Beat the GMAT in 30 days!! 470->700!!

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Beat the GMAT in 30 days!! 470->700!!

by samus33 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:20 pm
Hey everyone, wrote today and I did it! Beat the GMAT!


I'll debrief tomorrow, but my journey from 470->700 was not pretty, nor easy. I ended up with a 48q 38v.

It can be done!

Cheers

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by vivecan2005 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:36 pm
samus33 wrote:Hey everyone, wrote today and I did it! Beat the GMAT!


I'll debrief tomorrow, but my journey from 470->700 was not pretty, nor easy. I ended up with a 48q 38v.

It can be done!

Cheers
Great!!This is something extremely appreciable!! As people in range of 400 loose hope a lot. It also confirms my belief that GMAT is all about practice, pace, timing. level of concentration at the time of test and selective study of tricks and topics.

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by papgust » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:39 pm
That's truly inspiring..! Congratulations!

Waiting for your debrief

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by shashankv » Sat Dec 12, 2009 1:07 am
Congrats,

Waiting to hear your complete story

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by samus33 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:26 am
Alright, got my full nights rest (first time in a while). A few cautionary notes:

- I do not recommend this for others. Everyone has to find the way that they learn best, my personal method is very fast paced and high velocity learning. Literally a crash course.

- I sacrificed my social life for 1 month

- I would wake up in the middle of the night trying to crack permutation problems. At this point my girl friend thought I had lost it completely.

So my story begins on November 7th, the day I started my PR live online course. I had decided that I wanted to write the Gmat in October, but didn't do anything to prepare until November 7th. After I attended my first lesson with PR, I decided to do a diagnostic. To my dismay, I scored a 470 (31q and 27v or something like that). To be completely honest, this was more a matter of not really focusing while writing, rather than lack of understanding. Nonetheless, that 470 lit a fire under my butt and made me hit the books that much harder.

I commute daily to work for about an hour each way, leave the house at 7 and get home at 7-8. Everynight when I got home I would focus on a particular area for about 4 hours. I would go through the OG 12&11 and do problem after problem after problem.

This was my key success factor: repitition. I had done so many OG problems (went through each book twice), that doing the problems on the test was literally second nature: more on that below.

So: 3-4 hours a night on weeknights, and 15-20 hours spread out over the weekends. I downloaded the free flashcards on this site, but I think it would have been much more beneficial if I had actually created my own. During my lunch break at the office, or during some down-time, I would quickly fire through a section of my flash cards. In some cases, there were concepts that 'I' did not understand, but apparently my sub conscious did, and I attribute this solely to repitition. PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT!

So, my scores were as follows:

Princeton Review GMAT 11/11 : 470 (31 quant 27verb ??)
Princeton Review GMAT 2 11/18 : 650 (41 Q 40 V)
Manhattan GMAT 1 11/30: 650 (43 Q 36 V)
GMAC GMAT 1 12/03 : 650 (46 Q 34 V)
Princeton Review CAT 3 12/07: 710 (Q50 V39)
Princeton Review CAT 4 12/08: 650 (46 Q 34V)
Princeton Review CAT 5 12/09: 570 (38Q 31V)
Princeton Review CAT 4 12/09: 580 (41Q 32V)
Princeton Review CAT 5 12/09: 580 (41Q 32V)

I was absolutely devestated to see the downward trend. I started to get frustrated, and really lost motivation. A sense of desperation took over and I wasn't able to solve the simplest of problems. Those 3 five hundreds were on Wednesday the 9th, and I was to write my exam on the 11th. I promised myself I wouldn't do another practise test, but determined that I could not possible walk into the GMAT having a 580 as my last score. I told myself that I'd worked way too hard to let it slip at this point.

GMAC CAT 2 12/10: 680 (47Q 38V)

I was very happy to see this calibre score again, and it couldn't have come at a better time. At that point, I was convinced that I knew my stuff.

The testing center I wrote in was about 3 hours away, so Wednesday afternoon I drove to my hotel, checked in, and drove to the testing center to get familiarized with the area.

So thursday night, I was too tired to even look at my flash cards. I developed a slight fever and figured that it was my bodies way of telling me that enough is enough. I packed it in and went to bed at 11. Woke up the next morning at 7:30 (exam was at 10:30). Did my 100 pushups, and deep breathing exercise. Took a nice long shower to relax. At this point, nerves started to settle in. Wasn't hungry, couldn't drink my coffee etc etc.

