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Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)

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GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
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Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Mar 2019, 12:34
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Update as of 03/25/2019

Hello GmatClub,

I am happy (7.5 out of 10 on happiness level) to say that I have secured a 710 (Q48 V40).

After taking a month or so off, after a disappointing 690. I decided to purchase a course: EmpowerGMAT. On this course: I think that if you never enjoyed studying from books, and you enjoy absorbing info in a video format - this course is for you. If your are currently below 700 - this course can definitely get you to 700+ or close enough. I think past 700, each study approach has to be very tailored, so I wouldn't advise investing into it, unless you think you need structure (which is what I needed) or can afford to do so.

I have followed the Total ScoreBooster plan for about 6 weeks and did a lot of practice problems and 2 additional GMAT tests.

I purchased the exam pack 3.

Exam 5 (Feb 1st): 720 Q48 V41.
Exam 6 (March 1st): 750 Q49 V42.

March 9th: Q48 V40 710 (IR 7. AWA 5.5) . Rich advised me to not take it again, he said it wasn't necessary and this score was good for schools that I am targeting. I decided that I can afford to take one more shot.
March 25th: Q48 V39 710 (IR 8). Cancelled. I felt super panicked during the exam and my pacing I think was what brought me down. Verbal seemed to be soooo hard... Oh well, no excuses.


The plan is to now take a few years off (I am 23) and focus on my short-term career and extra-curricular activities goals. Going to be hiking some national parks for a week to clear my mind.

My goal is to be in a top 10 program, so I know the score that I have lands me in the 20%-80% range for all of them. Top 10 MBA is not a recipe for success, but it does help.

I want to get an advise on the following: if you were me, would you take it one more time?

I know that the number shouldn't define, but I feel like that is what the MBA application essentially does...

__________________________________________________________
Original Post:

Sharing this so others might learn from my experience, or at the very least I can write my thoughts down and self-reflect.

My dream score is 720+.

Background Information
White, Male, 23 years old. Originally from Russia. Went to high school in England. Family immigrated to the US, so I tagged along and went to college in Massachusetts (very good small regional business school). Majored with a 3.5 in Economics & Finance (cum laude). Currently work for a large insurance/fin. services company in a 3 year rotational program (IT business analysis focus).

Materials Used:
GmatPrep Exam Packs 1 and 2
ManhattanPrep Guides 1 through 9
ManhattanPrep CATs (4 out of 6)
Gmatclub Youtube Videos (GMATNinja's verbal videos and Veritas' math videos)
Free trial of Veritas Orion (1 week one)
1 hour free trial of EmpowerGMAT.

and GMATClub free resources (duh...)

Timeline
August 31st, 2018 - First GMATPrep CAT - 620 Q41 V34 IR 4 (very confused how i got this IR4).

Was honestly pretty happy with my first score. I knew I wasn't going to score high 600's or low 700's. Honestly just wanted above 550.

After getting my first score, I determined that I should start with studying my quant. I used Manhattan Prep materials. I gave myself about one months to go through these exams. I would try to spend around 2hrs every day and 4-8hrs on the weekends. I was grinding through Quant books and doing sets of 10 Quant OG Problems using online tool Wiley Efficient Learning.

September 22nd, 2018 - Manhattan Prep 1 - 620 Q40 V35. Have heard that Manhattan prep was harder, so I wasn't upset, I though my math improved overall and I was okay with it.
Spent about a week improving on the errors from this CAT.

October 4th, 2018 - Manhattan Prep 2 - 640 Q41 V36. HA! Progress, right? lol 20 points, but I decided to to convince myself that since the GMATPrep is easier that ManhattanPrep CATs it was more like 40 or so point improvement. Time to grind Verbal.

Gave myself one month for just pure verbal training. Used ManhattanPrep books, GMATClub Verbal forum, GMATClub Youtube Channel, and the OG Guide for practice. SC was by far my worst section. Usually my errors were proportional: SC 4 wrong / RC 1 wrong / CR 1 wrong.

November 4th,2018 - Manhattan Prep 3 - 680 (Q44 V38) - Nice! Verbal improved and quant was better, even considering that I didn't really practice my Quant. On this one I ran out of time for Quant on the last 5, so I was pausing and solving (3 mins max).

