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# The GMAT hath been slain

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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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21 May 2008, 20:48
wow.. That is a monumental verbal score. Great job, mate. Eager to know if there are any specific pointers for future test takers regarding the verbal prep strategies. Apart from the suggested multiple retakes of GMAT Prep are there any verbal specific tips you would like to offer for us?
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22 May 2008, 00:52
MeddlingKid wrote:
Overall: 740 (97th percentile)
Quant: 44 (72nd percentile) ouch x 10^3
Verbal: 47 (99th percentile)

I'm going to refrain from providing any study "tips", since other posters here have put together extremely comprehensive suggestions. I will focus on the test day along with some general recommendations for the preparation period.

Yesterday I resisted temptation to work problems or flip through my study guides. I also found myself, during times when I was idle in my room, I would start working problems in my head. I decided to leave the house and go hit some golf balls. I find it difficult to focus on anything but my swing when I'm out at the range, so in that sense, it was perfect. (the flight path of my golf balls, however, was closer to grotesque) When I returned to my house, my roommate and I decided to brew some beer, which we have been putting off for months. For the next six hours, my mind was focused on grains, malt, hops and yeast. Once I finished making the beer, I went to the gym and did some cardio for a bit. I capped off my evening by eating some sushi and reading a history book. By 9:30p, I was in bed. Despite how anxious I had been about the test the night before, I fell right asleep.

I woke up feeling refreshed at 6:00a, made myself some oatmeal and hard-boiled eggs, and dressed comfortably for battle. I listened to Bach on the drive to the test center, where I arrived about 15 minutes prior to check-in. I was surprised how many people were there for an 8:00 am appointment, but only 20% of them seemed to be taking the GMAT. The check-in process went smoothly, they called my name, and I sat down in my cubicle. Despite the fears I had regarding the scratch pads provided, they were actually quite easy to use. The fine-tip sharpie provided sufficient detail to work equations and take notes for essays. The earplugs were actually extremely similar to the ones I practiced with, so it wasn't a distraction at all.

The writing samples, as others have pointed out, were a great way to get into testing mode. This is yet another reason it is imperative that you take the FULL tests, AWA samples included, during your prep tests. Something happened in my brain that said, "Oh yeah, it's another GMAT Prep. Go time!" I worked through both the essays with a smile on my face, and used the spare three minutes of each to scribble down my grids for the quant section. I then raised my hand, was put in "break mode" and exited the test center. I visited the restroom for a liquid deposit, ate an apple, and had a couple sips of water. I went back into the room and got ready for quant.

I went back to my cubicle and noticed they had replaced my scratch pad. Thus, I needed to use the instruction screen time to quickly scribble down my answer grid. I used about 30 seconds of the verbal section to complete my grid. From the moment the verbal section started, I felt incredibly comfortable. Perhaps it was the difficult questions I had practiced from the forum, or the countless GMATPreps I had re-taken to expose the most difficult verbal questions, but this section seemed pretty straightforward. I can only remember about 5-6 questions where I really had to take some time to decide between two answers. I also found that I was pacing myself well at the beginning, and thus became relaxed with my available time. I found myself with about 5 minutes remaining for the final 4 questions. I finished the section, and proceeded to the questionnaire.

This section wasn't as long as others have described. I was able to speed through the questions, since nothing had changed since I entered the information online a couple months ago. But, I can tell you it was just as nerve racking as I expected. When I clicked "report scores", I became incredibly nervous and expected my quant score was going to bring my score to a level that would require a re-take. I also considered the possibility that my verbal questions were easy because I had made some careless errors. The test writers have a reputation as tricksters, after all. When I saw the 740 pop up onto the screen, I threw my hands in the air and sat back in my chair. I was done.

As I said above, I have a few tips that I feel can really be helpful to some of you as you are working through your preparation. They are as follows:

1. As early as possible, get onto the EXACT routine you will follow on test day. If you have scheduled an 8:00 a.m. exam, make sure you take your practice tests at 8:00am. If you will have to go to sleep at 10pm and wake at 6am on test day, do it every day. This will get your body into a routine where waking up at 6 feels normal. Disclaimer - If you continue being in bed by 10pm after you have finished the GMAT, you may develop an affinity for "Matlock" and "The Golden Girls".

2. Clean up your diet. You would be surprised what a detrimental effect unhealthy eating can have on your brain. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, high fiber carbs, and EFAs. Cut refined sugar out of your diet. This can have a drastic change on the way you feel the first two weeks. If you have enough time to do it, you will be happy you did. Also, don't even think about eating anything with MSG in it.

3. Simulate GMAT days as early as possible. Eat the same foods for breakfast, start the test at the same time, take all of the sections, take each of the breaks and eat the same foods during these breaks, etc. By simulating the test day repeatedly, your body will be in familiar territory on G-Day, which will greatly reduce the stress you could have if you're not sure how you will react to certain foods, an extra section, etc.

4. Give yourself realistic time constraints. Okay, I know I said I wouldn't give any study tips, but this is important. If you are re-taking GMATPrep exams (which you should do as much as humanly possible), be sure you're accounting for the time saved by doing a repeat time. For example, if you have two repeat quant problems during a given test which, on average, saves you one minute each (since you are already familiar with the solution method) take those two minutes off the time you have to complete the section. Therefore, you would now only have 73, rather than 75 minutes to complete the quant section.

