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710; bblast signing off- Thank you all

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bblast Legendary Member
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710; bblast signing off- Thank you all

Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:05 am
Hello, all you wonderful people reading this story. A word of caution, this is not a debrief, it’s my past one year’s autobiography. Very Happy

I have taken the GMAT thrice in a year and twice in the last 2 months!!Phew. I actually took it so quickly this time as I was confident that I had not done justice to my prep with a 680. Its been a difficult journey but at least I am satisfied that all my attempts gave me some improvements. I took the GMAT for the 3rd time today. Below is a post I typed a week back . It contains details of my first 2 attempts. If you wanna skip all the trash talk, please scroll down to the second post in this thread to read the story of my third and final attempt.

“Its 10 am 3rd September. I am supposed to give my second last cat now before my 3rd GMAT attempt on the 9th of September. My life has really changed because of this test and the attempts thus far. It’s unusual for me writing this debrief instead of the stupid AWA’s at this time. But I am tired of AWA. So decided to do something different. I would first like to thank all the experts at BTG - Mitch, Anurag, Brent, Greg, Geva, David, Brian, Ron, Vivian,Stuart, Ian, Testluv. I have learned a lot through the posts made by these superb people.
I would also like to thank all my friends on BTG - rishiraj ,Gmatmachoman,Night reader, mundasingh, Prachich, Frankenstein, Atul mangal, ankurmit, arora Nishant, rohu, aimgmat, and all others.

I am splitting my three attempts into 3 different debriefs so that people reading would actually know how I have improved over time and what mistakes I have made that they should be aware of.

Attempt 1 : 20th Jan 2011. Study period 37 days.
Quantitative : 47 Verbal 34 - Total - 650.

Yeah u are reading correctly above. I am a very organized person and do keep track of every day I study or do some other project. Actually the research for the GMAT started way back last year but incidentally I joined BTG on 13th Dec, got the OG-12 that day and got the 8 MGMAT guides same day !!! Studied like an ass for the coming days. Was stuck at MGMAT/Princeton- 590 !!just 3 weeks before the test. But finally managed 640 in my 4th MGMAT and 650 in the GMAT preps.
Test day - Had a horrible testing experience, the light went out twice, the proctor gave me wet note boards which someone had just used. Plenty of noise and disturbance. But I got a respectable score of 47/34 - 650. This was at par with my highest mock score. Today I realize how good this performance was.


Attempt 2 : 30th July 2011. Study period 90 days. This attempt is closest to my heart. Smile
Quantitative : 48 Verbal 35 - Total - 680.

All right I had taken 3 months off after my 1st attempt. In may 2011, I started off with a diagnostic of 630(Princeton) without study and quickly reached 680 in Princeton and MGMAT with a month’s hardwork. Studied PERFECTLY in the real sense of the word. Used all hyped material(powerscore/mgmat-more on these later). Took a GMAT prep in the second month of study. Got a 750. Wow !! I was heading to glory at this time. Took some more tests to see whether I can perform well on them, Knewton free - 700. MGMAT-4- 720 {did not take MGMAT-5 and 6 as the scores inflates after MGMAT cat-4.

I Took another unused GMAT prep and got a 720 ,3 weeks before exam. Made horrible silly mistakes in quant for a Q48. Then made some wonderful notes on how to avoid silly mistakes and concentrated only on this agenda for 2 weeks. Improved the silly mistake domain 10 days before test day. Got 760 in all 4 repeat GMAT preps. I was consistently getting all unseen CR/RC correct. Quant and SC were also peaking - No lapse in performance. RC was and is my strongest point.

Material used in three months:
1>MGMAT sc- read 3 times
2>Powerscore- read 3 times
3>MGMAT RC and RC-99. Good books to PERFECT RC’s.
4>Gmat club quant sets- used all 25 !!. {had difficulty initially but peaked to 30+/37 in last 4-5 tests}
5>Logged errors as if I was being paid for it. Have a look at my excelsheets attached at the end !!!
6>Of coarse all OG’s.
7>A cheap timer that I used to time RC’s and sometimes small sets of SC and CR. Be-sure to review OG questions for hours even after your timed sessions end.

