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How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from

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How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from [#permalink]

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740 = 50Q/41V/7IR/6AWA


This forum and Manhattan Prep, specifically Ron Purewal, has tremendously helped me out so I have decided to create an account to help others tackle this nasty exam. Backstory: I'm a slightly older candidate and took my first CAT in the late Spring through a free Economist CAT, which pegged me at low 400's. I don't even remember the breakdown because I was that horrified - something around twenties for verbal and low thirties for quant. To be fair, I didn't remember a triangle has 180 degrees or the definition of a right angle. However, I did somewhat remember my Algebra and I found word problems to be somewhat logical (although I still did poorly in them). I am a native, was a B student in High School, scored 1100's/1600 on the SATs, and a C student in college, where I majored in Social Sciences. In other words, I don't consider myself to be technical, particularly bright, OR gifted at standardized testing. I was WILLING to reprogram my brain and put in the hours though, despite working 50+ hours/week, keeping a girlfriend happy, and maintaining some resemblance of a social life.


I tried MGMAT, Veritas, GMAT Pill, Math Revolution, and Empower GMAT, but the only source I found to be overall helpful was MGMAT (especially the lectures from Thursdays with Ron). Empower GMAT really helped boost my DS, which was weighing down my quant score. Math Revolution is good if you want to brush up on the math and fully solve the problem. I didn't care so much for actually solving the problem because of obvious time constraints, but even its shortcut DS strategy wasn't really as effective as MGMAT's.


After scoring a low 400's on my CAT exam, I decided to start at the beginning with the Foundations of GMAT book by MGMAT. In late April/early May, I started reading the two basic foundations book in addition to all six books. This sucked up 2-3 months of my time, which I deeply regret. Looking back, I should have only studied the areas I was weak in and NOT spend so much time on probability/combinatorics/statistics/etc. I ended up getting a 50 on quant without even getting those really hard questions right. Empower GMAT did teach me that only certain problems count and getting really hard questions wrong won't hurt my score, which gave me confidence to drop the questions and reallocate the minutes elsewhere. I HIGHLY recommend the MGMAT books if you're just average or below average in any of the verbal categories or quant categories prior to really drilling down on the official questions (so you don't burn good material).


After reading through all the MGMAT books, I took a MGMAT cat and scored a 560 around a 38Q/28V. I got really motivated after seeing this huge improvement, but decided I needed to start using practice questions. Went through the entire Quant, Verbal, and Comprehensive Practice Questions in a 2015 OG Prep book, took an official CAT around late June and got a 680 (45Q/38V)! I decided to then go through 2016's OG Prep book questions and then took my second CAT at 730 (47Q/43V)! My CAT scores boosted so much from THURSDAYS WITH RON and reading his forum explanations. I swear by them. The lectures may seem long and dry, but he is the best at explaining the concepts and breaking down every single problem. I felt that other companies just try to teach you gimmicks and cheap shortcuts, but as we know, the GMAT makers aren't dumb, quickly learn of these strategies and reprogram the exam questions. Thus, the companies' strategies get outdated really quickly. I felt really good about my progress so booked an exam for early August. I had a month to kill so I decided to enroll in GMAT Pill since it was only $100. I went through all the modules, sat for the exam and my jaws dropped as I saw the 560 GMAT Score. Not only did GMAT Pill DROP my score a few hundred points, they also billed me for another month even though I tried cancelling on their website, sent them an email to inform them their technology was down, had a timestamped email, but they ignored my emails after one very polite exchange. Be careful of their material.


I had to relearn all of Ron's teachings, sat for an exam in early October and scored a 680 45Q/38V/7IR/6AWA. Signed up for Empower GMAT and Math Revolution, completed both courses, took another GMAT exam in early November and got 630 (45Q/33V/5IR). Empower GMAT is actually pretty good for quant and helped boost my DS, but their verbal section is incredibly weak and just repeats the answers from the back of an OG Prep book. At this point I was convinced that Ron and MGMAT was the way to go, shortcuts don't work, 1 month courses and promises don't work, nothing was going to beat hard work and truly grasping the material, logic, and concepts. I started reading every Ron Purewal explanation on forums, went through hundreds/thousands of OG Prep questions on GmatClub and finally scored my 740 in early December. Seriously, he is the best instructor I've encountered and I've used nearly every course's material.


Tips for Every Subject --

Quant

PS - Go through the MGMAT books for ANY subject you're not getting at least 9/10 questions correct on. Keeping a log will help. On the actual exam, a lot of times I didn't know how to solve the problem with an algebraic formula thus I started plugging in numbers starting with Answer C and worked my way up/down. If I couldn't figure out how to create the formula within 15-30 seconds, I would use Ron's method and begin plugging in the numbers. Reverse engineering. Organizing your notes is also crucial here. Generously use space, don't be conservative with the notes, just ask for another notepad when you run out. I realized I was making a lot of careless mistakes by doing math in my head because I was trying to save notepad space.