5. Relax. Take time during your study sessions to relax yourself. Do some meditating, some deep breathing, listen to some soothing music, or whatever else you see fit. You want to be calm during your study sessions and your practice exams, which will surely translate on test day.

6. Scope out the test center the day before your exam. On the day before your exam, you shouldn't be studying or working (the latter may be unavoidable for some, but is strongly recommended). Since you're already up early anyway, you might as well check out the test center. Drive the same route, at the same time, that you will be taking on G-Day. This will give you an idea how long it takes to get there and eliminate one more unknown as you're making the commute on Day 0.

That's about all I have at the moment; I may remember more later after this beer wears off. I want to thank everybody on this forum for providing such tremendous material, advice, and support throughout my preparation. Without your assistance, I highly doubt the end result would have turned out the way it did. To those of you who are working on apps or studying for the test, I wish you all the best of luck.

Little late, but congratunation! really dream score!
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 03:49
Congratulations, MeddlingKid. 740 is an awesome score but the 47V just knocks my socks off!
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 10:24
Thanks, everybody. I will try to answer the questions from various posts in this thread.

1. Practice Test Scores (in order)

PR CAT 1 - 620 (36Q, 40V)
GMATPrep 1 - v1: 640 (42Q, 36V)
GMATPrep 1 - v2: 720
GMATPrep 2 - v1: 690 (46Q, 38V)
GMATPrep 1 - v3: 730
GMATPrep 2 - v2: 720
GMATPrep 1 - v4: 750 (47Q, 47V)
GMATPrep 2 - v3: 770 (49Q, 46V)
GMATPrep 1 - v5: 770 (49Q, 50V)
GMATPrep 2 - v4: 780 (50Q, 46V)

As you can see above, I can't recall the break-down for three of my tests. The information is on a spreadsheet I conveniently left at home today. I will edit this post tonight to add the information.

2. Verbal Tips

As I said in my first post, I don't really have anything earth shattering to add here, as I would just be repeating what others have already said. Nonetheless, I will quickly describe what I did for each section:

CR: I honestly didn't study any tips, tricks, or methods for these. I put in some LSAT study time my senior year of college (5 years ago), so I'm not sure whether that gave me an edge in this area. I highly doubt I'd remember anything from five years ago, much less how to break down a CR question. I basically just worked through as many of these problems as I could during my study period. Exposing oneself to the different types of arguments, and learning how to break them down is something that can be developed by working problems. Random arguments with my fiance were also helpful, but not an advised strategy.

RC: As part of my job, I commonly have to pull random pieces of information out of legal-ease laden transaction documents. Compared with a 120 page document summarizing the structure of a security, a passage on single-celled organisms is ultra exciting. My advice in here would be to get a feel for the thesis in the first paragraph, and take some notes on what's being established. Then, review the subsequent paragraphs more lightly and attempt to determine how they fit in with the overall structure of the passage. Simply refer back to the passage details for each question.

SC: Manhattan GMAT SC Guide. Buy it. I read through this thing a couple times, did the exercises, and then would spend an hour each week just flipping through it. Also expose yourself to difficult SC questions (the Brutal 70 on the Verbal Forum are perfect) as they will help you pick out what makes one choice correct over two others that also seem like they could be the proper choice.

Feel free to ask any other questions, and best of luck in your preparation!
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22 May 2008, 10:57
Great score! Good luck with your apps.
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 11:07
MeddlingKid wrote:
Feel free to ask any other questions, and best of luck in your preparation!

What to do with that first Quant question
I am so afraid the same thing could happen and throw me off and then affect my V as well. You at least, were unaffected at the V, but most other people do not have such stable nerves....
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Best AWA guide here: http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html

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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 11:36
chineseburned wrote:
MeddlingKid wrote:
Feel free to ask any other questions, and best of luck in your preparation!

What to do with that first Quant question
I am so afraid the same thing could happen and throw me off and then affect my V as well. You at least, were unaffected at the V, but most other people do not have such stable nerves....

If I had a solution to such a question, I would have had a higher quant score. Honestly, you can't let one section throw off your performance in the other. Just go into your break knowing that quant is done and that you're going to knock the crap out of the verbal section.
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 11:57
i dont get it..how are the questions different from gmatprep..do you mean they are of different material or are super tough..??
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 12:52
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fresinha12 wrote:
i dont get it..how are the questions different from gmatprep..do you mean they are of different material or are super tough..??

They were just worded a bit differently. If I wasn't so stressed out about time, I'm sure they wouldn't have been much more difficult than the GMATPrep variety.
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 14:05
Congrats and what a good verbal score.
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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22 May 2008, 20:53
I also had no idea on my first Q question. It looked sooo easy it was a very short sentence but I couldn't get an answer I must have read it 100xs and looked at it for 5 mins before I straight up guessed. Actually at that point I thought about having to cancel my scores, I was behind on time and I missed the first question. I'm glad I didn't cancel.
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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23 May 2008, 01:37
Super score and all the best for the college hunt!! You nailed it!!
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Re: The GMAT hath been slain [#permalink]

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23 May 2008, 16:37
You guys are freaking me out about that first quant question - I take it on june 7th. It isn't the SAME question for everyone right? Ugh
Re: The GMAT hath been slain   [#permalink] 23 May 2008, 16:37

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