Mock scores :
Princeton- (630/680/690)
MGMAT(680/700/710/720)
GMATprep(750/720)
Knewton free-700.

All right there comes test day 2 after 90 days of high performance studying.
1>AWA. Finished in 40 mins. Got a lower score than last time on this (5.0). But the AWA is completely ur own private space. Do what you want in this one hour. Just finish the essays quickly and then prepare mentally for quant. What I used to do in look down straight towards the floor and do some kind of meditation for the final 5 mins before quant.
2>Quant - Got a bad function question 1st up then tons of overlapping sets which were computation intensive, few very hard questions such as factorial expressions involving variables . :/, so I was doing well. Got some tougher Modulus and Number lines towards the end. Finished in 66 minutes. Note that quant was my weaker area. On all 50’s in GMAT preps I had to guess last 1-2 questions. So finishing early was new for me. In hindsight I realize today that going too fast did cost me dear.
3>Verbal- what can I say- I got the usual GMAT prep style RC passages which I gobbled. CR and SC were also good and I was hoping to see the usual verbal 41-42 to pop on screen. Finished this section also in 70 mins.
Final score : 680 (48/35). Sad. 1-1 point improvement in 3 months. That’s how BADluck plays its part. So this attempt was a definite failure compared to attempt 1 !!!!.
Takeaways from 2nd attempt :
1>Going too fast might screw you. I had perfected my timing in cats but I overcompensated on GMAT day. Do pause for half a second before confirming any answer, especially in quant.
2>The real GMAT is slightly easier than GMAT prep so walk in confident. {except the SC’s}
3>Infact if u study the 198 Gprep SC doc, you will be somewhat familiar with the kinda SC questions u are going to see on test day.
4>The first quant question will be difficult so just keep breathing and look at it conceptually instead of blindly trying to “Quant” your way out of it.
5>Don’t walk in overconfident just because u have mastered all ur practice cats and topics. The GMAT is a difficult test and you have to work hard to beat it. Just walking in with a good prep will not land you a good score.

OK-So I just realized that I hav’nt beaten the GMAT yet and its 11 am. AWA time over and quant time begins for the 3rd last time in my life. I’ll just proofread this type and post the remaining journey on the 9th of September !!!!! “

If you have time take a look at the excelsheet attached covering my journey for attempt 2. This sheet might be useful for newbies as how to study systematically and log errors.
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_________________
Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

My gmat journey :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
My take on the GMAT RC :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
How to prepare before your MBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_



Last edited by bblast on Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:39 pm; edited 2 times in total

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bblast Legendary Member
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Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:06 am
Attempt 3 : 9th September 2011. Study period 35 days.

Quantitative : 48 Verbal 38 - Total - 710

Badly Bruised from the second attempt I took rest for a couple of days and immediately started off for take 3.

With all the weaklinks I have highlighted above I started prepping one last time for gmat. I found a new friend on this journey, knewton. I will just say that the course is worth the money. The recorded video lessons by David, Jess,Jen and Rich are absolutely wonderful. Knewton also plugged in any holes in my SC prep. Overall the SC/RC/Quant were good. CR’s were poor as most of them are just bad bad OG copies. Someone who has been thorough the OG can easily spot the answers because of the similarity.

Rest was routine. I did not study RC/CR’s as I was already very good at it. I also filled up any holes in my SC prep. I took all 6 knewton cats with quant peaking to 36/37 in a couple of cats and verbal score peaking to V49 !!! Knewton sectional scores are somewhat all over the park, however I cannot stress how consistent their overall scores are. Wonder how this happens though. :/. I regret having not studied CR the last one month. I struggled on a couple CR questions badly today. I got a very weird CR question stem which cannot be classified into any type. I can’t disclose it here. But that question was weirdo.

