670...falling short.

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670...falling short.

by pareekbharat86 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:12 pm
Hi Everyone!

Despite not scoring as much I had wished for, I'd like to thank this forum for supporting candidates like me each time we had a query relating to GMAT. This site has undoubtedly been a huge support! Keep it up BTG!

Ok, I wish to enroll into a 1-year B-school program sometime after a couple of years, preferably in the 2016 summer. Until then I want to bulk up with some really good work experience. Keeping this in mind, I thought of atleast taking care of GMAT in the mean while.

I started working on GMAT in mid of Aug'13. Since I keep long working hours (~75 hours a week with a working Saturday), I did not put a date in my mind for attempting the GMATest . I just thought of taking each week as it came initially till I got comfortable with all sections of the GMAT. I put in 8-10 hours of studying during weekdays. I put in 6-8 hours on Sundays trying to make the most of the weekly-off. I kept this schedule right up till the very end.

Heeding the advise of a friend of mine (who scored a 760!), I took up the OG first. As mentioned therein, I first attempted the diagnostic test. I was hopeless in this test, getting a 'below avg' in almost all sections. But never mind, I had not done that kind of math for close to 8 years! I took up all sections simultaneously. The rationale was to get familiarized with the entire GMAT format as soon as possible and discover areas in which I needed to put in an extra effort. It took me 5 weeks to finish the entire OG. During the 3rd week, I attempted the GMATPrep1 and scored a 620. I knew I had a long way to go.

I then opted for Kaplan Premier. The books is rich in theory, but falls short in providing a lot of practice questions. The online quizzes and additional practice sets seem very very elementary.

From the 2nd week of October, the sense of urgency in me gained. I put December first week as my target for taking the final test. I had 2 months and I realized that I needed to practice as much as I could and needed to make sure that I worked on my speed too. Enough of reading the theory! So I scheduled each Sunday for a practice test and its review (very important!). During the weekdays I would practice from various sources viz. Kaplan's additional sets, quizzes, GMAT practice sets. I solved a lot of questions shared by members of BTG on this site. Whenever I had free time, I would login and start solving questions posted here. The explanations given by the instructors are A-class!

Over the weeks my scores hit 670, then 680, 690 and finally 700! I had my first 700 on the 10th of November! I was ecstatic! The day seemed perfect, I got a 700, United beat Arsenal ;-) Anyway, surely, if I tried solving the tougher questions I could graduate to the next band...720-730 probably! So I bought MGMAT's Sentence Correction and Advanced Quant. For the first time I was learning the rules of grammar for GMAT. So far I was relying on my ear to solve SC, but MGMAT's SC taught me to discern the incorrect choices, which only slightly varied from the correct choice. Advanced Quant helps to think beyond the formulae you remember. It helped me recognize the pattern or rely on logic to eliminate the incorrect choices.

I was now attempting tests by Kaplan and MGMAT. However, I found myself getting stuck in 670-700 band. I changed my plans and took an appointment for 4th Jan, 2014. In the meantime, I kept attempting practice tests, finished solving MGMAT's books mentioned above and worked on IR (which was my achilles heel).

So after putting in ~250 hours, my practice test scores looked like this-

10th Sep. GMAT Prep1- 620 (Q41,V37)
12th Oct. Kaplan CAT 1- 680 (Q49, V34)
3rd Nov. Kaplan CAT 2- 680 (Q50, V29)
10th Nov. Kaplan CAT 3- 700 (Q50, V35)
17th Nov. Manhattan Test 2- 670 (Q44, V37)
18th Nov. Manhattan Test 3- 680 (Q48,V35)
24th Nov. Veritas (free online test)- 670 (Q49, V33)
28th Nov. Kaplan CAT 4- 690 (Q48, V42)
15th Dec. Kaplan CAT 5- 670 (Q48, V38)
22nd Dec.GMAT Prep2- 700 (Q49, V36)
1st Jan. Manhattan Test 6- 690 (Q45, V38)

Clearly, I had plateaued at the 670-700 band! I had had enough of practice. I just needed to have a go at the real thing. My last 2 scores were encouraging. I was hoping for a 700. A 710-720 would have been a bonus.

