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Time to kiss GMAT goodbye! 660 to 750...........

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Z_I Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Time to kiss GMAT goodbye! 660 to 750...........

Post Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:57 pm
Time to kiss GMAT goodbye!

Eric, you are the man! Kudos to you for starting this forum! It's a revolutionary achievement!

GMAT and I first started seeing each other 8 years ago. After a short fiery relationship that lasted for 3 months, I broke up with her on test day. I got a 660 (Q49:V33). After that I never called her again until 2007. I finally managed the courage to get in touch with her. I even booked a date with her but I just did not prepare myself enough to meet her. So I stood her up! (yeah, I was a no show). Anyways, having learned my lesson I was determined to part ways with her, this time for forever, but with fond memories. And guess what? We made it through! I'm never going to see her again, but I will always be fond of her. And I'm amused by the sadness that I felt putting away the books and the prep material. Guess I had started enjoying locking my horns with the test!!!

Got a 750 (Q49 : V42)

I didn't visit the forum too much, but whenever I did, I found important pieces of information. Being an engineer, (oops shouldn't be using 'Being' or should I!) maths was never too much of a problem but I had to improve my verbal. Studied for 5-6 weeks before the test, booked a date for 4th of march but ended up postponing it twice. Once due to personal reasons and second time because I knew I wasn't ready.

This is what I did:

PS/DS
- Make a list of topics that are tested. Brush up on the basic of each and then do at least 20 questions to get a feel of the topic. Do not fret if you haven't studied for a particular topic a month before the test, you can master if with sufficient practice even a week before the test. It is better to not panic during the test upon seeing a question of say Rate of Work and lose 5 minutes than at being ready to attack the question more confidently.
- Do OG. First half is pretty useless. Do them only once. The second half is better.
- I only did OG + OG Quant Supplement and the MGMAT tests
- Analyze each problem from the hard bin in OG and learn to think like the test makers
- Ditto with MGMAT tests. Read the explanations thoroughly and understand the way the problem are solved
- In the 2 weeks before the test, only do GMAT Prep. Take the test at least 6-8 times. The problems that you get, especially for Quant, are very close to the problems that you will face in the actual test

SC
- Basics from Wren and Martin (one quick read of the first 100 pages is enough)
- MGMAT SC is pretty good and is more than enough if you have your basics in place.
The SC's that I got on GMAT were way more tough than GMAT prep or OG. When I finished the test, I remember thinking that ultimately, it all came down to what sounded the most reasonable to my ear, in the tough questions in which I wasn't explicitly able to identify the errors. However, looking back, I can now say that my ear was able to recognize the correct answer only because of all the practice and the reading I did. Moral of the story, no substitute for practice during prep and no substitute for what sounds right to your ear during GMAT. i.e. If you are not able to recognize the errors (subject-verb, pronouns etc). If you can't figure out the quest then trust you preparation and pick the one that sounds the best idiomatically.
- Practice, Practice, Practice -- I did OG once before MGMAT SC and once with it, according to the grid given in each chapter. By the end of it I had memorised a lot of problems and could get them right in less than a minute.

CR
- CR Bible helps a lot. Though there is no substitute for practice in CR. However, try to do questions only from sources that have good explanations. You will not learn much from doing problems from sources which do not have explanations for wrong answers.
- OG is not enough for practice. You need more practice. MGMAT CR test questions helped me.
- You can also do 5-10 LSAT tests and study Kaplan explanations.

RC
I wasn't very good at RC the last time I took GMAT but this time I followed a simple strategy and it worked well for me. This is what you can do if you have been stressing over RC:
- Get used to reading on the computer. I can't stress this enough. Just keep reading stuff on the net regularly to get used to reading on the screen. Whenever you are reading something, stop periodically and ask yourself if you know what you read in the last 5 paragraphs, if you not then it means you are reading passively. You have to be an active reader.
- Giver yourself 3 or even 4 minutes to read the passage slowly and clearly. Do not get stressed about the 2 minutes deadline that a lot of books stress about.
- Understand each line, do not give up when you hit technical jargon or skim over details.
- At the end quickly try to get a sense of the passage by prephasing in your mind answers to two questions:
Overall what was the author trying to say? What was his tone?
IF you have clarity about these 2 questions and the overall understanding then you can easily answer the questions attached to the passage in less than a minute.
However, if you skim over the passage and assume that you can come back to it and in the process don't get a sense of what the passage is all about then you will not be able to answer the questions correctly and you would have only wasted 2 precious minutes of your time.


