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760- I just beat the GMAT!

This topic has 3 member replies
bjm8 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
05 Nov 2006
Posted:
5 messages

760- I just beat the GMAT!

Post Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:56 am
Just took the GMAT this weekend... managed to get a 760 (on my first try)!

I just wanted to thank this site for some very useful information.

To anyone looking to prepare or better their GMAT score, be sure to read the stickies in this forum - they really help!


Brett

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:27 am
Fantastic work, Brett!

Can you share your study strategy and/or test day experience with the forum as well? We're ALL interested in seeing how you did it.

Congrats!

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Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

bjm8 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
05 Nov 2006
Posted:
5 messages
Post Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:19 pm
Long post below, but this should shed some light on my study methods and experience....


=========================
Study Strategy
=========================

- My study strategy consisted of essentially self-study (ie. book study, LOTS of practice tests, and website forum help). My adivce on this is - know your personality and how you work. If you're like me, and get bored in classes and like to work at your own pace - my study method may work for you. You have to remember, it takes a lot of dedication, as each practice test takes approx 3 hours to complete, and I went through probably two-dozen practice tests (both paper-based, and CAT) throughout my study period. I spent countless nights after work simply at the computer taking tests rather than going out / hanging out / watching TV / etc... If you use my method, remember you'll probably be doing the same.

- If you prefer more guidance or a more structured environment, I'd recommend taking a class. Although they are somewhat expensive (a big turn-off for me, especially considering my learning method), many people swear by them and appear to have gotten very good results from them.

- I studied off-and-on for about 8 months. This may sound like a long time, and I admit, it was. I was probably ready in much less time, but everytime I'd feel confident, my company would force me to travel, essentially ceasing any "productive" studying for 1 to 2 weeks.

- It's difficult to describe how I knew when I was ready to take the test. I guess the easiest gauge is to actively look at HOW you are answering the questions as well as looking at the # correct. For example, if you get an abstract math problem that would undoubetdly require time-consuming equations, and immediately go to the 'plugging in' method to save time, that is one sign. Another example would be being able to break the sentence correction problems down into the the most widely-used sentence correction categories, without thinking about it (ie. vague pronoun reference, parallel construction, etc). On the GMAT, it's not just getting the right answer, but it's also doing it QUICKLY.

- I was pretty happy with the Princeton Review's 2006 GMAT book (w/ the CD). The practice tests and information covered was dead-on with what I saw in the GMAT, and their test taking strategies really worked for me. One qualm I had with the Princeton Review's book was their inadequate coverage on the AWA section. Their philosophy was essentally, 'blow it off, as no one really cares about it anyway'. This was reflected in their AWA section (about 50 pages, most of which is useless information if English is your first language). Their AWA section did not contain even ONE full sample essay... I had to then rely mostly on the AWA advice and stickies on this website. If you're looking for AWA advice, look somewhere other than the Princeton Review book...

- I used Kaplan's GMAT book and CD as well, but wasn't as impressed. I wasn't very happy with their CD - they asked some off the wall questions, especially in the Math section. I didn't even see anything close to these questions on the real GMAT. Now I may be an isolated case, but a lot of the CAT's on the Kaplan CD didn't seem relevant, and my scores were the lowest (630 - 680, about 100 points lower than most everything else) out of any practice testing I had done. Only later did I find out that Kaplan says add about 100 points to your practice score when gauging what you'd get on the real GMAT.

- I also did all the disclosed paper GMAT tests I could get my hands on. These worked well, but seemed a little easier than the CAT's I tried. If you have the resources, try your hand at these, but don't expect to score an 800 on the CAT GMAT, even if you get all the paper-based questions right...




====================
Testing Experience
====================

- The worst part of my testing experince was the night before. I stayed at my parent's place that night, as it was close to the only place that I could get an appointment for (I live about 4 hours away, so commuting wouldn't have been a good idea either). When combined with an awkard sleeping place, my nerves kept me from sleeping. I probably got about 2 - 3 hours sleep the night before. There was no getting around it. I don't know how someone can combat this, if they're a worrying type. Simply saying "don't worry" doesn't exactly work, and everyone's different. But realize, if you're like me, you'll probably not get much sleep the night before, so be prepared - I had to resort to NyQuil in order to fall asleep.


- That morning I ate a light breakfast - a bowl of cereal and some OJ. I also had about 3 cups of coffee, which about what I take in throughout a normal day at work - not too much to get me overly-jittery, but enough to work out the 3-hours-of-sleep bugs.

- I used the earplugs they gave. Someone started their test about 10 minutes before I did, and when I sat down to take the test, the sounds of them typing away on the keyboard were driving me nuts. Luckily the earplugs were there, and they worked well for me. Some don't like them, but I'm used to earplugs, and they didn't bother me.

- The AWA sections went much quicker than I expected. Normally, 30 minutes was plenty for me, but I found myself still revising and typing with one minute left. I think this was partially due to me getting my brain warmed up and ready to go.

- The CAT threw me a tough problem about 6 questions in - some complex probability problem involving x number of blue objects, y number of green, z number of red... Something that involved lots of work. I used some elimination methods and took the problem down to two potential answers, but this took me about 3 or 4 minutes. At this point, rather than wasting more time, I bit the bullet and took a logical guess. Based off my Math score (50), I probably got it right. As you're preparing, you should anticipate having to guess an answer and move on. Hopefully you won't run into the situation of having to guess, but you should be prepared in case you do and be able maximize your chances of answering correctly (ie, narrow down to two answers).

- Verbal went smoothly, I don't recall any specifics from this portion, so I probably missed the ones I struggled on, and nailed the ones I didn't.



I think that about covers most of it, but I'm sure there are some things I forgot. If someone is interested in further information, let me know. I'll be glad to sit down and think some more, and provide anything I forgot.

GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:18 pm
Thanks for the thorough post! Best of luck to you in your apps!

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