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Admissions Success Stories 770 Composite (49Q&47V), 8 IR, 6 AWA on first attempt

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Haardvark Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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770 Composite (49Q&47V), 8 IR, 6 AWA on first attempt

Post Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:34 am
This post won't be super helpful to most, as I studied for under 15 hours for the Verbal, IR, and AWA sections combined, but here are my miscellaneous tips for the test in general, with (obviously) more focus upon the quant section. I actually feel like I left points on the table (see #2), but won't be taking it again, as it's almost certainly not a good use of my time.

1) Unless you really, really think you need a tutor, self-study. Manhattan Prep is ~$100 on Amazon and had way more information (and practice tests) than I needed. Just force yourself to sit down and work through a book, outlining stuff (perhaps on notecards) that you need to learn / brush up on, every few days. Saves money and teaches you discipline. Shoot for 60+ hours and focus on weak areas wherein you can make tangible improvement. I did about 75, with almost ~80% of it focused upon quant.

2) Schedule your GMAT (somewhat) in advance. I thought I was slick and would waltz into a Pearson center a few days after a practice exam hit 760+, then carelessly repeat the feat. In fact, I had to wait over a month between 'finishing' studying and my actual test date. Though I did my best to stay sharp, I was highly annoyed that I had to, in effect, re-hash everything I'd previously mastered, and definitely left points on the table, as a few things slipped (the most important being my sense of timing) my mind.

3) Take all your practice tests on a computer, ideally with a whiteboard like the one used in testing centers, under testing conditions. I didn't learn about the whiteboard until the morning of and, though it is less annoying than it may seem, it's still not a perfect replacement for a pen and paper.

4) Read super carefully on quant questions, including after you've answered it just to make sure. Quite often, there is a wrinkle that they slip in that totally changes your pathway and answer.

5) Don't waste money on a GMAT unless you're reasonably sure
you'll hit somewhere in the neighborhood of your desired score. MBA.com has two free tests, and ~4 more to purchase for a very reasonable price, and I've found they do quite well in approximating your score. Even if price is no object, taking and bombing a GMAT prevents you from re-sitting for 31 days, which is a long time to have to maintain your levels of knowledge. The Manhattan Prep CATs are WAY harder than the real thing, so use the MBA ones as a barometer (and the Manhattans more for practice).

Feel free to post any other questions you all may have.

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