DS - Also used MGMAT's method with AD BCE and then eliminate easier option first. Empower GMAT's DS teaching also helped her - the guy Rich also says something along the lines "don't select an answer unless you can PROVE IT TO ME that there's only one solution, plug in numbers (don't forget 0, -1, -0.5 or +0.5), put the information on a pad." I also noticed a pattern with quant...as you get up in the quant scores, E appears to be a less favorable option. This is my observation and I have ZERO stats to back this up.

Verbal

CR - Ron again saved my bacon here. I followed his "if you can't explain the passage to an 10 year old boy, don't proceed to the answers. They'll be as good as random guesses." That one strategy alone brought me to a 95+ percentile CR. As you get up in CR scores, try POE by going through answer E to A first. I noticed they try to throw a lot of trap answers in Answer A to confuse us test takers. After all, once we read something, it's hard to unread it. By reading the trap answer first, it already messes with our logic and affects the outcome we select.

SC - Doing EVERY official OG Prep Software question on this forum through brute force helped me to hit 90+ percentile as well. For every question I got wrong, I also read Ron's explanation, which were almost always crystal clear and sensible. After a while, I just started noticing the patterns. Meaning becomes more crucial as you approach the harder questions.

RC - My weakest subject ended up being my strongest subject. Again, another Ron teaching - "DO NOT PICK AN ANSWER unless you can PROVE it to me that the passage says/means exactly this answer. Think of these test makers as a DIRTY SALESMAN, they try to SELL you WRONG answers that appear right. Reference back to the passage if you even have a 1% doubt, if time allows for it. I ended up getting 98% on reading when I was once at 30's. Also finish reading EVERY word of the ANSWER. I read the answer more carefully than understanding the actual passage, which helped my score. I also started doing POE from Answer E to Answer A, which helped as well. By the way, a lot of people say SC is the quickest way to improve. For me, RC was the best way to improve my Verbal score - here's why: On the actual exam, in the middle of the first ten questions, I guessed on two questions back to back and got worried, but then I got an RC passage with 4 questions, got every question correct...and then question 11-20 got really hard again. The ALGORITHM is so real that a strong OR weak RC skillset can save or kill you. By getting 4 RC questions correct in the first ten passages, I was on a much smoother path. I guess you can compare them to the Golden State Warriors with 3 pointers. 3 points can save the game, but can ruin you as well. Since they're that powerful, might as well work on this craft.

DO EVERY OFFICIAL OG SOFTWARE PREP QUESTION ON THIS FORUM. I almost made the mistake of spending a lot of time on the 85% difficulty verbal and quant questions on this forum. In the end, it was just an ego booster and a pride booster because on the actual exam, you don't need to get those right to get a "high" score. I supposed if someone is shooting for a 780-800, then sure, spend time studying those 85% difficulty questions. If one is shooting for a 700-760 though, I really don't think time should be allocated towards those areas. It would be better spend getting 100% of the 600-700 questions right first.

My hand is starting to hurt, but please feel free to ask me ANYTHING. I promise I'll respond. This forum has provided me with so many great resources. I thank everyone who contributes so very much.

Kudos [?]: 27 [7], given: 3

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2017, 04:44
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First of all Congratulations for top score :) :) :) :)
Your writing style is pretty good
Thanks for such a peace of writing
and finally hows about your hand now? :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:
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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2017, 09:44
SajjadAhmad wrote:
First of all Congratulations for top score :) :) :) :)
Your writing style is pretty good
Thanks for such a peace of writing
and finally hows about your hand now? :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:


lol much better, thanks! How's the GMAT treating you? Do you need any help or clarification on my debrief? I kind of just threw everything on my mind onto the forum without really structuring it strategically.

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2017, 03:10
Congrats BigGulpsHuh for the great score !

Got a question.:
I am having hard time with CR. It's taking 3 minutes for every S/W question. Similar for assumption questions. Timing gets worse further if I move to inferences, parallele reasoning, evaluate questions. If I cut the timing, like down to 2mins etc. I get it wrong.
Did you face any such issue? If no, any suggestions ?

BigGulpsHuh wrote:
740 = 50Q/41V/7IR/6AWA


This forum and Manhattan Prep, specifically Ron Purewal, has tremendously helped me out so I have decided to create an account to help others tackle this nasty exam. Backstory: I'm a slightly older candidate and took my first CAT in the late Spring through a free Economist CAT, which pegged me at low 400's. I don't even remember the breakdown because I was that horrified - something around twenties for verbal and low thirties for quant. To be fair, I didn't remember a triangle has 180 degrees or the definition of a right angle. However, I did somewhat remember my Algebra and I found word problems to be somewhat logical (although I still did poorly in them). I am a native, was a B student in High School, scored 1100's/1600 on the SATs, and a C student in college, where I majored in Social Sciences. In other words, I don't consider myself to be technical, particularly bright, OR gifted at standardized testing. I was WILLING to reprogram my brain and put in the hours though, despite working 50+ hours/week, keeping a girlfriend happy, and maintaining some resemblance of a social life.


