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My Road to a 700+ GMAT Score (10 Tips for Success)

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My Road to a 700+ GMAT Score (10 Tips for Success) [#permalink]

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My Road to a 700+ GMAT Score (10 Tips for Success)



I wanted to pay it forward and share my experience along with what (really) worked during my GMAT journey in short bullets below:

General Strategy

1. Prepare for 5-6 months: 3-month preparation is no longer relevant given percentiles keep going up every year, especially with the new order selection feature. Remember the GMAT is a marathon and not a sprint thus you need great mental preparation and perseverance. It is better to dedicate 5-6 months of diligent study to get a great score and get in a great school for which you will see a lifetime of benefit. Taking the GMAT is a investment of time and money but in 20 years you will look back and be proud of what you accomplished dedicating only 5-6 months of your entire life to this test

2. Use the following resources: Magoosh Premium (best one by far, their videos explaining how to tackle each question type are really a game-changer), GmatClub (incredibly useful to see explanations for questions, especially by moderators such as Bunuel who are very clear and concise) and GmatPrep official materials (buy all exam packs and official guide (OG), they are really worth it)

3. Practice, practice, practice: Focus on mastering content first, strategy recognition for each question type and then work on timing. Watch ALL Magoosh videos and try and watch all of their video responses to OG questions. Do as many official tests as you can. Re-do them. Then do them again. Practice makes perfect. Always practice with exam conditions: always do the problems on a computer and time yourself (if you have the test day note pad, use it all the time). DO spend a lot of time reviewing the answers of all problems you do (you might encounter better and faster ways to do them)

4. Keep an error log (find attached the one I used): Keep an Excel file with the questions you get wrong, write the content you had wrong, re-do the problem using a different approach and re-do the question a couple of days later. Keeping an error log really helps you to avoid making the same mistakes twice

5. Try to maintain your work-life-GMAT balance: DO NOT skip the gym, parties or lag at work because of the GMAT. There is time for everything and you are ALWAYS more efficient and effective when you are feeling great (don't stop going to the GYM or seeing friends because otherwise you will not make it)

6. Focus on the Verbal section: If you take time to really study and understand the GMAT you will notice that the verbal section presents a great opportunity for a high score. Most GMAT test-takers tend to do better on the quant section (evidenced on scoring grids where even a 50 score does not guarantee 90 percentile). Coming from a finance background I knew that I had to get a good quant score to be competitive but I focused the greater part of my preparation on mastering the verbal section. It is better to your total score to increase the verbal section by 4-5 points than getting the quant from a 47 to 48

Test Day Strategy

7. Get there at least 30 minutes early: Speak to other people in the testing center to calm your nerves

8. Don't do something you wouldn't normally do: Don't drink 3 cups of coffee if you normally don't drink coffee, etc. These are small things but they can really mess up your game on test day

9. DO choose to start with either verbal or quant section first and leave the other two sections for the end: If you screw up quant and verbal you are done, IR and AWA don't really matter as much. It is also true that taking the Gmat consumes a lot brain energy because of making tough decisions during the test so manage that energy intelligently. Business schools are just starting to gather data to analyze the long-term success of their MBA in correlation with their results in the IR section (AWA is only used if MBA are concerned with your writing skills and you can get a perfect score if you follow the Chinese Burned method)

10. Come prepared with a test cancelation strategy: Set yourself a goal before walking into the test center on what is my threshold score to cancel (remember you can reinstate this score later on at a cost but also remember that some MBA programs only require you to send them your highest score, please do research on your target programs and make a plan). If you are aiming at 700+ like I was, I would cancel anything below 650

My Journey:

- I am Latin American and I come from an IB/PE background

- I started by buying the Official Guide and doing problems in my rare spare time (I was in IB at the moment). I was progressing very slowly and was not seeing any results because I could not allocate 1-2 hours every day. You really need to commit to this (I know it is a pain but it will be worth it)

- I committed to do exercises every day for 20 minutes and review and error log them for another 40 minutes. I would also do a practice exam every Sunday. This is when I started to see more results

- Took test once but was not 100% satisfied with the score. I focused more on the verbal section which is were I had more room for improvement and then settled with the second score which was within the average of my target MBAs

Remember to always be focused on the goal: getting a good GMAT score to get into a top-notch MBA program which can propel your career and life to another level (stay strong and focused during those 5-6 months).

Feel free to PM me with questions and/or comments.
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Last edited by EBITDAD on 24 Nov 2017, 13:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My Road to a 700+ GMAT Score (10 Tips for Success) [#permalink]

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New post 21 Nov 2017, 07:30
Hi EBITDAD
Congrats on you wonderful score.
Can you please share your GMAT score and breakup and how you prepared for the Verbal section.
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Re: My Road to a 700+ GMAT Score (10 Tips for Success) [#permalink]

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souvonik2k wrote:
Congrats on you wonderful score.
Can you please share your GMAT score and breakup and how you prepared for the Verbal section.


souvonik2k thanks! I got a 730 total (Q48, V43), IR 8, AWA 6. I watched all of the Magoosh videos which are very thorough and explain very well how to tackle each question type. See below some tips per section:

Reading Comprehension:

1. Make a GOOD first read: Some people suggest you read complicated science journals for practice. I don't know if this works (and it might be a waste of time) but what really worked for me was doing a GOOD first read. Spend a good amount of time reading and understanding the main gist of the passage. It is better to spend an extra minute reading and not an extra 3 minutes re-re-re-reading the passage trying to put pieces together and (likely) getting the question wrong. DO NOT focus on details (most of the questions are NOT detail-focused)

2. Map out the passage: : Try to understand what the author is trying to achieve with the passage (e.g. refuting a theory, providing new evidence, etc) and its tone (is it critical? is it in favor of the argument? is it neutral? Write this down very quickly in your pad next to the paragraph number

Critical Reasoning:

3. Watch all of Magoosh videos: There are many question types and the videos are just great at explaining the question types and how to tackle them. DO read all answers even if you get it right. You might get it right for the wrong reasons. Google concepts such as: negation test, therefore bridge, etc.

Sentence Correction:

4. Spend most of the time here: This is the most important part of the test. Many questions in verbal are sentence correction and this is where you can improve more quickly. Google the GMAT idioms and study them (although this is not the most important part, don't kill yourself over idioms).

5. Spend a good amount of time understanding what the sentence is trying to convey: Most of the mistakes I made were because I didn't fully comprehend what the sentence is trying to communicate. Spend some time in the sentence and then move into the answer choices

Again this is test of perseverance and practice. Practice every day and spend as much time reviewing the explanations.

Good luck!

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Re: My Road to a 700+ GMAT Score (10 Tips for Success) [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2017, 17:24
Also, forgot to stress how important it is to remember that the GMAT is only one part of the application. You might need to be a 99p to have a shot at a top 10 program. Feel free to contact with w/ questions.

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Re: My Road to a 700+ GMAT Score (10 Tips for Success)   [#permalink] 03 Dec 2017, 17:24
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My Road to a 700+ GMAT Score (10 Tips for Success)

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