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GMAT Score Debrief -- 760 (+50 points higher than any practice test)

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GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V44
GMAT Score Debrief -- 760 (+50 points higher than any practice test)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2017, 07:09
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Hi everyone!

I've been lurking on this forum for the past few months, and have found it amazingly helpful both in terms of concrete tips for studying and mental reassurance, so I figured I would share my GMAT experience in the hopes that it might be useful for someone else. I just took the test on Sat, Feb 4 with the following results:

Quant: 49 (77%) // Verbal: 44 (98%) // IR: 8 (92%) // AWA: 6.0 (90%)

I started contemplating taking the test last summer, and bought the 2016 OG to begin preparing, but never really got into it. I would do a few sections on the weekend and maybe an hour here or there, but it was not focused at all. Last November, I decided I wanted to take the test in earnest. I ordered full Complete GMAT Strategy Manhattan Prep set and the 2017 OG from Amazon, and those were basically all I used to study.

For ~4 or 5 weekends I studied pretty consistently every Saturday afternoon, with a heavy emphasis on quant. I gravitate more towards verbal/writing than I do towards math, and I knew I needed to brush up on my number theory/geometry/statistics. The Manhattan GMAT prep books were GREAT for this -- they are entertaining to read and well-written, with practice sets scattered throughout the book so that you have a good sense of how you're doing with the concept throughout.

Then winter break happened and I went on a rowdy Asia trip for 2+ weeks... and did not open a single GMAT book during this entire time. When I got back in January, I completely panicked, realizing my test was in less than a month and I hadn't gotten through all the Manhattan Prep materials, much less done a single practice test.

I spent most of January trying to work my way through the rest of the Manhattan Prep books. I would say overall I spent 70% of the time on quant stuff and 30% on verbal. But I didn't take a single practice test until the week before my exam, and then I did 4 tests in 3 days -- but I totally skipped the essay and IR sections (I know, I know). They were all from VeritasPrep (I think it was 6 tests for $20 or something like that) and I found them all really difficult, especially the math. Suffice it to say, my scores were not in the range of what I was looking for:

2/1: 690 (46 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/2: 710 (48 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/2: 690 (46 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/3: 680 (44 Quant, 39 Verbal)

The Verbal scores really frustrated me because I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of the concepts, and I never ran out of time or anything like that. Looking back, I think my mistake was that I simply went too fast without focusing on the detail of each question; I would have an intuition about the answer and immediately choose it without first asking myself, "What could be the trap here?" (I found that asking myself that one question really, really helped me focus throughout the entirety of the exam).

Going into test day, I was fully expecting a score in the low 700s or high 600s that I would want to retake (my goals are top 5 / top 10 schools, so I knew I needed excellent scores). The Quant section threw me for a loop -- I got a bunch of easy questions in the middle that convinced me I was doing badly, and ended up squeezed for time on the last 5-10 questions. There were at least 3-5 questions where I approximated or guessed entirely; I suspect I got really lucky on those, because I had used the same strategy in many practice exams with worse results. With Verbal, I just slowed down -- I would usually finish with 20-30 minutes to spare, and this time I had ~6 minutes left over. I spent probably 3-4 minutes on a few tougher questions, arguing with myself in my head. It also helped to close my eyes for 5 seconds and then go back to the question, so you can look at it again with a fresh slate.

Needless to say, I was VERY surprised by the score result! Mostly just relieved that I don't have to retake it. And now onto the process of applications!

P.S. I studied basically 0 for the AWA / IR sections. I skimmed the Manhattan Prep book in the 10 min Lyft ride on the way to the exam center and that was about it. I found the IR to be surprisingly easy, actually, much much easier than the Quant section -- it was all very, very straightforward as long as you read carefully and paid attention to the details. Nothing tricky about it at all.
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Re: GMAT Score Debrief -- 760 (+50 points higher than any practice test)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2017, 07:45
Incredible score! Congratulations!

I'm surprised you didn't take the GMATPrep mocks though. Any particular reason for that?
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Re: GMAT Score Debrief -- 760 (+50 points higher than any practice test)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2017, 11:39
Honestly, I just ran out of time towards the end of my studying, and it was easier to click through Veritas' online tests than go through and download the software. My biggest thing I would do differently is definitely take more practice tests, and earlier!
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Re: GMAT Score Debrief -- 760 (+50 points higher than any practice test)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2017, 21:37
jz818 wrote:
Hi everyone!

