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Can't believe I did it! (from 670 to 730)

This topic has 9 member replies
ettalin Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Can't believe I did it! (from 670 to 730)

Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:48 am
NOTE: I am only focusing on the verbal preparation in this post, as this is the area I struggle with.

Hi Everyone,

As I am writing this post, I still have a big smile on my face. It's such a relief.
I've gained so much help on this website so now is my turn to give back and share my two cents.
(Apologize ahead of time, this is my first post, so it may appear incoherent or unorganized....)


I started to study for the beast back in late 2007. I took the on-line course and finished questions in the Official Guide for about 6 weeks. Then work became extremely busy so I had to postpone my tests several times. At this time, I’ve lost the momentum and decided to put my MBA dreams on hold. (It seems like everyone went through this phase >_<) This has been the unhappiest period in my life time since I always had the GMAT in the back of my mind.

I finally decided to pick up the books again in late 2009 and eager to get over with this nightmare. This time I enrolled in Manhattan GMAT. Verbal has always been my weakest areas, so I probably spent 60-70% of my time on the verbal and 40-30% on math. I do gain great foundation by reading their materials however; it’s hard for me to apply these rules on the real test. I spent so much time memorizing these rules, at the end, I got these rules mixed up and all tangled in my head. On the real test, I was not able to read in any questions and had to rush and guessed a lot of questions. On my first try, I got a 670.

I went ahead and used this score for my application. But I know deep in my mind that this might be the breaking point for my overall application. And I was right! One of the school got back to me saying that they felt that my score didn’t reflect the overall quality of my application; and they’ve asked me to retake the test and try to improve my score. As a result, I was forced to battle with this beast once again.

From my previous test experience, I clearly know that SC is my weakest area. So I need someone to direct me onto the right path. I decided to try the private tutoring, called up Charles Biblios (www.gmatninja.com) and started to prepare for my test in a month.

Highlights of my tutoring experience:

- Materials used: Official Guide, Blue verbal guide and LSAT materials (for CR and RC)
- Teaching methods:
(SC) Charles highlighted few basic and the most fundamental grammar rules for me. Most importantly, he helped me to spot the SC traps that I missed before. After few sessions, I’ve seen significant improvement when doing the SC questions.
(CR & RC) As I’ve exhausted most of the questions in the OG and the blue verbal guide, LSAT material is my only option left. I was reluctant to try these materials at first, since people always feel these questions are more challenging. Surprisingly, I did not do as bad as I anticipated and this has indirectly boosted my confidence.
What I gained the most from Charles is learn to apply the rules I learned previously and applied them in answering questions. I developed the great sense of what GMAT is testing and developed the instinct to spot the traps.

Hopefully some of you find this post helpful. Good luck everyone!

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Osirus@VeritasPrep GMAT Instructor Default Avatar
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:59 am
Congrats, I know you are on cloud 9. You earned that score!

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kvcpk Legendary Member
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:35 am
Congratulations!!

vinny_r78 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:52 am
hi ettalin,
Congrats on your achievement.

I have few questions.
1) How do you compare LSAT CRs and GMAT CRs?
2) How much was your accuracy in CRs before you gave your first exam (670) ?
3) What is your split-up on both the first and second exams?

Thanks in advance for your help,

-Vinod

ssgmatter Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:54 am
Congratulations!

Please discuss how would you compare the level of verbal in real gmat with the prep material available in the market

Good luck for the applications!

Cheers!

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Amit

gmatninja Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:34 pm
Etta, I just wanted to offer a very belated public thank-you for the public shout-out. Embarrassingly, I just found out about this post from one of my other students... almost three months later! You're a lovable person with an amazing work ethic, and it was an honor to help out. You absolutely deserved that score!

Vinod and Phil, I'll do my best to answer some of your questions, just in case either of you are still battling the GMAT beast... and maybe Etta will chime back in with her advice as well! For what it's worth, I'm a huge, huge fan of LSAT materials for GMAT students who hope to crack 700. The questions in the GMAT OG cover a broad range of difficulty levels, and only a small percentage of OG questions resemble the nasty stuff that a 700+ test-taker will see on the actual exam. The LSAT, by contrast, is packed with questions that are as hard (or harder) than the GMAT's toughest questions. If you can consistently kick butt on the LSAT, you'll slaughter the GMAT CR and RC questions.

To be fair, there are some cosmetic differences: LSAT RC passages are longer, the level of language on the LSAT is sometimes unnecessarily high, the time limits are different (I urge my students to take 50-60 minutes per LSAT section instead of 35), and certain LSAT questions (especially parallel logic) don't quite sound like anything that the GMAT offers. But both exams test exactly the same skills (your ability to apply excruciatingly literal logic to miserably convoluted and nuanced passages), and I'm convinced that the LSAT is an indispensable supplement to the GMAT OGs.

I think that the verbal methods taught in test-prep books (particularly MGMAT and PowerScore) can be enormously helpful, but I personally believe that verbal practice tests produced by test-prep companies should be used sparingly. It's insanely difficult for even the best companies to perfectly reproduce the nuance of official CR/RC questions, and it's usually best to stick with retired LSAT and GMAT questions for the bulk of your practice.

I hope this helps. Good luck to all of you!

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uwhusky Legendary Member
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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:32 pm
Thank you for some noteworthy information, ninja!

I guess now I have to go buy that LSAT book...I have a shelf full of GMAT books =(.

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outreach Legendary Member
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Post Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:25 pm
great score

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gorginger Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:56 pm
deleted



Last edited by gorginger on Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

gmatninja Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:18 pm
Wow... I have no idea who "gorginger" is, but here are some honest facts about my tutoring practice:


1) All of the reviews about my services on BTG are 100% real, and I did not write or solicit any of them. After Hari posted some positive comments about me on BTG, students began to find me after reading his comments, and then chose to post a positive review when they were pleased with my services. Again, the reviews were their choice--not mine. I cannot control the fact that some of them have not been regular BTG contributors. And for what it's worth, I consciously post very sparingly on BTG, exactly because I don't want to be seen as using the site for personal gain.

2) I have never "promptly turned down" anybody who has ever asked me for references of any sort, and I have never been asked specifically for references from these success stories. Of course, all of these reviewers would be happy to serve as references, and I could easily connect a potential student with them... but nobody has ever asked!

3) I very rarely get asked for official score report, and I don't think that "gorginger" ever did so. I went through my emails, and found only one person who has asked me for a score report in the past year... and I told her that I would be happy to show it to her. My 780 is real, and I have the reports to prove it.

4) Nobody has ever asked me for both an official score report and to identify the writers of my online reviews. I can't understand why somebody would make this up, but gorginger's story is, unfortunately, completely false.

5) I don't necessarily mind that somebody is posting negative things about me online--I'm not perfect, and not all of my students achieve their dreams. But unfortunately, "gorginger" seems to be inventing facts. If you're going to speak badly of me, please do so in an honest, well-informed way.


I pride myself on being brutally honest, both as a tutor and as a human being... and I could provide dozens of references from recent years who would enthusiastically endorse my character and my work. I don't make any guarantees or claims that I can't back up--there are no shams or scams here, just a guy trying to make an honest living as a tutor.

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