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The fun ride to a 760

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GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
The fun ride to a 760  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 23:06
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I took the GMAT two weekends ago and scored a 760 (Q50, V42).

This might sound crazy to some of you, but I don't have plans to apply to business school. I took the test mostly for fun and I truly enjoyed the journey to earning a 760. It certainly wasn't easy, but in the process I learned a lot about myself, and I'm pleased with the result of my hard work.

Background: I have a lot of friends who work in finance or consulting, and I heard a lot from them about this "GMAT" test. I thought the adaptive component of the test was particularly interesting: the more questions I get right, the more difficult the questions become. The whole thing kind of sounded like a game to me (I found this mindset to be helpful when studying as well).

As I started preparing for the test, I found myself enjoying it more and more, partly because it was an escape from my professional life. At work, problems are often ill-defined, vague, and there's never a clear, right answer. The decisions you make on these problems have a compounding effect. For standardized tests though, there is always a right answer, each problem is self-contained, and the challenge becomes how to train yourself to recognize the right answer quickly.

Process: Looking back, I'd say there are two main components to my studying process: 1) Consistency 2) Intellectual honesty.

Consistency looks like:
* working (at my job) from 10AM - 8PM
* studying from 830PM - 11PM
Weekends would be 3-4 hours of studying as well, but broken into two halves.

Studying after work is pretty brutal the first couple of days. However, your mental focus and stamina will grow, so don't give up! The key here is to not burn yourself out. After a certain level of studying, your brain simply cannot handle more information, and it's best to take a break. Go for a run, watch some TV, do what you need to rest. Take care of your body, exercise, eat well.

What does intellectual honesty look like? Well, I found myself discounting a lot of the problems I was missing, thinking "Oh, I made a careless error", or "I know this, I just didn't read carefully!" and then moving on to the next problem. This had always been a bad habit of mine throughout high school and college as well; I remember doing a three-month SAT test prep program, and my scores didn't improve PRECISELY because I wasn't honest with myself. I thought I was smarter than I actually was.

This time though, every time I missed a question, I really dug deep-- why did I think the initial answer was correct? What was the decision making process? Do I really understand this, or do I only sort of understand it? Finding the truthful answers to these questions requires you to be honest with yourself.

For errors I made due to a fundamental misunderstanding of a concept or lack of knowledge, I'd find as many problems as I could relating to that topic to really grill my understanding. I was doing this a lot for sentence correction, combinatorics, and overlapping sets problems. I also was able to eliminate careless mistakes by plugging my answer back into the problem if I had solved the question within 30 seconds, and always re-reading the question before submitting my answer (eg are you solving for X, or X + 1?).

I also kept an error log, but instead of just marking what problems I was getting wrong, I was also writing down why I got the question wrong.

The bottom line is to treat the mistakes you make as gifts; each mistake reveals a little bit more about how you can improve.

Materials:

Study Plan: For those of you on a tighter schedule (~ two months), I recommend the Beat the GMAT 60-Day plan. I found it well-structured and it was a great way to keep myself on track. The only suggestion I'd make is to use the last few days in the program to drill down on your weaknesses instead of doing more unofficial tests.

Official Guide: I'm not allowed to post links yet, but search for "gmac-official-guides-the-master-directory-links-240610." Holy grail right here.

Ron Purewal: Ron is a brilliant test-taker (he has perfect scores on basically every standardized test out there), so he deserves three bullet points:
* Watch all of his "Thursdays with Ron" videos. Even for subjects I thought I was strong at, I found it helpful to see how he approached the problem.
* If there's a question you're not sure about, google the question but prefix the text with "Ron Purewal." His explanations (particularly for SC) are a cut above the rest.
* Go to his own site and do the free questions.

GMATPrep Tests: Tests 3-6 are the only thing I paid for.

My scores on those were 740, 740, 770, 750, 710, 760, respectively. The 710 really threw me off, but it was a great motivator to get through the last bit of studying, and really double down on finding my weaknesses.


Final words: Thanks for taking the time to read this. Godspeed to those of you currently in the studying process!
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Re: The fun ride to a 760  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 23:44
diplogmat wrote:
I took the GMAT two weekends ago and scored a 760 (Q50, V42).

This might sound crazy to some of you, but I don't have plans to apply to business school. I took the test mostly for fun.


Congratulations on the Dream Score. :)

Is there a way to transfer scores? Since you aren't applying :lol:
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Re: The fun ride to a 760  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 09:19
Congratulations, on the awesome score!!

Great debrief. Thanks for taking the time to pen it down.

All the best!

Cheers,
GyM
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Re: The fun ride to a 760  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 10:03
Congratulations on a wonderful score. Thanks for a very nice debrief.

Just couple of questions - It is very surprising that you have made a note of most (if not all) of the finer nuances of this test after getting an elite score don't even want apply to any programs. How did you get the motivation to study so much:)

How long did you prepare?

