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500 to 700, my road to MBA

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28 Apr 2004, 11:02
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December, 2002 my first attempt at conquering GMAT I ended up with a score 500. Now, a year and a half later I am in the process of deciding whether I should go to Yale or Carnegie Mellon. Day and night, what a difference.
I still remember that day, it was a Friday afternoon, and after sitting in front of the computer screen in the test center for more than 3 hours I had a gut feeling that this was not my day. After 6 months of preparation I thought I would at least get a 630 on my exam, but 500? Needless to say I did not have a good Christmas that year. I am not that type of person who give up easy, after been depressed for a couple of days I decided to try it one more time.
I sat down and designed a study plan for myself, did a little SWOT analysis on myself. My biggest weakness is the verbal section, I guess I could use be a non native English speaker as an excuse for my poor performance on the verbal section but again GMAT doesnтАЩt measure how well you understand English, it measures how well you understand the ETS English. I did relatively better on my Q section, but I understand for me if I need to get 700 or better I need to get 49 or better.
The second time I gave myself 4 months to prepare the GMAT, at the time I was a junior in University taking 5 classes. So on top of my school work I set aside 2 hours everyday to study GMAT. My plan was very straight forward, practice, practice, practice, and more practice. I used two books as my study guide, the OG which everyone has and the Kaplan study guide. The Kaplan study guide is the same book Kaplan students use in their $2,000 GMAT course. WhatтАЩs even better is that my study guide is the TeacherтАЩs edition which has all the additional footnotes on it. It talked about what questions are important and how to explain these questions to the students. One thing I did wrong during my preparation for the first test was that even though I did a lot of practice questions but I did not spent too much time on the explanations of the questions. Especially for the OG verbal, the explanations give you a clear picture on how people at ETS make up their questions. So in 4 months I redid all the questions on the Kaplan and OG three times and basically memorized the explanations. Four months later I can just look at the questions and know the answer instantly. I seen some posts people claim that they study for 2 or 3 weeks and got 700+ on their first try. I donтАЩt know how much truth is in those, I guess I have to admit some people are really smart, but for the rest of the 99% of us there is no short cut but practice. April, 2003 I took the GMAT for the second time, I had 700 Q49 and V36, a 200 points improvement. I almost yell out loud when I saw the score on the computer screen. I was a little disappointed about my V scores, but still it was huge improvement from the first test. I remember during the V section I had 12 RC in my first 15 questions which was a little overwhelming for me but I took time because I know how important the first 15 questions are. Get a good GMAT score was only the first step, the application process took me about 5 months. So far I have received acceptance letter form Yale and Carnegie Mellon and still waiting to hear from Stanford and NYU. Also I am graduating in one week from my undergrad program. I am glad that I am all done, but I could not do all this without the support of my families and friends. The only advice I can give people is that do not give up and practice is the key. Share your experience with people on this forum, I am sure you will find that you are not alone and many people feel the same way as you feel. IтАЩll be moving out of my apartment in two weeks and since I donтАЩt need the GMAT study materials anymore, if anyone is interested I still have the Kaplan study guide ( teacherтАЩs edition ). It is the same book used in the$2000 Kaplan GMAT course.
You can reach me at Suhangg@yahoo.com.
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28 Apr 2004, 11:42
Great post! Congratulations!
Did you memorize Kaplan questions that are on CD or in the book? Practice questions or test questions?
Does OG come with CD with questions and practice tests?
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28 Apr 2004, 11:48
Congratulation. Definitely an inspiring story. You're a living proof that this GMAT can be beaten.
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Paul

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28 Apr 2004, 11:59
Congratulation!
A nice improvement with an awesome score!
Got into Yale and CM, a top rank MBA programs Uni in the country.!!yeah
Anyway, did you got any work experiences before accepted?
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28 Apr 2004, 12:56
Congrats!!

you are real inspiration . Did u ever go through any problems in this forum ??
Because its my personal problme that though i study well from books or online material , sometimes i cannot crack some problmes from this forum and i feel unconfident. i just want to know that how important is this forum for anybody to pass GMAT?
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28 Apr 2004, 13:30
shubhangi wrote:
Congrats!!

you are real inspiration . Did u ever go through any problems in this forum ??
Because its my personal problme that though i study well from books or online material , sometimes i cannot crack some problmes from this forum and i feel unconfident. i just want to know that how important is this forum for anybody to pass GMAT?

shubhangi

The idea here is to discuss and learn. The problems in the OG are good, but definitely not good enough. The problems here are tougher for a purpose. Use all your knowledge to solve these problems. if you can solve them, great. If not, you will learn some new things. And remember, it is not just about solving problems. Its understanding an entire concept.

The utility of this forum is dependent on how useful you want to make it for yourself. This forum works when you , the member, solves others problems and in turn other members solve your problems. the discussion that follows helps you get different perspectives to solve a problem. you learn from the expertise of different members or others learn from your expertise.