Sat down for the exam 30 minutes early, and I was distraught. I am an excellent test takerk, and very rarely allow my nerves to get the best of me... not on this day. The essays went fine, didn't bother spending much time on them at all. Quantitative was an absolute blur. I can honestly only remember 2 questions from the 37, it was honestly an out of body experience. I was convinced I had absolutely bombed it, specifically because I saw a perimeter question as my last question in the section. It had only a few hidden variables, and I solved it in 7 seconds. DON'T TRY TO JUDGE HOW YOU'RE DOING BY THE QUESTION DIFFICULTY- JUST FOCUS ON THE QUESTION AT HAND.

Needless to say, when I saw that last question, I was convinced I was going to be in the 500 range. That feeling was almost a blessing in disguise though: I was so thoroughly convinced that I had done poorly that I was calm, cool and relaxed during verbal. Verbal was typically my weakness and this greatly helped.

After the personal backround questions were answered, the screen indicated I would have 2 minutes to decide to report. It took me 1.5 minutes to decide and ultimately went with yes, out of absolute curiosity. I was honestly expecting in the 500's, and was hoping for a mid 600. When I saw the magical '700', I nearly jumped out of my seat, I fist pumped very hard, and I even yelled out 'Whammyyyy' (simultaneously with a fist pump). The proctor then asked me to sit down, and I did because I didn't want my score thrown out.

So in summary, the keys to my success were:

-If you don't have much time to prep (ie. a month) it is absolutely crucial not to waste ANY time on areas you're proficient in. For me, this was Data Sufficiency. Even in my awful CATs, I would consistently get at least 90% right, often times 100%. I decided that focusing on PS questions was much more effective.
- For verbal, (English is my first language, contrary to my awful writing style), sentance correction was my menace. I spent nearly all of my time doing sentance correction, and none on CR or RC. Those areas were above 80-90% hit rate while SC was ~50%.

So that's it folks. I AM DONE. Now it's application time. If you have any questions on crash course preparation, I'd love to share some tips.

Cheers

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by vivecan2005 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:36 am
samus33 wrote:Alright, got my full nights rest (first time in a while). A few cautionary notes:

- I do not recommend this for others. Everyone has to find the way that they learn best, my personal method is very fast paced and high velocity learning. Literally a crash course.

- I sacrificed my social life for 1 month

- I would wake up in the middle of the night trying to crack permutation problems. At this point my girl friend thought I had lost it completely.

So my story begins on November 7th, the day I started my PR live online course. I had decided that I wanted to write the Gmat in October, but didn't do anything to prepare until November 7th. After I attended my first lesson with PR, I decided to do a diagnostic. To my dismay, I scored a 470 (31q and 27v or something like that). To be completely honest, this was more a matter of not really focusing while writing, rather than lack of understanding. Nonetheless, that 470 lit a fire under my butt and made me hit the books that much harder.

I commute daily to work for about an hour each way, leave the house at 7 and get home at 7-8. Everynight when I got home I would focus on a particular area for about 4 hours. I would go through the OG 12&11 and do problem after problem after problem.

This was my key success factor: repitition. I had done so many OG problems (went through each book twice), that doing the problems on the test was literally second nature: more on that below.

So: 3-4 hours a night on weeknights, and 15-20 hours spread out over the weekends. I downloaded the free flashcards on this site, but I think it would have been much more beneficial if I had actually created my own. During my lunch break at the office, or during some down-time, I would quickly fire through a section of my flash cards. In some cases, there were concepts that 'I' did not understand, but apparently my sub conscious did, and I attribute this solely to repitition. PRACTISE MAKES PERFECT!

