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I beat the GMAT - 750 after 6 months of study!

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.
This topic has expert replies
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I just beat the gmat!! I took the gmat the first time in March 2013 (4 years ago). I didn't study at all - I fully intended to but was an IB at the time and couldn't fit it in. I took a manhattan gmat course but only went to like 2 classes, never did the homework, but I did have all the books and materials.

In October 2016 I started studying hardcore. I knew I wanted to go S/H/W and my undergrad GPA was relatively low so I had to crush it. First thing i d was take a GMAT Prep practice test - 640. Coulda been better, but coulda been worse. I signed up for magoosh and bought the most recent 2017 OG. I started working through the OG from the beginning and watching the magoosh videos, trying to cover a concept and then answer all the practice questions on that topic. At this point, I was ONLY studying quant. I found studying verbal very boring and didn't really like doing it. I would study for a few weeks on a couple topics and then take a practice test and then move on to the next set of topics. Here were my scores:

CATDate Score Q V Test Taken
30-Oct 640 42 35 GMAT Prep 1
20-Nov 660 44 36 Manhattan Gmat 1
3-Dec 640 43 34 Manhattan Gmat 2
17-Dec 700 44 41 GMAT Prep 2
7-Jan 720 49 40 GMAT Prep 3
14-Jan 710 48 40 GMAT Prep 4
28-Jan 670 44 38 GMAT Prep 5
18-Feb 730 49 41 GMAT Prep 6

When I made the jump in verbal from 34 to 41 I really started to feel like the test was within my finger tips. At this point I realized i needed a good kick to my quant score and I purchased target test prep and started doing those lessons and tests to supplement. I still never really studied verbal beyond my practice tests.

i was originally scheduled to take the test on Feb 11th, but had to push it back for two reasons. 1.) Midway through January I was invited to a business trip that would span that weekend - I thought it would be bad for my career to decline. 2.) My friends planned a big ski trip for the weekend of Feb 4th. i knew I had to make sacrifices, but I really wanted to go.

I pushed back my test to March 4th and slowed my roll. At this point, i read and did the manhattan gmat sentence correction book. I noticed my sentence correction scores improve but my overalls were pretty consistently 40-42 so I don't know if this was really worth it.

After I got my final prep score of 730 i knew I was ready to go. I spent the next two weeks deeply reviewing my previous gmat prep practice tests.

I took my game day route really seriously. I live in southern california and traffic can be unpredictable, the test was 35 minutes from my home in no traffic and my test was at 8am so i decided to stay in a hotel the night before less than 5 minutes from the test center. I stayed at a raddisson literally across the street from the test center. The night before i checked into my hotel after work at 6:30, ordered dinner, and watched a documentary - did not think about the gmat at all. I went to bed at 9:30 and woke up at 6am. First thing I did was 5 easy gmat math questions from magoosh just to get in the zone. After showering and getting dressed, at 6:45 I went down to the hotel breakfast buffett and had a cup of coffee, a bunch of water, and some oatmeal and eggs. I did a challenging sodoku and went to the test center.

The rest is history - throughout most of my studying timing was never a problem, I always did the sections super fast and ended up with 15-20 minutes at the end. i made a point to do the quant slowly and eliminate stupid mistakes. i ended up with 2 minutes remaining. I did verbal normal and ended with 30 minutes left. this made me a little scared, as I had tried to work slowly, but knew this was consistent with my practice.

And I beat it! 750 with 50Q and 42V.

My number 1 tip - don't make perfect the enemy of good. I know a lot of people emphasized test-like conditions at all times, but I wanted to be good under all conditions. I studied on planes, trains, and in cars. When I didn't have room for pen and paper I opened up word docs and wrote out equations. I studied the week of christmas while spending time with my family watching movies and chatting. In 10 minute breaks waiting for meeitngs to begin i went in and did 2 magoosh questions. I was just consistent and practiced as much as possible. My lowest pracice test score during the end (670) I took the test in a coffee shop with my boyfriend and a visiting friend next to me chatting with me. I didn't do as well as I was used to, but I still made mistakes that I learned from. If I had only studied when conditions were ideal, I would have studied far less, and I really attribute my success to studying a LOT.