Maintian a strict schedule of....

1. practising problems on your own and participating here
2. maintaining a log of your errors
3. Timing yourself everytime you feel confident.

Continue this cycle and always update your error log. you will need to review your errors in the last week of the test. you can get an error log on GMAT Club too.

The tough problems are meant to make you work hard to solve them. Knowledge is best retained when we struggle to learn it. Participate here, explain to others or learn from others. Anyway you look at it, if you maintain a similar schedule to what i have suggested, you should be ok.

Finally, how you do on test day will totally depend on how well prepared you are and how well you keep your composure.

Hope this helps
Sincerely
Praet
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28 Apr 2004, 13:42
Thanks Praet ...
It definetly helped me..
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shubhangi

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28 Apr 2004, 13:47
shubhangi wrote:
Thanks Praet ...
It definetly helped me..

If you find a problem tough, just ask for a clear explanation. I am very sure you will not be disappointed. The members will be glad to help. I will try to help where i can.

Sincerely
Praet
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29 Apr 2004, 01:16
Excellent posts sg8899...it feels great to hear such success stories...
From 500 to getting accepted to Yale and CM ...is awesome...
Best wishes for your future endeavors.

Vivek.
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30 Apr 2004, 13:18
Expert's post
sg8899 wrote:
December, 2002 my first attempt at conquering GMAT I ended up with a score 500. Now, a year and a half later I am in the process of deciding whether I should go to Yale or Carnegie Mellon. Day and night, what a difference.
I still remember that day, it was a Friday afternoon, and after sitting in front of the computer screen in the test center for more than 3 hours I had a gut feeling that this was not my day. After 6 months of preparation I thought I would at least get a 630 on my exam, but 500? Needless to say I did not have a good Christmas that year. I am not that type of person who give up easy, after been depressed for a couple of days I decided to try it one more time.
I sat down and designed a study plan for myself, did a little SWOT analysis on myself. My biggest weakness is the verbal section, I guess I could use be a non native English speaker as an excuse for my poor performance on the verbal section but again GMAT doesnтАЩt measure how well you understand English, it measures how well you understand the ETS English. I did relatively better on my Q section, but I understand for me if I need to get 700 or better I need to get 49 or better.
The second time I gave myself 4 months to prepare the GMAT, at the time I was a junior in University taking 5 classes. So on top of my school work I set aside 2 hours everyday to study GMAT. My plan was very straight forward, practice, practice, practice, and more practice. I used two books as my study guide, the OG which everyone has and the Kaplan study guide. The Kaplan study guide is the same book Kaplan students use in their $2,000 GMAT course. WhatтАЩs even better is that my study guide is the TeacherтАЩs edition which has all the additional footnotes on it. It talked about what questions are important and how to explain these questions to the students. One thing I did wrong during my preparation for the first test was that even though I did a lot of practice questions but I did not spent too much time on the explanations of the questions. Especially for the OG verbal, the explanations give you a clear picture on how people at ETS make up their questions. So in 4 months I redid all the questions on the Kaplan and OG three times and basically memorized the explanations. Four months later I can just look at the questions and know the answer instantly. I seen some posts people claim that they study for 2 or 3 weeks and got 700+ on their first try. I donтАЩt know how much truth is in those, I guess I have to admit some people are really smart, but for the rest of the 99% of us there is no short cut but practice. April, 2003 I took the GMAT for the second time, I had 700 Q49 and V36, a 200 points improvement. I almost yell out loud when I saw the score on the computer screen. I was a little disappointed about my V scores, but still it was huge improvement from the first test. I remember during the V section I had 12 RC in my first 15 questions which was a little overwhelming for me but I took time because I know how important the first 15 questions are. Get a good GMAT score was only the first step, the application process took me about 5 months. So far I have received acceptance letter form Yale and Carnegie Mellon and still waiting to hear from Stanford and NYU. Also I am graduating in one week from my undergrad program. I am glad that I am all done, but I could not do all this without the support of my families and friends. The only advice I can give people is that do not give up and practice is the key. Share your experience with people on this forum, I am sure you will find that you are not alone and many people feel the same way as you feel. IтАЩll be moving out of my apartment in two weeks and since I donтАЩt need the GMAT study materials anymore, if anyone is interested I still have the Kaplan study guide ( teacherтАЩs edition ). It is the same book used in the$2000 Kaplan GMAT course.
You can reach me at Suhangg@yahoo.com.

Cool Man!
I went from 600 to 750 on GMAT. Congratulations.
I like your writing style - pleasure to read, and yes, practice, practice, practice.....
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30 Apr 2004, 21:50
Bogdan,

How did you get 750? What did you do to raise your score? I need at least 200 points to get into the school of my choice. Any recommendations or suggestions?

