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From Q44 to Q42 to Q46 to Q50: my GMAT Quant Journey (with ESRs)

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Status: Professional GMAT Tutor
Affiliations: AB, cum laude, Harvard University (Class of '02)
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Location: United States (CA)
Age: 38
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GRE 1: 337 Q168 V169
WE: Education (Education)
From Q44 to Q42 to Q46 to Q50: my GMAT Quant Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2017, 13:34
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Also see: From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs)

I am a Harvard grad and American GMAT tutor, and I take the GMAT regularly to stay sharp and up-to-date. I have always been naturally talented at Verbal--I scored V48 (99%) on my first attempt, which helped propel me to a composite score of 770--but for Quant, I have had to struggle for my success. Like so many others, especially those of us coming from the American educational system, where overall mathematics skills are lacking relative to elsewhere in the world, I have found the fast-paced, adaptive format of the GMAT Quant section to be a challenging opponent, and yes, even I have had setbacks in my journey to reach an elite (80%+) Quant score.

On my last 5 GMATs, I scored 47 (pre-ESR), 44, 42, 46 and finally 50/51 on Quant. Below is my journey, in pictures. I imagine that the ESRs will be helpful to many of you in formulating your pacing strategies.

Image

Here, I turned in a mostly solid performance in the first three quarters of the test, but I fell apart at the end, running out of time and getting 6 out of the final 7 questions wrong. Q44 is certainly not bad for 12 of 28 counted questions wrong, though--the test rewarded me for earning harder questions at the end, even though I got most of them wrong.

Image

Here, I backslid, mostly due to my subpar performance in the critical 2nd and 3rd quarters. I did great at the end, but it was too late--my difficulty level had already fallen too low. I only got 9 (counted) questions wrong this time, but I performed 2 points worse than the previous test due to a lowered difficulty level.

Image

Welcome news--progress rather than regress! I turned in a solid performance during the first three quarters of the test, and survived the final quartile of the test due to improved pacing strategy, even though I still ran out of time at the very end. Interestingly, I got 9 questions wrong this time--the exact same number incorrect as the last time--but performed a full 4 points better on my overall score.

Image

Finally, the coveted Q50! I took my time during the critical first two quarters of questions (up to three minutes per question) and managed to perform very well (12 out of 14 correct) . Toward the end of the section, I made sure to speed myself up and be more aggressive with my answers, giving myself enough time to finish. For the first time, I was able to complete every question, and I finished strong--only 6 questions wrong total--despite the high difficulty level of the questions I was being served.

My next goal: getting only 0-2 wrong and earning a perfect 51/51.

Happy studies,

-Brian

_________________

Harvard grad and 770 GMAT scorer, offering high-quality private GMAT tutoring, both in-person and online via Skype, since 2002.

GMAT Action Plan - McElroy Tutoring


Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 16 Dec 2017, 19:07, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: From Q44 to Q42 to Q46 to Q50: my GMAT Quant Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2017, 16:03
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Also see: From V46 to V47 to V40 to V42: my GMAT Verbal Journey (with ESRs)

I am a Harvard grad and American GMAT tutor, and I take the GMAT at least every few years to stay sharp and up-to-date. I have always been naturally talented at Verbal--I scored V48 (99%) on my first attempt, which helped propel me to a composite score of 770--but for Quant, I have had to struggle for my success. Like so many others, especially those of us coming from the American educational system, where overall mathematics skills are lacking relative to elsewhere in the world, I have found the fast-paced, adaptive format of the GMAT Quant section to be a challenging opponent, and yes, even I have had setbacks in my journey to reach an elite (80%+) Quant score.

On my last 5 GMATs, I scored 47 (pre-ESR), 44, 42, 46 and finally 50/51 on Quant. Below is my journey, in pictures. I imagine that the ESRs will be helpful to many of you in formulating your pacing strategies.

Image

Here, I turned in a mostly solid performance in the first three quarters of the test, but I fell apart at the end, running out of time and getting 6 out of the final 7 questions wrong. Q44 is certainly not bad for 12 of 28 counted questions wrong, though--the test rewarded me for earning harder questions at the end, even though I got most of them wrong.

Image

Here, I backslid, mostly due to my subpar performance in the critical 2nd and 3rd quarters. I did great at the end, but it was too late--my difficulty level had already fallen too low. I only got 9 (counted) questions wrong this time, but I performed 2 points worse than the previous test due to a lowered difficulty level.

Image

Welcome news--progress rather than regress! I turned in a solid performance during the first three quarters of the test, and survived the final quartile of the test due to improved pacing strategy, even though I still ran out of time at the very end. Interestingly, I got 9 questions wrong this time--the exact same number incorrect as the last time--but performed a full 4 points better on my overall score.

Image

Finally, the coveted Q50! I took my time during the critical first two quarters of questions (up to three minutes per question) and managed to perform very well (12 out of 14 correct) . Toward the end of the section, I made sure to speed myself up and be more aggressive with my answers, giving myself enough time to finish. For the first time, I was able to complete every question, and I finished strong--only 6 questions wrong total--despite the high difficulty level of the questions I was being served.

My next goal: getting only 0-2 wrong and earning a perfect 51/51.

Happy studies,

-Brian


Brian, great improvement and thanks for the insights. Thanks as well for your feedback on my situation. To what do attribute your range of scores? Better day-of performance or just gradually getting better in core skills? How much of this is odds game? Ie. just the luck of the CAT draw? Are 5 point swings possible from random takes?

Thx!

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Top Contributor
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
G
Status: Professional GMAT Tutor
Affiliations: AB, cum laude, Harvard University (Class of '02)
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Posts: 479

Kudos [?]: 583 [0], given: 63

Location: United States (CA)
Age: 38
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GRE 1: 337 Q168 V169
WE: Education (Education)
Re: From Q44 to Q42 to Q46 to Q50: my GMAT Quant Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2017, 16:26
Top Contributor
Thanks datatrader! Happy to help, and great question. I would say that the difference is about 60% improved skills, and about 40% luck, especially on Verbal, where even just 1 question wrong can drop 3 points from your section score. There is always a strong element of luck on the GMAT, so yes, 5-point swings (in either direction) are definitely possible--you can see that from my own GMAT scores on the lower left.
_________________

Harvard grad and 770 GMAT scorer, offering high-quality private GMAT tutoring, both in-person and online via Skype, since 2002.

GMAT Action Plan - McElroy Tutoring

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Re: From Q44 to Q42 to Q46 to Q50: my GMAT Quant Journey (with ESRs) [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2017, 00:01
Nice job, Brian! Interesting endeavor. Keep in mind there is a lifetime GMAT attempt limit, so make sure you hit the coveted 800 before you get there....
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Kudos [?]: 47 [0], given: 15

Re: From Q44 to Q42 to Q46 to Q50: my GMAT Quant Journey (with ESRs)   [#permalink] 29 Dec 2017, 00:01
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From Q44 to Q42 to Q46 to Q50: my GMAT Quant Journey (with ESRs)

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