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# Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710:

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Manager
Joined: 15 May 2009
Posts: 170
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Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2009, 17:43
1
KUDOS
Hi everyone,

I just completed my GMAT today, I can't compete with you 750+ guys, but I got the minimum score I aimed for, so I'm reliefed. I achieved this thanks in part to GMATforum, so hats off (or more appropriately - kudos) to all of you! A full debrief will follow soon, but for the moment being I have to go get dinner. However, before I go, I have a question about which I am HIGHLY concerned...

During my AWA, I finished my first essay and was checking it for spelling, grammar, etc, but my time ran out before I could click next to confirm my answer. Does this mean I lost EVERYTHING I wrote on the essay?!?! Or was my answer still saved in their DB even though I didn't click the next button? Someone please either confirm my worst fears or let me sleep easy tonight, thanks!

Again, rest assured, full debrief soon to follow!
Senior Manager
Joined: 04 Jun 2008
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2009, 20:47
Hi everyone,

I just completed my GMAT today, I can't compete with you 750+ guys, but I got the minimum score I aimed for, so I'm reliefed. I achieved this thanks in part to GMATforum, so hats off (or more appropriately - kudos) to all of you! A full debrief will follow soon, but for the moment being I have to go get dinner. However, before I go, I have a question about which I am HIGHLY concerned...

During my AWA, I finished my first essay and was checking it for spelling, grammar, etc, but my time ran out before I could click next to confirm my answer. Does this mean I lost EVERYTHING I wrote on the essay?!?! Or was my answer still saved in their DB even though I didn't click the next button? Someone please either confirm my worst fears or let me sleep easy tonight, thanks!

Again, rest assured, full debrief soon to follow!

Hey congratulations on your score

As for the AWA, I don't think your essay would be lost, had there been such a case, there would have been several warnings at the various forums, websites, guides to GMAT etc. I didn't find it written anywhere "don't forget to submit your essay"

I think the software simply saves whatever is there on the screen, irrespective of whether you click "submit" or not.
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2009, 22:05
Great job on the perfect 44/44 score! - first I've seen. Your AWA is safe - enjoy and relax now. Congratulations!
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2009, 23:42
Hi everyone,

I just completed my GMAT today, I can't compete with you 750+ guys, but I got the minimum score I aimed for, so I'm reliefed. I achieved this thanks in part to GMATforum, so hats off (or more appropriately - kudos) to all of you! A full debrief will follow soon, but for the moment being I have to go get dinner. However, before I go, I have a question about which I am HIGHLY concerned...

During my AWA, I finished my first essay and was checking it for spelling, grammar, etc, but my time ran out before I could click next to confirm my answer. Does this mean I lost EVERYTHING I wrote on the essay?!?! Or was my answer still saved in their DB even though I didn't click the next button? Someone please either confirm my worst fears or let me sleep easy tonight, thanks!

Again, rest assured, full debrief soon to follow!

Great job ! So now you are addiction free Good luck for your apps.
Senior Manager
Joined: 23 Jun 2009
Posts: 361
Location: Turkey
Schools: UPenn, UMich, HKS, UCB, Chicago
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2009, 01:09
Very good verbal. Good job. Congratulations.
Intern
Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 21
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 0

Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2009, 06:12
Awesone Score., Congrats,, Awaiting debrief,, All the best for apps .,
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2009, 06:25
nice. waiting for the full version debrief

Goodluck for your app process.
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Full Debrief - Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2009, 12:24
3
KUDOS
As promised, here is a more detailed debrief. My math scores are understandably less than superb (given the percentiles), but I guess I got something to be proud of on the verbal.

A little background:
I have an "advantage" that many of you do not have: I am unemployed & living off of VA benefits , this means I have plenty of time to study, & study I did. As far as strategy is concerned, I didn't really have much of a strategy, besides practice, practice, & practice. I have hardly done any substantive math for 7 years in the army & in college, but I knew I was inherently better at math than at verbal; I also knew that, more so than the math, a good verbal score will be the factor that pushes me over the 700 limit, so I focused more of my practice time on the verbal. I also scheduled "verbal heavy" practice days closer to the exam day, so that the verbal knowledge would still be fresh. Beyond that, there wasn't much of an overall strategy, but I can tell you which materials were the most helpful for me.

Initial familiarization with the test:
I started the process in April with a little known GMAT book published by a company called "REA". Its a generalized overview of the test, with a focus on all 5 types of question (plus AWA). There was nothing remarkable about it, and the questions were... I would say... mostly low-mid level. However, one thing that stood out about the math section is that the REA book would not only explain how to reach the correct answer, but it would also explain how the wrong answers were calculated, so as to point out common pitfalls and wrong approaches to avoid.

