First attempt: 750 (in 2 months)

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GMAT Score:750

First attempt: 750 (in 2 months)

by ganeshrkamath » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:26 pm
I took my GMAT on Aug 12th and scored a 750 (V40,Q51)
I had aimed for a higher score but ended up with a good score nevertheless.

I am not a native English speaker, but I have studied in schools that use English as the medium of instruction throughout.
I booked my slot in the month of May, but I started my preparation only from the second week of June. I enrolled for the self study course offered by Princeton Review.
They said that before I start my preparation I should take the GMAT Prep 1 (the first official mock) to guage where I stand. Before joining Princeton Review, I had gone through the format of the GMAT and the kind of questions that appeared in it.
I took GMAT Prep 1 and was rather surprised to see a score of 740 at the end.
This boosted my confidence and I was pretty sure that I would be able to perform well (score more than 700) in the actual test. I set my target as 790 and set off with the prep.
I started off with the mocks provided by Princeton. These helped me a lot in understanding the scoring pattern that the GMAT uses. In the princeton mocks, I noticed that any wrong answer in the first ten questions posed a serious penalty on the score (especially in verbal). I also tried out a few strategies of pacing through the tests.
My mock scores:
GMAT Prep 1 : V39 Q50 740
GMAT Test 10 : V35 Q48 670 (this made me realize that GMAT was not that simple to crack)
GMAT Test 9 : V31 Q51 660
GMAT Test 8 : V34 Q51 690

GMAT Test 7 : V42 Q45 700
GMAT Test 6 : V39 Q51 720
GMAT Test 5 : V42 Q50 730

GMAT Test 4 : V28 Q51 640 (the verbal shocker that made me realize that I needed to concentrate on verbal)
GMAT Test 3 : V35 Q49 680
GMAT Test 2 : V32 Q51 670

GMAT Test 1 : V41 Q48 710
GMAT Prep 2 : V41 Q50 760

Apart from the mocks, I read all the idioms mentioned in Manhattan SC and solved the exercise problems. I solved all the questions of every section in OG. For CR, I read Manhattan CR, which helped me a lot in solving CR quickly.

D-Day:
I arrived at the test center 45 minutes early. After checking in and going through the tutorials, I started with the essay. The essay arguments in Princeton Review mocks usually had 2-3 sentences. So it was easy to figure out the flaws in them. But the essay here had a lengthy argument. It took me 15 minutes to just understand the argument and note the flaws. I was able to complete the essay and review it with 11 seconds to spare. Now that the essay section was over, I was looking forward to a short break. I don't prefer to take breaks, so I hadn't taken any during the first 3 sections in any of my mocks. But to my shock there was no break between essay and IR! I cleared my head in the 1 minute provided for reading the IR question types and started off with IR. This section was of moderate difficulty (expected). I took the break after this section and started with the quant section. My scores in quant have always been good. So all I needed to do here was pace myself to solve each question in 2 minutes. I was able to solve all the questions and finish this section with 15 minutes to spare. I took another break before starting with verbal section. My test had gone well this far. So I told myself : "Do well in this section and you are done!" As I have already said, I'm not a native English speaker. So it was difficult for me to guage the difficulty level of the questions that appeared. Right from the beginning, I felt that the questions were tough. I didn't understand why the test was throwing tough questions at me even though I was pretty sure that I had got a few at the beginning wrong. I expected a score in the low 30's in this section. Once this section was done, I filled out/confirmed the details asked. Then came the screen where I was asked whether I wanted to see my score or cancel it. I was so exhausted at the end of verbal that I clicked next without selecting either :D . Fortunately, it alerted me of this and I selected the option to see my score. And there it was, after 2 months of prep:
Quantitative: 51 (97th percentile)
Verbal: 40 (90th percentile)
Total: 750 (98th percentile)

Happy with the score and restraining myself from jumping with joy, I came out of the test room and collected my unofficial score report.

Some points that I would like to mention:
1. Solving all the questions from OG and reviewing the solutions of the ones you get wrong will help you get a score of more than 650.
2. Utilize the time allotted for each section to its fullest extent.
3. Utilize the breaks (between IR and quant and between quant and verbal) to clear your mind, to visit the restroom or to have a snack.
4. Understand the CAT and how it is used to assess and score you.
5. Keep your calm. Don't rush through anything but also don't waste too much time on a particular question.
6. The GMAT Preps (official mocks) are very good at estimating your score. Take the second mock 2-3 days before the d-day.
7. 2 days before the exam, don't take any mocks. Just revise the math and verbal concepts.

Finally, all I can say is that if you've prepared well for it, then handling the pressure on the d-day is all it takes to get a good score.

Aim high.
All the best.


