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540 (1stGMAT Prep practice test) --> 740 (official GMAT)!

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Altabor Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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540 (1stGMAT Prep practice test) --> 740 (official GMAT)!

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:02 am
Hey guys,

The first thing I have to say is thank you to all of the people who have posted GMAT Prep questions to this site and thank you to all of the people that have answered those posts with great detail! I could not have been successful without understanding many of those problems from the practice tests.

Second thing I have to say is thta self-study is able to get you to a 700 if you start low (like I did) as long as you put in the work!

So here is my progress... my first practice test was on May 2nd after just going over the basics of the gmat material that would be on the official test. this is how I did...(the image below also shows my improvement to my second practice test)
ttps://postimg.org/image/hnslmarw1/" target="_blank">

ttps://postimg.org/image/w1boeqcdd/" target="_blank">

To say the least I was disappointed, I thought I would be starting at 600+ and all the post I had read said that most people could increase their starting score from 50-100 points but its pretty difficult to go up more than 100 points. But I said screw these posts because I am willing to give it all i've got!

Heres what I did to study: (Keep in mind I just graduated and had two and a half months of summer to study for the gmat- I understand most people complete this studying while they are working)

1. Went through every single MGMAT (manhattan guides)!! This (in my opinion) is the #1 thing to do before you start doing practice problems randomly. I wasted weeks doing practice problems before I started the manhattan books. The ones that are especially important are the sentence correction, geometry, and number properties.

2. Do every single problem from the official guide book 2016 edition(big book) and both of the small books (green and orange). Do them timed, then highlight all the ones you have gotten wrong and once you review over your notes and manhattan guides again I would go through those problems that are giving you trouble.

3. Go through and do all the problems in the 800 Kaplan book (specifically the math problems) because it goes over the hardest problems you will probably face!

4. Finally, take a practice test for every 30-40 hours of study time (this doesnt necessarily mean for every 30-40 hours of practice problems) you need to understand the basics too of every theory that the GMAT tests. Take these tests under the EXACT circumstances of a real exam.

***Also, my recommendation is to spend 89.00 and get the pack of 4 practice tests from the GMAT software if you can. Because the first two tests are free, but if you reset them you still will probably see fluctuations in your score due to repeating questions (some will be familiar). BUT if you get new tests completely then you know you are practicing with the best practice tests that will help you prepare AND you know your score will be accurate.

Heres my progress during practice tests:

ttps://postimg.org/image/i7i851o3r/" target="_blank">


ttps://postimg.org/image/m99gs2sk7/" target="_blank">

So test day, I went in and reviewed at starbucks with ear plugs in for a full hour before my test. I just reviewed general DS problems giving me trouble and overview of concepts that I needed to know! Every practice test I took I took under the EXACT circumstances of the real GMAT. I got there at 7am to a public library, used ear plugs, took the timed breaks, and started the essay portion at exactly 8 am. SO the real test day felt familiar but was still scary.

I ended up getting a 740 on the actual exam! with a 8 score on Integrated Reasoning and haven't gotten my actual essay score back yet! So for all the people who start low on their first practice test DO NOT WORRY! you can do it!! Because I can promise you, it did not come easy for me at all!


ALSO: Forgot to add this in the original post!!!! But my sentence correction score was struggling... and I ended up finding this slideshow that had an amazing overview (better than any overview from any book) that explained what EXACTLY misplaced modifiers were, how to improve a sentence, etc. Without this I dont think I could have improved my sentence correction score so I need to let Brent@GMATPrepNow know that his slideshow is amazing!! And After the slideshow, I would recommend going through the manhattan guide (very slowly) and making flashcards for any idioms or redundant phrases you might miss in the future. *I've attached the slideshow!
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Last edited by Altabor on Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:32 am; edited 1 time in total

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Altabor Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:19 am
davidqlam90 wrote:
Congratulations and great debrief. Very useful and motivational.

When you said you did every single problem in the OG timed, how did you do that? Did you just find a random group of questions and did a timed set?
I first did groups of 20 questions per day of each section, then i found out that is not the best way to go about it. I would study for a few days the quantitative section books from MGMAT then I would go back to the OG guides and either:
1. Use a timer (bought for 2 dollars at CVS) to time each question and answer it and move on in 2 minutes.

OR

2. I also got the access online through getting the Official Guides (NEW) and the online access comes with a website that will alert you if you are at 2 minutes on any question and you can choose between easy, medium, and hard for any specific section. It was very useful.

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Altabor Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:22 am
romajoon90 wrote:
That's about a point an hour increase from your first mock test. Great Job!

What schools are thinking of applying to?
I am starting my full time position consulting for Deloitte in D.C. in mid-July! So I am going to wait a couple of years to officially apply because Deloitte has a gradschool assistance program that I am interested in. I will, however, be making calls to Harvard, UPenn, Stanford, etc. to have a better understanding on how I can build a application profile that will result in being accepted!

