Gave my gmat last week and got a decent 740 (Q50, V40). Even if you don’t have time to read my debrief, I would say one thing – Give importance to the first 10 questions. It added 2-3 points to my verbal score. I have the link below.gmat-prep-software-analysis-and-what-if-scenarios-146146.html
I am a super procrastinator. I started my preparation in August 2012 with the aim of applying in December’12. Clearly I will now have to wait for 2013 to apply. However, I have had a wonderful experience on this forum and here is my chance to give back.
In America, if you want to do something, go buy a book to read about it whether its investments or the GMAT. So to start my preparation I purchased Jeff Sackmans TGM, MGMAT SC
, Powerscore CR
& OG 13
I found TGM to be relatively well laid out for a refresher. It was perfect for me as I needed a bit of theory and them problems to perfect the skills. I could easily skip the topics to go to the practice problems. I finished this book in 20 days. All in all a solid grounding in concepts.
I then moved to verbal and hit a wall. I started reading MGMAT SC
and could at the most 10 pages a day. This was shocking because I had just completed a 500 page book in 20 days. I was putting in 30-45 minutes on weekdays and 4-5 hours on weekends. After 15 days, I had completed 5-6 chapters and while I had learned new things, I was not certain if I retained much. I repeated the drill with Powerscore CR
but somehow could not finish it. Left it after 6th chapter.
So with 2 months gone, I gave a gmatprep – scored 600 – Q48, V23. I felt pathetic. I had 6/15 SC, 5/12 RC and 8/14 CR correct. I knew that I had a long way to go. Moreover, books were not going to cut it. I looked out for Kaplan course
, MGMAT, Veritas Prep
. I really liked the Veritas
Curriculum because they have the most classroom hours. It was also the most expensive. I was about to join Veritas Prep
when I read the article parallelism vs logic by egmat
. The article just made sense and I decided to give egmat
a try. At $150 it was not a bad investment. I really liked the course. I could finish 2-3 modules in a day including solving 10-15 problems. They sent me a study plan. I finished the course in about 45 days and took the mock again. Got a 670 – Q49,V32 this time. Did much better in SC – got 9/15, CR - 9/14 and 7/12RC. I had more confidence. At this time, I got serious as I felt that I was within shooting distance of 700+ score. I joined the egmat
live classes program to keep me on track. For quant, I focused on doing difficult problems on the quant forums. The discussions in the egmats live lectures were some of the most intense discussions on SC and CR. The depth to which you go on intended meaning, sentence structure, parallel constructions, dissection of conclusion especially on Strengthen and weaken questions was an eye opener.
I gave my next mock on Jan 23 and scored 710 – Q49, V37. Even though I had to rush through last 10 questions (16 mins), I did much better in SC (11/16) and CR (11/13). RC remained the same (7/12). Also, I answered 2 out of first 10 incorrectly (silly mistakes in SC). I had also spent a lot of time on 1 RC at Q26. Got 2 wrong there. 4 out of the 12 mistakes I made were in the last 10.
From Bunnel’s analysis
I read bunnels analysis on quant section. Realized three things (my take, not bunnel's):
1. First 10 questions are very important.
2. Last 10 questions are not as important
3. It’s probably better to get a continuous stream of questions correct. You may randomly answer 2-3 questions in the middle.
So I revised my mistakes. Modified my strategy to the following:
1. Spend 21 minutes on first 10. Get them right.
2. Randomly answer one question in 11-20 and 21-30 to get back on timing. Select the question that seems very daunting.
3. Do not panic if you have less time. Focus on CR and SC first.
I followed this strategy in MGMAT mock. Got 9 out of first 10 correct and overall scored 39. Messed up a bit in quant. Still ended up scoring 720. Did the same thing in repeat GMATPrep 2. Again got the first 9/10 correct, overall 32 correct this time. Overall score 760 – Q50 V42. There were 4 repeats. I realized that I probably am in the 730-750 bucket.
Gave the test last week and was scored 740. I am very happy about it.
Three things that led to my success
1. Conceptual clarity
: My quant and verbal fundamentals were clear. Even when I made mistakes in practice or on mocks, I always spent the time to figure out why I made the mistakes. This gave me the confidence that if I approach questions methodically, I could do most questions right.
2. Calm approach
: I had a strategy for mocks and the GMAT. I am lucky to have stumbled on Bunnels analysis. The strategy worked really well for me and allowed me to apply my fundamentals with a calm mind.
3. Test preparedness
: I gave 5 mocks during this journey. The first one was a waste. However, each mock test trained my brain to be more focused. Also, I spent good time to evaluate my mocks and my mistakes. In hindsight, had a taken 1-2 more mock tests, I probably would have gotten 750 or 760.
Overall, I want to thank this community for its help. BB for creating this wonderful community, Bunnel for his analysis and some of the most awesome responses on quant, community members like Souvik, Carcass, Debayan, Gurpreet etc. who put in some helpful problems on the forums. Mike Mcgarry from Magoosh
, and Shraddha and Chiranjeev from egmat
for great explanations on Verbal forums.
Let me know if you have any questions. I will be happy to answer.