Raised my official score from a 590 to 720

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I have been a frequent visitor to these posts since last October and never thought that day would come when I would be able to post myself. However, today is that day. I took the GMAT this morning and scored a 720(v40, q49).

It has been an extremely long road and my advice to anyone is don't give up. Study and perseverance will pay off in the end even when you don't think they will. There were plenty of times I wanted to give up and give up my goal of going to a top business school and started evaluating other career options.

My GMAT journey started late summer/early fall 2012 with a Veritas prep class. Overall I thought the class was good and helped with strategy. My initial GMAT attempt (October 2012), the day of the test, I found out that there would be a layoff within my group at work of 6. This obviously hurt my concentration and I scored a terrible 600 (v38, q35). I went back to studying using the Manhattan Prep books and OG and was feeling a lot better and scoring in the high 600s on practice tests. I schedule my next test for the beginning of November. I was then laid-off in late October. My study habits went by the wayside and I scored a 640 (v35, q42). Obviously I was again disappointed and certainly lost concentration due to my now unemployment. However, I did not give up and continued to study throughout the holidays while working on my apps. I sat for the test again in January and scored a 590 (v30, q42). I was devastated and really had no idea what to do. I took several months off and in June signed up for 10 hours of private tutoring with Manhattan GMAT. I also worked through every quant problem in OG12, OG13 and the quant review 2 books.

My last practice test was last Saturday with GMATPrep and I scored a 710. I was happy with this, but a little worried as I had seen several questions on previous mock tests. I kept telling myself that I can do this. I put in a lot of hours into studying and knew it would pay off in the end...and it did.

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by bpolley00 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:50 pm
Your story is an inspiration congratulations on the 720. However, I have one question. Without the tutoring do you believe you could have pulled it off? :)

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by Pioneer1010 » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:38 am
From a pure learning the content perspective - yes I could have gotten there without the tutor because I was there before getting laid off. From a mental preparation and forceing myself to study and show up to each tutoring session prepared - no I wouldn't have been able to do it. Not saying a private tutor is for everyone, but given where my head was at the beginning of the year, it was an absolute necessity for me.

Re. content the Manhattan OG Archer is a must have and at something like 20 bucks it's a no brainer.

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by Si4S » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:44 pm
Congratulations!
Could you give some advice on your verbal strategy? I'm scoring in the mid 600's as well(Verbal 28-32) and I can't seem to break that range. Was a private tutor more helpful for Verbal? Did you go in knowing you'd have to sacrifice a few problems?

Any advice would be helpful! I'm at that very point of "maybe a 700 isn't for me" mentality :-/

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by resolehtmai » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:56 pm
Pioneer1010,
Hats off to you. You have proved that perseverance pays off. Please take time to answer my following questions:
1) I am really struggling with RC. Could you share your step by step thought process that you follow when you see the first RC question?
2) Did you read articles from economist, NYT, wallstreet journal etc. for RC, as suggested by many?

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by Pioneer1010 » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:29 pm
I will address both your questions in the same reply. First off I should say I am a native English speaker so the verbal section wasn't half the battle quant was. My first time taking the GMAT I scored 38 in verbal and only increased that to 40. I also did not do any work with my private tutor on verbal. However, here are a few things I did do with verbal:

- Slowed down. I was always finishing the verbal section with 25+ minutes left. That afforded me plenty of time to slow down and make sure I got every RC question correct. I was literally able to go line by line and find the answer on questions I didn't immediately get on the first read through.

- Before even considering taking the GMAT, I read things like the WSJ, NYT, Economist on a daily basis anyway. I can't say if it helped or didn't help because it was already ingrained in me.

- I did use the Manhattan guides for SC and focused on parallelism and verb use and worked through all the SC questions in the OG to identify areas of weakness.

- Yes, I did go in knowing I would have to sacrifice a few problems in both sections. Keep in the back of your mind that there are "trial" questions so if you get a question that just seems ridiculous or you don't understand at all, skip it. I skipped several questions in both sections.

Sorry I can't be of more help re. the verbal section.

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by portfolio » Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:39 am
Congratulations for your great result.

I also have a question - how far is 710 from 640?
I scored 640 some time ago 41 quant and 36 verbal. How far is 700 from me? :)
Regards,