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640 What a blunder!

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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 285
Concentration: Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 640 Q50 V26
GMAT 2: 660 Q50 V28
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V38
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 155 [5] , given: 23

GMAT ToolKit User GMAT Tests User
640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 06 May 2013, 13:10
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3 years back, in 2010, I attended the first session of Toastmasters club in Mumbai. I wanted to present a speech in front of audience from that very moment. Months passed, I could not join the club, but I always used to think how would be my speech, how it will progress, will the ending be impactful. December 2012, I finally joined the club and got the opportunity to write my speech. Whatever I was thinking for last 2 years, I could easily write it down now. It was an awesome feeling to face the crowd for first time successfully.

But what does this has to do with the GMAT? So, coming to exam…

I wrote my first exam in July last year, score - 640. What a blunder!
Another few months, took some online courses, completed OG 10, 12 again, and repeated MGMAT SC book. I read many success stories in this forum and thought I would also give a long debrief after my second attempt. I thought this time I am going to score at least 700. I imagined that when I will report my score I could even get a higher score. Finally, I would get a chance to write here, again imagining the content. But...

Second attempt – September, 2012, score - 660 (Q50, V28). I was left with 15mins in quant and 10 mins in verbal section. I was still not sure what went wrong. I thought I can't improve on my verbal skills anymore. I wanted to seek some help. I approached to several tutors but it did not work out. But I still had some hope left. I kept searching for more material. Repeated all the MGMAT tests. Reviewed OG12 again. My wife booked the exam date for me. She said, I am not going to be serious until the countdown doesn't start. By the time 2 months were left for the exam, I was still in the same situation as I was few months back. I somehow worked out a schedule to cover up the course, tried to stick to the same, but eventually I was doing the random sections. Finally, the day arrived. I had two outcomes for the result, on one hand I might get a good score and continue with mba journey, this cheered me up! On the other hand, I may get a score in mid 600's, and no more mba - this was frightful. Even when I sat in front of computer, I was hoping to get 700 or at best 720. Last 5 mins, I was as impatient as ever.

April 30, 2013 - final attempt - score 730 (Q50, V38)
Serendipitous!
And now, I have got the chance to write my story for which I have waited for almost a year. No more entrance tests for me. I now think that it is quite possible for anyone to achieve the desired score. The clues for success are written in each of the de-brief here. I just failed to notice them before, and if you failed to notice them too, here I am mentioning them again.

Materials I used:
1. OG12: A must!
2. E-gmat: A good course for those who are really weak in verbal section.
3. Gmatpill: This course would come handy when you have a good grasp on basic verbal concepts.
4. Powerscore CR bible: Get a conceptual clarity, and practice from OG
5. GMAT - Question pack 1: I used the official question bank 1 week prior to the exam. It has good number of questions and is an excellant source after OG.
6. My error log: This was the most important thing during the whole preparation. During my first and second attempt, I never reviewed any of the wrong answers. I thought when such/similar question appears again in exam, I would be able to do it. But I was wrong. For my third attempt, I maintained the log. It need not be an excel sheet, but a simple sheet divided into two columns - What got it wrong/What got it right. Keep checking the log again and again. My error log even contains similar entries again and again. For example - I was getting questions on Subject verb agreement wrong. Every time I got a question wrong and wrote SV in my error log. Within one week, I was able to reduce such repeated mistakes. So, trust me error log helps!
7. MGMAT online tests
8. GMAT club, Ipad app: Got it in exchange of posts/kiudos. A very useful app, with lots of questions.

What changed from 2nd to 3rd attempt:
1. Analysis
Keep a track of your progress. Evaluate your strengths/weakness. MGMAT tests do provide a good insight about your performance. Checkout your accuracy and timings. I was getting easier questions wrong in CR. My score decreased with increasing difficulty of questions. So, first thing I had to do was to get the easier questions right and then solving the tough ones correctly.
2. Timing
I mentioned before that I was left with 15mins in quant and 10mins in verbal. This was a huge mistake, and continued for long time. I was not giving sufficient time to each question. In a SC questions, I might choose an answer in 30secs. But spending another 30sec still be worth spending, just to make sure that chosen answer is correct.
3. Revision
Revise the error log. Keep track of your mistakes.
4. Exam temperament
At least once a week go for a marathon. Take a test, review it, solve more questions from each section. Just don't stress too much. Dress up well on the test day. Relax and focus. Don't rush during the exam. Be confident.

