Debrief: 770 (Q49, V47)

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Debrief: 770 (Q49, V47)

by Kylian » Sat May 24, 2008 12:38 pm
Hey guys,

Just took the exam, scored 770. Debrief below.

A bit about myself: Chinese Canadian, majored in English Literature, 24 years old.

Testing history:

GMATPrep 1 - 730 (Q48, V42) March 18th?
GMATPrep 1 retake - 770 (Q50, V46) April 27

GMATPrep 2 - 770 (Q49, V45) May 18
GMATPrep 2 retake - 780 (Q50, V49) May 19

Real GMAT - 770 (Q49, V47) May 24


A lot has already been said about how to prepare for the exam. I guess the main advice I have to give is to follow the existing advice! I especially recommend Ursula's and Twinsplitter's debriefs, linked below:

https://beatthegmat.blogspot.com/2005/08 ... d-790.html
https://beatthegmat.blogspot.com/2005/08 ... efing.html

Some targeted advice below:

If you scored below Q40 on your first practice run, revisit the basic math principles. Then practice - a lot. Unlike much of the Verbal section, the Quantitative section gets significantly easier with practice. There are a limited number of "question types" on the GMAT, so if you've seen a similar problem before, it makes solving a new problem of the same type so much easier and faster.

If you scored above Q47, it's diminishing returns at the top. You're best able to gain points by getting the timing down, and again - a lot of practice. It's not about whether you can solve the problems - it's about whether you have seen similar problems before, and can solve it quickly.

Furthermore, I wouldn't suggest spending too much time on the more advanced concepts such as combinations and permutations. I didn't get a single problem on these. That said, know your basic probability, and also be aware that you can utilize careful counting to solve most of the easier problems of this type!

If your problem is Verbal, aim for 100% hit rate in SC. It's by far the easiest portion of the exam to improve. It's been said many, many times, but the Manhattan GMAT book for SC will save you. Buy it, highlight in it, take notes from it, make flashcards, read it 10 times, do what it says three times... do whatever it takes to get as close to 100% hit rate for SC as possible.

For RC and CR... unfortunately, these are tough to improve on. Prepare for a lot of blood, sweat and tears if you want to gain significant ground here. If you have the time to spare, I'd highly recommend taking a Critical Thinking course. Read more - Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times.. all these are good. Again, there is no substitute for practice.

***

It's not difficult to get 700 on the GMAT. I sincerely believe that if you had what it took to do well in senior high school math and can hold coherent conversations in English, you can almost certainly achieve 700+.

In summary:

Math: practice, practice, practice.
SC: get each and every one of those grammatical rules down cold. No excuses. Study the Manhattan GMAT book until you can teach it. You'll gain way more from this than from what short term steps you can take with improving RC and CR.
Timing: I found it beneficial to turn off the clock, and only allowing myself to check the time about three times per section. This worked extremely well for me.

Last tip: if you have timing issues for Quant, I've found that the last 5 questions don't matter much at all. Obviously, don't take forever on any one question. But take your time on earlier questions if you know you can solve them - this is especially true of the first five questions (for both Quant and Verbal, actually).

That's all for now. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have; just post em below.

Good luck!

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by smkrn » Sat May 24, 2008 1:35 pm
Well done! That is an amazing score.

How well did you feel that the GmatPrep questions reflected the actual GMAT questions (in both quant and verbal)?

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by Kylian » Sat May 24, 2008 2:34 pm
IMO, they very accurately predicted what's on the real exam. I actually avoided any third party CATs because I didn't want to be misled by question types that may never appear on the GMAT.

For me, the primary purpose of the GMATPrep was to familiarize myself with the format of the exam, and to provide me with a reliable metric with which to gauge my progress throughout my study period. I took the entirely fresh second GMATPrep very late in the game - exactly one week before the real exam - and I'm pleased to say that it basically predicted what my real score would be (I actually did better on the verbal section of the real exam).

On a related note, I'd recommend placing a lot more emphasis on practicing on "real" GMAT questions. From the OG (both 10th and 11th editions - the 10th edition has a lot more questions), quant review, verbal review, and questions from old paper tests and the new focus diagnostics if you don't mind shelling out the extra $. Taking each of the GMATPreps a third time is also not a bad idea, in retrospect.

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by mbadrew » Sat May 24, 2008 3:49 pm
Congrats!

770 KIGS AZZ!

And thanks for the debriefing.

Drew

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by i.aspire » Sun May 25, 2008 12:54 pm
hi dude...

congrats on awesome score?

can u pls tell me what kind of practice u did for Quant?

i observed that the questions on actual GMAT are much tougher than the ones in OG..... kindly suggest the kind of practice needed for Quant.

I have a timing issue in Quant......