Congrats once again!!
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Re: The fun ride to a 760  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 10:36
diplogmat wrote:
I took the GMAT two weekends ago and scored a 760 (Q50, V42).

This might sound crazy to some of you, but I don't have plans to apply to business school. I took the test mostly for fun and I truly enjoyed the journey to earning a 760. It certainly wasn't easy, but in the process I learned a lot about myself, and I'm pleased with the result of my hard work.

Background: I have a lot of friends who work in finance or consulting, and I heard a lot from them about this "GMAT" test. I thought the adaptive component of the test was particularly interesting: the more questions I get right, the more difficult the questions become. The whole thing kind of sounded like a game to me (I found this mindset to be helpful when studying as well).

As I started preparing for the test, I found myself enjoying it more and more, partly because it was an escape from my professional life. At work, problems are often ill-defined, vague, and there's never a clear, right answer. The decisions you make on these problems have a compounding effect. For standardized tests though, there is always a right answer, each problem is self-contained, and the challenge becomes how to train yourself to recognize the right answer quickly.

Process: Looking back, I'd say there are two main components to my studying process: 1) Consistency 2) Intellectual honesty.

Consistency looks like:
* working (at my job) from 10AM - 8PM
* studying from 830PM - 11PM
Weekends would be 3-4 hours of studying as well, but broken into two halves.

Studying after work is pretty brutal the first couple of days. However, your mental focus and stamina will grow, so don't give up! The key here is to not burn yourself out. After a certain level of studying, your brain simply cannot handle more information, and it's best to take a break. Go for a run, watch some TV, do what you need to rest. Take care of your body, exercise, eat well.

What does intellectual honesty look like? Well, I found myself discounting a lot of the problems I was missing, thinking "Oh, I made a careless error", or "I know this, I just didn't read carefully!" and then moving on to the next problem. This had always been a bad habit of mine throughout high school and college as well; I remember doing a three-month SAT test prep program, and my scores didn't improve PRECISELY because I wasn't honest with myself. I thought I was smarter than I actually was.

This time though, every time I missed a question, I really dug deep-- why did I think the initial answer was correct? What was the decision making process? Do I really understand this, or do I only sort of understand it? Finding the truthful answers to these questions requires you to be honest with yourself.

For errors I made due to a fundamental misunderstanding of a concept or lack of knowledge, I'd find as many problems as I could relating to that topic to really grill my understanding. I was doing this a lot for sentence correction, combinatorics, and overlapping sets problems. I also was able to eliminate careless mistakes by plugging my answer back into the problem if I had solved the question within 30 seconds, and always re-reading the question before submitting my answer (eg are you solving for X, or X + 1?).

I also kept an error log, but instead of just marking what problems I was getting wrong, I was also writing down why I got the question wrong.

The bottom line is to treat the mistakes you make as gifts; each mistake reveals a little bit more about how you can improve.

Materials:

Study Plan: For those of you on a tighter schedule (~ two months), I recommend the Beat the GMAT 60-Day plan. I found it well-structured and it was a great way to keep myself on track. The only suggestion I'd make is to use the last few days in the program to drill down on your weaknesses instead of doing more unofficial tests.

Official Guide: I'm not allowed to post links yet, but search for "gmac-official-guides-the-master-directory-links-240610." Holy grail right here.

Ron Purewal: Ron is a brilliant test-taker (he has perfect scores on basically every standardized test out there), so he deserves three bullet points:
* Watch all of his "Thursdays with Ron" videos. Even for subjects I thought I was strong at, I found it helpful to see how he approached the problem.
* If there's a question you're not sure about, google the question but prefix the text with "Ron Purewal." His explanations (particularly for SC) are a cut above the rest.
* Go to his own site and do the free questions.

GMATPrep Tests: Tests 3-6 are the only thing I paid for.

My scores on those were 740, 740, 770, 750, 710, 760, respectively. The 710 really threw me off, but it was a great motivator to get through the last bit of studying, and really double down on finding my weaknesses.


Final words: Thanks for taking the time to read this. Godspeed to those of you currently in the studying process!


A fun ride that ends with 760! Wow!

Inspiring read. Very interesting to see the waiving scores towards the end but glad that you had a fine day and the better performance prevailed.

Good job!

Good luck with the apps!
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Joined: 23 Oct 2018
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GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
Re: The fun ride to a 760  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 21:21
Afc0892 wrote:
diplogmat wrote:
I took the GMAT two weekends ago and scored a 760 (Q50, V42).

This might sound crazy to some of you, but I don't have plans to apply to business school. I took the test mostly for fun.


Congratulations on the Dream Score. :)

Is there a way to transfer scores? Since you aren't applying :lol:


Thank you! I wouldn't want to take the joy of the journey away from you ;)
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Joined: 23 Oct 2018
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GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
Re: The fun ride to a 760  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 21:23
1
CAMANISHPARMAR wrote:
Congratulations on a wonderful score. Thanks for a very nice debrief.

