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My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)

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My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 12:51
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Hello everyone,

After over 800 hours of studying and 6 months of continuous improvement, I am thrilled to be able to share my GMAT experience with GMAT Club. I hope some of the experiences that I have gone through can help at least 1 prospective GMAT taker!

First, I want to thank Bunuel for all of the help that he has provided me and this community. It really is an outstanding community that has all of the tools necessary to be successful on the GMAT.

I also want to thank GMATNinja , without your helpful and (free) youtube videos on the intricacies of the verbal section I would not have been able to score anywhere near a V41 on the exam. I can't recommend his videos to anyone enough and cannot stress that if you see a verbal question on the forum that is answered by him in the replies READ what he says. His tips are wonderful.

Last I want to thank CHIRANJEEV SINGH for putting together such an amazing list of over 1000 official GMAT problems that you can access with this link. http://gmatwithcj.com/resources/mega-co ... questions/ . I found that going through these questions was the best way to conquer my verbal weaknesses and avoid some of the questionable verbal questions that float around on the GMAT club forum from time to time.

Verbal:
I will preface these sub-sections by saying that english is my native language and I have been living in the USA for all of my life so some of the techniques that have worked for me may not work as well for someone that speaks english as their secondary language.

As I mentioned above the master list of official GMAT problems from CHIRANJEEV SINGH along with GMAT Ninjas help was the key for me to score a V41. I will try to break down what helped me in each of the sections below.

CR: I found this section to be fairly straight forward and believe that recognizing patterns is the easiest way to conquer this section. For example, Assumption questions tend to be able to be solved by used the negation technique. I found this to work for the majority of these types of questions. For the most part though I just found that reading the prompt slowly was the best way to get a firm grip on the section

RC: The biggest way to get better at RC in my opinion is to read a lot outside of the test. I subscribed to the economist as well as some scientific journals that I would read from time to time in order to be prepared for the confusing language that I often encountered in the science RC passages. These passages can get very confusing on the exam so I found it best to job some VERY brief notes on the side of my scratch pad just as a way to engrain the information into my head and not necessarily as something to go back to when answering the questions. I found that early on I spent way too much time on RC questions so I made it a priority in my practice problems to read every passage in 2 minutes or less (2.5 minutes for really long passages). This game me enough time to complete the questions and go back to the passage when completing each individual passage. RC is becoming very essential to scoring high on the verbal section and I believe it is the most conquerable section so I highly recommend studying hard for this forgotten about section!!

SC: Practice practice practice. I found that my native english speaking only got me so far in this section. In order to truly master this section it is crucial to keep an error log of the types of errors you are committing. I then reviewed the error log every week and eventually I saw patterns that tipped me off to mistakes to avoid. For example, using fewer rather than less with countable nouns is something that became second nature to me. I never got highly technical with this section and studies modifiers etc. this just was not for me and I frankly do not recommend native english speakers to use this approach of mastering the technical terms. I believe that by doing countless problems and watching GMAT Ninja's videos you can pick up on patterns that will allow you to avoid mistakes on the exam.

Materials Used: GMAT NINJA YOUTUBE, CHIRANJEEV SINGH master verbal list, OG, Manhattan RC, CR, SC books to start.

QUANT::

I began with a baseline on my first Manhattan CAT of a Q33 and was able to increase this to consistent Q48-49s on GMAT CLUB tests by the end of my studies ( although I only scored a .Q46 on the exam). I began by working on the using the manhattan books and found that these were a great way to introduce the material but not to necessarily master the material. Even after completing the books I was not able to score very high on my mocks. The thing that turned this all around was doing the OG problems by SECTION TYPE two times each. This was a way to master each individual type of question and then move on to the next. This is the only way for people to struggle at quant to get comfortable with each topic of the exam (Ex: absolute values, ratios etc.).
At the end of my prep I found the GMAT club tests to be the absolute best way to practice my quant and truly prepare for test day.

Materials used: GMAT CLUB TESTS, manhattan topic books, OG sort by topic.

Random notes:
1) One thing I found that helped me organize my answers was writing 1-36 on my scratch pad and on top having ABCDE above the numbers on the verbal section. This saved me a ton of time and helped me cross out wrong answers as I did each problem.

2) Another and one of the hardest things to do is to know when to let go. Unless you are incredibly lucky most test takers will get 4-7 questions wrong on a section even if they do extremely well on that section. I found that "punting" on questions that I knew I could not solve such as really tough combinatorics and geometry questions was a way for me to stay focused and on time to complete each section. Do NOT spend 3 minutes on a question you know you will have to guess on in the quant section.

3) Have fun! This is a game after all. Life is not going to be made by how well you do on the GMAT. The GMAT is a great way to brush up on some of the skills that you have not used in some time most likely and just know that by studying, no matter how well you do on the exam you are brushing up on some useful skills to have. I had a FUN time studying for the GMAT. I think that this is the key to scoring high on the GMAT and I treated each and every day as a challenge and a competition against myself and all the other GMAT takers out there. If you can find something to drive your studying then you can really enhance your focus each and every day.

