Satisfying 730 :) Thanks BTG

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Satisfying 730 :) Thanks BTG

by euro » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:35 am
-------------------------------------------------------
..............................Raw Score........Percentile
-------------------------------------------------------
Quantitative...............49....................86

Verbal........................40....................89

Overall......................730...................96
------------------------------------------------------


... this is how the screen read in front of me.

At first I couldn't believe what my eyes saw.
I quickly jotted down the score on my erasable white board.
Then, I once again jotted down the scores... just wanted to be sure that I am not mistaken.

For one last time, I raised my hand to call the proctor, who guided me out.
He handed me a printout of the unofficial score report which I gladly accepted.


It was the first week of August '10 when I had decided to appear for the GMAT.
I am an Indian male, 31 yrs in age and married with one son. I have a Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering and a Masters in the same field (Construction Engineering & Management). Note that I had taken GRE and TOEFL in the year 2001 when I was applying for MS programs in US universities. As a result, I was familiar with computer adaptive tests and American English in general. Though I have lost touch since my return to India in Feb 2006.

My primary goal this time around was to apply for Summer/ Fall 2011 intake of top B-schools. Keeping this goal in mind, I did some reconnaissance survey which showed that I would need to have GMAT score ready by 1st week of November.
I inquired about GMAT prep classes with a couple of local GMAT coaching institutions and enrolled into one of them.
(Though this did not prove to be very helpful, especially for the Verbal & AWA part).

I attended my first class on 7th August and set myself a deadline of 25-Oct-10 to appear for the GMAT exam. I had scored a dismal 540 on the very first test I gave before beginning any serious preparation.

Here is how I scored in my practice tests:

MGMAT 1 ......10/09 : Q-13 (02%)...V-26 (44%) Overall - 390 11%
Knewton 1 .....06/10 : Q-42 (62%)...V-26 (39%) Overall - 560 57%
Princeton 1 ....07/10 : Q-47 (62%)...V-37 (39%) Overall - 680
GMAT Prep 1 .12/10:Q-46 ...V-33 Overall - 650
MGMAT 2 .......19/10 : Q-47 (81%)...V-41 (93%) Overall - 720 96%
MGMAT 3 .......23/10 : Q-46 (79%)...V-39 (89%) Overall - 700 93% (Reduced time - 73' per section)
MGMAT 4 .......25/10 : Q-44 (73%)...V-33 (69%) Overall - 640 80% (Reduced time - 72' per section)
MGMAT 5 .......27/10 : Q-44 (73%)...V-24 (72%) Overall - 640 80%
GMAT Prep 2 .30/10 : Q-44 ... V-38 Overall - 680
GMAT Prep 1 (Repeat) .01/11 : Overall - 700 (Result skewed upwards)

Given the above scores, I was hoping for some serendipity to somehow score 700 or 710 in my final exam. Some of the efforts devoted in strengthening the weak areas and use of general test taking strategies (available on this website) in the last 10 days helped me post a competitive score.

I am giving section-wise debrief [Q, V and AWA] in the following posts. Feel free to shoot specific questions.

As I look back at two months of my GMAT prep, I am reminded of this song which I used to listen a lot as a teenager...

...
So keep the faith
Don't let nobody turn you round
You got to know when it's good to go
To get your dreams up off the ground

So keep the faith
Baby yeah
Because it's just a matter of time
Before your confidence will win out
...
-Micahel Jackson
Last edited by euro on Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:19 am, edited 4 times in total.

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by euro » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:41 am
QUANT SECTION:
Having an engineering background helped me in this section. I was able to grasp the topics quickly since I had already studied them before. I am especially good with geometry. Preparation for this section was pretty much taken care by the regular Quant sessions that I was attending at the prep institute where I had enrolled myself.

Other than the material provided there, I solved problems on Pagalguy and beat-the-gmat forums. I also practiced problems on Grockit.

Practicing problems on beat-the-gmat forums has two clear advantages - first, you have a stop-watch right in front of you and this helps a great deal in timing. Second, the solutions provided by experts are awesome and techniques used by them are helpful not just for that single problem but all the problems of similar kind.


A BIG THANK YOU TO [email protected] AND GMATGuruNY FOR ANSWERING MY QUERIES

VERBAL SECTION:

For me, Verbal was the tougher of the two sections (V & Q). The prep classes where I had enrolled were proving of little help in preparing me for this section. I was struggling with all three problem types - RC, SC and CR.

