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# Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!

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Intern
Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 7
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
GMAT 2: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.95
Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 03 Aug 2018, 07:27
21
5
Hi everyone,

Just hot off of giving my GMAT for the second time and I hopped straight onto this forum to post my experience. I have read countless and countless of success stories on here and only dreamt of one day posting my own. If this can help just ONE person who's looking for some sort of guidance like little me a day ago, then it would be worth it. So here it goes!

Books & Materials
MGMAT Guides
OG 12
Gmatclub tests <- What. A. Game. Changer. They really pull out all the tricks of the trade.

Practice Scores
Veritas: 650 (Q43, V37) Jan 20th
Manhattan Prep: 620 (Q39, V35) Feb 3rd <- man, this kicked my @\$\$
Princeton Review: 700 (Q48, V39) Feb 10th <- gaining a bit of confidence of breaking that "700 ceiling"
Kaplan: 710 (Q48, V39) Mar 2nd <- Ma look, I made it!
800 Score: 720 (Q47, V42) Mar 3rd <- way easier, not a reliable source
GMAT Attempt 1: 710 (Q47, V40) Mar 6th
GMAT Prep 1: 710 (Q50, V36) Jul 25th
GMAT Prep 2: 680 (Q49, V33) Jul 30th <- scared the heckk out of me 2 days before my official exam, but my program glitched and I ended up with a ~5 minute shorter verbal section
GMAT Final: 740 (Q49, V41) Aug 2nd

Honestly, my prep exam two days before D day really screwed with my head. I had doubts of whether (without "or not" ) I could even score higher than my first attempt, a 710. But afterwards I kept telling myself that I actually work better under pressure and my score was skewed because of the system malfunction (it counted down the time without giving me the next question - talk about testing my STRESS LEVELS). I'd say a more accurate score would be around the 730 range.

Strategies
Honestly, I know there's so much good comprehensive tips out there that say a lot of the same things (believe me, I've probably read through every one of them) so I'm going to try and keep my tips unique from the cliche.

Quants
- I don't know how I prepped before discovering GMAT Club, but if time travel were to exist, I would get a huge "GET INTO THIS CLUB" tattoo on my forehead. You know, Looper and Memento style. So good job for completing advice number 1.
- GMAT Math Ebook! Bunuel wow what a man. You are from heaven.
- Always think algebra first. Try to match the question equation to the answers, vice versa.
- 0, 1, negative, fractions do funky things. Don't forget them.
- It's quantitative REASONING (read; not math) for a REASON. Make sure you understand the question first - "% increase" is NOT the same as "% greater than."
- Write out the given information first. If it says A and B are positive integers, I would write that out and circle and underline it just so I remember to check back on this condition once I get an answer.

Verbal
CR
- PRE-THINK. WOW was this the biggest and most enlightening technique for me. You don't have to pre-think the answer, but you should definitely pre-think what the answer should tell you.
- Word precision. "Kayne West might run for president" is NOT the same as "Kayne West will run for president."
- Find clues in the question stem: "What would best support the argument that baseball is the best sport in the world?" Ah, good hint. "Baseball is the best sport in the world" is the main argument.

SC
- Be concise.
- You already know. Study the rules, but also practice with sentence meaning.

RC
- Before you even finish reading the passage, I want you to say in your head after the first sentence that this topic is your life long PASSION. A 5 paragraph essay on the biological components of this complex biochemical medicine of this obscure disease that only affects a small population of North Dakota? YES, PLEASE. This stuff is what I LIVE for.
- ^ I know it sounds silly, but honestly. This attitude and approach made me so much more willing to answer questions and engage so much deeper with the passage.

Test Day
Ah, while it's fresh in my memory. I even jotted down my thoughts right as I was walking out of the building to keep them treasured. I want to remember how I felt.

