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From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money

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GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
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From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 17:19
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Prequel
I started my GMAT studying about 6 months ago. I was always good at school, testing, math, etc. I was a history major at a top ten school in the US and thought my writing/verbal skills would be up to par. Honestly, I wasn’t worried. I should have been worried!!!! I have been out of school for a little over 2 years and just thought why not try this out now? My work schedule is pretty chill as I work in advertising/marketing.

I took my first CAT test and scored 550. I had no idea what that even meant yet, but was convinced by myself I could just get my score up to the mid-600s or higher. I studied causally with the OG 2018 just going through the book….and nada, hardly any improvement in score.

Act I
I began to panic when I realized how much work my verbal needed. I decided I needed to get a tutor. From June-August I had a tutor about every week, around 15 times total. I used the OG guide 13th edition and his material. It helped and I was getting into the high 600s.. I thought if I just got my math score to a good level I would be fine, but I was still really struggling with both sections. My math score was all over the place on the MBA official CATs. I got up to the 80’s in percentile in verbal, but wasn’t getting above 50’s in quant percentile. I finally got a 700 in a CAT and decided to schedule my GMAT for the end of August.

Test 1 was a disaster. I was always a good tester and as the test progressed I didn’t think I was struggling. I got my score…610. I was SO upset. I got lower in math than I ever had before looking at all my official CATs. I really bombed. Verbal I got 86th percentile so that was ok, but no way I was keeping this score. I was so angry I had spent money on a tutor that did almost nothing.

Intermission
I took about a month break and had to get surgery. I wanted to reset and figure out my new plan.

Act II and the FINAL Act
I started doing some research on what online program/tutoring to do going forward as I wasn’t going back to spending 150 plus on a tutoring session. I landed on EmpowerGMAT. Fast forward to Oct 1. I made my game plan, an attack strategy of sorts. I was going to follow Empower’s one-month guide to studying and take the test Oct 30th.

I am not going to lie and say I just did it causally and everything worked out, I straight up GRINDED for four weeks everyday. I spent hours day in and day out working through all of their lessons. It was 100 dollars for the month and seriously the best money I have ever spent. I learned so much more from those videos than I ever did with any other material/tactic. They had advice and guidance I had never come across before and it was working. My CAT’s and practice problems were showing the results I wanted. I scored a 730 on my next CAT about 2 weeks into the month. I felt on fire *fire emoji here.* I knew I was almost ready for test day as if I had any choice, but I felt stronger than ever answering every type of question. You know in school when you finally understand a subject or piece of material and then afterwards you could nail it every time? That’s how I finally felt; it was all clicking. Yesterday, I took my second (and final!!) test. I scored a 710 and couldn’t be happier. :-D I attribute so much of my success to EmpowerGMAT. If you are willing to do the lessons and take the time, it will improve your score—no DOUBT.

• Things I wish I knew- it doesn’t matter if you were good at these subjects in school, it’s a test you have to learn and you have to work hard
• Things I have learned- the GMAT doesn’t mean anything about you or your intelligence, just learn it, get it done, move on
• Things I wasted my time on- an expensive tutor, just going through the OG with no plan
• Things to spend the money and time on- EmpowerGMAT!
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Re: From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 23:29
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jsus16
Congrats on achieving your target score.
Thanks for sharing debrief.
Best of luck for applications.
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Re: From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 12:50
1
Hi jsus16,

That's OUTSTANDING news! Raising a 610 to a 710 is a fantastic achievement - and you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. I'm not sure if we've ever discussed your application plans before or not, but you certainly have plenty of options!

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

Another GMAT Assassin has been made!
Rich
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Re: From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2018, 19:02
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jsus16

Congrats on achieving your Score.Your hard work finally paid off.

Best of luck for your applications!!

Thanks!
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Re: From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 06:41
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi jsus16,

That's OUTSTANDING news! Raising a 610 to a 710 is a fantastic achievement - and you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. I'm not sure if we've ever discussed your application plans before or not, but you certainly have plenty of options!

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

Another GMAT Assassin has been made!
Rich


Thanks Rich! :) So happy I used empower!

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
I am applying next fall for fall 2020 entrance.
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
I am still figuring it out, but top ones are probably Berkeley, NU (went as an undergrad), and Mich. Also looking at other California schools like UCLA.
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 10:59
1
Hi jsus16,

Locking up your GMAT Score now - so that you have time to plan out your applications - was a smart choice. Now that you have some ideas as to the Schools that you might apply to, you can use your time to bolster the other aspects of your applications. To that end, you might want to discuss your profile and application plans with an Admissions Expert. There's a forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

Congrats again on all of your success so far!

Another GMAT Assassin has been made!
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

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Re: From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 11:04
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Congrats on a getting a very nice score on GMAT.

Thanks for sharing a detailed debrief. All the best for the applications.
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Re: From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Nov 2018, 14:15
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Wonderful story!

Personally, I find the rigorous 700ish stories a lot more inspiring than the flamboyant 770 ones.

Great work. Congratulations on the success and the wonderful attitude.

All the best for applications!
GMAT Club Bot
Re: From 500s to 710 with sweat, tears, time and money &nbs [#permalink] 02 Nov 2018, 14:15
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