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From 560 to 690, Don't Give Up, Test Day Experience

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Joined: 01 Nov 2018
Posts: 57
GMAT 1: 690 Q48 V35
GPA: 3.88
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From 560 to 690, Don't Give Up, Test Day Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2019, 18:22
Hi All,

Although I have been a member on gmatclub or a relatively short period of time, I have used the forum to my benefit. The advice I received from many experts, to the different questions I was able to practice helped me improve my GMAT score. Earning a 560 in late October, (35 Quant 32 Verbal 5 IR 6 AWA) I knew I had work to do. To my surprise, my content knowledge was actually strong but my strategy and mental mindset were weak. I had previously taken a 3 month online GMAT review course with the Princeton Review. Aside from a massive question bank, the course did not prepare you with any strategies related to the exam, as well as strategies that are essential for each sub-section in Verbal and different quant topics. I enrolled in the EMPOWERgmat online total score booster course after taking my first GMAT and was pleased with the course. I learned essential strategies that taught me to be more efficient with my time such as knowing when to immediately guess (strategically eliminate if you are able to) on questions that are super hard that don't really affect your score. Today, I was proud to have earned a 690 (48 Quant 35 Verbal 4 IR - AWA) and can officially say my gmat journey is over.
My practice test GMAT scores were:
GMAT Prep 1 650 Quant 44 Verbal 35
GMAT Prep 2 690 Quant 46 Verbal 38
GMAT Prep 3 650 Quant 41 Verbal 39
GMAT Prep 4 680 Quant 46 Verbal 37
GMAT Prep 5 650 Quant 44 Verbal 35
Kaplan Free Practice Test 670 Quant 47 Verbal 35
Manhattan GMAT Practice Free Practice Test 680 Quant 44 Verbal 38
GMAT Prep is by far the most accurate indicator of your score, but other test prep companies are pretty decent too. It turned out I performed on the lower end of Verbal and higher end of Quant on the actual test. In my opinion, RC played a role in my lower than expected Verbal score as you will see below. To share my experiences on both of my test days:

In late October, I made poor use of my time and was forced to guess on many questions near the end of both sections. It turns out that the GMAT actually has some relatively easy/medium questions toward the end of both sections (more so quant) that rewards test takers for efficient use of time. In terms of content, I thought the quant on my first test was MUCH harder than OG questions and the Verbal was nearly identical to the OG questions.

Today, I felt the quant was just as hard, if not slightly harder than the OG questions. Surprised I got up to 3 extremely difficult multi-shaped geometry questions as well as a tough sequence PS question. Overall, slightly harder than OG questions but slightly less challenging than gmatclub quant questions. For those studying quant, OG is not enough so getting exposed to gmatclub questions is great to get the feel of more difficult questions.

As for Verbal, the RC Passages, but more so the questions were MUCH HARDER than OG questions. The reason my Verbal improved only 3 points was largely due to my performance on RC although I won't be sure until I receive my ESR. The SC problems were slightly harder than the OG problems and the CR questions were of the same difficulty as OG questions. It is impossible to say which sub-sections in both quant (PS,DS) and Verbal (RC,CR,SC) are easier/harder on the actual test compared to other sources because each test day experience will be different for everybody. The question bank on the actual test must be EXTREMELY LARGE because there is quite a bit of variation on which questions and question types you will receive. For example, today, out of my 13 RC questions 7-8 were inference based questions, with 3-4 asking what the author of the passage or someone mentioned in the passage would agree or disagree with. This is a more rare question yet it appeared often on my test. I am looking forward to receiving my ESR and seeing the breakdown of each section and my performance on each quarter chunk. To those that failed once on the GMAT and are still studying, DO NOT GIVE UP. This test is beatable and predictable. Stay composed and when needed, reach out for help. I will do my best to try to answer any questions you may have for me!

EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13361
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: From 560 to 690, Don't Give Up, Test Day Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2019, 12:00
Hi gmatconqueror2018,

That's OUTSTANDING news! This 690/Q48 is a fantastic improvement over your prior 560/Q35, so you can comfortably apply to any Schools that interest you (and the Q48 proves to Admissions Officers that you can handle the 'academic side' of their respective Programs)! You clearly worked really hard and earned this Score result!

I can't recall whether we discussed your application plans or not:
1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

Congrats again on all of your success so far!

Another GMAT Assassin has been made!

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at:

Rich Cohen

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Joined: 25 Apr 2018
Posts: 379
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Re: From 560 to 690, Don't Give Up, Test Day Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2019, 21:31
Congratulations gmatconqueror2018 on the 150 point improvement.Its commendable :)
All the best :thumbup: for your apps.

Please give kudos if you found my posts helpful!

Project CR Butler - 2 CR's everyday

GMAT Club Bot
Re: From 560 to 690, Don't Give Up, Test Day Experience &nbs [#permalink] 11 Jan 2019, 21:31
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