Test Day

I took the exam on the 4th of Jan. I slept well the previous night. I had a heavy breakfast on the test-day. I was at the centre 45-mins before time. The administrator was very cooperative. He asked if I would like to start early. I agreed. I punched in the names of the 5 schools. AWA was a cake-walk. IR was tricky as usual, but I managed to attempt 11 ques with 7 seconds to spare, when I just guessed and moved on for the 12th question. I took a 3-min break. Quant seemed easy. All the MGMAT Advanced Quant practice made the actual test seem fairly simple. I was on time until the last question. I suddenly realised I had 5 seconds left on the click. I immediately clicked on 'Next'...nothing happened! Damn! I clicked 'Next' again. Before I could click on 'OK', my time was up! Ouch. I suspect the unfinished business must have taken a heavy toll on my final quant score. The verbal section was tricky. I would generally finish the verbal section well in time, but this time I was just about on time. My final score read- IR-5, Q-48, V-34. Final Score- 670.

I felt gutted after seeing 670 flash on the screen. I know I was yo-yoing between 670-700 in the practice test, but I hoped to finish on the higher side of the band.

I am confused with this score. I don't know if I should re-attempt. I am aiming for schools which have had an avg. intake score of 710. I am in no mood to start over again soon. Since my scores always ended in the 670-700 range, I don't know if I can really propel it above 700 in the next attempt. The wound is fresh. I have been thinking of what might have happened had I finished the entire Quant section! But there is no point in dwelling over it, i know. I plan to take a break for sometime before designing another plan. Until then I wish to make the most of my Sundays...something I have missed doing for almost 5 months!
Last edited by pareekbharat86 on Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks,
Bharat.

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by brianlange77 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:23 am
First off -- this is a great score... one that many would die for!

Since you've got some time before you plan to 'use' the score, I'd encourage you to let it sit for a few weeks/months and then revisit the subject. You may decide you want to take it again -- you may not... but I think you need to give yourself a mental break at this stage.

If there's one reason that you SHOULD think about taking it again -- it's the time management piece on quant. I usually don't guarantee many things in life -- but i can guarantee this... All the questions you left blank -- you got WRONG! How many were you unable to answer?

Best of luck!

-Brian
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by pareekbharat86 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:56 am
brianlange77 wrote:First off -- this is a great score... one that many would die for!

Since you've got some time before you plan to 'use' the score, I'd encourage you to let it sit for a few weeks/months and then revisit the subject. You may decide you want to take it again -- you may not... but I think you need to give yourself a mental break at this stage.

If there's one reason that you SHOULD think about taking it again -- it's the time management piece on quant. I usually don't guarantee many things in life -- but i can guarantee this... All the questions you left blank -- you got WRONG! How many were you unable to answer?

Best of luck!

-Brian
Hi Brian!

Your 'one to die for' quote sounds music to my ears right now. I want to believe its good enough to supplement my work experience and take me through into a good B-school.

I was unable to submit the answer of the last (37th) question in the Quant section. I could finish IR and Verbal on time.

You are right, I can't nose dive into working again on it. I would become a victim of the law of diminishing returns. I might take the exam again later this year though.
Thanks,
Bharat.

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by [email protected] » Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:38 pm
pareekbharat86 wrote:<snip>
I am confused with this score. I don't know if I should re-attempt again. I am aiming for schools which have had an avg. intake score of 710. I am in no mood to start over again soon. Since my scores always ended in the 670-700 range, I don't know if I can really propel it above 700 in the next attempt. The wound is fresh. I have been thinking of what might have happened had I finished the entire Quant section! But there is not point in dwelling over it, i know. I plan to take a break for sometime before designing another plan. Until then I wish to make the most of my Sundays...something I have missed doing for almost 5 months!
Hi Bharat,

Here are a few observations I have:

1) Applying with a GMAT 670 to a school with an average GMAT of 710 is going to be a challenge since you are a clear 40 points below the average. Having said that, I do not know your profile so you are the best judge. Typically the issue would be if you are from technology (engineer) or finance (CA).

2) Don't really worry about the GMAT at *this* point - you really need to take some time off and catch up on life. However, maybe you also want to reflect on your prep and see WHY you got stuck at 670. I just feel sometimes in a second attempt we develop a better understanding of GMAT (not of particular concepts but of the overall test). My recommendation is for you to consider retaking WITH a fresh perspective. Here is something I wrote to help you re-think your strategy: https://www.crackverbal.com/gmat-prep-methods-760/

Sometimes we are closer to the goal than we think. So don't loose hope - and enjoy the break :)

Arun
Founder of CrackVerbal - India's fastest growing GMAT Prepration and MBA Admissions Consulting Company. https://gmat.crackverbal.com

