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Brazilian guy improving score from 620 to 710 (V30 to V41)

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Joined: 24 Jan 2017
Posts: 2
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 710 Q46 V41
GPA: 3.05
Brazilian guy improving score from 620 to 710 (V30 to V41)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2017, 14:26

I retook the GMAT recently and I got a considerable improvement. As while I was studying I read some texts to help me get through, I decided to share my experience.

I am a Brazilian Engineer and work for the biggest Brazilian consulting company. The first time that I decided to take my GMAT was in 2014 and I was 29 years old (a little bit older than the average for the Top schools, but still acceptable). At that time, I just got a big promotion to senior level and the company transferred me to a project in Spain where I stayed for 5 months. The project there was not complicated and I was able to study and by the end of the project my average at the practice exams were between 680 and 720 - not bad in my opinion. I needed to improve a little bit my pace and get more consistent and then I would be good to go.

The problem is that right at that moment, my company transferred me to a very strategic project in the USA, in which I was working 16 to 18 hours a day plus weekends. I got exhausted and was not able to study more. It took me one year so I could restart my studies and after two months only they sent me again to another strategic project in the USA. As I was about to give up and was getting older, I decided to take the exam and see what would happen. I took 620 (Q47 and V30).

As I received another promotion and was going well on my career, I decided to forget about the MBA and move on. I friend of mine told me about a Master degree in Business by Harvard Extension School and I started to take this course. I was really enjoying it, but I had a meeting with the president of my company and he asked me to try the GMAT once because he thinks that a MBA would be more beneficial to my career.

So, in January of this year I started to study again. In January I was able to study the whole basic points of the gmat but... Feb and March I got another tough project and had to hold my studies again. When I finalized this short project, I decided to put all my energy on the GMAT once for all. So I took a vacation and studied 8 hours a day. Only stopped when I realized that I was not absorbing more content. When I did my first practice I got a 690, what got me excited. I did another 7 or 8 practice exams and by the end of it I was getting 740/750. When I got the first 740 I decided to schedule the exam because I didn't know for how long I would be able to hold my study pace.

Then, I took the exam and got 710 (Q46 and V41). To be honest, when I left the room I got a little bit frustrated because my practice score was consistent higher than that (Q50 or Q51). One point that is important to emphasize is that, as I am Brazilian Consultant, I believe that my pool is not as competitive as that of others as Indian IT or White American Consulting and Banking. So my score is good enough to apply to a good school. Besides that, guest what? I got another extremely tough project and I am not being to study.

So now, I will have to focus on my essays. As I am a little bit older now (32 years old) I decided that I will apply only for shorter courses and courses where I will find people with a similar level of experience. So INSEAD, LBS, MIT (Fellows), Stanford (MSx), etc.

1- Verbal
- E-Gmat: SC was definitely my weakest point. E-gmat helped me a lot to go through that. Although in the beginning I thought it slow (I was in a high level of anxiety) it gave me consistent to know deeply all the rules. Besides that, the price was very good and I didn't have to buy all the courses as other prep schools. I didn't have the chance to see the content of other topics but I believe that the level of quality is probably similar. I deeply recommend that.
- Reading: I believe that I was able to improve a lot my reading during the Harvard Extension School course that I took (Business of economics). If you have time to take a MBA, I believe that this kind of course is a great experience. Besides that, get used to read complicated texts, especially topics out of your comfort zone (I hate biology).

2- Quantitative:
- Improve pacing: Don't think that you will dominate all the content, it is too long and extremely complicated questions don't show up often. Instead of that, my suggestion is to focus on pacing. One thing that I belive was good was to use the online version of the official guide, where I could filter only the difficult questions (that are too many very easy questions on the official guide).
- Prioritize: I prioritized verbal and it worked for me. I got sad that my Quantitative didnt improve, but I honestly believe that it was a matter of luck (bad luck).

3- Practice exams:
- Do as many as you can: GMAC are the best ones. Take all the 6 (2 free + 4 paid- very good investment), but try princeton and manhattan - Although the scores that you will get at those two are not 100% accurate, it will help you to see different kind of questions.
- Do the full simulation: Spend all the 4 hours taking the practice exam - don't skip to quant and verb. One of the most difficult things about GMAT is the mental resistance. Only taking the full exam you will get prepared for that.

4- Focus and discipline: my studies were very affected by the fact that I didn't prioritized the exam and started to work as crazy. Learn on how to say NO to your company and focus on studying (you don't have to quit, but it is hard to study when you work more than 10 hours a day). You don't need more than 4 monhts of HARD study to get there (maybe even less). One other mistake that I committed was when I was in Spain, where I had time to study but preferred to walk around and see places during my weekends. Should have FOCUSED more...

5- Exercises
- Don't stop exercising: it helps with the mental resistance and help you to break a little bit the studies.

That is it! wish you guys good look!
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 17532
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
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Brazilian guy improving score from 620 to 710 (V30 to V41)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2017, 14:34
Congratulations!!! Fantastic result. Thank you for the debrief. I think your chances are quite good taking into consideration your competitive pool and scoring 700+ at 32 is a lot harder than at 25. Adcom knows that.

PS. I don't know exact numbers for South American applicants, you may want to check with a local consultant if your quant score is solid enough for your schools of choice. You probably don't want to wait another year and it's a quick email or a phone call to couple of Brazilian admission consultants to set your mind at ease and avoid regrets down the road. They should be able to answer the question for free in the hope of landing your business.
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Brazilian guy improving score from 620 to 710 (V30 to V41)   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2017, 14:34
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