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An average Guy's Story->580 in Diagnostic to 730 on GMAT

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Srilankanaspirant wrote:
gauravdangi wrote:
After 1 year of dreaming to crack the GMAT and 4 months of slogging off studying for it, I finally managed to score a 730. I feel as though I have conquered the world although I know that this event will just become another milestone in a couple of months and wouldn't seem this momentous. But today it does and that's why though it's very late in the night and I could write this debrief someday else, what the heck, the joy and excitement is just making my fingers hammer the keypad. I'm overjoyed, and elated that the biggest hurdle is now over! And before I write any further, please do not make the assumption that I am one of the intelligent fellows who just have to push a bit. I am an average guy who had to work very hard to reach this score.

Brief review of My test Day Experience
My test was at 2:00 pm today. The test center staff was very courteous and professional. There were about 10-12 more people in my time slot. My essay question was quite straightforward and I tackled it well. I'm hoping for a 5.5 on the essay but don't care too much about it and the IR section also went fine.
However, there were a couple questions that caught me off guard early in the quant section. I think that the mistakes I made was that I panicked in the 6th question which put my brain into the anxiety mode. I'm not incredibly happy with my quant score and feel that I could definitely do better but such is life. To all those who worry about P&C much, you may be relieved to hear that there was only 2 questions from that topic that I saw.

My verbal section started off with a couple of SC problems. They got tricky pretty quickly, but I knew I was doing well when I was hit with very difficult RC passage after the 7th or the 8th question - very descriptive science passage that had questions that were worded nearly the same. I think GMAT RCs were quite dense and certainly more difficult than the OG passages and I’m not sure how many questions I would have got correct but I think I fared well in SC and CR moreso because these were my focus areas during prep. In the end, I finished with about 5 minutes left in the verbal section.
As far as food and drink, I had a redbull in the break and had a sandwich. It was afternoon and I surely didn't want to eat anything heavy. Talked to one person after the test and he had scored a 730 too. Smile

My prep strategy and Material:
I joined this forum in March this year and kept on visiting it whenever I needed help. The good thing is that every question you will have and every situation you are in would have already been answered at multiple places here.The forum's loaded with wisdom!

However, I could only get free from the last project I was working on in office in July end and then formally started my prep in in August with a free Kaplan diagnostic CAT in which I scored a 580. I was quite surprised because I was expecting around 650. Later when I reviewed, I saw that there are a lot of things I didn’t know(especially in Verbal) and a lot of silly mistakes on Quant. I devised a plan to study 3-4 hours per day-2 hours focused at home and 1-2 hours causal study during office hours Wink dividing the time in 3:2 ratio between Verbal and Quant.

I realized that I tend to learn best when I do things on my own and discuss it with a couple of people so formed a group of 3 more test takers and we'd meet every week to track each other's progress.

The books I used to prepare and my reviews on them

I used multiple books while preparing(and I think so do most of us). Here’s what I used and what I think about them.
In the first stage i.e. initial 2 months, I used OG13, Crack the GMAT,Kaplan Premier and here are my 2 cents on them.

OG13- If you don't have it, it simply means you're not serious about the GMAT! Get it-not for Maths but for Verbal
Princeton Review's Crack the GMAT- Very elementary. Good for the most basic stuff. I didn't refer to it much after buying

Kaplan Premier- Solid book to give you overview and good strategies but not sufficient for taking you to the next level as everything -SC,CR,RC,Math- is crammed into one book

Ultimate One Minute Explantions to OG13 SC- Good book as OG13 SC explanations are very convoluted and didn't make much sense to me.

It took me around 2 months to finish this stuff and I took a GMATPREP then to assess where I am. Got a 640- so clearly there was still a long road ahead. Surfed through the forums a bit here and ordered the following books to move to the next level
SC Grail 3rd ed, CR Bible, CR Grail, Manhattan Advanced Quant Guide ,Aristotle PS and DS boosters

SC Grail 3rd edition- This is the book for Sentence Correction. If you're getting hammered on SC, trust me you won’t find a better book than this.

Powerscore CR Bible,CR Grail- You can buy either of the books for CR. However, I ordered both of them simply because I was weak in CR and wanted to cement my learning from two sources.

MGMAT Advanced Quant Guides-If you're getting stuck in Maths, get this book.

Aristotle PS & DS Booster- Good for practice as OG13 Math questions are too easy for practice and MGMAT books didn’t have many practice questions.

Instructors whom I have found most helpful here
I have read a lot of posts by Ron Purewal and as far as Ron’s posts are concerned, they are simply great. I somehow didn't like Thursdays with Ron much though as the pace was too slow but overall Ron’s posts are awesome!

David@VeritasPrep, Brian@VeritasPrep- These guys are also awesome especially when it comes to advice related to time management, study plans etc.

Brent@GMATPREPNow- I loved his free videos.

Members to thank here:
I can't thank enough Rishi raj- BTG moderator here. I don't remember the last time when I sent him a message and he didn't help me out. Thank you rishi.