After the REA book, I moved on to the Kaplan 06-07 edition book. Again, nothing special, just a big collection of problems that I got through fairly quickly. After the Kaplan book, I moved onto the McGraw Hill 2009 GMAT book. Again, nothing remarkable, big collection of problems to do, but I would say slightly easier than OG12.

OG12 & the OG Quant review were helpful; I got used to the wording of real GMAT questions from an official source, blitzing through the OG problems gave me quite a bit of confidence with taking the real thing. The OG12 diagnostic also allowed me to gauge my strengths and weaknesses. Just for your info, my reading comp was by far the strongest area, with an "excellent" rating; data sufficiency was the worst ("average"), the rest were "above average".

None of the resources above gave me much in terms of "new insights", but the sheer volume of problems gave me exposure to the variety of questions that I should expect on the real test.

The most useful resources:
As far as math was concerned, GMATclub's math tests were a big help. Even though some problems on these tests are poorly worded and inadequately explained, I found the math tests to be the hardest sets of problems found on a single collection. I took about 1 per day during the last month of my prep, and that consisted of most of my math prep work during the final stages. It seems that the GMATclub tests focus on number properties quite a bit, I think this paid off on the real exam. The GMATclub verbal exams were equally impressive. Spending the $79 was well worth it. Regarding verbal, I used Powerscore's CR Bible and MGMAT's SC guide. I found the CR Bible to be the best explanation of CR questions and approaches by a long shot. In terms of logical organization, level of detail, simplified strategies, & difficulty of sample questions, the CR Bible was FAR superior to MGMAT's CR guide or anything else I've seen. This book is called the Bible for a reason, & its an absolute must for proficiency on CR questions, I can't stress this enough. On the other hand, MGMAT's SC Guide is the prep guide of choice for me on SC. It breaks down grammar into simple, understandable, & memorable sections that do not overwhelm students. I noticed significant improvement after going through this guide. However, I haven't compared this to Powerscore's SC Bible, so I don't know how these two books match up. After I went through the MGMAT SC Guide, I started doing the SC1000 problems that were circulating on the web. I got pretty comfortable after about 400+ problems. As far as RC is concerned, I did virtually no prep work on this (although I did briefly look through the RC section of MGMAT's CR/RC guide). Being a social sciences major, I read boring articles a lot, and my diagnostic showed that I was pretty good at it anyway. I did the occasional RC problem on GMATclub forum, that was about it. In addition, I view the RC as something of an extension of CR & SC. Lots of RC questions are "main point" & "inference questions", you can use CR approaches to solve them; if you're good at SC, you can probably read carefully enough to understand the RC excerpts. Now I understand why MGMAT merged the CR & RC into one guide. Day before the test: I read on numerous guides that I'm not supposed to study on the day prior to the test, but I was nervous & can't help myself. I started my morning with a GMATclub quant & a verbal test, reviewed my mistakes briefly, then went out to see "Bruno". I highly recommend the film, especially for those who do not mind outrageously sleazy & offensive films. During the evening I relaxed at home & watched a few videos online. I also ate mostly bland, non-spicy foods as recommended. Day of the test: I started the day early since I wasn't able to sleep well. I took a last minute glance through my SC & CR material (just general rules, no specific problems). I arrived more than 30 minutes prior to schedule and started early. My testing center was comfortable and the staff was friendly. The AWA topics were easy (for me), & the essays were a breeze (& now I am relieved to know my essays weren't lost ). I'm not sure, but I think I managed at least a 4. I found both the math and verbal to be more difficult (for the most part) than my practice exams, but I think this is largely a psychological impact (Ahh! Nerves!). My nervousness took a significant toll on my performance. I noticed that all the systematic problem solving approaches (for both quant & verbal) that I was supposed to use pretty much went out the window. I took longer than reasonable on all the questions, and I'm not even sure whether I was able to confirm my quant answer for #37 before time expired. Moreover, normally I can finish verbal with at least 10 minutes to spare; on the real test I had less than 1 minute left over. The RC paragraphs were extra long, the SC was just gut wrenching, and the CR always gave me 2 very good answer choices. I was quite relieved to see the 710 on screen after I finished. I think the lesson here is that for those who take the GMAT very seriously and are investing a lot of time & effort into the test - be prepared to make your problem-solving methods "second nature"; because come test day, when real questions come your way, the calm, rational, & systematic problem solving mentality may simply go down the drain, and all you'll be left with are your instincts. The impact of nerves was made worse by the fact that this was my first attempt. Nevertheless, I eeked out a 710, not great, but good enough to open the doors for the top schools. Now I have to try to step through these doors with persuasive app essays (no doubt GMATclub will continue to be a useful resource throughout this process). Aftermath For those who are curious, I am pursuing a MBA/MA joint degree (international relations/studies will be my second major, with an emphasis on Russian