What is the best time to take the test?
I used to think that morning is the best time as I am largely a morning person but I realized that I was getting stressed about trying to set my body clock for a 9AM appointment. Also, most people advise a morning appointment. However, I think the best time for anyone to take the test is any slot starting between 11 AM to 3 PM. This is the time when you body is absolutely awake. When I postponed my test I took a 3 PM appointment. I was really relaxed on the test day. I woke up peacefully, had my morning cuppa, read the newspaper, went to the gym for a light jog, this really helped me bring down my anxiety level, did some light revision of SC concepts and Math basics, spoke to family and friends and then landed up for the test in a completely relaxed frame of mind. I shudder to think about the 9 AM appointment. I would have woken up at 6 AM, stressed about the traffic, landed up for the test jittery and maybe felt sleepy during the test.

Day before Test Day:
Started taking a test but gave up in 30 minutes coz I realized I was getting burnt out. Anyways the nerves were making it difficult to concentrate so I just gave up. Went out, met my friends, had a couple of chilled beers and yummy Indian vegetarian meal, the best combination for a peaceful night sleep.

Test Experience
Quant started easy and progressively became tough, so much so that I had to scramble on a few questions. However, I must say that the questions, each one of them, only required a keen eye to solve, lots of smart mental work than lengthy calculations. I really got a kick out of solving some of the tough questions, especially the probability questions!

Verbal started at a medium difficulty level and only got tougher and tougher. I even had to guess on the 33rd and the 34th tough CR questions to get to the last 3 SC questions.
What was different this time for me was the determination that I had to not let nerves or excitement make me less diligent while answering even one question. So even on the last question I was checking and rechecking my answer even till I was down to the last 5 second.

My advice: Spend time on the first 10 questions. However, pace yourself enough in the middle so that you have a minimum of 2 minutes per question for the last 10 questions. Anything less than 2 minutes per question can get you into trouble coz it becomes progressively difficult because of the anxiety as the clock ticks away and so one ends up getting the last few wrong, even if it was possible to easily solve them.

Overall these are the lessons that GMAT taught me and at the risk of sounding clich'd, some of these apply to life too:
1. Quality over Quantity - Quality (of questions) is always better than Quantity.
2. Don't repeat your mistakes - Know exactly why you went wrong on a question and do not repeat it
3. Pace yourself -- Set important milestones during the test and pace yourself accordingly (e.g. You should be on Q6 after 10 mins into Quant, 11 after 20 mins and so on..)
4. Cut your losses -- If are losing on a particular question, don't let your ego come in the way. Make an educated guess and then forget about the question.
5. Learn to quickly Refocus and Move on to the next challenge -- Once you have guessed on a question, move on. Forget the past!
6. Boost your weaknesses and maintain your strengths: Have a balanced profile, neither too strong in some and too weak in other areas..
7. Be Diligent -- During the prep as well as during the exam. Especially during the exam, do not let fatigue make you rush and guess on questions, especially in Verbal. If you getting tired look away from the screen, let your mind wander away to a happy place, stretch, it helps get the circulation going and then refocus after 30 seconds or so. I'm sure you would be able to answer the question. Sometimes, our mind gets into a loop and is not able to get out of it. The best way is to stop and give it a breather.
8. Give yourself periodic treats: You CANNOT study continuously for the test. Every few days, if you are feeling fatigued just stop studying. Don't look at the books or the screen for a day or two or even three if you are stressed out. It is extremely important to be fresh while attacking the problems.
9. You know when you are ready to face a challenge. Do not fool yourself. Be true to yourself and listen to that voice inside. If you are honest with yourself then you would know if you are ready and if you are not, then don't go through with it just for heck of it. Prep more and take it when you are ready. This goes for the school applications too. I made the mistake last time but im determined not to do so this time with the apps.
10. Nothing is unachievable. All you need is determination, perseverance, the knowledge and the right tools and a good plan that works for YOU. Don't just copy things people did. Try them and then adapt them if they suit you.

All the best to all and happy studying!

My test scores:
>GMAT Aug 2001: 660(Q49, V33)
MGMAT CAT1 18Feb09: 660 (Q47, V33)
>GMAT Prep 1 24Feb09: 700 (Q49, V37)
MGMAT CAT2 09Mar09: 660 (Q47, V33)
MGMAT CAT3 11Mar09: 680 (Q47, V36)
MGMAT CAT4 18Mar09: 710 (Q47, V40)
MGMAT CAT5 24Mar09: 710 (Q47, V40)
>GMAT Prep 2 25Mar09: 710 (Q44, V42)
MGMAT CAT6 28Mar09: 670(Q47, V34)
>GMAT Prep 1R 30Mar09: 720 (Q49, V39)
>GMAT Prep 2R: 740 (Q49, V40)

GMAT 3Apr 09: 750(Q49, V42)

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Z_I Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:26 pm
beatthegmat wrote:
Amazing debrief, congratulations!
Thanks a lot Eric!

