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# 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok)

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Intern
Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V38
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 28 [7] , given: 0

660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2010, 00:34
7
KUDOS
-------------------------------------------------------
Here you go! I will appreciate any feedback. If anyone benefited from my feedback, kindly award me kudos (just a morale booster for me).

Please feel free to raise any further questions or clarifications or content that I need to add in order to make this a more complete debrief.
-----------------------------------------------------------

Gmat attempt time line

1. Jan-Feb 2008 – prepared for Gmat in Delhi.
2. March 2008 – enrolled with Jamboree India test series
3. April 2008 – got 660 (Q 49, V 30)
4. Jan 2010 -restarted gmat preparation along with my job (without taking any leave)
5. Jan-Feb 2010 – gmat fundamentals
6. March 2010 – gmat sectional tests
7. April 2010 – enrolled in Knewton course as I was not feeling confident and focused. Completed full course within April.
8. May 2010 – full length tests (Knewton, Manhattan and Gmatprep)
9. 27th May 2010 – exam date but had to reschedule to 15th June due to the disturbed situation in Bangkok (fortunately, rescheduling my exam was a blessing in disguise)
10. 15th June – took gmat second time and got 740 (Q 50, V 38)

Practice Test Results

Knewton 1: 650 (Q 49, V 29)
Knewton 2: 640 (Q 50, V 26)
Knewton 3: 670 (Q 49, V 31)
Knewton 4: 650 (Q 47, V 31)
Knewton 5: 640 (Q 46, V 32)
Manhattan 1: 700 (Q 51, V 35) – untimed in order to check my maximum potential
Manhattan 2 : 660 (Q 47, V 33)
Manhattan 3: 660 (Q 46, V 34)
Manhattan 4: 680 (Q 48, V 35)
Gmatprep 1 : 720 (Q 49, V 39)
Gmatprep 2: 690(Q 48, V 35)
Gmatprep 3: (only Maths section) - 49

Preparation materials used

I focused only on limited materials that were highly rated by gmatclub members. This was because I had very limited time to prepare and so did not want to waste time shifting from one material to another. So, once I finalized the books, I devoted myself to religiously study them.

1. Maths

a. Gmatclub forums – used gmatclub maths book and other forums to review maths concepts and practice questions
b. Gmatclub tests – practiced number theory questions from here
c. Gmatclub diagnostic test – used it to identify weak areas
d. Kaplan 800 – as I was given this book by my friend, so I used this book to review concepts and do some practice questions. However, it was not much helpful. Gmatclub is solely sufficient to cover maths.
e. Official guides + quant review – did it twice especially the last 50 questions
f. CATs – Knewton + Manhattan + gmat prep tests and review questions

2. English

a. SC – Manhattan Gmat 4th editions: solely sufficient to handle SC section. Did not refer to any other book. I also regularly read Manhattan forums and the answer explanations especially from Ron Purewal (God of gmat English).
b. CR – Powerscore CR bible: excellent and advanced book on CR; again – sufficient for gmat preparation; did not use any other book
c. RC – no book used. Used RC techniques as per Knewton course and Gin’s RC tips (downloadable from gmatclub)

How I approached the study materials?

English section

I knew very clearly that my weakest area was English (I got only 30 in my first attempt) and so I devoted most of my time on English in the first 2 months.

1. Manhattan SC – very tough and dense material. I read the basics section first and attempted the questions at the end of each chapter. Once I finished the basics section review, I moved to OG.
2. OG SC – chose 15 questions at a time, took a timed test with 60 seconds per question and then took an untimed test. After that, those questions that I had different answers within timed and untimed conditions, I tried again under untimed conditions. During the untimed test, I carefully analyzed all the options and tried to identify multiple mistakes. Then I checked my answers and logged my mistakes in the error log (from gmatclub) and re-read concepts the next day. Following this method, it took me one month to finish OG and Quant+verbal review
3. After I took gmatprep tests – I downloaded the Gmatprep Sc question bank from gmatclub forum (186 questions in total) and attempted most of the questions again (by referring to Manhattan forum for explanation)
4. CR and RC – I followed the same strategy. CR I allotted 1.50 min per question and RC (starting with 6-7 min for reading, finally targeted 4-5 mins)

The benefits of the above approach were:

1. I could get most out of official gmat questions
2. As I would check answers only after 3 attempts, I could very quickly know my concepts gaps and wrong assumptions. For example, if I got a question wrong under timed and untimed condition, I knew there was a clear concept gap and therefore devoted time studying the concept in detail.