Thank you BTG, for sending me a couple of questions to solve everyday :wink: .
Cheers,
Ganesh

PS: Please forgive me for any grammatical mistakes I might have made.
Last edited by ganeshrkamath on Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Kelley School of Business (Class of 2016)
GMAT Score: 750 V40 Q51 AWA 5 IR 8
https://www.beatthegmat.com/first-attemp ... tml#688494

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by ganeshrkamath » Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:52 am
I forgot to add one more point:
DO NOT skip any section in the mocks. It will help you get used to the mental drain in the actual test.

Cheers
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Kelley School of Business (Class of 2016)
GMAT Score: 750 V40 Q51 AWA 5 IR 8
https://www.beatthegmat.com/first-attemp ... tml#688494

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by red217 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:26 pm
Congrats!!!

All the best

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by ganesamurthy » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:57 am
Congrats man....

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by batwaraanirudh » Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:56 pm
Great job man!

Congratulations!

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by ganeshrkamath » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:09 pm
red217 wrote:Congrats!!!

All the best
Thanks!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Kelley School of Business (Class of 2016)
GMAT Score: 750 V40 Q51 AWA 5 IR 8
https://www.beatthegmat.com/first-attemp ... tml#688494

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by ganeshrkamath » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:09 pm
ganesamurthy wrote:Congrats man....
Thanks!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Kelley School of Business (Class of 2016)
GMAT Score: 750 V40 Q51 AWA 5 IR 8
https://www.beatthegmat.com/first-attemp ... tml#688494

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by ganeshrkamath » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:10 pm
batwaraanirudh wrote:Great job man!

Congratulations!
Thanks!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Kelley School of Business (Class of 2016)
GMAT Score: 750 V40 Q51 AWA 5 IR 8
https://www.beatthegmat.com/first-attemp ... tml#688494

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by priyanka_brand » Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:34 am
Dear Ganesh:

Congratulations!!

Would you please share you prep routine in those 2 months.

Regards
ganeshrkamath wrote:I took my GMAT on Aug 12th and scored a 750 (V40,Q51)
I had aimed for a higher score but ended up with a good score nevertheless.

I am not a native English speaker, but I have studied in schools that use English as the medium of instruction throughout.
I booked my slot in the month of May, but I started my preparation only from the second week of June. I enrolled for the self study course offered by Princeton Review.
They said that before I start my preparation I should take the GMAT Prep 1 (the first official mock) to guage where I stand. Before joining Princeton Review, I had gone through the format of the GMAT and the kind of questions that appeared in it.
I took GMAT Prep 1 and was rather surprised to see a score of 740 at the end.
This boosted my confidence and I was pretty sure that I would be able to perform well (score more than 700) in the actual test. I set my target as 790 and set off with the prep.
I started off with the mocks provided by Princeton. These helped me a lot in understanding the scoring pattern that the GMAT uses. In the princeton mocks, I noticed that any wrong answer in the first ten questions posed a serious penalty on the score (especially in verbal). I also tried out a few strategies of pacing through the tests.
My mock scores:
GMAT Prep 1 : V39 Q50 740
GMAT Test 10 : V35 Q48 670 (this made me realize that GMAT was not that simple to crack)
GMAT Test 9 : V31 Q51 660
GMAT Test 8 : V34 Q51 690

GMAT Test 7 : V42 Q45 700
GMAT Test 6 : V39 Q51 720
GMAT Test 5 : V42 Q50 730

GMAT Test 4 : V28 Q51 640 (the verbal shocker that made me realize that I needed to concentrate on verbal)
GMAT Test 3 : V35 Q49 680
GMAT Test 2 : V32 Q51 670

GMAT Test 1 : V41 Q48 710
GMAT Prep 2 : V41 Q50 760

Apart from the mocks, I read all the idioms mentioned in Manhattan SC and solved the exercise problems. I solved all the questions of every section in OG. For CR, I read Manhattan CR, which helped me a lot in solving CR quickly.

D-Day:
I arrived at the test center 45 minutes early. After checking in and going through the tutorials, I started with the essay. The essay arguments in Princeton Review mocks usually had 2-3 sentences. So it was easy to figure out the flaws in them. But the essay here had a lengthy argument. It took me 15 minutes to just understand the argument and note the flaws. I was able to complete the essay and review it with 11 seconds to spare. Now that the essay section was over, I was looking forward to a short break. I don't prefer to take breaks, so I hadn't taken any during the first 3 sections in any of my mocks. But to my shock there was no break between essay and IR! I cleared my head in the 1 minute provided for reading the IR question types and started off with IR. This section was of moderate difficulty (expected). I took the break after this section and started with the quant section. My scores in quant have always been good. So all I needed to do here was pace myself to solve each question in 2 minutes. I was able to solve all the questions and finish this section with 15 minutes to spare. I took another break before starting with verbal section. My test had gone well this far. So I told myself : "Do well in this section and you are done!" As I have already said, I'm not a native English speaker. So it was difficult for me to guage the difficulty level of the questions that appeared. Right from the beginning, I felt that the questions were tough. I didn't understand why the test was throwing tough questions at me even though I was pretty sure that I had got a few at the beginning wrong. I expected a score in the low 30's in this section. Once this section was done, I filled out/confirmed the details asked. Then came the screen where I was asked whether I wanted to see my score or cancel it. I was so exhausted at the end of verbal that I clicked next without selecting either :D . Fortunately, it alerted me of this and I selected the option to see my score. And there it was, after 2 months of prep:
Quantitative: 51 (97th percentile)
Verbal: 40 (90th percentile)
Total: 750 (98th percentile)

