GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

It is currently 22 Sep 2019, 11:37

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Close

Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel

Journey to a surprising 730

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:

Hide Tags

Find Similar Topics 
Director
Director
User avatar
Status: And so it ends...
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Posts: 575
Concentration: Strategy, Other
Schools: Johnson (Cornell) - Class of 2017
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
GPA: 2.48
WE: Engineering (Other)
Reviews Badge
Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 08 Dec 2014, 10:32
8
4
Hi All!

I took the exam last May, but while I'm waiting for my b-school R1 decisions I figured I'd finally take the time to post my GMAT debrief for everyone.

First off, the score I received was a surprise because of the lower scores I was getting on my practice exams:

07/04/12- Kaplan-590
08/18/12- Princeton-590 (Q43/V28)
09/09/12- Kaplan-630
02/01/14- Princeton-580 (Q47/V23)
02/09/14- MGMAT-650 (Q44/V35)
03/08/14- MGMAT-620 (Q45/V31)
03/22/14- MGMAT-630 (Q45/V32)
04/08/14- MGMAT-640 (Q44/V33)
04/19/14- MGMAT-670 (Q44/V37)
04/26/14- MGMAT-680 (Q46/V37)

05/03/14- Actual GMAT-730 (Q49/V40/IR6/AWA6)

Beginning of my GMAT journey

As you can see from my practice test dates, I actually started the GMAT journey back in 2012. It was the summer of my Masters program and although we had a summer project, the downtime between classes made me restless enough to look for another challenge. I began studying for the GMAT that summer and had a GMAT test date for the end of September of that year. The studying was going fairly well, however my practice tests did not go so well and I was getting worried that I was so far away from my goal (I was aiming for a 750+). By the time September had rolled around, my classes started picking up again and I was transitioning to a new role in my company that had me traveling every week. It was an exciting time professionally because it was a great opportunity for me and my company, however the combination of classes and this new role took away from my GMAT preparation. Unfortunately, 2 weeks from the test date I assessed my current state of readiness and decided that it was best to cancel the test and put it off until I had finished my Masters program and my after work life allowed me enough time to properly prepare.

Fast forward to January 2014

I graduated from my Masters program in May 2013 and soon after found a new job in a new city so that I could be closer to my new fiancee. So much had happened in a short time right around then, I still have a hard time believing it. Anyways, I finally had the time to properly dedicate to my GMAT studies and was already primed for it as I had just finished taking my test for my professional engineering license. I laid out a 3-month study plan and decided that I would take it at the end of March or early April. However, I actually ended up spending an extra month because when I went to register for the test in late February the next available date was in May! This was actually a blessing in disguise because the extra month helped a lot. I went back to my 2012 Kaplan GMAT Premier book to go over the basics. I redid a lot of the problems and reviewed over my notes from my previous effort. Once I got comfortable with the question format and some basic strategies such as "Testing the Answers", I moved onto the Kaplan 800 and MGMAT Advanced Quant books. I knew I wanted to get a high score (was still aiming for the 750+) and from what I could read from the forums here to achieve that score I would need to get comfortable with high level questions. I began reading those books to get a better idea of what to expect and I have to say the MGMAT Advanced Quant book was HARD! I mostly used the Kaplan 800 book to help me with my SC and CR strategies. The questions and explanations were pretty good and I believe that reviewing that book before my first MGMAT practice test was probably the reason I had the higher verbal score compared to my next three MGMAT CATs. About 2 months into my studies I realized that I was spending a lot of time on my commute (I take public transit) playing sudoku, when instead I could be studying for the GMAT. I downloaded a bunch of apps (more than necessary)and started studying on my commute. The most used apps were probably the MGMAT flashcards, the BTG flashcards, and the PrepGame (I still snuck in some Sudoku time as I am an addict...).

Anyways, I was still not performing at the level I was hoping for and was becoming depressed at my lack of progress. I started following some experts here on GC so that I could get a good daily dose of questions from the forum and have an understanding behind the different solutions. I also realized that a big problem of mine was timing. On my practice tests I would get caught up in many of the quant questions and waste 4+ minutes on hard questions, which would in turn screw me up towards the end of the test. For many of the MGMAT tests, I would have to guess the last 5 or so on the quant section and have ~10 minutes left over for the verbal. It seemed as if my timing was all sorts of screwed up. I came across a great article by Stacey Koprince (http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index.php/tag/time-management/) and it helped me realize that I needed to develop a timing sense of what 1-2 minutes "felt" like. I also needed to let go of feeling like I had to solve every problem on the test because at some point the questions get so hard you absolutely need a minimum of 3 minutes to solve it. I decided to practice my ~2 minutes/question timing with the MGMAT Advanced Quant practice sets and I have to admit, it was a BAD idea. Many of those questions are some of the extremely hard questions that you will see on the GMAT and trying to solve them in under 2 minutes was a challenge. However, it did help me decide when it was a good point to "let go" of a problem and just guess to move on. By my last two tests I had the timing down right (I finished each section within the 1 minute mark), however I was still scoring much lower than I had hoped. 2 weeks before the test when I scored a 670 on my CAT I considered cancelling again, but my fiancee encouraged me to go for it anyways. It was time that I just sucked it up and took the actual test. I decided that I would just take it, then take a few days to decompress and then go back at it for another month and a half or so. Thankfully I scored above my expectations and for now I can relax a bit.

