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Shooting for 780: next steps?

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Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 13 Mar 2020, 03:52
2
Hello,

First time poster here - have been enjoying the posts in the forum and getting helpful tips from everyone.

This may seem like a silly inquiry, but here it goes:

I had scored a 740 on my first test attempt (Q48/V42/IR8/AWA6) about a month ago. Oddly enough, I felt I bombed the test before I clicked the submit button, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the score at the end.

For the test, I prepped for 2-3 months mostly through doing OG practice questions and mock tests (OG mock tests 1-5; I was hitting between 680-730 in the mocks). Since my study materials were limited, I felt uncomfortable with many of the concepts and foundation during the studying and the actual test, in particular Quant and CR. The ESR of the actual test reflects this, as I got only 75% of the CR Q right on verbal, and 66% of the Q on rates/ratios/percent and 50% of the Q on value/order/factors right for quant.

After some reflection on the test result, I decided to retake and set my target score to 780. This is to see how well I can do with better prep, and I figure if I'm fortunate to score a 780, it would further increase my chances of getting into the top schools. Of course, I'm fully aware that I may not score as well on my next test, so I'm prepared to cancel if needed.

To reach the target score, I'm starting from the beginning with all of the MGMAT quant and verbal materials to re-build my foundation, which I felt was pretty shaky - including during the actual test. My target retake date is mid- to end of April. In looking at the Magoosh GMAT score calculator, I should be targeting (Q50/V47)

In a way, I'm facing the "last mile" problem, that this last bit of score improvement is going to be difficult to achieve. My questions are:

- I've been using only books up to this point, and I really don't like courses. However, should I be considering courses to sharpen the last bit of my GMAT skills?
- If so, any recommendation on particular courses? Math Revolution Q51 looks like could be what I need to get to Q50. Any other suggestions?
- Any tips of getting from V42 to V47? I think the answer is to study more, but wanted to see if there are other suggestions.
- Anything else that might help?

Thanks

Originally posted by chencchris on 22 Feb 2020, 08:10.
Last edited by chencchris on 13 Mar 2020, 03:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2020, 10:32
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Hello, chencchris, and welcome to the forum. First off, you should be proud of achieving a 740 through dedicated self-study. Those perfect scores in IR and AWA stand out next to such a total score. It is unusual for an actual exam to go better than any of the previous mocks, so that is something to keep in mind before you decide to jump into the saddle again. However, in the interest of helping you with your goal if your mind is set, here are my answers to your specific questions:

chencchris wrote:
- I've been using only books up to this point, and I really don't like courses. However, should I be considering courses to sharpen the last bit of my GMAT skills?

I say this a lot, but contrary to what some people would lead you to believe, you do not have to sign up for anything to earn a top score: courses, subscriptions, or personal tutoring. It is true that these methods of learning can help many students achieve their target scores, and also that many such students achieve their goal more quickly than they might through self-study, but ultimately, your mind is the only obstacle, and if you are willing to put in the extra legwork, then there is no reason that a 780 is beyond your test-taking ability. So, to answer your question, I think yes, you should be open to considering courses for sharpening your conceptual knowledge and test-specific technique, but do not let anyone convince you that it is absolutely necessary.

chencchris wrote:
- If so, any recommendation on particular courses? Math Revolution Q51 looks like could be what I need to get to Q50. Any other suggestions?

Math Revolution, EMPOWERgmat, and Target Test Prep all come highly recommended from members of the community, but do not overlook a GMAT Club subscription for access to unique high-quality questions. Many 99th-percentile scorers mention in their debriefs how GMAT Club questions proved harder than the real thing, and Q50 and Q51 is the ballpark I am thinking of from these debriefs. If money is tight, you can always consider reading through all the theory (or just that on those topics you currently find elusive) you would want via the Ultimate GMAT Quantitative Megathread. Nothing beats high-quality, free material.

chencchris wrote:
- Any tips of getting from V42 to V47? I think the answer is to study more, but wanted to see if there are other suggestions.

If you are already scoring that high, then the difference will probably be a little refinement, rather than an overhaul of your approach or understanding to any of the question types. If CR is a personal weakness, I would recommend reading the Ultimate CR Guide for Beginners by GMATNinja and Mod Nightblade's Quick Guide to CR Proficiency by nightblade354. Honing your CR skills helps you get better at RC at the same time. When you learn to read for precision and answer each question with what I call a linear logic, then you start to get more and more answers correct. The articles I referenced above share plenty of insights and further recommendations, so I will wrap up with this question.

chencchris wrote:
- Anything else that might help?