language & Sino-Russian relations), & here are my top school choices: Wharton (Wharton/Lauder) Yale SOM Chicago Booth Ross Foster Back up school: Monterey Institute of International Studies I'm really glad I can focus on my app essays without the distraction of having to worry about a GMAT retake. I hope the Post 9/11 GI Bill will help me get through my MBA without back breaking financial burdens; & last but not least I hope this lengthy debrief was of some use to my fellow GMATclub members. Good luck. PS. You do not have to spend a lot of money to buy books or join those fancy prep classes to get the best prep material. Check your local library & other places. Last edited by GMATaddict on 27 Jul 2009, 14:00, edited 1 time in total. Manager Joined: 07 Apr 2009 Posts: 145 Followers: 1 Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 3 Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink] ### Show Tags 18 Jul 2009, 12:21 hey congrats bud, thats a great score.. Quote: I think the lesson here is that for those who take the GMAT very seriously and are investing a lot of time & effort into the test - be prepared to make your problem-solving methods "second nature"; because come test day, when real questions come your way, the calm, rational, & systematic problem solving mentality may simply go down the drain, and all you'll be left with are your instincts. I know what you are saying Thanks for being straight forward and give us a glimpse of how the real panic attack would be All the best ! Manager Joined: 17 Apr 2009 Posts: 153 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 0 Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink] ### Show Tags 22 Jul 2009, 06:32 congrats for a gr8 score and thx for the post Intern Joined: 22 Jul 2009 Posts: 24 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0 Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink] ### Show Tags 22 Jul 2009, 06:57 Wow. You inspire me. V44 is my target. _________________ Fabricati diem. Manager Joined: 15 May 2009 Posts: 170 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 26 [1] , given: 3 Re: Debrief AWA update: [#permalink] ### Show Tags 22 Jul 2009, 10:57 1 This post received KUDOS A little update: I just got my official score report online, my AWA score was a 6. I usually have trouble on the analysis of an issue essay, but the argument essay is pretty easy. I noticed that the few AWA guides available on this forum show you how to structure the essay & what words to use, but do not talk at all about how to approach the topics or what to write. My advice on the analysis of an argument essay is to simply treat it as a CR problem. Instead of picking the correct response in accordance with the question stem, all you have to do is write out how present evidence weakens/strengthens the argument, and articulate the assumptions that impact the argument. Here is a rough outline of how I usually approach argument essays: Intro: The argument above is highly flawed, since it... Paragraph 1: The author presented evidence "X" in order to demonstrate that... However, the conclusion stemming from this evidence is based on the highly questionable assumption that... To strengthen this argument, the author can... Paragraph 2: In addition... (basically repeat para 1 with another piece of evidence, if applicable) Conclusion: In sum, the argument in its present form is weak and unpersuasive, because... but the author can do X, Y, & Z to strengthen it. For the most part, I find it easier to assess an argument negatively then briefly describe what needs to be done to strengthen the argument; I may not find an argument to be totally unfounded, I know that in such a short paragraph, it is practically impossible to construct a fully supported argument. The bottom line is, once you improve your CR proficiency, analysis of an argument should be a cake walk. As for how to approach the issue analysis topic, I'll let someone else address that since its not my strong point. Last edited by GMATaddict on 27 Jul 2009, 11:33, edited 3 times in total. Founder Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 14952 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3960 Kudos [?]: 25179 [0], given: 4765 Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink] ### Show Tags 24 Jul 2009, 22:27 GREAT THREAD _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News Rankings progression - last 10 years in a snapshot - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests Manager Joined: 15 May 2009 Posts: 170 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 26 [0], given: 3 Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink] ### Show Tags 27 Jul 2009, 11:49 bb wrote: GREAT THREAD Thanks. I'm having second thoughts about my GMAT score. 3 months ago, when I started looking into the average/median scores of the top schools, I found that I should be competitive enough as long as I score a 700 or above. Initially, I was pretty happy with a 710 (I know its not great, but at least its not below average). But now that I've read through the backgrounds/profile evaluations of so many other members, I feel a little intimidated by their much higher GMAT scores and much more relevant work experiences. I can't change my work experience, but I'm wondering whether it would be worth it to retake the GMAT. I probably won't be nearly as nervous this time; it wouldn't take too much additional practice to "get back into shape"; and I could probably make myself look better if my quant percentile was higher than a 70. However, there are risks. If I end up scoring lower than my first attempt, this may not be looked upon favorably by adcoms; A retake also costs an additional$250 that could be better spent elsewhere (i.e. an additional application to a slightly lower ranked school); and the time spent preparing for a retake may be better used for writing app essays.

