770(Q-51,V-46), IR-8- How an IIT Guy Cracked the GMAT!

Find out how Beat The GMAT members tackled GMAT test prep with positive results. Get tips on GMAT test prep materials, online courses, study tips, and more.
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It was almost reliving an experience when I saw a 770 flashing on my screen. It was the same euphoric feeling that I got when I was a kid and made it to the IIT a little less than a decade back. I couldn't be happier with the score as I am targeting H/S/W where the average GMAT scores are around 730 and a 770 makes me feel relieved about the score. Now I can focus on spending my time working on the other aspects of my application.

Before getting into how I prepared for the GMAT , a bit of background information about me. I am from an IIT in India and have 4 years of work experience. I have been an all rounder and that was the reason that I didn't join the IIMs (H/S/W of India) even after securing admits from there 2 years back. I didn't want to be surrounded by engineers who have studied at IITs/NITs,cracked the CAT(a difficult exam to make it to the top schools in India),and are going to business school without any specific goal err the common goal of getting paid better.
Secondly, I didn't intend to sit in classes where we are being bombarded with theory and without work experience the students(and sometimes the profs) are clueless about the application of theory.
Had a couple of people in family who have done their MBA from the top schools abroad(including LBS) and given the transformation they underwent I really knew that I wanted to go to these schools.

Anyway, without digressing too much about why I wanted to do an MBA abroad(that would possibly be the topic for another post .Haha) I'd share my story here because by reading the success stories here, I drew a lot of motivation and it'd be great to share what worked for me. In hindsight, I think there were four reasons for my success.

a) Beat the GMAT community
b)The right study resources
c) The right focus on learning and utilizing the resources I had judiciously instead of making my room a dump for all the GMAT material I had.
d) Being aware about the importance of timing.


Now let me expound on why each of these things were crucial to my success.

a) Beat the GMAT- Love at first sight!

Since I didn't want to tell around me that I am preparing for the GMAT, I had to rely on google to fetch me what resources I use.That is when I incidentally came across BTG and it would be an understatement to say that I was enthralled to see such a magnificent community. I was so hooked that I didn't study for the GMAT for one whole week(LOL)-so busy did I get reading around the forum that seem to have had inexhaustible source of knowledge and wisdom. Since there were too many posts, I kept on writing notes so that I can make a study plan for myself and also kept on bookmarking the posts that I wanted to read again later. The bookmark list got so long within a week that it seemed like I had bookmarked the entire site. LOL! But seriously this site is amazing and was a big contributor to my success!

b) The right study resources : This is very critical to your success on the GMAT. I remember the first book I purchased for the GMAT was Barron' GMAT Guide because their GRE Guide was what my batchmates had used in college to prepare for the GRE and had said that it is a good book for the GRE but alas it didn't turn out that way for the GMAT. I read a lot of debriefs to figure out what books people used and boiled down to the following. I didn't refer much for quant and found the GMAT quant to be a cakewalk(yes that's exaggeration but true to a great extent).

For Integrated reasoning also, I just relied on the 50 questions that accompany the Official Guide and saw a few free videos here on BTG. The questions on the actual test were quite similar to what I had practiced so didn't have much trouble.

Official Guide 13th edition- A book you cannot just do without. A lot of people complain that the OG questions are not difficult enough in comparison to what you are likely to see on the 700+ level on the test and to an extent I agree. However, the OG questions are the closest you will get to the actual GMAT questions(apart from obviously the GMATPREP questions). Since the questions in the OG are retired GMAT questions, you should try to extract the maximum out of them

SC- Aristotle SC Grail, MGMAT SC Guide -Most of the people here use these two books and I can see why . You don't need to look for anything beyond these two books. SC Grail is written in a very structured and easy to understand way and makes things simple while Manhattan SC Guide though not written in that engaging a way covers some of the more difficult topics that haven't been dealt with in SC Grail.

CR- I used the Manhattan CR Guide but didn't find it very helpful. It focuses too much on diagramming . One needs to learn all those signs for different things . I almost finished the entire book in 1 day. I liked the CR Bible more. The content in the book flows like a story and it's written in a interesting way.

