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GMAT Tutor Debrief: Finally cracked Q50 (750: Q50, V42, IR8, 6 AWA)

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Status: Professional GMAT Tutor
Affiliations: AB, cum laude, Harvard University (Class of '02)
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Posts: 391

Kudos [?]: 458 [2], given: 53

Location: United States (CA)
Age: 37
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GRE 1: 337 Q168 V169
WE: Education (Education)
GMAT Tutor Debrief: Finally cracked Q50 (750: Q50, V42, IR8, 6 AWA) [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2017, 19:56
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I've been a private GMAT tutor since 2002, but I waited 10 years before taking the GMAT myself for the first time. I've now taken the exam 5 times, with a personal best of 770, and have been lucky / skilled enough to have scored in the 700s all 5 times.

I've always been naturally talented at Verbal, but today--after much struggle--I finally broke the Q50 barrier! As usual, I prepared by using only real GMAT questions, and I leveraged the GMAT algorithm to my advantage during the test.

As I noted the last time I took the GMAT, Verbal seemed tougher than usual--lots of tough CR questions and complex reading passages. I thought IR was a breeze, and the essay was fine, although I was a bit tired by that point. I'm also a big fan of the new "Select Section Order" feature: it was so nice to be able to complete the (more important) Quant and Verbal sections before the (less important) IR and AWA sections. I decided to go with section order #2, 1) Verbal 2) Quant 3) IR and 4) AWA.

Here is a complete chronology of my GMAT scores since I started taking the test myself (instead of just teaching it).

January 2012: 770, Q47, V48, 6 AWA
May 2015: 710, Q42, V46, IR 8, 5.5 AWA
October 2016: 730, Q44, V47, IR 3, 6 AWA
April 2017: 700, Q46, V40, IR 6, 6 AWA
August 2017: 750, Q50, V42, IR 8, 6 AWA

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You can see that there is a decent range of scores here, even for an expert GMAT test-taker:

My Quant scores have ranged from 42 to 50 (8 pt. range).
My Verbal scores have ranged from 40 to 48 (8 pt. range).
My IR scores have ranged from 3 (ouch, I know) to 8 (5 pt. range).
My composite scores have ranged from 700 to 770 (70 pt. range).

The take-away? Don't ever give up, and allow yourself plenty of chances--GMAT scores can vary quite a bit from test to test.

Update 9/2/17: It only took 4 days after the exam for GMAC to send me my official scores, and less than 24 hours before my ESR (Enhanced Score Report) was made available. I am relieved to report that I scored a perfect 6/6 on the AWA, despite having to write the essay at the end of the test.

Full ESR now attached below!

-Brian

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_________________

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

McElroy Tutoring


Last edited by mcelroytutoring on 04 Sep 2017, 09:36, edited 39 times in total.

Kudos [?]: 458 [2], given: 53

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Re: GMAT Tutor Debrief: Finally cracked Q50 (750: Q50, V42, IR8, 6 AWA) [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2017, 20:24
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Image

I've been a GMAT private tutor since 2002. I've taken the GMAT 5 times now, with a personal best of 770, and have been lucky / skilled enough to have scored in the 700s every time.

I've always been naturally talented at Verbal, but today--after much struggle--I finally broke the Q50 barrier! And as always, I did so by using only real GMAT questions.

As I noted the last time I took the GMAT, Verbal seemed tougher than usual--lots of tough CR questions and complex reading passages. I thought IR was a breeze, and the essay was fine, although I was a bit tired by that point. I'm also a big fan of the new "Select Section Order" feature: it was so nice to be able to complete the Quant and Verbal sections before the IR and AWA.

Here is a complete chronology of my GMAT scores since I started taking the test myself (instead of just teaching it).

January 2012: 770, Q47, V48
May 2015: 710, Q42, V46
October 2016: 730, Q44, V47


April 2017: 700, Q46, V40
August 2017: 750, Q50, V42

I will update this post when I receive my AWA score.

-Brian




Sir, Congratulations on that great score. What would be your advice be for non natives who want to hit 40+ on verbal. How tougher have the verbal questions become? Can you advice on how to move from V30 to V 40+ in terms of material used, mock scores, preparation strategy, ways to improve on SC, CR and RC and how to score in the high 40s?

Thanks. :-)

Kudos [?]: 65 [0], given: 477

Top Contributor
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
S
Status: Professional GMAT Tutor
Affiliations: AB, cum laude, Harvard University (Class of '02)
Joined: 10 Jul 2015
Posts: 391

Kudos [?]: 458 [0], given: 53

Location: United States (CA)
Age: 37
GMAT 1: 770 Q47 V48
GMAT 2: 730 Q44 V47
GMAT 3: 750 Q50 V42
GRE 1: 337 Q168 V169
WE: Education (Education)
GMAT Tutor Debrief: Finally cracked Q50 (750: Q50, V42, IR8, 6 AWA) [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 09:18
Top Contributor
KS15 wrote:
Sir, Congratulations on that great score. What would be your advice be for non natives who want to hit 40+ on verbal. How tougher have the verbal questions become? Can you advice on how to move from V30 to V 40+ in terms of material used, mock scores, preparation strategy, ways to improve on SC, CR and RC and how to score in the high 40s?

Thanks. :-)


Thank you! That is a loaded question for sure--one that I could certainly write a book on, given enough time--but one of the key aspects of preparing for Verbal, in my opinion, is to use only real GMAT questions during the preparation process.

I also think that mastering Sentence Corrections is crucial, because you will usually see at least a few bizarre Critical Reasoning / Reading Comprehension questions, where you might be forced to take 50/50 guesses. You will see from my ESR that I answered 100% of the (counted) Sentence Correction questions correctly, as I have done every time I have taken the GMAT--they are the easiest Verbal question type to master, in my opinion.

I'm not sure whether the Verbal has really gotten harder, or whether I've just gotten unlucky with the experimental ("pretest") questions on my last couple of attempts. The difference between a perfect 51/51 and a 42/51 on Verbal is only about 5 questions wrong!

_________________

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

McElroy Tutoring

Kudos [?]: 458 [0], given: 53

GMAT Tutor Debrief: Finally cracked Q50 (750: Q50, V42, IR8, 6 AWA)   [#permalink] 30 Aug 2017, 09:18
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GMAT Tutor Debrief: Finally cracked Q50 (750: Q50, V42, IR8, 6 AWA)

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