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Joined: Jul 14, 2015
Guys, I took the test in Sep 2016 and scored a disappointing 540 (over 110 pts below my GMAT prep practice exams). I had been studying for 3 months prior to this and was pretty disappointed because my Quant was hovering around a 46, but on the actual test I scored a 42. I walked out of that test so confused..... I couldn't sleep that well the night before and I think my nerves got the best of me.
Fast forward 2 months, I took the GMAT again and scored a 710 (Q50, V35) thanks to TTP.
Okay, going back to the 540. Something was wrong... There still had to be gaps in my conceptual understanding. I remembered interacting with Jeff Miller towards the beginning of my prep and decided not to go with TTP (what a freakin mistake and a time sunk). After my 540, I called Jeff. Explained my situation and he immediately mapped out a plan. I bought the flex plan and Jeff suggested that I go straight to the chapter tests. Take 1 at a time and review the solutions carefully, he said. Within a week of taking the tests I was able to have a better handle of my common mistakes. TTP's brilliant analytics (BTW NO TEST PREP AGENCY OFFERS SUCH DETAILED ANALYTICS...NO ONE) allowed me to isolate my mistakes. More importantly, it allowed me to pick and choose my battles on the real test. I made a list of all the problem types in which I took more than 3 mins (anytime I saw those on test day, I gave myself 30 seconds, if I didn't see myself going anywhere, I guessed and moved on). This test is about picking your battles wisely. I know it sounds simple, but it's difficult to execute. TTP helped me create a blueprint for myself. Once I effectively identified my weaknesses, I worked with Jeff once/week to challenge myself on my weakest topics. This dude allowed me to challenge my thought process; he tested the core of my conceptual understanding; he found the gaps. Working with him, we filled them together. Slowly I started building my confidence again.
At this point I had gone back to all the chapters and studied my weaknesses. I used the awesome print outs TTP provides to jot down tips and tricks by topic/sub topic. TTP provides fantastic structure to the GMAT math -- they break it down to a science (literally). 2 weeks prior to my exam, I took a GMAT prep practice test -- I got a 710 (Q49, V38). I stopped taking practice tests. That's it. I knew my stuff and I just needed to perform on test day. I reviewed my notes every day. Did a few customized problems on TTP and got plenty of sleep every day.
Test day: Math section was going pretty well. I knew I did well on my first 10 problems. I took my time, but I was keeping pace. After problem 15, things got HARD, but I was catching the tricks. Nothing I hadn't seen before. All of a sudden I find myself on question 35 with 7mins to go. I finished the math section with 5mins to go....! It's crazy, but possible. If I can do this, you can as well. Just two months ago, I would find myself randomly guessing on the last 5 problems and today I finished the most daunting section of this test with 5mins to go? After I saw that 50 on the screen, my jaw dropped.
Nothing in life is easy. If you want to achieve something significant, you have to work at it. Excellence doesn't come over night, it's silently built with practice day-by-day. Don't give up guys -- persistence is key. Be patient and trust yourself. The results will come. Just focus on learning the right way -- there are no shortcuts here. Oh and while you're at it, do yourself a solid and sign up for TTP.
I wish you all the success in your preparation and I want to sincerely thank TTP for helping me through mine.