Let's talk about where my headset was the night before the exam. Like what everyone and everything says, I spent the entire day before just relaxing my the pool side and not touching/looking/THINKING about any material. After FaceTiming my boyfriend for a couple of hours, I went to sleep around midnight for a 2:30pm exam the next day. Fast forward to 10am on D day morning, I was well rested and ready to go. Ate a balance breakfast, and still had 3 hours to kill before heading to my exam. I don't know why, but for me it helps TREMENDOUSLY if I presented my notes like I was giving a lecture to students about to take the exam: "Alright, class! For the quant section, ALWAYS remember to check the numbers 0, 1, fractions, and negatives! They do funky stuff, kids!" Isn't there a saying about remembering material better if you teach it?

Arrived at the testing center 30 minutes earlier than my appointment, listened to Kayne West hype music, pumped myself up and danced in front of the bathroom mirror, security checked, and I was seated. Clicked through the introductions and selected the usual - Quant, Verbal, IR & AWA. Let's go.

The Quant section started off nothing out of the ordinary, though I do remember feeling like I had to rush the first few questions. I've read before that the first 10 questions are weighted more heavily, but it was equally important not to fall behind on time. In the beginning, I remember getting multiple questions in a row that were the same rates topic and at that "rate" , feeling tripped up on all of them. I thought for sure that I had bombed the section, especially when the 2 questions I got after were VERY easy range questions. It's such a mind game - the harder the questions are, the more you feel like you're doing well OR the more you feel like you're screwing up.
My advice? Just don't focus on the algorithm behind the machine and focus on one question at a time. Even if you feel like it's an easy low ball to you, then you better hit a home run off of it. If you can't tell already, I'm a punny baseball fan.
Around the middle of the section, I got a complex question that had to do with weird symbols - in fact, it was one of those questions that had one symbol equal to this equation, then another symbol equal to another equation, and then put said different symbols into a massive equation. It was like symbol-ception! The only strategy I could employ for that one was the good ol' plug and chug, and narrowed it down to an answer I thought was the only possible right one. After that mind gymnastics, the section hit the pretty standard stuff and I felt good about the rest. I answered the last question and didn't have time to click submit before the timer ran out. I asked the proctor if it would count, and apparently the system saves your answers every few seconds, so there is a high probability that it did.

Went and took a lightening fast break, swallowed an RX bar, and got right back into the ring. Round 2.

Went back to my locker to eat another nuts bar, then came back 4 minutes early to finish the war. My proctor even asked me, "Are you sure you don't want to take another 2 minutes?" I gave her a face, followed with a "Just trying to get this over with."

Jumped back into IR, and quite frankly, I hadn't studied IR at all - only practice through the practice exams. IR was relatively straight forward, except there was one question on different types of codes composed of different letters with all these different rules...yeahh, let's just skip this question because I didn't have the mental bandwidth to thinking about it. Chose 3 random answers. Ended up getting 8, 92nd percentile, which I'm still trying to wrap my head around

The AWA - just memorize a template. It makes your life easier and by the end of the test, all you want to do is put your brain on autopilot and cruise until you hit your destination. Also, try to use long sentences with long words. Did that, and still had 6 minutes left to proof read and add a little more fluff. Wrapped that up with a pretty bow.

Timer ended - finally! Clicked next, next, next, and BOOM. Your score hits you like a train.
740. I did a double take. 'No way...' I thought to myself. I was 203948% sure that I had failed it! I even remember doing mental scheduling during my break of when to retake my exam. I couldn't contain my excitement, reaching up into the air and fist bumping the man above. Hooray!

At the end, so much of my success is credit to you all on this wonderful website. You have been such a reliable community for me to be a part of. I shared in your struggles, stresses, and successes. I owe this all to you - thank you! Mainly for enduring all my mom puns in this post!

Originally posted by katie2 on 02 Aug 2018, 22:00.
Last edited by katie2 on 03 Aug 2018, 07:27, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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02 Aug 2018, 22:53
Congratulations on the score Katie!

I have not tried out GMAT Club verbal tests. Did you take those as well? If so, would you recommend them to others?