You will want to keep an honest and detailed error log, one that pushes beyond the generic labels tossed around in the OG. No, really. Why did you really miss that question? Did you not understand the question? Did you make a careless mistake? Did you make a flawed assumption? Were you pressed for time? Had you narrowed the options to two and then leaned the wrong way? Did you not understand the core concept? I never tell students to write "Logical Predication" or some such nonsense that is completely meaningless to most people. Write down the real issue that caused you to miss the question. Did you fail to spot a parallel construct? A misplaced modifier? The list could go on and on... Again, be honest with yourself--no one else has to see your error log--and be detailed so that you know exactly what you are missing and why. And lean on the community for assistance. Look up any question you missed and see what the community has to say about it. Sometimes I am floored by how easy a member or Expert can make a question look, one that I may have toiled over or missed myself. Do not be afraid to ask questions if you do not find what you are looking for. The key to getting better is understanding not what makes the correct answer correct, but what makes each of the incorrect answers miss the mark.

Good luck with your studies, however you decide to go about them.

- Andrew
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2020, 17:39
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chencchris wrote:
- Anything else that might help?

Thanks


Go through few verified GMAT debriefs posted on the community- check the comments as well, maybe you can consolidate few insights for incremental growth.

Posting one such link for your reference: https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-debrief ... 56668.html
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2020, 10:20
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Hi chencchris,

First off 740 is a great start! Regarding GMAT quant materials, as has been mentioned TTP would be a great resource for you as we are the top-rated quant course here on GMAT Club. In fact, you may find it helpful to check out the following debrief of a TTP student who improved from Q47 to Q51.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/second-gmat- ... 05617.html

If you have any questions regarding TTP, feel free to reach out.
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2020, 14:53
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Hi chencchris

First off, a 740/Q48 is an outstanding Score so you can comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. As such, a retest is probably not be necessary. By extension, your time might be better spent working on other aspects of your profile (instead of spending additional time trying to raise a Score that is already an elite performance). Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. Those Experts should be able to answer your Admissions questions and help define the specific areas of your profile that could use some improvement.

There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

If you do choose to retest though with a Score Goal of 780+, then you'll almost certainly need to improve in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. With a Q48/V42, you don't have any big "weak spots", so you might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define potential inefficiencies in your performance and what you should work on to score higher. If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Feb 2020, 03:22
Thank you all for your awesome feedback.

MentorTutoring LeoN88: I've (re)started my studies incorporating your suggestions.

ScottTargetTestPrep: I'll be giving your course a try and will let you know if I have any questions.

EMPOWERgmatRichC: thanks for your offer in taking a look at my ESR score. I do have the score: not sure what the best way is to share the info, so I'll post the summary here for now:

• Your Verbal score of 42 is higher than 96% of GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score
for this section is 27.08.
• Your performance on Critical Reasoning questions was equivalent to a score of 42, which is better than 91% of GMAT
Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score for this sub-section is 27.57.
◦ Your performance of 75% on Analysis/Critique questions is considered Above Average.
◦ Your performance of 75% on Construction/Plan questions is considered Above Average.
• Your performance on Reading Comprehension questions was equivalent to a score of 51, which is better than 95% of
GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score for this sub-section is 27.24.
◦ Your performance of 100% on Identify Inferred Idea questions is considered Very Strong.
◦ Your performance of 100% on Identify Stated Idea questions is considered Very Strong.
• Your performance on Sentence Correction questions was equivalent to a score of 42, which is better than 94% of
GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean score for this sub-section is 27.27.
◦ Your performance of 83% on Grammar questions is considered Strong.
◦ Your performance of 83% on Communication questions is considered Strong.
• You completed 36 questions in the Verbal section.
• You responded correctly to 88% of the first set of questions, 71% of the second set of questions, 86% of the third set of
questions and 100% of the final set of questions.
• The average difficulty of questions presented to you in the first set of questions was Medium, the average for the
second set of questions was Medium , the average for the third set of questions was Medium and was Medium High for
the final set of questions.
• The average time it took you to respond to the first set of questions presented was 1:45, the average time for the
second set of questions was 1:58, the average time for the third set of questions was 1:17 and 2:08 for the final set of
questions.
• Please Note: If you sat for the GMAT exam prior to April 16, 2018 this section contained 41 questions, on or after April
16, 2018 the section consists of 36 questions.

