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620 to 760: Getting reborn!

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Joined: 07 Oct 2013
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Location: India
Concentration: Technology, General Management
GMAT 1: 620 Q44 V32
GMAT 2: 760 Q50 V42
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620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2013, 06:43
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Hi,

For months I have been a silent member of this wonderful community. As I read GMAT experiences of others, I always hoped to write one of my own. Finally, the moment has arrived.

About me:
I am from India. Unlike many of the members, I am already an MBA. I hope to get into a PhD program at one of well-known b-schools in the US. My area of specialization is information systems. I have some experience (3+ years) in teaching, academics, and publishing in top-tier journals.

Target score:
Because admissions in PhD programs are very competitive, getting above the 700 mark was absolutely essential.

GMAT 1st Attempt: December, 2012 :

I was a complete noob :oops: . I collected a lot of material (without consulting people) and started going over it randomly. There was no system to my approach. The outcome was predictable. Yet, somewhere I felt a false sense of confidence that on the test day, something miraculous will happen and I will score a 700+. Unfortunately, GMAT got better of me :? and I ended up with a dismal 620. The sectional breakup was something like Q 44/V 32.

Even after a bad show, I went ahead and applied at different schools. I somewhere knew that I would not make the cut but, much like my GMAT attempt, I was hoping for something to WORK OUT! :shock: Yet again, the outcome went against me. None of the schools accepted me.

THE DECISION
It was almost the end of the story for me. I had decided to give up on the dream but my better (much better!) half persuaded me to give another shot. By the time I decided to make another attempt, 2013 had already half-passed. I decided to take up the challenge :)

Step-I: Consolidation
I began by consolidating the prep material. I looked up GMATClub for some advice. I found several threads where people discussed about prep materials. I understood that my kitty did not have important stuff such as MGMAT guides and CR Bible. I decided to invest in those books and stay with them for the entire prep period. My prep material now included MGMAT guides (Quant, SC, and RC) and PowerScore CR Bible. This is where I want to highlight the importance of consolidation. There is just too much stuff out there. Some of it is tested, some of it is not. The quicker you decide on what is suitable for you, better prepared you will. Your choice may not be the most popular but it should suit your purpose, style of studying, and the conceptual level.

Step-II: Training
Having the materials is not the same as studying ( :oops: ). I had to decide between studying on my own and hiring a trainer. I decided to invest some more and collaborated with a couple of trainers: one for Quant and one for Verbal. I cannot emphasize how helpful they were. My style of studying is collaborative. I need someone to study with. Because of job commitments, it was not possible for me to join a study group. The trainers not only gave a great refresher for concepts but also studied and solved problems with me. I am not sure about posting the details of GMAT tutors but in case anyone wants to know, I will be happy to provide the details. I really found the trainers worth the money. Again, collaborating with a trainer is a matter of personal choice. If you are comfortable with studying on your own, please do so.

Step-III: Practice
I often encountered threads that talked about solving thousands of problems. The members on those threads are not wrong but one must learn from whatever he/she is solving. It is the old cliche: practice and review. The second part is every bit as important as the first one. Whenever I solved questions, I reviewed the answers of ALL THE QUESTIONS and not just of the ones that I got wrong. You should know why you got something wrong and you should also know that you got the answer with the right reasoning.

Step-IV: Mock tests
Once again, I encountered several threads about the accuracy of different mock tests. I guess there is no unanimous opinion. What one does on the test date is most important. I, however, found another use of mocks. In my last attempt, I especially tense when a new section was about to start (anxiety) and when verbal section was about to end (suspense). During my mocks, I tried to frame my test-date responses. So whenever a new section on the mock was about to start, I used to tell myself that 'you will face this on the test-date. Remain calm!'. This mental preconditioning was more important for me than the actual mock exam scores.
To illustrate the point, my highest score on GMAT Prep mocks was 730. In fact, on the MGMAT exams, I crossed 700 only once (a 720) :oops: But in all these mocks, I conditioned myself for different pressure scenarios for the actual test day.

Step-V: The last few days
For the last few days, I practiced as many official retired questions as possible (OG + the add-on question pack). The add-on pack is truly worth the money. I think it is most useful for getting the thinking aligned with the kind of questions asked on GMAT. I found the pack extremely useful. It is highly recommended.

Step-VI: Family
I have read several GMAT experiences but few seem to have highlighted this point. In weeks leading to my first attempt, I was staying away from my family (in a different city). This made my life very monotonous. Before my second attempt, I got a job with which I could stay with my family. For me, the warmth and comfort of staying with your loved ones is immense. GMAT IS A VERY STRESSFUL EVENT. There is no denying it. Had it not been with my family, I would have never achieved this kind of score. Had my parents and my wife not supported me, I would have not even given another attempt.

I recommend test takers to have a good time with family. Don't make GMAT 'The End of the World". It is not. One should enjoy life and prepare for GMAT. Don't do one at the cost of the other.

ON THE TEST DAY:
After a fairly sound sleep, I got up. The center was a few kilometers away from my home. I used public transport to get there. After the usual verification process, I was escorted to the terminal. Thankfully, except the score, there was nothing eventful about the test :-D I completed all the sections on time, chose the option of 'reporting my score' and closed my eyes. After a couple of moments, I looked at the screen. It read: 760 (99 percentile) with Q 50/ V 42. I could not believe my eyes. I somehow lifted my hand and the proctor escorted me out. The proctor then gave me the unofficial score report. I was reborn! :-D :-D :-D

CLOSURE
There is an old proverb (I guess it is there in all the languages): you haven't lost if you haven't given up! No matter what, don't quit. Try systematically and believe in yourself. If one is good enough, then he/she will beat the beast. All the best!

regards,
GMATDanger
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Regards,
GMATDanger


From 620 to 760: Getting reborn!

