She'd had no GMAT classes or tutoring and had only studied quant but Lauren still managed a 700 GMAT score on her practice tests with the verbal score in the 99th percentile. The quant score dragged at a 40 (47th percentile). Her goal: GMAT 700 to GMAT 720 in 4 weeks. It's a challenge to improve what is already an excellent score and 4 weeks isn't much time no matter how you slice it. I would counsel most people to give tutoring a minimum of 6 weeks as it takes a moment to acclimate to a new approach. We also agreed on sessions twice per week. Again, not something that I normally recommend as most people won’t be able to get through enough work to make the extra sessions worthwhile. With Lauren I was willing to take the risk as I had come away with an A+ impression and felt that with a bit more structure her Quant could improve to the point at which a 720 was all but guaranteed (I rarely use this word in this context) even with a pint sized preparation.
As fast as a speeding bullet
Lauren was as diligent as she was clever. She chomped through the homework putting up enviable numbers. I raised the difficulty but she remained unfazed. Working through one particularly tough data sufficiency question I suggested picking some numbers to which she replied why not do the easy algebra? Solution improved. She was right. The pace was such that we could often dispatch two lessons in one session. To cut everyone else some slack, Lauren had the summer off to conquer the GMAT so there were no work distractions. Still, her commitment and her abilities were admirable. It was clear why she’d been able to hit a 700 GMAT score all by her lonesome.
GMAT 700 to 720 and beyond...
Two weeks into our preparation, on her first GMAT Prep Test, Lauren scored a 760! Q48 V47. A true GMAT superhero! Five days later her second GMAT prep: 780! 50Q 49V. The next test, Exam Pack 1: 780 again, 50Q 49V. Improving the 700 to a 720 would have been a victory so we didn’t put any pressure on breaking through the 99th percentile. Still, there’s always that hope. G-day: 780, Q50 V49. The first student to match my highest GMAT score. Some months later she got in contact about her admissions results. In absolutely everywhere: Harvard, Stanford, Wharton... Good job Lauren!