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6 months trying to break through on quant

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6 months trying to break through on quant

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I utilized Manhattan GMAT's online class called Interact to learn the base of material for both quant and verbal. It was very, very helpful building this base set of knowledge, the strategy guides in particular are great. However, after a few months and testing around 710, I was still ~60th percentile on quant. I didn't really know what to do from there, doing lots of random questions wasn't helping. Finally, a friend recommended Target Test Prep for quant and it was unbelievable. They teach you the material by drilling a lot of questions on each particular topic until you understand it. The lessons are very clear and the interface is great.

Honestly, 100% the key to me moving up. It took a lot of work, but after about 2 months of doing the Target Test Prep quick lesson and a ton of chapter tests and custom tests, I broke through and ended around 80th percentile with a 760 overall score and 8 on IR.

Studying for this took a ton of time and work, I had taken practice tests in the 740-760 range and figured I would just keep studying until I ended up with a score in that range. It was worth the extra hours of work.

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Hi Michael,

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your 760 score! That's fantastic.

Secondly, I'm so glad that you loved our Interact lessons! We worked hard to make them not only valuable, but also fun. I'm also glad that you found it helpful to work with another company in addition - I think that using material from 2 different companies can be a good way to reinforce concepts. I'm sure we've all had the experience of something clicking when it was said slightly differently a 2nd time.

I want to push back on something you said, though. You lamented that when you were scoring in the 710 range, you were only getting a ~60th percentile in quant. I can't stress this enough - IGNORE YOUR PERCENTILES!!! They are completely misleading! Schools do not look at percentiles, they look at your scaled scores from 0-51.

As Larry Rudner, former Chief Psychomatrician for GMAC, says, “The GMAT scale [raw] scores represent the same ability level over time. Thus, a Quant score of 43 in 2002 represents the exact same level of ability as a Quant score of 43 does in 2011.”

The percentiles, on the other hand, have changed significantly over time. Ten years ago, a Quant raw score of 47 out of 51 was 81st percentile. Today, that same score is only a 65th percentile. But business schools know that this represents the same skill level now as it did then, so they don’t care what the percentile is. More info here: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog/2016/02/11/heres-why-you-may-be-misinterpreting-your-gmat-score/

If you were scoring a 60th percentile last year, that means you were getting a 46. That would be considered a "very high" quant score by any business school. To get "around 80th" on the real thing, I assume you got a 49? That was 77th percentile in 2016 - two points away from perfect, but "only" 77th percentile! No one needs an ~80th percentile score on quant to prove their capabilities. Generally, top schools look for something above a 45.

For everyone still studying - focus on your scaled score, NOT YOUR PERCENTILES!!!

And Michael - congrats again!

_________________


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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