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## 780 (50Q 49V)

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siris Just gettin' started!
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780 (50Q 49V) Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:13 am
Hey everyone,

This is my first post (and probably last, unless you ask me questions!), but this forum has been very helpful for me and I wanted to give something back to the community!

I took my GMAT two days ago, and am thrilled with my score : 780 (50Q 49V)

My prep took around a month and a half, but first a bit of background, I am an engineer, only 1.5y out of school, so math is still pretty fresh in my mind. My main fear starting out was the English part, especially SC.

About a month and a half ago, I started fooling around with questions I found on here, I did a couple of questions of each section from the OG and the questions on GmatPrep, the idea was to know what the types of questions were, and be able to take a meaningful GmatPrep test to see what was my starting point.

I took my first GmatPrep about a month ago, score 720, 48Q 41V.

As soon as I had this done, I hashed out a training program. I am lucky not to work long hours so I was able to study about 2H every day after coming home from work, and 5H on each weekend day. My main goal was to complete every single question on the official guide. I bought the MGMAT books for the verbal questions as I was confident in my math skills. My program looked something like this :

Day 1 : PS, questions 1-30
Day 2 : PS, questions 31-60
...
Day i : PS, (5 questions), DS 1 - 30
Day i+1 : PS, (5 questions), DS 31-60
...
Day j : PS (5 questions), DS (5 questions), CR 1 - 30...

The idea was to have one main subject that you are currently studying, and while you are on that subject, do about 20-30 questions of that subject every day, as well as 5 questions of any previously studied subject. (This program becomes more and more intense towards the end, because you study a bit of every subject, the idea for this program comes from a post on here, I did not invent this and I thank the author, this training program is great!).

During the 2-3 days before starting a new question type, for the English questions (as this was my weakness) I would read through the MGMAT book corresponding to the question type. The most useful by far was the SC, I do not know if this was because this was my greatest weakness, or if this is the best book, but it really helped. I would use the time I spent in public transport for reading the MGMAT books and save my evenings for the questions.

My method for doing the OG questions was :
1. Always use a timer, so that you get the feel of the timing you will have to use
2. When you look at the answers, read the explanation for every wrong answer, and make it clear on your page that you got that answer wrong so you can come back to it later. Keep all your answers.

I aimed to finish the OG questions about 5 days before the GMAT, 5 days before the GMAT I did the second GmatPREP test : 770 q50 v44. A great confidence boost.

I then spent the last couple of days before the GMAT reading over the questions I had done wrong, as well as reading the answers of the last 20 questions of each question type to keep all of the methods fresh in my head. I did nothing GMAT related on the day before the GMAT, I went out with some friends for a drink, and had a good long night's sleep.

On the day for the GMAT (9:30AM for me) got up early, had a nice breakfast, and took the test.

Question strategy :

Math :
The main thing I learned for math was to slow down. When doing the practice questions, most errors were not from lack of knowledge, but from misreading the question, or assuming something I should not have. Sometimes I would also try and read the question quickly, and end up misunderstanding the question, get started with the calculations, and figure out that I was wrong when my result was not among the answer choices.
Therefore I read every question twice, and this was what helped me most on math.

The most helpful tips are to use Venn Diagrams every time you have this kind of question, and when you have "rate/work" type questions, the first thing you should do it get the "rate/speed" for each of the elements as the solution often comes by adding the speeds.

Verbal :
SC : Using splits is very useful on some questions, but only when the splits are easily visible. On some questions, the order of the elements in the sentence is different for every choice, and finding the splits is hard and long. For these questions my strategy was :
-Write down A B C D E
-Look for mistakes in each choice
-If I found a big mistake, which I was sure about, I would write an X next to the letter
-If I found a small mistake, for example if it was wordy, or felt wrong, I would write a dash next to the letter

At the end, if I had a clear choice I would take it, if not, (for example, 3 Xs and 2 dashes) I would go back and read the "dashes" to try and get the best one.

For the other verbal questions, I did not have any particular strategy.

Thank all of you for your all the tips you share on this forum, this is such a great resource.

