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610->690->740-8 months of rollercoaster ride ENDS!

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610->690->740-8 months of rollercoaster ride ENDS!

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Well mine has been quite a frustrating GMAT journey. Whenever I'd open these forums here,I'd see people scoring 750 or 760 on the first attempt itself and I always used to get
anxious when I'd reach this score and in fact after the first attempt I never thought that I'd be able to reach this score.But patience paid off and thankfully I'm done with the GMAT for good
Here's my journey in a nutshell:

First attempt

September 30th,2012- 610
I wanted to apply in early action for CBS and Tuck and without much preparation(2 weeks to be precise)took the GMAT. I hardly knew the content well and took only 2-3 full length tests when I should have done a lot more. I Was quite disappointed with the score AND realized that cracking the GMAT is not gonna be as easy as it looked like.And I obviously missed the early action dates.


Second attempt

20th November 2012 -690
This time I prepped a little better but I think that I still didn't understand the concepts well.I knew a lot of stuff but doing it under timed conditions was a challenge.I used grockit and it helped me improve by 80 points. On one side I thought that maybe I have maxed out and I can't score more than this but I thought that a score of 690 is not good enough especially because I belong to a very competitive pool and the average
scores at the schools I'm targeting hover around 720. So I dropped the idea of applying to business schools altogether for the fall 2013 intake.


Third attempt
22nd April 2012 - 740
I prepped for a total of 2 months during this attempt. Did the Free verbal classes that came alongwith the aristotle verbal grail set. The classes were quite good and moreso because they were free. But I had to finish them in 3 weeks because I didn't have much time left for my GMAT.
This time I felt more in command of verbal and of the GMAT as whole as I had prepared for quite a few months by now and I could feel it while taking the test too.
Was overwhelmed when I saw a 740 on the screen. 49 on Quant and 42 on Verbal. Almost jumped with joy!!!!!!!!


My $0.02 FWITW
- If I had started following these forums a bit early, I probably would have wisened enough early on.
- Taking a lot of practice tests is important. I took only 2 tests on the first attempt and no wonder i sank liked titanic.
- Don't do the same mistake that I did of underestimating the GMAT. Yes, you shouldn't be scared of the GMAT but at the same time the GMAT is not a cakewalk.
- I'd occasionally here stories of people getting into HBS and other top schools with 600 or so scores. The truth is these people are exceptions in schools where the average GMAT scores around 720-730.
I remember that the guy who was admitted to HBS with a 580 score was an ex NBA player..there are other people with those scores who get through who are very strongly linked to the schools as they belong to prominent business houses of different countries and the top schools do take that into consideration(although they don't mention it explicitly).

Anyway, it was great learning from others here. It's by reading and participating in these forums that I have been able to pull up a victory!

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Hey congrats.

What were your mock score before the final attempt?

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Saunak wrote:
Hey congrats.

What were your mock score before the final attempt?
The last test I took was GMATPREP2(reattempt) and I scored a 760 on the GMAT(inflated score because of reattempt). I took GMATPREP2 for the first time one week before the exam and got a 730 on that so yeah my final score was quite consistent with what I got on the GMAT

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targetivy wrote:
- Taking a lot of practice tests is important. I took only 2 tests on the first attempt and no wonder i sank liked titanic.
Great score, debrief and advice.

My favorite piece of advice is above. Students must understand that the GMAT is a test of your math and verbal skills AND it's a test of your test-taking skills (endurance, time management, anxiety reduction, etc). Lots of practice tests are the key.

Cheers,
Brent

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Agreed, Brent. But, for me, the challenge is deciding when to take those practice exams. Do you take it with 50% confidence/preparation? 70%? 100%? When is exactly the right time to START taking the exams? Would love your thoughts here. Thank you.

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basso25@ wrote:
Agreed, Brent. But, for me, the challenge is deciding when to take those practice exams. Do you take it with 50% confidence/preparation? 70%? 100%? When is exactly the right time to START taking the exams? Would love your thoughts here. Thank you.
I always tell students to take a practice test VERY early in their studies (within the first week of preparing). I do this for several reasons:

- Students should know, as soon as possible, exactly what they will be preparing for over the coming weeks and months.
- The results of this test help students gauge the amount of work required to reach their target score.
- These practice tests help build confidence, since scores inevitably improve as the student prepares.

In BTG's 60-day Study Guide (http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/gmat-guide), I direct students to take practice tests on days 3, 22, 43, 46, 48, 50, 53, 56, and 58. (Here's an outline of all 60 days: http://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/gmat-guide-outline)

Cheers,
Brent

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Brent: makes a lot of sense - thanks for the quick reply. If you wouldn't mind, another question for you: so, I've take that first practice exam. When should I take it for a second time? What indicators are important to assess and determine (if there are any) prior to making that commitment? Or is more simple than that -- just throw those practice exams in periodically through your studies?

Thank you!

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basso25@ wrote:
Brent: makes a lot of sense - thanks for the quick reply. If you wouldn't mind, another question for you: so, I've take that first practice exam. When should I take it for a second time? What indicators are important to assess and determine (if there are any) prior to making that commitment? Or is more simple than that -- just throw those practice exams in periodically through your studies?

Thank you!
I suggest that you take practice tests after you finish some kind of milestone. So, for example, in the 60-Day Study Guide, we have students take their 2nd practice test once they've completed studying concepts in the quantitative section. This way, they can compare the quant results of this test with the quant results of their baseline test (on day 3)

Cheers,
Brent

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Brent: cheers - thank you very much for your insights. I will follow your direction.

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Hey you there.. hats off to you!
I guess you THE example for " YOU BELIEVE IT, YOU WILL SEE IT."

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Congratulations..!!

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Firstly,congrats!!740 is really no mean feat. Your story's truly inspiring!
Secondly, was hoping to get a few pointers to on GMAT Maths. English is something that I have a natural flair for, and constant practice of RC, SC and CR is making things manageable. However, being from a humanities background, my math skills are less than average, and is a reason of great worry, since I'm targeting a 720+ score. Are there any specific areas in GMAT math which require more attention and practice than the rest? Please help:)

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sayani wrote:
Firstly,congrats!!740 is really no mean feat. Your story's truly inspiring!
Secondly, was hoping to get a few pointers to on GMAT Maths. English is something that I have a natural flair for, and constant practice of RC, SC and CR is making things manageable. However, being from a humanities background, my math skills are less than average, and is a reason of great worry, since I'm targeting a 720+ score. Are there any specific areas in GMAT math which require more attention and practice than the rest? Please help:)
I think nobody would be able to pin point as such which areas are important and which are not on Quant..but broadly you should focus on arithmetic and algebra..P&C is a pain area for most but from what my friends who have taken the GMAT have told me,they saw only 1-2 P&C questions.

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Congratulations that you achieved your dream score. How did you go about practicing Quant ?

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130 points of improvement. That's really great..I'm struggling with CR..Can you please suggest some resource ?

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