SC: I bought MGMAT's Sentence Correction Strategy guide. I studied each chapter thoroughly and solved the exercises at the end of each chapter. This really helped me in attaching SC problems and the result was clearly reflected in improve accuracy and reduced timing.

CR: It was during mid-way of my preparations that I realized that CR was a problem area. My accuracy was low and timing was bad. In fact, issues with CR threw me off-course for a couple of days. After reading forums and reviews on beat-the-gmat and Pagalguy, I decided to use Powerscore's CR Bible. Even though I was only half-way through the book - accuracy and timing - both showed improvement.

RC: This was a huge area of concern as theres no single strategy that seems to work for RC. RC problems usually require a more holistic approach. I went through a lot of articles posted by experts on Beat-The-GMAT for improving RC. They discussed strategy and I tried to apply tools and tips from these articles.

https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/04/ ... on-success

https://www.beatthegmat.com/general-stra ... n-t76.html

https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/06/ ... -obama-way

I went through the speed reading seminar (see link below). This helped me greatly in tackling not only RC but also CR problems.

https://www.beatthegmat.com/mba/2010/01/ ... prehension

AWA SECTION:
I scored a 5.0 (56 %tile) in AWA.

Of the three sections, I was weakest in AWA (which is reflected by the percentiles). This was probably because I was least concerned about AWA as I had read several articles and forum posts, which discounted the importance of this section. The best way to attack AoA is to have a template ready before the exam. 'myohmy' has given a great template (see link below).
https://www.beatthegmat.com/argument-ess ... 38032.html

I made it a point to religiously write the essays during all my practice tests.
Last edited by euro on Wed Nov 17, 2010 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by puneetdua » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:43 am
Hi Euro,

First of all CONGRATULATIONS for the awesome score :)
i have few queries as menitoned below -

--How did you found the Questions in Exam ( Both Q and V) in comparision with GMAT PREP.
--Both your V and Q score are appriciable , but particularly about Verbal - was there any strategy you followedon the DAY.

will put in some more Questions after your posts for Q/V debrief.

Congrats once again.
Thanks
Puneet

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by euro » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:44 am
Some things that worked for me:

*Take Practice Tests Seriously: During each of my practice tests, I tried to recreate actualy test conditions by doing the following:
-Attempt the AWA section in best possible manner
-Stick to break timings (5-6 mins each) and use the breaks to do things that I would do on the test day such as use the rest room, eat a snack, drink water, take a short walk, etc.
-Switch off my cell phone.

*Review Practice Tests: I prepared an Excel sheet to track and analyze scores from my practice tests. It used to take my around 4-5 hours to review the entire test. I typically had 15-18 problems wrong in each (Quant and Verbal) section. While reviewing the test, I used to spend a great deal of time in analyzing where I went wrong viz a viz. what was I thinking while I was actually attempting the question during the test.

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by euro » Thu Nov 11, 2010 6:35 am
puneetdua wrote:Hi Euro,

First of all CONGRATULATIONS for the awesome score :)
i have few queries as menitoned below -

--How did you found the Questions in Exam ( Both Q and V) in comparision with GMAT PREP.
--Both your V and Q score are appriciable , but particularly about Verbal - was there any strategy you followedon the DAY.

will put in some more Questions after your posts for Q/V debrief.

Congrats once again.
~The questions in actual GMAT exam were similar to those in GMAT Prep. I found the Quant problem on GMAT easier than those in MGMAT tests.

~ I did not experiment with any new strategy on the test day for Verbal.

~ My primary issue with both the sections (V & Q) was pacing. I was always behind the clock on all my practice tests. On the test day, I just made sure that I answered all the questions. This included around 3-5 randomly-clicked responses in each section.

If there is any specific area with which you need help or if I have not answered your question, then feel free to reach out.

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by euro » Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:37 pm
About OG Problems

I had already registered for my test and was pressed for time. So I did not complete all the problems in the OG 12th edition. I was able to get to only about 60-70 questions of each type (PS & DS) in Quant and 30-35 of each type in Verbal. These questions, as you may be aware, are of lower levels/ easier types.

I wanted to make sure I go through enough no. of computer adaptive tests. So I had to abort the problem solving from OG mid-way.

I feel 'Rate and work' is a favorite topic of GMAT-makers. There can be a huge variety of such problems with varying degrees of difficulty.

When you take full-length tests, you will realize that a lot depends on stamina and endurance. You need to perform at your best for 4hours.

Best of Luck

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by ankur.agrawal » Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:42 pm
Hi . Congrats for a really gr8 Score.