So, my scores were as follows:

Princeton Review GMAT 11/11 : 470 (31 quant 27verb ??)
Princeton Review GMAT 2 11/18 : 650 (41 Q 40 V)
Manhattan GMAT 1 11/30: 650 (43 Q 36 V)
GMAC GMAT 1 12/03 : 650 (46 Q 34 V)
Princeton Review CAT 3 12/07: 710 (Q50 V39)
Princeton Review CAT 4 12/08: 650 (46 Q 34V)
Princeton Review CAT 5 12/09: 570 (38Q 31V)
Princeton Review CAT 4 12/09: 580 (41Q 32V)
Princeton Review CAT 5 12/09: 580 (41Q 32V)

I was absolutely devestated to see the downward trend. I started to get frustrated, and really lost motivation. A sense of desperation took over and I wasn't able to solve the simplest of problems. Those 3 five hundreds were on Wednesday the 9th, and I was to write my exam on the 11th. I promised myself I wouldn't do another practise test, but determined that I could not possible walk into the GMAT having a 580 as my last score. I told myself that I'd worked way too hard to let it slip at this point.

GMAC CAT 2 12/10: 680 (47Q 38V)

I was very happy to see this calibre score again, and it couldn't have come at a better time. At that point, I was convinced that I knew my stuff.

The testing center I wrote in was about 3 hours away, so Wednesday afternoon I drove to my hotel, checked in, and drove to the testing center to get familiarized with the area.

So thursday night, I was too tired to even look at my flash cards. I developed a slight fever and figured that it was my bodies way of telling me that enough is enough. I packed it in and went to bed at 11. Woke up the next morning at 7:30 (exam was at 10:30). Did my 100 pushups, and deep breathing exercise. Took a nice long shower to relax. At this point, nerves started to settle in. Wasn't hungry, couldn't drink my coffee etc etc.

Sat down for the exam 30 minutes early, and I was distraught. I am an excellent test takerk, and very rarely allow my nerves to get the best of me... not on this day. The essays went fine, didn't bother spending much time on them at all. Quantitative was an absolute blur. I can honestly only remember 2 questions from the 37, it was honestly an out of body experience. I was convinced I had absolutely bombed it, specifically because I saw a perimeter question as my last question in the section. It had only a few hidden variables, and I solved it in 7 seconds. DON'T TRY TO JUDGE HOW YOU'RE DOING BY THE QUESTION DIFFICULTY- JUST FOCUS ON THE QUESTION AT HAND.

Needless to say, when I saw that last question, I was convinced I was going to be in the 500 range. That feeling was almost a blessing in disguise though: I was so thoroughly convinced that I had done poorly that I was calm, cool and relaxed during verbal. Verbal was typically my weakness and this greatly helped.

After the personal backround questions were answered, the screen indicated I would have 2 minutes to decide to report. It took me 1.5 minutes to decide and ultimately went with yes, out of absolute curiosity. I was honestly expecting in the 500's, and was hoping for a mid 600. When I saw the magical '700', I nearly jumped out of my seat, I fist pumped very hard, and I even yelled out 'Whammyyyy' (simultaneously with a fist pump). The proctor then asked me to sit down, and I did because I didn't want my score thrown out.

So in summary, the keys to my success were:

-If you don't have much time to prep (ie. a month) it is absolutely crucial not to waste ANY time on areas you're proficient in. For me, this was Data Sufficiency. Even in my awful CATs, I would consistently get at least 90% right, often times 100%. I decided that focusing on PS questions was much more effective.
- For verbal, (English is my first language, contrary to my awful writing style), sentance correction was my menace. I spent nearly all of my time doing sentance correction, and none on CR or RC. Those areas were above 80-90% hit rate while SC was ~50%.

So that's it folks. I AM DONE. Now it's application time. If you have any questions on crash course preparation, I'd love to share some tips.

Cheers
Don't say that this one work only for you. Since majority of people are getting low score at first test and mostly people are desperate, anexious and want to take over GMAT in fastest possibile pace so this is very inspiring

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by maihuna » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:06 am
Congrats on being a 7xx. You mentioned you were grt in DS but poor in PS, what does it mean? Do u mean to say u were more lucky in choosing options as u do not need to desperately solve DS Q?
Charged up again to beat the beast :)

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by piyushdabomb » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:54 pm
Alright MAN! I HAD TO OPEN YOUR post because I'm in a similar situation.

Here is my situation: I just scored a pathetic 560 on my first GMAT PREP Exam (Q45 and V20). And I have my exam in ... 30 days.

Fortunately, although I live in the US, I am going to Singapore (hometown) for just about 3 weeks for Christmas/New Years. I'm going to study like a whore...

