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[770 Q51 V44 AWA 6.0] Thank you BTG!

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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[770 Q51 V44 AWA 6.0] Thank you BTG!

by albatross86 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:46 am
Just got back home after my GMAT and am happy to report I managed a 770 [Q 51 V 44]. I am satisfied with my score and believe it is an accurate representation of my ability.

FIRST THINGS FIRST - If there's one thing I've learned (and let me put this up in bold to make sure you see it...)

What works for X MAY NOT work for Y!

Another important thing, which is absolutely essential to my philosophy of the bigger picture...

Your GMAT score is irrelevant to who you really are, which is pure, innocent, intent-less Awareness.

(Obviously the second disclaimer is slightly out of scope here, but if you're interested we can talk about that too :))

With the formalities out of the way, let's kick some GMAT butt.

Things you SHOULD do:

1. Study from RELIABLE sources.

There is no such thing as the ONLY reliable source for the GMAT. All the different materials available have their distinguishing virtues, so don't jump to the conclusion that you absolutely must worship the OG or that the MGMAT SC guide is indispensable. People are quick to attribute cause-effect relationships (similar to those CR passages in the GMAT) once they are done with the GMAT.

In retrospect, it is easy to say that I did well because of a particular book, but this is not true. I believe a good, wholesome preparation strategy involves a lot of different kinds of material that contribute to a holistic and varied armory of question-approaches.

I, for example, did only about 150 questions from the OG and used the MGMAT SC guide only for certain concepts I was weak at.

In short, build your approach arsenal using a variety of quality sources.

2. Practice. A lot.

Obvious thing is obvious - but there's no substitute for good old fashioned practice. Here's how my preparation went:

Time-frame : 2 months (took a break from work since I needed to move to a new city as well)
Sources: Grockit, Knewton course, BTG resources, OG, MGMAT SC guide, and other miscellaneous stuff I found in various member posts.


Month 1 - Practiced about 1500 questions in Grockit. The timed environment from the get-go really honed my speed. Interaction with other GMAT-takers was an added boon. Some of the discussions really helped improve my approaches. You need more than one approach for every problem so that you will never be completely stumped at a question. Did OG Diagnostic + GMATPrep1, and all the free CATs available.

Month 2 - Focused on content that I was weak in conceptually. Completed the Knewton course - this is an excellent online course that is perfectly structured and it helps you ensure you haven't missed a question-type or are unaware of a concept. Did Knewton CATS 2-5 and MGMAT CATS 2-6. As you can see I attempted quite a few mock exams, and I stand by the fact that getting used to the time-constraints and improving your stamina is vital.

- Other than this I did about half of Kaplan 800 - you can do the whole book in 2 days if you care to. Good exposure to some tough questions.
- Got through the free MGMAT tutorials available online. They will give you some excellent takeaways. I also went through their free flashcards - really useful.
- Watched the "Thursday's with Ron" BTG Archive. Ron Purewal is this brilliant man whose explanations I've found extremely useful. They really created a paradigm shift in the way I approached questions.
- I also used https://www.platinumgmat.com/ ... some excellent questions available for free in the tough section, and they have a brief overview of several math and verbal concepts that you can get through quickly as a revision.
- Brushed up on Grammar basics with the links Eric has posted in the resources section.

Something that I did a lot of was answer questions on the forum. Members usually post questions they found challenging, so you are bound to come across stuff you yourself can't get your head around. When you set out to explain an answer to someone, you find your own reasoning getting polished. This was especially helpful in Critical Reasoning questions.

I really recommend talking to other GMAT-aspirants and sharing strengths and weaknesses. Speak to people who share a common goal with you.

NOTE: My Practice scores ranged from 730 to 780, averaging about 760.

Things you SHOULDN'T do:

1. Unauthentic or non-GMAT material

Do not waste your time with unreliable questions. If you are attempting a question, make sure you have an authentic explanation and a source for it. Do not do Olympiad or local entrance-exam questions - this heavily takes away from the simple, straight-forward thinking you will need to perform on the GMAT.

2. Buy too many books or spend too much time planning

While I do advocate a varied strategy, don't buy every book in the store. Start with the stuff that has good reviews, and make use of the great free resources available on websites like this one.

It is important to have a study plan, but don't waste your time asking every person you encounter for advice. Be open to suggestions, and listen carefully when wisdom speaks, but that doesn't mean you transform yourself into a human dustbin for everyone's "pearls".


All in all, read up on the exam, be informed of its nuances, develop a strategy and then get down to business. Practice as much as you can and make sure you understand every question you ever attempt - you should try not to get the same question wrong twice. Maintain error logs if you can, or if you are as lazy as I am, at least make a mental map of concepts you need to work on.


TEST-DAY tips:

1. Do whatever it takes to avoid getting too nervous.
2. You don't need Red Bull, chocolates, Gatorade, Tylenol and all the other stuff people recommend. I had a nice lunch before my 4pm appointment, and spent my breaks stretching, relieving myself, splashing some water on my face and sipping some water. Don't do anything new.


Do let me know if I can help any of you with your preparation. I will continue to be active on the forum and look forward to interacting with you guys!

Last edited by albatross86 on Sat Sep 11, 2010 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by selango » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:51 am

First of all congrats buddy...awesome score..

u did it man:)

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by selango » Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:53 am
Great and one of the best debrief..ur way of writing always stylish dude...

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by kvcpk » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:13 am
As expected you made it buddy!! Congratulations!!

Was waiting for your post today...

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by sanabk » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:23 am
Congratulations Abhay!!!!

I was eagerly waiting to check your GMAT test score and debrief. I really appreciated your posts and replies. You always did an excellent job in your explanations. You deserve a big exalt!!!

All the best. Keep up the great work.

Have a nice time!!!

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by sumanr84 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:45 am
Congratulations Abhay..this score was much expected from you..you really deserve this score and nice debrief as well.
I am on a break !!

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by gmatrix » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:19 am
congrats.........abhay.... wish i can really avoid this pitfall
Buy too many books or spend too much time planning

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by papgust » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:42 am
Wow.. Sensational performance.. Not really a surprise to me as your posts in BTG have always been tremendous.. Congratulations!
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by ansh.kumar » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:54 am

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by amising6 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:18 am
good work man
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by gmatmachoman » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:31 am
Hey Abhay,

wow man..as Papi said, not much of a surprise..its expected u r gonna rock and u did..congrats buddy!!

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by arora007 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:59 am
excellent!! well done... and well deserved!! congrats to u Abhay!!
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by amirp » Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:26 pm
congrats man and good luck for whatever comes your way next.


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by beatthegmat » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:11 pm
Congrats on that killer score! This is going into our weekly newsletter, as a 'Best of Beat The GMAT' forum post. :)

What a wonderful debrief--I hope you stick around as you preparing for your applications! All the best,

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by pnk » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:53 am
Great Abhay. Congratulations for this well deserved score. I always enjoyed your explanations on BTG.

Best wishes