Currently, I am just going to focus on networking, joining organizations in DC, and working hard at my job to increase my likelihood of success for getting into the right grad schools!

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Altabor Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:19 am
davidqlam90 wrote:
Congratulations and great debrief. Very useful and motivational.

When you said you did every single problem in the OG timed, how did you do that? Did you just find a random group of questions and did a timed set?
I first did groups of 20 questions per day of each section, then i found out that is not the best way to go about it. I would study for a few days the quantitative section books from MGMAT then I would go back to the OG guides and either:
1. Use a timer (bought for 2 dollars at CVS) to time each question and answer it and move on in 2 minutes.

OR

2. I also got the access online through getting the Official Guides (NEW) and the online access comes with a website that will alert you if you are at 2 minutes on any question and you can choose between easy, medium, and hard for any specific section. It was very useful.

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Altabor Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:22 am
romajoon90 wrote:
That's about a point an hour increase from your first mock test. Great Job!

What schools are thinking of applying to?
I am starting my full time position consulting for Deloitte in D.C. in mid-July! So I am going to wait a couple of years to officially apply because Deloitte has a gradschool assistance program that I am interested in. I will, however, be making calls to Harvard, UPenn, Stanford, etc. to have a better understanding on how I can build a application profile that will result in being accepted!

Currently, I am just going to focus on networking, joining organizations in DC, and working hard at my job to increase my likelihood of success for getting into the right grad schools!

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ameyarprabhu Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:40 am
Hi Altabor,

First of all, congratulations on the excellent score, and thanks for a motivating debrief. I gave my first Manhattan mock yesterday and scored a meager 530. Hopefully, I will be able to replicate your story as my D-Day approaches on 3rd of September.

I just downloaded the Sentence correction pdf you mentioned, and started viewing it. I am through 5 chapters (videos) already and regretting why I didn't discover this goldmine earlier. It explains the concepts really well. I have a question though - will these series of videos be enough to get a good hold of the concepts required for SC? Or will I have to refer to other material as well. (I am not talking about material for solving SC questions, but just for understanding the concepts)

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Altabor Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:27 am
rajm28 wrote:
Congratulations... And also thank you for the wonderful debrief

What's the break up? Did you give any other mocks apart from the 4 GMAT preps?
I started with a gmatprep test in my first two weeks of studying to understand where I stood (officially) in terms of my 800 score. And I know that people have talked on the forums about how successful Kaplan, Manhattan, and other practice tests could be BUT I thought it was counterproductive to focus on other peoples practice tests when the makers of the official gmat test are willing to give you practice tests.

So, I took the first two practice tests that are free through their software. Then, I bought the $89 pack of 2 and 2 practice tests to further my skills. This was improtant to me because I knew that whatever score I got on the practice tests (that I took under the exact same conditions-timed, white board, ear plugs, 8am sharp, etc) was my ACTUAL progress-not a fluctuation due to repeat questions or difference in scores for Kaplan practice tests or others.

I highly recommend purchasing as much material from official guide as possible. I did not purchase practice question packs but i'm sure they would be helpful as well, because they also time you. The only other purchases I would recommend are the Manhattan book guides.

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rajm28 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:08 am
Congratulations... And also thank you for the wonderful debrief

What's the break up? Did you give any other mocks apart from the 4 GMAT preps?

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davidqlam90 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:02 am
Congratulations and great debrief. Very useful and motivational.

When you said you did every single problem in the OG timed, how did you do that? Did you just find a random group of questions and did a timed set?

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Marty Murray Legendary Member
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Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:06 pm
Altabor wrote:
So here is my progress... my first practice test was on May 2nd after just going over the basics of the gmat material that would be on the official test. this is how I did...(the image below also shows my improvement to my second practice test)
ttps://postimg.org/image/hnslmarw1/" target="_blank">

ttps://postimg.org/image/w1boeqcdd/" target="_blank">

To say the least I was disappointed, I thought I would be starting at 600+ and all the post I had read said that most people could increase their starting score from 50-100 points but its pretty difficult to go up more than 100 points. But I said screw these posts because I am willing to give it all i've got!

...

I ended up getting a 740 on the actual exam! with a 8 score on Integrated Reasoning and haven't gotten my actual essay score back yet! So for all the people who start low on their first practice test DO NOT WORRY! you can do it!! Because I can promise you, it did not come easy for me at all!
Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

_________________
Marty Murray
GMAT Coach
m.w.murray@hotmail.com
http://infinitemindprep.com/
In Person in the New York Area and Online Worldwide

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romajoon90 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:25 am
That's about a point an hour increase from your first mock test. Great Job!

What schools are thinking of applying to?

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