Beaten by the GMAT...560 - 45Q , 21V, 4.5AWA)

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Hi everybody, this is me again...A final year student from Hong Kong
Sorry buddy, I were unable to share any good news or leathal tips...
My Score is 560 (Q45 V21 AWA4.5)
Here is a bit detail:

Preperation materials:
OG11 (Finished 90% of the questions)
Kaplan Prem. 2008 w/ CD... (Finished the verbal part)
PR Cracking the GMAT (Finished the whole book, including AWA)
MGMAT SC 2003 version

PR CAT 1: 490
GMATPrep 1: 590
PR CAT 2: 570
GMATPrep 2: 600
MGMAT 1: 670

GMAT: 560 :(

My plan is to wrtie it again in July 2008, I think I will take an in-class course, probably Kaplan.

As Kaplan is offering both Verbal and Maths class seperately, do you think I should also take the Maths class?

My dream school are CMU, Cornell and Rochester, most preferably Penn and Chicago.

Any suggestions? I look forward hearing your words.

Much thanks!

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by anb » Wed Jun 11, 2008 7:41 am
I too was just beaten...

GMATprep1 - 620
MGMAT1 - 630
GMATprep2 - 580
Princeton Review - 580

GMAT - 560

Unfortunately, I had only found this website a week before I took the gmat (I didn't even know about MGMAT). I'm thinking with more studying I can reach 620.

I'm kind of in a similar situation as gdehsoph35. Does anyone know what the chances are for getting into a top school (i.e. nyu, columbia, northwestern) with a 560? What about part-time?

I feel that I do have a strong background and can definitely emphasize this in my application - engineer (from a top school, good GPA) with experience at a Japanese company. Plus I'm involved in other extra curricular activities.

Thanks in advance!

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by VP_Jim » Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:43 pm
gdehsoph35 - Do you have an idea what specific verbal area you're weakest in (sentence correction, etc.)? When you study now, I'd recommend targeting those weak areas, and practice doing even more problems. Also, keep in mind that in OG11, the questions go from easiest to hardest, so if you did 90% of the questions, you might not have tried the more difficult ones (and the ones that may give you a higher score on the exam).

anb - Are you thinking about taking the GMAT again? What was your score breakdown on this test?
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by anb » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:28 pm
Q38 V29....both, especially math, should be much better, considering I'm an engineer. I think have a rough idea of what my weaknesses are:

Quant - data sufficiency and recognizing short cuts for problem solving
Verbal - sentence correction and reading comp

I do plan to take the test again this year. There are lots of great resources I can use from this site that I believe will help me do much better. From what I’ve read so far on this forum, I don’t think I’m learning from my mistakes. I didn’t actually “redo” many of the practice problems I got wrong, I only reviewed them. Additionally, my study habits weren’t the best. I only consistently crammed the last 1.5 week, with a vacation two weeks prior to my test date – probably not a good idea. Prior to the last two weeks, my studying wasn’t as consistent as it should’ve been. I started studying in Feb/March but was sporadic.

There are many things I believe I can improve on (i.e. staying more focused, not reading sentences more than once), just not exactly sure how. I found a post by pkblaze100 ( ... 12218.html) that has a pretty solid 4 month plan, with the first two months focusing on the basics (i.e. critically reading fiction/non-fiction books, basic math knowledge). I may try to follow this after I take a month or two off.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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by VP_Jim » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:30 pm

It sounds like you have a very good idea of what you need to do to improve. You're right, recognizing short cuts for problem solving is extremely helpful for saving you time on the actual test, and good practice problems (if you haven't already done them) are questions from the OG Quantitative Review book, as well as OG11.

Also, in regards to the verbal section, sentence correction problems are more formulaic than reading comprehension problems, and thus may be easier to improve on. For sentence correction, when you do practice problems, try to find recurring issues in each question (for example, there are quite a few sentence/verb agreement problems). To improve on reading comprehension, a good way to start is really, to just practice! Try the OG Verbal Review book, as well as doing what you are planning to do - reading more non-fiction/fiction books.

Good luck!
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by anb » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:45 am

Thanks for your reply! I have the OG 11th edition. I'll look into getting the OG Q and V review books as well.

I appreciate your support.

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by anb » Wed Jun 18, 2008 5:04 pm
Does anyone have a recommendation for how long I should wait to retake the gmat? My test date was June 7.

Also, I've used the following resources: Kaplan Premier, PR, and OG 11
As I start studying again, I will be looking for more resources. From what I've read it seems that I should definitely buy the MGMAT SC book and OG Quant and Verb review.

