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How to move from 720? Exhausted OG's...

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How to move from 720? Exhausted OG's...  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2019, 16:44
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Hi all,

The question:
I am considering taking the test 5 days from now, 10 days from now, or hold off until later if I need to really dig down into fundamentals. Please let me know your guidance in terms of how to approach, what to use, and what the appropriate timeframe would be. Thank you so so much in advance!

The situation:
1) I studied the past ~6 weeks and just received a 720 (Q47 V42) on October 5th.
2) I am on leave from work for the next 11 days with social commitments planned (I'm moving away), meaning I have a combo of half-days, full-days, and partial-days (e.g. studying an hour or so) in terms of time.
3) I am moving across the world to start a new job in 11 days, so jet lag + all the new stuff that comes with such a move might be an impediment.

What I've used so far, in order:
1) Cheat sheet I made from the Manhattan GMAT books last year (I studied for a bit and quit)
2) OG
3) OG Quant (all) and Verbal (half)
4) Official GMAT Practice Test 1-6
5) Flipped through MGMAT once in a while for topics I felt uneasy about at the start - I had read cover to cover last year

My methodology to date:
--- Did all questions in OG ---
GMAC Test 1 - 600something on 9/12/2019. This was taken on a plane after I had gone through OG.
--- Studied on and off. I was on vacation. ---
GMAC Test 2 - 750 (V44, Q49) on 9/18/2019. This was taken in an airport lounge at 6am.
--- Studied error log from Tests 1 and 2, did all of OG Quant ---
--- From this point on, I did a week of test-review-test-review until Test Day ---

GMAC Test 3 - 710 (V35, Q50) on 9/26/2019
GMAC Test 4 - 750 (V44, Q48) on 9/27/2019
GMAC Test 5 - 730 (V42, Q48) on 10/1/2019
GMAC Test 6 - 760 (V47, Q49) on 10/6/2019
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Re: How to move from 720? Exhausted OG's...  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2019, 20:39
fastfalco382 - Congratulations on getting a 720 on the GMAT. The road from 720 to 760 or higher is both easy and difficult. At a 720 level, you probably have learned all the concepts and strategies to answer questions. However, you may have missed a few easy questions and GMAT penalizes heavily for doing so. That said, I would strongly encourage you not to retake practice tests you attempted previously. Instead, for additional practice, I would recommend Experts' Global practice tests. These tests are extremely similar to the ones offered by GMAT Prep in terms of pattern and flavor.
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New post 07 Oct 2019, 09:21
Hi fastflco382,

720 is a great start! Regarding how to move forward, you could give the GMAT one more shot (prior to starting our new job), and if you do not hit your score goal, then give yourself more time to prep and take the GMAT when you are truly read to do so.

Regarding how to improve your GMAT score, you need to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable, and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see, types that you would rather not see, and types that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find it helpful to read the following article about The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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Re: How to move from 720? Exhausted OG's...  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2019, 01:12
fastfalco382 wrote:
Hi all,


My methodology to date:
--- Did all questions in OG ---
GMAC Test 1 - 600something on 9/12/2019. This was taken on a plane after I had gone through OG.
--- Studied on and off. I was on vacation. ---
GMAC Test 2 - 750 (V44, Q49) on 9/18/2019. This was taken in an airport lounge at 6am.
--- Studied error log from Tests 1 and 2, did all of OG Quant ---
--- From this point on, I did a week of test-review-test-review until Test Day ---

GMAC Test 3 - 710 (V35, Q50) on 9/26/2019
GMAC Test 4 - 750 (V44, Q48) on 9/27/2019
GMAC Test 5 - 730 (V42, Q48) on 10/1/2019
GMAC Test 6 - 760 (V47, Q49) on 10/6/2019

Congrats for 720. Taking mock within in a very short duration is not a good idea. So, take the mock test after 10 days at least.
I am really astonished seeing your exam style (sometimes it is in the plane, sometimes it is in lounge). You are genius man. All the best.
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New post 12 Oct 2019, 12:37
impressed by taking the exam at airport as well. you should look at your ESR and figure out what went wrong. Let us know how you 2nd attempt goes!
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New post 18 Oct 2019, 09:21
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi fastflco382,

720 is a great start! Regarding how to move forward, you could give the GMAT one more shot (prior to starting our new job), and if you do not hit your score goal, then give yourself more time to prep and take the GMAT when you are truly read to do so.

Etc etc


Awesome - thank you for this advice. I've decided to take additional time (a few more weeks) to try and improve some areas I know I'm weak in while the iron is still hot (while the basic GMAT knowledge is still there). Practicing exclusively 700-level questions on GMATClub and reading MGMAT books for skills when necessary. I've done worse than expected on these 700-level problems so I'm confident some progress is being made topic by topic.

The question now is how many questions do I need to take in the GMATClub test bank (there are SO many by topic) before I can feel confident in a topic to move on?

Fan and Asad -

Appreciate the kind words! Got super nervous on the test day-of so not sure if getting the ESR and seeing the breakdown will be a true reflection of my ability. Or is it an accurate assessment of which skills stay true and which stagnate under assuredly pressure-cooker conditions (e.g. test day)?

For reference, I manually found the problem type for each of the 4 mock tests I took within 1 week of the real exam so I have a general sense of my pain points from there -- would use these to pick which topics to hone in on.
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New post 22 Oct 2019, 11:02
fastfalco382 wrote:

Awesome - thank you for this advice. I've decided to take additional time (a few more weeks) to try and improve some areas I know I'm weak in while the iron is still hot (while the basic GMAT knowledge is still there). Practicing exclusively 700-level questions on GMATClub and reading MGMAT books for skills when necessary. I've done worse than expected on these 700-level problems so I'm confident some progress is being made topic by topic.

The question now is how many questions do I need to take in the GMATClub test bank (there are SO many by topic) before I can feel confident in a topic to move on?



To be honest, there is no magic number. The key is that when you are done practicing a particular topic, you can truly say you UNDERSTAND IT. So, start off with 50 per topic and then see if you need to practice more.
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New post 08 Nov 2019, 21:58
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Update -

I retook and received a 770 (Q49 / V47) today. Thank you for the advice, all!

I took Scott's advice which was perfect. Really thought about what areas in Quant I was poor at and just drilled 700-level questions for each on GMATClub (I would only do questions sourced from Manhattan). I would get 1 of 10 right for each area... but made sure I knew how to solve each problem after the fact.

Verbal I read PowerScore's CR book once to understand what the strategies were. I had no CR strategy before so getting a surface level understanding of how experts examine CR problems (Focus on the conclusion above all, assumption negation were the two takeaways for me) was important.

This forum has been critical. Thank you again!

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Re: How to move from 720? Exhausted OG's...  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2019, 19:13
fastfalco382 wrote:
Update -

I retook and received a 770 (Q49 / V47) today. Thank you for the advice, all!

I took Scott's advice which was perfect. Really thought about what areas in Quant I was poor at and just drilled 700-level questions for each on GMATClub (I would only do questions sourced from Manhattan). I would get 1 of 10 right for each area... but made sure I knew how to solve each problem after the fact.

Verbal I read PowerScore's CR book once to understand what the strategies were. I had no CR strategy before so getting a surface level understanding of how experts examine CR problems (Focus on the conclusion above all, assumption negation were the two takeaways for me) was important.

This forum has been critical. Thank you again!

Posted from my mobile device


Nice job! Glad I could help.
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Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
TTP - Target Test Prep Logo
122 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

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Re: How to move from 720? Exhausted OG's...   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2019, 19:13
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