I tried MGMAT, Veritas, GMAT Pill, Math Revolution, and Empower GMAT, but the only source I found to be overall helpful was MGMAT (especially the lectures from Thursdays with Ron). Empower GMAT really helped boost my DS, which was weighing down my quant score. Math Revolution is good if you want to brush up on the math and fully solve the problem. I didn't care so much for actually solving the problem because of obvious time constraints, but even its shortcut DS strategy wasn't really as effective as MGMAT's.


After scoring a low 400's on my CAT exam, I decided to start at the beginning with the Foundations of GMAT book by MGMAT. In late April/early May, I started reading the two basic foundations book in addition to all six books. This sucked up 2-3 months of my time, which I deeply regret. Looking back, I should have only studied the areas I was weak in and NOT spend so much time on probability/combinatorics/statistics/etc. I ended up getting a 50 on quant without even getting those really hard questions right. Empower GMAT did teach me that only certain problems count and getting really hard questions wrong won't hurt my score, which gave me confidence to drop the questions and reallocate the minutes elsewhere. I HIGHLY recommend the MGMAT books if you're just average or below average in any of the verbal categories or quant categories prior to really drilling down on the official questions (so you don't burn good material).


After reading through all the MGMAT books, I took a MGMAT cat and scored a 560 around a 38Q/28V. I got really motivated after seeing this huge improvement, but decided I needed to start using practice questions. Went through the entire Quant, Verbal, and Comprehensive Practice Questions in a 2015 OG Prep book, took an official CAT around late June and got a 680 (45Q/38V)! I decided to then go through 2016's OG Prep book questions and then took my second CAT at 730 (47Q/43V)! My CAT scores boosted so much from THURSDAYS WITH RON and reading his forum explanations. I swear by them. The lectures may seem long and dry, but he is the best at explaining the concepts and breaking down every single problem. I felt that other companies just try to teach you gimmicks and cheap shortcuts, but as we know, the GMAT makers aren't dumb, quickly learn of these strategies and reprogram the exam questions. Thus, the companies' strategies get outdated really quickly. I felt really good about my progress so booked an exam for early August. I had a month to kill so I decided to enroll in GMAT Pill since it was only $100. I went through all the modules, sat for the exam and my jaws dropped as I saw the 560 GMAT Score. Not only did GMAT Pill DROP my score a few hundred points, they also billed me for another month even though I tried cancelling on their website, sent them an email to inform them their technology was down, had a timestamped email, but they ignored my emails after one very polite exchange. Be careful of their material.


I had to relearn all of Ron's teachings, sat for an exam in early October and scored a 680 45Q/38V/7IR/6AWA. Signed up for Empower GMAT and Math Revolution, completed both courses, took another GMAT exam in early November and got 630 (45Q/33V/5IR). Empower GMAT is actually pretty good for quant and helped boost my DS, but their verbal section is incredibly weak and just repeats the answers from the back of an OG Prep book. At this point I was convinced that Ron and MGMAT was the way to go, shortcuts don't work, 1 month courses and promises don't work, nothing was going to beat hard work and truly grasping the material, logic, and concepts. I started reading every Ron Purewal explanation on forums, went through hundreds/thousands of OG Prep questions on GmatClub and finally scored my 740 in early December. Seriously, he is the best instructor I've encountered and I've used nearly every course's material.


Tips for Every Subject --

Quant

PS - Go through the MGMAT books for ANY subject you're not getting at least 9/10 questions correct on. Keeping a log will help. On the actual exam, a lot of times I didn't know how to solve the problem with an algebraic formula thus I started plugging in numbers starting with Answer C and worked my way up/down. If I couldn't figure out how to create the formula within 15-30 seconds, I would use Ron's method and begin plugging in the numbers. Reverse engineering. Organizing your notes is also crucial here. Generously use space, don't be conservative with the notes, just ask for another notepad when you run out. I realized I was making a lot of careless mistakes by doing math in my head because I was trying to save notepad space.

DS - Also used MGMAT's method with AD BCE and then eliminate easier option first. Empower GMAT's DS teaching also helped her - the guy Rich also says something along the lines "don't select an answer unless you can PROVE IT TO ME that there's only one solution, plug in numbers (don't forget 0, -1, -0.5 or +0.5), put the information on a pad." I also noticed a pattern with quant...as you get up in the quant scores, E appears to be a less favorable option. This is my observation and I have ZERO stats to back this up.

Verbal

CR - Ron again saved my bacon here. I followed his "if you can't explain the passage to an 10 year old boy, don't proceed to the answers. They'll be as good as random guesses." That one strategy alone brought me to a 95+ percentile CR. As you get up in CR scores, try POE by going through answer E to A first. I noticed they try to throw a lot of trap answers in Answer A to confuse us test takers. After all, once we read something, it's hard to unread it. By reading the trap answer first, it already messes with our logic and affects the outcome we select.

SC - Doing EVERY official OG Prep Software question on this forum through brute force helped me to hit 90+ percentile as well. For every question I got wrong, I also read Ron's explanation, which were almost always crystal clear and sensible. After a while, I just started noticing the patterns. Meaning becomes more crucial as you approach the harder questions.

