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The Difference between a 750 and a 650 Test Taker

This topic has 5 expert replies and 3 member replies
bpolley00 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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11 Jul 2012
Posted:
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Upvotes:
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Test Date:
3/29/2013
Target GMAT Score:
800
GMAT Score:
650

The Difference between a 750 and a 650 Test Taker

Post Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:51 am
Hey everyone,

Here is an interesting topic that I don't believe has been recently addressed: What is the distinct difference between a 750 and a 650 test taker? Besides the obvious that one is in the top 10% (don't remember the exact percentile) and one is not, but I mean what do you think the largest difference you see in your students in which one will score in the mid 700's and one will score in the middle 600's? Is it merely a difference between mastery rather than a thorough understanding, or is it their psychological approach to the test as well as a thorough understanding? Is there a difference in attitudes versus merely study habits? If one or a few of the experts could take some time out of their day to give their candid thoughts on this that would be really appreciated.

Hopefully this question hasn't been asked a million times, as I try to come up with unique questions as not to bore all the experts on here who I am sure get sick of answering the same, redundent questions. Alright, thant is all I got. Thanks!

-Brian

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Karite Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
11 Jan 2012
Posted:
11 messages
Top Reply
Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:57 am
Tommy Wallach wrote:
Hey Karite,

Kudos! I think your new though process about the GMAT is fantastic. Set incremental goals, and try to really congratulate yourself for every new piece of material mastered. Tests are silly hoops that we have to jump through, but focusing on the negative never helped anybody. I'm sure, given enough time, you'll reach the score you want.

Good luck!

-t
Thanks for the encouraging words.

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bpolley00 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
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Posted:
192 messages
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5 members
Upvotes:
20
Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
800
GMAT Score:
650
Top Reply
Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:28 pm
Hey everyone,

Just wanted to take a second to address each comment individually, as you took the time to answer my questions, so I figured the least I could do is let you know what I thought about each response!

To start off Karite- I am glad you enjoyed Tommy's encouraging words. Smile

Secondly, Tommy- Knowledge then the process while keeping a sense of humor and enjoying yourself along the way. That sounds like a good attitude for just about anything you are trying to do in life. Thanks for the candid response and your continued effort to respond to my, sometimes funny, posts. Smile

Thirdly, Brian- Stacey's article is full of good tips that I would be a fool not to incorporate into my studying. It is also always good to have the ability to take a step back and really think about whatever it is your doing from an objective standpoint. I think the idea of Kaizen on the GMAT is important; however, more difficult than anything else I have attempted as no question you are presented with is the same as a question you have studied. I find this as being an eccentric aspect of the GMAT. Perhaps I just need to get out more. I also enjoy your last statement as it is kind of my general attitude for the last month - Get it done and get it done correctly so I can move on with my life and do what I really want to do, which is make lots of money for other people by allocating capital efficiently.

Finally, Ceilidh - First of all, I am sure you meant he/ she sees through the matrix to the inner workings of the test as certainly men are allowed to take the test as well. Was that a subtle jab at Men's ability to perform on the GMAT, Ceilidh? Smile. I think your process of a student who can see through the matrix is a good checklist to have for each individual question. As far as bending the spoon and being able to apply this type of checklist, it is still a work in progress.


Thanks for all the responses guys, I know it takes time out of your day to answer responses to people who can either not afford your private, informative tutoring sessions or for people who just use the forum as an assistance in self-studying, the much more grueling way of going about it. Anyways, It is much appreciated and I look forward to hearing more explanations from each of you.

Sincerely
-BP

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Karite Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
11 Jan 2012
Posted:
11 messages
Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:57 am
Tommy Wallach wrote:
Hey Karite,

Kudos! I think your new though process about the GMAT is fantastic. Set incremental goals, and try to really congratulate yourself for every new piece of material mastered. Tests are silly hoops that we have to jump through, but focusing on the negative never helped anybody. I'm sure, given enough time, you'll reach the score you want.

Good luck!

-t
Thanks for the encouraging words.

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bpolley00 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Joined
11 Jul 2012
Posted:
192 messages
Followed by:
5 members
Upvotes:
20
Test Date:
3/29/2013
Target GMAT Score:
800
GMAT Score:
650
Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:28 pm
Hey everyone,

Just wanted to take a second to address each comment individually, as you took the time to answer my questions, so I figured the least I could do is let you know what I thought about each response!

To start off Karite- I am glad you enjoyed Tommy's encouraging words. Smile

Secondly, Tommy- Knowledge then the process while keeping a sense of humor and enjoying yourself along the way. That sounds like a good attitude for just about anything you are trying to do in life. Thanks for the candid response and your continued effort to respond to my, sometimes funny, posts. Smile

Thirdly, Brian- Stacey's article is full of good tips that I would be a fool not to incorporate into my studying. It is also always good to have the ability to take a step back and really think about whatever it is your doing from an objective standpoint. I think the idea of Kaizen on the GMAT is important; however, more difficult than anything else I have attempted as no question you are presented with is the same as a question you have studied. I find this as being an eccentric aspect of the GMAT. Perhaps I just need to get out more. I also enjoy your last statement as it is kind of my general attitude for the last month - Get it done and get it done correctly so I can move on with my life and do what I really want to do, which is make lots of money for other people by allocating capital efficiently.

