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740 After Retake: Target Test Prep Success Story

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deltaguy767 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
05 Jul 2017
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740 After Retake: Target Test Prep Success Story

Post Wed Jul 05, 2017 10:52 am
I took the GMAT last week and scored a 740 (48Q, 44V). Here's my year+ GMAT odyssey:

In January of 2016 I arrived at the decision that I would pursue an MBA and would apply in the Fall for admission in 2017. After soliciting the opinions of some colleagues I purchased several GMAT books (Kaplan, GMAC Official Guides) and began my self-study. Three months later in April I took the GMAT and got a 700 (45Q, 40V) and debated whether to retake. Being fatigued with juggling studying with my job in consulting (including travel for projects), I was not enthusiastic about continuing my studying and retaking for a better score. I put stock in the old adage about the GMAT 'so long as the first digit is a 7' and given I had a strong application with some unique interests and career goals, I thought I would be competitive at the programs I was seeking admission to.

Fast forward to January 2017 and have been rejected or placed on wait-lists for all of my programs, with the common feedback being "We like your application but your GMAT score was too low for our program." Given my Quant percentile stuck out like a sore thumb (58%), I concentrated my improvement efforts there. I began researching Quant-only GMAT prep programs and came across Target Test Prep. I was drawn in by the program's specialization in Quant as well as the positive reviews on a myriad of MBA application and GMAT prep sites. I purchased the 6-Month study plan and began some self-study.

The program where I was waitlisted strongly suggested I re-take before Round 2 decisions were issued in mid-March. I took the exam in early March after about 2 months of self study with Target Test Prep (after 8 months of not touching anything GMAT related) and received the EXACT SAME SCORE as my last sitting 700 (45Q, 40V). I was disappointed and thought I would never be able to break through to a higher score and get into an elite MBA program.

I reached out to Jeff Miller, Target Test Prep's head GMAT tutor and talked him through my situation and background. He immediately zeroed in on my key issue. I was relying on my math skills and knowledge to power me through the Quant section versus trying to understand the GMAT's tricks and traps which separate the high scorers from the above average scorers. I worked with Jeff for 3 months, meeting 1-2 times a week for 1-2 hours each, time and schedules permitting. Jeff was a fantastic coach, pushing me out of my comfort zone with the 'trickiest and nastiest' of GMAT high level questions to get me ready to execute at the elite level.

My practice tests showed significant improvement, and Jeff was confident that I would do well on test day, earning the score I would need to be competitive at the programs I was seeking admission to.

Test day finally came on July 1, 2017, nearly 18 months into my MBA odyssey. When my scores appeared I was filled with relief and happiness: 740 (Q48, V44). The last standardized test I would likely take in my life, finally over. No greater joy can be when you finally throw out all of your used GMAT prep books and bask in the glow of getting into your target score realm.

Without TTP and Jeff's tutoring my road to a 740 score would have been even longer and perhaps achieved purely though 'luck' or 'the right questions on the right day' versus skill. The confidence I had entering the testing center on test day was due in no small part to the sessions with Jeff and the materials of TTP.

For students looking into elite MBA programs, my advice from a GMAT perspective:

1) The average GMAT should be your target (and round up to the higher base 10 value)
2) Plan from the outset on taking the GMAT twice (unless you score above the value in #1)
3) Don't just depend on 'raw math ability,' the GMAT has plenty of tricks up its sleeve not to mention the clock!
4) If you can, get a tutor! The GMAT is becoming even more 'tactical' than the SAT, especially with the 'arms race' to high 700 scores!

Highly recommend Target Test Prep for any person looking to boost their GMAT Quant scores, especially for those with travel intensive jobs. The web-based tool along with tutoring conducted over WebEx/Skype enables you to take your GMAT prep with you on the road. Jeff is a great coach from a tutoring perspective and would highly recommend him as well for those who are likely to use those services.

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