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710 - Great to be finished!!! (48Q, 40V)

This topic has 1 member reply
cgiles01 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
24 May 2007
Posted:
29 messages

710 - Great to be finished!!! (48Q, 40V)

Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:49 am
After 3 months and 100's of dollars in Starbucks later, I have finally finished the GMAT. If you would have told me that I was going to get a 710 at the beginning of my studies, I would have been thrilled, but I found myself slightly disappointed on Saturday with my score. I think my disappointment stems from my 780 (51Q, 55V) on my Kaplan Ultimate Practice Test (practice CAT at the actual testing center). I wasn't sure how much weight to put on my practice tests but, the consensus of this forum seemed to be that the Kaplan tests were the most difficult, so I think I let my 750+ dreams flow freely over the last 2 weeks. I don't think I will take the test again. I would love to go to Stanford GSB, so I hope my 710, 2 years Investment Banking / 1 year corporate M&A experience and 3.5 undergrad GPA will give me a shot! If anyone has any insight on my chances or a recommendation for a retake, I would greatly appreciate it.

I feel obligated to share my experiences because reading those of others on this forum was very helpful. Beat The GMAT is an amazing resource! Thank you Eric!!!

Prep:

I shelled out the $1,500 for the Kaplan classroom based class. My instructor hadn't even taken the GMAT but was a Quant jock and was very helpful in that respect. My recommendation regarding the Kaplan Class is as follows:

Pros:
1. The weekly classes and course work keep you focused throughout your study Period.
2. It is great to have someone to review your AWA responses from your practice tests
3. The class has the potential to introduce you to a group of people who could potentially be study partners (Although I took the class with 2 people who got below a 400 on the diagnostic and were striving for a 500, not exactly the group I was hoping for)
4. Instructor is a great resource for questions on specific problems
5. Kaplan Methods for each problem type are very helpful
6. Practice CATs and Quiz banks are also very helpful
7. Ability to take a test at the center might be worth the $ by itself, I recommend this to everyone, not sure if it is available outside of Kaplan, if you know of any way please post, I think it would be useful to all
Cons:
1. IT COSTS $1,500!!!
2. This forum is supplementary to much of the covered material
Overall: If you are properly motivated and do not have difficulty grasping the more difficult quantitative material, Buy OG 11, Kaplan GMAT 800, and read this forum and you can spend the $1,500 on the "I just beat the GMAT" partyor put it toward tuition, its up to you.

I took the diagnostic GMAT at the Kaplan center with zero preparation so I could have a good idea of where I stood. I got a 630. After the first class, I designed a study schedule. I spent a solid week (2-4 hours per day M-F) on each of the 5 question types and starting in the 4th week, I took a practice CAT every Saturday at 9am (same date and time as my actual appointment). Every Sunday I spent several hours reviewing the questions I had missed on the practice CAT the day before (I believe this process is crucial). I kept an excel spreadsheet with my performance of all question types, subject areas and overall Q and V performances for all practice CAT to help identify strengths and weaknesses. After I had identified my weakness and completed a full week of each question type, I focused on improving my week areas.

Last two weeks of Study: "Go Time"

Two weeks before the test, I visited the Stanford GSB (went to classes, spoke with admissions people, took a tour, ate lunch with students) purely for motivation. On the way home I decided to dedicate my self 100% to the GMAT for the final 2 weeks and I did. I decided to go to Starbucks everyday after work at 5pm and stay until 11pm (Home was too distracting with my super-hot fianc hanging around). I broke up the 6 hour study sessions with a 4 mile run (Many people overlook the physical endurance aspect of the GMAT, don't do it! The run helped my endurance and to keep focused for 6 hours). I focused all of my efforts on completing the last 100 problems of all sections of the OG (Thanks to the recommendation of Beat The GMAT). On the weekend before my test I studied at Starbucks 12 hours all 3 days (Thanks to Memorial Day!) I returned to my after work Starbucks routine for the final week (I spent so much time at Starbucks in two weeks that everyone there knew my name and one of the girls who worked there even asked me out!) I took the day before the test off and did about a two hour review in the morning, worked out, went out to lunch with some friends, watched rocky, got a massage, had dinner and watched RUDY (great motivator!) with my fianc and went to bed.

Test Day!