Just couple of questions - It is very surprising that you have made a note of most (if not all) of the finer nuances of this test after getting an elite score don't even want apply to any programs. How did you get the motivation to study so much:)

How long did you prepare?

Congrats once again!!


Part of the motivation was just to prove to myself that I could do this. I wasn't great at standardized testing in high school, so I wanted to see if I could do well a couple years later.

I prepared on/off for a month or so before I really sat down and consistently studied for two months. So maybe 2.5 months in total, if we assume the first month was at half the efficiency of one of the second two months. :grin:
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Re: The fun ride to a 760  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 21:43
diplogmat wrote:
I took the GMAT two weekends ago and scored a 760 (Q50, V42).

This might sound crazy to some of you, but I don't have plans to apply to business school. I took the test mostly for fun and I truly enjoyed the journey to earning a 760. It certainly wasn't easy, but in the process I learned a lot about myself, and I'm pleased with the result of my hard work.

Background: I have a lot of friends who work in finance or consulting, and I heard a lot from them about this "GMAT" test. I thought the adaptive component of the test was particularly interesting: the more questions I get right, the more difficult the questions become. The whole thing kind of sounded like a game to me (I found this mindset to be helpful when studying as well).

As I started preparing for the test, I found myself enjoying it more and more, partly because it was an escape from my professional life. At work, problems are often ill-defined, vague, and there's never a clear, right answer. The decisions you make on these problems have a compounding effect. For standardized tests though, there is always a right answer, each problem is self-contained, and the challenge becomes how to train yourself to recognize the right answer quickly.

Process: Looking back, I'd say there are two main components to my studying process: 1) Consistency 2) Intellectual honesty.

Consistency looks like:
* working (at my job) from 10AM - 8PM
* studying from 830PM - 11PM
Weekends would be 3-4 hours of studying as well, but broken into two halves.

Studying after work is pretty brutal the first couple of days. However, your mental focus and stamina will grow, so don't give up! The key here is to not burn yourself out. After a certain level of studying, your brain simply cannot handle more information, and it's best to take a break. Go for a run, watch some TV, do what you need to rest. Take care of your body, exercise, eat well.

What does intellectual honesty look like? Well, I found myself discounting a lot of the problems I was missing, thinking "Oh, I made a careless error", or "I know this, I just didn't read carefully!" and then moving on to the next problem. This had always been a bad habit of mine throughout high school and college as well; I remember doing a three-month SAT test prep program, and my scores didn't improve PRECISELY because I wasn't honest with myself. I thought I was smarter than I actually was.

This time though, every time I missed a question, I really dug deep-- why did I think the initial answer was correct? What was the decision making process? Do I really understand this, or do I only sort of understand it? Finding the truthful answers to these questions requires you to be honest with yourself.

For errors I made due to a fundamental misunderstanding of a concept or lack of knowledge, I'd find as many problems as I could relating to that topic to really grill my understanding. I was doing this a lot for sentence correction, combinatorics, and overlapping sets problems. I also was able to eliminate careless mistakes by plugging my answer back into the problem if I had solved the question within 30 seconds, and always re-reading the question before submitting my answer (eg are you solving for X, or X + 1?).

I also kept an error log, but instead of just marking what problems I was getting wrong, I was also writing down why I got the question wrong.

The bottom line is to treat the mistakes you make as gifts; each mistake reveals a little bit more about how you can improve.

Materials:

Study Plan: For those of you on a tighter schedule (~ two months), I recommend the Beat the GMAT 60-Day plan. I found it well-structured and it was a great way to keep myself on track. The only suggestion I'd make is to use the last few days in the program to drill down on your weaknesses instead of doing more unofficial tests.

Official Guide: I'm not allowed to post links yet, but search for "gmac-official-guides-the-master-directory-links-240610." Holy grail right here.

Ron Purewal: Ron is a brilliant test-taker (he has perfect scores on basically every standardized test out there), so he deserves three bullet points:
* Watch all of his "Thursdays with Ron" videos. Even for subjects I thought I was strong at, I found it helpful to see how he approached the problem.
* If there's a question you're not sure about, google the question but prefix the text with "Ron Purewal." His explanations (particularly for SC) are a cut above the rest.
* Go to his own site and do the free questions.

GMATPrep Tests: Tests 3-6 are the only thing I paid for.

My scores on those were 740, 740, 770, 750, 710, 760, respectively. The 710 really threw me off, but it was a great motivator to get through the last bit of studying, and really double down on finding my weaknesses.


Final words: Thanks for taking the time to read this. Godspeed to those of you currently in the studying process!



Congratulations!Awesome score! I have tried all above except Thursday with Ron and Beat the GMAT.... I will check them... thank you for sharing your experience on this platform.
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Re: The fun ride to a 760 &nbs [#permalink] 31 Oct 2018, 21:43
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