Goal 710, test date 7-10

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Goal 710, test date 7-10

by jmaynardj » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:11 pm
Quick history: I have studied for the GMAT for 2 months. I spent the first month using the Kaplan study guide. Eventually I started taking practice tests and browsing different forums. Below are my test results and reactions to the tests.

1. Kaplan written test: 690

This was an easy test to take, not too stressful. I did much better on the verbal than I expected and worse on the quant as I was a mathmatics undergrad.

2. Kaplan online test: 670

Test felt similar to the written even though it was supposed to be adaptive. Studied a bunch and took a step back, was frustrated, but knew that this was probably withing the +/- that my score would vary

3. mba.com GMATprep test A: 700

This was such a shockingly hard test to take. I felt like I was getting my butt kicked. I got 15 quant wrong and 10 verbal wrong. It was a wake-up call to what the test would actually feel like. I spent WAAAAY to much time on the early quant problems which killed me in the end of the quant b/c with <1 min per problem for the last 20 :(

4. mba.com GMATprep test B: 710

Same experience as above. I did not have a good strategy to speed up on the early math problems. 15 quant wrong and 7 verbal wrong. What the heck am I doing getting in the 97th percentile in verbal and the 83rd in quant anyway :(

5. Princeton review online test: 570

I seriously almost cried after this experience. I still can't explain fully what actually happened, but I just pray it does not happen again on the test day.

6. Old MBA.com prep test A (forget the name): 690

Right back to my original score. 83rd percentile in math and 93rd in verbal. I felt like I paced my mathematics much better than in previous tests, never rushing like I had to so many times before. But I ended up getting q3 and q4 wrong because of stupid mistakes, so in the end I netted the same result

So I have a few questions:

Am I just where I am going to be in two weeks and not much will actually change my score?

If the answer to the above is "no" (and I pray it is), what do I do?
- How can feel secure about getting my goal of a 710 on the test?
- What would be the most effective ways I could improve my quant score and my method for taking the quant?
- Should I purchase more practice tests?
- I feel like my biggest problem is finding the balance of getting through early questions while still making sure I get them right. What would be the best resources to refine that ability?

I am kinda at my last resort at this moment in time. I have noticed what a great community this place is and am hoping that I can benefit from the wisdom that you all have.

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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by Ian Stewart » Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:19 pm
Of all the diagnostic tests, GMATPrep gives the best indication of how you'll score on the real GMAT. From your tests, it seems your 'true' GMAT ability is right around 700. That is an excellent score, and you'll have a chance for admission at any business school with that result. In two weeks, I think the most realistic expectation would be a 20 point improvement, given your current level- it's much harder to improve when you're already near the top. Of course, on test day there are several factors that can play a role, so you might score a bit higher or lower than your true ability. Specific recommendations are difficult, without knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It sounds as though you'd benefit more from a focus on maths than on verbal. I normally find that even the best GMAT takers are weak in number theory (divisibility, primes, remainders). If you can learn that area well, you can make dramatic improvements- it's one of the most important topics on the test, and few test-takers have an adequate command of the subject.

Hopefully other GMAT teachers will contribute here- it's best to have a variety of opinions. Good luck!
If you are looking for online GMAT math tutoring, or if you are interested in buying my advanced Quant books and problem sets, please contact me at ianstewartgmat at gmail.com

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Re: Goal 710, test date 7-10

by lunarpower » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:28 am
first of all, congratulations on your scores; those are some considerable achievements.

i agree with what the previous poster has said about number properties in particular. not only are number properties the achilles heel of many a test taker, but they are also the basis for many of the gmat's "hardest" questions - i.e., the questions you'll see if you're scoring 700+ on the exam.
this is not to say that number properties questions are the only material to appear at that skill level (that would obviously be a lie), but, rather, than they are somewhat overrepresented at those levels.

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in your case, you're already a high scorer. this means that you're going to get a rather large # of questions that are difficult, and much of that difficulty will stem from the fact that problems are LOTS of work. so you should prepare for problems that will take a fair amount of time to solve (except for the number properties questions - even the hardest of these usually don't take very long, provided you can decode the meaning of the statements).

how can you prepare to solve problems time-efficiently?
one excellent way is what i call the OPENERS DRILL. in this drill, you hammer through about 50-100 o.g. problems per hour, and just specify how you would START the problem. that's right - you don't actually go all the way through the problem, you just start it and move on. you see, more than half the battle against gmat math problems is won or lost right at the beginning of the problem: if you're off to a solid beginning, you'll probably do well on the problem**, and, if you falter and take over a minute even to start the problem, you probably won't do so well.

this drill is pointless until the test is pretty close, because you have to have all your content down cold to do it. there are two advantages of using the openers drill in the last week before your test:
1) it provides BREADTH - i.e., if you slam through hundreds of openers, you'll touch on every conceivable subject area of gmat math within a few hours. if you're actually going through entire problems, the way you would midway through your preparation, you'll neglect entire areas.
2) it will point out, with brutal honesty, any weaknesses that still exist in your foundation of knowledge.
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Re: Goal 710, test date 7-10

by jmaynardj » Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:39 am
lunarpower wrote: how can you prepare to solve problems time-efficiently?
one excellent way is what i call the OPENERS DRILL. in this drill, you hammer through about 50-100 o.g. problems per hour, and just specify how you would START the problem. that's right - you don't actually go all the way through the problem, you just start it and move on. you see, more than half the battle against gmat math problems is won or lost right at the beginning of the problem: if you're off to a solid beginning, you'll probably do well on the problem**, and, if you falter and take over a minute even to start the problem, you probably won't do so well.

