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640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost.

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GMAT 1: 690 Q49 V34
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 10:59
QUANT AND RC You guys can avoid this

sheetalvirmani wrote:
Hey Abhishek.. many congratulations for the awesome score! Seems like you worked really hard and it actually paid off :)

I have my GMAT in next 20 days. I have taken 4 mocks till now, including 2 power-prep tests (ex gmat-prep). The scores as are follows: 740, 720, 710 and 690. The last mock was a bit weird since I screwed up my quant. Got 9 questions wrong. Otherwise I have been scoring 49-50 in quant. Could you please guide me on how should I make sure that I consistently score a minimum 50 in quant?

On verbal sections, I have been getting around 8-9 questions wrong, and 4-5 out of them are all RC errors! I havent been able to improve my accuracy on RC even after practicing a lot! Any trips and tricks that would help me improve my accuracy??

Please reply whenever you have time! :)

Thanks a lot!!


Hi Sheetal,

Thanks for the wishes and sorry for a late reply as i went on a trip and came back today only. First thing, you mentioned "ex gmat-prep", does that mean excluding gmat-prep or old gmat-prep? In this reply, I'll go with old gmat prep. Let me know if I am wrong, I'll give you a more suitable reply. Now, out of the four scores that you have mentioned, please tell me which ones were your gmat-prep scores. Then, in them were you scoring in the 49-50s? To score a consistent 50, I'd say increase your accuracy in the first 20 questions (i'll say 95-100%, or 85-100% for first 30 questions). i can bet if your accuracy improves in the first 20 questions, you'll definitely see a score of 50 as the questions till then are not super-tough (from GMAT standards). Guess what, if you make a mistake in a really tough question, no worries, as getting an easy question wrong only can really-really hurt your score (not getting a tough question wrong). Also, avoid guessing two or three questions in a row, coz if you missed two/three questions in a row in the first 10 questions, it may hurt your score. And to continually get first 20 correct, a good grasp of real basics of quant is important, as the questions wont be testing 3-4 concept simultaneously. (hopefully you know what i mean, your questions actually made me think a lot, and i am myself a bit confused :) )

Now coming to verbal, if you are getting only 8-9 questions wrong in GMATPrep, I guess you are doing good (hopefully the wrong ones are not the initial questions). 8 wrong questions spread through out the 41 questions (What i mean to say is that they are almost equally spaced) will definitely get you a score of V40-V42.

Now to improve your accuracy for RC, please dont practice tons of useless passages. It will actually backfire (i can assure you that). Only use passages from a recommended source, or a GMATPrep passage. I didnt practice a lot of RC passages, and stuck myself to GMATPrep passages (knewton, and mgmat too, and previously e-gmat). Dont ever read grockit passages. :) I dont have any problems with grockit, but its problems just dont feel right. :( (Maybe they have improved now, i tried them only a year back.)

Now, how to actually improve accuracy, as Rajat also pointed out, Read Slow and understand the passage. Honestly, my personal opinion is that getting 4-5 incorrect RC will not bother me (with a total of 8-9 incorrect verbals) if i am aiming for 750-760 (V42/Q49 will get you to 750, V40/Q49 will get you to 740). If you are aiming higher (as in 770+), get your quant to to 51, that is what i was trying to do. (A Q51/V45 == 780, Q50/V44 == 770, Q51/V42 == 760, Q51/V40 == 750). As i said, i dont know whether your mocks were GMATprep, and if yes, then what were the Q/V breaks in them? So in short, how to improve your accuracy in RC to 90% (as in getting only max 2 wrong), my answer will be to read slow and understand the passage. (I tried one thing: I really laughed out loud when i read something funny in a passage, or something which was not mainstream thinking, and really felt bad when something bad was happening {such as slavery passage or global warming or similar passages, brackets in brackets hunh} This had two effects: it lightened my mood, and it made the passage more interesting to me.) The problem is that i cannot recommend you this technique, as it may decrease time for you in other section, which may hamper your overall score. One suggestion will be to try and guess the question pattern in RC (one thing that i have not been able to fully crack till now, so honestly, i dont know whether this will work or not, and also, you dont have time to try something new, so my suggestion will be again, stick to what you are comfortable with, and dont worry about getting 4-5 RC wrong out of total 8-9 wrong verbals.)

Hope this answers your question. Happy to answer any other doubt of yours.

Regards,
Abhishek

Last edited by abikumar on 15 Aug 2013, 09:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 11:03
ganesamurthy wrote:
Learn from it, learn from your mistakes, build your stamina, rough up and tie your loose ends.
Nice to motivate myself.