I've been lurking on this forum for the past few months, and have found it amazingly helpful both in terms of concrete tips for studying and mental reassurance, so I figured I would share my GMAT experience in the hopes that it might be useful for someone else. I just took the test on Sat, Feb 4 with the following results:

Quant: 49 (77%) // Verbal: 44 (98%) // IR: 8 (92%) // AWA: 6.0 (90%)

I started contemplating taking the test last summer, and bought the 2016 OG to begin preparing, but never really got into it. I would do a few sections on the weekend and maybe an hour here or there, but it was not focused at all. Last November, I decided I wanted to take the test in earnest. I ordered full Complete GMAT Strategy Manhattan Prep set and the 2017 OG from Amazon, and those were basically all I used to study.

For ~4 or 5 weekends I studied pretty consistently every Saturday afternoon, with a heavy emphasis on quant. I gravitate more towards verbal/writing than I do towards math, and I knew I needed to brush up on my number theory/geometry/statistics. The Manhattan GMAT prep books were GREAT for this -- they are entertaining to read and well-written, with practice sets scattered throughout the book so that you have a good sense of how you're doing with the concept throughout.

Then winter break happened and I went on a rowdy Asia trip for 2+ weeks... and did not open a single GMAT book during this entire time. When I got back in January, I completely panicked, realizing my test was in less than a month and I hadn't gotten through all the Manhattan Prep materials, much less done a single practice test.

I spent most of January trying to work my way through the rest of the Manhattan Prep books. I would say overall I spent 70% of the time on quant stuff and 30% on verbal. But I didn't take a single practice test until the week before my exam, and then I did 4 tests in 3 days -- but I totally skipped the essay and IR sections (I know, I know). They were all from VeritasPrep (I think it was 6 tests for $20 or something like that) and I found them all really difficult, especially the math. Suffice it to say, my scores were not in the range of what I was looking for:

2/1: 690 (46 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/2: 710 (48 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/2: 690 (46 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/3: 680 (44 Quant, 39 Verbal)

The Verbal scores really frustrated me because I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of the concepts, and I never ran out of time or anything like that. Looking back, I think my mistake was that I simply went too fast without focusing on the detail of each question; I would have an intuition about the answer and immediately choose it without first asking myself, "What could be the trap here?" (I found that asking myself that one question really, really helped me focus throughout the entirety of the exam).

Going into test day, I was fully expecting a score in the low 700s or high 600s that I would want to retake (my goals are top 5 / top 10 schools, so I knew I needed excellent scores). The Quant section threw me for a loop -- I got a bunch of easy questions in the middle that convinced me I was doing badly, and ended up squeezed for time on the last 5-10 questions. There were at least 3-5 questions where I approximated or guessed entirely; I suspect I got really lucky on those, because I had used the same strategy in many practice exams with worse results. With Verbal, I just slowed down -- I would usually finish with 20-30 minutes to spare, and this time I had ~6 minutes left over. I spent probably 3-4 minutes on a few tougher questions, arguing with myself in my head. It also helped to close my eyes for 5 seconds and then go back to the question, so you can look at it again with a fresh slate.

Needless to say, I was VERY surprised by the score result! Mostly just relieved that I don't have to retake it. And now onto the process of applications!

P.S. I studied basically 0 for the AWA / IR sections. I skimmed the Manhattan Prep book in the 10 min Lyft ride on the way to the exam center and that was about it. I found the IR to be surprisingly easy, actually, much much easier than the Quant section -- it was all very, very straightforward as long as you read carefully and paid attention to the details. Nothing tricky about it at all.

I sincerely need some good advice with verbal..
I can manage 48-49 or even 50 with quants,but verbal seems a nemesis.
Please help me

Sent from my HM 1S using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
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Re: GMAT Score Debrief -- 760 (+50 points higher than any practice test)  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2017, 23:48
jz818 wrote:
Hi everyone!

I've been lurking on this forum for the past few months, and have found it amazingly helpful both in terms of concrete tips for studying and mental reassurance, so I figured I would share my GMAT experience in the hopes that it might be useful for someone else. I just took the test on Sat, Feb 4 with the following results:

Quant: 49 (77%) // Verbal: 44 (98%) // IR: 8 (92%) // AWA: 6.0 (90%)

I started contemplating taking the test last summer, and bought the 2016 OG to begin preparing, but never really got into it. I would do a few sections on the weekend and maybe an hour here or there, but it was not focused at all. Last November, I decided I wanted to take the test in earnest. I ordered full Complete GMAT Strategy Manhattan Prep set and the 2017 OG from Amazon, and those were basically all I used to study.

For ~4 or 5 weekends I studied pretty consistently every Saturday afternoon, with a heavy emphasis on quant. I gravitate more towards verbal/writing than I do towards math, and I knew I needed to brush up on my number theory/geometry/statistics. The Manhattan GMAT prep books were GREAT for this -- they are entertaining to read and well-written, with practice sets scattered throughout the book so that you have a good sense of how you're doing with the concept throughout.

