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GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt

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GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V50
GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 04:37
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Hi guys, I had a lot of help from this community in preparing for the GMAT so decided to give back and do a debrief for future GMAT-takers. Will keep it short and sweet.

I think this will mainly be of help to those with a solid foundation in Math and English already. Prior to the prep I hadn't touched Math for close to 5 years but the great thing about GMAT Quant is that it really just tests relatively simple concepts but disguises it in various ways, and I was familiar with these concepts from my high school days (with a bit of refreshment help from the prep books).

The one thing I will say for those with solid Q/V backgrounds and aiming to score high is that it's all about mentality; you have to go into the centre prepared, gunning for that perfect 800 and looking to rip each question to shreds (yeah I know this is corny). For those coming from a humanities undergraduate background like me, if you think about it every question in the GMAT has either a right or wrong answer, which is much more straightforward than writing an essay where the mark will be influenced by the marker's subjectivity.

Materials Used: GMAT OG books, Manhattan Prep Books, GMATPrep Mock Exams (2), Manhattan Practice CATs (6)

I honestly feel that these are all the books you need, did not cover other books (e.g Kaplan / others) but Manhattan was very comprehensive on theory and the OG books on practice questions. Manhattan is definitely crucial for a deeper understanding of Geometry / Number Properties / Sentence corrections concepts, but OG guides give a better guide of how difficult the questions will be in the actual exam.

Timeline:
Decided to take the GMAT, searched online for the best books, ordered OG and Manhattan.
Day 1-5: Finished GMAT Official Guide (800 questions)
Day 6-8: Finished GMAT Official Verbal (300 questions)
Day 9: Took Manhattan CAT 1, ran out of time for Q and got the last 8 questions wrong. Final Score 710 (Q47, V40)
Day 10-12: Took a break from GMAT, brain was feeling fried.
Day 13-14: Blazed through Manhattan Quant books, only doing the harder practice questions.
Day 15-16: Blazed through Manhattan Verbal books, only doing the SC questions.
Day 17: Manhattan CAT 2. Again ran out of time for Q (jeez, Manhattan's Quant is literally impossible), got the last 6 questions wrong. Finished with 720 (Q46 V42).
Day 19: GMATPrep Test 1 (780, Q50 V47) at this point i realised Manhattan's Q was way harder than the real thing, so on all future Manhattan CATs i just paused without guilt when it came to a particular tough question as I knew in the real test I would have more time anyway. Would only recommend if you are sure you won't run out of time on the actual test though.
Day 20-21: Did CAT 3 (720, Q47 V42) and CAT 4 (780, Q51 V45).
Day 21-27: Was feeling pretty confident after CAT 4, so took a break for a week, intermittently doing the harder questions from the OG Quant Guide. Planned for a ramp-up in the last three days before the exams, doing a test per day.
Day 28: Manhattan CAT 5 (780, Q51 V45)
Day 29: GMAT Prep Test 2 (790, Q51 V48)
Day 30: Manhattan CAT 6 (780, Q51 V45)
Test day: Didn't get much sleep the night before. The test was booked for the afternoon, so I did some revision in the morning then took a taxi over to the test centre 30 minutes before. I thought Q wasn't too bad and V was alright apart from the one or two Sentence Correction questions of doom which seem to prop up every test. IR / AWA were the usual. Came out of the test and got the unofficial score of 780. Tinge of disappointment for the Q 50 especially since I'd been consistently hitting 51, but obviously very happy with the overall result.

Tips:
- Make a timeline for yourself from the very beginning + Set goals for what scores you want to hit for each practice test.
- During preparation, for every, and I stress every, question that you do (whether from the CATs or the OG books) that you are unsure of, OR you feel like there can be a faster way to do it, flag it and go over the explanation in the answer sheets. I cannot stress this enough, whether you get the question right or not is inconsequential, the most important thing is understanding how to do it properly and how to do it fast. At the start of my revision I was flagging one in every 3 questions for about 500 questions, some might find it a huge pain to go over all the explanations but you'll come out of it with rock solid concepts to apply to all future questions.
- Not sure how one can prep for IR, but for AWA i found Manhattan as well as some resources on this forum pretty useful in terms of stuff like connectors ('further, in addition, moreover') and structuring your argument. Haven't gotten my AWA score yet though so take it with a grain of salt.
- Do Quant first then Verbal, I feel like mental fatigue really hits after the first section which hurts you much more for Quant (especially since I seem to always go closer to the time limit for Q), whereas for Verbal you can kind of slowly work your way through. Of course this is my personal opinion and may be different for others. V was just generally more pleasant for me to face after a good 75 minutes of numbers.
- Take both the 8 minutes breaks after the Q/V sections to steel yourself for the next section.

