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From 610 to 760(q49,v44,5.5) - still can't believe it!

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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Never in my wildest dreams did i ever see myself writing this post. Having scored a meager 610 in my first GMAT attempt, all i wanted was a score of 700+ given my age of 34 years.

But i guess it was the hard work i had put in and definitely luck in terms of the experimental questions made me reach the score of 760.

Material used:
OG-12
Knewton course
Mastergmat tests and quant section
Grockit
Manhattan tests and forums
Advanced quant book from Manhattan.

BTG was very much instrumental in giving details of the various courses taken above and discounts so my second gmat attemp started off with BTG.
I learnt from my first attempt that i needed a timing template and assiduously stuck to it during my practice CATs. I also realized that doing only OG-12 and Manhattan tests will not suffice so i bought some more courses and tests. During my first attempt I had taken the GMAT date and then postponed it twice because i did not know that gmat dates were also available within 2 weeks range. FOr the second attempt i took the date only 2 weeks before. The only challenge in taking a very close date is getting the time at which we practiced the CATs. Being a morning person I had a fair idea about taking the exam time in the morning so I had practiced all my CATs around that time.

The knewton course was good but the only issue i faced was internet speed. They had streaming video which was hard to see at times. The faculty is very good but I am not a big fan of their CATs. It ranged from 640 to 740 and there were instances when i got only 7-8 question wrong in verbal and still scored miserably.

Mastergmat had given 3 months free access of their quant course and it was so good that i decided to buy their tests. The tests were equally good. Also since the course does not have any live classes it can be taken anywhere with a decent internet connection including a mobile.

I started off with Grockit CATs which can be used only for building stamina and avoiding silly mistakes. Some of the CAT questions are not gmat-like and the interface is not user friendly. But they have lot of OG like questions in their exercises and since these are timed they can complement the OG.

The manhattan tests were equally good for the variety of questions. I also frequently visited the manhattan forums, especially the verbal gmatprep forum. It gave me a good idea about the type of SC and CR questions seen in gmatprep. The only flip side is that the gmatprep test score can be a little skewed.

The gmatprep test scores were skewed for me although i gave each test twice because lot of questions were already seen by me at the manhattan forum. But it gave a fair idea about my quant score.

One strategy that helped was to make a xerox copy of OG-12 and divide it into small parts which can be read while traveling, this works good for SC and CR.

Mock CATs scores:
Manhattan(6 tests): 740,720,710,680,710,700
Mastegmat(6 tests): 680 to 730
gmatprep: 740,730,770,760
veritas prep: 690

Gday - 1:
I was not very relaxed but not very tensed either. I practised the manhattan gmat prep forum and attended a knewton class. As a result i could not sleep properly in the night and I woke up with a headache. I had doubts if i could perform well but then I thought i will give my best.

Gday:
Although lot of people debate using energy drinks i had a good experience with them. I used it only during my practice tests (there are better drinks for getting energy when not practicing!). When the AWA started i first wrote my timing template and then wrote my AWA template. For AWA i gave some current business examples like HP changing 3 CEOs in a span of 5 years which might have given the 5.5

In quant i got 2 questions on probability, the first one a combination of probability and function. I read the question, did not understand one line of it, used a guessing strategy and moved on. I also got a super easy question around the end but i did not think much about whether i screwed up in the previous questions.

In verbal the questions were very dense and i couldn't recollect even one of it at the end of test. SC was not very tough though.

My advice:
Don't be too fixated on mock test scores, lot of it depends on the day.
Relax on the day before the exam.
Don't be afraid to guess.
Have a timing template.

If asked for one strategy of my score I would say I was eating gmat, drinking gmat, sleeping gmat!

Feel free to ask any questions you have.

cheers!
Last edited by mba_from_iim on Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by hoji » Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:26 am
Wow, great score! Congratulations and good luck with your apps. Guys like you inspire us...
I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
Henry David Thoreau.