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by Kylian » Mon May 26, 2008 7:32 pm
The last 30-40 PS and DS questions in the OG 11 are roughly similar to the toughest questions you'll see on the actual exam. For example, #248 of the OG problem solving section is perhaps impossible to solve in ~2 minutes unless you've seen a similar question before.

Also, keep in mind that question difficulties are a bit subjective.. if you've seen a similar "type" of question before, even of an easier variety, you'd still have an idea of how to solve it despite its difficulty. There is really no substitute for practice.

I actually didn't spend a lot of time on Quant, despite having timing issues myself. I did all of the OG 11 PS and DS problems, and then did questions from #100 onwards for both sections a second time a few weeks later.

While doing the questions, I used Ursula's response sheet with Time, Q#, ABCDE, Slow?, Careless Error, and Concept Error. Whenever I had trouble with a particular question, I would circle Slow? and go over the full solution for that question regardless of whether I got it right or wrong. Of course, I went over every question that I got wrong, and determined whether each of them was a careless error or a concept error.

I really feel that if you're consistently scoring 48-50, going the extra distance to consistently score a perfect 51 may not be worth it. I found that I could solve nearly any Quant question on the GMAT if given enough time, but I did not put in anywhere near the sufficient amount of practice to be able to do them quickly enough. Practice really is crucial - if you feel that you have the time to really get good, then go ahead and obtain the Quant review, Kaplan 800 workbook, and the Focus diagnostics (I've not looked at these so I can't say how good they are). It really depends on where your priorities lie, IMO.

Hope that helps, and good luck.

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by i.aspire » Tue May 27, 2008 2:36 pm
Thanks a lot for your detailed reply.

I plan to start the Kaplan 800 quant under timed conditions.


Kylian wrote:The last 30-40 PS and DS questions in the OG 11 are roughly similar to the toughest questions you'll see on the actual exam. For example, #248 of the OG problem solving section is perhaps impossible to solve in ~2 minutes unless you've seen a similar question before.

Also, keep in mind that question difficulties are a bit subjective.. if you've seen a similar "type" of question before, even of an easier variety, you'd still have an idea of how to solve it despite its difficulty. There is really no substitute for practice.

I actually didn't spend a lot of time on Quant, despite having timing issues myself. I did all of the OG 11 PS and DS problems, and then did questions from #100 onwards for both sections a second time a few weeks later.

While doing the questions, I used Ursula's response sheet with Time, Q#, ABCDE, Slow?, Careless Error, and Concept Error. Whenever I had trouble with a particular question, I would circle Slow? and go over the full solution for that question regardless of whether I got it right or wrong. Of course, I went over every question that I got wrong, and determined whether each of them was a careless error or a concept error.

I really feel that if you're consistently scoring 48-50, going the extra distance to consistently score a perfect 51 may not be worth it. I found that I could solve nearly any Quant question on the GMAT if given enough time, but I did not put in anywhere near the sufficient amount of practice to be able to do them quickly enough. Practice really is crucial - if you feel that you have the time to really get good, then go ahead and obtain the Quant review, Kaplan 800 workbook, and the Focus diagnostics (I've not looked at these so I can't say how good they are). It really depends on where your priorities lie, IMO.

Hope that helps, and good luck.

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recommended books on gmat

by rashid » Wed May 28, 2008 1:34 am
first of all congragulations on your achievement
i would like you about the books you studied and please guide me as the people say that in real gmat test questions are almost same as in OG's three books

Anxiously waiting for yur reply.


Rashid

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by Kylian » Sat May 31, 2008 8:47 am
I did the OG 11 (1.5 times - I repeated the harder questions), Manhattan GMAT sentence correction book (along with OG 10 SC questions), and took the GMATPrep tests twice each.

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GMAT Questions Type

by rashid » Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:27 am
thanks bro for replying ,

man i just wana ask you that as most of the people say that the questions in real gmat are almost alike as you have in your OGs is it true what was your experience.

Thanks and Regards

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by chhiragkataria » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:36 pm
Hi,
I have been trying to read the blog posts of Ursula and others, but it shows "permission denied" each time, tells me that the blog is only by invitation. How can I get the invitation?

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by Bapattnayak » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:00 am
Hi, when I am trying to access ursula and twinsplitter blogs, it gives error saying access denied and it's by invitation only. Will appreciate a quick word to overcome this issue.. thanks

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by sport » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:15 am
Same, those two blog posts referenced in the OP are blocked. Can someone it up, interested to read it.

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by Chukwuemeka » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:04 am
Please can you share how do i get an invitation to this Ursulas blog?

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by elliekim21 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:04 pm
Hi! How can I get access to Ursulas post? It says that my permission is denied. Please help :)