November 10th, 2018 - GmatPrep CAT 2 - 700 (Q46 V40 IR8) - Oh my god! 700! Yay! Real exam conditions basically. Took verbal first, Quant second. Extremely happy with it.

Signed up for Orion's 1 week trial - grinded through it as far as possible. Really liked the product. Started reviewing weak areas.
November 18,2018 - Mahattan Prep 4 - 670 (Q43 V38). Did it just to practice my stamina and test taking strategies. For Quant gave myself extra 12 minutes. For Verbal I ran out of time for 1 question... so I think I was penalized for it. Just completely lost track of time.

Around this time I signed up for the GMAT Club Tests. Started by making custom quizzes for myself.

November 22nd, 2018 - GMATClub Quant CAT - Q41 - wow they are hard. people werent kidding.
November 23rd, 2018 - GmatPrep CAT 3 - 700 (Q48 V37 IR7) - Did Quant first this time. It was over Thanksgiving, so I though it was a good performance after feasting and drinking lol.
November 31st, 2018 - GMATClub Quant CAT - Q45
December 1st, 2018 - GMATClub Quant CAT - Q35 - Huh? What happened here? Decided to erase it from my memory.
December 2nd, 2018 - GmatPrep CAT 4 - 720 (Q49 V39 IR8) - Did Quant first again. Was pumped after it, so happy.

Last week
December 4th - GMATClub Quant CAT - Q45 - that's more like it
December 5th - GMATClub Quant CAT - Q48 - really focused for this one, was very happy with it. Though that my mindset was same as when I got my 720 on the last mock exam. 100% accuracy on 500 and 600 level questions, 43% on 700 level.

Tried to do a lot of error log problems, reviewing my common errors. Honestly was very worried about under-performing on verbal. Decided to take verbal first and quant second.

The day before the exam
Read some wall street journal, did some very light revision, played a lot of video games (Got my first COD Black Ops 4 Blackout win! ;) ). Went to a nice dinner. Went to bed early.

Exam Day - December 8th,2018

Arrived 35 mins early, was allowed to start early. Did Verbal first then Quant. Verbal was hard, but I thought I did fair on it. Quant seemed easy, but I think that's when I should have realized that things didn't go as planned. On the last 3 questions of the Quant I had 1 min per question. Pacing wasn't there.

Final Score: 690 (Q44 V41 IR7). Best Verbal, buy far the worst Quant in a while. I was very disappointed. Saw score - thought for 2 seconds - cancelled it. Not sure what happened.... definitely not the way I envisioned this day. Told the exam supervisor that I will see her again! :D

Next steps:
Going to be doing a fair bit of travelling over Xmas/New Years. Wont be able to do too much solid studying until end of January. Planning to just do light revision through out - to keep my skills sharp. Will dedicate 2 more months of studying starting end of January. Planning to reschedule for Late February/Early March. Clearly my math is not good enough to ensure Q48+, so my primary focus is going to be there. I believe that my Verbal is good, so I am not too worried about it. As GMATNinja told me the skill difference between V40-V45 is rather minor, but nevertheless it does help if my Verbal will go up from V41.

Planning on buying EmpowerGMAT or a similar solution to help me study and keep me more organized. Also I dont think I can comfortably say that I used my error log to the full potential. I used the error log only on the GMATClub for Quant and GMAT Wiley for Quant and Verbal. But that was more of just making sure I knew which questions I havent solved correctly and once I have solved them, I have never revisited them. Dont think that was smart of me.

730+ I am coming for you.

Appreciate any advice and welcome all of your questions!

Originally posted by almazovniko on 08 Dec 2018, 14:36.
Last edited by almazovniko on 25 Mar 2019, 12:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 05:26
Your quant had a nice uptrend till the end of November, but then fluctuated between high and low 40s in December (incl actual CAT). Based on those numbers a Q44 seems rather fair. Score consistently high and get high (unless you're lucky!). I can't vouch for a particular course.

