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650 to 740...Persistence and Introspection is the key!!!

This topic has 8 member replies
rohitbansal1507 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
01 Feb 2016
7 messages
1 times

650 to 740...Persistence and Introspection is the key!!!

Post Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:20 pm
Never thought I'll be writing this. I'll try to keep this as concise as possible.
Profile: Indian, Engineer, Male Age: 28
2011 - Graduated
2012 - Rejected by almost all top b schools in India - Realized the need to go abroad
July 2013 - 1st GMAT attempt. Studied only Manhattan and OG for 2-3 months. Scored a 650 (Q49 V31)
Applied to Krannert and Rice with a 650 - Interview calls from both but no convert
May 2014 - Got a call from NUS for there MSc program because of strong technical background
June 2015 - Graduated from NUS and had a job offer in hand 4 months before before graduation.
July 2015 - MBA bug hits again. Started preparing with e-GMAT.
November - December 2015 - Health issues strike - Sinus goes bad - Underwent surgery in December. Also screwed up a few things in my personal life - goes into depression for first time in life
January - February 2016 - Spent fighting depression, improving health and coming over personal setbacks - Started mindfulness meditation
Mar 2016 - 2nd attempt - scored 680 (Q51 V30)
May 2016 - 3rd attempt - scored 660, cancelled, (Q49 V31)
July 2016 - 4th attempt - scored 680 (Q49 V33)
Realized I may not improve further. Didn't wanted to miss R1 deadlines hence started preparing applications for ISB, INSEAD and Judge - Looking for 1 year MBA.
October 2016 - 5th attempt - scored 740 (Q50 V40)
Applying to US top 10 and LBS along with schools mentioned above.

What made the difference?
INTROSPECT - Yup, I read a lot of debriefs and realized everyone has unique deficiencies. Identify and hit them. I've intentionally skipped my preparation details as I believe they won't help anyone. I would rather use this forum to help you guys introspect. Here's what I suggest:
After every mock test list down 3 (maximum 3) things that you need to improve. Even if you write 1-2 things, its fine. Now, don't write CR/SC/Quant etc. etc. BE SPECIFIC...And make sure you tackle them before you next mock...
Few examples:
I was not confident solving probability questions though I got them write
I was nervous during the start of the test hence couldn't focus
I realized the break was too small and I couldn't rest my brain enough
My sleeping patterns effected my test performance
I'm attempting majority of SC questions based on gut and not able to apply rules
My mind wanders during the test and I start thinking about my work/bf/gf/parents etc. etc. during the test
I keep changing postures while taking the test hence not able to focus for a long time
My hairs start itching hence I'm scratching the head most of the time and loose focus
I'm not good at drawing geometry figures on rough paper hence am not able to approximate angle measurements
I can't remember or frequently forget probability/geometry/sets rules or formulas

These are general examples. Please be as precise and honest as possible.

Get it?
It may be anything the sun...It can be your mood, place, clothing, eating habits, exercise, meditation, eye sight, lack of conceptual knowledge, lack of application, lack of rest - ANYTHING...identify 1-3 things at a time and work on them...For the study part, go into the details and precisely find out the gaps. For eg. I always struggled to remember formulas for overlapping sets. I just couldn't remember them. I know its stupid. What did I do? I learned to derive them. I was never short of time on quant so I had the luxury to spend those extra 30sec - 1 min to derive the formula. Result? I approached set problem with 100% confidence. I know if I forget the formula I'll spend additional 30 sec and derive it.
Again this is one small example. You'll have multiple things like these that you'll identify during the process.

If you guys need any more details about my preparation schedule and material I used, feel free to respond to this thread and I'll be happy to share whatever details you guys want.

And last but the most important thing.
Have faith in yourself and NEVER EVER GIVE UP!!! Even my father got frustrated of me giving GMAT every 2-3 months. But you just can't give up. Once you give up, it's over - forever.

Hope it helped. I'll look forward to answering any specific questions that you guys might have.