Building up to Test Day

I took my last MGMAT CAT a week before the test and was scoring higher as my timing got better, however I was still far from my goal. The last practice test convinced me that I would score around ~680 on the actual and so I set my expectations for around there. I decided that the week going up to the exam I wouldn't try to study a crazy amount and would just try to relax instead. I still studied on my commute (by that time I had purchased the OG 13th edition and OG Verbal in kindle form so I did some practice problems in addition to the flashcards), however I decided not to do too much when I got home. The night before the test I decided to go to the gym with my fiancee and put in a solid 15 miles on the bike. We then went out for some 9pm pho and got home around 10pm. We promptly went to sleep as I wanted to make sure I got some solid rest and she had to get to work by 7AM. I woke up with her around 6:30AM the next morning and had a solid breakfast of coffee and yogurt. I knew my test was set for 12:00PM and so I planned to eat a light breakfast with a Clif bar around 10AM and another one during one of the breaks so that I wouldn't feel hungry. I actually ended up getting to the center around 10:50AM because I was told the week before that the checkpoint through security can get backed up with people around test time. I chugged a 5 hour energy (my first and last one ever) and went on in. I was surprised that upon arriving, they immediately signed me in and set me up at a computer. I was expecting to wait around in the waiting room for a bit until 12PM. Anyways, I went ahead and figured that by starting early I could get out earlier (which wasn't a bad thing). I started with the AWA section and basically followed the template I found online. I took some notes and laid out a basic outline before typing down anything. I finished the AWA section with about 4 minutes left. Then onto the IR section, which I was not looking forward to because of my poor (~3IR) performances on the MGMAT practice tests. My timing was a little behind and had to guess on 2 questions and unfortunately as I was about to enter my answer for the last question time ran out.

I raised my hand and left the room a little flustered by the surprise ending to the IR section. I used this first break to recollect myself and prepare myself mentally for the Quant section. The center had a nice waiting area with a window. I sat at the window and pondered about my career and whether or not I wanted to go to business school still. I snapped back to reality and started back to the room. What I didn't realize was that every time you leave and enter the room you have to present your ID, have your palm scanned, and then frisk yourself for the test administrators. That takes some time and by the time I got back to the computer I had a 4 second penalty. A little freaked out by that, I quickly clicked through the tutorial and started the quant section. The first question was a surprise for me and I quickly panicked. It had to do with a growing monthly payment over 3 years. I looked at the answers to see if I could test some of them, but they weren't whole dollar amounts and the calculation would take too long. Before I knew it, I looked in the upper right hand corner and the first 2 minutes was gone! I decided to guess and move on. I continued through the test and eventually got to another tricky question. I got caught up in the question and by the time I realized I had spent too long on it, I was about 3 questions behind the ideal pace. I decided then that I had to change my thinking and be prepared to guess on a few of the next couple of questions to get back on track. I tried working as quickly as possible on the questions that came easy for me and others I just took educated guesses. Eventually I got back to a point where I was only 2 minutes (or 1 question) behind where I should have been. I began to slow down my rushed pace as I was getting towards the end of the section (~7 questions left). I wanted to make sure I finished the section strong to give myself the best shot of a decent score. I was able to finish the section with 4 seconds remaining!

I raised my hand again to take my second break and rushed out to grab my Clif bar. I sat and ate my Clif bar while once again pondering about life. I started heading back into the room when I realized that I should probably take a quick bathroom break. I knew I was cutting it close and so I ran down the hall (the bathroom just so happened to be on the other side of the building!) and ran back. I went through the entire frisking routine and by the time I got back to the terminal I had gone 1 minute and 14 seconds over my break! I told myself that it would be ok because I was in general quicker in the verbal section and that I could easily find a minute to make up. However, I also wanted to make sure I took the proper amount of time on each question because from what I could see, the verbal section had a larger effect on the overall score. I started with a few basic SC questions and then to a few medium level CRs. Eventually I got to my first RC set and it was fortunately a fairly short one. I took that time to look at how I was pacing and I was actually ahead! I decided to slow it down a bit and make sure I was giving each question the proper amount of attention. By the time I got to my last RC set, which also happened to be the longest, I check my time once again and found that I had almost exactly 2 minutes/question left for the rest of the section. I decided to use my "time sense" to work my way through the rest of the section and finished with 8 seconds left!

