Could not beat it - 750 (Q51, V41) AWA 6.0

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Could not beat it - 750 (Q51, V41) AWA 6.0

by netigen » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:12 am
I gave the test today on June 16, 2007 and I got royally screwed in the verbal section. My target score was 780 but I could only get a 750.

Couple of quick thoughts before I loose them:

1. Quantitative section was much easier than I expected. It was closer to PR and Kaplan maths than MGMAT. I think MGMAT is way off the mark and does not represent GMAT when it comes to level of difficulty. MGMAT is too difficult and it kills your confidence.

2. In verbal, CR was easy and straight forward but sentence correction was tricky. RC was well below 65 sentences and easier comparative to PR, Kaplan or MGMAT.

On the test day I was very nervous and anxious as it had been more than 8 years since I gave a competitive test. I also made the mistake of taking 2 MGMAT tests in the last week of preparation. Even though I did well on the tests, the Quant from those tests just killed my confidence in Quant, which is my strong point. On top this the test center (San Jose) was too humid, hot and suffocating (AC was not working inside the test room I think), which gave me a headache within 10 mins of the start of the test.


Quantitative section: Books I referred are
(1) Started with Nova Prep - It is a good foundation book and you can find a ebook version online. I started with it because when I flipped through the pages I got an impression that it had a good set of maths fundamentals. I did a few chapters then switched to MGMAT maths book set.
(2) OG11 and OG quant review - these are the best
(3) MGMAT books on Maths
(4) Kaplan 800 - This is more representative of the level of difficulty of the GMAT Quant
(5) Kaplan Maths workbook - This is a good foundation book but you only need it if you are not good in Quant

Verbal section: Books I referred are
(1) OG11 and OG verbal review
(2) MGMAT books - I hated the CR and RC books from MGMAT. They are complete waste of money.
(3) Kaplan 800
(4) Kaplan verbal workbook
(5) Powerscore LSAT bible CR - I had the ebook LSAT version and I think this is the best book for CR out there. Now a GMAT version is also available and buying a copy of the same will be a good investment. Simple difference is the number of pages 600+ in LSAT version and 300+ in GMAT version.

Notes I referred to
(1) GMAT flashcards from BTG
(2) Sumit's notes for SC
(3) Amateur's note for SC
(4) Sahil's note

Other tools
(1) MGMAT tracking sheet for OG11
(2) MGMAT OG stopwatch - excellent tool - free with registration
(3) Manhattan GMAT Test Simulation Booklet w/ Marker (from amazon)
(4)Two from GMATPrep - free download from ... ftware.htm
(5) Two from Power prep - free download (not adaptive)
(6) Four from Princeton review with their books + 1 free on their website (needs registration)
(7) Four from Kaplan with the Kaplan books + 1 free online (needs registration)
(8) Six with any MGMAT book + 1 free online on their site (needs registration)
(9) Five from GMAT800 - 1 free demo online

Strategy suggestions
Based on my experience I would suggest the following:
1. Do not prepare for too long. Plan your preparation for 60-90 days. If you delay too much you loose focus and also interest. I also saw my scores go down because I delayed my prep time to 4 months (refer to my practice cat scores)
2. Focus on the MGMAT SC book for SC (note: if you buy the SC book you get the 6 MGMAT exams for free - this means 6 exams + the SC bible for 17$ - what a deal)
3. From the set of SC notes I have, the Amateur's note for SC are really good. I would recommend the same to everyone.
4. Focus on the Quant basics like number props, algebra, inequalities etc. Most of the question in my test were around quant basics. No fancy stuff like in MGMAT or GMAT800 cats. I only got 2-3 total questions related to Permutation, combination and probability.
5. Focus on OG11 for CR practice. Also, use Kaplan 800 and Kaplan verbal workbook if you are weak in CR. Read the strategy from only one book preferably the Powerscore GMAT bible.
6. For RC I initially followed the advice of MGMAT and like to take notes but soon realized that I was wasting valuable time in taking notes which were of no use to answer the Questions. The RC on the GMAT are much smaller than what we get in the MGMAT, Kaplan or princeton CATs. MGMAT hit me with a 95 lines RC in one CAT. In the original GMAT I only got 35-50 line RCs.

My simulation test results:

Official GMAT software
GP 1 - 710 (Q48, V38)
GP 2 - 750 (Q50, V42)
GP 1 #2 - 760 (Q49,V44)
GP 1 #3 - 760
GP 2 #2 - 750
PP 1 - 770 (Q49, V45)

GMAT800 tests
G800 Q3V2 - 740 (Q54, V38)

Princeton Review
PR 1 - 770 (Q51, V46)
PR 2 - 730 (Q51, V46)
PR 3 - 710 (Q51, V38)
PR 4 - 670 (Q41, V42)

KP 1 - 700 (Q46, V42) - Online free test
KP 2 - 670

MGMAT tests
MGMAT 1 - 730 (Q48,V42)
MGMAT 2 - 710 (Q44,V42)
MGMAT 3 - 740 (Q49, V42)
MGMAT 4 - 770 (Q51, V44)
MGMAT 5 - 710 (Q49, V37)

In my opinion the pacing for preparation should be something like this -

1. Study for 4-6 weeks to revise all quant and verbal for e.g. complete OG11 and OG review workbooks
2. Give GMAT Prep1, Power prep1, free Kaplan test, free PR test, free MGMAT test
3. Figure out your weak points based on the results
4. Review for 2 weeks
5. Give all MGMAT tests, review your mistakes by going through the test results and reading the MGMAT answers and reasoning
6. Prepare for another week
7. Give GMAT prep2
8. Give real GMAT

MGMAT answers are really good and they help a lot in understanding the approach and concept. Kaplan and PR do not provide the same level of explanation. I would not recommend to give MGMAT too close to the real test. Stick with GMAT Prep when you are close to the real GMAT test date.