Happy with the score and restraining myself from jumping with joy, I came out of the test room and collected my unofficial score report.

Some points that I would like to mention:
1. Solving all the questions from OG and reviewing the solutions of the ones you get wrong will help you get a score of more than 650.
2. Utilize the time allotted for each section to its fullest extent.
3. Utilize the breaks (between IR and quant and between quant and verbal) to clear your mind, to visit the restroom or to have a snack.
4. Understand the CAT and how it is used to assess and score you.
5. Keep your calm. Don't rush through anything but also don't waste too much time on a particular question.
6. The GMAT Preps (official mocks) are very good at estimating your score. Take the second mock 2-3 days before the d-day.
7. 2 days before the exam, don't take any mocks. Just revise the math and verbal concepts.

Finally, all I can say is that if you've prepared well for it, then handling the pressure on the d-day is all it takes to get a good score.

Aim high.
All the best.


Thank you BTG, for sending me a couple of questions to solve everyday :wink: .
Cheers,
Ganesh

PS: Please forgive me for any grammatical mistakes I might have made.

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by ganeshrkamath » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:07 am
priyanka_brand wrote:Dear Ganesh:

Congratulations!!

Would you please share you prep routine in those 2 months.

Regards
Thanks!

My prep strategy was pretty straightfoward:

I divided the number of questions in each section of OG13 by 60 (i.e. the number of days I had left). I solved that many number of questions daily irrespective of the time it took. I think the exact number comes to roughly the same as that in the actual test (37 in quant and 41 in verbal). So it was like solving a mini-GMAT everyday.

After each problem set (PS,DS,RC,CR,SC), I would try to solve the problems I got wrong in the 1st try. If I got a problem wrong a second time, I would look at the solution and see what went wrong in my approach.

I took and analysed the mocks on each weekend (on some weekends, I couldn't).

The last week, I took a break from work and took the remainder mocks.
So around the time I took the test, I didn't have a problem with sitting for 4 hours at all.

All the best!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Kelley School of Business (Class of 2016)
GMAT Score: 750 V40 Q51 AWA 5 IR 8
https://www.beatthegmat.com/first-attemp ... tml#688494

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by dominhtri1995 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:09 pm
Great job !!!!
Hey , can you share where did you get the 10 Gmat Test .

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by ganeshrkamath » Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:29 pm
dominhtri1995 wrote:Great job !!!!
Hey , can you share where did you get the 10 Gmat Test .
Thank you!
The mock tests were a part of the Princeton Review self prep course.

Cheers
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Kelley School of Business (Class of 2016)
GMAT Score: 750 V40 Q51 AWA 5 IR 8
https://www.beatthegmat.com/first-attemp ... tml#688494

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by metallicafan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:09 pm
Hi!

Congratulations! It's a great score.
I have a question, there are rumors that the Verbal section is being more difficult.
Have you noticed some diference in the difficulty level between the real GMAT and the GMAT Prep?
Any suggestion about that?

Thx!

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by metallicafan » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:12 pm
Hi!

Congratulations! It's a great score.
I have a question, there are rumors that the Verbal section is being more difficult.
Have you noticed some diference in the difficulty level between the real GMAT and the GMAT Prep?
Any suggestion about that?

Thx!

User avatar
Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
Posts: 283
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by ganeshrkamath » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:37 pm
metallicafan wrote:Hi!

Congratulations! It's a great score.
I have a question, there are rumors that the Verbal section is being more difficult.
Have you noticed some diference in the difficulty level between the real GMAT and the GMAT Prep?
Any suggestion about that?

Thx!
Thanks metallicafan!
I felt that the difficulty level of both the GMAT Prep and the real GMAT was the same.
Do not go by rumours. If you are getting tough questions in verbal, it probably means that you are getting a high score. So just focus on getting the answers right. The rest will take care of itself.

All the best!
Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence.

Kelley School of Business (Class of 2016)
GMAT Score: 750 V40 Q51 AWA 5 IR 8
https://www.beatthegmat.com/first-attemp ... tml#688494