RC - My weakest subject ended up being my strongest subject. Again, another Ron teaching - "DO NOT PICK AN ANSWER unless you can PROVE it to me that the passage says/means exactly this answer. Think of these test makers as a DIRTY SALESMAN, they try to SELL you WRONG answers that appear right. Reference back to the passage if you even have a 1% doubt, if time allows for it. I ended up getting 98% on reading when I was once at 30's. Also finish reading EVERY word of the ANSWER. I read the answer more carefully than understanding the actual passage, which helped my score. I also started doing POE from Answer E to Answer A, which helped as well. By the way, a lot of people say SC is the quickest way to improve. For me, RC was the best way to improve my Verbal score - here's why: On the actual exam, in the middle of the first ten questions, I guessed on two questions back to back and got worried, but then I got an RC passage with 4 questions, got every question correct...and then question 11-20 got really hard again. The ALGORITHM is so real that a strong OR weak RC skillset can save or kill you. By getting 4 RC questions correct in the first ten passages, I was on a much smoother path. I guess you can compare them to the Golden State Warriors with 3 pointers. 3 points can save the game, but can ruin you as well. Since they're that powerful, might as well work on this craft.

DO EVERY OFFICIAL OG SOFTWARE PREP QUESTION ON THIS FORUM. I almost made the mistake of spending a lot of time on the 85% difficulty verbal and quant questions on this forum. In the end, it was just an ego booster and a pride booster because on the actual exam, you don't need to get those right to get a "high" score. I supposed if someone is shooting for a 780-800, then sure, spend time studying those 85% difficulty questions. If one is shooting for a 700-760 though, I really don't think time should be allocated towards those areas. It would be better spend getting 100% of the 600-700 questions right first.

My hand is starting to hurt, but please feel free to ask me ANYTHING. I promise I'll respond. This forum has provided me with so many great resources. I thank everyone who contributes so very much.

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2017, 06:16
BigGulpsHuh wrote:
SajjadAhmad wrote:
First of all Congratulations for top score :) :) :) :)
Your writing style is pretty good
Thanks for such a peace of writing
and finally hows about your hand now? :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:


lol much better, thanks! How's the GMAT treating you? Do you need any help or clarification on my debrief? I kind of just threw everything on my mind onto the forum without really structuring it strategically.


Yes it was without structure, but i learn one thing from your debrief that is Ron Videos are much important give due weigh to them :shock: :shock: :shock:
I am going pretty well with GMAT

Best Regards
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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2017, 20:06
Ron is the man. I wish that I would have discovered him earlier in my prep.

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2017, 00:47
SajjadAhmad wrote:
BigGulpsHuh wrote:
SajjadAhmad wrote:
First of all Congratulations for top score :) :) :) :)
Your writing style is pretty good
Thanks for such a peace of writing
and finally hows about your hand now? :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:


lol much better, thanks! How's the GMAT treating you? Do you need any help or clarification on my debrief? I kind of just threw everything on my mind onto the forum without really structuring it strategically.


Yes it was without structure, but i learn one thing from your debrief that is Ron Videos are much important give due weigh to them :shock: :shock: :shock:
I am going pretty well with GMAT

Best Regards


Good, his videos may be dry, long, and boring...but they are IMPORTANT for someone who is struggling with a particular concept. They took me, a native speaker, from thirty-something percentile verbal to ninety-something percentile. When I was going through the videos in the beginning, I didn't think they helped at all and thought they were not an efficient use of my time, BUT little did I know, they saved my verbal score. It's important to actually pay attention to every minute of the video too because most of the times, the best teachings that apply to you are things he says in passing as opposed to the core of the class itself.

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2017, 01:08
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ajay2121988 wrote:
Congrats BigGulpsHuh for the great score !

Got a question.:
I am having hard time with CR. It's taking 3 minutes for every S/W question. Similar for assumption questions. Timing gets worse further if I move to inferences, parallele reasoning, evaluate questions. If I cut the timing, like down to 2mins etc. I get it wrong.
Did you face any such issue? If no, any suggestions ?




Hi Ajay,

Sorry I missed your post in the middle of all the quotes. YES, I definitely had this problem. In fact, towards the end...I will admit that I still took around 3 minutes for every CR question. I just started being honest with myself and realized I will always take longer with CR, or I could sacrifice accuracy (which was not an option for me). I really focused on practicing on 500-1000 sentence correction problems to solve every SC problem in 60-90 seconds. This helped me free up more time for CR. For SC, I would actually skim the sentence itself, but make sure you pay attention to meaning (if you're scoring high in verbal). While skimming the question/first answer, make sure you ignore all the modifiers because they just suck up your time. My main strategy in solving virtually every SC question, including the hard ones, in 60-90 seconds was to immediately look for a NOUN and VERB which serve as the main subject of the sentence. I would actually practice on every SC question and try to dumb it down to 2-4 words max. I also saved a ton of time by ignoring every single adjective. I noticed that SC uses a lot of unnecessary adjectives. For example: old-fashioned metallic red car sitting in the garage. I would skim this phrase and only remember the word "car." I have the attention span of a monkey so this saved me a ton of time, and no longer had to reread a bunch of sentences.