I need to boost my VERBAL by 25 points and my math by 6 points. Let's see how I do!

You've given me inspiration. I have a few questions for you:

Did you just focus on your weak areas? What did you do about your verbal? What do I need to do exactly? I always thought english was my first language, but I am apparently sitting in the ESL division! Jeez.
-------------------
Sincerely,

Piyush A.

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by samus33 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:45 pm
Hey piyushdabomb

My personal strategy was to assess where my weaknesses were and attack. When I discovered that I was inherntely weak in Verbal, and only rusty in Quant, I knew I had to focus my attention on verbal.

In order to finish strong in verbal, I spent the first 10 or so days working OG problems very hard. I would do about 20 problems, would check my responses and assess the way the book answered the question EVEN IF I GOT IT RIGHT. Make sure that you do no simply move on from a problem because you got the right answer. There are ALWAYS better and more efficient ways to do things, and with little time for prep, ensure you pick up all of the tricks you can. I would do this for about 40 problems a night.

I worked on Quant until I was consistently scoring above 46-47. Then I would occasionaly mix in one hour of quant in the middle of verbal to train my brain to switch between the two effectively. Also, it served as a nice break from the awful sentance correction.

I also discovered that within Verbal, my achilles heel was sentance correction (not sure if you can tell from my post, but I am an awful writer!). I had a 80-90% hit rate in both RC and CR, so I didn't need to focus much there. I am a fairly avid reader, so while reading something (Fooled by Randomness is my current selection), I would try to pull apart arguments (although Nassim Taleb is an excellent writer, hard to find holes).

I worked sentance problems for about 2 weeks, until my hit rate was consistently above 75%. There were times when I dipped below, but I felt comfortable with the problems at hand. One key thing for me was identifying what kind of error was present (one of the major 6).

Two key success factors for me: Princeton Review Live Online Course and my trusty flash cards. PR made my studying more regemented, as I work better with deadlines. I used the flash cards daily to stay sharp in areas such as quant and CR.

With 45 on your first attempt, I'd venture to say you have a chance to bring up your score considerably. Beating the GMAT is not about learning new principles, it's about brushing up and learning how to be efficient and effective even when you do not know the answer. For example, not falling for tricks: try to identify what GMAC wants you to miss (certain terminologies etc.)

That said, shooting for a 51Q and a 45V is very ambitious, especially for one month. But then again, who am I to say that. Go for it dude, and best of luck. Just make sure to not beat yourself up if you miss. Set milestones for yourself and treat yourself to a break everytime you hit a certain milestone (for me it was the 710: went out for a few wobbly pops that night to celebrate).

Keep me posted on the progress.

Cheers

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by beatthegmat » Mon Dec 14, 2009 7:32 pm
WHOA. Congrats on this huge improvement! Your story is so inspirational, thanks for sharing with us!
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by samus33 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:31 am
Hey Guys,

Just got the 'Official Report'. I don't know how I did it, but managed to get 6 on the AWA's lol...

Not gloating or anything, just amazed because in the PR CAT's, the highest average I ever pulled was a 5.

Cheers

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by Romie » Sun May 09, 2010 5:02 pm
Gracious!

Samus33 I had a great laugh reading your post! Especially when you talk about how you did on the quant on test day (out of bodyexperience... )! I am taking the test in 6 days and have been preping for 24 days ( do the math lol) so I know what you're talking about when you mention sacrificing social life. The other night (morning) I went to bed at 5 (a.m.)...

I really hope it pays of so I can REST and get admission to my dream B School!!!

Thank you for the motivation you inspire. CONGRATS (you'll never read it enough lol)

Best.

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by vikram.sumer » Sun Sep 04, 2011 3:49 am
The 700+ stories usually begin, either by a nerd talking--yay yay,,,,U know My Quant was always rock solid, all I needed was some practice with verbal,,, so I ended up scoring 770. Then there are other stories, I slogged my a** for 6 months and did 20 books and Tons of practice, and ended up scoring 750.... I am so much tired of such stories...

That's Why in my opinion.. samus33> Your Story is the Best Success Story on BTG, till date. You wrote it as if you are a chilled out but Intense rapper or something... I liked it.

Samus33 is not another nerd or something, he is a Champ....Kick A** Stuff !!