Really recommend magoosh and TTP to get acquainted with all the different concepts. When I did the gmat prep tests I could always think back to the lesson and isolate what the question was testing and then work through it from there. I wish I had put a little more effort into verbal, I think with some studying I probably oculd have gotten up to 43 or 44, but I guess I'll never know. the timing through me off a little bit (working towards the Feb 11th test date and then pushing it back 3 weeks) - I had a really hard time pushing through the last month, but after I scored well on my last practice test I was totally in the zone.

Let me know of any other questions!
[/i]

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by alex89 » Sun May 21, 2017 8:03 pm
Hi VC,

Many thanks for your wonderful debrief. I have a few questions specific to the course materials -

1. What resources would you recommend for CR, RC and IR? Would you recommend Powerscore CR Bible?
2. Is there any book that you followed for brushing up your grammar?

Thanks,
Alex

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by DatsunB210 » Tue May 30, 2017 8:54 am
Thanks for taking the time. Can you or anyone offer any advice on how to best utilize Magoosh if you've already been self-prepping?

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by VCPanda » Tue May 30, 2017 9:23 am
alex89 wrote:Hi VC,

Many thanks for your wonderful debrief. I have a few questions specific to the course materials -

1. What resources would you recommend for CR, RC and IR? Would you recommend Powerscore CR Bible?
2. Is there any book that you followed for brushing up your grammar?

Thanks,
Alex
Hi Alex - I did not study for CR, RC, or IR beyond doing practice test and reviewing my errors. For whatever reason, this came naturally to me. For brushing up on grammar I used the Manhattan GMAT SC guide.

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by VCPanda » Tue May 30, 2017 9:25 am
DatsunB210 wrote:Thanks for taking the time. Can you or anyone offer any advice on how to best utilize Magoosh if you've already been self-prepping?
Hey Datsun! So I started using Magoosh by watching all the videos on a topic, and then doing all the questions on that topic. I did that until I completed all the questions. Then when I was done I would go through and do questions I got wrong the first time. If I got it wrong again, I watched the video, and then sometimes brushed up on the topic.,

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by Jeff@TargetTestPrep » Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:06 pm
VCPanda wrote:I just beat the gmat!! I took the gmat the first time in March 2013 (4 years ago). I didn't study at all - I fully intended to but was an IB at the time and couldn't fit it in. I took a manhattan gmat course but only went to like 2 classes, never did the homework, but I did have all the books and materials.

In October 2016 I started studying hardcore. I knew I wanted to go S/H/W and my undergrad GPA was relatively low so I had to crush it. First thing i d was take a GMAT Prep practice test - 640. Coulda been better, but coulda been worse. I signed up for magoosh and bought the most recent 2017 OG. I started working through the OG from the beginning and watching the magoosh videos, trying to cover a concept and then answer all the practice questions on that topic. At this point, I was ONLY studying quant. I found studying verbal very boring and didn't really like doing it. I would study for a few weeks on a couple topics and then take a practice test and then move on to the next set of topics. Here were my scores:

CATDate Score Q V Test Taken
30-Oct 640 42 35 GMAT Prep 1
20-Nov 660 44 36 Manhattan Gmat 1
3-Dec 640 43 34 Manhattan Gmat 2
17-Dec 700 44 41 GMAT Prep 2
7-Jan 720 49 40 GMAT Prep 3
14-Jan 710 48 40 GMAT Prep 4
28-Jan 670 44 38 GMAT Prep 5
18-Feb 730 49 41 GMAT Prep 6

When I made the jump in verbal from 34 to 41 I really started to feel like the test was within my finger tips. At this point I realized i needed a good kick to my quant score and I purchased target test prep and started doing those lessons and tests to supplement. I still never really studied verbal beyond my practice tests.

i was originally scheduled to take the test on Feb 11th, but had to push it back for two reasons. 1.) Midway through January I was invited to a business trip that would span that weekend - I thought it would be bad for my career to decline. 2.) My friends planned a big ski trip for the weekend of Feb 4th. i knew I had to make sacrifices, but I really wanted to go.