I woke up at 6:30 for my 9am test, threw on my ipod and began to focus. I made my self breakfast (two eggs, toast and OJ) and began to visualize succeeding on the test. I arrived at the test center, which I was already familiar with, thanks to Kaplan, at 8am. I walked through the adjacent park, just as I had done the week before until 8:30 and then went into the test center. After a quick review of the rules, an ID check, a photo, and a fingerprint, I was selecting the schools in a private room (Lucked out here, there was one computer in a small room and 8 others in a larger room)

I think I had my best performance to date on the AWA section. I finished both essays with 5 minutes to proof-read. I think the Kaplan method was very helpful here. I am hoping for a 5-6 here, but I will have to wait 3 weeks to know for sure.

I had a delicious PB&J and some milk on the break and sat outside and ate it.

The math section was very similar to the questions I had encountered in the OG. I felt great throughout the entire test. My only concern was that I was selecting "E" very often, but I tried to ignore that. I had to guess on the last two problems because I ran out of time, but I was not concerned about that because when I got a 55V score on the last practice test I had missed the last two problems, so I knew they did not weigh heavily on my score.

I returned to my outdoor break spot and had a banana, a granola bar and some nuts.

During the verbal section I felt terrible for some reason. It took too long to answer the first few questions and I felt rushed the rest of the time. I tried my hardest to focus on each question as it came and to ignore the clock dilemma I was in. I was actually surprised with the 40 I received because I felt like I did terrible. When it was all over and my 710 came up, I was slightly disappointed but relieved at the same time.

For any of you that are interested here are my practice test scores:

Day 1: Kaplan Diagnostic GMAT: 630 (38Q, 38V) I Think I got lucky here on V section
Week 3: Kaplan CAT 1: 610 (41Q, 30V)
Week 4: Kaplan CAT 2: 630 (41Q, 34V)
Week 5: Kaplan CAT 3: 670 (48Q, 33V)
Week 6: Kaplan CAT 4: 660 (47Q, 33V)
Week 7: Kaplan CAT 5: 720 (47Q, 37V)
Week 8: GMAT Prep Test 1: 660 (47Q, 33V)
Week 9: Kaplan Ultimate Practice Test: 780 (51Q, 55V)

I hope this post was helpful. I am happy to answer any questions you may have and I would appreciate any insight/advise anyone has on the retake. Best of luck to you all!!!

Chris.

_________________
Giles

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:54 pm
cgiles01 wrote:
After 3 months and 100's of dollars in Starbucks later, I have finally finished the GMAT. If you would have told me that I was going to get a 710 at the beginning of my studies, I would have been thrilled, but I found myself slightly disappointed on Saturday with my score. I think my disappointment stems from my 780 (51Q, 55V) on my Kaplan Ultimate Practice Test (practice CAT at the actual testing center). I wasn't sure how much weight to put on my practice tests but, the consensus of this forum seemed to be that the Kaplan tests were the most difficult, so I think I let my 750+ dreams flow freely over the last 2 weeks. I don't think I will take the test again. I would love to go to Stanford GSB, so I hope my 710, 2 years Investment Banking / 1 year corporate M&A experience and 3.5 undergrad GPA will give me a shot! If anyone has any insight on my chances or a recommendation for a retake, I would greatly appreciate it.

I feel obligated to share my experiences because reading those of others on this forum was very helpful. Beat The GMAT is an amazing resource! Thank you Eric!!!

Prep:

I shelled out the $1,500 for the Kaplan classroom based class. My instructor hadn't even taken the GMAT but was a Quant jock and was very helpful in that respect. My recommendation regarding the Kaplan Class is as follows:

Pros:
1. The weekly classes and course work keep you focused throughout your study Period.
2. It is great to have someone to review your AWA responses from your practice tests
3. The class has the potential to introduce you to a group of people who could potentially be study partners (Although I took the class with 2 people who got below a 400 on the diagnostic and were striving for a 500, not exactly the group I was hoping for)
4. Instructor is a great resource for questions on specific problems
5. Kaplan Methods for each problem type are very helpful
6. Practice CATs and Quiz banks are also very helpful
7. Ability to take a test at the center might be worth the $ by itself, I recommend this to everyone, not sure if it is available outside of Kaplan, if you know of any way please post, I think it would be useful to all
Cons:
1. IT COSTS $1,500!!!
2. This forum is supplementary to much of the covered material
Overall: If you are properly motivated and do not have difficulty grasping the more difficult quantitative material, Buy OG 11, Kaplan GMAT 800, and read this forum and you can spend the $1,500 on the "I just beat the GMAT" partyor put it toward tuition, its up to you.