Thanked by: nandy163, aanujverma
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shreerajp99 Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:47 am
Wow,that's an amazing score!I've a few questions for u:
Did u solve the questions exclusively from OG? Did u refer to earlier OG editions?Also,uve mentioned that ur work schedule wasn't hectic.Did u take leave from office prior to the exam.What kind of questions did u encounter during the exam,especially in quant.
Thanks,
Shreeraj

siris Just gettin' started!
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Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:21 am
My question sources were :
OG, 12th Edition.
The questions on the GmatPrep (You have 90 questions i believe)

Office schedule, I get home around 7, usually have dinner then work from 8 to 10-11, so I can easily get 2-3 hours of work done a day for the GMAT.

I did not take any time off for the test, I had my test on a thursday morning, I talked about it with my boss and he told me that as long as I came back for work on the afternoon i did not have to take a day off. But thats something you have to see with your boss. I did not take any other days off, (I did leave a bit early on the day before the exam, but that's it). As long as you can get a good night's sleep that's all you need on the day before the exam IMO.

The questions in quant were VERY close to everything I had seen in the OG and GmatPrep, this is why i would recommend basing your work on these. I did not have any questions which threw me off or were very different from what i was used to. I had a mix of everything, in about the same proportions as on the GmatPrep exams.

Thanked by: kjchen, feg700
shreerajp99 Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Sat Jun 23, 2012 10:32 am
Thanks for the quick reply!I am one month into preparation phase and planning to take up the exam in August.I'm using Manhattan guides for theory and practicing the relevant questions from OG.Can u plz tell what material u used to prepare for the exam.

siris Just gettin' started!
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Sat Jun 23, 2012 12:31 pm
Just OG 12e, mgmat in verbal and gmatprep software.

janmejay@BTG Just gettin' started!
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:44 am
Wow! very impressive score. Congratulations to you.
How was new Integrated Reasoning section for you?
Do you recommend any special book, material to prepare for new section IR?

bellcurve Rising GMAT Star
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:01 pm
What do you think that helped you the most on SC? What do you suggests the strategy should be for some body who wants (and who already exhausted OG 10, 11, 12) to take the SC from 35/37 to 42/43 level? Reading grammer books? Reading literature and magazines? Redoing OGs? Reading posts?

pankajaphalari Just gettin' started!
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Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:01 pm
Hi Siris ..

Congratulations .. amazing score!!!!

Please guide us for integrated section . How to prepare and what are the sources available for this section.

siris Just gettin' started!
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Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:31 am
IR : The only preparation I did for the IR was the online test (there is one on MBA.com) as well as the IR part in the two GMATPrep exams I did. I scored 8 on both times on these so I decided that no more prep was necessary and concentrated on the quant and verbal sections.

From what I read, the IR part seems to scare a lot of people. For me it was by far the easiest. I was happy to pass the new GMAT instead of the older one with the two essays. If I remember correctly, there was an graph type question (I had a graph and was asked question on it, not very hard as long as you understand the graph). A table type question (you have a table of data that you can sort using the little program on the gmat, and you are asked questions on it). And something that looked more like RC, where you have different elements of data and must look for the answer in them, this was the hardest par of the IR part for me. I would advise you to read all the pieces before starting the questions. Do not try to memorise the information but try to be able to know where the information is, so that when you get one of the questions, you know in which tab to look.

Make sure you read everything carefully, I think i may have made a mistake on the graph part because I did not read the legend correctly. (I noticed it just as I clicked "next"). We'll see what score I get...

For SC, all i did was the OG, and read the MGMAT book, i did not do the excercises in the MGMAT book. However, the MGMAT book really helped me, so that it was i would suggest. (However, as i did not have extensive experience with anything else I can not compare) But from what i had read the consensus around here is that the SC MGMAT is very good. I read this book before starting the OG SC questions. When I started them, whenever i made a mistake, I would write down the "type" of mistake it was. (Parallelism, misplaced mod., subject/verb agreement...) this way, I noticed that most of my errors came from parallelism, so I was extra careful with this on the other questions and on the GMAT. While I don't have my SC score from the GMAT, it seems to have helped...