Hehehehehe.... I am glad that i motivated someone. :) I hope ganesh you do good in your exams.
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 11:15
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Brilliant debrief !!!!! I just want to know how u gave up smoking and wine....lol, i get an urge to smoke in between breaks for mocktest;) i see you are a supporter of mock and analysis of mocks straight after the test. Any special tips on analysis??? Am trying to divide errors in timing, strategy and concept problem, usually am good with concepts but i take a long route to answer questions in quant so my main problem is strategy and timing because of which i mess up the final few questions(4-5).

Congrats on the score and good luck with the applications

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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 11:38
RC AND STRATEGY

Iaintgivinup wrote:
abikumar wrote:

In the mocks, a general process that i followed was to avoid the last RC passage, which gave me ample time for the other questions.



AbiKumar,

Cheers on your score and your perseverance for 3 tests.
Can you elaborate the above strategy. Did you avoid the RC last passage in GMAT too?

Best of luck for yours apps.


Hi Iaintgivinup (nice tagline :) ),

Thanks. Luckily, except my first GMATPrep mock, i was able to complete all my GMATPrep mocks in time with all my RC questions solved. In my Mgmat, and my knewton mocks, i was using this strategy that I'll not care for my last RC passage (if its a short, 3 ques one. And yes, these mocks are tougher than real GMAT so i was guessing the last RC questions in almost all these mocks). Also, please note that it was NOT a hard and fast rule that i made up for myself. For example, if i have 6 questions left in last 10 mins and a RC passage turns up, it will be a shame to avoid the RC passage then (as i'll have 9.5 mins to answer 3 questions then if i do avoid the RC passage). My strategy was that if i see a passage when i have 10 mins and 8-9 questions left, i'll avoid answering the RC passage. Just to have that mentality that i'll avoid the last RC passage calmed me a lot during my mocks and my final exam, which helped me answer all my initial RC questions probably correctly (or as i say, more calmly).

Tip of the day: I was able to complete all my RC passages in my later mgmat and knewton mocks, as probably i had calmed myself to an extent that i was able to finish off the entire mocks in time. So, dont worry about timing in the initial mocks. Go for accuracy, timing will come naturally with practice. Important thing is to keep your head cool, and avoid last RC passage was my strategy to keep myself from panicking. You can have a similar strategy for say last 3 questions. Think of it, if you say that you'll guess the last 4 questions totally (whatever they are), you have 75 mins for 37 questions i.e. more than 2 mins per question. Isnt that beautiful? Now you can take your time, and wont fret about spending a bit more than 2 mins on a question. And believe me, there will be questions in which you'll spend less than a min. A min saved is a min gained for the last 4 questions. Then you'll only guess probably 3. This strategy will grow on you, when you'll realize that calmly answering the questions is more important that finishing the section. (PLEASE NOTE: Dont leave the section incomplete, It will RUIN your score, TERRIBLY. Complete all the answers, even if you have to guess last 10 questions. You may end up hitting 2or 3 correctly if you guessed the last 10.) Also, for practice, avoid consuming more than 3-3.5 mins on a single verbal question. (You'll notice that you consume this kind of time in CR only.)

Tip: I guessed all the A's when i guessed, or sometimes if the question stem and answers were small, i gave 30 seconds to eliminate a few wrong choices before guessing and moving on.

And yes, my strategy was the same, that i'll avoid the last RC passage in my final real GMAT too, but as i said, luckily, i was able to complete all the passage in time (i probably guessed the last verbal - SC - question.)

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other doubts.

Regards,
Abhishek

Last edited by abikumar on 15 Aug 2013, 10:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 12:10
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E-GMAT VS KNEWTON

rags28 wrote:
Hey Abhishek,

First, congratulations for an awesome score! Since you have taken both e-gmat and Knewton courses, can you please provide a comparison of the verbal sections of the two courses? Is there a reason why you chose Knewton for your final attempt ?

Which one of the two have helped you the most to improve your verbal skills especially for CR and RC sections. Also, I have read on several forums that Knewton course is not some one who is aiming for 700+ score on the gmat, is this right?

Thanks for your insights and good luck with your apps.


Hi Rags,

Thanks for your wishes. I'll try to keep it simple and to the point.

Comparison: e-gmat vs knewton (only verbal section)

e-gmat Pros: Extremely good verbal classes. Conceptual questions. Huge collection of questions. Club it together with mgmat mocks, and you have got a gem. (4+ verbal score guaranteed)
knewton Pros: Conceptual questions. Adaptive simulation. Huge collection of questions. 6 mocks. So complete in itself (including quant). (50+ total score guaranteed.)

e-gmat Cons: No good mocks (I have said earlier, i personally hated grockit, some people like it too, so it depends from person to person). No quant (when i joined. I dont know what the current situation is). :(
knewton Cons: Classes are not personal (as in they are general for everyone, so its up to you to assimilate as much as you can).