Now due to my experience with the previous CATs I was expecting around 630 based on my poor start to the quant and my poor history with the verbal. I continued on through the information screens and filled out my profile and eventually I got to the screen that asks whether or not you want to cancel. I clicked no expecting to be underwhelmed with the result and to my surprise I saw a 730! I looked around to other areas of the screen thinking that it must have been an example screen or something. I then stood up to leave the room and the woman told me that my print out would be at the front. I went to gather my things and picked up the report from the woman and she handed me a sheet that confirmed my "unofficial score" of 730! I was ecstatic and gave a pretty nerdy fist pump in the hallway while waiting for the elevator. I couldn't believe the score and consider myself very lucky given my circumstances.

The way I went about the GMAT was definitely non-traditional and I wouldn't recommend my exact study regime. However I do believe my journey had a lot of great lessons. The first was to really not stress out too much about it. Once I accepted the fact that I wasn't going to do as well as I had initially hoped, I was able to calm down and just enjoy the challenge the GMAT brings. At one point I got so depressed I stopped doing everything for a week and just moped around. That week was both good and bad because I needed to take a break from studying and it also made me remember why I was taking the test in the first place. I was taking it because it posed a fun challenge to me and I was looking for the next challenge in my life. I also realized that regular exercise is good for the body and the mind. I found myself with more energy throughout the day and was more alert in general when I started exercising again.

Good Luck to everyone else still studying and I hope that my story can help you master the GMAT! 8-) :-D
_________________
Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 10 May 2014
Posts: 137
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 11 Dec 2014, 10:37
Hi dtse86,

Congratulations on a great score!
Let me see if I got you right. So you never tried a free Gmat Prep exam before the actual Gmat?

Actually I wouldn´t say that it is such a big surprise the difference between your MCAT score and your actual score.
In many forums, people have said that MCAT tests give you a score that is around 30-40 points lower than your real score.

Cheers,
_________________
Consider giving me Kudos if I helped, but don´t take them away if I didn´t! :)

What would you do if you weren´t afraid?
Director
Director
User avatar
Status: And so it ends...
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Posts: 575
Concentration: Strategy, Other
Schools: Johnson (Cornell) - Class of 2017
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
GPA: 2.48
WE: Engineering (Other)
Reviews Badge
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 11 Dec 2014, 12:15
1
minwoswoh wrote:
Hi dtse86,

Congratulations on a great score!
Let me see if I got you right. So you never tried a free Gmat Prep exam before the actual Gmat?

Actually I wouldn´t say that it is such a big surprise the difference between your MCAT score and your actual score.
In many forums, people have said that MCAT tests give you a score that is around 30-40 points lower than your real score.

Cheers,


I assume you meant Manhattan GMAT (MGMAT) instead of MCAT, right? :wink: Not sure if I would've scored that great on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)! :lol:

Anyways, yea I didn't have enough time to do the GMAT prep exams although I had downloaded the software to do so. My original intent was to leave those for my last practice tests before the real thing, however by the final week, I still had another MGMAT test and I thought that since I paid for those, I should use those first. Lol, I guess the cheaper side of me made that decision.

Yea, from what I've seen in general, the MGMAT's have been giving people lower scores, but I'm happy it turned out that way versus the other way around!

For those of you still studying for the GMAT, I'd take that into consideration somewhat, but I think that although many of the Math questions on the MGMAT CAT's are harder than the real thing, it's great practice! The methodology and style of question is very accurate for the most part however I found that MGMAT questions seem to ask for one or two additional steps in order to get to the answer, which takes more time and forces you to perfect your "shortcut" strategies a bit more like process of elimination and quick estimation.
_________________
Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 10 May 2014
Posts: 137
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 11 Dec 2014, 13:09
1
dtse86 wrote:
minwoswoh wrote:
Hi dtse86,

Congratulations on a great score!
Let me see if I got you right. So you never tried a free Gmat Prep exam before the actual Gmat?

Actually I wouldn´t say that it is such a big surprise the difference between your MCAT score and your actual score.
In many forums, people have said that MCAT tests give you a score that is around 30-40 points lower than your real score.

Cheers,


I assume you meant Manhattan GMAT (MGMAT) instead of MCAT, right? :wink: Not sure if I would've scored that great on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test)! :lol:

Anyways, yea I didn't have enough time to do the GMAT prep exams although I had downloaded the software to do so. My original intent was to leave those for my last practice tests before the real thing, however by the final week, I still had another MGMAT test and I thought that since I paid for those, I should use those first. Lol, I guess the cheaper side of me made that decision.

