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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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Rory P Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
08 Sep 2008
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Target GMAT Score:
780
Post Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:16 am
salochi wrote:
HI Josh u have done an amazing job. I got 450 in my first CAT and then I quit studying Gmat. Your debrief give me new courage and I have started studying fm Manhattans series. How did u prepared ur quant Can u pls explain a little more in detail and do write about ur verbal experiances too.
Dude - dont quit. I got in four hundreds on first test. Got 670 on test day and accepted at top school. Don't quit.

Thanked by: Ngoc Nguyen
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prestonb351 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
18 Sep 2013
Posted:
2 messages
Post Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:48 pm
This is the part of this post I've been trying to rack my head around:

6) Learn which questions to avoid. I dumped 4 questions (2 in the Quant and 2 in the Verbal) because I was told to dump them. I can’t argue with the advice or the results.

I always guess on questions at the end of the section.

Is that good/bad?

How can I tell which questions to avoid? Wouldn't that ruin my score?

Any advice?

deez Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
01 Dec 2013
Posted:
3 messages
Post Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:51 pm
Hey Josh,

I rushed taking my GMAT the first time without much studying at all. My score was very similar to your first one. Now i'm going to be taking the GMAT again, and your story has given me the motivation to crush the GMAT. Thanks.

iced!tea Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
20 May 2012
Posted:
1 messages
Post Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:44 pm
Reading your post is perfect timing for me ramping up my study path to taking the GMAT.

I own all of the MGMAT material from purchasing it back in June, and life just got in the way. Not anymore.

Congratulations on an excellent score, I can't wait to produce something similar in three months!!!

Jeff

gmaster328 Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:28 pm
Wow! Inspiring!

joshcollins wrote:
Hi everyone,

When I used to lurk on this site before becoming a member, I liked reading about how people had done well on the GMAT and I’m happy to say that I can add my story to that list of GMAT killers!

The Basics:

Timeframe:
3 months (late May to late August)

Books/Programs Used:
OG 13th edition Book
Manhattan GMAT SC Book
Kaplan Premier Book
Empowergmat Course
2 CATs and questions from mba.com
CATs from ManhattanGMAT
Free Videos and articles on Youtube, GMATPrepNow, etc.
Beat The GMAT Forum

Studying:
Usually 2-3 hours on weekdays, but I always took one day off/week
Usually 4-5 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. Usually 1 CAT on the weekend with review (weekend usually included going back to redo old questions, even questions I got right before)

CAT Scores:
GMATPrep1: 490
MGMAT1: 540
MGMAT2: 550
MGMAT3: 630
MGMAT4: 680
MGMAT5: 680
GMATPrep2: 730
Test Day: 770 (Q50, V45)

Total Money Spent: $351 + $250 for the GMAT (no way to avoid that!)

Advice:
1) The books were pretty good, but there’s a lot of advice that conflicts from book to book, so it takes a little while to figure out what’s true and what’s not. The OG 13th edition is a MUST HAVE.
2) Find an expert to work with. Use a course or a tutor, but spending the money is worth it. I’m looking at some potentially big scholarship money because I killed the GMAT. That’s worth the extra few hundred bucks I spent. For me, Empowergmat made all the difference. On Test Day, I felt like Neo in The Matrix. I was ready for everything. The EMPOWER guys know their stuff.
3) There’s a lot of bad advice out there about pacing, representative questions, etc. (and the problem is a lot of it’s free). Be suspicious. If you practice something for a full month and it doesn’t work, then it’s not going to help you hit your goal. Be prepared to learn some new things.
4) Stay calm and write everything down. GMAT questions are actually pretty straight forward if you just stay organized. Don’t EVER do anything in your head (thanks for that one, Rich!)
5) The Quant section is NOT a math test and the Verbal section is NOT a vocabulary test, so don’t treat them like they are.
6) Learn which questions to avoid. I dumped 4 questions (2 in the Quant and 2 in the Verbal) because I was told to dump them. I can’t argue with the advice or the results.
7) Take the 2 breaks, no matter how good you feel. Have a snack, a drink and run to the bathroom.