In Hindsight:

-If you're on one of the forums here, you're already on top of the game.The learning from all is just invaluable. You're way ahead of someone who's slogging off on his own without knowing whether he's doing it the right way or not
- Confidence is the key to doing well on the GMAT. I truly believe in the message in Rhonda Byrne's The Secret. If you tell yourself something again and again, you will become that person. If you tell yourself that you are a loser, you will lose; if you tell yourself you're a hero,you are!

- I think what greatly helped me is that I started reading good business magazines alongwith prepping for the exam. I've been reading The Economist and Harvard Business Review in the office library and I could literally see a lot of CR questions there.

- Getting anxious for the test is normal. In fact, I am the kind of person who gets anxious very easily but to let anxiety overpower you and spoil your test is no good. I just took depth breaths and asked myself to play it like a game because a game is played to enjoy as much as it is played to win. So I needed to enjoy and telling this to myself helped calm my nerves.

I can probably throw in a couple of more advices but I guess I have written enough for today. Trust me if i can score well, there's absolutely no reason why you can't- all I did was I prepped well!
Thank you for the confidence booster. I loved your last line. I have been preparing for the GMAT for the last couple of months and got a depressing score on my first practice test. Your last line really provided me the moral booster
True..I also needed this kind of inspiration...Have very less time left for the GMAT

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Hi Gaurav

I was wondering if you could share your study material with me.I gave GMAT in oct and scored really bad esp in Verbal. I need lots of help and i have no time as my GMAT is in 2 months. Books & classes r very expensive for me. I would appreciate some help and guidance. I dont know what to start with.

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Great story Gaurav. Your prep strategy was awesome. Thanks for sharing

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nandini.gaur wrote:
Hi Gaurav

I was wondering if you could share your study material with me.I gave GMAT in oct and scored really bad esp in Verbal. I need lots of help and i have no time as my GMAT is in 2 months. Books & classes r very expensive for me. I would appreciate some help and guidance. I dont know what to start with.
If you got a bad score as you say and you don't want to invest in either books or classes, then I don't know how could you magically get there.. You will need to work hard a lot.

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nandini.gaur wrote:
Hi Gaurav

I was wondering if you could share your study material with me.I gave GMAT in oct and scored really bad esp in Verbal. I need lots of help and i have no time as my GMAT is in 2 months. Books & classes r very expensive for me. I would appreciate some help and guidance. I dont know what to start with.
If you got a bad score as you say and you don't want to invest in either books or classes, then I don't know how could you magically get there.. You will need to work hard a lot.

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nandini.gaur wrote:
Hi Gaurav

I was wondering if you could share your study material with me.I gave GMAT in oct and scored really bad esp in Verbal. I need lots of help and i have no time as my GMAT is in 2 months. Books & classes r very expensive for me. I would appreciate some help and guidance. I dont know what to start with.
If you got a bad score as you say and you don't want to invest in either books or classes, then I don't know how could you magically get there.. You will need to work hard a lot.

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unclesam2013 wrote:
nandini.gaur wrote:
Hi Gaurav

I was wondering if you could share your study material with me.I gave GMAT in oct and scored really bad esp in Verbal. I need lots of help and i have no time as my GMAT is in 2 months. Books & classes r very expensive for me. I would appreciate some help and guidance. I dont know what to start with.
If you got a bad score as you say and you don't want to invest in either books or classes, then I don't know how could you magically get there.. You will need to work hard a lot.
Completely agree with Gaurav. You will need to do something different to get a different result. Otherwise it'll be the same grind again

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nandini.gaur wrote:
Hi Gaurav

I was wondering if you could share your study material with me.I gave GMAT in oct and scored really bad esp in Verbal. I need lots of help and i have no time as my GMAT is in 2 months. Books & classes r very expensive for me. I would appreciate some help and guidance. I dont know what to start with.
If you scored "very badly" as you say, you should actually be investing a lot of time on your prep. Firstly build a strong foundation before you actually think about cracking the GMAT verbal

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I started with a 620 on the diagnostic and though I have been getting good scores lately but the scores tend of fluctuate a lot. Don't know what will happen on the actual day. Hopefully I should be able to write a story like yours .
блиндирани врати врати входни врати

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ocina wrote:
I started with a 620 on the diagnostic and though I have been getting good scores lately but the scores tend of fluctuate a lot. Don't know what will happen on the actual day. Hopefully I should be able to write a story like yours .
блиндирани врати врати входни врати
Well, as long as your scores are fluctuating within +-720 of your target score, it's okay. But if they are fluctuating more than that, there's a problem

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OP, your post is really inspiring. I started with 610 on diagnostic a couple of weeks back and planning to take the GMAT in the next 1 month. Really working hard and your post was very insightful

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I am doing Manhattangmat tests and planning to take the gmatprep tests soon..Should i be taking any other tests too ?

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Kudos, mate!

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gonegirl76 wrote:
I am doing Manhattangmat tests and planning to take the gmatprep tests soon..Should i be taking any other tests too ?
That should be enough. If you want more, purchase the additional gmatprep tests that gmac is providing

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gmac is providing many other tests. gmac store sells 2 more tests and paper tests.

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