And that was the old wine in new bottle!
Thanks to GMAT club for helping me out. And a special thanks to my wife who had always been supportive to me.
_________________

My posts: Solving Inequalities, Solving Simultaneous equations, Divisibility Rules

My story: 640 What a blunder!

Vocabulary resource: EdPrep

Facebook page: fb.com/EdPrep

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Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: *Lost and found*
Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 123
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Technology
GMAT 1: 640 Q42 V37
GPA: 3.5
WE: Web Development (Computer Software)
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 66 [0], given: 14

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: 640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 07 May 2013, 10:44
Congratulations on the score cyberjadugar! I am glad you managed to fulfill both of your dreams :) Success stories like these motivate us(the ones who are still on the 640 stage) a lot :) What colleges are you planning to apply?

Regards,
Arpan
_________________

Feed me some KUDOS! :) :) *always hungry*

My Thread : Recommendation Letters

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 285
Concentration: Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 640 Q50 V26
GMAT 2: 660 Q50 V28
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V38
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 155 [0], given: 23

GMAT ToolKit User GMAT Tests User
Re: 640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 07 May 2013, 23:30
arpanpatnaik wrote:
Congratulations on the score cyberjadugar! I am glad you managed to fulfill both of your dreams :) Success stories like these motivate us(the ones who are still on the 640 stage) a lot :) What colleges are you planning to apply?

Regards,
Arpan


Thanks Arpan. I am still seeking advice from others for which b-school to apply. But it would mostly be US schools and ISB.

and all the best for your future endeavours!

Regards,
_________________

My posts: Solving Inequalities, Solving Simultaneous equations, Divisibility Rules

My story: 640 What a blunder!

Vocabulary resource: EdPrep

Facebook page: fb.com/EdPrep

Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: *Lost and found*
Joined: 25 Feb 2013
Posts: 123
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Technology
GMAT 1: 640 Q42 V37
GPA: 3.5
WE: Web Development (Computer Software)
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 66 [0], given: 14

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: 640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 09 May 2013, 02:23
cyberjadugar wrote:
arpanpatnaik wrote:
Congratulations on the score cyberjadugar! I am glad you managed to fulfill both of your dreams :) Success stories like these motivate us(the ones who are still on the 640 stage) a lot :) What colleges are you planning to apply?

Regards,
Arpan


Thanks Arpan. I am still seeking advice from others for which b-school to apply. But it would mostly be US schools and ISB.

and all the best for your future endeavours!

Regards,


Thanks cyber! I have my GMAT date set in August. Preping for it as of now :) Lets hope for the best! wish me luck lol

I am sure ISB is quite reachable with ur profile. Also I feel you have a solid chance in many of the top 15 B-Schools. I am sure the consultants here would agree. Hope you get a gr8 college in this cycle :)

Regards,
Arpan
_________________

Feed me some KUDOS! :) :) *always hungry*

My Thread : Recommendation Letters

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 285
Concentration: Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 640 Q50 V26
GMAT 2: 660 Q50 V28
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V38
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 155 [0], given: 23

GMAT ToolKit User GMAT Tests User
Re: 640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 17 May 2013, 04:14
Got my AWA/IR score today
AWA - 6 (of course, thanks to chineseburned)
IR - 7
:-D :-D :-D
_________________

My posts: Solving Inequalities, Solving Simultaneous equations, Divisibility Rules

My story: 640 What a blunder!

