from 610 to 750!! What worked, what didn't + tools for you

Find out how Beat The GMAT members tackled GMAT test prep with positive results. Get tips on GMAT test prep materials, online courses, study tips, and more.
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by crazy4gmat » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:36 am
Congrats..good debrief..

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by BlueDragon2010 » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:53 pm
Great score Ted, and nice breakdown. I like your idea to break stuff down and study by topic. I'm considering getting the gmatfix OG Companion. Hope I can have good results with it also

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Inspirational

by Bubba » Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:56 pm
Hi Ted,

That's very inspirational. I took the exam on March 9th and scored a 610. I only scored in the 47th percentile in quant and 84th percentile in verbal. I've been mainly studying quant over the past three weeks and taking GMAT Prep tests. Not much time left and I must kick it into high gear. I'm thinking of taking at least three more GMAT Prep tests before G-Day.

My experience was very similar to yours...procrastination, early morning exam appointment...I'm changing things this time and I hope it works!

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by GmatGreen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:24 pm
you don't need a paypal account.

I'll buy GMATFix Official Guide Companion tomorrow or Friday. I took a look at the sample on the company site and I think it will be helpful.

Well done on a great score!

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by bronzie35 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 6:07 pm
Ted,

Congratulations!

I wanted to ask...how valuable do you feel the OG companion book from GMATFIX was? Especially in terms of simplifiying methods to solving problems and tips to get to answers quicker. I'll be taking the GMAT in about 1 month but I don't know if I can get through the 500 pages of the book.

Thanks

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by TedCornell » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:07 am
Hey Bronzie,

I found the OG Companion from GMATFix very useful in breaking down questions, but even more in showing how the gmat strategies that you learn from other books can be used to solve real gmat questions.

The book is large, 600 pages actually so you may not get through it in a month. If you get it, you'll have to be strategic about how you use it. For instance, if your math is average or below, you should focus on the OG Solutions part of the book but if you're a very strong quant performer you might find that you can also benefit from the Advanced Speed Drills

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Re: Inspirational

by TedCornell » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:09 am
Bubba wrote:Hi Ted,

That's very inspirational. I took the exam on March 9th and scored a 610. I only scored in the 47th percentile in quant and 84th percentile in verbal. I've been mainly studying quant over the past three weeks and taking GMAT Prep tests. Not much time left and I must kick it into high gear. I'm thinking of taking at least three more GMAT Prep tests before G-Day.

My experience was very similar to yours...procrastination, early morning exam appointment...I'm changing things this time and I hope it works!
Hey Bubba; I hope you excel the 2nd time around!

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by maximus1285 » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:14 pm
Hey Great score. It definitely shows discipline and determination. I'm in a similar situation (got a 590 first attempt, looking to break 700) and currently devising a realistic study plan for my retake. How many weeks did you study for your retake? I've planned 11 weeks, is this too much or too little? Thanks for the advice

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by LulaBrazilia » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:46 pm
I think 11 weeks is a good chunk of time if you can remain disciplined. 590 to 700 is a huge jump. I hope you make it!

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by TedCornell » Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:02 pm
maximus1285 wrote:Hey Great score. It definitely shows discipline and determination. I'm in a similar situation (got a 590 first attempt, looking to break 700) and currently devising a realistic study plan for my retake. How many weeks did you study for your retake? I've planned 11 weeks, is this too much or too little? Thanks for the advice
11 weeks is enough time to make a big difference if you remain focus and disciplined, IMO. For me, 3 months at 12-15hrs of study per week was enough. Let us know what your study plan is, especially if it works!!

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by BlueDragon2010 » Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:27 pm
Good luck Maximus

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TedCornell wrote:Hi guys,

First I’d like to thank the founders and supporters of this forum and others like it. This is a great community where everyone helps everyone else. I’ve been a “passive” surfer for months, looking up techniques, following advice, etc…

The first time I took my test, I had a 610. Thanks to all those who contributed, I was able to refine my GMAT prep; I retook the test 3 months later and scored a 750! Yeah I know, lucky dog. Since the forum has been so helpful, I decided to share what I did right, and what I did wrong.

THINGS I DID WRONG (leading up to my 610 score)
Procrastination: I have the tendency to always find an excuse for why I can’t do what I should when I should. I was supposed to take the GMAT 6 months ago to meet my deadlines, but I would study hard for a week, then not do much for another. This definitely delayed my progress.

Study the same lesson from different books: Ok, pretty much all decent gmat books have a lesson on geometry, a lesson on fractions & percentages, a lesson on grammar… I can only speak for myself but I have to say that learning the same technique by different names from different books was probably counter productive. I ended up slightly confused. I found that I felt a lot better working from the best book for a given topic.

Too little review: When I did practice exercises and tests, I didn’t spend as much time as I should have going over the content. We all know that the Official Guide is great for practice but a bit skimpy on explanations. You must go over EVERY SINGLE answer/explanation available to you.