Yea, from what I've seen in general, the MGMAT's have been giving people lower scores, but I'm happy it turned out that way versus the other way around!

For those of you still studying for the GMAT, I'd take that into consideration somewhat, but I think that although many of the Math questions on the MGMAT CAT's are harder than the real thing, it's great practice! The methodology and style of question is very accurate for the most part however I found that MGMAT questions seem to ask for one or two additional steps in order to get to the answer, which takes more time and forces you to perfect your "shortcut" strategies a bit more like process of elimination and quick estimation.


Yes, haha. Your assumption is correct. I´ve seen people refer to MGMAT as the company and MCAT as the tests that the company delivers.

I am happy it turned out that way for you! Congrats!
_________________
Consider giving me Kudos if I helped, but don´t take them away if I didn´t! :)

What would you do if you weren´t afraid?
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 516
Concentration: Strategy, Healthcare
Schools: Sloan '18 (A)
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V41
GPA: 4
GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 11 Dec 2014, 23:58
Congratulations)) Very good debrief. I would like to know your opinion about the manhattan gmat verbal questions. Especially I am interested in SC section. How did they compare with real questions? I scored 690, 700 and 730 in my last manhattan cats. My last verbal scores were V38, V40, V45. I took full tests. But somehow I am suspicious of my scores))
_________________
If my post was helpful, press Kudos. If not, then just press Kudos !!!
Director
Director
User avatar
Status: And so it ends...
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Posts: 575
Concentration: Strategy, Other
Schools: Johnson (Cornell) - Class of 2017
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
GPA: 2.48
WE: Engineering (Other)
Reviews Badge
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 12 Dec 2014, 05:58
1
Ergenekon wrote:
Congratulations)) Very good debrief. I would like to know your opinion about the manhattan gmat verbal questions. Especially I am interested in SC section. How did they compare with real questions? I scored 690, 700 and 730 in my last manhattan cats. My last verbal scores were V38, V40, V45. I took full tests. But somehow I am suspicious of my scores))


The Manhattan GMAT verbal questions were alright. The SC and CR were fairly close to the real thing 80%-90% of the time however the most "realistic" will come from the OG's. Every once in a while on the MGMAT CAT's I would get CR's that were difficult to understand what they were testing and SC's that had 2 or 3 answers that seemed correct, but for the most part it was good training.

Another thing that I may not have mentioned is that I spent a considerable amount of time shortly after taking my CAT's to review the problems and assess what went wrong. Besides reviewing the actual questions themselves, I also used the MGMAT tools to determine which types of problems I was weakest at and how well I was at time management.

The last caveat, I noticed that the MGMAT CAT's dropped your score significantly if you got consecutive problems wrong. The real GMAT does this as well however it may not do it as drastically. Either way, keep that in mind if you start to run short on time and have to start guessing.
_________________
Director
Director
User avatar
Joined: 19 Apr 2013
Posts: 516
Concentration: Strategy, Healthcare
Schools: Sloan '18 (A)
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V41
GPA: 4
GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 12 Dec 2014, 06:01
Thanks Dtse86. Hope the point that you made about manhattan results being less than the real one is truth))
_________________
If my post was helpful, press Kudos. If not, then just press Kudos !!!
Director
Director
User avatar
Status: And so it ends...
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Posts: 575
Concentration: Strategy, Other
Schools: Johnson (Cornell) - Class of 2017
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
GPA: 2.48
WE: Engineering (Other)
Reviews Badge
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 12 Dec 2014, 08:45
Ergenekon wrote:
Thanks Dtse86. Hope the point that you made about manhattan results being less than the real one is truth))

No problem Ergenekon! However, I would preface your last statement by saying that MGMAT results may be higher or lower than the real GMAT. It depends on the individual's strengths and weaknesses and what the practice test vs. the real test conditions are.

For me I was fortunate to have done better on the real thing. :gl on yours!
_________________
Manager
Manager
User avatar
B
Joined: 18 Apr 2016
Posts: 78
GMAT 1: 610 Q47 V27
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V37
WE: Supply Chain Management (Aerospace and Defense)
Reviews Badge
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Jul 2016, 11:35
Great Debrief!!! Thank you for sharing your experience.

I'm not sure why, but the biggest thing I felt while reading your debrief was the sense of calmness which you mentioned at the very end. I think that is very good and sound advice and ultimately key to succeeding. I will remember try and remember that since I am in the middle of prepping!
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
avatar
Joined: 17 May 2015
Posts: 417
Re: Journey to a surprising 730  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 27 Jul 2016, 21:26
Congratulations! Great debrief. Best of luck on your future endeavors!
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Journey to a surprising 730   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2016, 21:26
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Journey to a surprising 730

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  





Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne