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How I went from v32 to v42 in one month (total score 740)

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oneteam Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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How I went from v32 to v42 in one month (total score 740)

Post Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:48 am
First of all, I would like to thank EmpowerGMAT for all your wonderful tutorials, especially on verbal, that helped me stay motivated to study and also helped me grasp the concepts on such a detailed level that I could do them in my sleep.

I am a 20yr-old non-native speaker with limited experience from standardized tests. I took the GMAT in the summer of 2016, and had prepped intensively for about 1 month (20-30h/week besides a full-time job) and managed to score 740 (Q49V42), which was a huge improvement from my 650-680 scores I had done one month earlier on prep tests. I don’t think I realized before I started prepping for the GMAT how much there would be to process. Everyone had different opinions, tips, ways to solve problems etc etc.

Make sure that you don’t get lost in the sea of tips and opinions. For choosing the right prep course, I would give one simple tip. Whatever you do, do not switch course halfway through. Each prep-company has different ways to help you solve though problems, and to try and process a new method can be exhausting and demanding. I did the free-trial on some of the companies (Manhattan, E-GMAT, EmpowerGMAT etc..) and chose the one that felt best suited for my way of thinking, which in my case was EmpowerGMAT, and simply trusted their way of thinking to 100 %. Remember that, regardless of your choice, your tutor will probably have scored 780+ and knows all the concepts better than you ever will, and therefore by relying on him/her 100 % will give you the tools you need to master the GMAT.

Since there already are so many people giving you tips on how to score high on quant, I will only give you my tips on how to score high on verbal. With that being said, here are my top 3 tips:

1. While prepping for SC, don’t get hung up on complicated grammar.

Especially important for non-natives like myself. Sentence correction is not about knowing every grammatical rule there is in the English language, it’s really only about detecting clear faults that can be easily corrected. If you, instead of focusing on complex grammatical issues, focus on the main types of SC questions there is you will spend your time a lot more efficiently.

2. For RC and CR, make sure you understand the text and its arguments/points so good that you can explain them to a child.

Some people will say that you should only briefly look over the RC passages before moving on to the answer choices. I believe that this is probably the worst thing you can do, since you will end up reading the passage one time for each question and consume unnecessary and invaluable time that you need for other questions. Before looking at the answer choices, read the texts in such detail that you’re absolutely certain of what it says. Then you will easily choose the right answer in no-time. However, don’t try to memorize all the details. My best tip for this is simply to paraphrase everything in your own words, and don’t be afraid to exaggerate. If one RC phrase slowly explains why some scientific method is faulty, just think “Method X is shit” and move on. This way, you will have full understanding of the text and what it wants to say, and when questions about details arise you can simply look back at the text and put those details into your context.

3. Practice, practice, and practice again.

I cannot stress this enough. The only way to fully understand all the concepts is to apply. It might sound like a cliché, but it is 100 % true in the case of GMAT. I probably spent about 10 % on EmpowerGMATs tutorials and the other 90 % doing questions and prep-tests. That way, on test day I had already seen all types of SC, CR and RC questions (this holds true for quant as well) and nothing was new. Only by knowing this will give you a serious confidence boost before the exam and is, according to me, the determining factor in whether you will land your 700+ score (I probably did 1500+ questions in total from the OG, GMATclub forum and prep test).

Apart from these three tips, I will also add that you should not be afraid of skipping difficult questions that you clearly see is too difficult for you. These questions will not count towards your score anyway and you will benefit from the time saved to the questions that are slightly above or on your level and nail those instead.

Best of luck to all of you!

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Post Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:49 am
Hi oneteam,

That's OUTSTANDING news! A 740/Q49 is an outstanding score - and it puts you in position to comfortably apply to any Business Schools that interest you. Your perspective on the Verbal section is spot on - many Test Takers get scared by that section - and try to make the process of dealing with it far more complicated than it needs to be. You were clearly a strong critical thinker initially, but the ability to learn new Tactics and adjust your thinking (which you showed quite definitively when you retook the GMAT) will certainly serve you well in Business School and beyond.

1) Have you applied to Business School yet?
2) What Schools did you apply to (or are you planning to apply to)?

Another GMAT Assassin has been made!
Rich

_________________
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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