AWA templates

Just got my AWA score and found that I did pretty good since I got 6.0. I prepared for last two days and focussed on building templates in advance. The intent was to not think about the structure in the test and just worry about the point of analysis or argument.

I am attaching two templates that I finalized for use in the test:

Analysis of an argument

Although the argument may be logically sound, it fails to provide strong examples and real context in order to substantiate the conclusion that ..state the conclusion... It provides .... state some flaws. However, there are many other factors that contribute to a weak conclusion and flawed argument.

Most of all, provide a flawed assumption and blow holes in it. Provide examples on how this gap can be filled.

In addition, ......another flaw and how to fix it

Furthermore, ..........another flaw and how to fix it

In sum, argument fails to convince ...state conclusion.... Now sum up all the ways the argument can be strengthened.

Analysis of an issue

The issue of ........ is a controversial one. On the one hand many people argue that ...... while others believe that ...... In this age, when ........., this issue is increasingly becoming important. In this essay, I will argue that ........

Main reason for my view is .....................

Another reason is ............

Moreover, ....................

However, many people argue that ...... (counter and then refute)

Finally, I have argued that ....... Many of these issues can never be resolved to everybody's satisfaction, but in the long run, promoting ________________________________ will lead to the betterment of all involved. Finally, _____________________________ increased something like global cooperation, cultural understanding, blah, blah, blah can only result from this, resulting in ______________________________ for everybody.[/b]
Last edited by netigen on Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:56 am, edited 13 times in total.

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by durgesh79 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 12:19 am
Congrats man !!!! 750 is not bad .....

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by wawatan » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:44 am
great job! good luck on applications

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by tomato1 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 2:25 am
Damn gud..........congrats

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by Neo2000 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 3:50 am
Dude!! Are you serious?? 750 is a fantastic score! Plus or Minus a few points doesnt not a difference make.

Is there some specific reason for the 780? most ppl would kills for a 750.

Getting a 750 and then saying you could not beat is is the pits. Appreciate what you have.

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by s_raizada » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:16 am
Congrats netigen!!!!

It would be great to get an update on your preparation strategy. Verbal seems to be troubling me a lot.
Last edited by s_raizada on Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by codesnooker » Tue Jun 17, 2008 4:45 am
Congrats Netigen,

750 is not so bad. I understand that you want to go bit off mark to other but still 750 is very good and best of luck for your applications.

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by kindofbluenote » Tue Jun 17, 2008 5:47 am
Congrats, that's a score to certainly be proud of.

One question: You mentioned that the MGMAT quant isn't representitive of the difficulty of the real thing. How so? Is MGMAT more or less difficult, or is it just constructed differently?

(I'm not sure how to explain--some study guides ask questions that are either worded differently than any retired questions I've seen, or completely out of the scope. If the questions are similar, but the level of difficulty between the two varies, then I hope MGMAT is harder...)

Thanks for any insight, and good luck with the admissions!
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by chipjet » Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:11 am
Let me just say that if I get a 750 on Monday, then you will see a thread saying I beat the GMAT. Great score! :lol:

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by atlantic » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:49 am
I can't imagine a b-school that takes 750 as a low score. Pls, remember that 800 is the maximum score, lol. And that only ~50 guys out of the 200.000 that take the test every year are able to reach that level.

Congrats pal. I've reed a lot of your threads and I can only say that you helped a lot of people here (including me), thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Anybody else only satisfied with 800? I would fall into tears of joy until my body completely dewaters with a score over 700.

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by netigen » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:31 am
Added the debrief to my original post. I also want to thank the BTG community. I think this forum has been a great help, without which I would not have scored so high.

Thanks to all of you for active participation and selfless sharing and the moderators for starting such a wonderful forum.


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by jasonc » Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:26 pm
netigen I understand how you feel. Right after I took the GMAT I felt the same way, that I could/should have done much better.
Except for me the regret came from the quant section instead of the verbal :)

For me, after a few hours (or was it days...) the feeling passed, as I'm sure it will/has for you.

Now i"m just focusing on getting ready for the essays, and finding a prospect for my second/third recommendation. GL on your apps.

Just curious, whats your profile?
I beat the GMAT! 760 (Q49/V44)

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Amateur's note for SC

by CITI29 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:22 pm
hi ,

can anyone pls advise where can I find 'Amateur's notes for SC'...if you can pls send me the link..

thanks a lot in advance.

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by netigen » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:59 pm
Amateur's GMAT notes
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by luvaduva » Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:13 am
Awesome Score and Congrats!

I hope you beat the hell out of business school!