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Senior Manager
Joined: 24 Feb 2008
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24 Feb 2008, 10:15
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Hi,

I studied for the GMAT for about 2 months. I used the OG + software, PrincetonReview, Kaplan Premier. I thought I was prepared to score 750+ but on the real thing I only got 730 (Q49, V41). I was pretty shocked to score so low on the Q (i do math for a living) and actually the Q section on the real thing was so much harder than anything I'd seen, including the notorious Kaplan CATs and PowerPrep tests. If fact it was so hard, I was finding myself taking upto 4 min on a question and ended up with 7 questions left and one minute to go - which I randomly guessed without even having time to read the answer choices, let alone the questions. Some problems were nothing I had seen in the practice tests, including some logic or brain teasers or crossward puzzles, which normally one sees on job interviews for tech positions (but where a lot more time is given to solve the problem).

Any advice on what preps to use for Round 2??
Obviously, Princeton is a joke and Kaplan comes close on the V but not quite so on the Q. I plan to use the Kaplan 800 book this time around plus the MGMAT CATs and maybe Score800. Does anyone know if those are good preps for the Q in particular?

I simply can't live the rest of my life with a score like 730....That means I could never get to Stanford since I don't really have a very strong resume in terms of work experience or community service.
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Last edited by chineseburned on 24 Feb 2008, 13:09, edited 3 times in total.

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Senior Manager
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24 Feb 2008, 10:17
One more thing. I thoguht I did great on my Argument essay and terrible on my Issues essay. So, was expecting a score around 4.5-5.0. But I got 6.0!! Since I don't want to spend much time on essay wrting for my second attempt, any advice on how to maintain that high score with as little effort as possible?

Thanks.
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Last edited by chineseburned on 24 Feb 2008, 19:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Director
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24 Feb 2008, 18:33
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Chineseburned, what were your Q & V scores?

I tutor people for the GMAT and they've all done quite well, including a few 700's and one girl who went from 53rd to 84th in 2 weeks.

Stick to GMATPrep, Official Guide, and just keep doing GMP over and over until you puke. If you're scoring 780+ consistently without effort, and you can pull off a few high scores (790+) on the papers you'll score 780+ guaranteed.

If you're at 730 you can probably get to 760+ in under 4 weeks, about 25 hours of studying a week. Do this on alternating days: 250 questions, then the next GMATPrep + 150 questions. Repeat until you're scoring nice and high then go write the beast.

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24 Feb 2008, 18:34
Ah I just saw them. You can get your 49Q to 51Q by increasing accuracy and speed along with doing some harder Quant questions. Verbal is just repetition, repetition, repetition. You can get a 45V+ pretty easily in a few weeks.

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Senior Manager
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24 Feb 2008, 18:43
Thank you, Sir!
I can only do 15-17 hrs of study per week, so I'll take 6-7 weeks before I retake it.
So, you suggest stick to the OG and the GMATPrep CATs? But the thing is the Q questions I saw on the real test seemed alot harder than anything I'd seen in the OG or GMATPrep, so I'm scared.....and I wasn't nervous on test day.

I started looking at MGMAT and their Q sections seem to be the hardest I've been able to find out there. I think I'll stick to those plus redoing the GMATPrep CATs. All I need is Q 51 and V 42.
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24 Feb 2008, 19:12
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As some one who retook after a 740, I understand how you feel. If you haven't used the OG Quantitative review before, use that book in addition to what you have now. Also, try to solve problems from the GMAT Club tests. Sounds like your execution suffered on the D-day. There is not a lot of prep available to correct that except practicing under near-exam conditions, which are tough to simulate. Just relax, refresh the fundamental concepts once again and dont put too much pressure on yourself during the second go.

I must also add a note of caution that increasing your score from 730 to even 800 will not neccessarily improve your chances at Stanford. May be at another school, but not at Stanford especially given the lack of strong resume or community service(that you admitted). By all means, re-take the GMAT, but dont expect a 780 or 790 to open B-school doors automatically. In other words, the amount of work you need to put in to get into a top school, with a 730 or a 790 doesnt vary significantly.

chineseburned wrote:
I simply can't live the rest of my life with a score like 730....That means I could never get to Stanford since I don't really have a very strong resume in terms of work experience or community service.

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Senior Manager
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24 Feb 2008, 19:54
ncprasad, What you got when you retook the test (after the 740)? Hope you don't mind asking.

My problem with the Quant supplemental book is that probably less than 10% of the problems in it are of the difficulty that I need to excel on the real test. It seems the real test has gotten very hard lately. The Q part at least.

Why, wouldn't 50 more points on my GMAT not make a difference to Stanford? I heard Harvard doesn't care much about GMAT scores but not Stanford. Since the average score for Stanford applicants is 730 I thought I needed to get better than that to separate from the pack on that component. My work experience is fine but nothing stellar. The problem is I have a low profile tech job (7 levels down from the CEO) and my work is not easily quantifiable in terms of money for the company. So, unlike most applicants to top schools I can't put crap like "I saved my company 15 million dollars by doing X". Other than that I have a Bachelor's and Master's degrees, and even some Ph.D. work (all in tech fields). But unfortunately no community service and I don't think I have time to rectify that in the next one year or so.
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24 Feb 2008, 20:03
Stanford does like high GMATs, more than HBS. But that by itself is not going to get you IN. Stanford would rather have someone with stellar work exp and extra-curriclars with 730 than someone who has an 800 with nothing else going for them. My suggestion was specific to you based on what you wrote about your resume and community service profile.
chineseburned wrote:
Why, wouldn't 50 more points on my GMAT not make a difference to Stanford? I heard Harvard doesn't care much about GMAT scores but not Stanford.