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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2013, 14:26
Congratulations on a splendid performance! Can you share approximately how many hours you prepared for your second attempt spread across how many months/weeks?
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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2013, 19:23
ajitkadari wrote:
Congratulations on a splendid performance! Can you share approximately how many hours you prepared for your second attempt spread across how many months/weeks?


Thanks :-D My prep time was from July to September. Every week, I did 3-4 sessions (1 hour each) with the trainers. I often work on Saturdays so I could devote 2 hours of my own study on Saturdays. On Sundays, I studied for 5-6 hours.

By the way, when are you taking the exam? All the best
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GMATDanger


From 620 to 760: Getting reborn!

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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2013, 06:01
Thanks! I need to schedule the test. Can you please share details of both the trainers you leveraged?
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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2013, 04:46
ajitkadari wrote:
Thanks! I need to schedule the test. Can you please share details of both the trainers you leveraged?



Hi ajitkadari, check your pm inbox :) take care
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GMATDanger


From 620 to 760: Getting reborn!

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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2013, 15:13
Can you please PM me the trainers you trained from.
Also when should you start taking the mocks.After you are done with your prep or b\w the prep.

Thanks and Congrats
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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2013, 23:53
282552 wrote:
Can you please PM me the trainers you trained from.
Also when should you start taking the mocks.After you are done with your prep or b\w the prep.

Thanks and Congrats



Check you pm inbox :-D take care
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GMATDanger


From 620 to 760: Getting reborn!

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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2013, 06:44
Hi GMATdanger,


Plz pm me the contact of ur trainer especially for verbal. Which city are you in india?

Thanks.

Posted from my mobile device Image
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Joined: 04 Jun 2013
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Location: India
Concentration: Statistics, International Business
Schools: ISB '15
GMAT Date: 12-02-2013
GPA: 3.32
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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2013, 07:42
Expert's post
GMATDanger,

First of all many congrats on getting such a good score. I have a request , could you please share the details of the trainers, not for me but for the users , who may need them in future. I try to assist people over here. So having those contacts might come in handy for the users in need.
_________________

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S

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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2013, 07:50
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
GMATDanger,

First of all many congrats on getting such a good score. I have a request , could you please share the details of the trainers, not for me but for the users , who may need them in future. I try to assist people over here. So having those contacts might come in handy for the users in need.



Hi,
Thanks for complements. I agree with you. I did receive several PMs asking about trainer details. Let me answer them collectively. :-D I availed the services of trainers at gmatinsight.com .. hope this helps
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GMATDanger


From 620 to 760: Getting reborn!

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Status: GMAT_Hound
Joined: 04 Jun 2013
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Concentration: Statistics, International Business
Schools: ISB '15
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WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
Followers: 41

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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2013, 08:56
Expert's post
GMATDanger wrote:
WaterFlowsUp wrote:
GMATDanger,

First of all many congrats on getting such a good score. I have a request , could you please share the details of the trainers, not for me but for the users , who may need them in future. I try to assist people over here. So having those contacts might come in handy for the users in need.



Hi,
Thanks for complements. I agree with you. I did receive several PMs asking about trainer details. Let me answer them collectively. :-D I availed the services of trainers at gmatinsight.com .. hope this helps


Hi,

Thanks for the comment. Could you please tell us over here a bit more on this, such as how many hours those teachers used to assist you , how and why you realized a personal guidance will be of better use than a normal classroom , a rough idea on the mentoring fees etc. The point is that an user exactly knows when , how and why a personal mentor could help him/her cross the hurdles. Identifying the problem is a major part of the solution i believe.
We here at GC wish you all the best with your applications to schools
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S

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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2013, 17:26
Do you also have a Master of Science on top of the MBA, or are you going straight to a PhD program with just an MBA?
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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2013, 06:35
TheViking wrote:
Do you also have a Master of Science on top of the MBA, or are you going straight to a PhD program with just an MBA?



Hi-- I have an advanced research-based degree in addition to MBA.
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GMATDanger


From 620 to 760: Getting reborn!

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Joined: 07 Oct 2013
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Location: India
Concentration: Technology, General Management
GMAT 1: 620 Q44 V32
GMAT 2: 760 Q50 V42
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Kudos [?]: 15 [0], given: 5

Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 25 Oct 2013, 07:04
Hi WaterFlowsUp [interesting name! :-D ],

In a given week, I used to have 3-4 sessions every week. Each session was of one hour.

The decision to engage with personal trainers largely had to do with my profession. I am by profession a management lecturer. For me, it was difficult for me to shift gears and get on the other side of the table. Instead I needed someone who would help me prepare at my own pace. Also, the cognitive jump from teaching complex management concepts to understanding and solving basic math and verbal problems is harder than it seems. I needed someone who would understand this and help me bridge the gap. On both counts, collaborating with a personal trainer made a lot of sense.

The total package was worth 22K Rupees (62 Rupees apprx.= 1$). This however depends on how many sessions you want to take. For me, taking more verbal sessions seemed right at the start of my preparation. However in later stages, I had to focus on Quant to get a balanced score. In summary, if you need to work at your own pace or if you are comfortable with a particular style of studying, collaborating with the personal trainers would be useful idea.

I am ever grateful to the GC community (I am more of a lurker here than a contributor :oops: ). I will keep posting the progress. Hoping for the best :)
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GMATDanger


From 620 to 760: Getting reborn!

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Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn! [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2014, 00:22
Hi GMATdanger,
kindly pm me the contact details of your verbal and quant tutors and also what were the charges individually.
thanks
Re: 620 to 760: Getting reborn!   [#permalink] 02 Feb 2014, 00:22
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