Your Quantitative score of 48 is higher than 67% of GMAT Exam scores recorded in the past three years. The mean
score for this section is 40.2.
• Your performance on Problem Solving questions was equivalent to a score of 49. Your score is better than 73% of all
sub-section scores recorded in the past three years. The mean for all test takers is 40.2.
• Your performance on Data Sufficiency questions was equivalent to a score of 47. Your score is better than 57% of all
sub-section scores recorded in the past three years. The mean for all test takers is 40.17.
• Your performance on Arithmetic questions was equivalent to a score of 50. Your score is better than 83% of all subsection
scores recorded in the past three years. The mean for all test takers is 40.33.
• Your performance on Algebra/Geometry questions was equivalent to a score of 47. Your score is better than 59% of all
sub-section scores recorded in the past three years. The mean for all test takers is 40.1.
• Your performance of 100% on Geometry questions is considered Very Strong.
• Your performance of 66% on Rates/Ratio/Percent questions is considered Above Average.
• Your performance of 50% on Value/Order/Factors questions is considered Weak.
• Your performance of 75% on Equal./Inequal./Alg. questions is considered Above Average.
• Your performance of 100% on Counting/Sets/Series questions is considered Very Strong.
• You completed 31 questions in the Quantitative section.
• You responded correctly to 100% of the first set of questions, 57% of the second set of questions, 57% of the third set
of questions and 71% of the final set of questions..
• The average difficulty of questions presented to you in the first set of questions was Medium, the average for the
second set of questions was Medium High, the average for the third set of questions was Medium High and was
Medium High for the final set of questions.
• The average time it took you to respond to the first set of questions presented was 2:17, the average time for the
second set of questions was 1:32, the average time for the third set of questions was 2:23 and 1:10 for the final set of
questions.
• Please Note: If you sat for the GMAT exam prior to April 16, 2018 this section contained 37 questions, on or after April
16, 2018 the section consists of 31 questions.
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Feb 2020, 07:16
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Sure thing, chencchris. This is a community that wants to help you succeed, plain and simple. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to reach out. (My clients who have used Target Test Prep have all said they found it beneficial.)

Good luck with your studies.

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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Feb 2020, 18:15
Hi chencchris

Before you can include attachments with your posts/PMs, you need to have at least 5 posts in the forums (right now, you have just 2 posts). If you would rather not go through those extra steps right now, then you can feel free to email me your ESR directly (to Rich.C@empowergmat.com).

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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Feb 2020, 18:48
I don’t think the difference between 740 and 780 is as big as you think. Once you’ve achieved an acceptable score, your profile is going to be what gets you in.

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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2020, 05:56
EMPOWERgmatRichC thanks again for the offer. I got my post count up to 5, so now I'm able to attach documents.

Please see attached for the ESR (name and test info removed for privacy).

Thanks for any insight you and everyone can provide.
Attachments

ESR 01212020.pdf [1.86 MiB]
Downloaded 20 times

To download please login or register as a user

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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2020, 14:02
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Hi chencchris

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESR and some additional notes and questions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2020, 17:09
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chencchris wrote:

ScottTargetTestPrep: I'll be giving your course a try and will let you know if I have any questions.



Awesome! I'm here if you need me.
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2020, 07:44
ScottTargetTestPrep I've started the course, and gotta say, I wish I found this course sooner. Will let you know how it is and if I have any questions. Cheers.
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2020, 17:57
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chencchris wrote:
ScottTargetTestPrep I've started the course, and gotta say, I wish I found this course sooner. Will let you know how it is and if I have any questions. Cheers.


Love it!! Feel free to reach out to me directly wtih any questions.
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
TTP - Target Test Prep Logo
197 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2020, 20:37
This is certainly a high bar to reach, but I wish you all the best. I am looking forward to following your progression.
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2020, 03:54
xGuardians wrote:
This is certainly a high bar to reach, but I wish you all the best. I am looking forward to following your progression.


Thanks very much! Will let you know how it goes.

Saw your post that you're looking to retake soon also: happy to exchange thoughts as I'm studying to retake around the same as well.
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Re: Shooting for 780: next steps?   [#permalink] 13 Mar 2020, 03:54
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