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GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep

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GMAT 1: 670 Q47 V35
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GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 30 Dec 2018, 12:19
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Hi everyone,

I had my GMAT re-take just earlier this morning and got 720 (Q49 V39 IR7) :angel:. As you can guess from the title, it wasn't without hiccups - here is a summary of my experience:

1) I spent yesterday doing some chores, exercises, watch movie, etc. so basically, anything to get my mind off GMAT. I went to bed nice and relaxed but after sleeping for 2 hours, I was awake for basically the entire night and only fell asleep again for a measly 2 hours in the morning :dazed:. Needless to say, I felt really bitter and negative walking into the test center, but tried to salvage the entire situation by snoozing in the waiting room and walking up/down the stairs of the building several times. It did help me gain a bit of alertness walking into the exam, but once things started, something unexpected happened:

I froze for a good 5 minutes in the 1st Quan. question :shocked.

Since I never experienced this kind of moment before, I wasn't sure initially how to react to it and literally gave up. Fortunately, I snapped out of it by taking long and deep breathes, keep thinking that this is just a re-take: I really have nothing to lose at this point, I might as well give it my best shot. I then started to really get to work, basically answering all 31 questions non-stop (with 2 minutes to spare at the end!). I probably made plenty of mistakes (hence the Q49) and should have slowed down, but given the circumstances I was just happy to made it out alive.

Knowing that I got to redeem my crappy start in Quan., I was being ultra-careful with Verbal than usual. The problem was, the fatigue from the lack of sleep really started to kick-in. So to "re-charge" interim, I momentarily closed my eyes and paused whenever RC passages come along just not to lose focus. I purposely chose to pause with RC because that's my strongest section by far, so I can afford to lose time a bit and then quickly recover. Because I ended up with a massive RC passage at the Q.30-something mark (talk about luck), I ran out of time and have to guess the last few questions.

For IR, I honestly never did care too much about it so I approached it pretty carefree - maybe just a bit too relaxed, as I still have 10 minutes left by the time I reach Q10. Needless to say, by the time I wrapped up my AWA, I wasn't too hopeful of getting a great score and was just glad that this is all over. When I was at the screen where the score came up, I nearly scrolled down to cancel without looking at my score, but then pause a second and realized, I got 720 - I nearly jumped out of my chair!

I am dying for some sleep now, so I will share other parts of my journey tomorrow. :)

Originally posted by kuja on 29 Dec 2018, 18:06.
Last edited by kuja on 30 Dec 2018, 12:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2018, 22:41
Well, congrats on the score kuja !!

I had my re-attempt yesterday and scored a 540, would love if you can just help me out in any way.
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Re: GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Dec 2018, 23:46
I had a bit similar experience ..but still different
It was my first attempt
I went to bed around 1 AM before the test ... busy memorizing some writing templates (truly hard for a nonnative speaker) lol

When i got up at 7:30 ,I tried again and again to memorize some lines ....even did it on my way to the test center . I arrived at the test center at 9:50 ( test time 10:30 ) ,and spent about 20 min reviewing the lines . Finally I realized I would surely fail in writing badly. I never practice writing at all. My brain went dead from the very beginning ...took me a long time to finish the first Q question. I have to admit that i'm not young any more ... reaction is much much slower ..but more because my brain wasnt functioning ...... luckily I was able to finish Q on time

As soon as V started , I wanted to slap my face. I was so mad ...I could not read SC .... Without understanding the sentences ,of course ,I failed terribly . I had to rush through both SC and RC . Focused on CR only . I believed I would get a terribly low score that I had never believed I would get ...

As exausted both metally and physically , I finally finished the whole thing. I was surprised to see a score on the screen ..... ... and the score was 720 .... not as good as I had expected ,but much much better than I could expect during the test .

720 is not a bad score ...but I failed in IR and Writing ...
I will retake some time next month . Before that, I will try to practice a bit on a big screen at a local library .
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Re: GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2018, 12:15
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Hi everyone,

It turns out I didn't sleep too well last night either because I was just too happy. :lol: Here is the rest of my experience:

Study Length: 2 months for my 1st take in July; 1.5 months for my 2nd take yesterday. I had to take a long break in-between to pursue my 2nd promotion at work (which I am likely to get next month!). It's also worth noting that after the break I did not forget much at all, so it seems that GMAT skills do retain for a pretty long period.

Material used: OG questions, MPrep and Veritas Prep Books for 1st take; MPrep Adv. Quan and Magoosh questions for 2nd take. For actual CATs, I only did 6 - the 2 free mock exams and their re-takes, as well as the 2 real exams. I would also like to point out the mock exams were highly predictive of my actual performances - all of them within a margin of 20 points.