Schedule the test in the morning: I’m not a morning person, so scheduling the test in the morning was never a good idea for me. That morning I had to rush to the test center; I was tired, groggy and stressed all at once. No fun and my score was a reflection of that.

THINGS I DID RIGHT (leading up to my 750 score)
Devise a plan of study: Studying for the GMAT is essentially like going on a diet. The first week, you’re gung-ho and ready to go. You have new books, big ideas and all the enthusiasm in the world. You want to do everything. By the 4th week, it’s a different story. After my first test, I knew that I would take the exam again, so I decided to write up a plan of study. The key is that it had to be a realistic plan. Don’t start off at a rhythm that you cannot maintain. I divided the GMAT content into its topics. My plan was divided into two-week cycles as such:

oReview and practice 3 topics a day spending 45 minutes on each topic and taking 10 minutes break between topics (which topic you do on which day doesn’t really matter as long as you do them all)
oAfter 2 weeks, all topics are covered. Take a full length practice test in one sitting (besides the two 10minute breaks) in a quiet environment.
oGo over the exam to figure out what you got wrong, try to find out why, and establish specific goals for improving over the next 2 weeks. Goals typically fell in one of three areas: pacing, mastery of content, or minimizing careless errors

•I divided the GMAT into the topics below:
o17 QUANT topics: Number Properties, Fractions-Decimals-Percents, Ratios-Proportions, Exponents-Roots, Statistics-Data Interpretation, Sets, Combinatorics-Probability, Linear Equations, Non-Linear Equations, Inequalities-Absolute Values, Rate-Work, Functions-Sequences, Lines-Angles, Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Circles, 3-d Geometry and Coordinate Geometry.
o14 VERBAL topics: Verb tense, Pronouns, Idioms, Modifiers, Parallel Structures, Subject-Verb Agreement, RC-Science, RC-Social Science, RC-Economics, CR-Weaken, CR-Strengthen, CR-Evaluate, CR-Inference, and CR-Resolve-Explain

Spend time to go over your work!! I attribute most of my improvement to my dedication to review my work and really delve into why I missed each question and how I could have worked more efficiently even on those questions I got right. We know that the Official Guide is pretty much the bible of GMAT prep. Unfortunately it seems the solutions were written by people who would rather be doing something else. They’re a bit skimpy. There is a great book I would recommend called The Official Guide Companion. It breaks down every quant question in the official guide to the minutest of details, and shows different approaches and guessing strategies for each question. I didn’t find it too helpful for the easier questions, but it was an invaluable resource for the high-medium and hard questions.

GmatPrep Test often: Unfortunately the GMATprep software has only 2 tests, but the last few weeks before my exam, I kept deleting and retaking the tests simply because they’re the best available. Some people don’t like that because they will see some of the same questions (true) but I felt the upside was too good to pass. After taking the test 4-5 times, it’s true that your score will be inflated by the questions you’re familiar with, but you will still see many new questions and ultimately I think GMATPrep is the only test that actually has the authentic content that you will face on game day. 4 weeks and earlier before your exam, you can take other tests, but I think from the 4 week mark in, you should take only GMATPrep. Ignore the score, focus on the content. Even if you see a question you know, hold yourself accountable for solving it rather than just picking the answer. I just told myself that I wanted to consistently score 40-50 points above my target score, so I kept taking GMATPrep and mastering its questions. I had a 770 my last GMATPrep and a 750 on the actual GMAT.

THE RESOURCES I USED (for my higher score, rated with the most important first)
•Official Guides (no point preparing for the GMAT without this)

•GMATFix’s The Official Guide Companion (you can see the book at gmatfix.com --> ScoreBoost Tools on menubar or just download the free preview that I attached :-)

•Flashcards (I studied flashcards just about every day. There are many good sets out there. I used the cards available on BeatTheGMAT and the set from the gmatfix website – note that the full set is not free, but there is a healthy free set that you can add to your flashcards.

•Forums. Use them. There is always someone who has gone through your situation and who is willing to lend a hand.

Best of luck and don't give up!! :-)

Pls stop promoting your gmatfix in this forum.
Buyer beware.After my investigation,i found his debrief to be disingenious.
A word is enough for the wise.

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by uptowngirl92 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 10:00 pm
i cant open the og companion??cn somebody send me a link again?

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by kobel51 » Sun May 03, 2009 10:24 pm
If anyone is interested, there is an open thread where ppl have posted their reviews of the OG Companion: https://www.beatthegmat.com/reviews-of-o ... 33767.html

@Uptowngirl
The file that was attached to this post is freely available from the gmatfix site. It was a 20pg excerpt of the OG Companion.

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by roma » Fri May 08, 2009 11:19 pm
You rally are a lucky guy...but sure u put in a lot of hard work......congratulations. all you guys who do not give up and rach the hights are an ispiration for so many.