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GMAT Killer: 490 to 770 in 3 months

This topic has 8 expert replies and 47 member replies
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joshcollins Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:51 pm
Busytrying,

Thanks for thanks! If I can do it, anyone can do it. How far along are you in your studies?

Josh

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Busytrying Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:29 pm
Hi Joshcollins

Well, I started on my journey to the MBA end 2011, but only seriously started on the GMAT now since August. I use Economist and Magoosh, as well as the OG, GMATPrep software and Veritas' free maths questions. My first test attempt is on 28th October and my quant results so far are abismal (scaled score 13, which is 3rd percentile so I was in shock). I'm working on it. Verbal is better with scaled score 28 which I understand is 48th percentile (just above average) so I can improve there too.

I'm not struggling too badly with motivation but inconsistency of how much time I actually get after work & commute is my killer, and I've had a few personal struggles lately slowing me down. I only did one CAT so far and scored 390.... so I'm assuming I won't realistically be satisfied with my improvements by the 28th Oct though there are ways to drastically improve from where I am now.

Good thing I scheduled it early enough to retake before INSEAD R1...!

Reading stories like yours is inspiring, thank you again.

abhiashu Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Sep 12, 2013 7:19 am
Josh,

Congrats for the Killer score!!

I have a small question for you. You said you prepared for 3 months for your GMAT.
How many hours per day you invested on an average (Weekdays and Weekends both)?

Cheers,
Abhishek

changemaker Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Post Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:02 am
Josh, this is a killer score. Congrats!

How did you do the OG Problems on the Enpower course? I am guessing now (since I have just finished stage 1) - the Quizzes do have some OG questions but not all OG questions. Did you go over all the OG questions under timed conditions?

joshcollins Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:23 pm
Hi everyone,

Busytrying - with a Q13, I think that you probably need to review some math basics. The Empowergmat course listed a bunch of free links at Khan Academy that can probably help you there. It sounds like the more time you have, the better. My study plan worked for me because I devoted the full 3 months to it. Maybe you can do it in less time, but it sounds like you have a tougher time finding time to study. There's no way to hit the big scores without committing the right amount of time. You might have to push your test date back.

Abhishek - My study time was pretty consistent, but there were times when I couldn't do a lot (summer got busy, I had to travel for 2 weddings, etc.). Normally, I'd do 2-3 hours a day during the week and 4-5 hours on weekends. There was lots of review time; I went back and redid a bunch of the assignments and quizzes that I did at the beginning of my studies, to make sure that I remembered everything. SC practice was like that too - constant review. I can say that it was worth it though. My official GMAT was really easy to follow. I worked hard and I was tired at the end, but I was ready to handle everything that came my way.

changemaker - The Empower course broke down the OG into very specific sets, so you'll jump around the book a bit. In the early going, I got the sense that it was just to recognize and practice tactics. In the later parts of the course, I started to time myself. One of the things that echoed throughout the course, which I believe, is that if you write everything down and practice the tactics that they teach, then most of the GMAT is straightforward. It HAS to be because it's a standardized test. Pacing improves over time (it's true, I found myself moving faster) and the worst thing that you can do on a question is stare at it. I don't think that I did every question in the OG, but I did most of them.

Best of luck everyone. Keep working hard. You can do it.

Josh

kelleygrad05 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:43 am
I was wondering if you'd provide the Quant/Verbal breakdowns of your scores leading up to your actual test. And super big congrats to you.

joshcollins Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:10 pm
kelleygrad05,

Here are my score breakdowns. Are you looking for anything in particular? At certain points during my studies, I would focus on a particular area of the GMAT and sometimes redo material (from the Empower course or OG, for example) for a week and I usually saw some type of improvement.

490 (Q35, V24)
540 (Q40, V22)
550 (Q41, V23)
630 (Q43, V32)
680 (Q48, V35)
680 (Q48, V36)
730 (Q49, V41)
770 (Q50, V45)

Josh

monir.sikder Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:59 am
Dear Brother Josh, I have got 33% overall on the SC quiz in empower course. Its a disaster!!!
Now practicing OG SC.
my scores so far are:
first 25 = 88%, second 25 = 68%, thrid 25 = 64%. on first 75 questions it has come down to 73%.
Am i improving or going down?
Pls advice.