Any other material recommendations? What about the other MGMAT books?

Thanks in advance!

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by luvaduva » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:55 am
anb wrote:Any other material recommendations? What about the other MGMAT books?
To be quite honest with you, most of the material in the GMAT prep books can be found on the web and here:

Also, Many users have posted notes which are written from the prep books. I attached AmateursSCnotes to this post because I don't think it is on there.

My biggest piece of advise is to work problems in an open book manner. Spend as much time as you need and utilize every resource to figure out the answer(excluding just finding the answer itself.) You will start to see patterns and eventually won't rely on resources.

Do ONE problem at a time. If you get it wrong, revisit the problem immediately and determine why. Keep a notebook or a electronic document and make a brief note of the mistake. Only then should you move to the next problem.

It does absolutely no good to hold yourself to a 2 minute per problem attitude until you have mastered the basics.

For reading comp I recommend reading a journal on the level of Scientific America or Science News; read articles that are technical, but written more in layman's terms. Also, read the Wall Street Journal. DON'T just read them!! Read them crititcally! While you are reading you should constantly be asking yourself several things: "Main Idea?", "Scope?", "How many were there?", etc.

If it takes you 30 minutes to read a 50 line article then so be it. You will get better.

Hope this helps.
Amateur's SC Notes
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by mbadrew » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:43 am
I agree with the above post. I started reviewing a couple of months ago and I sucked at quant data sufficiency questions. But, I took my time and worked out each problem, focusing on learning the the priciples and the translation tools needed to solve the questions. I can see my self getting better now. My advice to you is to take your time and remember it's better to get there late than never.


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by wawatan » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:24 pm
i'd just like to add a few additional notes. first of all you need to spend a lot of time understanding the concepts of the problems. This means you cannot time yourself two minutes per problem because most likely you'll get it wrong and feel demoralized. After you feel like you mastered the problem, take timed exams. Then you know which questions you have to pick up speed. also for reading comp, i have noticed that taking notes for longer reading passages works and reading carefully on shorter passages without taking notes. i think for reading you have to practice different methods and see which method you prefer. there's alot of advice on this forum and you just have to check out which method best works for you.

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by anb » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:51 pm
Thanks for the advice guys and thanks for posting those notes luvaduva. I really appreciate it.

When I was studying before, I was mainly focused on getting it done in 2 min. I would then check the answer and not really focus on what went wrong. I have a good math background but I think I need to start with the basics and learn to recognize the patterns. I really think if I do this I can score well. My highest practice test was a 630 on the free MGMAT (next highest was 620 on GMATPrep1). With stronger study tactics, I am confident that I will do well.

Any comments on when I should start back up? I don't want to wait too long and forget what I've studied before. It's been a couple weeks since the exam. I'm thinking of spending the next month or two reading (books, articles) and reviewing the OG Quant and Verbal books. After that, I'll switch gears...

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by anb » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:34 pm
Hello Everyone,

So I'm getting ready to start studying's been about a 1.5 months since my dismal 560. I've been trying to gather material from this website along with purchasing some extra books.

Based on the info from this great site, I'm thinking of the following plan:

I purchased the MGMAT books online and plan to use them quite a bit. I've heard the books give a good concept review, so maybe this will help me improve my score.

3-4 weeks studying Quant (I have some weakness, but I haven't pin-pointed them yet)
Primary source - MGMAT books and OG 11 Guide

2 weeks on Reading Comp (weakness), also review Quant during 2 weeks
2 weeks on SC (also weakness), also review Quant and maybe RC
2 weeks on CR, also review Quant and RC/SC

I figure 2 hours/day during the week and at least 4 hours/day on the weekends.

After the second week into my studying I plan to start taking a practice test every two weeks. MGMAT and OG 11 will be the primary source. I'll be practicing problems throughout my studying, mainly from this website, kaplan, PR Review, OG Quant and Verb.

I was thinking of getting the Kaplan 800 for the last month as practice. Does anyone know if it's worth it to also get OG 10 even though I have OG 11??

I'm definitely not used to doing this, but I will try to keep a log of the problems I get wrong. I need to train myself to understand my mistakes. That's one of my problems. I also plan to keep a word document of any important notes I come across on websites like such. Maybe I'll make flash cards in addition to the ones on this forum.

Any comments on this plan would be greatly appreciated!!!

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by anb » Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:14 pm
any comments???