this drill is pointless until the test is pretty close, because you have to have all your content down cold to do it. there are two advantages of using the openers drill in the last week before your test:
1) it provides BREADTH - i.e., if you slam through hundreds of openers, you'll touch on every conceivable subject area of gmat math within a few hours. if you're actually going through entire problems, the way you would midway through your preparation, you'll neglect entire areas.
2) it will point out, with brutal honesty, any weaknesses that still exist in your foundation of knowledge.
Thanks for both or your responses, but thanks especially for this very specific advice. This is a great idea! Do you know of a good source for hundreds of questions? Even if they are pay (as I have been avoiding thus far :P) I think by doing 4-5 of these exercises and finding out the types of problems I tend to start incorrectly will really help.

My problem can be that I know the answer, and I know that I know it, but I back my way into it instead of doing it the easy way. So I end up taking 5 minutes instead of 2.

Thanks again.

Anybody else got some advice?

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by jmaynardj » Wed Jul 02, 2008 5:51 am
based on linarpower's suggestion I am going to do just tons of math problems, just the beginnings. Can anybody point me to a resource where I can find 100s of quantitative problems?

Thanks for help.

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by lunarpower » Fri Jul 04, 2008 1:10 am
jmaynardj wrote:based on linarpower's suggestion I am going to do just tons of math problems, just the beginnings. Can anybody point me to a resource where I can find 100s of quantitative problems?

Thanks for help.
lunar, not linar!

THE sources for you to use:
* og11
* og11 green quant supplement
* gmatprep math problems (you can find hundreds of them on our forum here, one problem per thread).

these three together comprise over a thousand problems, so i doubt you'll be exhausting them anytime soon - especially if you review the ones that stump you with the requisite diligence.

good luck.
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by mwilliams » Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:48 am
edit: cleared
Last edited by mwilliams on Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by jmaynardj » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 pm
Thanks for the advice :) I am going to look around of the "og11" resource and ignore my Princeton test score as I took another practice test and got a 690. So the Princeton score was an anomaly.

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by jmaynardj » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:06 pm
Oh and sorry about the mistype lunarpower :)

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by jmaynardj » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:30 pm
Thanks again for the advice. I am now looking to clean up my math with some harder problems. Is there a place I can go to get a slew of harder math problems? Doing the easy and moderate problems just is not helping any longer.

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by lunarpower » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:46 am
jmaynardj wrote:Thanks again for the advice. I am now looking to clean up my math with some harder problems. Is there a place I can go to get a slew of harder math problems? Doing the easy and moderate problems just is not helping any longer.
you can always check out our challenge problem archive. if you've registered for our website, you can find those problems under Student Center --> Challenge Problems.

warning: the problems in our challenge problem archive are what we like to call "900 level" problems - meaning that most of them are substantially harder than anything you can expect to see on the real exam - but that's what makes them so much fun.
oh yeah.

by the way, make sure that you don't concentrate on difficult material so much that you forget to study TIME MANAGEMENT. remember, being able to solve 600-700 level problems in 2:00 or less is proportionally more important than being able to solve really, really hard problems.
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by dv.satish » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:09 pm
[quote="lunarpower"][quote="jmaynardj"]Thanks again for the advice. I am now looking to clean up my math with some harder problems. Is there a place I can go to get a slew of harder math problems? Doing the easy and moderate problems just is not helping any longer.[/quote]

you can always check out our challenge problem archive. if you've registered for our website, you can find those problems under Student Center --> Challenge Problems.

warning: the problems in our challenge problem archive are what we like to call "900 level" problems - meaning that most of them are substantially harder than [i]anything[/i] you can expect to see on the real exam - but that's what makes them so much fun.
oh yeah.

by the way, make sure that you don't concentrate on [i]difficult[/i] material so much that you forget to study TIME MANAGEMENT. remember, being able to solve 600-700 level problems in 2:00 or less is proportionally more important than being able to solve really, really hard problems.[/quote]


Hi Lunar , I went thru ur website gmatix.com it a cool site. Hey i am planning to write the GMAT after two months , Pl advise how to go abt it?
I have 2 yrs wok ex in an IT company,

Thanks ,
Satish--------

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by lunarpower » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:30 pm
dv.satish wrote:Hi Lunar , I went thru ur website gmatix.com it a cool site. Hey i am planning to write the GMAT after two months , Pl advise how to go abt it?
I have 2 yrs wok ex in an IT company,

Thanks ,
gmatix isn't mine; that's someone else on here. i can't remember who at the moment.

your question ("how do i go about taking the gmat?") is way, way, way too general to answer, unfortunately. please post some specific questions if you'd like specific answers!
Ron has been teaching various standardized tests for 20 years.

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by dv.satish » Fri Jul 11, 2008 8:58 am
Thanks Lunar for replying ! Sorry for posting such a question. I actually wanted to know about how should i go for the preparation i.e the books , how is Barrons?
Satish--------

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by jmaynardj » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:41 am
Thanks for all the advice. I ended up getting a 740! This surpassed my expectations.

One piece of advice I would add to using an operners drill is to make sure that when you go back to doing the actual test you adjust back to a reasonable speed instead of the openers drill speed of addressing quant questions.

I found that my first practice test back I ended up flying through the section, but making silly mistakes because speed was my priority. This is a great drill to speed up your responses and help find out where your weaknesses are, but make sure you take a couple practice tests after this to apply the modifications appropriately.