Knewton scores : {750(diagnostic), 740, 750, 740,740, 710}

Test day :
All right, this time I was not in a hurry, I wrote the AWA all 60 mins. Started quant and checked every questions twice till question 20. I have now remarkably improved my quant after a year of studying. Very Happy. For example today I solved a weighted average question both by linear formula and allegation. Smile to be doubly sure. Checked all DS’s solving for a solution. In sum, I did really really well. I finished with just 13 secs to spare and was hoping for an improved score. I accept that I suck at GMAT quant, I could just improve 1 point after 5 months of hardwork !!

Verbal section. What can I say ? I lost the fire in the second half of the Verbal section. Last month’s performance was kinda playing on my mind. I got a few difficult SC’s with just a single word underlined. I had no clue what concepts were those SC’s testing. I got an evaluate and a flaw question mid way. RC’s were as usual easy. Its amazing how they test the same old concept in RC’s so often. They will just give views of a certain scientist and then say that earlier scientists did not share the same views. And they will throw a couple of questions such as.
1>The scientists of the earlier era were most likely to agree with which of the following - a wrong answer choice will include the views of the other group.
Such questions will become ridiculously easy once you spot that one little twist in the passage. I don’t have an outlandish Verbal score but still I will write an article on RC on the RC forum as I feel I am really good at it.

Ok I am done writing. I just realized that I have still not done justice to my signature below. Sad. But I am done with the GMAT forever.

Please find another excelsheet which includes some notes and journey to GMAT-3.
There are so many other things which I want to share. But if I type any more Eric is gonna ban me from BTG. Very Happy.
I am sorry for the torrid language in the post. You guys must forgive me. I even skipped my well deserved booze session today to write this debrief. That’s how important BTG is to me.{I am lying- Already had 2 Carlsbergs first thing after seeing the scores this noon Razz}. Anyways I am gonna get badly drunk tomorrow. No more torturous nights studying for the GMAT.

Thank you all
K Pushkal
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_________________
Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

My gmat journey :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
My take on the GMAT RC :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
How to prepare before your MBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

Thanked by: rajeevrks27
prateek_guy2004 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:10 am
This is awesome mate....You have made it......

If someone can focus and target a score its not impossible to achieve it.....

Congrats

_________________
Don't look for the incorrect things that you have done rather look for remedies....

http://www.beatthegmat.com/motivation-t90253.html

prodizy Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:38 pm
Congratulations man. 20 points score is nothing compared to the friends you made at BTG and the help you provided to all others. You going to rock. All the best.

_________________
My journey towards the MBA: http://theroadlesstravellled.blogspot.com/

bblast Legendary Member
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
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Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:22 pm
prateek_guy2004 wrote:
This is awesome mate....You have made it......

If someone can focus and target a score its not impossible to achieve it.....

Congrats
Thanks prateek. Yeah. A word of caution on rash one month retakes. Do so only if you are confident that u can improve ur score. I was kinda drained in verbal yesterday. Almost half heartdly finished the second part. Could not predict the fill in the black cr questions which usually I am very good at. Nevertheless RC 's saved me and got me an improved score. Good luck to you. You are doing a great job on btg forums these days.

_________________
Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

My gmat journey :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
My take on the GMAT RC :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
How to prepare before your MBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

bblast Legendary Member
Joined
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Posted:
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
730+
GMAT Score:
710
Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:34 pm
prodizy wrote:
Congratulations man. 20 points score is nothing compared to the friends you made at BTG and the help you provided to all others. You going to rock. All the best.
Thanks prodizy. All the very best to you. I have been posting here continuously since 10 months now. Seen so many people come and go.