Thanks...

I need all the inspiration that I could get to get over this test...huh!

Kath
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01 May 2004, 00:28
Expert's post
kath wrote:
Bogdan,

How did you get 750? What did you do to raise your score? I need at least 200 points to get into the school of my choice. Any recommendations or suggestions?

Thanks...

I need all the inspiration that I could get to get over this test...huh!

Kath

The score si the product of luck and a lot of effort

I have my story published somewhere, I believe, but since the Technology Person re-did all the layout last night, I am a strange here myself he-he, today at least.

to summarize it, first of all, 200 point improvement is hard and requires a lot of effort to the point when you drop, unless you got 300 the first time, which is silly.
I would start off with refreshing basics and not rush to the tests. Most probably it has been a while and you forgot how to factor things out and how Multiple worker/pipe problems are solved. If you don't know how to do them, why waste time, effort, and materials?

I have taken my test 2 years ago - it has been a while and the materials have improved or should have improved greatly with all the hype about GMAT and MBA, but I used Kaplan's books (2 workbooks to study basics and then the general book for the overall strategy and 4 tests on the CD's). I had powerprep and a PR book, but I did not read it - only used the online tester service to take the practice tests. I took a total of 9 tests before I went into the test room. I have invested so much of personal time and effort that after 3 months I was sick and tired of the test to such a degree that if I got 500, I probably would have abandoned it. (probably I am exhagerating, but I was very annoyed and wanted to get it off my shoulders).

It is probably not good, but I did not have a solid plan on paper. I had an idea in my mind. I got up every morning and did some section of the Workbooks, while my mind was fresh. Then 10 hours later when I came back from work, I would try to work some more if I could and spend the last two hours before unconcsiousness reading Steinback, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and C.S. Lewis. I read more fiction in the three months of preparation to GMAT than when I was taking a semester of Literature.

I attribute a substantial chunk of my luck on the Verbal part to this reading time. I got 42 on Verbal, which back then was 97th percentile - not bad for a non-native I think.

Having some rest and ability to leave things behind will help a lot. My job was very stressful, but I took the test in another city and was able to have a "tourist" mentality and leave all the troubles behind.

So, a lot of little things that contribute to the overall "luck"
I hope this helped to get you prepared for your journey a bit.

Will be interested to hear about the progress.

Bogdan...
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01 May 2004, 11:31
Bogdan,
Thanks for your advice...I will make sure that I will post my progress. I will share all my experiences to the club and hopefully will report after 2 months that I got 750 or more.

Thanks!

Kath
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18 Oct 2004, 02:09
Hi guys,
I have been preparing for Gmat for last 3 months,however recently as I have started with my practice CBTs..my scores have ben very dissappointing.Target is 680-700 and i have been ending up with 590 avearagely.
Please give suggestions as I will be taking up my Gmat in a month.
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18 Oct 2004, 02:33
hy...SG,

nice story and a GreatScore...what was different from the other success score posts was that U have a cal letter from two good schools and an awaiting from two more better schools...

goodluck !
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04 Nov 2004, 14:19
Hi sg8899,
I know this is an old thread but wanted to congratulate you on your massive effort and improvement. I also wanted to know how you got into the top tier schools right out of undergrad? Did you have much work experience?

thanks for the inspiration!
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03 Feb 2005, 18:28
i have to say hearing such great stories are an inspiration to us all!!!!
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08 Feb 2005, 12:43
[quote="aroman21"]i have to say hearing such great stories are an inspiration to us all!!!![/quote]

Yes, i agree .. its so important for you to score a good score in GMAT. This is a first stepping stone and you need to have 700+ score to do well.

Well guys and gals, my cousin sister scored only 660 (running from viral fever before exam date) but she got into British Petroleum in the top executive post. Salary is 85 K USD which excludes perks :-)
So, even if you score a little less, if you do well with essays, writeups and interviews, you can do best.

Amit
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10 Mar 2005, 11:35
Your hardwork has really paid off. It has really encouraged me to put in a lot of effort and get from 550 to 700.

Thanks.
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congrats ! u r truly an inspiration [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2005, 09:28
hi all ,

congratulations. i started my programme today after i gave the diagnostic today on the princeton website and i felt a little let down .

i am an engineer by profession - i got poor scores

420 , 36 q 12 v

i need to put in all my strength to face the music on the real gmat of course .

i shall go thru the kaplan study guide ..... as u have advised , but for verbal - i m planning to take classes from princeton review new delhi
and study hard .

i am hard pressed for time as the real gmat is going to be in the first week of july .

pls pray for me and if u can save time pls give me ur work plan .

i shall b really thankful to u for that .

anurag
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congrats ! u r truly an inspiration   [#permalink] 10 Apr 2005, 09:28

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