I hope that helps! Attached my scoresheet below.

P.S my earlier posts on other subforums were going off my CAT 4 scores, wanted to get advice on my profile asap so I could work on my applications beforehand.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 06:05
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eternaloptimist

Excellent debrief and lots of useful inputs.
Can you shed more light on below:
1. Did you not order Exam packs 3 and 4 (the chargeable ones) and question pack from GMAC?
2. How would you rate difficulty of manhattan verbal Qs in mocks wrt official gmat prep mocks?
3. Your V score is simply outstanding and almost touching the skies. Could you share any strategies
you found useful while attempting CR and RC?
4. How did you manage timing during your mocks? I meant - did you prepare grids / table/ etc?
5.

Quote:
At the start of my revision I was flagging one in every 3 questions for about 500 questions, some might find it a huge pain to go over all the explanations but you'll come out of it with rock solid concepts to apply to all future questions.


If this ratio is much higher, how does one identify the cause as panic or lack in concepts?

6.
Quote:
Do Quant first then Verbal


Did you change your tactics in actual exam than mocks? Seems as per your debrief you took first quant and then verbal
in actual exam too? Any particular reason for mental fatigue you mentioned/ figure
out why you scored Q50 instead of Q51?

Wishing you all the best for your apps and future endeavors!!

P.S. You can use this feature
to validate your GMAT score too . :-)
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GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V50
GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 06:29
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Hey man, glad you found it useful. To address your points:

1. Honestly I didn't see the point in paying for more GMATPrep tests mainly because these tests do not have explanations for right/wrong answers, unlike the Manhattan CATs which have a thorough explanation for every question and EACH possible answer to the question. very useful. So I mainly treated the 2 free GMATPrep tests as gauges to make sure I was on the right track, not for learning.

2. Manhattan V is about the same or slightly harder than GMATPrep V. In fact there were some CR/RC questions on the actual exam which were on par with some of the hardest Manhattan V questions I had seen: I actually ended up almost running time on the exam V when I consistently finished with 15-20 minutes left on Manhattan V. so be prepared.

3. For RC don't get too caught up in the details early and try to understand the overall direction the passage is taking before getting into the nitty-gritty. For the science-y RC questions, try to visualise in your head the process of the cell/animal ecosystem/ spacey thing which the passage is describing, it will make it easier when answering questions related to it. Also just try to force yourself to feel interested in whatever topic/process the passage is describing no matter how boring it seems, this just helps in terms of understanding it fast.

For CR, have a rock solid understanding of what are premises, conclusions, observations, assumptions, etc. These are where you will slip up. Manhattan helps with this (also with RC reading), but beware of some of the Manhattan CR/RC strategies, they are a bit weird and specific and might slow you down if you follow them religiously.

4. For the mock exams, they all came with their individual timers for each section. I tried to hit 2 min per question for Q. For V I never ran out of time (until almost at the actual exam!) so I never really had to do the same, but I would say likewise, try for 21 questions by 37 minutes, and 32 questions by the time you have 18 minutes left.

5. For the non-mock questions (in the OG/Manhattan books themselves), just take your time, no need to panic as long as you are doing it properly and find the right technique. As for your question of whether it can be attributed to panic or lack of concepts, I think of it this way: if you are even in the situation where you are running out of time and are panicking, it means that you had a lack of concepts for previous questions that slowed you down. The GMAT is not just about getting the right answer, but also using the best technique that lets you do the question with minimal time. For example, I can confidently say I can do any question involving primes / factorizations / greatest common multiple now in maximum 45 seconds, because of the clarification of concepts that I got from Manhattan's books. Each would have taken me close to 3 minutes before. (Man, I sound like a Manhattan Prep salesman but some of their books are really that critical.)

