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I cud beat the GMAT: from 680(50,32) to 740(50,40)[97%]

This topic has 8 member replies
nchaswal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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GMAT Score:
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I cud beat the GMAT: from 680(50,32) to 740(50,40)[97%]

Post Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:47 am
Finally I can say I am done with GMAT. Could score [740(50,40), IR:8,AW:5] on 13th October. Was heck of an experience, right from ecstasy to self doubt after first attempt.
Has been a 7 month journey with two attempts. My first attempt was on 29th July and I got 680(50,32)[IR:8; AW:5]. I reached test center very late after 2 hrs in traffic and reached 32 mins past the suggested time i.e. half an hour before the time slot. I reached exactly at 1 pm. I was totally in mess and nervous and upset because I reached pretty late. I worried that whether they will let me take the exam. After the exam, I was very much disappointed with the score as I am targeting top B schools. I did not do well due to lack of time management. Spent too much time early in the verbal and did not have any time strategy for it. Therefore, I had very less time at the end and I almost whizzed through many of the last questions. Over and above this, GMAT presented me a really effing tough RC in last 15 mins and that was the end of it. I randomly clicked on answers and then went ahead. Doing better in later questions though.

When I got home i tried to recall all the questions I came across in the GMAT and the topics of the RC passages. I did not know what happened so the only way was buying the ESR.
Thankfully, I bought ESR the same day. As I was unaware what went wrong, it was totally unexpected to see the detailed results. I scored 42 in SC, 18 in RC, 35 in CR, 51 in Problem solving, and 49 in DS.

ESR gave me a real GREAT insight about my approach and my results. I would not have known at all about what went wrong and would have wrongly assumed that i screwed up everything. Now I knew that SC was my strength and in CR I had to improve. RC I kind of knew why I blew off so I wrote down all the reasons why my GMAT went awry.

After that, as suggested by a friend who is currently in INSEAD and both from popular opinion and personal experience of free egmat material, I finally bought the verbal online prep.

I can vouch that for Verbal, egmat is exhaustive. It was the kind of material I would have actually wanted right from beginning. The material which provides in depth reasoning and not any superficial explanations to how to ace the GMAT.

Esp, I found, though Manhattan SC book was good, egmat was a tremendous help in SC. I could find no topic that was not discussed in egmat.

For Math, I was Totally Manhattan. These guys are amazing. They provide very basic explanations but even if you are fresh out of college I would suggest manhattan guides are the best for quant. Even if you know many of the topics discussed in details, it is better to run thru them in front of ur eyes to refresh, and as such you will read through easy stuff quickly. But the foundation you will build through this will surely help you achieve good quant score.

I want to thank some really great persons on BTG. Rich (Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com) was the most amazing guy I would ever meet. He is a really genuine person and I can tell you that he gives you the BEST advice you can ever get. When I asked him which course should I choose for verbal, he suggested it is better you take a look at all courses as every course provides a peek into its detailed material. And then he suggested I take a call which course would be more suitable for me. He did suggest me EmpowerGmat but not exclusively. I really really appreciate his gesture as I was in an impressionable state of mind, a state in which anyone could have influenced me, but Rich guided me into the right direction. Though I did not subscribe to EmpowerGmat, but I can vouch for Rich's dedication towards anyone. The way he analyzes the situation that is particular to a student and asks many pointed questions to clarifiy situation is phenomenal. Thank you so much Rich. You are one great person.


Regarding Material I used:

GMAT OG 2015
GMAT OG 2011
GMAT OG Verbal 2016
Manhattan SC (for both Mocks and SC content)
Manhattan Quant Guides(all)
Powerscore CR(Didnt find much helpful, as it is pretty tough and does not have a basic yet strong strategy)
Aristotle SC( Good guide if one wants to skim through SC preparation)

I also occassionally solved CR and RC questions from 2 or 3 LSAT papers, which have really good RC and CR passages.

I have gone through Aristotle SC, Powerscore CR but found manhattan SC , egmat SC and egmat approach for CR much better. Powerscore is a bit tough and might not be the right guide to actually tell you how to approach the CR questions.


DOs
RC
Refer back to RC passages for details questions. Even for main point, you should refer back just in case you have some doubts regarding the options.
Read the complete paragraph one sentence at a time and while you are reading, parallely keep making a structure in your mind about how the RC para is flowing. What is introduced, what is discussed next, what is the next para telling me. Doing this will help you immensely in many questions. I did not find making a pen paper summary beneficial.

CR
Completely understand the CR prompt. You need to identify the conclusion for sure if prompt is among the conclusion based passages. Then you need to see how the author is reasoning the conclusion. Be clear about what is the premise, what is counter premise, what is opinion, belief, consideration, position etc.

