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450 to 730, A journey to cherish

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450 to 730, A journey to cherish

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Disclaimer: this is an extremely long debrief!!

PRECLUDE

As I was looking for better job opportunities, which were not quite available, so I thought of enhancing my profile by earning an Executive MBA and so the next logical step was to appear for GMAT. After spending sometime doing research I found GMATPrep software and downloaded it and one fine Sunday in the month of May-15 I appeared for mock and scored a 450(Q30, V20). Thus, it was quite clear to me that my journey was going to be a long and challenging one.

Material Used:

1. OG Guides, including Verbal and Quant guides, (A must for prep)
2. Manhattan Guides- only SC, RC, CR, Number Properties, Word Problem and Advanced Maths Guide
3. Kaplan 800(Good for SC & CR)
4. E-Gmat verbal online course (Don't buy this course at its face value, for reasons please read Second attempt section of my debrief)
5. Magoosh Premium course( Best value course with some highly enthusiastic tutors who are always "Happy to help"!!

[size=18]FIRST ATTEMPT


So, I ordered the OG, and Manhattan guides and started the preparation. I did not booked my appointment out-rightly because I wanted achieve a good proficiency before appearing for the actual test. I must say Manhattan SC guides are a must for SC preparation, while its RC and CR guides are quite not that insightful but still one gets a fair idea of the type of questions and the probable wrong answers in RC and CR.

After working on practice problems and Manhattan books I appeared for first CAT( which was the part of 6 CAT's one receives with Manhattan guides) and scores a mere 580. Quite disappointed with my score I started putting in more hours for preparation and simultaneously booked my exam on 8th October 15. In the meantime my scores in other CATs were as follows:

GMAT Prep # 1: Sept 14- 650 , Q47, V32
GMAT Prep # 2: Sept 21- 670, Q46, V34
GMAT Prep # 3: Sept 29 - 710, Q48, V39- some questions on verbal were repeated
GMAT Prep # 4: Oct 4 - 670, Q47, V35- 2-3 questions repeated in verbal

Meanwhile in 2 MGMAT CATs my scores were 580 and 600. So I was quite confused about my actual proficiency. Still I felt I was quite comfortable in Quant but the scores in Verbal used to alter between 31 and 35. But as the scheduled test date was coming near I rather decided to ignore the fluctuation in verbal scores and concentrate on the test.

Finally I appeared on the test on 8th Oct and scored a disappointing 640(Q47, V31). The verbal concern which I ignored haunted me in the test. Exertion stepped in by the end of quant and I was not able to comprehend with required concentration during verbal section.

SECOND ATTEMPT

Quite disappointed by my verbal score I enrolled for E Gmat's Verbal online course on the same day. I had once enrolled for its free trail and I liked the systematic approach followed by Rajat and Payal. The video lessons provided were of topmost quality and I started liking the course and eventually fell in love with it. The ability concept that Rajat explains in Strategy session was quite insightful for focusing my approach. Plus the pre-thinking strategy is a must to conquer CR and some question types if RC.

During my preparation for second attempt I devoted my 80% time in verbal preparation and just used to solve few quant questions from MGMAT Advanced guide every few days.
I again booked my re-test on 23rd Nov 15 and I was hopeful to score higher than the previous attempt as I had given satisfactory amount of time and energy in preparation. During the same time I used to appear for mocks from MGMAT and also used to appear for Ability quizzes/ custom quizzes which were an inherent part of E-GMAT course. But I noticed something disturbing in the results of ability quizzes. Out of 5 to 6 ability/ custom quizzes, in 90% quizzes I used to achieve 70% ability but in every 1 quiz out of ever 5-6 quizzes my ability dropped to around 50%. This statistics were quite disturbing for me because you don't want that one odd quiz result to coincide with your actual GMAT test.

So, I mailed E-Gmat's support center and to my surprise they did not respond till the 5th day, and the reply that came was also not that satisfactory. During free webinars conducted by Rajat, he used to convincingly say repeatedly that for any difficulties we can mail him at so and so email address so I thought to give it a try and to my surprise some Mr. S replied who was the same fellow who replied to my previous query. A day before the test I got a mail from Payal giving some insights to handle the test well and to inform her the scores that I will receive on the test(Although I later realized that this mail was a computer generated one).Gathering all my courage I appeared for the test on 23rd Nov.