PS: Kudos for the formatting!
Joined: 18 Jun 2018
Posts: 80
Location: United States (AZ)
Concentration: Finance, Healthcare
Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 05:54
1
Congratulations katie2. You deserve this. Many would have settled for 710 which is a great score by itself but you went for it and got rewarded. Great motivation for the rest of us still studying for the test. Did you make use of the advance MGMAT quant book during prep?

Cheers!
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 06:22
Congratulations 230984 times katie2 , and all the best for your applications.

Thanks a ton for such detailed debrief, and offering so many useful and much needed takeaways.
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Thanks

Intern
Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 7
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
GMAT 2: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.95
Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 07:46
1
sandman13 wrote:
Congratulations on the score Katie!

I have not tried out GMAT Club verbal tests. Did you take those as well? If so, would you recommend them to others?

PS: Kudos for the formatting!

sandman13 Thank you sir! More power to you moving forward.

Yes I did! And I got crushed by them. My projected score was a disappointing 660. I think the GMATClub tests are supposed to be hard not to give you a proper score indication, but to show you all the tricks in the most efficient way possible. I think I learned 5x more things in a single GMATClub question than I did in a question from any other source.
Intern
Joined: 29 Jun 2018
Posts: 7
GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
GMAT 2: 740 Q49 V41
GPA: 3.95
Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 07:53
funsogu wrote:
Congratulations @katie2. You deserve this. Many would have settled for 710 which is a great score by itself but you went for it and got rewarded. Great motivation for the rest of us still studying for the test. Did you make use of the advance MGMAT quant book during prep?

Cheers!

Oh trust me funsogu, it was very tempting. But I had a month before starting fulltime work so I decided I wouldn’t have as good of a 2nd chance as I would now!

No, I didn’t use the advanced prep. For me, I think the standard quant books + GMATClub Ebook was more than enough to prepare for the quant section. In my experience, I’ve heard countless of times that Manhattan prep tends to overprepare you on quant, making every question more difficult than a <2min situation. If you were to use manhattan to study quants, I wouldn’t use it to practice under the time constraints - that will just stress you more. Instead, I would answer the questions untimed - this method allowed me to still learn the challenging concepts without having to reboot my fight-or-flight stress hormones every few seconds.
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 09:20
Thanks katie2. That is a great tip. My main prep material is Magoosh but I am also using MGMAT to fill the gaps. I bought the advance quant book used on Amazon and plan to start looking at it towards the end of my prep.

katie2 wrote:
funsogu wrote:
Congratulations katie2. You deserve this. Many would have settled for 710 which is a great score by itself but you went for it and got rewarded. Great motivation for the rest of us still studying for the test. Did you make use of the advance MGMAT quant book during prep?

Cheers!

Oh trust me funsogu, it was very tempting. But I had a month before starting fulltime work so I decided I wouldn’t have as good of a 2nd chance as I would now!

No, I didn’t use the advanced prep. For me, I think the standard quant books + GMATClub Ebook was more than enough to prepare for the quant section. In my experience, I’ve heard countless of times that Manhattan prep tends to overprepare you on quant, making every question more difficult than a <2min situation. If you were to use manhattan to study quants, I wouldn’t use it to practice under the time constraints - that will just stress you more. Instead, I would answer the questions untimed - this method allowed me to still learn the challenging concepts without having to reboot my fight-or-flight stress hormones every few seconds.
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 09:22
Congratulations on the awesome score, katie2! This was one of the best reads I've ever seen in this part of the forum -- so wonderfully full of life. I can tell already: your application essays are going to be amazing, and your b-school interviews will absolutely love you.

Good luck with applications, and congratulations again!
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Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 09:34
Katie2
Congrats for getting 740!!
Any tips for going from V35+ to V40+?
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 21:00
katie2 Congratulations on the awesome score 740!!!
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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03 Aug 2018, 23:28
Congratulations katie2.

Just brilliant score and a very nice and crisp debrief.

All the best for your applications.

Could you please share any resources/tips for SC subsection in the GMAT.
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GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2018, 00:01
1
GMATNinja wrote:
Congratulations on the awesome score, @katie2! This was one of the best reads I've ever seen in this part of the forum -- so wonderfully full of life. I can tell already: your application essays are going to be amazing, and your b-school interviews will absolutely love you.