If you feel that you can't save time in RC or SC, and really need to focus on CR. The only thing that helped me was: every time I saw a CR question pop up on the exam, I immediately popped up in my seat and focused 110% of my effort in quickly but thoroughly reading the passage (while translating the passage in my head). For every sentence I was reading, I would simultaneously translate what I just read in my head. Make sure you use DIFFERENT words than what the passage is using. The real proof in whether you're understanding the argument is if you can use 1st grade words to summarize the sentence/argument. A lot of people would argue that timing is crucial, but from my results...I did well in every quadrant except for the last 10 questions and came out with this score. It's really strange how the algorithm works and I do believe that is the main contributor to the HUGE fluctuations in my GMAT score. I never learned any new content, I only learned new test taking strategies from the time I scored a 560 to when I scored a 740...

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jan 2017, 06:04
BigGulpsHuh wrote:
740 = 50Q/41V/7IR/6AWA


This forum and Manhattan Prep, specifically Ron Purewal, has tremendously helped me out so I have decided to create an account to help others tackle this nasty exam. Backstory: I'm a slightly older candidate and took my first CAT in the late Spring through a free Economist CAT, which pegged me at low 400's. I don't even remember the breakdown because I was that horrified - something around twenties for verbal and low thirties for quant. To be fair, I didn't remember a triangle has 180 degrees or the definition of a right angle. However, I did somewhat remember my Algebra and I found word problems to be somewhat logical (although I still did poorly in them). I am a native, was a B student in High School, scored 1100's/1600 on the SATs, and a C student in college, where I majored in Social Sciences. In other words, I don't consider myself to be technical, particularly bright, OR gifted at standardized testing. I was WILLING to reprogram my brain and put in the hours though, despite working 50+ hours/week, keeping a girlfriend happy, and maintaining some resemblance of a social life.


I tried MGMAT, Veritas, GMAT Pill, Math Revolution, and Empower GMAT, but the only source I found to be overall helpful was MGMAT (especially the lectures from Thursdays with Ron). Empower GMAT really helped boost my DS, which was weighing down my quant score. Math Revolution is good if you want to brush up on the math and fully solve the problem. I didn't care so much for actually solving the problem because of obvious time constraints, but even its shortcut DS strategy wasn't really as effective as MGMAT's.


After scoring a low 400's on my CAT exam, I decided to start at the beginning with the Foundations of GMAT book by MGMAT. In late April/early May, I started reading the two basic foundations book in addition to all six books. This sucked up 2-3 months of my time, which I deeply regret. Looking back, I should have only studied the areas I was weak in and NOT spend so much time on probability/combinatorics/statistics/etc. I ended up getting a 50 on quant without even getting those really hard questions right. Empower GMAT did teach me that only certain problems count and getting really hard questions wrong won't hurt my score, which gave me confidence to drop the questions and reallocate the minutes elsewhere. I HIGHLY recommend the MGMAT books if you're just average or below average in any of the verbal categories or quant categories prior to really drilling down on the official questions (so you don't burn good material).


After reading through all the MGMAT books, I took a MGMAT cat and scored a 560 around a 38Q/28V. I got really motivated after seeing this huge improvement, but decided I needed to start using practice questions. Went through the entire Quant, Verbal, and Comprehensive Practice Questions in a 2015 OG Prep book, took an official CAT around late June and got a 680 (45Q/38V)! I decided to then go through 2016's OG Prep book questions and then took my second CAT at 730 (47Q/43V)! My CAT scores boosted so much from THURSDAYS WITH RON and reading his forum explanations. I swear by them. The lectures may seem long and dry, but he is the best at explaining the concepts and breaking down every single problem. I felt that other companies just try to teach you gimmicks and cheap shortcuts, but as we know, the GMAT makers aren't dumb, quickly learn of these strategies and reprogram the exam questions. Thus, the companies' strategies get outdated really quickly. I felt really good about my progress so booked an exam for early August. I had a month to kill so I decided to enroll in GMAT Pill since it was only $100. I went through all the modules, sat for the exam and my jaws dropped as I saw the 560 GMAT Score. Not only did GMAT Pill DROP my score a few hundred points, they also billed me for another month even though I tried cancelling on their website, sent them an email to inform them their technology was down, had a timestamped email, but they ignored my emails after one very polite exchange. Be careful of their material.


I had to relearn all of Ron's teachings, sat for an exam in early October and scored a 680 45Q/38V/7IR/6AWA. Signed up for Empower GMAT and Math Revolution, completed both courses, took another GMAT exam in early November and got 630 (45Q/33V/5IR). Empower GMAT is actually pretty good for quant and helped boost my DS, but their verbal section is incredibly weak and just repeats the answers from the back of an OG Prep book. At this point I was convinced that Ron and MGMAT was the way to go, shortcuts don't work, 1 month courses and promises don't work, nothing was going to beat hard work and truly grasping the material, logic, and concepts. I started reading every Ron Purewal explanation on forums, went through hundreds/thousands of OG Prep questions on GmatClub and finally scored my 740 in early December. Seriously, he is the best instructor I've encountered and I've used nearly every course's material.