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Post Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:00 am
Amazing debrief, congratulations!

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cramya Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:55 pm
A nice debrief. Congrats on the awesome score.

Best of luck for the rest of the process and your MBA.

Regards,
Cramya

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karmayogi Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts
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Post Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:27 pm
Z_I wrote:
Time to kiss GMAT goodbye!

Eric, you are the man! Kudos to you for starting this forum! It's a revolutionary achievement!

GMAT and I first started seeing each other 8 years ago. After a short fiery relationship that lasted for 3 months, I broke up with her on test day. I got a 660 (Q49:V33). After that I never called her again until 2007. I finally managed the courage to get in touch with her. I even booked a date with her but I just did not prepare myself enough to meet her. So I stood her up! (yeah, I was a no show). Anyways, having learned my lesson I was determined to part ways with her, this time for forever, but with fond memories. And guess what.we made it through! I'm never going to see her again, but I will always be fond of her. And I'm amused by the sadness that I felt putting away the books and the prep material. Guess I had started enjoying locking my horns with the test!!!
The most romantic debrief that I have ever read. Few good things about this lady are she gives you time to make-up your mind and change yourself, forgives you even when you ditch her or don't show up, and, the best thing, waits for you. You can anytime walk-in and say I am 'sorry' Smile.

Congrats

_________________
Each soul is potentially divine. The goal is to manifest this divine within.
--By Swami Vivekananda

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maihuna Legendary Member Default Avatar
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Post Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:00 am
grt debrief...

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Z_I Senior | Next Rank: 100 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:18 pm
cramya wrote:
A nice debrief. Congrats on the awesome score.

Best of luck for the rest of the process and your MBA.

Regards,
Cramya
Thanks Cramya and Thanks for your wishes for the rest of the process, i definitely do need it considering that I am going to end up squeezing my application in R3!

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Post Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:20 pm
karmayogi wrote:
Z_I wrote:
Time to kiss GMAT goodbye!

Eric, you are the man! Kudos to you for starting this forum! It's a revolutionary achievement!

GMAT and I first started seeing each other 8 years ago. After a short fiery relationship that lasted for 3 months, I broke up with her on test day. I got a 660 (Q49:V33). After that I never called her again until 2007. I finally managed the courage to get in touch with her. I even booked a date with her but I just did not prepare myself enough to meet her. So I stood her up! (yeah, I was a no show). Anyways, having learned my lesson I was determined to part ways with her, this time for forever, but with fond memories. And guess what.we made it through! I'm never going to see her again, but I will always be fond of her. And I'm amused by the sadness that I felt putting away the books and the prep material. Guess I had started enjoying locking my horns with the test!!!
The most romantic debrief that I have ever read. Few good things about this lady are she gives you time to make-up your mind and change yourself, forgives you even when you ditch her or don't show up, and, the best thing, waits for you. You can anytime walk-in and say I am 'sorry' Smile.

Congrats
I agree wit you karmayogi......she is someone i will remember for the rest of my life!!!!

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Post Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:20 pm
maihuna wrote:
grt debrief...
Thanks maihuna!

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crazy4gmat Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:07 am
great debrief! congrats!

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Post Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:00 pm
crazy4gmat wrote:
great debrief! congrats!
Thanks crazy4gmat!!!

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vibhorsinghal Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Post Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:05 pm
Congrats man......gr8 achivement

_________________
Vibhor

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Post Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:51 pm
vibhorsinghal wrote:
Congrats man......gr8 achivement
Thanks Vibhor!

Cheers.

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DigvijaySingh Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts
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Post Wed Apr 29, 2009 9:08 am
Thanks for the nice debrief.. It's really motivating.. All the best for ur life star.. Keep Rocking.. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

_________________
-----------------------------------------------------
Over the same seas, on the same winds;
A Ship sails in one direction, another in opposite....
It is not the wind that decides which direction the ship goes;
Its the sails; how they are tied and how they are maneuvered....

Similarly it is not your fate that decides where your life is going;
It is all about how you take your life and where you take it to....

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Post Mon May 04, 2009 11:15 am
DigvijaySingh wrote:
Thanks for the nice debrief.. It's really motivating.. All the best for ur life star.. Keep Rocking.. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Thanks a lot for your kind words and all the best for your preparation!!! Smile

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