770 - Q50, V46

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770 - Q50, V46

by pissantvache » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:21 pm
I took it last friday. Quant felt fairly easy, but more difficult than GMATPrep. Verbal felt quite difficult vis a vis GMATPrep and slightly more difficult than MGMAT CATs. Manhattan Gmat was a wonderful program, and I highly recommend it to anyone who's on the fence over whether to pay for it.

Anyways, here's the story on it.

Preparation

I began preparing half-heartedly in the fall with the intention of taking the test over christmas break (I'm in school, so that seemed like the ideal time to do it). I purchased Kaplan 800 and OG 11, worked through most of Kaplan and then took the free kaplan paper test in early October. I scored a 690, but there was a clear disparity between my verbal, which was generally strong, and my math, which was generally weak.

So christmas break came around, and I realized that, after 4 years of not having touched a math book, I was actually going to need to do a lot more to prepare than simply look at OG11, so I signed up for Manhattan Gmat. Studied for a couple of days before taking the initial test and then got a 720, but I was quite worried at that point because I felt like the math in particular on the first test was basically soul-crushing. Raw scores were Q47, V41.

Went through the course and took the second CAT around week five and got exactly the same scores, at which point I realized that the test would take some extra preparation on my part. I scheduled the real test for the end of my spring break and began to get a little bit more intense in my studies.

Towards the end of the course, though, I was quite busy at school due to midterms and such and took about a three week break from studying (which was poorly considered, but I couldn't really help myself). Then, 7 days before the exam, I took MGMAT CAT 3, got a 710 (Q48, V39). This was the beginning of my spring break, so I then resolved to focus almost entirely on the test. My methodology here was to do some sort of practice in the morning and then maintain test conditions during my tests, which I began at 4:30 in the afternoons, at the same time as my appointment.

I reread all the MGMAT books except the CR and RC (both of which hadn't seemed to have an effect), worked through Kaplan 800 again for CR and RC in particular, and started taking practice tests every day, as well as going through the OG Quant workbook from the middle half to the finish.

After my 710, I took GMATPrep for a 740 (don't remember the original scores), and then got 750 on MGMAT 4 (Q48, V45) the next day and a 740 on MGMAT 5 (Q47, V45) the day after that. After this, I took GMATPrep 2 for a 780 (Q51, V48), and the day before my exam MGMAT 6 for a 770 (Q50, V45). Finally, on the test the next day, I got a 770 (Q50, V46).

Test Day

I decided to treat test day as close to my previous days as possible, and spent the morning studying SC, DS, and PS (since math really is my weak point). I left about an hour before my test was scheduled and brought along some snacks. I used the earplugs (which were fantastic) and made sure to take a quick bathroom break during all my breaks.

For the test, Analysis of an Argument was basically what I expected, so I think that went well (although I don't have my AWA scores yet). I'm a little bit worried about analysis of an Issue since I didn't really have a template to follow, but whatever. The best thing about this section, though, was that it really allowed me to calm down and stop paying attention to my nerves, which I think helped my performance in the next two sections immeasurably.

In math I began to get a little bit worried at the beginning, but then I slowed down some and focused on the math again and i guess worked well. Timing was never really a problem for me on the practice CATs, and wasn't here; I imagine that my score was caused by a stupid mistake somewhere rather than by any overwhelmingly difficult questions, as they generally felt pretty easy.

Verbal was another story though; it felt much more difficult than anything I'd run into on GMATPrep, and I actually got a little bit behind in the beginning part, which made me rush a bit to catch up towards the middle. I think this is where my nerves actually messed with me the most, though, and I probably made some dumb mistakes on inference questions or SC or something.

After it was over, I got very very drunk.

Thoughts on my preparation

My study plan was only possible because I was in college. I think that the final week of studying and taking a CAT every day was absolutely crucial for getting above 750, simply because it allowed me to build up my stamina methodically and to remember from day to day the concepts I had run across in the previous days, as well as constantly reinforce areas that I was relatively strong in. I think that having good stamina was really important as well, actually, since I found that with the early tests in particular, I stopped caring about the answers towards the end, which always hurt my resultant score.

Also, as has been mentioned here, the MGMAT books are excellent, generally, especially SC. Also, many of the MGMAT CAT math questions are ridiculously difficult in terms of the simple computations that were necessary (like, far far far more difficult than anything I saw on the real thing), but I found that I wasn't entirely prepared for the tricky data sufficiency questions that mess people up on logic.

So... I don't know whether that will help anyone; it basically mirrors many of the strategies other people have taken here. If you have any questions, though, feel free to pm me or something. Thanks guys!
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but the sea contains the hottest blood of all,
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by nimish_rulz » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:09 pm
:D Absolutely brilliant. Great practice scores and The GMAT score is wow!!
Can you please elaborate about how useful was OG material compared to the other material you used. I have got a GMAT in 2 weeks and I am struggling with my verbal section. Can you give me an advice on that. If you have any notes that you can share it will be great.
How many hours of study did you do during the last 2 weeks and did you do anything else besides the test? Please any advice or help will be much appreciated
Past is: Behind Me---Future is: Secure---Present is: An Aim To Crack The GMAT. So I say lets do it!

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by pissantvache » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:56 pm
Yeah, sure. The OG material is wonderful, but it doesn't really include a lot of harder questions. So, especially on the math, I really felt that I benefited from suffering through the MGMAT ridiculous questions, just because they're so unbelievably difficult that you have to learn a lot more by doing them. But they don't mimic the reality of the actual questions you'll see on the exam, because they're just too hard, and often, too in depth. So, I found it was really good to use them for practice and to make sure that I had the right concepts down, but then towards the end, to go back to the OG material and make sure I was familiar with the question types, the wording, and the overall trickiness of those questions. For that purpose, the OG material is unsurpassed.

The best advice I can give on the verbal is to be aggressive about eliminating answer choices. anything that is even a little bit wrong is not going to be the correct answer, and if you have to justify something as being correct, it isn't. that doctrine will usually eliminate 2 or 3 answer choices immediately on any given question, and after that (with CR and RC) the remaining choices can be fairly easily checked against the source text for correctness.

When I was two weeks away from the test, I didn't study at all. The saturday before my test (which was on friday), I started taking the practice tests, so those all added up to 3 hours (since I often did only a cursory AWA practice) a day. Then outside of that, i put in probably another 3 or so hours a day (because I had the time for it; people with jobs definitely won't have that type of free time) to review from the books, do sample questions, and review my answers from the tests. so, during the last week, I studied for probably 36-45 hours including tests, review, and supplementary questions. But it was worth it, because basically every 6 hours earned me an extra ten points on the test. But I was lucky because I had a full week's worth of free time to devote to the thing; people with jobs or other responsibilities probably shouldn't follow my training regimen, because something will suffer, ultimately.
They say the sea is cold,
but the sea contains the hottest blood of all,
and the wildest, the most urgent.

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by mleviko » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:40 am
Wow! what a great score!! good for you mate! :D
Smashed the GMAT: 760

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by michelsmithm » Thu Apr 03, 2008 2:39 am
Great score :D

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by OnapiIndia » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:48 am
Congratulations :D