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Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August

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Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2009, 13:34
This August will be my third attempt at the GMATs and I want to make sure that it's the last! My first score was a dismal 570 (took it straight out of college with little/minimal studying, wasn't even sure if b-school was for me) and retook it last year after taking the Veritas prep course to get a 670 (high on verbal, low on quant). I applied to UCLA and didn't get in (I know that my GPA is my weak point..I have a below 3.0 GPA with a Computer Engineering degree from a top public school in CA.) Not to be defeated, I'm determined to give the GMATs one more shot and hope to get over a 700.

So far, I've done some on and off studying with the OG 11 and the MGMAT set of books, and it wasn't until I started reading the posts on here again recently (I had previously been reading this site religiously but had stopped after my rejection last year :( ) and about a week ago I committed myself to try and study for 3 hours each day. I also signed up for the gmat club challenges and have been trying to do atleast one set each day. I did find myself learning tactics and various things that I didn't know before and decided to take a GMATPrep test, which I got a 680 on - improvement, albeit only 10 points. The next day, I took another practice test from MGMAT, and got the exact same score! Now I'm afraid that I'm stuck in the 670/680 zone and would like to know if there's anything else I should be doing or if I should be changing my approach to studying? I know that my weakest area is math, specifically DS - but I don't know if just doing more practice problems in general is going to help me enough. I still have a little over one month so I'm hoping that's enough time to up my game. Any insight would be appreciated!

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2009, 14:35
Welcome back to GMATClub luckyx13!

i think we definitely know quant - you will find a few q50 and q51 members here.
What is your raw score? It is hard to give feedback without. You maybe Q30 or Q35 or Q40 and those are different levels
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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2009, 14:57
Thanks!

Here is the breakdown of my 670 score:

Verbal score: 37
Verbal percentage: 81%
Quant score: 45
Quant percentage: 75%

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2009, 15:34
luckyx13 wrote:
Thanks!

Here is the breakdown of my 670 score:

Verbal score: 37
Verbal percentage: 81%
Quant score: 45
Quant percentage: 75%



Well... your scores are pretty even 81%/75%
Adcoms like the good split - now the task is to improve it and drive it up. I think 50 points is doable in a month and a half - should be very doable, though re-taking is not very straightforward. We have had many people retake and get a lower score - some get significantly lower scores... don't get comfortable thinking you already have 670 - you had many months ago....

To get beyond 700, you will need to improve both by 2 points - 39/47 is 700.


MGMAT Books are good - keep working on those.
One mistake many do is not keeping an error log - give this forum a quick Search - you'll find plenty of templates
Another mistake is trying to build upon a weak foundation - it takes a long time to patch something like this. If you feel you have weak spots in SC - i would recommend to methodically review a grammar book. For CR and RC - would recommend PowerScore CR or Manhattan GMAT CR and Manhattan GMAT RC. You can also get a book just published by PR - PR 1012 Questions - it offers excellent targeted practice - there is not a good source of targeted gmat questions today.

Another mistake many do is jump into taking tests and thinking that tests will teach them. Use tests to get your test-taking skills up rather than to learn math, logic or grammar. You still will, but it should not be your main source of prep as tests are designed to poke holes in your prep and show you (using error log) where your weak spots are, not patch those holes.

Keep at GMAT Club tests - they are good for your level. I think the main/only MGMAT math book people recommend for your level is the MGMAT Number Properties guide.

Another great way to learn is to teach somebody - try to get involved in the math and verbal forums and see if you can "teach" or "help" others - you would be helping yourself the most.
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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2009, 15:50
Thanks! I can definitely see where my test prep strategy is currently "flawed". I think I've been too focused on trying to pick up things I don't know and am forgetting to fix the mistakes that I keep making. Hopefully keeping an error log will help me to work on that! :)

Btw, how many problems is 2-3 points? :P

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2009, 15:53
luckyx13 wrote:

Btw, how many problems is 2-3 points? :P


Good one. I think it is easier to find an answer to the meaning of life than this one ...
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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2009, 18:43
luckyx13 wrote:
Thanks!