Now, I’m reading through the Veritas MBA Essential Guides and getting really excited by my prospects.

If I can do it, then anyone can do it. I was really unsure of everything when I started, but I learned the right way to look at this whole process and it made all the difference. To everyone who’s helped me on this journey, I say thanks!

Josh

Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:59 am
prestonb351 wrote:
This is the part of this post I've been trying to rack my head around:

6) Learn which questions to avoid. I dumped 4 questions (2 in the Quant and 2 in the Verbal) because I was told to dump them. I can’t argue with the advice or the results.

I always guess on questions at the end of the section.

Is that good/bad?

How can I tell which questions to avoid? Wouldn't that ruin my score?

Any advice?
Your time management strategy should be to stay on track (time-wise) throughout the test. To do so, I suggest that you use a Milestone Chart. This is covered in our free GMAT time management video at http://www.gmatprepnow.com/module/general-gmat-strategies?id=1244

When you find yourself behind during the test, you should begin looking for "optimal guessing opportunities" to help you catch up. These "optimal guessing opportunities" can be based on weaknesses that you've identified in yourself (CR assumption questions, probability questions, etc.) or they might be questions that are universal time killers (SC questions where the entire sentence is underlined, any question that features a LOT of text, etc).

I believe that this is what Josh is referring to when he wrote "Learn which questions to avoid."

I hope that helps.

Cheers,
Brent

_________________
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harishbiyani Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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28 Dec 2013
Posted:
5 messages
Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:26 pm
Congratulations! Smile

spetznaz Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Fri Apr 18, 2014 6:03 am
Inspiring Smile

neeko07 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
02 Aug 2012
Posted:
1 messages
Post Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:36 pm
Congratulations Josh!! What a wonderful score I am spellbound!!

Ngoc Nguyen Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
Joined
24 Mar 2014
Posted:
1 messages
Post Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:37 pm
Dear Josh,

Big congratulations on your great result! Could you share your experience on your pacing techniques,please? I find the gmat prep method of checking every 5 questions quite hard to follow.

Thank you for your reply!

bobacdigital Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
19 Jul 2011
Posted:
1 messages
Post Tue May 20, 2014 1:50 pm
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.

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
You said you dedicated 2 - 3 hours a day to studying.. But my issue is that I am a bit disorganized with how I study. How do you break up that 2 - 3 hours when you study? How do you structure your day to day plan. I feel like every time I get something wrong my error log builds up to where I cant get to newer stuff.

thatonegirl Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
21 May 2014
Posted:
2 messages
Post Thu May 22, 2014 10:05 am
What is a CAT?

Post Thu May 22, 2014 1:54 pm
thatonegirl wrote:
What is a CAT?
Computer Adaptive Test.

You can download the official practice test software here: http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/download-free-test-preparation-software.aspx

Cheers,
Brent

_________________
Brent Hanneson – Founder of GMATPrepNow.com
Use our video course along with Beat The GMAT's free 60-Day Study Guide

Check out the online reviews of our course

GMAT Prep Now's comprehensive video course can be used in conjunction with Beat The GMAT’s FREE 60-Day Study Guide and reach your target score in 2 months!
Post Thu May 29, 2014 6:12 am
Hello All,

I just joined the forum and am highly excited about starting my GMAT studies June 1st. I have found a lot of motivation through reading the comments in the forum. I am planning to go full time and would really like to get the maximum amount of scholarship/fellowship awards.

I am also planning to apply to my top choice in round 1. With that said, I need to ace this exam! Look forward to more post and updates as I attempt to beat the GMAT in 3 months as Josh did.

Post Thu May 29, 2014 6:48 am
Welcome to Beat The GMAT, AnythingIsPossible!

Looking forward to seeing you in the forums.

Cheers,
Brent

_________________
Brent Hanneson – Founder of GMATPrepNow.com
Use our video course along with Beat The GMAT's free 60-Day Study Guide

Check out the online reviews of our course

GMAT Prep Now's comprehensive video course can be used in conjunction with Beat The GMAT’s FREE 60-Day Study Guide and reach your target score in 2 months!

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