SC
Read all of the sentence.
Find the errors. Eliminate

PS
Problem solving was quite easy so I will not discuss the strategy. The only strategy which I followed for most of the PS questions was actually solving the questions. But plugging in strategy can also be good.

DS
Data sufficiency was a pain in the ass as I found, no matter what I do, some of the DS questions are bound to go wrong. I knew the approach very well, but mostly was lacking in depth of the topics or was missing some scenarios that could be built with one or two statements in DS. Suggestion:Work on some really tricky aspects of DS.

Also, you should learn the skill of what to do if you face a very tough question. Try not to guess random. It will help you score extra marks and reduce ur probability of selecting wrong answers.

Also, the best advice to one and all, DO AS MANY questions AS possible ! That will not only increase your self confidence but also introduce you to many different types of questions. In my first GMAT, I got 2 questions in PS that I had seen already.

Regarding test scores (in the order in which I took them)
My GMAT scores were:
GMAT 1: 700
GMAT 2: 730
GMAT 3: 700
GMAT 4: 770
GMAT 5: 750
GMAT 6: 700

I used Manhattan GMAT mocks apart from these. They are really good mocks and they match the toughness of GMAT's actual verbal section. I recommend one should surely take them. My scores never crossed 690. I mostly scored 680 (but never less) and scored 690 only on one occasion.

I also gave 800score mocks. They are also good for preparation. Quant & verbal both are decently challenging. I used them specifically to work on my time strategy. I tried GMATclub mocks as well but found that many of the answer explanations were not so correct so I stopped taking them.

Lastly, I am sure many people will find Verbal tough. It is highly probable that you may not get enough time in Verbal as GMAT verbal is comparatively tougher than quant. Also, actual GMAT verbal is Kind of tougher than mock GMAC's exams. So DEFINITELY DEFINITELY have your time strategy SET for Verbal if it is a weak section for you. Same for Quant.

I also have loads of personal notes & reference material that might be useful for a gentle soul who is either starting to prep or is in the early stage of starting preparation. That way he/she does not have to run around for some key insights. Do let me know guys if anyone of you want some reference stuff.

My ESR and final official score reports are attached for your reference.

And, there will be moments when you will be disheartened, but remember always, it is just an exam. Trust me. It is not the indicator of your self worth and IT IS BEATABLE!

Cheers guys. All the very best to one and all and god bless you.

PS: Dear fellow aspirants, I have so much more to add to this debrief but I am not finding any time as of now. Still, I am attaching my EXAM ANALYSIS excel sheet. This sheet might help you how to analyse your MOCK exams as I am pretty sure many people do not analyse them or just forget or take it for granted that analysing mocks will not help them much. But be rest assured, analysis of each and every question will finally lead to you becoming aware of your weaknesses and your strong points, giving you insights into your repetitive mistakes (i just used a verb+ing modifier Very Happy modifying a clause). Pardon me for using expletives in my excel sheet. You urself find that you would feel like cursing urself for doing f silly mistakes ! Smile . I am going to add more to this debrief later as I have to cover loads of other imp stuff too. Cheers
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It is GMAT. So what?



Last edited by nchaswal on Tue Nov 15, 2016 7:31 am; edited 9 times in total

Thanked by: vikrambansal, nitinpotter
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vikrambansal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:54 am
Thanks for sharing your experience. Please give me the study material.

Nikitaojha Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:26 pm
I think this is one of the most honest posts I have read about someone's GMAT experience. This is really helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience!

Thanked by: nchaswal
Chukwuemeka Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:05 am
Thanks for this detailed debrief. You demystified the GMAT for me. Can I get any of your materials? If you approve I can send my address to you. I am just starting. In fact my plan is to write the GMAT sometime in July 2017.

Thanked by: nchaswal
nitinpotter Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:16 am
An interesting journey and my best wishes for your endeavours ahead. Could you please share PowerScore or Aristotle CR, RC material and the LSAT papers. It would be of great help for my preparation. Thanks.

nchaswal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
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Target GMAT Score:
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GMAT Score:
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Post Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:42 am
Chukwuemeka wrote:
Thanks for this detailed debrief. You demystified the GMAT for me. Can I get any of your materials? If you approve I can send my address to you. I am just starting. In fact my plan is to write the GMAT sometime in July 2017.
Yes that is great. Still time to go.
Regards

_________________
It is GMAT. So what?



Last edited by nchaswal on Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:31 am; edited 1 time in total

nchaswal Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts
Joined
17 Apr 2015
Posted:
44 messages
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2 members
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Target GMAT Score:
760
GMAT Score:
740
Post Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:43 am
Thanks Nitin.

_________________
It is GMAT. So what?



Last edited by nchaswal on Tue Nov 15, 2016 10:32 am; edited 1 time in total

Chukwuemeka Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:46 am
ok

nitinpotter Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:40 am
Hi, I've sent you a PM.

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