Vocabulary resource: EdPrep

Facebook page: fb.com/EdPrep

Expert Post
Veritas Prep GMAT Instructor
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Joined: 11 Dec 2012
Posts: 313
Followers: 59

Kudos [?]: 185 [0], given: 66

Re: 640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 17 May 2013, 06:52
Expert's post
Hi cyberjadugar, congrats on the nice score! Even better with the excellent AWA and IR scores. Thanks for sharing your story with the community. My favorite line was to do the marathon once a week. I often remind students that doing a 3-hour exam is great but doing a 4-hour exam is better, as it more accurately simulates the test-day experience. I know time is a precious resource, but you don't want to train your brain to work well for 3 hours and then relax. Your verbal score will suffer tremendously if you're not mentally focused. It's worth mentioning again, especially for those of us who already struggle a little with the verbal section.

Thanks again!
-Ron
_________________

Ron Awad
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 33
Location: India
Concentration: Operations, Healthcare
GMAT Date: 05-24-2013
GPA: 3.77
WE: Engineering (Computer Software)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 21

Re: 640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 18 May 2013, 17:45
Hi cyberjadugar,

Congrats on the high score.Summed up with great AWA and IR score.
Can you give some pointers about the Quant section and the IR section please.How did you prepare for it,materials and rest.

Regards
_________________

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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 285
Concentration: Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 640 Q50 V26
GMAT 2: 660 Q50 V28
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V38
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 155 [0], given: 23

GMAT ToolKit User GMAT Tests User
Re: 640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 19 May 2013, 01:23
VeritasPrepRon wrote:
Hi cyberjadugar, congrats on the nice score! Even better with the excellent AWA and IR scores. Thanks for sharing your story with the community. My favorite line was to do the marathon once a week. I often remind students that doing a 3-hour exam is great but doing a 4-hour exam is better, as it more accurately simulates the test-day experience. I know time is a precious resource, but you don't want to train your brain to work well for 3 hours and then relax. Your verbal score will suffer tremendously if you're not mentally focused. It's worth mentioning again, especially for those of us who already struggle a little with the verbal section.

Thanks again!
-Ron

Thanks Ron,

Indeed, in my first and second attempt, I was too tired to complete the test. So, either I was not stopping to ponder on my final answer choices. During the last few questions, I just waited to finish the exam (regardless of how my performance was going in last 10mins). But this time, I devoted required time per question and I was not at all in hurry to end the exam. :idea:
Sitting through the exam without exhaustion is really important. Your stundents too will sooner or later relaize your advice! :wink:

Regards,
_________________

My posts: Solving Inequalities, Solving Simultaneous equations, Divisibility Rules

My story: 640 What a blunder!

Vocabulary resource: EdPrep

Facebook page: fb.com/EdPrep

1 KUDOS received
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 28 Mar 2012
Posts: 285
Concentration: Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 640 Q50 V26
GMAT 2: 660 Q50 V28
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V38
Followers: 16

Kudos [?]: 155 [1] , given: 23

GMAT ToolKit User GMAT Tests User
Re: 640 What a blunder! [#permalink] New post 19 May 2013, 09:17
1
This post received
KUDOS
AdvenofTintin wrote:
Hi cyberjadugar,

Congrats on the high score.Summed up with great AWA and IR score.
Can you give some pointers about the Quant section and the IR section please.How did you prepare for it,materials and rest.

Regards

Hi AdvenofTintn,

Thanks! I had previously prepared for CAT and GRE, so I was pretty much comfortable with Quant section. But you can use the maths guide available on gmatclub forum. Keep checking the questions here, sometimes you may find really innovative answers. You could also use MGMAT quant guide, but that is a little advanced book.

Also I had never ever done all the questions correctly in quant section till date. I found two reasons for this:
1. Concept was not clear - I referred back to the study material to get clarity on the topic.
2. Silly mistake - copying data incorrectly from questions, in DS falling for c trap questions or not considering all the cases.
By rectifying these shortcomings you could also aim for higher score.
PM me if you have any specific query.

Regards,
_________________

My posts: Solving Inequalities, Solving Simultaneous equations, Divisibility Rules

My story: 640 What a blunder!

Vocabulary resource: EdPrep

Facebook page: fb.com/EdPrep

Re: 640 What a blunder!   [#permalink] 19 May 2013, 09:17
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