Happy studying
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 16:29
Hi almazovniko,

To start, a 690/Q44 is a strong Score (it's above the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. That having been said, there's no harm in retesting - and you have a great opportunity to pick up some serious points in the Quant section. You're actually closer to a 730+ than you probably realize, so if you focused on the proper Quant Tactics, then you could potentially retest with a month (or less) of additional study and hit your Score Goal.

That having been said, if you're not going to be able to restart your studies until the end of January, then I suggest that you restart at that time with a new FULL-LENGTH CAT (with the Essay and IR sections). GMAT skills tend to fade over time, so we'll need to define your skills, strengths and weaknesses before you get back into full study mode.

Beyond that, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 19:48
EMPOWERgmatRichC

Looking to apply in 2021 to start in 2022. I am definitely under no time pressure. Just want to secure a good score now, so I can spend the next few years building up other aspects of my application.

Still doing my research on the schools. Primarily looking for schools that have strong accelerator programs. Really-really want to start my own business, strategy consulting would be my back up option. During the exam I selected the following: Harvard, MIT, Columbia, Ross, and Tuck.
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2018, 22:43
Hi almazovniko,

Since you're not facing any immediate application deadlines, retesting - with the goal of scoring higher in the Quant section - would make a lot of sense. In that same way, you can decide how 'efficient' you want to be about this next phase of your studies.

1) When will you officially be 'off'/traveling for the holidays?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2018, 07:06
EMPOWERgmatRichC

Planning to resume serious studying in mid/late January, depends how busy Q1 at work will be (travelling mid December - mid January). I will be doing some practice problems every few days and reading over Manhattan Quant books in the mean time, don't want to get too rusty.
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2018, 10:38
philipssonicare

Thank you for the feedback. I definitely need to improve my math skills. Good thing is that the Quant score is arguably the easiest to boost :) I would say Q46-47 was fair.... Q44 was a gut punch, given that I started with Q42.
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2018, 14:24
Hi almazovniko,

Your general timeline/plan sound fine. Once you get back into 'study mode' after the holidays and taken that next practice CAT, you should post back here with your Scores. We can then discuss the results and how best to proceed.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2018, 11:22
Hi almazovniko,

Thank you for sharing your story. I certainly can provide advice regarding your study plan moving forward; however, since you are not going to pick up your studying until the end of January, reach back out then, and I’ll be happy to provide some detailed advice.

Also, since you are looking to improve your quant score, you may find it helpful to read this article about how to improve your GMAT quant score.
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2019, 20:11
EMPOWERgmatRichC

Just purchased a 3 months subscription to EmpowerGMAT with 6 months of GMAT Club CATs. Do your recommend going with the 2 month study plan? Signed up for March 9th for my retake. This means I have 2 months till the exam date.

Best,
Nikolay
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2019, 21:11
Hi Nikolay,

Since it's been about a month since you took the Official GMAT - and you're coming off of some 'down time' from your studies - it would help to see how you score on a full-length CAT. As such, I strongly recommend that you take a CAT that you have NOT taken before and make sure to take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, we can discuss the results and how best to proceed. You can feel free to PM or email me your results if you like.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 12:39
Posted an updated to an original post. I took the GMAT two more times. Read my debrief above. Any advice will be appreciated.
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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 13:50
Hi almazovniko,

This recent Score is almost identical to your last Official Score - and they're both OUTSTANDING performances. If you were to purchase the ESR for this attempt, I suspect that the data would show a similar overall performance in your sub-scores. The differences between a 710 and a 730+ (or 750+) come down to just a handful of rarer/quirkier questions on Test Day. You've shown that you have the skills to perform at a high level in both the Quant and Verbal sections; there were likely 2-3 questions on this recent attempt that you COULD have gotten correct on Test Day, but you just didn't (and those questions were the difference). While I understand that you might be a bit disappointed with this result, it shouldn't distract you from your big-picture Goals and Plans - with your 710/Q48, you can comfortably apply to ANY Business Schools that interest you, so you shouldn't hold back when it comes to your Applications.

Another GMAT Assassin has been made!
Rich
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*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

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Re: Cancelled - 690 (Q44 V41 IR7) to Accepted - 710 (Q48 V40 IR7 AWA 5.5)   [#permalink] 25 Mar 2019, 13:50
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