Summary:
If you are scoring in the range of 25-32, go for e-gmat. It will build your basics. You'll not assimilate a lot of knowledge from knewton at this point of time. e-gmat has the potential to get you from 25 to 40+ if you use it wisely, undoubtedly. I missed giving mocks during my prep with e-gmat, which probably hurt my overall score.
If you are scoring in the range of 32-36, go for knewton. You have your basics clear, you just need to practice, give mocks, and tie your loose ends. You can increase from 34 to 40+ using only this course.

Myth: "knewton cannot get you to 700+.": I cannot use the word, so i'll make an acronym of it: "BS". :) I tried it, and it made me jump to 750+. Whatever is taught in knewton is relevant and is good enough to keep you above 700. My personal preference was to increase my quant ability too, so i went for knewton. Important point is that its adaptive, so if you are bad at verbal, it wont help you a lot, but if you are decent at verbal, it will prove wonders.

Tip: Both of the courses are extremely good. Pick the one that suits your needs, and fits into your current verbal potential. And as bb ones said, during your prep, its good to go for a course which has a a guaranteed score improvement, as you have nothing to loose. You'll either improve your score, or you'll get your money back if you do all what is asked from you.

Also, specifically for SC, i'll say e-gmat (as for me, SC requires some personal attention), and for CR and RC, i'll say both (though personally, i am a bit inclined towards knewton). Also, CR was never that tough for me, especially simple CR and RC problems. For tough CR and RC problems, please read my other replies targeted at how to tackle tough RC and CR questions (they contain my personal strategies).

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other queries.

Regards,
Abhishek

Last edited by abikumar on 15 Aug 2013, 10:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 12:37
MOCKS ANALYSIS

farhanc85 wrote:
Brilliant debrief !!!!! I just want to know how u gave up smoking and wine....lol, i get an urge to smoke in between breaks for mocktest;) i see you are a supporter of mock and analysis of mocks straight after the test. Any special tips on analysis??? Am trying to divide errors in timing, strategy and concept problem, usually am good with concepts but i take a long route to answer questions in quant so my main problem is strategy and timing because of which i mess up the final few questions(4-5).

Congrats on the score and good luck with the applications

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hehehe. Hi Farhan,

Giving up smoking and wine... hmmmm. It was a tough job, and when i was studying, whenever i had a urge to smoke, i used to go out for a walk around my office building. Tried nicotine patches for 2 days, but they were leaving a scar, so avoided them too. :) First 5-6 days were tough, but later on, it paid off. :)

Tips for analysis: I noticed that you have divided your categories according to your needs, and have noticed one of your weak areas. Thats the perfect-perfect first step. Dont worry about your last few questions right now, as with time and practice, you'll definitely improve your timing. One thing i used to do was that whenever in mocks i saw a concept in which i had erred earlier, i used to giggle and laugh silently saying that this concept wont fool me again this time. And if i erred again in that concept, this stupid method wont let me forget that i laughed at a concept that has fooled me twice. I can assure you that there never be a third time when that concept will beat you again. Also, as you must have noticed, my strategy was the same: to improve my concepts, and not to worry about the timing (notice my strategy of avoiding last RC passage). I think you are going on the same path, and hopefully it will bear fruits for you too. :) I'd love to hear your few mocks score to suggest some suitable plans.

All the best. Please let me know if i have not fully answered your question. I'll elaborate to your specific questions.

Regards,
Abhishek

Last edited by abikumar on 15 Aug 2013, 10:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 18:08
abikumar wrote:

Hi Vasireddy,

Sorry, i went on a trip and came back today only. Let me tell you a secret, I remember that twice i saw GMATPrep question (as in exactly the same body, EXACTLY) but with different question stem and different answer choices i.e. attacking the same question from a different perspective (1 in 2nd attempt, and 1 in 3rd: Both CR). The reason i think is that maybe GMAT too dont have a lot of different material for tough questions. If you see one, then i believe be happy as you might be doing good, if you dont, then also no worries, you may have hit a different tough or even tougher question. Verbal questions are always, and yes ALWAYS, check for the same concepts. Same holds for RC too, and hence GMATPrep is your best source for official questions. (I say GMATPrep and not OG as GMATPrep has some really tough questions, OG is really really good to learn the concepts). So, the answer in short is "YES", the question pattern is always the same. The real GMAT will never ask you something which they have not taught in OG or GMATPrep.