Maths section

As my level was already 49, all I had to do was go to 50 or 51. Gmatclub was the best place to go to and so I devoted almost all time on this website. Everything that I needed was there.

How I managed study with my job?

Background

Office timings: 8 am to 5 pm; Lunch time: 12 noon to 1 pm
Working days: 5 days a week + 2 working Saturdays
Location of residence: right next to office (5 min walking distance). I stay in a single room and have 24 hr wireless internet access (provided by the company). No roommate so that I can focus on my study.
Food: eat at the office canteen only (stopped cooking since I started gmat preparation; this saved me 1-1.5 hours per day)

Strategy

1. Every day I would leave for lunch at 11.45 am sharp, finish eating by 12-12.10 pm, come back to my desk and take a 10 min nap in order to refresh my brain and then go to one of the meeting rooms to study. Generally, during lunch time, meeting rooms were vacant so I could study there for 1 hour undisturbed. During this time, I would only take tests. Once back to my room, I would review my test results and study the respective areas.
2. Working Saturdays – I would try to finish all my tasks by 12 noon and then find a secret location in my office to study (generally in the meeting rooms)
3. Leave office by 5.30 pm, finish food by 6.30 pm and then study from 7 pm to 10 or 11 pm. I did not study at a stretch but often took 30 min break after every 2 hours of study. So, effectively I studied for a maximum of 2-2.30 hours every day.
4. Weekends – did not go out and stayed in my room to study. Studied for around 6-8 hours per day on weekends.
5. Before going to bed – I would read one of these for around 15-30 min – The Economist (hard copy) or fiction novel or solve sudoku

Knewton Course Review

Why it rocks?