Good luck with applications, and congratulations again!

Oh my, is this really coming from GMATNinja? I've seen you countless of times in the various GMATClub posts during my verbal prep - you are so helpful and intelligent! I feel so flattered being complimented by a GMATClub celebrity
Intern
Joined: 29 Jun 2018
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GMAT 1: 710 Q47 V40
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2018, 00:13
1
Bismarck wrote:
Congrats for getting 740!!
Any tips for going from V35+ to V40+?

Yes indeed! For me, a 40+ was when I honed in and focus on CR for an intensive week. That strategy simultaneously improved my RC.

I would highly recommend a Powerpoint I found on this forum called "CR Strategies" (it'll pop up if you search it, I can't post with links or attachments yet) - worked through it in excruciating detail, studying every word of every right and wrong answer choice. Afterwards, CR felt more predictable - I felt like I was using basic blueprints instead of feeling around in the dark.
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2018, 00:17
saurabh9gupta wrote:
Congratulations @katie2.

Just brilliant score and a very nice and crisp debrief.

All the best for your applications.

Could you please share any resources/tips for SC subsection in the GMAT.

Glad you enjoyed! For SC, Manhattan SC Guide is more than you need for all the basics. After the basics, I would utilize the question bank here to just drill in those concepts. SC is different than RC and CR in that you can pretty much complete the questions in rapid fire mode, so repetition is key. Also, I would stick to the 600-650, 650-700, or only a few of the 700-750 questions. Anything about 750 that gets too complex and nuanced aren't worth the time you'd have to invest.
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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06 Aug 2018, 14:47
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Congratulations katie2! This was an enjoyable read and I wholeheartedly support your RC tips! The more one can take interest in everything-GMAT, the closer they move the needle to 800. If you are not ready to embrace the bacteria that causes the population of north Dakota to fall ill sometimes, well, I guess you don't want it bad enough

P.S. Too funny about your double-take. I had no idea how I was doing on my test either. I thought i was failing, frankly. When I saw a 750, I thought it was a glitch, and I ran from the test center like i stole it, afraid they would catch up with me and change my score.
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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08 Aug 2018, 04:13
bb wrote:
Congratulations @katie2! This was an enjoyable read and I wholeheartedly support your RC tips! The more one can take interest in everything-GMAT, the closer they move the needle to 800. If you are not ready to embrace the bacteria that causes the population of north Dakota to fall ill sometimes, well, I guess you don't want it bad enough

P.S. Too funny about your double-take. I had no idea how I was doing on my test either. I thought i was failing, frankly. When I saw a 750, I thought it was a glitch, and I ran from the test center like i stole it, afraid they would catch up with me and change my score.

The king! So much of my success can be traced back to the moment when YOU founded this amazing forum and community! Words can't express how grateful I am that you did.

Also, glad I wasn't the only one going crazy, triple checking that it was my name on the score report. I made others verify for me because I didn't trust my own eyes
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2018, 12:50
Heartiest congratulations

Some of your tips are very simple yet very powerful. For instance- in the SC section, "meaning is the king". Meaning should not change while correcting the sentence. Similarly, I can't stress enough the importance of 'pre-thinking' in CR.

All the best for your application process.
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Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me!  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2018, 01:16
Congratulations for the wonderful score!! Thank you for the details, just when am trying to get past the 710 (my last score) mark myself. I have taken a month break from studying...it was exhausting to study and yet get the feeling that I can't get it better than last score. Plus GMAT tests 5-6 threw me off !! I think they are way tougher than the real GMAT!

I will take the exam soon enough and hope to score at least 730 again...any lesser will so heart breaking!

Thank you once again and all the best for applications! One hurdle is clearly gone for good!

Sent from my A0001 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Re: Debrief: 710 to 740 - celebrate with me! &nbs [#permalink] 16 Aug 2018, 01:16
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