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24 Feb 2008, 20:57
You haven't gotten a lot of 51 Q's then on GMATPrep....... GMAT Prep has some very, very hard Q questions.

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Location: SFO Bay Area
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25 Feb 2008, 01:27
1
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Chineseburned, what were your Q & V scores?

I tutor people for the GMAT and they've all done quite well, including a few 700's and one girl who went from 53rd to 84th in 2 weeks.

Stick to GMATPrep, Official Guide, and just keep doing GMP over and over until you puke. If you're scoring 780+ consistently without effort, and you can pull off a few high scores (790+) on the papers you'll score 780+ guaranteed.

If you're at 730 you can probably get to 760+ in under 4 weeks, about 25 hours of studying a week. Do this on alternating days: 250 questions, then the next GMATPrep + 150 questions. Repeat until you're scoring nice and high then go write the beast.

How can one keep taking the GMATPrep over and over again ? It has only 2 tests ...
Are you saying to uninstall and re-install the GMATPrep s/w over and again ?
Thanks

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25 Feb 2008, 23:45
BTW, I started getting emails from the MBA programs of schools that I didn't specify to receive my scores......They seem to know my GMAT scores, GPA, work experience....One (not so great) school even offered me a scholarship already - I got an email from the Dean. How is this possible? I thought scores get released to only the schools you specify. If every school has access to your scores, then why bother spending money for sending official score reports?
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25 Feb 2008, 23:50
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Is this a serious post?

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26 Feb 2008, 07:23
chineseburned wrote:
BTW, I started getting emails from the MBA programs of schools that I didn't specify to receive my scores......They seem to know my GMAT scores, GPA, work experience....One (not so great) school even offered me a scholarship already - I got an email from the Dean. How is this possible? I thought scores get released to only the schools you specify. If every school has access to your scores, then why bother spending money for sending official score reports?

How long after you took the exam did this start happening?

I'm feeling a little left out.
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26 Feb 2008, 09:37
At the start of the test, when you are confirming your info you have to check a box that says gmass can/can't get your info. Gmass gives your info to schools, etc. I was under the impression that the volume of "scholarships" and "application fee waivers" was pretty proportional to your score. I got a 750, so I get a fair number of these. The thing is - unless you are ill-informed, or really want to go to a specific lower-ranked school for some reason, you probably dont want these anyhow. They are almost exclusively non top-30 schools. (UC Sandiegos 3-year old program offering a full scholarship, or Rochester - a muchbetter school - offering an admission fee waiver.) I checked the gmass box because I wasn't very well informed about my chances at the various tiers of schools. In the end my 750 just got me extra email offers and letters from schools I would have considered if I had scored cloers to 570 =)

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26 Feb 2008, 09:39
westsider wrote:
At the start of the test, when you are confirming your info you have to check a box that says gmass can/can't get your info. Gmass gives your info to schools, etc. I was under the impression that the volume of "scholarships" and "application fee waivers" was pretty proportional to your score. I got a 750, so I get a fair number of these. The thing is - unless you are ill-informed, or really want to go to a specific lower-ranked school for some reason, you probably dont want these anyhow. They are almost exclusively non top-30 schools. (UC Sandiegos 3-year old program offering a full scholarship, or Rochester - a muchbetter school - offering an admission fee waiver.) I checked the gmass box because I wasn't very well informed about my chances at the various tiers of schools. In the end my 750 just got me extra email offers and letters from schools I would have considered if I had scored cloers to 570 =)

I checked that box and got the same score as you, so I'm wondering if schools don't start to solicit interest until the 20 days official report period lapses.

Probably doesn't matter, for the reasons you mentioned.

I just want to be loved!
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26 Feb 2008, 09:51
But then you won't get gems like this (just saw this in my inbox - what timing!)
I took out the boring paragraphs in the middle, but check out that personalization! *unaltered*
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear %%FirstName%%:

Your ambition led you to the decision to pursue an MBA and your commitment to the goal was proven when you took the GMAT. Congratulations on taking that important first step!

Drexel's LeBow College of Business rewards qualified, committed students who show high potential to succeed in our full-time MBA programs with partial and full scholarships.
...
Your name was obtained through GMASS search services.

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26 Feb 2008, 09:52
I started getting those email offers about 10 days after taking the test.

Again, my question is if those schools do get to see your GMAT scores, why do you still have to send them official score reports when applying?
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26 Feb 2008, 09:55
westsider wrote:
But then you won't get gems like this (just saw this in my inbox - what timing!)
I took out the boring paragraphs in the middle, but check out that personalization! *unaltered*
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear %%FirstName%%:

Your ambition led you to the decision to pursue an MBA and your commitment to the goal was proven when you took the GMAT. Congratulations on taking that important first step!

Drexel's LeBow College of Business rewards qualified, committed students who show high potential to succeed in our full-time MBA programs with partial and full scholarships.
...
Your name was obtained through GMASS search services.

I got the same email from the same school just 5 min ago!!!!
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26 Feb 2008, 10:00
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What are the odds of BOTH our parents naming us "%%FirstName%%" ?!

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26 Feb 2008, 10:31
westsider wrote:
What are the odds of BOTH our parents naming us "%%FirstName%%" ?!

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