Hope this answers your question. Happy to answer any other doubt of yours.

Regards,
Abhishek

Vasireddy1304 wrote:
Hi Abi,
No problem. Thank you very much for your response and excellent answer to my question. I appreciate your patience in answering all of our questions.
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 21:04
Thanks Man!!!! Have tried those patches hate them. Well the laughing strategy does sound interesting, will have to explain it to my wife before i use it, else she will call the people from asylum. Anyways regarding my mocks couldnt have plateaued more than this
Mgmat 1 600( quant 45 verbal 29)
Mgmat 2 580( quant 42 verbal 27)
Kaplan 1 600 (quant 85 percentile verbal 35 percentile)
Mgmat 3 600( quant 40 vetbal 33)

Some mistakes that i did till mgmat 3 always filled in the error log without actually reviewing it.
Didnt focus on areas of weaknesses more focus on building concepts since after 1, i realised i was pretty weak in concepts.
When concepts got clearer started spending more time on problems because i thought now i know this, i can do it.
Verbal is very bad in terms of cr and sc, started doing manhattan sc guide after kaplan and finally started applying some grammar in sc, i was always going with what sounded good.

I want to improve my score by atleast 130 points and i have 70 days to go.

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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 21:11
Hi Vasireddy,

Thanks. Its my pleasure, and i feel good if i can provide a helping hand to you guys.

Regards,
Abhishek
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2013, 21:35
farhanc85 wrote:
Thanks Man!!!! Have tried those patches hate them. Well the laughing strategy does sound interesting, will have to explain it to my wife before i use it, else she will call the people from asylum. Anyways regarding my mocks couldnt have plateaued more than this
Mgmat 1 600( quant 45 verbal 29)
Mgmat 2 580( quant 42 verbal 27)
Kaplan 1 600 (quant 85 percentile verbal 35 percentile)
Mgmat 3 600( quant 40 vetbal 33)

Some mistakes that i did till mgmat 3 always filled in the error log without actually reviewing it.
Didnt focus on areas of weaknesses more focus on building concepts since after 1, i realised i was pretty weak in concepts.
When concepts got clearer started spending more time on problems because i thought now i know this, i can do it.
Verbal is very bad in terms of cr and sc, started doing manhattan sc guide after kaplan and finally started applying some grammar in sc, i was always going with what sounded good.

I want to improve my score by atleast 130 points and i have 70 days to go.

Image Posted from GMAT ToolKit


Hi Farhan,

After looking at your scores and timeline for the test, a quick suggestion: Either pick a course that suits your needs (I can only suggest between e-gmat and knewton as i did only these two but there are tons of other good ones as well) or create a study plan for yourself. I picked the former as i am pretty bad at creating a plan and sticking to it. Your quant seems to be good at this point (Mgmat Q44/45s generally end up at GMATPrep Q49s). To improve your timing, I'd suggest to try and solve gmatclub SC, CR and quant questions online with timer switched on, and subscribe yourself to the Daily gmatclub question mails. Both of them will force you to complete the questions in time. It takes some time to build accuracy with timing. I subscribed to gmatclub questions for almost 8-9 months, and did them daily on weekdays. :) Pretty geeky, i know. A 130 improvement means you are aiming at 710-730. You can reach their by two ways: Q51/V35 or Q49/V38 == 710, Q51/V37 or Q49/V40 == 730). If you have noticed, if you reach Q51, you can reach 700+ with a huge swing in Verbal score. But with Q49, you'll have to reach atleast V37. As it seems to me that your quant is good, atleast try to reach Q50. A Q50/V35 will pull you to 700.

For Total SC Study: Manhattan SC guide. Period! But its a bit confusing book, so I'd suggest get a grasp of basic grammar knowledge. (Tip: Not very fond of saying it, but I myself read class 10th grammar book Wren and Martin for a few days, and only the concepts related to GMAT SC. Actually, my motivation was to not only better my score but also improve my english overall.) :)

Let me know if this sounds fine.

Regards,
Abhishek
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2013, 09:32
abikumar wrote:
Finally, done and dusted. A full on review will follow this post, as its time for me to party today. Though am still angry at myself as I was aiming at 770+, and a 4+ min of an unschedule break in the verbal session did hamper my chances in getting to that score, but still, it feels good to be in the 750 club. I'll tell you guys all, few secrets on what and how I did to get to this score, but right now, its time to party!

Thanks gmatclub! All you guys have been a tremendous support though out my painful yet rewarding journey.

