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# My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+

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My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2011, 22:31
Folks,
I have been a frequent visitor to this forum. I have not yet decided if I want to do an MBA, and if so when. If I do decide to do an MBA, however, it seems to me that the GMAT is one of the biggest hurdles to cross, particularly if I want to get admitted at a good program.

I have decided to take the exam within the next two months. I started off with a GMATPrep practice test to see where I stand.

My score was Q49 (12 out of 37 incorrect, which were evenly spread out), and V41 (7 out of 41 incorrect, of those that were wrong, 5 were SC, and 2 CR), and a total of 730. I almost ran out of time on the Quants, and felt harried for most of the later half of the section. I was able to pace myself well, and complete verbal on time (with 23 seconds to spare).

I have the following material with me:
- All 8 MGMAT guides
- OG12, OG Quants Rev., OG Verbal Rev.
- A few other practice books (Kaplan Verbal workout, Princeton's Review, Powerscore CR bible)

Plan of action:
- Go through all MGMAT quant books
- start going through MGMAT Verbal, while simultaneously practicing quants
- start taking tests, and practice SC fairly regularly (most of the incorrect ones in the practice test were SC).

I work full time, and my work committment varies from time to time. So planning accurately is very difficult for me, although the plan is to spend 2 hours on weekdays, and upto 5 on weekends until test date.

Target score: 750+

Thanks to all the posters (particularly the detailed debriefs) who have made this forum a great place to keep oneself motivated.

I will keep this thread posted with my regular study details.
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2011, 22:37
All the best

You certainly are in a very commanding position as of now! You're quant seems strong... and you have two months to work on the verbal score!

I'm sure you'll get your 750 :D

Also:
1. Did you write the AWA section during the prep test?
2. Was the environment in which you took the test controlled?

If not, there is a slight chance of the score being inflated. So... I'd advice you to target around +760 during your practice tests...

One more thing - most people take the GMAT to do their mba :D
If you're not certain about that, why spend so much time preparing for the GMAT? Might as well use the time to make up your mind first
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1. How to Review and Analyze your Mistakes (Post by BB at GMAT Club)

2. 4 Steps to Get the Most out out of your CATs (Manhattan GMAT Blog)

My Experience With GMAT

1. From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT

2. Quest to do my Best - My GMAT Journey Log

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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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21 Feb 2011, 22:49
Entwistle wrote:
All the best

You certainly are in a very commanding position as of now! You're quant seems strong... and you have two months to work on the verbal score!

I'm sure you'll get your 750 :D

Also:
1. Did you write the AWA section during the prep test?
2. Was the environment in which you took the test controlled?

If not, there is a slight chance of the score being inflated. So... I'd advice you to target around +760 during your practice tests...

One more thing - most people take the GMAT to do their mba :D
If you're not certain about that, why spend so much time preparing for the GMAT? Might as well use the time to make up your mind first

Thanks EntWistle. I did not write the AWA since it is not being scored here (of course, apart from being lazy). As for the environment, I took the test at home (did not have any disturbances), and chose to skip the break.

Although I really am not able to make up my mind about the MBA, generally speaking I am tending more towards doing it, and will most likely do it (if circumstances permit).
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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28 Feb 2011, 21:40
After taking a GMATPrep test last week, it is amazing to see how much my motivation levels have come up. I have started preparing fairly seriously now.

Preparation status, week1:

Verbal:
MGMAT SC guide: the following chapters
1 - Intro
2 - Grammar, meaning, Concision
3 - Subject verb agreement
4 - Parallelism

Chapters 1, and 2 were somewhat useful, a give an overview for a beginner.
Chapters 3, and 4 are nothing short of awesome. Also completed the questions at the end of the chapters, and the OG lists suggested.

Important takeaway from the OG problems was to remember to read the solutions for all problems (including those that you got right), and checking to see why a particular answer choice is wrong. I feel that this aspect of preparation is almost as important as reading the chapters.

MGMAT SC book definitely looks like a good buy.

Quants:
Starting with MGMAT book 4 (Word translations). Chose to start with this because, Combinatorics, Probability, and Stats are the area that I need the most work.

Completed the following:
1 - Algebraic formulations
2 - Work / Rate problems
3 - Ratios
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2011, 13:17
I'm in a similar boat, scoring fairly well (last MGMAT at 760) but having timing issues. All I can say is practice, and get used to skipping problems that take too much time. You CANNOT have 5 minute problems. They will kill you. Its the toughest hurdle for me because I am used to being a good test taker and being able to "think through" most problems. For the GMAT, you can't afford that luxury.