At the moment, I'm leaning slightly in favor of keeping my score and investing my time into other aspects of the MBA application process. However, I would appreciate some thoughts from other forum members. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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27 Jul 2009, 12:26
Congrats for the great AWA score.
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2009, 01:01
bb wrote:

Thanks.

I'm having second thoughts about my GMAT score. 3 months ago, when I started looking into the average/median scores of the top schools, I found that I should be competitive enough as long as I score a 700 or above. Initially, I was pretty happy with a 710 (I know its not great, but at least its not below average). But now that I've read through the backgrounds/profile evaluations of so many other members, I feel a little intimidated by their much higher GMAT scores and much more relevant work experiences.

I can't change my work experience, but I'm wondering whether it would be worth it to retake the GMAT. I probably won't be nearly as nervous this time; it wouldn't take too much additional practice to "get back into shape"; and I could probably make myself look better if my quant percentile was higher than a 70.

However, there are risks. If I end up scoring lower than my first attempt, this may not be looked upon favorably by adcoms; A retake also costs an additional $250 that could be better spent elsewhere (i.e. an additional application to a slightly lower ranked school); and the time spent preparing for a retake may be better used for writing app essays. At the moment, I'm leaning slightly in favor of keeping my score and investing my time into other aspects of the MBA application process. However, I would appreciate some thoughts from other forum members. Thanks in advance. I think most people here would agree with your direction. However, I know how you feel. When I walked out with 750, I felt I could go further and wanted to reschedule (it is never enough with GMAT, just like money) but got too busy with applications and never did - I was not as greedy back then. Anyway, I doubt there is much downside to taking the test again except the$250 it costs. If you feel you really want to spend another month waiting and practicing high school math with grammar - you should do it, but my guess is that it's probably enough.

The only reason to retake would be to get the quant up - if you are going into finance, definitely. Otherwise, not really. Did you pick the schools you are targeting? What are their scores?
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2009, 10:30
bb wrote:
bb wrote:

Thanks.

I'm having second thoughts about my GMAT score. 3 months ago, when I started looking into the average/median scores of the top schools, I found that I should be competitive enough as long as I score a 700 or above. Initially, I was pretty happy with a 710 (I know its not great, but at least its not below average). But now that I've read through the backgrounds/profile evaluations of so many other members, I feel a little intimidated by their much higher GMAT scores and much more relevant work experiences.

I can't change my work experience, but I'm wondering whether it would be worth it to retake the GMAT. I probably won't be nearly as nervous this time; it wouldn't take too much additional practice to "get back into shape"; and I could probably make myself look better if my quant percentile was higher than a 70.

However, there are risks. If I end up scoring lower than my first attempt, this may not be looked upon favorably by adcoms; A retake also costs an additional $250 that could be better spent elsewhere (i.e. an additional application to a slightly lower ranked school); and the time spent preparing for a retake may be better used for writing app essays. At the moment, I'm leaning slightly in favor of keeping my score and investing my time into other aspects of the MBA application process. However, I would appreciate some thoughts from other forum members. Thanks in advance. I think most people here would agree with your direction. However, I know how you feel. When I walked out with 750, I felt I could go further and wanted to reschedule (it is never enough with GMAT, just like money) but got too busy with applications and never did - I was not as greedy back then. Anyway, I doubt there is much downside to taking the test again except the$250 it costs. If you feel you really want to spend another month waiting and practicing high school math with grammar - you should do it, but my guess is that it's probably enough.

The only reason to retake would be to get the quant up - if you are going into finance, definitely. Otherwise, not really. Did you pick the schools you are targeting? What are their scores?

That's the problem, I'm deciding between finance and international business as far as concentrations go. As for my schools, none of the guides I've seen gives a break down of average GMAT scores beyond the overall score. I'm pretty close to the average for all my schools. According to Businessweek rankings/profiles, I'm about 3-4 points below the mean and 10 points below the median of 4 of my schools (Wharton, Yale, Booth, Ross), and about 20 points above my back up school (Foster), but I am well within the middle 80% for all schools.
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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28 Jul 2009, 11:26
Just make you app unique. I dont think adcom will decide against you based on your score.
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Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710: [#permalink]

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24 Nov 2010, 19:14
Regarding the clock running out on the AWA, did you all reach a conclusion? Is there a penalty for letting the time expire on AWA?
Re: Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710:   [#permalink] 24 Nov 2010, 19:14
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# Debrief: Q 44, V 44, 710:

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