[Edit]

The party hubs were too crowded, so am back. :) To be honest, I hated reading long debriefs, so I'll keep mine short and crisp. As is, no long paragraphs. Read the P.P.S. (last line of the debrief) if you too don't like long debriefs and just want a quick answer to your question, and if the topic you want to discuss is not one of the underlined ones.

Background: Chemical Engineer, B.Tech M.Tech Dual Degree, 4 years of Exp (Shell: India, Qatar, US), B.Tech/M.Tech CPI: 7.6/10 and 8.4/10, IITK.

GMAT Experience:
1st GMAT Score: 640 Q49, V28 (Aug 2012)
2nd GMAT Score: 690 Q49, V34 (Dec 2012)
3rd GMAT Score: 750 Q51, V40 (Jul 2013)

GMAT Mock Scores:

During 1st preparation period: Did the Q/V part only.
GMAT Prep: 640 (Q49, V28), 610 (Q49, V25), 680 (Q49, V33)

During 2nd preparation period: Did the Q/V part only. At this point still, I was too over confident, and after the second gmatprep mock of 750, I was sure that I'll score over 750 so stopped taking mocks (30 days before the exam, can you believe it!) Man, I was so wrong.
GMAT Prep: 700 (Q51, V33), 750 (Q49, V42)
MGMAT: 640 (Q44, V34)

During 3rd preparation period: After 5 years of smoking continuously and a year of drinking wine almost every third day, I completely quit smoking and drinking for 30 days to increase my comprehension level (I am writing this blog with a smoke and a glass of wine in my hand). I did the Q/V part with 30 min AWA and 30 min IR, with exactly 7-8 min break, and exactly drinking the same amount of gatorade and eating the same amount of apple in the breaks, with the same amount of lunch and fruits before the test, and yes, IN ALL THE 15 MOCKS. (I read in one of the debriefs that apple and gatorade is good to replenish your glucose level, thank you "gmatclub")
GMAT Prep:
720 (Q51, V35)
780 (Q51, V47)
760 (Q51, V42)
MGMAT:
640 (Q44, V 35)
730 (Q51, V 37)
720 (Q51, V 35)
780 (Q51, V 45)
780 (Q51, V 45) (only 3 verbal ques wrong)
770 (Q51, V 44)
Knewton:
760 (Q51, V 42) (6 verbal ques wrong)
740 (Q50, V 40) (8 verbal ques wrong)
710 (Q51, V 34) (14 verbal ques wrong)
740 (Q51, V 39) (10 verbal ques wrong)
740 (Q51, V 38) (9 verbal ques wrong)
730 (Q51, V 38) (only 5 wrong in verbal, but i guess knewton's 700+ questions were over, so the knewton guys decreased my score for getting a simple answer wrong)

So, as it is self explanatory, the difference between the 1st/2nd preparation and the third preparation is the mocks. I cannot even tell you how important it is to take mocks. Do not fret about mock exam, JUST TAKE IT! As much as possible. Learn from it, learn from your mistakes, build your stamina, rough up and tie your loose ends. Just do the mocks, as much as possible. In fact, one of the CR question I saw in the exam was directly from the GMATPrep, although with different answer choices (The "lyme disease" one). This incident increased my faith in my belief that god help those who help themselves. :)

The preparation:
For first test: OG12/13, mgmat SC
For second test: e-gmat, OG12/13, Jeff Sackmann, Kaplan Verbal, mgmat SC
Foe third test: knewton, mgmat books (all though i just read the maths books + advanced quant), GMAT Prep (Yes, once the gmat prep mocks were over, i read through almost all the gmatprep questions from different sources, especially manhattan. Man! Ron's explanations are too damn good.) Didn't even touch the OG as i had done all OG12/13 questions, 3 or 4 times, each.

Although I am still angry that I could have scored 770+, I blame it to the 18C air-conditioner temperature, that forced me to take that unschedule break. Anyways, I am happy with 750.

Exam Day:
Exactly as the mocks, except for that unscheduled break. Damn!

Reviews:

E-gmat: If you are a non-native, please take this course. Let me tell you that at the start of my preparation, I didn't even know that the verb in the sentence "I was planning to abort my plane" is "was planning". For me an year back, the "verb" that I would have guessed was "abort". E-gmat helped me build my basics. I hated language a lot, as my english was extremely poor (as you could probably guess it right now after reading my blog, actually I am not thinking about grammar at all right now), but anyways, I never gave up, and definitely could have scored in the 95-97% in english in this attempt, from 56-60% in my first attempt. Payal is a really good teacher. The only place where e-gmat lags behind is the absence of good mocks (I personally didn't like the grockit thing, as many questions were too poorly formed in grockit, although the questions of e-gmat were really-really good).