<ignore typos>

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diegocml Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
15 Mar 2016
67 messages
7 times
Test Date:
Target GMAT Score:
GMAT Score:
Post Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:26 am
Congratulations! Great debrief! Short & sweet, right from the get-go!


1st GMAT attemp: 410 (Q18 V27)
2nd GMAT attemp: 490 (Q35 V23)

Thanked by: rohitbansal1507
akataria Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
17 Aug 2016
3 messages
1 times
Post Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:35 am
Can't believe so much of it resonates with my story! Congratulations!

Thanked by: rohitbansal1507
alekhya.rupa Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
16 Oct 2016
1 messages
Post Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:13 am
I have given an attempt last week (Q49 V27) and need to improve my verbal score.Can you please give some details how u handled verbal strategies?

rohitbansal1507 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
01 Feb 2016
7 messages
1 times
Post Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:36 pm
akataria: I'm curious to know your story Laughing
diegocml: Thanks!!!

I used e-GMAT to improve on verbal. During initial stages I was weak in SC and got 30-40 %ile score in my initial GMAT attempts. I bought it up to 90+ in later stages. Even for RC and CR e-GMAT was pretty helpful. I would advice identify your weakness and hit on it. A good way to begin may be to purchase the GMAC official Test Pack or order an ESR. These will give you a %ile (and not %) score in SC/RC/CR. Use that to identify your weakest area. Then trickle down further to specific question types and practice. Once you're sufficiently comfortable in a section and start scoring 50-70 %ile (and not %) you may consider using the GMAC official question pack or redo OG if you haven't. Idea is to go through the solutions and think how the test makers want you to think...

PS: If you feel a discussion with me might help you, I'll be happy to share my contacts and have a discussion. Feel free to PM me and don't let this GMAT demon demotivate you Smile

prashanth884 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
17 Jan 2014
2 messages
Post Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:50 pm

Congratulations on the GMAT score and thank you for the debrief.
I'am exactly facing the same problems as you did, "Not able to concentrate, not able to maintain posture, mind wanders, etc".

The following are my scores:

Attempt I 570 (50%) Q - 45 (62%), V - 24 (24%)

Attempt II 650 (76%) Q - 50 (87%), V - 28 (52%)

What study materials/practice tests did you use and what's your advise for me?

Thank you,

rohitbansal1507 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
01 Feb 2016
7 messages
1 times
Post Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:31 pm
Dear PR,
I'm particularly against sharing the resources used. Almost everyone mentions that in there debriefs but I have intentionally stayed away from doing that. Reason is simple. Every major company has good material and you can score well if you master any of them. You just need to find your "fit".

Coming to your issue,
I think you already have the answer to your question. You improved from 570 to 650. You made significant improvement in both quant and verbal. That's a great improvement. You're on the right track. The reason you're still looking for more material is may be you haven't realized what right you're doing. May be you did something unknowingly? Try to understand how you made this jump and keep following the same strategy. Keep things simple. Pick up a piece of material, master it, and that's it.

I would be of much more help if you could specifically highlight the issues that you are facing. In that case I can suggest you if you need any more material.

Thanked by: Anaira Mitch
Anaira Mitch Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
26 Oct 2016
183 messages
Followed by:
3 members
3 times
Post Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:03 am
What you will suggest for IR and AWA?

rohitbansal1507 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
01 Feb 2016
7 messages
1 times
Post Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:12 am
My IR was good from the begininng so that wasn't a struggle for me. Having said that, even if you're weak in IR, go for official resources ONLY...I tried IR from multiple resources but they are way off what is asked in actual GMAT. Use OG, test packs and question pack. Should suffice.

For AWA read the 6 point and 5 point graded AWAs in OG. Also refer the "Get a 6.0 on the AWA on the GMAT" post on gmatclub. Just google this, you'll easily find. I mixed the two formats and it worked well for me.
Again don't focus on these sections. Schools don't look at these sections much. IR isn't even asked in many schools.
Best of luck!!!

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