Then winter break happened and I went on a rowdy Asia trip for 2+ weeks... and did not open a single GMAT book during this entire time. When I got back in January, I completely panicked, realizing my test was in less than a month and I hadn't gotten through all the Manhattan Prep materials, much less done a single practice test.

I spent most of January trying to work my way through the rest of the Manhattan Prep books. I would say overall I spent 70% of the time on quant stuff and 30% on verbal. But I didn't take a single practice test until the week before my exam, and then I did 4 tests in 3 days -- but I totally skipped the essay and IR sections (I know, I know). They were all from VeritasPrep (I think it was 6 tests for $20 or something like that) and I found them all really difficult, especially the math. Suffice it to say, my scores were not in the range of what I was looking for:

2/1: 690 (46 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/2: 710 (48 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/2: 690 (46 Quant, 39 Verbal)
2/3: 680 (44 Quant, 39 Verbal)

The Verbal scores really frustrated me because I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of the concepts, and I never ran out of time or anything like that. Looking back, I think my mistake was that I simply went too fast without focusing on the detail of each question; I would have an intuition about the answer and immediately choose it without first asking myself, "What could be the trap here?" (I found that asking myself that one question really, really helped me focus throughout the entirety of the exam).

Going into test day, I was fully expecting a score in the low 700s or high 600s that I would want to retake (my goals are top 5 / top 10 schools, so I knew I needed excellent scores). The Quant section threw me for a loop -- I got a bunch of easy questions in the middle that convinced me I was doing badly, and ended up squeezed for time on the last 5-10 questions. There were at least 3-5 questions where I approximated or guessed entirely; I suspect I got really lucky on those, because I had used the same strategy in many practice exams with worse results. With Verbal, I just slowed down -- I would usually finish with 20-30 minutes to spare, and this time I had ~6 minutes left over. I spent probably 3-4 minutes on a few tougher questions, arguing with myself in my head. It also helped to close my eyes for 5 seconds and then go back to the question, so you can look at it again with a fresh slate.

Needless to say, I was VERY surprised by the score result! Mostly just relieved that I don't have to retake it. And now onto the process of applications!

P.S. I studied basically 0 for the AWA / IR sections. I skimmed the Manhattan Prep book in the 10 min Lyft ride on the way to the exam center and that was about it. I found the IR to be surprisingly easy, actually, much much easier than the Quant section -- it was all very, very straightforward as long as you read carefully and paid attention to the details. Nothing tricky about it at all.


Congrats! Amazing score.

How did you work your way through the OG questions? By section or mixed? What did your quant practice sessions look like?
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Re: GMAT Score Debrief -- 760 (+50 points higher than any practice test)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2017, 00:34
Amazing score buddy... Great job!
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Re: GMAT Score Debrief -- 760 (+50 points higher than any practice test)  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2017, 07:15
nailin16: With verbal, I think it's really helpful to hone in exactly on which parts you need to work on. Studying for RC is very different than studying with SC. Personally, I think if you are a native English speaker, SC is the easiest area to improve. There are 8-10 different types of patterns they like and test over and over again, so once you get familiar with them, they become very easy. I found the MGMAT SC book great for this, as well as the OG SC exercises (the latter seemed easier but more consistent with the level of difficulty on the actual exam).

okay: I did a mix, because I would study for long stretches and it was easier that way to give my brain a break. I'd do the first 50 in each section, check them (because having concrete results helped me stay motivated) and then move on to the next section and repeat.

For Quant, I tried to study concepts for most of the time. I knew the areas where I needed work (number theory, geometry, work/rate/time problems) so I spent a lot of time on them. I also made myself "cheat sheets" with important concepts and formulas, for example, on the number theory one: "Sum of consecutive numbers = n(n+1)/2, E.g.: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4... +10) = 10(11)/2 = 55." It really helped me to think of things in concrete examples vs. abstract concepts, and seeing it all together in one place helped me study.

Then it was all just doing practice problems. I think the best thing I can recommend is to just do as many problems as possible, and MAKE SURE you review the errors, preferably immediately after you take the test so the concepts are still fresh in your mind. If you're like me, you'll end up kicking yourself on a lot of them because they seem "easy" once you figure out the trick. And when you do enough problems, the "trick" becomes obvious on enough of them that you can muscle your way to an okay score even without knowing the full proof of the concept.

Last thing: approximate! Especially on geometry questions / questions about area. Know what sqrt(2) and sqrt(3) are and use them to help you guess on questions where you don't have enough time to work out the full formula. That came up twice on two different questions in my actual exam and it was a lifesaver.
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