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710 - (Q46, V41) - I Beat The GMAT!

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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710 - (Q46, V41) - I Beat The GMAT!

by JohnReuwer » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:22 pm
I would like to thank everyone for his or her help. I couldn't have done it without you! Also, my first CAT was 540 so if you are scoring in the mid-500's, don't give up. If I can do it, so can you. Trust me.

Test Impressions


Overall - The testing procedure was very unusual with all the security precautions but being able to take the test at an individual kiosk was very calming. I was less nervous on the GMAT than I have been in other standardized tests (SAT, LSAT.) It is silly that they make you leave your kiosk for breaks. You can't just sit and stretch. Very odd. Also, they wouldn't let me get food out of my locker during my break. I thought that was unnecessary. Additionally, the dry erase pad wasn't a problem at all. I never needed more than one and had plenty of room.

Quantitative - I felt that the quantitative was easier on the actual GMAT than on the practice exams (MGMAT.) They are closer to the OG problems than the MGMAT problems. For example, I never had a single combination, permutation, probability or complex geometry problem. It did, however, have more inequalities than the practice exams. I should point out that the quantitative section was always my weak spot. I went from scoring in the 12% (seriously) to the 78% (actual GMAT.) I haven't had a math class since high-school (no math in college.)

Verbal - I thought the verbal was exactly the same as the practice tests I had been taking. In fact, I scored almost exactly the same on the actual GMAT as I did on the last 2 or 3 practice tests (MGMAT.) Verbal was always my strong section. I scored in the 90%+ on my first CAT and never dropped below it. But MGMAT's SC book is pure gold. It definitely helped me go deeper into 90%+ territory. If you just focus on the MGMAT SC book for a solid week or two, you'll be scoring in the 700+ range on the SC problems. It's that good.

If anyone wants any advice on study tips, I'll add my two cents. If not, I just want to thank everyone for their help. You guys and girls are more valuable than you realize. I can, without a doubt, say that I scored a 700+ because of this board. Thank you everyone!

Background:

Age: 25
Education: BA in Philosophy and JD.
GPA: 3.3 (undergrad)

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by Prasanna » Sat Apr 05, 2008 1:30 pm
Congratulations on the great score. Wish you good luck. I suggest you post your prep experience for the benefit of others.

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by dotty » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:58 am
Waht was your study prep like?

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by JohnReuwer » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:38 pm
dotty wrote:Waht was your study prep like?
I gave myself about 4 months preparation time, however, the first 2 months was a Princeton Review Prep Course. I took the course because I had been away from math for so long. The course served it's purpose very well and I was scoring into the low-mid 600's and remembered the basics in math.

The last two months I focused on the MGMAT Math Books, the OG and OG Quantitative. I made sure I did every problem in the OG Math Section and the Quantitative Guide. They are excellent for the kind of problems that you see in the 300-700 range. I think the MGMAT is better for the 700+ difficulty questions.

I did no studying on the CR or RC questions because I did so well on them.

All in all, I think MGMAT is an excellent prep company. I was very impressed with their products. If you master the MGMAT books and the OG and the related guides, you will do well.

A few little tips:

(1) Check the answer explanation for every question, even if you got it right. The reason is that the GMAT doesn't test difficult math, but it will try to confuse you. There are a lot of shortcuts that cut your calculation time significantly. By reading all the explanations, you will catch the shortcuts. Knowing shortcuts can be the difference between finishing the math section and guessing on the last 5-10.

(2) In the beginning, don't time yourself on math problems. Instead, look at the question and ask yourself: "What are they trying to really ask?" You will notice patterns on the GMAT where they will ask the same kind of question many different ways but, at their core, it is asking the same thing. Examples Include:
(a) Distance/Rate/Time problems
(b) Work/Jobs Done In A Certain Amount of Time
(c) % of % of % of a group
(d) Rate of increase up to a certain time in the future
(e) Mean, Median, Consecutive Integers

(3) Watch for trigger words and understand how they effect the outcome of a problem. Trigger words include integer, positive, negative, even, odd, greater than, less than. If you can train yourself to understand what happens in any of these trigger words are dropped into an equation, you can do very well on the DS questions. DS questions usually try to pop you on these very situations.

If I think of anything else, and I am sure I will, I will update this thread accordingly. The entire point of this board is to try to help the next round of test takers so I will do whatever I can. And feel free to ask me anything else.

Thank you everyone!