Knewton: Good coverage, lots of gmat like practice questions, and ofcourse 6 Mocks. Good to work if your basics are strong. Interesting thing that I have noticed is that Knewton never indulges itself on gmat sites. Everyone talks about manhattan, veritas prep, magoosh, e-gmat, and I have seen instructors from these groups helping everyone everywhere, but I never came across a Knewton Instructor on gmatclub or any other site.

Crux of the matter: TAKE MOCKS! And look out for your weak areas. Only, and believe me, only mocks can help you define these areas. It will definitely help you. And remember, If I can do it, so can you. Just don't lose hope. I have never been a lucky guy (again you can guess that from my real 3rd gmat exam), so hard work was my only way out. And yes, hard work pays off, please dont shy away from it.

Regards,
Abhishek

P.S.: Not reviewing my debrief right now, will review it the first thing tomorrow morning. And will add on some more stuff, especially a couple of foolproof maths inequality solving methodology, and some tips and tricks of the trade. Till then, all the best! Perseverance is the key to success.

P.P.S.: Please ask me questions, as I am pretty sure my debrief would not able to answer all your queries. Also, instead of jotting down whatever comes to my mind, I'll like to answer your issues with GMAT from my perspective, and will hope that my help helps you a lot. :)




Hi Abhi,

Congrats
Well I just want to tell u my case. After fighting for almost 3 years in Cat, I decided to prepare for Gmat this year in Nov. And, I am doing good in sample question. However, in test I lost my temper and always be in hurry to make Q incorrect. This is the case with me in Cat as well.
Kindly suggest if u really wanna to help
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2013, 09:37
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GENERAL RELAXING STRATEGY

singh0021 wrote:

Hi Abhi,

Congrats
Well I just want to tell u my case. After fighting for almost 3 years in Cat, I decided to prepare for Gmat this year in Nov. And, I am doing good in sample question. However, in test I lost my temper and always be in hurry to make Q incorrect. This is the case with me in Cat as well.
Kindly suggest if u really wanna to help


Hi Singh,

Thanks. First and foremost, what are the reasons that you lose your temper and get angry during the exams? As in, do you start feeling like you'll not be able to complete the test? Or you probably recall a previous question and realize that you have made a mistake? Or In general during a exam you start contemplating why Harry Potter attended the Tri Wizard Tournament? As he would have avoided Cedric's Death, and definitely the Cup was not coming to Harry with a dagger to kill him. (Just kidding, :) ) I think you might have meant that you lose your cool during your exam, right?

And losing cool during GMAT is a pretty common thing. If this is the case then please let me know more about the way you do your preparation (also please provide in what section you feel more rushed), I'll reply back to you with my perspective at what you can do to avoid the situation. If you really lose your temper then also please provide more information as to what you feel when you do your questions, I'll try to see how I can help you out. Anyways some of my strategies have been discussed before, as what I did to conquer my nerves. And as i always try to provide to a new question:

Tip of the Day: GMAT is not life after all. Getting 800 on it wont get you into H/S/W, getting 500 on it wont kill you. Its just an exam and I'd ask you all to treat it as one. I was in the same shoes as you guys are right now, and believe me I did these things before the exam:
1. I went to watch two movies in two days just before the D-day. (I'd say i was trying to relax myself, but honestly, I had tons to complete then too, i just didn't care, a 2 day practice wouldn't have increased my score from 500 to 700.)
2. Occasionally in my 40-45 day spree, I used to take a day off, just to relax, watch a movie, talk to my friends. The next day i used to swear and curse myself, and then go back to study again. I guess it worked, unknowingly. :)
3. I didn't let my office work suffer a lot, even in the last week. I was here in the office on Friday, and the next day I was writing the exam.
4. There are tons of other anecdotes like these ones, but they all want to tell you guys just one thing. Its natural to Panic, but try not to, the exam is not your Life.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Abhishek
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2013, 01:59
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abikumar wrote:
CRITICAL REASONING (An interesting approach)

sayantanbera21 wrote:
Kudos abikumar! yours is truly a debrief written in the most concise and informative form ever! (The Wine Helped!) :-D
I congratulate you for your brilliant score and also for completing the journey in such a remarkable fashion! :clap:

I am going to take the GMAT in the next month. I have exactly a month from now. Your points and discussions about the Quant section are a real eye opener. I am going to refurbish my whole quant preparation from tomorrow yet again. I was of an opinion that MGMAT tests have a difficult quant and kept ignoring them. Now, it makes much sense that I need to take on them as well since they are remarkably close to the final call. :yes