I took the diagnostic GMAT at the Kaplan center with zero preparation so I could have a good idea of where I stood. I got a 630. After the first class, I designed a study schedule. I spent a solid week (2-4 hours per day M-F) on each of the 5 question types and starting in the 4th week, I took a practice CAT every Saturday at 9am (same date and time as my actual appointment). Every Sunday I spent several hours reviewing the questions I had missed on the practice CAT the day before (I believe this process is crucial). I kept an excel spreadsheet with my performance of all question types, subject areas and overall Q and V performances for all practice CAT to help identify strengths and weaknesses. After I had identified my weakness and completed a full week of each question type, I focused on improving my week areas.

Last two weeks of Study: "Go Time"

Two weeks before the test, I visited the Stanford GSB (went to classes, spoke with admissions people, took a tour, ate lunch with students) purely for motivation. On the way home I decided to dedicate my self 100% to the GMAT for the final 2 weeks and I did. I decided to go to Starbucks everyday after work at 5pm and stay until 11pm (Home was too distracting with my super-hot fianc hanging around). I broke up the 6 hour study sessions with a 4 mile run (Many people overlook the physical endurance aspect of the GMAT, don't do it! The run helped my endurance and to keep focused for 6 hours). I focused all of my efforts on completing the last 100 problems of all sections of the OG (Thanks to the recommendation of Beat The GMAT). On the weekend before my test I studied at Starbucks 12 hours all 3 days (Thanks to Memorial Day!) I returned to my after work Starbucks routine for the final week (I spent so much time at Starbucks in two weeks that everyone there knew my name and one of the girls who worked there even asked me out!) I took the day before the test off and did about a two hour review in the morning, worked out, went out to lunch with some friends, watched rocky, got a massage, had dinner and watched RUDY (great motivator!) with my fianc and went to bed.

Test Day!

I woke up at 6:30 for my 9am test, threw on my ipod and began to focus. I made my self breakfast (two eggs, toast and OJ) and began to visualize succeeding on the test. I arrived at the test center, which I was already familiar with, thanks to Kaplan, at 8am. I walked through the adjacent park, just as I had done the week before until 8:30 and then went into the test center. After a quick review of the rules, an ID check, a photo, and a fingerprint, I was selecting the schools in a private room (Lucked out here, there was one computer in a small room and 8 others in a larger room)

I think I had my best performance to date on the AWA section. I finished both essays with 5 minutes to proof-read. I think the Kaplan method was very helpful here. I am hoping for a 5-6 here, but I will have to wait 3 weeks to know for sure.

I had a delicious PB&J and some milk on the break and sat outside and ate it.

The math section was very similar to the questions I had encountered in the OG. I felt great throughout the entire test. My only concern was that I was selecting "E" very often, but I tried to ignore that. I had to guess on the last two problems because I ran out of time, but I was not concerned about that because when I got a 55V score on the last practice test I had missed the last two problems, so I knew they did not weigh heavily on my score.

I returned to my outdoor break spot and had a banana, a granola bar and some nuts.

During the verbal section I felt terrible for some reason. It took too long to answer the first few questions and I felt rushed the rest of the time. I tried my hardest to focus on each question as it came and to ignore the clock dilemma I was in. I was actually surprised with the 40 I received because I felt like I did terrible. When it was all over and my 710 came up, I was slightly disappointed but relieved at the same time.

For any of you that are interested here are my practice test scores:

Day 1: Kaplan Diagnostic GMAT: 630 (38Q, 38V) I Think I got lucky here on V section
Week 3: Kaplan CAT 1: 610 (41Q, 30V)
Week 4: Kaplan CAT 2: 630 (41Q, 34V)
Week 5: Kaplan CAT 3: 670 (48Q, 33V)
Week 6: Kaplan CAT 4: 660 (47Q, 33V)
Week 7: Kaplan CAT 5: 720 (47Q, 37V)
Week 8: GMAT Prep Test 1: 660 (47Q, 33V)
Week 9: Kaplan Ultimate Practice Test: 780 (51Q, 55V)

I hope this post was helpful. I am happy to answer any questions you may have and I would appreciate any insight/advise anyone has on the retake. Best of luck to you all!!!

Chris.
Excellent score and excellent post! Thanks so much for sharing your experience here.

Best of luck to you in the future!

_________________
Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

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