Tips for Every Subject --

Quant

PS - Go through the MGMAT books for ANY subject you're not getting at least 9/10 questions correct on. Keeping a log will help. On the actual exam, a lot of times I didn't know how to solve the problem with an algebraic formula thus I started plugging in numbers starting with Answer C and worked my way up/down. If I couldn't figure out how to create the formula within 15-30 seconds, I would use Ron's method and begin plugging in the numbers. Reverse engineering. Organizing your notes is also crucial here. Generously use space, don't be conservative with the notes, just ask for another notepad when you run out. I realized I was making a lot of careless mistakes by doing math in my head because I was trying to save notepad space.

DS - Also used MGMAT's method with AD BCE and then eliminate easier option first. Empower GMAT's DS teaching also helped her - the guy Rich also says something along the lines "don't select an answer unless you can PROVE IT TO ME that there's only one solution, plug in numbers (don't forget 0, -1, -0.5 or +0.5), put the information on a pad." I also noticed a pattern with quant...as you get up in the quant scores, E appears to be a less favorable option. This is my observation and I have ZERO stats to back this up.

Verbal

CR - Ron again saved my bacon here. I followed his "if you can't explain the passage to an 10 year old boy, don't proceed to the answers. They'll be as good as random guesses." That one strategy alone brought me to a 95+ percentile CR. As you get up in CR scores, try POE by going through answer E to A first. I noticed they try to throw a lot of trap answers in Answer A to confuse us test takers. After all, once we read something, it's hard to unread it. By reading the trap answer first, it already messes with our logic and affects the outcome we select.

SC - Doing EVERY official OG Prep Software question on this forum through brute force helped me to hit 90+ percentile as well. For every question I got wrong, I also read Ron's explanation, which were almost always crystal clear and sensible. After a while, I just started noticing the patterns. Meaning becomes more crucial as you approach the harder questions.

RC - My weakest subject ended up being my strongest subject. Again, another Ron teaching - "DO NOT PICK AN ANSWER unless you can PROVE it to me that the passage says/means exactly this answer. Think of these test makers as a DIRTY SALESMAN, they try to SELL you WRONG answers that appear right. Reference back to the passage if you even have a 1% doubt, if time allows for it. I ended up getting 98% on reading when I was once at 30's. Also finish reading EVERY word of the ANSWER. I read the answer more carefully than understanding the actual passage, which helped my score. I also started doing POE from Answer E to Answer A, which helped as well. By the way, a lot of people say SC is the quickest way to improve. For me, RC was the best way to improve my Verbal score - here's why: On the actual exam, in the middle of the first ten questions, I guessed on two questions back to back and got worried, but then I got an RC passage with 4 questions, got every question correct...and then question 11-20 got really hard again. The ALGORITHM is so real that a strong OR weak RC skillset can save or kill you. By getting 4 RC questions correct in the first ten passages, I was on a much smoother path. I guess you can compare them to the Golden State Warriors with 3 pointers. 3 points can save the game, but can ruin you as well. Since they're that powerful, might as well work on this craft.

DO EVERY OFFICIAL OG SOFTWARE PREP QUESTION ON THIS FORUM. I almost made the mistake of spending a lot of time on the 85% difficulty verbal and quant questions on this forum. In the end, it was just an ego booster and a pride booster because on the actual exam, you don't need to get those right to get a "high" score. I supposed if someone is shooting for a 780-800, then sure, spend time studying those 85% difficulty questions. If one is shooting for a 700-760 though, I really don't think time should be allocated towards those areas. It would be better spend getting 100% of the 600-700 questions right first.

My hand is starting to hurt, but please feel free to ask me ANYTHING. I promise I'll respond. This forum has provided me with so many great resources. I thank everyone who contributes so very much.


Buddy , that was an inspiring debrief :) Success stories like these give me a lot of strength ... I have some queries , kindly help me out !

1) How would you compare Veritas vis-a-vis MGMAT ?
2) Did you time your practice sessions while solving OG ? If yes , then please share your timing strategy ?
3) I am a non-native and I am struggling with RCs ; could you suggest some extra reading (non-GMAT) to improve my RCs ?
4) How many non-official questions did you solve ? Or did you restrict yourself to official material ?
5) Do you recommend that I solve LSAT qs to improve my verbal score ?
6) Roughly how much time did you invest per ?

I know that is a long questionnaire :oops: But your inputs will be of great help :)
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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jan 2017, 08:43
Congratulations! That's very impressive improvement! Very few people have been able to improve over 300 points. It is probably still less than 20 on GMAT Club (based on debriefs at least).

Fantastic Job! That's a great accomplishment in itself.
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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2017, 16:06
bb wrote:
Congratulations! That's very impressive improvement! Very few people have been able to improve over 300 points. It is probably still less than 20 on GMAT Club (based on debriefs at least).

Fantastic Job! That's a great accomplishment in itself.


Thanks BB! Could not have done it without the help of your forum. Your tracker really helped me log all of my wrong and correct answers/questions. PLUS this forum provided me something that tremendously helped me - a database of EVERY official GMAT question ever made!