I have a serious concern regarding the verbal section. After reading through a lot of posts on this forum, I have modulated my attempt methodology time and again to suit my comfort level. Indeed, the slow reading technique on RC works for me like wonders. The last RC...bite me! I am very worried with my performance on the CR section. Accuracy levels hover around 50-60%. Interests are at an all time low. (Though, first thing tomorrow morning is to quit ciggerates). CR is killing me. In my previous attempt too, I remember attempting CR in the most disgusting and disgraceful manner possible. The last mock I gave of MGMAT, I got about 16 questions wrong and out of them, 8 were CR!!! I could not believe my own nerves. :beat
I hope, I have not been too wordy. Please guide. If there is something I could do in 30 days about improvising onto my accuracy, I would put in a 100% effort on those lines.

Thanks in Advance!


Hi Sayantanbera,

Sorry, i went on a trip and came back today only. For CR questions, a lot of gmat prep courses tell you to read the question stem first and then read the body, but i found that tough for me. What i did was that i read the body first and while reading the body, i guessed what the question stem may be (such as weaken, or strengthen or assumption, etc). Honestly, i was able to guess that more than 90% of the time. This helped me to unbiasedly read the body, and understand it fully before reading the question. One trick of the trade that i used: Read the CR stem, and convert it in your own language (hindi, tamil, spanish, whatever it is). Then you'll either directly find the right answer choice (in easy CR questions) or eliminate all the incorrect answer choices (in tough CR questions). It does created wonders for me. Hope it does the same for you too. For example:

CR Stem: "Samuel is obviously a bad fisherman. During the past season, in which he and the five members of his team spent four months on a boat together off Dutch Harbor, AK, he caught fewer fish than any of his teammates."

Hindi version: "Samuel bad fisherman hai, and last season mein in 4 months usne out of 6 people, sabse kam fish collect kari"


(P.S.: I converted that into hindi, please convert it into your own language. After conversion, I can bet that you'll too guess this seems like a weaken question as it feels itchy to say someone is bad just based on one data point, or maybe some other factor/data is present that makes him a good fisherman or some new information that proves the point that the data presented above misses some key information. Also, i copied this question after doing some random google search, I'll say try this strategy on real GMAT questions, or mgmat question, or egmat or knewton. I cannot say about other prep courses, but i can vouch for maggoosh and veritas prep questions, both are good. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, even if this is a strengthen question choice, see how many data points you have pondered over by converting it in your own language even before reading the question stem, this makes you fully understand the passage. If its a strengthen question, you'll check for the exactly opposite points we discussed earlier, and if its an assumption question, then you just need to fill in the loose ends.)

Note: the name of the place may not be that important to understand the stem. But honestly, it will stick to your mind when you'll be reading the passage. So no worries, the important part is to FULLY understand what the passage is saying.

Also, note that tough CR questions are tough to answer. So even if you are incorrectly answering 8 tough CR questions (out of total 16 wrong verbal attempts in a mock), dont worry. In a couple of mocks, my incorrect CR questions were almost 40%-50% of the total 13-14 incorrect questions. Important point to note is that in GMAT, a CR answer choice will be TOTALLY wrong, and not partially wrong. GMAT does not leave any chance of errors in the wrong answer choices.

Hmmmm, it turned out to be a long post, i guess no one asked me about my CR strategy before. :) Hope this answers your question. Happy to answer any other doubt of yours. And yes, please let me know if this conversion thing works for you. I'll then be really happy as I will know i helped a fellow-friend who is in the same position as i was a few months ago.

Regards,
Abhishek


Hey Abhishek, Congratulations for 750 first of all.. Kudos man!!
And ya thanks a lot for the amazing tips that you have shared in the above posts.. It has helped me a lot. Especially converting the CR question in Hindi and then judging what the question could be.

If you can judge what a question could me, then it automatically means that you also know an answer to it.

Thanks again!!!
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2013, 12:11
shameekv wrote:

Hey Abhishek, Congratulations for 750 first of all.. Kudos man!!
And ya thanks a lot for the amazing tips that you have shared in the above posts.. It has helped me a lot. Especially converting the CR question in Hindi and then judging what the question could be.

If you can judge what a question could me, then it automatically means that you also know an answer to it.

Thanks again!!!


Hi Shameekv,

Thanks for the wishes. Please let me know if this method worked for you too. I'll be happy to write down a good deal on this topic to help out other guys, if time permits.

Thanks,
Abhishek
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 30 Oct 2013, 09:45
Hi Abhishek,

I was following your post and need an advice on "timing" aspect of the test. It would be great to hear back from you.

