Let me give a brief introduction .. I am an Indian female in IT profession with 7 years of exp and my job demands 10 – 12 hrs of effort daily . I am married and have to look after my family also...well I don’t have kids yet. I have varied interests and find out time to pursue them as well. So with this kind of a schedule, I hardly got 12 hours/ week for GMAT preparation .I had a target score of 700. Preparing on my own, I started with QUANT because I am naturally good at English language and thought VERBAL to be manageable. I referred to some of the very standard books in the market...MGMAT for VERBAL and KAPLAN
for QUANT. However, the confidence in English turned out to be overconfidence and I got a hard blow at my first GMAT attempt after 2 months of preparation. Score 600(Q48, V25).Root Cause Analysis
- I had hardly given 40 hours in Verbal and had appeared only for 2 mock tests with an average score of 660. My first GMAT exam experience
AWA went will and I managed to complete the essays on time. QUANT was a smooth sail. During practice I usually worked on the challenging sums; I found that the questions on actual GMAT are much simpler and straightforward. I guess most Indian test takers will second my thought. VERBAL was very challenging .I found the questions difficult and I was running out of time. After a certain point, I became clueless, lost focus and concentration and started to panic.
So final score was a meager 600(Q48, V25).But I think it learnt a very good lesson, though I learnt it the hard way. I figured out that GMAT VERBAL was my weak area .This is when I decided to enroll for a GMAT course that gives an exclusive focus on VERBAL. I took Manhattan GMAT
trial classroom coaching but honestly felt $1500 to be an exorbitant price and that it was not what I needed. After a lot of GMAT forum surfing, I discovered e-GMAT
. It was almost a ‘Eureka’ feeling! The e-GMAT
course was offering exactly what I was looking for – an exclusive focus on VERBAL for non native English speakers at an affordable price.
This is when my e-GMAT
journey started. I started it all afresh. I planned to give myself enough time to prepare well before I fixed a date for the exam. At a rate of 12hrs/week I prepared for 3 months continuously for VERBAL. I diligently followed e-GMAT
’s course curriculum, its online courses and online live classroom sessions. The online live classes are extraordinary. The faculties are knowledgeable and I wholeheartedly appreciate the efforts of Shraddha for SC and Rajat for CR. The strategies for SC and CR are very scientific and helped me overcome CR an SC hurdles. I practised almost 500 – 600 odd examples in SC and CR deriving sources from e-GMAT
, official guide , GMAC question banks and MGMAT question banks . Luckily I did not do OG very well for my first attempt and so all the questions were new to me. Grockit is another powerhouse of questions in itself . I used it to judge my timing and accuracy before my Mock exams.In a nut shell .. This Is what I did
- I made e-GMAT
my bible for GMAT verbal prep and followed every little information and strategy it had to offer for both CR and SC.
- Made a study plan where I allotted 3 months of time to myself to prepare well before the Mocks. This study plan works well for those who have a very demanding schedule and who get very less time per week for preparation. This is how I made my study plan:
1st Month – Learnt the online e-Gmat
course content thoroughly. Along with I used some grammar books – Grammar book by GMATClub and the other was Aristotle Grammar to brush up the fundamentals.
1st Month and 2nd Month – I also followed e-GMAT
online live classes and practiced numerous questions . Towards the end of 2nd month , I timed myself for practice sessions as well. Sources I used were Verbal review, GMAC question banks, and MGMAT question banks.
- Before the mocks, I used Grockit to calculate my TAKT time and improve my speed and accuracy.
- I followed the 30 day study plan from e-GMAT
and customized it as per my needs. I allotted 5 weeks for total 5 mock exams with a gap of 1 week in between. I used MGMAT mock tests.
- After 3 mock exams, I could judge my level of preparation. I started to score around 690 and 700 and this is when I booked my GMAT date.
- During these 3 months, I used to read a lot of online magazines and news sites. This immensely helped to increase my reading speed.
I maintained the consistency for all 5 mock tests. However, on my Final GMAT exam I scored
680(Q47, V35). I was happy that I improved 10 points in my verbal score but overall I was a bit disappointed. Root Cause Analysis:
Q47 – I targeted a score of 49. However, I neglected QUANT a little for the rush for VERBAL. So I would advise everyone not to lose your focus on Quant ; especially Indian students who can do wonders in the Quant section with little persistence in QUANT, and improve the overall score a lot.
Q35 – I targeted a score of 38. I know I did well in SC and CR .However I got dinged by RC. I never put that extra effort for RC during my prep. So I would advise everyone that please don’t leave any loose ends and that all three sections in Verbal are equally important. A lag in one section will bring down the overall VERBAL score and your true potential will not be reflected.
I hope my debrief helps all those who juggle their time trying to meet both professional and personal demands and find it difficult to find time for GMAT prep. All they need is a little determination and a lot of persistence . I suggest - give yourself generous time to prepare for the exam. A judicious 5 month study plan will do wonders for you and help you achieve your dream score. Caveat – If you have exhausted all study materials but still unable to reach your DREAM score, it is wise to be contended with whatever score you have and focus on improving your profile. Remember, GMAT score is only a PART of the game!
I will apply with this score in 2013 and I am determined to offset the GMAT score with impressive applications.