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2017, 16:19
spetznaz wrote:
BigGulpsHuh wrote:
740 = 50Q/41V/7IR/6AWA

Buddy , that was an inspiring debrief :) Success stories like these give me a lot of strength ... I have some queries , kindly help me out !

1) How would you compare Veritas vis-a-vis MGMAT ?
2) Did you time your practice sessions while solving OG ? If yes , then please share your timing strategy ?
3) I am a non-native and I am struggling with RCs ; could you suggest some extra reading (non-GMAT) to improve my RCs ?
4) How many non-official questions did you solve ? Or did you restrict yourself to official material ?
5) Do you recommend that I solve LSAT qs to improve my verbal score ?
6) Roughly how much time did you invest per ?

I know that is a long questionnaire :oops: But your inputs will be of great help :)


So sorry for the delayed response - work has been incredibly busy lately.

1) I glanced over my friend's Veritas books, which weren't as thorough as MGMAT's. I also watched every single video taught by Brian Galvin/some lady (Lizzy?) that my friend also had. Brian by far is a much more entertaining instructor versus Ron. However, his instruction style didn't work for me because I felt that he was talking directly to me, not so much teaching me. Kind of like a lecture as opposed to a tutor/instructor (which Ron is). Ron does a much better job of explaining, breaking down the problem, logically telling you why you're wrong and not right versus Brian who just reads an answer/explanation to you out loud. I've never worked with Brian in person, only the videos. However, I've also not worked with Ron in person, only over forums and through his Thursday videos.

2) I only timed myself AFTER I started getting a majority of the official questions correct. I believe timing is only important once you have a STRONG fundamental of the core concepts tested in the GMAT. I still sucked with timing with the actual exam, but even with a terrible score on my last 10 questions of QUANT and VERBAL, I managed to eke out 50Q/41Q just by doing well on the first 10 questions of both sections.

3) I have zero doubt that my outside reading helped me, but my biggest improvement came from doing EVERY official GMAT RC question/passage on this forum. There's over a hundred of them. After doing 1-3/day, I somehow went from a terrible RC score to mid 90 something percentile. It just happens...practice...repetition. Follow Ron's strategy "don't select/eliminate an answer unless you can PROVE to me that it's correct/wrong. Show me where it says that in the passage." The answer choices are dirty salesmen! They sound soooo good, but often are wrong.

4) I tried using Veritas' questions and they horribly deteriorated my score. After that incident, I only practiced with official questions. I probably practiced on over 1000-2000 questions. It was definitely a lot, I spent hundreds of hours on studying. The official questions are all over the forum.

5) Depends. What's your percentile on CR right now? I looked over my girlfriend's old Powerscore LSAT books and the questions are definitely good! Harder than the GMAT, I wouldn't recommend unless you want 99% percentile in CR. By working on ALL three RC, SC and CR, you'll see your verbal skyrocket. Being 99% in CR and 50% SC/RC will still lead to a low verbal score. This isn't speculation, this is actually fact (from someone who took the GMAT four times).

6) What do you mean by invest? Studying? Actual exam?

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2017, 21:54
Hello! So I think this should do now? I have a brief question for you. I just started my prep and as anxious as I am, I have decided to take the diagnostic CAT and see where I stand to know where to improve. I just have two questions if you wouldn't mind.

1) Whenever you started your prep, you talked about wishing you hadn't done all the MGMT books first and hoped you focused on your week areas. Does the Diagnostic test tell you your weak areas?

2) How would you recommend studying? I mean, do you think it is better to study one of the strategy books of MGMT and then solve OG questions specifically on the topics the book covered, as MGMT actually breaks down where to find the questions and which questions pertain to what topics? OR read through all the books and then just begin solving questions and analyzing the breakdown/answers? What are your thoughts?

I apologize ahead of time is the questions are somewhat weird, I've been struggling with my prep and am very new to this. Thanks for your help!

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2017, 22:18
Nkem123 wrote:
Hello! So I think this should do now? I have a brief question for you. I just started my prep and as anxious as I am, I have decided to take the diagnostic CAT and see where I stand to know where to improve. I just have two questions if you wouldn't mind.

1) Whenever you started your prep, you talked about wishing you hadn't done all the MGMT books first and hoped you focused on your week areas. Does the Diagnostic test tell you your weak areas?

2) How would you recommend studying? I mean, do you think it is better to study one of the strategy books of MGMT and then solve OG questions specifically on the topics the book covered, as MGMT actually breaks down where to find the questions and which questions pertain to what topics? OR read through all the books and then just begin solving questions and analyzing the breakdown/answers? What are your thoughts?

I apologize ahead of time is the questions are somewhat weird, I've been struggling with my prep and am very new to this. Thanks for your help!


Great questions actually!

1) The diagnostic won't exactly create a simple report saying you scored X on Number Properties, Y on Geometry, Z on Probability. However, you can definitely see WHICH questions you got wrong and start a tally sheet or an error log. By the end of a diagnostic exam, you should see which areas you're weak in. Same concept applies to RC SC CR in verbal. This will definitely help you zoom in on your weak areas. If you don't mind putting in extra hours (not necessary) but to feel completely secure, feel free to read all the books. But if you only have 4 months or so, skip the set of books and just read the ones that focus on your weak areas.