General : Bear in mind that at the beginning of my GMAT practice I was already scoring 700+, I don't think that the same things that helped me go from 720 to 780 will be helpful going from 620 to 680... However there are many posts on here for all types of situations that are very well written (probably better than mine!).

Vidi.dv Just gettin' started!
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Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:23 pm
Hi Siris,

Many Congrats for the brilliant score,a score anyone would kill for .
I am very much lost from my failure in GMAT and have totally lost the hope to swim again.
Seeing your post I could not stop myself asking you ..what magic you have been spelling..shed some of the rules to me too..I am desperate to crack the GMAT with a respected score and just wondering and finding out the right formula to work on ..as whatever I have tried in past had shattered.

Please request you to plz guide me.

keepintouch_7 Just gettin' started!
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Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:52 pm
Hi Siris,
Congratulations for an awesome score.My GMAT is scheduled on 25th of July.Can you please share if the question level in Quants on actual GMAT is same as GMAT Prep.Many have suggested that Quants is tougher than GMAT Prep.

siris Just gettin' started!
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Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:29 am

Keepintouch : In my opinion the Quant section on the actual GMAT was actually slightly easier than the GMATPrep. During this my practice on the GMATPrep I would often rush to finish 1-2 minutes before the time finished, spending only 1:30 on the last questions. During the GMAT I was stunned to see that I had gotten to the halfway mark in about 20 minutes. Were the questions simpler? Was I more concentrated? Lucky? I do not know. This may be misleading though as I had a two really tough questions at the very end. But since I had gained a lot of time, I afforded myself the luxury of spending 4-5 minutes on each of the two questions and solve them perfectly. Had these questions come earlier, I probably would have guessed so as not to risk running out of time later on, my overall impression and score would probably have not been as good.

keepintouch_7 Just gettin' started!
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Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:37 am
Dear Siris
Thank you for your valued opinion.What strategy do you suggest for maximizing score in Quants.I am currently scoring 47-48 in my GMAT Prep and I want to move to a score of 50.

siris Just gettin' started!
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Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:17 pm
For me, the best strategy is to learn from your mistakes, know what trips you up, and be on the lookout for it.

When I did my practice tests, and went back on my mistakes, most of my errors were not a lack of knowledge per se, but a stupid mistake, more often than not, it was not reading the question correctly. I would rush, read the first part of the question, and then I would unconsciously make up the most probable question, and then try to answer that. On DS, sometimes I would skip over a small part of the question.

Therefore, what I did, was to read every question twice, or at the very least to slow down. This brought two benefits. It prevented me from doing stupid mistakes, and also, it prevented me form trying to solve a question without having the necessary information. Don't try and rush to the calculations but make sure you are reading the question.

A second tip would be (and contrary to a lot of opinions) : Go faster at the beginning. Try and solve the first 15 questions in 1:30 instead of 2. My reasoning is this : The first questions are supposed to be easier, so you should be able to solve them faster and save up some time for the harder ones. Plus, taking time (3+ minutes) on a question is a greater risk in my opinion early on in the test, than it is later. (Taking a long time on one of the last questions, when you have some time saved up is less of a risk). Basically, save up time, so you can spend it when you face tough questions. Try not to get to a point where you have to spend less than two minutes on average on the remaining questions in order to finish the test. One last benefit, having more than enough time gives confidence, "having to rush" is better than rushing a bit to save up time, on a purely confidence and mental level.

Last tip, check up on your time on question 8, 18, 28, etc... It is easy as on question 8 you have 37-8+1 = 30 questions left, so see how much time over the 60 min you have, that is how much "spare" time you have to "spend" on the tough questions.

Once again, this worked for me, it may not work for everyone, particularly those not already scoring high...

keepintouch_7 Just gettin' started!
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Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:12 am
Dear Siris
Thank you for your valuable tips.Can you please share how did you effectively utilize your GMAT Prep Test?Did you give them only once or repeatedly?Did you take any other CATs?

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