I pushed back my test to March 4th and slowed my roll. At this point, i read and did the manhattan gmat sentence correction book. I noticed my sentence correction scores improve but my overalls were pretty consistently 40-42 so I don't know if this was really worth it.

After I got my final prep score of 730 i knew I was ready to go. I spent the next two weeks deeply reviewing my previous gmat prep practice tests.

I took my game day route really seriously. I live in southern california and traffic can be unpredictable, the test was 35 minutes from my home in no traffic and my test was at 8am so i decided to stay in a hotel the night before less than 5 minutes from the test center. I stayed at a raddisson literally across the street from the test center. The night before i checked into my hotel after work at 6:30, ordered dinner, and watched a documentary - did not think about the gmat at all. I went to bed at 9:30 and woke up at 6am. First thing I did was 5 easy gmat math questions from magoosh just to get in the zone. After showering and getting dressed, at 6:45 I went down to the hotel breakfast buffett and had a cup of coffee, a bunch of water, and some oatmeal and eggs. I did a challenging sodoku and went to the test center.

The rest is history - throughout most of my studying timing was never a problem, I always did the sections super fast and ended up with 15-20 minutes at the end. i made a point to do the quant slowly and eliminate stupid mistakes. i ended up with 2 minutes remaining. I did verbal normal and ended with 30 minutes left. this made me a little scared, as I had tried to work slowly, but knew this was consistent with my practice.

And I beat it! 750 with 50Q and 42V.

My number 1 tip - don't make perfect the enemy of good. I know a lot of people emphasized test-like conditions at all times, but I wanted to be good under all conditions. I studied on planes, trains, and in cars. When I didn't have room for pen and paper I opened up word docs and wrote out equations. I studied the week of christmas while spending time with my family watching movies and chatting. In 10 minute breaks waiting for meeitngs to begin i went in and did 2 magoosh questions. I was just consistent and practiced as much as possible. My lowest pracice test score during the end (670) I took the test in a coffee shop with my boyfriend and a visiting friend next to me chatting with me. I didn't do as well as I was used to, but I still made mistakes that I learned from. If I had only studied when conditions were ideal, I would have studied far less, and I really attribute my success to studying a LOT.

Really recommend magoosh and TTP to get acquainted with all the different concepts. When I did the gmat prep tests I could always think back to the lesson and isolate what the question was testing and then work through it from there. I wish I had put a little more effort into verbal, I think with some studying I probably oculd have gotten up to 43 or 44, but I guess I'll never know. the timing through me off a little bit (working towards the Feb 11th test date and then pushing it back 3 weeks) - I had a really hard time pushing through the last month, but after I scored well on my last practice test I was totally in the zone.

Let me know of any other questions!
[/i]
Awesome job on your GMAT! A 750 (with a 50Q) is an incredible score! It was clearly a very smart decision to push your GMAT back to a date when you felt you were ready to go in and kick the pants off the test.

The Target Test Prep team is sincerely delighted that we were able to help you achieve a Q50.

Good luck with everything moving forward!

Jeffrey Miller
Head of GMAT Instruction
jeff@targettestprep.com

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See why Target Test Prep is rated 5 out of 5 stars on BEAT the GMAT. Read our reviews

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by 7ferty » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:36 pm
This is great! Congrats!

Did you use Magoosh for verbal?

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Posts: 4
Joined: 06 Nov 2018

by baldururikson » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:45 am
Great insight for someone just getting started on this challenge.

Way to go, bud.