Thnx,
Monir

Post Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:14 pm
Hi monir.sikder,

Your performance shows an interesting "disconnect." If you can correctly answer 75% of the SCs in a book, but only 33% of the SCs in an online program, then there might be a physical problem that needs to be solved. We have to take your knowledge and properly adjust your performance to a different setting (the computer).

How have you performed on SCs on your practice CATs?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

joshcollins Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:00 pm
monir,

I think SCs come down to 2 things:

1) Making sure that you have the rules memorized
2) Spotting when to use them (and noticing the variations)

I learned to treat SCs like a big game. If I saw one "part" of a phrase, I'd look for the other. So, if the answers used the words IS/ARE, I knew to look for the subject and pick the verb that matched. If I saw the word "more", I knew I needed the word "than". etc. In the OG, the questions are mostly ordered in terms of difficulty, so you might be great on "easy" SCs but need more practice on harder ones. Also, you have to be careful about how often you're guessing - grammar is a set of rules - make sure you know the rules and you won't have to guess.

Josh

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monir.sikder Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:02 am
Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com wrote:
Hi monir.sikder,

Your performance shows an interesting "disconnect." If you can correctly answer 75% of the SCs in a book, but only 33% of the SCs in an online program, then there might be a physical problem that needs to be solved. We have to take your knowledge and properly adjust your performance to a different setting (the computer).

How have you performed on SCs on your practice CATs?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
I HAVE DONE BOTH ON COMPUTER.
I have ebook.
I dont know what happened.
my performance on the CAT was a disaster! Q 39, V 26!!! I got 550 on my first prep-CAT.
I am shattered!!!
Dont know what to do. Registered for Mid-November!
I need to work for a miracle!!!! From 550 to dont know where?
Any advice?



Last edited by monir.sikder on Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:09 am; edited 1 time in total

monir.sikder Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:06 am
joshcollins wrote:
monir,

I think SCs come down to 2 things:

1) Making sure that you have the rules memorized
2) Spotting when to use them (and noticing the variations)

I learned to treat SCs like a big game. If I saw one "part" of a phrase, I'd look for the other. So, if the answers used the words IS/ARE, I knew to look for the subject and pick the verb that matched. If I saw the word "more", I knew I needed the word "than". etc. In the OG, the questions are mostly ordered in terms of difficulty, so you might be great on "easy" SCs but need more practice on harder ones. Also, you have to be careful about how often you're guessing - grammar is a set of rules - make sure you know the rules and you won't have to guess.

Josh
Dear Josh,
Thanks for the advice.

The moment I got 550 on my first practice test and saw your post i knew ur advice can help me as starting point is very much similar. However, I have seen ur post and chkd the empower thing and liked it...
Enrolled on empower and practicing. But I think I need to work harder. Registered for Mid-November!!! God knows what gonna happen to me.

thnx,
Monir

Busytrying Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Test Date:
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Post Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:23 am
joshcollins wrote:
Hi everyone,

Busytrying - with a Q13, I think that you probably need to review some math basics. The Empowergmat course listed a bunch of free links at Khan Academy that can probably help you there. It sounds like the more time you have, the better. My study plan worked for me because I devoted the full 3 months to it. Maybe you can do it in less time, but it sounds like you have a tougher time finding time to study. There's no way to hit the big scores without committing the right amount of time. You might have to push your test date back.
Thank you Joshcollins. Indeed I'm considering pushing it back.

SofiaC87 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:32 pm
That sounds like great achievement Smile Next stop...business school!

I just started studying for the GMAT earlier this month and after my first CAT I ended up with a score in the 400's as well Sad I am aiming for 650 at least. My study plan sounds similar to how yours was (3 months, 2 hours on weekdays, 5 hours on weekends) but I'm wondering, have you ever considered taking the courses? I have my first Manhattan GMAT trail course tonight but the cost of the 9-week course is a bit off putting to me. I feel like I could learn the same strategy studying by myself as I would in the class.

What do you think? Have you stumbled across this dilemma during your GMAT studies?

Post Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:40 pm
Hi Josh,

What scores did you get in your CAT on mba.com.

I could use that a check as to where I am currently.

Thanks

Himanshu

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