How I got a 740 (Q50 V40) !!!

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How I got a 740 (Q50 V40) !!!

by barigordon1217 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:38 am
Hi all,

I found this forum very helpful during my prep, so thought I'd give back and share my story!
My GMAT "journey" started during my last semester of college. I studied engineering and went to UPenn. Many of my peers were starting to prep, so I sort of jumped on the bandwagon. As most second semester seniors, I was preoccupied with everything but the GMAT and as a result my studying was inconsistent and completely lacking in focus.

Having a very strong math background, I assumed I didn't need to prep much for quant and attempted to focus on verbal. But even my verbal prep was pretty arbitrary. Finally, with just two weeks until my exam date, I started taking practice tests and realized I was nowhere near where I wanted to be. I was surprised to find that my quant was pretty subpar hovering the 44 range. This was not going to cut it considering I was hoping quant would be my strength!

A good friend then told me about Target Test Prep (TTP) and how it helped him improve his Quant. I signed up right away and even postponed my test another 2 weeks. I even set up some tutoring sessions with Jeff Miller (one of the founders of TTP) to reinforce the new tricks I was learning. Right away I could tell that TTP was the real deal. They manage to put together a curriculum that is thorough and not daunting at all! It covers all the important tricks and traps that you may find on the GMAT and sets up a study plan with many reinforcement quizzes to ensure that you are retaining all of your newfound knowledge.

After just 2.5 weeks of VERY intense use of TTP (>4 hours a day), I felt ready for Quant. I took my first go at the GMAT April 25 and got a 690 (Q49 V35). I was ecstatic about my Quant score, but pretty bummed at the overall score as I was aiming for a 720, and decided to keep my score but work on verbal the way I worked on quant and try it again. I was going into finals and graduation, so I took some time off and revisited the GMAT studying in June. I continued regularly taking quizzes on TTP to keep up my Quant practice and started sort of aimlessly studying for Verbal. I finally narrowed verbal down to Manhattan Prep's Sentence Correction book and The GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible (both suggestions I got from this forum!). I found both books to be super thorough and helpful in establishing the proper techniques for solving SC and CR questions.

I found that learning the grammar basics, practicing pre-thinking for CR, and making sure to spend time on understanding the question prompt made all the difference.

During this time my practice tests were a little varied, but my last two practice tests before the test (both from mba official website) were 740 (Q49 V41) and 730 (Q49 V40). I was feeling really good!

My second GMAT attempt was scheduled for July 11. At the end of each section I found myself a little rushed, but overall didn't feel too badly about it. Turns out I got a 700 (Q48 V38). Definitely a bit of an improvement, and I was happy to at least beat that 700 cut off, but I knew that I could test better.

I was pretty conflicted as to whether I should retake for a third attempt, and finally decided that I would give it one more go! This time I tried to reduce the pressure I put on myself and allowed others to put on me. I decided not to even tell anyone that I was retaking the exam and limited my study to 1-2 hrs a day to avoid any burn out. (This was after I went on a 1 week trip to refresh). I scheduled my next test for just 3 weeks after the 2nd exam. I felt that I had already prepped what I needed to prep and now I just needed to reinforce practice and preform on test day. I did very minimal prep the 10 days leading up to the exam and took 2 more official mba practice tests (these are by far the best and most accurate tests!). I truly think giving myself a break and not letting myself burn out made a big difference!

Finally, on my last attempt I got a 740 (Q50 V40)!!! I was so happy that I trusted my ability and decided to take it one more time!

In conclusion, be focused and targeted in your prep - find what guides or tricks work for you for each question type, and don't burn out!

Quant: Target Test Prep
SC: Manhattan Prep
CR: Critical Reasoning Bible
RC and AWA I used the Manhattan Prep books but didn't feel the need to spend too much time on personally.

Good luck!!



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by ceilidh.erickson » Tue Aug 07, 2018 11:03 am
Congratulations on the fantastic score! I'm so glad that you found the Manhattan Prep materials helpful.

Best of luck on the applications!
Ceilidh Erickson
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


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by [email protected] » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:05 pm
Congrats on an amazing GMAT score! I'm so glad that you didn't give up and that you finally achieved a Q50. Another Target Test Prep success story!

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO
[email protected]


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