2) I would say take a diagnostic exam - study the MGMAT books in your weak areas (do every problem in the MGMAT book) - go through an OG verbal/quant and comprehensive book/question set. For every question you got wrong, learn WHY. If the answers are confusing on this forum, try MGMAT forum. I have read hundreds of Ron's explanations and I only found 1-2 where he's not completely clear. In comparison, I have found many of the "experts" on this forum and BeatTheGmat use vague explanations. After you go through the three OG books, start practicing the official retired questions on this forum like a madman/madwoman. Hundreds, thousands, whatever it takes until you start seeing a majority of your questions correct.

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2017, 03:00
Indeed a good one.
Congrats man..

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jan 2017, 12:18
BigGulpsHuh Thanks so much for the speedy and helpful response. Truly appreciate it!

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2017, 01:52
Nkem123 wrote:
BigGulpsHuh Thanks so much for the speedy and helpful response. Truly appreciate it!


If you take a diagnostic exam and post which questions you were most frequent in getting wrong, I can reply which ones you should definitely focus on and which ones are not so important. It may be helpful...because I spent a lot of my time studying the wrong material haha.

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2017, 07:32
BigGulpsHuh wrote:
spetznaz wrote:
BigGulpsHuh wrote:
740 = 50Q/41V/7IR/6AWA

Buddy , that was an inspiring debrief :) Success stories like these give me a lot of strength ... I have some queries , kindly help me out !

1) How would you compare Veritas vis-a-vis MGMAT ?
2) Did you time your practice sessions while solving OG ? If yes , then please share your timing strategy ?
3) I am a non-native and I am struggling with RCs ; could you suggest some extra reading (non-GMAT) to improve my RCs ?
4) How many non-official questions did you solve ? Or did you restrict yourself to official material ?
5) Do you recommend that I solve LSAT qs to improve my verbal score ?
6) Roughly how much time did you invest per ?

I know that is a long questionnaire :oops: But your inputs will be of great help :)


So sorry for the delayed response - work has been incredibly busy lately.

1) I glanced over my friend's Veritas books, which weren't as thorough as MGMAT's. I also watched every single video taught by Brian Galvin/some lady (Lizzy?) that my friend also had. Brian by far is a much more entertaining instructor versus Ron. However, his instruction style didn't work for me because I felt that he was talking directly to me, not so much teaching me. Kind of like a lecture as opposed to a tutor/instructor (which Ron is). Ron does a much better job of explaining, breaking down the problem, logically telling you why you're wrong and not right versus Brian who just reads an answer/explanation to you out loud. I've never worked with Brian in person, only the videos. However, I've also not worked with Ron in person, only over forums and through his Thursday videos.

2) I only timed myself AFTER I started getting a majority of the official questions correct. I believe timing is only important once you have a STRONG fundamental of the core concepts tested in the GMAT. I still sucked with timing with the actual exam, but even with a terrible score on my last 10 questions of QUANT and VERBAL, I managed to eke out 50Q/41Q just by doing well on the first 10 questions of both sections.

3) I have zero doubt that my outside reading helped me, but my biggest improvement came from doing EVERY official GMAT RC question/passage on this forum. There's over a hundred of them. After doing 1-3/day, I somehow went from a terrible RC score to mid 90 something percentile. It just happens...practice...repetition. Follow Ron's strategy "don't select/eliminate an answer unless you can PROVE to me that it's correct/wrong. Show me where it says that in the passage." The answer choices are dirty salesmen! They sound soooo good, but often are wrong.

4) I tried using Veritas' questions and they horribly deteriorated my score. After that incident, I only practiced with official questions. I probably practiced on over 1000-2000 questions. It was definitely a lot, I spent hundreds of hours on studying. The official questions are all over the forum.

5) Depends. What's your percentile on CR right now? I looked over my girlfriend's old Powerscore LSAT books and the questions are definitely good! Harder than the GMAT, I wouldn't recommend unless you want 99% percentile in CR. By working on ALL three RC, SC and CR, you'll see your verbal skyrocket. Being 99% in CR and 50% SC/RC will still lead to a low verbal score. This isn't speculation, this is actually fact (from someone who took the GMAT four times).

6) What do you mean by invest? Studying? Actual exam?


Thanks a lot buddy :) The second point means a lot to me... Looks like I should starts timing myself only after I get my concepts in place. Thanks again :)
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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2017, 08:34
You are surely welcome spetznaz. By the way, I know the verbal videos from Ron are very long and can be dry/boring at many times, but it's crucial that you pay attention to every second of it. I often found that it wasn't the question/answer in the lecture that helped me the most, but the little "in between" teachings.

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2017, 12:53
Can you please refer the course you took with Ron to me? Please give me the link to it. Thanks

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Re: How I went from Low 400's to 740 in 7 months thanks to Ron from MGMAT   [#permalink] 29 Jan 2017, 12:53

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