Now somehow as I had devoted less time to quant preparation I struggled a bit in that section, but I hold my nerves and continued the verbal section. I found the RC passages quite tough to comprehend than what I had practiced on E-Gmat. After the test, to my absolute disgust I scored a 640 again this time Q49 and V28. So after spending $199 on verbal specific course I actually ended up scoring 3 points less in verbal than what I scored when I prepared on my own!

On after thought I felt that EGmat course has a good marketing team which convinces you for sure shot success by giving you gimmicks such as "Improve your score by XX points in XX Days". Please don't fall in such traps. You need to be substantially proficient to do such wonders in such a short duration of time.
In utter disappointment I replied to the mail from payal informing her the score I received and asking her for suggestions to improve it further. In meantime I enrolled for Magoosh Premium course as I was aware that the duration that E Gmat requires to reply to your queries is greater than that required by full moon to get converted to half moon. I got the reply to my query again from Mr. S which than forwarded my query to Mr. K. This whole process took 17 days to complete and by the time I received a reply showing me my shortcomings and blaming me for the results I received, I was 3 days short of my third re-take.


THIRD & FINAL ATTEMPT:

Now few thoughts about Magoosh: this is the most underrated course of GMAT prep, why I felt so is due to the course material was almost at par with EGmat course except the pre and post concept quizzes. The price Magoosh demands from us is negligible for the service it offers. I made them answer to my queries atleast a dozen times in duration of two weeks. I must say the insights that were offered by its tutor was far more helpful than any advice by E Gmat tutors. Also, the reply came in just 15 hours(this was a big takeaway for me after my experience with eGmat). they made me read The Economist to improve the problem I faced while comprehending on actual test. Believe me they have great free blogs and free videos by Kevin, both of which gives great insights for preparing for the big day.

So finally I appeared on 18th December, and though I faced some rustiness in my quant section, I was quite comfortable with verbal than I was during the last attempt. Finally, with a thumping heartbeat(which I doubt even fellow exam takers might have heard) I closed my eyes cause I was afraid to look at my scores, but to my delight I scores a 730(Q49, V41) on my third attempt.

Thus, came the end to my 6 month long journey.

Apologizes for such a long debrief, please feel free to ask me for clarifying something !!

Thanks and Best Luck for the GMAT !!!



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Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts
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Hello!

Congratulation on your scores.
I am non-native speaker and am now taking e-gmat course and find myself in the same situation as you were in.
Every time I take ability quiz, the accuracy drop to 50%.
I also have sent email to rajat about how I do not see the improvement on my ability score, even if I follow the module e-gmat gives me.
I really get discourage by that.
I am wondering whether Magoosh will be better course here?

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@paeiing After posting my story on different forums, this is the fifth reply i am getting with similar concerns as yours. This makes me wonder : who are those who have posted those amazing reviews for egmat on various forums!!!

Anyways getting to your query: I Hope that when you practice custom quizzes you do so taking 15-20 questions at one go. Your not doing so may result in low ability quiz score because as you practice more questiona at a strech your ability to comprehend decreasea and lack of such practice might also lower your scores on ability quizzes.

Plus make sure you have understood the concepts very well before attempting practice quizzes. Make sure you reach 80% accuracy in concept, application quizzes before attempting ability quizzes.

The reason I enrolled for Magoosh was because I had exhausted almost all practice questions and I had reattempted questions which I got wrong few days before I appeared for my second retake. Thus I was well acquanited with almost all the questions and those questiona had became redundant for me. So the need for fresh practice questions forced me to enroll for Magoosh.

So if you have not exhausted all your EGmat practice questions than you need not apply for Magoosh. Also the techniques recommended by Egmat are more promising than that of Magoosh.

So based on all this evaluation , please decide if you want to enroll for Magoosh.

Please get back to me for further clarifications.

Best Luck !

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Thank you for the inspiring story! My first test yielded a 600, I am now encouraged to persevere on for a better score!

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Hi! Congrats, Great result!!!
Thank you for your debrief!

I also took egmat (quant+verbal online) and Magoosg, egmat was absolutely useless for me and I had same problem, they just ignored me.
I had real difficulty with quant, I didn't remember anything (just 0), Magoosh was a real eye-opener for me.

I have a few questions, could you tell me please:
- How many hours a day did you study?
- What did you do to improve RC?
- Whether is good idea to ignore all RC questions and invest all 75 min SC & CR?

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