Jul 2010
Posts: 172

Kudos [?]: 25 [0], given: 0

Location: Northern California
Schools: Duke - Fuqua
WE 1: CPA & CFE with 7 years of experience
Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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10 May 2011, 23:01
I thought I'd add a quick update as I was accepted by Fuqua today. So I would say this whole thing was a huge success for me! It was a very long journey but totally worth all the work.

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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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11 May 2011, 01:50
Congratulations Vince on the acceptance !
All the best for journey ahead..

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Manager
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Affiliations: U.S. Navy
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Location: United States (MD)
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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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11 May 2011, 05:24
Vince,

Congrats on the acceptance to Duke. You worked hard and you deserve it!

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Senior Manager
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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680 [#permalink]

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11 May 2011, 20:30
congratz vince, awesome.

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Re: After A Rough Start, A Rough Finish...420 to 680   [#permalink] 11 May 2011, 20:30
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