_________________
Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

My gmat journey :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
My take on the GMAT RC :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
How to prepare before your MBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

sandeep1306 Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
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Posted:
39 messages
Test Date:
31st July 2011
Target GMAT Score:
780
Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:39 pm
Hey Bblast,

finally you have made it to the 700 club, congratulations.
i have a similar story but unable to decide the next GMAT date due to work related pressures.
enjoy and all the best for your applications!!

Thanks,
Sandeep

_________________
Thanks,
Sandeep

smackmartine Legendary Member
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Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:24 pm
Congratulations!!! Great score. All the best for your application process.

_________________
Smack is Back ...
It takes time and effort to explain, so if my comment helped you please press Thanks button :)

Thanked by: nshriv
bblast Legendary Member
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Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:16 pm
sandeep1306 wrote:
Hey Bblast,

finally you have made it to the 700 club, congratulations.
i have a similar story but unable to decide the next GMAT date due to work related pressures.
enjoy and all the best for your applications!!

Thanks,
Sandeep
Thank you Sandeep. If you wanna retake in a few months then I suggest that you keep in touch with the quant concepts in case your last score was perilously close to 700. Unless u of coarse plan to retake with a full fledged prep later.

_________________
Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

My gmat journey :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
My take on the GMAT RC :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
How to prepare before your MBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

bblast Legendary Member
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
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GMAT Score:
710
Post Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:21 pm
smackmartine wrote:
Congratulations!!! Great score. All the best for your application process.
Thank you smack. You are one of the better posters in the verbal forums. And good luck to you.

_________________
Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

My gmat journey :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
My take on the GMAT RC :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
How to prepare before your MBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

prateek_guy2004 Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Target GMAT Score:
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Post Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:46 am
bblast wrote:
prateek_guy2004 wrote:
This is awesome mate....You have made it......

If someone can focus and target a score its not impossible to achieve it.....

Congrats
Thanks prateek. Yeah. A word of caution on rash one month retakes. Do so only if you are confident that u can improve ur score. I was kinda drained in verbal yesterday. Almost half heartdly finished the second part. Could not predict the fill in the black cr questions which usually I am very good at. Nevertheless RC 's saved me and got me an improved score. Good luck to you. You are doing a great job on btg forums these days.
Thanks Bblast

What happened in verbal....I mean the ques's were different or similar to your last attempt..and also want to ask you that what do you suggest are OG ques's and gmat prep the best indicator of the real exam....

Also about the Other CAT's manhattan and kaplan are they close to the real exam.....?

Chaw

_________________
Don't look for the incorrect things that you have done rather look for remedies....

http://www.beatthegmat.com/motivation-t90253.html

bblast Legendary Member
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Test Date:
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Target GMAT Score:
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GMAT Score:
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Post Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:15 am
prateek_guy2004 wrote:
Thanks Bblast

What happened in verbal....I mean the ques's were different or similar to your last attempt..and also want to ask you that what do you suggest are OG ques's and gmat prep the best indicator of the real exam....

Also about the Other CAT's manhattan and kaplan are they close to the real exam.....?
Chaw
These are the perfect questions to ask to a person who has taken the GMAT multiple times. Smile
I'll start with cats - I have used princeton/manhattan/knewton and GMAT prep(10 times in 3 attempts Razz). Did not use Kaplan cats.
Ok, my take is :
1>Manhattan- Content is not close to GMAT content. But its actually a good learning tool. Somehow it comes up with very accurate scoring. Quant and few CR's can be demoralizing. But by far the content is next best to GMAT prep.

2>Princeton- Quant section is easy. You wont learn much from the questions though. The verbal section is good. CR, SC slightly easier- RC's are brilliant. Scoring is strict. My best was V39 with 37/41 correct. So it will underscore your performance. Use these cats only if u want to add more number of cats to your list.