Study plan: I did all my practice sets timed, randomized and full-length so that they are "CAT-like". I usually separate Q and V sections into different days, as I found that it was too tiring to do them back-to-back regularly. I followed a very loose version of Magoosh's 3 months Advanced Plan for my 2nd take - I didn't have enough time/energy so I barely touched the recommended supplemental materials (Nova's Math guide, LSAT). I guess if you are really insane/gifted enough to follow this plan to the dot, you could achieve upper-700s as advertised. I also studied pretty minimally on IR and AWA - the only practices I got were from those CATs and ~30 IR questions from Magoosh. In my opinion, those 2 sections tested the same skills as Q and V sections (just packaged in a different way) so there is plenty of synergy already. Your time is better spent focusing on Q and V unless you are a perfectionist.

Lessons Learned: I guess what really separated my 1st take's approach from the 2nd's is that I allocated far more time on error review - almost equivalent to the time on practice sets. I reviewed not only the incorrect questions, but also those that I spent too long on or borderline guessed.
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Re: GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2018, 12:18
DarkHorse2019 wrote:
Well, congrats on the score kuja !!

I had my re-attempt yesterday and scored a 540, would love if you can just help me out in any way.


Thanks! I just posted a bit more details in my reply above and hopefully they can help you.
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Re: GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2018, 12:35
Asianyc wrote:
I had a bit similar experience ..but still different
It was my first attempt
I went to bed around 1 AM before the test ... busy memorizing some writing templates (truly hard for a nonnative speaker) lol

When i got up at 7:30 ,I tried again and again to memorize some lines ....even did it on my way to the test center . I arrived at the test center at 9:50 ( test time 10:30 ) ,and spent about 20 min reviewing the lines . Finally I realized I would surely fail in writing badly. I never practice writing at all. My brain went dead from the very beginning ...took me a long time to finish the first Q question. I have to admit that i'm not young any more ... reaction is much much slower ..but more because my brain wasnt functioning ...... luckily I was able to finish Q on time

As soon as V started , I wanted to slap my face. I was so mad ...I could not read SC .... Without understanding the sentences ,of course ,I failed terribly . I had to rush through both SC and RC . Focused on CR only . I believed I would get a terribly low score that I had never believed I would get ...

As exausted both metally and physically , I finally finished the whole thing. I was surprised to see a score on the screen ..... ... and the score was 720 .... not as good as I had expected ,but much much better than I could expect during the test .

720 is not a bad score ...but I failed in IR and Writing ...
I will retake some time next month . Before that, I will try to practice a bit on a big screen at a local library .


It seems that you are a pretty natural GMAT taker - I would have died for a 720 in my 1st take :). It sucks to hear that you need to re-take because of bad IR and AWA score, so perhaps devote more time on practicing those sections as your Q and V are in pretty solid standing already. I would also recommend not to do any last minute cramming because GMAT is fundamentally a skills-based test, skills that require a period of time to develop and hone. I have faith that you are bounded to do better the 2nd time around though - the 1st time is always the hardest. :)
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Re: GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Dec 2018, 20:54
Thanks for sharing and posting your experience!

I don’t think anyone sleeps well the night before the test really. 4 hours is too little though. Thrilled to hear you did very well!

PS. We had a tutor who was taking the GMAT and her first question on the test had an error. She solved it and solved and the answer choice was not there. That threw her off a bit but she appealed after the test and that’s one of the only times I know of when GMAC admitted to a mistake on a question.

Bottom line - don’t spend too much on any question.

Posted from my mobile device
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GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 16:34
bb wrote:
Thanks for sharing and posting your experience!

I don’t think anyone sleeps well the night before the test really. 4 hours is too little though. Thrilled to hear you did very well!

PS. We had a tutor who was taking the GMAT and her first question on the test had an error. She solved it and solved and the answer choice was not there. That threw her off a bit but she appealed after the test and that’s one of the only times I know of when GMAC admitted to a mistake on a question.

Bottom line - don’t spend too much on any question.

Posted from my mobile device


I agreed - I probably lost a point every section just from lack of sleep, not that I am complaining with what I got now! I actually frozen for no apparent reason and ended up solving the 1st question anyway (which was actually easy), at least your tutor friend had a legitimate case :)

A more sober question though - Is 720 still considered good nowadays? I just read some other parts of the forum with people scoring over 750+ and re-taking, and then there's a "clinic" for scoring 720 (???) and below...

Also, happy 2019!
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GMAT re-take (720 Q49 V39 IR7) - With 4 hours of sleep   [#permalink] 03 Jan 2019, 16:34
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