Quant:Currently on 47/48, need to hit 49/50

Pacing strategy

I would be extra cautious in the first 20 questions and take approx 40 min to complete. Therefore, the time left would be 35 min for the next 17 questions ie. approx 2 min per question. The MAJOR strategy is to stick to the average time(depending upon the question type). Also knowing my areas of weakness(probability for that matter), I would not spend any extra time(if I am stuck). However, will spend an extra 15/20 sec on a question of strength(if needed).

Verbal:Currently @ 33/34, need to hit 39/40

Pacing strategy
As in quant, I would be extra cautious on first 20, spending approx 40 min. For the next 21 questions, I should be having 17 min, which is a negative time scenario already(5/6 questions behind). I would be adopting the same strategy as in quant. However, to cover up for the 5/6 questions lag, I can do the following:

A..Throwaway some questions from my weak areas by not even looking at the questions

OR

B..Give approx 30 sec to try to solve a question from my weak area and then take an educated guess

Also I have observed(from my MGMAT CAT scores) that the steepest drop in %ile estimate happens if I am missing a RC question. Is this true? In that case, should I be extra careful in dealing in questions from the weak area of RC(inference, detail)?

Please provide your valuable inputs on the above. I have about 10 days to go and my last GMAT Prep score was 700(guess I had seen some questions earlier). I am hitting 660 ish on MGMAT CATs. I need to take it to 720. Is it possible by getting the timing aspect correct?


Regards

Argha
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Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost. [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2013, 23:43
Hi Argha,

Sorry for a late reply. Was busy in the applications processes.

As far as your Quant pacing strategy goes, everything sounds fine. As i have noticed that probability questions in the first 15-20 question sets are generally easy, so i believe you wont face a lot of issues in them. Only point is that avoid guessing any question in the first 25-30 set if you are aiming at Q50ish score. I got Q49 in my first 2 gmat attempts, and i can assure you that i was guessing a few in the early questions. So, Q49 with some early guesses can be achieved.

For Verbal, 40 mins for first 20 questions seems a bit too much. Well, by practice i assume you can bring it down too. For questions, to cover up some time, dont throwaway if you have time. And definitely dont throw away questions back to back until and unless they are the real late ones Ques No. 35+.

For MGMAT cats, i dont think there are any predefined percentile drop by question types. (to be honest, there can be a predefined percentile drop by ques type, but the percentile drops in MGMAT CAT are not very representative of real GMAT) For eg, to score best in MGMAT, you can miss first 5-10 and do the rest 100% and you can still score Q51, which i dont think is possible in real GMAT. So the best solution that i can suggest is to hone your weak areas, be it RC/SC/CR.

Btw: After reading your complete post, i noticed your GMAT exam is over by now. Again, sorry for a late reply. How did it go? How much you scored? Hopefully, i didnt miss to help you out, and hopefully, my previous posts were helpful enough.

Let me know if i can help you out in any other way.

Regards,
Abhishek


argha wrote:
Hi Abhishek,

I was following your post and need an advice on "timing" aspect of the test. It would be great to hear back from you.

Quant:Currently on 47/48, need to hit 49/50

Pacing strategy

I would be extra cautious in the first 20 questions and take approx 40 min to complete. Therefore, the time left would be 35 min for the next 17 questions ie. approx 2 min per question. The MAJOR strategy is to stick to the average time(depending upon the question type). Also knowing my areas of weakness(probability for that matter), I would not spend any extra time(if I am stuck). However, will spend an extra 15/20 sec on a question of strength(if needed).

Verbal:Currently @ 33/34, need to hit 39/40

Pacing strategy
As in quant, I would be extra cautious on first 20, spending approx 40 min. For the next 21 questions, I should be having 17 min, which is a negative time scenario already(5/6 questions behind). I would be adopting the same strategy as in quant. However, to cover up for the 5/6 questions lag, I can do the following:

A..Throwaway some questions from my weak areas by not even looking at the questions

OR

B..Give approx 30 sec to try to solve a question from my weak area and then take an educated guess

Also I have observed(from my MGMAT CAT scores) that the steepest drop in %ile estimate happens if I am missing a RC question. Is this true? In that case, should I be extra careful in dealing in questions from the weak area of RC(inference, detail)?

Please provide your valuable inputs on the above. I have about 10 days to go and my last GMAT Prep score was 700(guess I had seen some questions earlier). I am hitting 660 ish on MGMAT CATs. I need to take it to 720. Is it possible by getting the timing aspect correct?


Regards

Argha
Re: 640 to 750: How I braved myself and won over the GMAT ghost.   [#permalink] 01 Dec 2013, 23:43
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