Free Ebook on GMAT | GMAT Scoring, Study plan, top study mistakes etc
Download here: https://gmat.crackverbal.com/15-minute-gmat-guide

Good enough to get into Harvard? Or would be it ISB? Get a free profile report PDF mailed to you: https://applications.crackverbal.com/fre ... valuation/

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by pareekbharat86 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:34 pm
[email protected] wrote:
pareekbharat86 wrote:<snip>
I am confused with this score. I don't know if I should re-attempt again. I am aiming for schools which have had an avg. intake score of 710. I am in no mood to start over again soon. Since my scores always ended in the 670-700 range, I don't know if I can really propel it above 700 in the next attempt. The wound is fresh. I have been thinking of what might have happened had I finished the entire Quant section! But there is not point in dwelling over it, i know. I plan to take a break for sometime before designing another plan. Until then I wish to make the most of my Sundays...something I have missed doing for almost 5 months!
Hi Bharat,

Here are a few observations I have:

1) Applying with a GMAT 670 to a school with an average GMAT of 710 is going to be a challenge since you are a clear 40 points below the average. Having said that, I do not know your profile so you are the best judge. Typically the issue would be if you are from technology (engineer) or finance (CA).

2) Don't really worry about the GMAT at *this* point - you really need to take some time off and catch up on life. However, maybe you also want to reflect on your prep and see WHY you got stuck at 670. I just feel sometimes in a second attempt we develop a better understanding of GMAT (not of particular concepts but of the overall test). My recommendation is for you to consider retaking WITH a fresh perspective. Here is something I wrote to help you re-think your strategy: https://www.crackverbal.com/gmat-prep-methods-760/

Sometimes we are closer to the goal than we think. So don't loose hope - and enjoy the break :)

Arun
Hi Arun!

Thanks for showing interest in my post. I am a CA with 2 years of work-ex. I am shifting to a new and a better job. I am fairly confident of where I will stand work-ex wise another 2 years from now. But more importantly, I will need to assess if I can better my score by another 30 points. I am taking some time off from GMAT. I will revisit it after 4-5 months, once I am settled in a new location at my new job.
Thanks,
Bharat.

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by [email protected] » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:44 am
The only way you can better your score is if you take a step back and try to analyze your performance on the GMAT.

Here is some advice that might help you: https://www.beatthegmat.com/stuck-at-28- ... 72946.html

All the best! :)

Arun
Founder of CrackVerbal - India's fastest growing GMAT Prepration and MBA Admissions Consulting Company. https://gmat.crackverbal.com

Free Ebook on GMAT | GMAT Scoring, Study plan, top study mistakes etc
Download here: https://gmat.crackverbal.com/15-minute-gmat-guide

Good enough to get into Harvard? Or would be it ISB? Get a free profile report PDF mailed to you: https://applications.crackverbal.com/fre ... valuation/

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by brianlange77 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:21 pm
pareekbharat86 wrote:
brianlange77 wrote:First off -- this is a great score... one that many would die for!

Since you've got some time before you plan to 'use' the score, I'd encourage you to let it sit for a few weeks/months and then revisit the subject. You may decide you want to take it again -- you may not... but I think you need to give yourself a mental break at this stage.

If there's one reason that you SHOULD think about taking it again -- it's the time management piece on quant. I usually don't guarantee many things in life -- but i can guarantee this... All the questions you left blank -- you got WRONG! How many were you unable to answer?

Best of luck!

-Brian
Hi Brian!

Your 'one to die for' quote sounds music to my ears right now. I want to believe its good enough to supplement my work experience and take me through into a good B-school.

I was unable to submit the answer of the last (37th) question in the Quant section. I could finish IR and Verbal on time.

You are right, I can't nose dive into working again on it. I would become a victim of the law of diminishing returns. I might take the exam again later this year though.
Bharat -- I've been thinking about your experience and journey and reminded myself of this great article from my dear friend Stacey Koprince that I think you'd enjoy taking a look at. Remember, you've got the luxury of a little 'reflection' time here -- so don't feel a need to rush into anything. But, if you want it, the opportunity is out there.

https://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... to-win-it/

Take a look at the article and come back and share your thoughts!

Best,

Brian
_________________
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Instructor, Manhattan GMAT
Expert Contributor to Beat The GMAT

Merci, Danke, Grazie, Gracias -- Whichever way you say it, if you found my post helpful, please click on the 'thank' icon in the top right corner of this post.

And I encourage you to click on 'follow' to track all my posts -- all the cool kids are doing it! :-)