I am a mechanical engineer passed out in 2007 & planning to give GMAT in dec 1st week.

Can u pls tell me from where did u got Powerscore CR Bible. If possible if u can sell it to me if u r already over with ur exams.

Thax in advance.

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by euro » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:43 pm
@Ankur: Sorry but will not be able to sell the book. Search on the internet. You might be able to find an electronic version of the book if you are lucky enough.

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by InRockWeTrust » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:21 am
Euro - Great score and superb debrief

I have a strategy that I would like your (and other users) recommendations on if possible
4.3 weeks to go, Im still lacking in knowledge in certain areas (Geometry, Prob, Combinatorics) but wanted to know:

a) If you think by starting tests now, that testing alone (and the subsequent review of those tests and brushing up on tested topics) can fill the gaps
b) If you think the strategy is a good one.
c) If the real exam is anything like the prep, some people say it is, some people say its not, some people say its only like the tough ones. Then you look at the 700+ questions that someone uploaded here and they are nothing really like the OG - PLEASE DONT BE SCARED of the GMAC tracing you and poisoning you in your sleep. Im not asking anyone to reveal any questions, just whether or not (as a general consensus) the real exam is like the OG and how much like it

A quick note: Unlike most people on this forum, Q is my weak area, V is ok (a few weeks will knock it up the 7-9 points I need.

Strategy:
I am going to one more night of review and then start doing the:

a) 5 Kaplan Tests, followed by reading up on weak areas in MGMAT books

b) The 6 MGMAT tests, followed by analysis and review on weak areas in the MGMAT books

c) The 2 OG Prep ones. This should take me up to about 5 days before the test where I can just review materials over and over and work on any final weak points.

Thank you so much for this guys - Drinks will be on me (in London) if I do well - no joke.


IRWT

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by milanproda » Fri Nov 12, 2010 3:56 am
Great score congrats!

In regards to pacing, did you guess on any questions?
Milan Prodanovic
[email protected]

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by euro » Fri Nov 12, 2010 7:51 am
@milanproda: Thank you. I have already mentioned earlier that I had to guess on few problems since I was behind the clock.

@InRockWeTrust:

Thanks for your compliments

Here are my 2 cents...

(A) Devote the next 3 days studying the three topics that you have identified as your weak areas - Geometry, P&C, Probability.

(B) You have 13 tests that you can take and only about 30 days remaining. You may not need to give all the tests. Within the next two weeks, try to give one test each of Kaplan, MGMAT and GMAT prep. Maintain a gap of at least 3 days between two practice tests. Study the results of the tests. Identify problem types where you are taking too long to answer and accuracy is low. In the days between two practice tests, go back and review weak areas.

(C) In the last two weeks before actual test, I will suggest that you take practice tests at interval of 2 days. You could follow the routine as mentioned below. FEEL FREE TO TWEAK IT TO YOUR NEEDS/ COMFORT LEVEL

Day 16: Practice Test (MGMAT/ KAPLAN)
Day 15: Review
Day 14: Review
Day 13: Practice Test (MGMAT/ KAPLAN)
Day 12: Review
Day 11: Review
Day 10: Practice Test (MGMAT/ Kaplan)
Day 09: Review
Day 08: Review
Day 07: Practice Test (MGMAT/ Kaplan)
Day 06: Review
Day 05: GMAT Prep #2
Day 04: Review
Day 03: Review
Day 02: GMAT Prep #1 (Repeat The Test You Have Already Attempted)
Day 01: Chill/ Relaxe *DO NOT STUDY*
Day 00: TEST DAY

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by euro » Fri Nov 12, 2010 11:16 pm
What Did I Do During Breaks on Actual GMAT?

Each breaks was 8-minutes. It takes about 1 minute for proctor to come at your seat and take you out. So you get about 6-6.5 mins of actual break time

In the first break (after AWA), I ate a banana, couple of Glucose biscuits and drank some water. Spent a minute on the chair in waiting area.

In the second break (after Quant), I used the restroom which was on another floor. I had to rush a little bit to make sure I don't lose time on next section. I again ate a banana, quickly drank some water and returned to my seat. I use a template consisting of answer options A, B, C, D, E written. While attempting Verbal problems, I like to cancel out the options that I eliminate. I used my time from break to prepare this template on erasable board.
Last edited by euro on Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by selango » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:07 am
Congrats dude!!Great score.
--Anand--

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by euro » Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:52 pm
selango wrote:Congrats dude!!Great score.
Thanks buddy!