RC- Trust me, reading comprehension is only a function of practice. I sucked big time on RCs and in fact my heart used to slump the moment I saw them. Did all the RC passages from OG13 and then moved on to Aristotle RCs since I wanted to build the mental stamina of being hammered by passages after passages and yet be not bored of them. Initially I practiced 3-4 passages per day but then started doing 8-10 passages for a couple of days. It built my stamina big time.

c)Focused on learning from the questions

There is ton of non Gmat like questions(1000CR ,1000 SC are cases in point) floating around and honestly they will only rack your brain but wont teach you anything new. Remember this is no body building championship in which you will judged by what how much weight can you lift, so don't worry about how much material can you do. What was more important to me was how much can I learn from the mistakes I made.

d) Love hate game with timing:
The GMAT is all about timing and this is something that we do not realize early. We hate doing practice questions under timed circumstances but hey anyone can get 15 critical reasoning questions correct in one hour with 100% accuracy but how many people can get 15 CR questions correct in 20 minutes with 90% accuracy. Not many. The same holds true for Reading comprehension. Dont give it if you are not prepared to time yourself. For the longest time I didnt time myself and suffered big time with a poor score. You have to get over the fear that there is a clock on your head, sometimes just knowing that time is ticking will hamper your performance. I noticed as well that when your short of time you mess up because you dont make the most of the little time you do have. Confusion and Panic sets in. Instead slow down for 2 seconds and get back again.I ensured that all the practice I was doing from the OG or the Aristotle material was timed. This way I was able to manage my time effectively later.

The post has gotten very long and though I have a few other things to write, but that would probably dilute the value of what I have written above.
I wish you all all the best.Signing off with lots of love and gratitude! :)
Last edited by megadeth on Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

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by NextGreatLeader » Wed Jul 18, 2012 4:24 am
megadeth wrote:

c) The right focus on learning and utilizing the resources I had judiciously instead of making my room a dump for all the GMAT material I had.
Congrats on a great score! I love this line.

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by megadeth » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:03 pm
Thank you very much! Yeah, that line is an important one because I remember that I was absolutely overwhelmed in the beginning given the number of resources there were

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by niksworth » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:59 am
Congrats on a great score, though I wonder why you emphasize your IIT background so much.
scio me nihil scire

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by megadeth » Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:04 am
niksworth wrote:Congrats on a great score, though I wonder why you emphasize your IIT background so much.
Thanks. Yeah, I realized that it got repeated unintentionally a couple of times. Have edited the post.

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by Shev » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:04 am
Congrats on your score buddy but I doubt you have rejected an admission from one of IIM A,B,C. Btw, just out of curiosity, which one did you reject?

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by Shev » Mon Jul 23, 2012 10:07 am
niksworth wrote:Congrats on a great score, though I wonder why you emphasize your IIT background so much.
Reasons:
1.Of course IITians should be proud of their achievements.
2.People know the difference an IIT brand makes during jobs and MBA admissions.

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by megadeth » Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:21 pm
Shev wrote:Congrats on your score buddy but I doubt you have rejected an admission from one of IIM A,B,C. Btw, just out of curiosity, which one did you reject?
Yeah you're right that had I had admits from IIM A,B,C then I would have possibly gone to the IIMs. Had admits from IIML and IIMI so did not want to go there although these schools are again good. However, I do know people who have done their MBA from IIMC and have gone to INSEAD,IMD for their second MBA.

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by Shev » Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:04 am
Cool.. Good Luck with your apps!

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by Suz » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:29 am
Great debrief! Congratulations- amazing score! Just wanted to ask you how much time did you spend per day-- and how long did you study to get this score?

Thanks!Good luck with your applications

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by RAJESH A NAIR » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:40 am
Congratulation!! Good article and you have honestly responded to some of the replies also.. Liked that..

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by ilovemyself » Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:58 am
Congrats on an awesome score! Was wondering how much time did you prepare for?

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by Nitin Reddy » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:10 am
Congrats on your score!
I need some guidance. I plan to take GMAT in the month of September, I haven't started preparing for it yet. Currently, preparing for CAT but I want to take GMAT as well this year.
Any suggestion on how I should go about it? I'll complete 36 months of work experience by December this year.
Appreciate your inputs here.

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by Troika » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:38 am
Congrats on the 770! Awesome score and helpful debrief.

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by gmat.acer » Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:28 am
Great score megadeth. Congratulations!
I see that you have Q51. I can make out that math must be easier for you being an IITian. But did you use any material other than OG for math? Did you prepare in any specific way? I will appreciate any tips/ideas. I am currently getting stuck on Q-49/50.
Thanks and congrats again!