Sleep GMAT, eat GMAT, beat GMAT!
______________________________
Quant ----> 51
Verbal----> 44+
GMAT ----> 750+

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by prodizy » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:51 am
Awesome score. Congratulations. I am interested in knowing what made the difference? Is it just that you are better prepared? Taking the test second time? Timing? Can you please share.

All the best the application process.

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by mba_from_iim » Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:21 am
@prodizy, yes it was majorly timing. Timing gave me courage to guess and move on.

Taking the courses also helped by providing a change from time to time. When i was tired i simply watched the videos especially in the night.

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by throughmba » Thu Oct 20, 2011 5:27 am
If asked for one strategy of my score I would say I was eating gmat, drinking gmat, sleeping gmat
Start with the application part. Best of luck for R2 submissions and calls.
ThroughMBA Consulting
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https://throughmba.com
email : alex@throughmba.com

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by mba_from_iim » Fri Oct 21, 2011 7:43 am
Thank you Alex for the good wishes, nice to have throughmba in India.

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Great score!

by snehasish » Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:54 am
Congrats for the fantastic score!

I have a few queries about MasterGmat -
1. Did your experience with master gmat course helped you get such a high score alone OR was it something else?
2. Did you happen to go through their verbal section?
3. If i go through the master gmat's quant section only and no other extra materials, then can i expect to get a score (say 680-690)?

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by mba_from_iim » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:34 pm
Hi Snehasish,

thank you for the good wishes. To answer your questions:

1. Did your experience with master gmat course helped you get such a high score alone OR was it something else?
It was not definitely mastergmat alone but it was a major factor in improving my quant. All of the material mentioned above helped in different ways.

2. Did you happen to go through their verbal section?
No, the only exposure i got to their verbal section was in the 6 mastergmat tests i took and videos at beatthegmat.

3. If i go through the master gmat's quant section only and no other extra materials, then can i expect to get a score (say 680-690)?
A score of 680-690 is hard to get ( i would have been satisfied with that score ). Since the score is a combination of both quant and verbal the score will depend on your verbal performance also. I would also suggest to refer to at least any of the 2 materials above to get a variety of questions.

Feel free to let me know for any further queries.

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by arpshriv » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:28 am
Hii mba_from_iim,

How is advanced quant from manhattan?
Did it help much in improving scores, actually m stuck at 44-45 in quant and i am not sure will this help in taking scores up to 48-49 level.

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by massi2884 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:31 pm
Sorry for my ignorance, what is exactly the time template?

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by abhinav khanna » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:28 pm
congratulations on the score,could u elaborate on the time frame set for the exam by u and when did u appear for the first attempt.

Thanks
Abhinav

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by mba_from_iim » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:46 pm
@arpshriv, i found the advanced quant book from manhattan to be good because it had challenging questions. Did you analyze why your score is stuck at 44-45? is it because of timing, silly mistakes or lack of conceptual knowledge? The book has some interesting guessing strategies too.

@massi2884, time template is a simple table which you use as reference during the CAT for determining which question should you be at specific time. I combined the templates of both method 1 and 2 in the following article:
https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2011/06/ ... ent-part-2

@Abhinav, i prepared for around 1 year in the first attempt in November 2010 and then another 10 months to current attempt. The first attempt was pathetic because i did only the OG, some CD based tests and Manhattan tests. I had the goal of appearing for the exam during the R1 deadline but missed it because of doubts about my level of preparation.

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by redr8er » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:23 pm
Nice work! How long did you study between your first test and your second sitting?

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by nskandan » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:41 pm
Hi mba_from_iim

Congrats on great score. I too dream of putting a similar post in BTG someday. :-)

How long you used to prepare per day for the second attempt ?
Assuming that you have been working, did you resign the job form GMAT preparation.
Last question, are you trying for exec MBA from IIM's ?

regards
NSK
NSK

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by enigmaparanormal » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:51 am
Hi,
Congrats on your score and all the best with the application process.

I need a good source to practice the 700 to 800 range questions.
What do you think will help?