I have attached my scores from all the mocks I have taken. I hope these can motivate people to continue to push on even when they score a Q33 on their first mock or receive V32's when they think they can do better. It really all comes down to perseverance. The GMAT IS something you can master by studying. I am a by no means a genius, I am simply someone who stuck with it and continued to fight on until I was satisfied (Although I may try and take GMAT again to increase my score).

Thanks for reading what I'm sure comes off as an incoherent ramble! Thank you to the GMAT club community for all of your help :)

Best,
Michael
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2019, 22:03
getting hyped by reading this.

what sections did you read in economist? I gave them my email id just to try it out but all they send are articles on elon musk, nothing difficult to read....
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2019, 03:40
Wow! Fantastic job with 6-months of hard work! Great score too!

Quick question - how long were you planning to study for? And also, why did you take the test now, did you feel you were ready after the 6 months?

Thank you for a fantastic debrief too!
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2019, 08:11
Hi bb

I just graduated from college and had time my senior spring and the summer before I start work to study. So i started in January and now its July and I go off to start my career in less than a month. I really felt ready a couple weeks ago when I was consistently scoring how I wanted in quant. Do you think the high IR score will make up for the Q46?
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2019, 08:14
Got it! The Q46 is not that big of an issue really. Unless you try to tell AdCom that you are applying for PE or some other quant heavy position that makes your story inconsistent, you should be just fine. Schools don’t want ONLY Q50’s. They want diversity.

PS. You are applying in a few years then or ?

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New post 18 Jul 2019, 08:18
I see, I am trying for the top 15 schools so I really want a GMAT that will not scare any adcoms away. I plan on applying in about 3 years. I am starting a management consulting job this year and will probably be there for the next 3 years
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jul 2019, 11:30
Thank you for your debrief, I really enjoyed reading it. It's a source of motivation. GMAT should truly be fun. All the best.

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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2019, 07:50
Thanks for the debrief. If I may ask, how did you prepare for IR?

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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jul 2019, 15:03
Hi Roy,

I did not prepare for it. I just found it much easier because it’s not adaptive.

Best,
Michael

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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2019, 08:13
Hey.. great de-brief.. very inspiring.

Quick question, did you feel that the questions you faced in the quant section were trickier or different from the ones that you practiced? I have my gmat in about 10 days and want to know what you felt about the quant section.

Ps: I have been taking gmat club tests as well and have similar scores.

Great job on verbal... kudos!!
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jul 2019, 16:22
I found the quant to be similar if not a little easier, but I think I tensed up a little bit and goofed up. I think I will try again for 48 or 49.

GMAT Club tests are great!!!

Best,
Michael
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New post 22 Jul 2019, 18:29
Wow, nice job! If you need any advice regarding your retake, feel free to reach out. Good luck!
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2019, 19:51
Hi Scott,

I am taking my retake on the 7th of August. I feel as if concept wise I am pretty sound. I could use some advice on Quant for test day and maybe how to attack the test. Any advice?

Best,
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 15:43
delmoneyy wrote:
Hi Scott,

I am taking my retake on the 7th of August. I feel as if concept wise I am pretty sound. I could use some advice on Quant for test day and maybe how to attack the test. Any advice?

Best,
Michael



I think Scott will absolutely have some good tips though it is hard without getting deep into anyone's profile. (Not to set expectations but I have read a number of glowing TTP reviews where Scott has gone beyond the call of duty, again, don't expect it please :-)

In general, it is usually focusing on Arithmetic, Geometry and basics where the key is. See your past performance, and you can likely find areas of improvement right away - whether it is silly mistakes or something as complex as Probability, with Quant, there are clear avenues of improvement. This post touches on that and offers general tips that may help stumble onto something: https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 41670.html

Good luck with your retake!
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 17:41
Great debrief. Would you mind elaborating on your SC process, specifically concerning missed SC questions in your SC log?
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 20:12
delmoneyy, congratulations on the 710 and thank you for the shout out and the excellent debrief!

As you mentioned, getting back in the test room for a low-pressure retake might not be a bad idea... who knows, maybe now that you have a solid score under your belt, you'll feel even more relaxed and pull off an even better score. :)

Good luck with your applications (though it looks like you'll have a nice break before you need to start working on those), and congratulations again!!
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2019, 21:01
GMATNinja you are the best for verbal!!! I truly cannot thank you enough. You make those youtube videos entertaining as heck.

Any advice for my retake to go from 710 to 730 ?

Best,
Michael
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2019, 18:19
Hi Michael,

Honestly, since you scored Q46, I think that you likely have some lingering weaknesses that must be addressed in order to improve your quant score. Certainly, if you’d like some advice regarding how to find and strengthen those weaknesses, feel free to reach out. You also may find it helpful to read the following articles:

How to Increase Your GMAT Quant Score;

Timing Strategies for a Higher GMAT Quant Score.
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Re: My Journey From 590 to 710 (V41, Q46, IR 8) (Long post)   [#permalink] 24 Jul 2019, 18:19
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