Finally, Ceilidh - First of all, I am sure you meant he/ she sees through the matrix to the inner workings of the test as certainly men are allowed to take the test as well. Was that a subtle jab at Men's ability to perform on the GMAT, Ceilidh? Smile. I think your process of a student who can see through the matrix is a good checklist to have for each individual question. As far as bending the spoon and being able to apply this type of checklist, it is still a work in progress.


Thanks for all the responses guys, I know it takes time out of your day to answer responses to people who can either not afford your private, informative tutoring sessions or for people who just use the forum as an assistance in self-studying, the much more grueling way of going about it. Anyways, It is much appreciated and I look forward to hearing more explanations from each of you.

Sincerely
-BP

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Post Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:46 pm
Haha, that's not what I meant to imply at all! I just have a stylistic pet peeve against "he/she," so I usually pick one or the other. (And I'll confess - since many people default to "he," I often default to "she" just to mix things up).

Bending the spoon definitely takes time, but you're on the right track. Good luck!

_________________


Ceilidh Erickson
Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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Tommy Wallach GMAT Instructor
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Post Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:55 pm
Hey Karite,

Kudos! I think your new though process about the GMAT is fantastic. Set incremental goals, and try to really congratulate yourself for every new piece of material mastered. Tests are silly hoops that we have to jump through, but focusing on the negative never helped anybody. I'm sure, given enough time, you'll reach the score you want.

Good luck!

-t

_________________
Tommy Wallach, Company Expert
ManhattanGMAT

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Post Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:38 pm
This is a question I get all the time - how does a 650 student become a 750 student? To add onto what my colleagues have already said... a 650 student has to have mastery of the content. A 750 student has to have mastery of the TEST!

To used a really dated reference... think of the GMAT as The MATRIX. A 650 student sees the question of the screen, and tries to solve it. A 750 level student doesn't just see the question on the screen - she sees through the Matrix to the inner workings of the test!

Here's the thought process of a student who can see through the Matrix:
- "I know the concept being tested"
- "I recognize this structure from several other questions"
- "I know what the test writer's objective was"
- "I know the kind of traps involved in this sort of question"
- "I know a shortcut that will let me skip steps"

This kind of deep understand (as Tommy said) requires a great deal of work. You have to have seen hundreds of problems to develop that pattern recognition. But just doing the work isn't enough! You also have to review each problem really thoroughly, and think critically about the reason this question exists, in this format, with these answer choices, etc. It requires stepping back from the question itself, and making connections.

Good luck bending the spoon!

_________________


Ceilidh Erickson
Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


Manhattan Prep instructors all have 99th+ percentile scores and expert teaching experience.
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Karite Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
11 Jan 2012
Posted:
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Post Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:41 am
Tommy Wallach wrote:
Hey Bpolley,

It's me! There are a million different answers to this question, and I'm sure you'll see all of them added to this thread. But here's what I can say with certainty: There is no fundamental difference between a 650 and 750 test taker in terms of the brainpower and ability. Maybe someone who can't seem to break 450 has some kind of block, but if you can score a 650, you can score a 750. But it's a question of real work, change, and time.

Here are the factors that make for a really good test taker:

Work: It's no joke getting a GREAT score on this test. When students take our class, we tell them they're looking at 3-4 months of 1.5-2 hours a day, without significant breaks ever. That is serious dedication!

Flexibility: When I have a 500 student, they listen to every darn thing I say. They know they're not strong and they're looking for any tip of trick they can get their hands on. When I get a 680 student who wants a 730, it can be a struggle to get them to listen to ANYTHING I say. Why? Because they're already so good. It seems crazy to change up a whole method when they're so close to where they need to be. But the truth is they're not going to get over that last hump with the methods they're using. It's just the truth. That 680 student may need to change just as much stuff as the 580 student. Remember, once you have all the KNOWLEDGE down, the only thing that can be keeping you from the score you want is your PROCESS. You have to be willing to change it.

Attitude: We talked about this before, in another post, but it turns out your brain doesn't like to learn about stuff that it absolutely hates. It just says, "Dude, I'm miserable. I'm not going to learn how to do this, because I hate it, and if I'm good at it, I'll just have to do it more!" So the best students have a sense of humor about the work, and are able to enjoy the experience of getting better, of success and failure and slow movement towards the goal.

So there are some things to chew on! I'm sure more will be forthcoming!

-t
Hi Mr. Wallach,

I agree with you 100%. I am the 500 practice test scorer but my official score wasn’t good. Like you said, I still find difficult to change my process of thinking but I am getting better. It’s difficult to change it because we are taught to solve math problems a certain way and now the GMAT is testing us a different way. Fall 2014 is my goal for graduate school because I am not getting any younger. LOL. I am 31 years old but I am not in my field.

I wouldn’t say I hated the GMAT material but I was very resistant to learn anything new and the GMAT always try to trick you. This was the most frustrating part but I started studying January 2012 and I sat for the GMAT in August 2012. I hired a tutor and took a preparation class with Veritas Prep. I would have chosen Manhattan but there was a scheduling problem. Now the material is coming to me easier but I have a long way to got from the 400 to 500 range to my target score. My plan is to gradually reach each level i.e. 500, 600, and 700. I changed my attitude about the difficultly of the GMAT test and started praising myself for learning the concept tested. I am using Manhattan GMAT materials because Manhattan teaches you to learn the concept and how to approach the problems.

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