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GMAT - From 580 to 690

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GMAT - From 580 to 690 [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2011, 22:51
I just finished taking the GMAT this evening with a score of 690 47Q/37V. While my goal was 700+, 690 is bitter sweet and I think it's time for me to move on and begin my applications.

The first time I took the GMAT was in November 2010 where I scored a 580 42Q/28V. After this score I was pretty depressed and needed some time to take a break.

Here is the breakdown of all of my practice tests taken approximately 1 week apart prior to the second exam date:

GMAT Prep1: 690 47Q/36V
GMAT Prep2: 700 48Q/38V
GMAT Prep1 (after reinstall): 710 47Q/41V
Manhattan GMAT: 530 31Q/34V
GMAT Prep2 (after reinstall): 700 47Q/39V

As you can probably guess, the 530 manhattan GMAT had me extremely worried. This was to be the first test I actually did the essays so I went ahead and tried one of those 5 hour energy drinks before hand. All I have to say is DO NOT DO THIS! I was wired during the practice test, couldn't concentrate, and felt nauseous about half way through the exam. Fortunately I got that terrible idea out of the way before the actual test date. Also, I feel the Manhattan GMAT exams do not represent the quantitative or verbal experience very well. The quant problems are too long and challenging while the verbal problems and scoring algorithm are too easy.

To discuss my second round GMAT experience, I have to say I thought I did horribly on the quantitative section. I had to guess on probably 5 questions due to the difficulty and I got hit with a level 300-500 question on about question 32. This had me worried that I did horribly. Scoring a 47Q here was a blessing for me based on my expectations of the exam questions. Unfortunately my 37V was a bit below where I feel my abilities are. During the exam I felt the SC questions were all very straight forward and only a couple of the CR questions were very challenging. The RC questions were as I expected. I guess I felt I was doing better than I actually did based on my score.

For prep materials, I used the typical books:

OG12 + Verbal and Quant
Manhattan GMAT all five math books, and SC
PowerScore CR Bible
Manhattan GMAT online course

I feel I had plenty of room for improvement with the quantitative section. Unfortunately I work a pretty demanding full time job and my family also takes up a lot of my additional free time. This left very little time during the week and only 2-3 hours each weekend day. The Manhattan GMAT course while good, I feel it only covers the basic stuff which is good enough to get you into the 600s. If you want to score 700+, you'll need to really spend the additional time doing all of the OG problems and mastering the verbal sections. My weakness was that even with the walkthroughs for the quant problems, I still couldn't master all of the topics as the range of knowledge is so broad.

The best advice I can give for the SC is that you not only need to learn the grammar rules, you also need to choose the answer that has the best meaning. If you follow grammar only rules you'll probably miss half of the SC questions. Well, this is all I can think of for now, I'll probably post more information later including what I did differently to bump my score from 580 to 690.
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesMath Revolution Discount CodesEconomist GMAT Tutor Discount Codes
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Re: GMAT - From 580 to 690 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2011, 01:31
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Adding on the same lines, I would recommend the following ways to increase GMAT score by around 100 points

-Calculate how much time will you allocate to each question?
-At which point you’ll give up on a question and move onto the next one?
-For difficult problems, how much time do you want to allocate to double check your answer?
-Apply the 80/20 rules to focus one one or two weakest areas — based on your practice test results, which 20% of the question types contributes to 80% of your incorrect answers? Work hard on the one or two weakest areas.
-Practice, practice and practice the questions from ETS

We use Birkman's method (Admissions committee of All colleges use ) for a Winning application.

Alex Wilkins
Senior Admission Consultant, ThroughMBA
Panelist | MBA Admissions Achievers Meet
Interviewer | MIT Sloan | Former
Management Consultant | McKinsey & Company | Former

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Re: GMAT - From 580 to 690 [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2011, 23:47
690 is decent score. Keep up the good work.

Can you share how were the RCs in real GMAT? Close enough to what we have in OG or MGMAT exams? Also, as you gave the exam recently - did you felt in difference in SC? probably yes, if so how different was it from prep material?

Thanks in advance for helping out.
Status: Prepping for the last time....
Joined: 28 May 2010
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Location: Australia
Concentration: Technology, Strategy
GMAT 1: 630 Q47 V29
GPA: 3.2
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Re: GMAT - From 580 to 690 [#permalink]

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New post 22 Sep 2011, 06:29
Thanks for the debrief. It confirms something the recent GMAC summit has inferred about, i.e., Sentence correction.. ... -the-gmac/

Two great challenges: 1. Guts to Fail and 2. Fear to Succeed

Re: GMAT - From 580 to 690   [#permalink] 22 Sep 2011, 06:29
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GMAT - From 580 to 690

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