August 12, 2014

Posts: 1

Kudos: 5

Self-reported Score:
770 Q49 V48

640 CAT to 770 on first attempt


Josh was both personable and smart, as well as a good instructor. The course covered all the necessary content, as well as timing, guessing, and study strategies. I made sure to work the entire quant foundations before the first class, and about half the verbal foundations (my verbal was high so I was not as worried).

Throughout the course I kept up with the syllabus, although I had to balance a full-time job. I did all of the problems after each class, and recorder all my answers for OG problems in the archer, which has been rebranded the GMAT Navigator.

I didn't stray from the syllabus and took the CATs as instructed:

MGMAT CAT 1: 630 (Q37, V38) before session 1
MGMAT CAT 2: 700 (Q45, V40, IR 3.8) before session 6
MGMAT CAT 3: 680 (Q46, V37, IR 3.1) before session 8

On my first MGMAT CAT I was correctly answering 700 level problems, but I was spending 3-5 minutes, so I left about 9 problems unanswered. Alongside learning how to solve problems efficiently, the course drilled timing and guessing strategies, and I reinforced those in my homework and self-study sessions. Every problem was done timed (and this was the answer than I plugged into the Navigator), but then I would continue to work towards the right solution, and in the end I would compare my solution to the Manhattan solution to look for mistakes or inefficient techniques.

After the course, I worked all the quant problems in OG13, the 2nd edition quant supplement, and all the problems in OG12 that were removed from OG13. And then I did all the problems in OG13 again, although I ran into my deadline (T-minus 1 week) and stopped working problems at this point.
I followed the recommended study plan and these were my post-course results:

MGMAT CAT 4: 730 (Q45, V45, IR 3.8) 2.5 weeks before GMAT
GMATPrep CAT 1: 750 (Q49, V42, IR 8) 1.5 weeks before GMAT

Leading up to my first official GMAT score:
GMAT 773 (Q49, V48, IR 8)

The Manhattan course provided an excellent structure to my studying, and I believe the Manhattan CATs are "harder" in a way that is very useful. The problems Manhattan wrote were not any trickier than official problems, but they often required more steps, or more calculations. This forced me to learn to solve problems efficiently; I was constantly timing my problems and practicing guessing or choice-elimination strategies.

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