3>Knewton - Quant section has Official guide alias questions. Also some twisted GMAT prep questions. So its good for practice, however easier than real GMAT and the scoring is not good. it gives you a 49 for 36/37 in quant. Verbal -> RC's are real good and fresh. CR's are pathetic official guide aliases. SC's are also good. People complain a lot about knewton scoring but if you see my scores, you will notice that the overall scoring is pretty accurate.

Caution : Do not use Knewton material before using GMAT preps- it will kind of familiarize you with some atypical questions which will then inflate ur scores on GMAT prep.

Also I have virtually used all the hyped prep material in GMAT land. So feel free to ask about any content or about any test prep company or material.

Secondly, the verbal section on the GMAT is not changing as many people recently have claimed. Just that the additional test pressure. Some weird factors such as seeing a 17 inch screen on the exam instead of a 14 inch laptop play their part. In my take 2 I was doing better than take 3. But I went too fast and that might have cost me. On yesterday's attempt I was just mentally unfit. It was as if "you gave in your best shot last time and still got screwed with V35, what on earth will u pluck today ?" At home I almost never got below V40 in any cat in the last 3 months.

Lastly, OG is not representative of the GMAT if you are scoring in the range of 680-750. The og has a few difficult questions but most questions are of 600 level. Especially the quant and the SC. CR and RC are good in the official guide. If you can master the CR and RC OG content with the explanation and format of questions, you will rock. GMAT prep is the greatest resource in GMAT land which people often underestimate. It has over 200 SC's, over 100 CR's. Over 25 RC's and over 400 quants. First take these tests 4-6 times and read explanation in MGMAT forums. Then in the final 20 days of ur prep download the below GMAT prep question banks :
1>Zuleron's 198 quant questions
2>Sodenso's 198 gmat prep SC's
3>Whiplash's 108 CR's.
4>Bblast's gmat prep RC. Very Happy {I will work on these, have collected a few websites from which I'll collect all prep RC's}

Above material is a must for every GMAT taker, you will see at least 2-3 questions on the real exam which are just aliases of GMATprep stuff.

Alternatively, you can pay and use all gmat prep material with solution at a few websites. Google these.
1>Dabral's - quantum gmat.
2>Patrick sieve's - gmat flix

_________________
Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

My gmat journey :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
My take on the GMAT RC :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
How to prepare before your MBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

cans Legendary Member
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Post Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:52 am
Congrats bblast... 710 is awesome Smile

_________________
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Contact me about long distance tutoring!
krazyjenius@gmail.com

Cans!!

rishi raj Moderator
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Post Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:17 am
Writing this post is making me fill with emotions. I think that pushkal and I have the longest relationship here on BTG.I have been with him, whenever I could,and though he struggled a lot but finally he made it.
Thumbs up to you pushkal. You're a true fighter. I remember the first interaction we had here was when you asked me to evaluate your AWA when you're preparing for the first attempt.I was a little disappointed with your second attempt's score but here you are back with a 7 digit score. Congrats and hugs! Smile

bblast Legendary Member
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Post Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:34 am
cans wrote:
Congrats bblast... 710 is awesome Smile
Thanks Cans. Your posts on quant have been awesome on BTG. I could not beat the GMAT Quant section. I had worked desperately hard for the 49/50, but still 48 is ok. At least I got 3 good scores 47,48,48 Smile . My best was quant on attempt 3. It was really really special as I was checking all answers for all traps and decoys and was going very very confident. I got a question on standard deviation which was so cool and difficult.However, I did have to guess 2-3 questions as the Quant got really hard at times. But I am finally glad its over.

_________________
Cheers !!

Quant 47-Striving for 50
Verbal 34-Striving for 40

My gmat journey :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/710-bblast-signing-off-thank-you-all-t90735.html
My take on the GMAT RC :
http://www.beatthegmat.com/ways-to-bblast-the-gmat-rc-t90808.html
How to prepare before your MBA:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upz46D7l8fA&list=PLUmBNvYMnppJRMpR9fwfcsTWBZF14TKW_

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