Here is the breakdown of my 670 score:

Verbal score: 37
Verbal percentage: 81%
Quant score: 45
Quant percentage: 75%


I was in the exact same boat. 38, 44 split 670. focussed heavily on math, retook and bombed to a 620.

Just be sure to keep up all the skills you worked on to get your 670, especially if youre thinking of taking your test greater than 1 month after your first showing. I did not keep my skills sharp, although I knew far more than i did during my first sitting, I was rusty and it cost me dearly.

aside from that your study plan sounds solid, im pretty much mirroring the same thing (gmatclub, mgmat, og, error log) for a 3rd and final attempt.

Best of luck!
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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jun 2009, 21:10
Thanks, millhouse! That is my greatest fear... :? Just curious, did you take any practice tests before your second try? One thing I really regretted not doing the first two times was not taking enough practice tests under simulated test conditions, mostly since I studied math and verbal separately.

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2009, 07:09
hey,
well i will advice in jist but with full effectiveness...
practise hard...by now ie., after studying n already taking exam..u must be knowing ur weakness definitely...keep practising ur weak areas and keep hold of ur strong areas simultaneously..in short again work hard..take few gmat preps...analyze them ..and take future course of action.
all the best
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New post 19 Jun 2009, 11:01
Thanks, superguy. Just read your story and congratulations on getting such a great score! I can only hope that I will never have to set foot in the gmat center again after this test! :)

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2009, 13:51
luckyx13 wrote:
Thanks, millhouse! That is my greatest fear... :? Just curious, did you take any practice tests before your second try? One thing I really regretted not doing the first two times was not taking enough practice tests under simulated test conditions, mostly since I studied math and verbal separately.


2nd time i took 2 mgmats and the 2 gmat preps during the week prior to writing the official test to build my stamina up.

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2009, 22:20
Hi luckyx13,

This is kind of an unrelated question but with regards to your UCLA app, did they interview you or waitlist you? Did you think your chances were at least in the ballpark? The reason I ask is UCLA is also a target of mine and I went to a top CA public. Thanks.

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2009, 02:07
Good luck on your third try!!!

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New post 22 Jun 2009, 15:23
Thanks! Through keeping an error log this time, I'm beginning to realize how much combinatrics and probability are for me. Do you know how much concentrated emphasis I should be placing on these topics? Or would just doing a bunch more practice problems in general be more beneficial?

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2009, 16:26
luckyx13 wrote:
Thanks! Through keeping an error log this time, I'm beginning to realize how much combinatrics and probability are for me. Do you know how much concentrated emphasis I should be placing on these topics? Or would just doing a bunch more practice problems in general be more beneficial?


Doing a bunch more practice problems in general won't help you.

Keeping an error log is the first step to improving regardless of your current level (unless u're <500, then you probably need to work on everything).

probability questions are not super common on the GMAT and usually appear as harder questions from my experience. I believe I only had 1 on my test, and my quant score was slightly above average (compared to others on this forum). I wouldn't put too much emphasis on it unless u're shooting for 50/51.

What I would focus on is take the following steps (for both quant and verbal) -
1. Look through your error log
2. Find all the concepts you've missed questions on (I'm guessing there are quit a bit of other concepts you can focus on in both quant and verbal.)
3. Find a book (GMAT or not, but GMAT specific helps, i.e. the bibles) that goes over these concepts and review them

If you follow the above steps and cover all the concepts in quant, then all you have left to do is applying the concepts faster, since time will be your constraint - but by this point you should be scoring in the high 4x or 50/51.

For verbal - if you're weak in SC, this is the EASIEST to fix imo - learn the most common 7 or 11 grammar rules that the GMAT tests.
If you're weak in logical reasoning, use the bible and you'll ace this (I didn't use it but others have all said its great).
If you're weak in RC, this is a toughie and takes the most time to improve on imo. However, if you're shooting for something like a 40 on verbal you can risk being weaker on RC and just make sure you know your SC and LR.

again, error logs are pivotal to zone in on what concepts you need to learn/cover in more depth. Use it for both quant and verbal. Do as many problems form the OG as needed to identify weak areas, do GMATprep many times to practice, and you'll be fine if you put in the time.

GL

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Re: Trying to get 700+ up from a 670 by August   [#permalink] 22 Jun 2009, 16:26
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