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First attempt 720 Q45 V44

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Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 24
First attempt 720 Q45 V44 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2007, 16:25
I am typing this with a huge hangover...

My GMAT experience:
Right now I am teaching English in China, (go here for a short version of my life story: in China you get the whole month of February off to celebrate Spring Festival. I decided to use this time to take a break from my Chinese studies and knock out the GMAT. Because the Chinese love to play with firecrackers THE WHOLE FREAKING MONTH OF FEBRUARY, it was like I was studying in Iraq with non stop gunfire in the background, but that is a different story. Going into it I was overly confident. I'm a decently smart fellow, so I figured that I would just study for a couple of weeks and score in the 95+ percentile range. I was wrong. I took the OG11 diagnostic test and only got 33% of the problem solving questions right! I hadn't seen this sort of math in years and I truly learned the extent of my dependence on calculators. I made non-stop stupid math errors like 6/3=3, and these errors stayed with me through the duration of my studying. I would say that just conquering your own stupid mistakes is one of the biggest hurdles.

Study materials:
OG 11
Manhattan SC
Kaplan CD
OG verbal and math workouts
Princeton review math and verbal workouts
1000 SC, CR, RC, PS, DS

Study method:
I started out using the OG11 and Princeton books at the same time. I would go through a chapter in each of the Princeton books and then do a "mini test" in the OG11. The mini tests were just 37 Q and 41 V problems. I put all the data into a spreadsheet that I have attached for all to see. (no laughing!) The spreadsheet includes my hit rate for each section, practice test scores, and error logs. I didn't start the error log until halfway through my studying, so it isn't very extensive. Also, some of the dates might be wrong because I was too lazy to change the date..don't mind that. I basically just went through all my books, nothing too spectacular that needs explaining. I browsed this forum every once in a while, but not seriously. Given my low Q score I can see that was a mistake. Whatever..I only had a month to plow through all those books and I just wasn't up for extra practice using this forum. Anyway, I can see how this forum would help. I just didn't have the time.

Practice tests:

These practice tests were a major wake up call. As you can see, I only scored a 590 on my first practice test. It totally bruised my ego and allowed me to see how far I needed to go to achieve my goal. Here are the results:

Jan 26
Princeton Review online test
590 Q39 V33

Feb 6
GMAT Prep 1
640 Q41 V38

Feb 17
Kaplan CD test 1
560 Q31 V36

Feb 21
GMAT Prep 2
720 Q47 V42

Feb 22
Kaplan CD test 2
570 Q35 V33

Feb 23
Powerprep test 1
720 Q47 V42

Feb 24
Kaplan CD test 3
640 Q36 V39

Feb 25
GMAT Prep test 1 retake
710 Q44 V44

Feb 26
Princeton online test retake
650 Q45 V36

Feb 27
Powerprep 2
730 Q48 V42

Feb 28
Kaplan CD test 4
580 Q37 V32

Mar 1
Kaplan CD test 1 retake
770 Q41 V50

Mar 2
Powerprep 1 retake
740 Q49 V42

Mar 2
Kaplan online test
720 Q44 V43

Mar 4
Powerprep 2 retake
760 Q49 V46

Mar 5 GMAT Prep 2 retake
730 Q47 V44

One thing I learned is that the problems on the test are alot harder than the ones in OG11. Doing these practice tests helped immensely. As everyone else says, the GMAT prep tests best simulate the real test.

Test experience:

The testing center nearest me is in Beijing, so on March 6th my wife and I took a train there. We checked into our hotel and had a nice light dinner of noodles. I must explain something..I am a bit of an insomniac. I can fall asleep just fine, but I can't stay asleep. I wake up 10-15 times a night usually, but on a good night I only wake up a couple of times. When I wake up 10 times in a night, the next day I feel hazy..kind of like someone stole 15 of my IQ points. I was hoping and praying that I would get a good night's sleep the night before the test. Of course it didn't happen. I slept horribly and felt crummy on the morning of the test. Of course, this just added to the stress level. I got to the testing center at 7:45 for my 9:00 test. I sat in the lobby and went through a few questions in the OG. They checked us in and the test began. The AWA went fine, nothing special. The math section was a different story. I felt lost about 1/3 of the time. I wouldn't say that these questions were harder than the practice tests, they were just the kind I don't like. I was just lucky enough to get tons of those kinds of questions. By the end of the math section I was starting to panic. I thought that MAYBE if I totally kick ass on the verbal I can salvage a 700 score. The verbal section went swimmingly. It was actually easier than the practice tests and I finished 27 minutes early. I was so relieved to see 720. I reached my goal of 95th+ percentile.

So, there is my story. I went from a 590 on my first practice test to a 720 on the real test in one month. I think if I had a few more weeks I could have utilized this forum more and improved my Q score. Oh well, what can you do? What's done is done and I will take a 720 any day of the week. I hope my story can help the other test takers here.[/url]

File comment: My GMAT study log
GMAT Review.xls [165 KiB]
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Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 125

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New post 07 Mar 2007, 17:35
Congrats on the great score :!: :!: :!: Your story is very inspiring :)
Joined: 21 Mar 2006
Posts: 1127
Location: Bangalore

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New post 07 Mar 2007, 20:08
Nice score (especially verbal)! congrats!
Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 125

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New post 08 Mar 2007, 08:31
How many questions did you solve a day for each section?
Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 24

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New post 08 Mar 2007, 18:18
Thanks for the congrats. For Tajik4GMAT, everything is in the spreadsheet. It includes how many questions I did every day and the percentage I got right.
  [#permalink] 08 Mar 2007, 18:18
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