Also, a big one for me is, don't solve DS. Remember, remember, remember you just need to decide if you CAN solve it. This can help shave down time when you realize that actually doing the algebra is a total waste once you know the algebra CAN be done.

I also recommend spending almost all of your verbal study time on SC. Learn the rules, practice and get FAST. This will give you the extra minute or two you need to reread the RC/CR problems. Best of luck, you should get to your goal quickly.
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 08:39
The only way to really deal with timing issues is to be able to recognize problem types and difficulty levels, and to know where you stand as soon as you see a question. You need to know which questions you are going to bail out on!
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 21:58
abmyers: I am glad you brought up this point. A test takers worst nightmare goes as follows. You prepare well, know that you are able to score in your target range, and then on the test day you are confronted with one seemingly intractable problem. You take a lot more time on that one question, screwing up the rest of the section. This is a scenario that I am thinking of preparing for.

Based on my GMATPrep1 experience, as well posts from other members on this forum, it seems to me that even with 10-12 questions wrong, you can score in the late 40's (I got Q49 with 12 questiosn wrong). So it might be better to assign a hard limit before which you make your best choice and decide to move on. This "hard limit" could be based on the current Question number, and the time remaining. If you have gained time, perhaps, by solving problems faster than expected you could relax.

I haven't done so yet, but am thinking of having a strict timing chart to follow during the test. Something along the lines of question X by time Y, and keep an eye on it without obsessing about the time. Maybe have 3 or 4 such checks for the quants section.

It could help us psychologically, if we go into the section knowing that there are bound to be a few wrong questions, and that we can still attain our target score.
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 22:05
aemelica: Do you mean during the test? If so, I am not sure that is the best thing to do. While identifying problem types, and difficulty levels during your preparation for the test can be beneficial, during the test such attempts at second guessing the exam could be counter productive. You are already challenged for time, and the last thing you want is to waste further time in identifying problems types/dificulty etc. You are better off just solving it. If you cannot solve it, narrow down your choices, make a guess and move on. Besides, if you do believe you have acquired the skill to detect problem difficulty levels to a T, Quants may not be an issue for you after all.
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2011, 22:45
aemelica wrote:
The only way to really deal with timing issues is to be able to recognize problem types and difficulty levels, and to know where you stand as soon as you see a question. You need to know which questions you are going to bail out on!

Although I wouldn't invest any time in gauging the difficulty level of each question, I would use the first 20 seconds to plan my approach. If it's a particularly devious question, it's okay to use 10 seconds more. However, after 30 seconds, you still don't have a clue, it's best to bail out on that question and invest the 1.5 minutes in other questions.
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"Wherever you go, go with all your heart" - Confucius

1. How to Review and Analyze your Mistakes (Post by BB at GMAT Club)

2. 4 Steps to Get the Most out out of your CATs (Manhattan GMAT Blog)

My Experience With GMAT

1. From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT

2. Quest to do my Best - My GMAT Journey Log

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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2011, 19:34
So Week-2 of preparation comes to an end. This turned out to be a 60+ hour week at work, leaving little to no time for GMAT Prep during weekdays. Here's what I managed:

Verbal:
MGMAT SC
- Pronouns
- Modifiers (still working through the chapter)
Completed all OG12, and OG Verbal Review 2nd edition questions for pronouns (listed at the end of MGMAT chapters).

Quants:
MGMAT Guide#4, Word translations:
- Combinatorics.
- Did not learn anything new here. Was a good review anyway.

Looks like I am already forgetting stuff from week-1! Note to Self. Stop all new learning at end of week 4. Revise Week1 - Week 4 before moving along.

Based on the current pace, it looks like it might be 8 weeks before I am even done with a one time overview of the basic concepts involved in the GMAT That plus 4 weeks of revision and test taking practice should be sufficient. Exam date seems to be triangulating itself to the second week of May.

Workload at work is not getting any lighter. And I don't want my GMAT prep to get into my enjoyment of Summer. Have a lot of activities planned for that time of the year. All the more incentive to put some effort now.
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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14 Mar 2011, 20:24
Week-3 Prep status:
Again a very busy week at work. So no prep at all during weekdays last week. Got very little time during the weekend.
Verbal:
MGMAT SC (book 8)
Completed Modifiers / Chapter 6. Yet to work out the problems.

Quants:
No progress in prep.
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+ [#permalink]

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10 May 2011, 00:45
I believe that if you have crossed 700+ mark
then it just a matter of concentration and luck how much can you get ...
730-->750+ does not seem to tough
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Re: My GMAT log: Starting at 730, target: 750+   [#permalink] 10 May 2011, 00:45
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