6. For the first 3 mocks I had been doing V-->Q --> IR/AWA because I had read that you should start with your strength first, and for me that was Verbal. But I realised this tired me out by the time it got to Q which was partially why I kept running out of time during the CATs. So I swapped to Q--> V --> IR/AWA for the rest of my mocks as well the actual exam. Argh, don't know why I got a Q 50 actually, I thought I had gotten them all correct but I guess I will have to wait for the breakdown within 20 days time?

Hope that helps
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2018, 18:39
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Congratulations on your fantastic score! I assume hope that you are not applying in R2 and will give yourself a bit more time to prep your applications and do just as a fantastic job there.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2018, 19:01
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Holy crap, congratulations! We don't see 780s every day, so I hope that you're doing an enormous, energetic victory lap around your home city. :)

Good luck with your applications, eternaloptimist!
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GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 03 Jan 2018, 23:26
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Hi eternaloptimist ,

First of all: congratulations on the amazing score and welcome to the 99% club.

Another 50 Verbal score! Scores of V50 are rare. Now I'm very curious to see your ESR--did you get any counted questions wrong? The only other V50 ESR I've seen was from a student who (inexplicably) answered every counted Verbal question correctly (see below), but somehow did not earn a perfect V51.

Image
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You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y94hlarr Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 03 Jan 2018, 20:46.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 03 Jan 2018, 23:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2018, 23:16
bb GMATNinja
Thanks fellas. Yes I will be applying in R3 as I'm still getting around to securing some strong LORs and brushing up on my essays. Will be applying to MiMs at LBS/LSE/HEC-Yale, any tips would be welcome!

mcelroytutoring
I feel like I probably got one wrong as I was a bit 50-50 on 3 questions, but will have to wait for the ESR to see!
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GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 03 Jan 2018, 23:50
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eternaloptimist wrote:
mcelroytutoring
I feel like I probably got one wrong as I was a bit 50-50 on 3 questions, but will have to wait for the ESR to see!

I'm looking forward to seeing your detailed results! In many cases the ESR is available less than 24 hours after the test, so you might want to check to see whether it's available now.

As far as how many you got wrong on Quant, previous ESR research suggests that you probably answered anywhere from 3-6 questions incorrectly.
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You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y94hlarr Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 03 Jan 2018, 23:30.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 03 Jan 2018, 23:50, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2018, 23:46
mcelroytutoring

Hang on, why does it say I have to pay for the activation code... I'm not THAT curious hahaha
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GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2018, 23:53
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eternaloptimist wrote:
mcelroytutoring

Hang on, why does it say I have to pay for the activation code... I'm not THAT curious hahaha

Yeah, it's an extra $25, and you have no reason to retake the GMAT, so there is little incentive for you to pay for it. However, as a GMAT tutor, I'm curious enough to see your ESR that I'm willing to cover the cost. Would you be willing to post your ESR here on GMAT Club if I pay for it? (If you do choose to post the ESR for the benefit of this community, then I would of course suggest that you take screenshots of the original PDF to remove your personal identifying information.)

If yes, then please PM me your email, and I will gladly send you $25 via PayPal. These ESRs provide a valuable source of shared GMAT data.
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You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y94hlarr Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

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GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 Jan 2018, 02:13
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Proudly brought to you by mcelroytutoring ...

Seems it isn't possible to hit 51 on Verbal anymore!
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Originally posted by eternaloptimist on 04 Jan 2018, 01:55.
Last edited by eternaloptimist on 04 Jan 2018, 02:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2018, 01:59
Congratulations!!!
You have proved that fundamental clarity in concepts is far more important than doing am inordinate number of questions and concepts from the plethora of GMAT prep company available.

Congratulations again.
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GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 09 Jan 2018, 00:46
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Thanks again for sharing your ESR, eternaloptimist ! As I suspected, you correctly answered all 30 counted questions on Verbal, which suggests that your responses to the 11 experimental questions do matter somewhat, despite what GMAC claims. Otherwise, what could have possibly prevented you from scoring a perfect V51? See this debrief for more discussion of the same phenomenon.

The other possibility is that V50 is now a perfect score. However, you indicated earlier that you had to take 50/50 guesses on 3 Verbal questions, which means there is a roughly 7 in 8 chance that you answered at least one of them incorrectly. Also, the GMAT website still indicates V51 as a possible score, so I'm leaning more toward the first explanation than the second. You can always try contacting GMAC for clarification, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Image

On the Quant section, you answered a total of 25 questions correctly out of the 28 counted questions: you went 7/7 in the 1st quarter (100%), 5/7 in the 2nd quarter (71%), 7/7 in the 3rd quarter (100%) and 6/7 in the final quarter (86%). One more correctly answered question would have probably earned you a perfect Q51, as 0-2 counted questions wrong usually (but not always) yields a score of Q51.

Image

However, keep in mind that subscores of Q51 and V51 are not necessarily enough to achieve a composite score of 800--there have been plenty of Q51, V51, 790 composite debriefs here on GMAT Club. ESR research also suggests that to score a perfect 800, you need to answer all 78 Quant and Verbal questions correctly (yes, even the experimental ones, despite what the GMAC claims).

-Brian
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One of the only known humans to have taken the GMAT 5 times and scored in the 700s every time (700, 710, 730, 750, 770), including verified section scores of Q50 / V47, as well as personal bests of 8/8 IR (2 times), 6/6 AWA (4 times), 50/51Q and 48/51V (1 question wrong).

You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y94hlarr Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

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Contact: mcelroy@post.harvard.edu (I do not respond to PMs on GMAT Club.)

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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 04 Jan 2018, 09:02.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 09 Jan 2018, 00:46, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2018, 12:32
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mcelroytutoring wrote:
Thanks again for sharing your ESR, eternaloptimist ! As I suspected, you correctly answered all 30 counted questions on Verbal, which suggests that your responses to the 11 experimental questions do matter somewhat, despite what GMAC claims. Otherwise, what could have possibly prevented you from scoring a perfect V51? See this debrief for more discussion of the same phenomenon.

The other possibility is that V50 is now a perfect score. However, you indicated earlier that you had to take 50/50 guesses on 3 Verbal questions, and the GMAT website still indicates V51 as a possible score, so I'm leaning more toward the first explanation than the second. You can always try contacting GMAC for clarification, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Image

Also, as I predicted, you got a total of 25 Quant questions correct out of the 28 counted questions: you went 7/7 in the 1st quarter (100%), 5/7 in the 2nd quarter (71%), 7/7 in the 3rd quarter (100%) and 6/7 in the final quarter (86%). One more correctly answered question would have probably earned you a perfect Q51, as 0-2 counted questions wrong has always yielded a score of Q51 in all the ESR's I've seen so far.

Image

However, keep in mind that subscores of Q51 and V51 are not necessarily enough to achieve a composite score of 800--there have been plenty of Q51, V51, 790 composite debriefs here on GMAT Club. ESR research also suggests that to score a perfect 800, you need to answer all 78 Quant and Verbal questions correctly (yes, even the experimental ones, despite what the GMAC claims).

-Brian


Hello Brian,

Even I thought the same about Quants. But I got 50 even though I got only 1 wrong question in quants. i got that wrong in 3rd quarter of test. Any thoughts on this welcome. To my knowledge, I guessed only 1 question in quant section.
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GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Jan 2018, 14:11
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Thanks for the contribution to the knowledge base, Bharath99 ! Yours is the first 1-wrong Q50 ESR I have seen, so I will edit my original post accordingly. I wonder whether you may have also gotten an experimental question or two wrong, which could explain why so many others have earned scores of Q51 with 1 or even 2 questions wrong. Or perhaps your 1 mistake was on an easier question than most.
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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 04 Jan 2018, 13:05.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 07 Jan 2018, 14:11, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2018, 13:18
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Hello Brian,

Thanks for your reply. That may be the explanation. Now the thought, that I got an easy question wrong is something hard to digest. That was my second attempt and I thought that i could better my previous score of 50. But still got same 50 :( . And also, one more thing.. I saw a composite score of 720 with split Q50 and V 39 . I received same 720 with Q50 and V36. Your thoughts on this please. From past few days, I thought of asking this but didn't find correct situation. As the discussion is going towards scoring pattern, I am asking this here.

eternaloptimist : Hope you dont mind.
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GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 09 Jan 2018, 01:04
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Sure, I can help. The answer is twofold:

1) Each numerical section score actually represents a possible range of more precise subscores, in particular on the Quant section (0-51 scores in DS and PS are roughly averaged), but also on the Verbal section, where you are given scores of 0-51 in Critical Reasoning, Sentence Correction and Reading Comprehension. Those scores are roughly averaged to create your sub-section score, which is rounded to the nearest integer. I say "roughly averaged" because it is not a perfect 50/50 ratio or 33/33/33 split, and of course each individual question's difficulty level--along with the average difficulty level of questions you answered correctly--is also a factor.

In other words, there is such a thing as a "high" Q50 and a "low" Q50, for example. This explains why the exact same combination of subscores can result in different composite scores (and why GMAT score estimation charts can only provide estimates...there is often a margin of error of 10 to 20 points). A "high" Q50 such as yours will result in a higher composite score than will a "low" Q50 like the other test that you mentioned, even when combined with a lower Verbal score, in part because the GMAT composite scoring system rewards you disproportionately for earning particularly high scores in either or both sections.

2) Although the Quant and Verbal subscore conversions are consistent over time ("absolute scoring"), the composite score conversions / section score percentiles do fluctuate somewhat from year to year ("relative scoring"), especially over long periods of time. For example, the Q47, V48, 770 composite that I scored in 2012 would probably be closer to a 760 or even 750 composite today. Quant percentiles have been taking a nosedive over the last 10 years, for example.

Why is this the case? The pool of GMAT test-takers has been getting more competitive over time.

You could also say that the GMAT has become harder over the last 10 years, but there isn't much objective evidence to support that. It has become RELATIVELY harder (more formidable competition means it's tougher to earn a high percentile score), but not OBJECTIVELY harder. Section scores--and even composite scores, to a lesser degree--are relatively consistent from year to year: it's the section percentiles that are constantly shifting. What we can say for sure it that it's tougher to earn a high percentile score than ever before, because of the tough competition and continued internationalization of the GMAT, particularly on the Quant section.
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Originally posted by mcelroytutoring on 04 Jan 2018, 13:26.
Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 09 Jan 2018, 01:04, edited 28 times in total.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2018, 23:02
Bharath99 wrote:
But I got 50 even though I got only 1 wrong question in quants. i got that wrong in 3rd quarter of test. Any thoughts on this welcome. To my knowledge, I guessed only 1 question in quant section.


This is new. Thank you for sharing the information! I have updated my post here accordingly: https://gmatclub.com/forum/hiline-gmat- ... 23122.html

By the way, if you could post your ESR to this thread: https://gmatclub.com/forum/information- ... 21111.html to contribute to GMAT Club's ESR database that would be awesome!

eternaloptimist and mcelroytutoring, thank you guys for the ESR. Fascinating discussion so far.

eternaloptimist, congrats on the 780 and especially the perfect Verbal performance :cool:
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 01:34
eternaloptimist wrote:
Hi guys, I had a lot of help from this community in preparing for the GMAT so decided to give back and do a debrief for future GMAT-takers. Will keep it short and sweet.

I think this will mainly be of help to those with a solid foundation in Math and English already. Prior to the prep I hadn't touched Math for close to 5 years but the great thing about GMAT Quant is that it really just tests relatively simple concepts but disguises it in various ways, and I was familiar with these concepts from my high school days (with a bit of refreshment help from the prep books).

The one thing I will say for those with solid Q/V backgrounds and aiming to score high is that it's all about mentality; you have to go into the centre prepared, gunning for that perfect 800 and looking to rip each question to shreds (yeah I know this is corny). For those coming from a humanities undergraduate background like me, if you think about it every question in the GMAT has either a right or wrong answer, which is much more straightforward than writing an essay where the mark will be influenced by the marker's subjectivity.

Materials Used: GMAT OG books, Manhattan Prep Books, GMATPrep Mock Exams (2), Manhattan Practice CATs (6)

I honestly feel that these are all the books you need, did not cover other books (e.g Kaplan / others) but Manhattan was very comprehensive on theory and the OG books on practice questions. Manhattan is definitely crucial for a deeper understanding of Geometry / Number Properties / Sentence corrections concepts, but OG guides give a better guide of how difficult the questions will be in the actual exam.

Timeline:
Decided to take the GMAT, searched online for the best books, ordered OG and Manhattan.
Day 1-5: Finished GMAT Official Guide (800 questions)
Day 6-8: Finished GMAT Official Verbal (300 questions)
Day 9: Took Manhattan CAT 1, ran out of time for Q and got the last 8 questions wrong. Final Score 710 (Q47, V40)
Day 10-12: Took a break from GMAT, brain was feeling fried.
Day 13-14: Blazed through Manhattan Quant books, only doing the harder practice questions.
Day 15-16: Blazed through Manhattan Verbal books, only doing the SC questions.
Day 17: Manhattan CAT 2. Again ran out of time for Q (jeez, Manhattan's Quant is literally impossible), got the last 6 questions wrong. Finished with 720 (Q46 V42).
Day 19: GMATPrep Test 1 (780, Q50 V47) at this point i realised Manhattan's Q was way harder than the real thing, so on all future Manhattan CATs i just paused without guilt when it came to a particular tough question as I knew in the real test I would have more time anyway. Would only recommend if you are sure you won't run out of time on the actual test though.
Day 20-21: Did CAT 3 (720, Q47 V42) and CAT 4 (780, Q51 V45).
Day 21-27: Was feeling pretty confident after CAT 4, so took a break for a week, intermittently doing the harder questions from the OG Quant Guide. Planned for a ramp-up in the last three days before the exams, doing a test per day.
Day 28: Manhattan CAT 5 (780, Q51 V45)
Day 29: GMAT Prep Test 2 (790, Q51 V48)
Day 30: Manhattan CAT 6 (780, Q51 V45)
Test day: Didn't get much sleep the night before. The test was booked for the afternoon, so I did some revision in the morning then took a taxi over to the test centre 30 minutes before. I thought Q wasn't too bad and V was alright apart from the one or two Sentence Correction questions of doom which seem to prop up every test. IR / AWA were the usual. Came out of the test and got the unofficial score of 780. Tinge of disappointment for the Q 50 especially since I'd been consistently hitting 51, but obviously very happy with the overall result.

Tips:
- Make a timeline for yourself from the very beginning + Set goals for what scores you want to hit for each practice test.
- During preparation, for every, and I stress every, question that you do (whether from the CATs or the OG books) that you are unsure of, OR you feel like there can be a faster way to do it, flag it and go over the explanation in the answer sheets. I cannot stress this enough, whether you get the question right or not is inconsequential, the most important thing is understanding how to do it properly and how to do it fast. At the start of my revision I was flagging one in every 3 questions for about 500 questions, some might find it a huge pain to go over all the explanations but you'll come out of it with rock solid concepts to apply to all future questions.
- Not sure how one can prep for IR, but for AWA i found Manhattan as well as some resources on this forum pretty useful in terms of stuff like connectors ('further, in addition, moreover') and structuring your argument. Haven't gotten my AWA score yet though so take it with a grain of salt.
- Do Quant first then Verbal, I feel like mental fatigue really hits after the first section which hurts you much more for Quant (especially since I seem to always go closer to the time limit for Q), whereas for Verbal you can kind of slowly work your way through. Of course this is my personal opinion and may be different for others. V was just generally more pleasant for me to face after a good 75 minutes of numbers.
- Take both the 8 minutes breaks after the Q/V sections to steel yourself for the next section.

I hope that helps! Attached my scoresheet below.

P.S my earlier posts on other subforums were going off my CAT 4 scores, wanted to get advice on my profile asap so I could work on my applications beforehand.


eternaloptimist Congrats on the Great Score... can you please share some tips for improving in Verbal.. My score in verbal has been hovering around 25-30. My GMAT is on 23rd Feb 2018. Not sure, but I think I should postpone it further. Any advice from you will be very helpful for me.

Thanks in advance in anticipation of your reply.
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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 08:24
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rahul16singh28

I'm not sure I can be of much use here in advising on improvements as I am a native English speaker and my undergrad degree is basically 3 years of practice for Verbal (I study law). You could try reading more widely from sources like the FT, the Guardian and the Economist. Also see the advice I gave earlier on RC/CR, and get access to the Manhattan CATs as they explain why every answer is right/wrong. I think you get access to all CATs by just buying one book, the RC/CR books themselves are not that useful I found.

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Re: GMAT Debrief: 780 (Q50, V50, IR8) with 30 days prep, first attempt &nbs [#permalink] 05 Jan 2018, 08:24

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