1. 50 points Money back guarantee – therefore, if you do well in the diagnostic test (first attempt) or have a score of 650-700 in the first attempt and plan to retake gmat, then it may be a low risk proposition. The only thing you need to devote is your time.
2. Quick and quality feedback – the knewton help centre is quick to respond to any queries. Every night I asked them some or the other questions and next morning I would receive a detailed explanation or clarification.
3. Good study videos that comprehensively cover almost all topics
4. High quality live classes – excellent and well prepared faculty and active participation of other members during class (I am talking about office hours)
5. A lot of practice tests – both topic wise and section wise
6. Free Gmatclub tests + $100 discount on reference + regular cash discount/promotion = not very expensive gmat preparation course (it cost me$690 - $150 (March Madness) -$ 100 (reference) = $450 + cost saving of$ 80 (gmatclub tests) = $370 (net perceived course value)) 7. Knewton CATs a. English section explanations are excellent (similar to the way OG 12 offers explanation) b. Most questions – both Maths and English are basically reworded or twisted version of the OG or officially released questions c. Level of Maths is generally lower and easier than actual Gmat. However, this weakness is smartly covered up by providing access to the Gmatclub tests where you can practice harder questions. 8. English section – I was happy with the English section because it was very similar to the Gmat prep and actual questions in the exam. The explanations are also high quality. Why it sucks? 1. Knewton CAT a. Scoring is weird. After the first 2 tests, I felt that its algorithm went awry. In spite of doing considerably well compared to first two tests, I got terribly low score in all the subsequent tests. b. There is no CAT analysis provided (compared to the Manhattan CATs that have a very useful and sophisticated analysis) c. You cannot try the CAT questions again because Knewton does not provide option of hiding answers while reviewing unlike Manhattan. This was bad for me because I could not know my concept gaps. After every CAT, I attempt the wrong questions untimed to test my concept gap and correct answers under timed condition to test any guesses made. d. All practice tests are untimed. This was again terrible because I could not practice questions under timed conditions. I had to repeatedly use Walker’s gmat timer. 2. Maths section a. Question level is nearly same as that of OG – basically reworded questions with slight change. Therefore, it tests most of the concepts as per the officially released questions b. I felt that maths questions were easier than actual gmat. 3. Concept queue a. Although Knewton touts this as revolutionary, I found it very overly simple with not much value. b. The biggest problem with concept queue is that although you may know which area or topic you are weak, you will not be offered specific questions or question drills to master those concepts. You will have to retake all the practice tests again and get those wrong questions right. I was disappointed with this because 1 or 2 weeks before my exam, I wanted to work only on questions that covered my weak areas. I simply did not have time to redo all the practice tests (by the way, there are a lot of practice tests). Final verdict on Knewton I did not intentionally give verdict on Knewton because I wanted to leave it open for readers to decide. This is because given different background and circumstances, what may be good or bad for me may not be so for others and therefore, my verdict, should not veil someone's decision to take the course. However, as per the request, I still present my verdict below so that someone with similar requirements can take a more informed decision. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Knewton course may not be responsible for my results because 1. It did not help me improve my Maths score (as Knewton's Maths is not very strong). Gmatclub tests, gmatclub forums, Manhattan tests and forums and Gmat prep Maths exhaust explanations were far better guide. 2. In spite of taking a lot of tests, due to lack of CAT analysis and lack of focussed practice on weak areas, I could not boost my English score as well. For English, Manhattan books and forums are more than sufficient. 3. Knewton CATs were a big disappointment in terms of its scoring and lack of analysis, and hence, I had to take shelter with Manhattan tests when I needed help most. In sum, in retrospect, I could have scored well without Knewton. Manhattan and official guides were my savior. ------------------------------------------------ Last edited by anubhavjain03 on 15 Aug 2010, 08:58, edited 10 times in total.  Jamboree Discount Codes e-GMAT Discount Codes Veritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes Intern Joined: 05 Jan 2010 Posts: 6 GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V38 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 28 [1] , given: 0 Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 21 Jun 2010, 21:45 1 This post received KUDOS nonameee wrote: anubhavjain03, thank you for answering my questions. I understand that you are not a native speaker. What did you study besides SC (you mentioned reading The Economist)? Did you study grammar for foreign students or something like that? Manhattan SC was more than sufficient for me. I have studied in English medium school and college so English is my "nearly native" language. Also, because I work with a lot of Thais, Phillipoinos and Chinese, so English is the only language we communicate in. I read the following religiously: 1. The economist - reread again and again because I felt the language and passages were so gmat like. 2. New York times - opinion section - would read it as and when time available I just focussed on reading limited no of good quality materials. Also, what notes did you take and how detailed were your notes? Just made pointers and bullet points on excel sheets. If I wrote too much, then I could not study further and felt bored and sleepy. I kept my notes to minimum so that it can remind me of my mistakes. Too detailed notes were a big waste of time for me. Could you describe that more? I still don't know if I should take notes or not. It seems to me that it's a huge waste of time and that it's not that productive. Most concepts are rather easy to grasp. I took notes at university a lot but that was different: the material was obviously much more complicated than the GMAT. So how did you approach that? same as what I have described above. Did you study continually, or did you have days when you didn't study at all? Oh there were days when I could not study for 2-4 days in a stretch. In order to cover up this gap, I would sometimes take leave from office to study whole day. This is where my weekly plan helped me get more disciplined with my study. My final question is regarding various "life" distractions like problems at work, heavy work load, neighbors fighting etc. How did you deal with that (I mean getting back to the learning zone) and getting your thoughts together? 1. Told all my friends how important this exam was and therefore to forgive me if I did not socialize with them. Most of them understood and respected. Those who did not - I realized were not my friends anyway. 2. I was lucky that I did not get too much external distractions such as loud music, parties etc. 3. Work pressure was obviously a big distraction. Just decided to fight it and work more efficiently. I delegated most of my work and asked my friends to secretly share my work for some time - especially during 1-2 weeks before exam. You need to have good friends or colleagues at work who are willing to help you when in need. I will write more on the following: 1. How I maximized my return on official materials? 2. How I improved my RC skills? 3. How I kept myself motivated? Please let me know if you have any other questions in mind. Thank you. Ms. Big Fat Panda Status: Three Down. Joined: 09 Jun 2010 Posts: 1922 Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit Followers: 426 Kudos [?]: 1837 [1] , given: 210 Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink] ### Show Tags 25 Jun 2010, 11:57 1 This post received KUDOS Expert's post gmat-courses-discounts-and-special-discount-codes-89957.html Check this link out jinxed. It has information about how you can get the GMAT Club tests for free. If you enroll in Knewton or Veritas or Manhattan Review, you get the GMAT Club tests for free. Alternatives would be: 90 days membership + 200 posts/50 kudos. jinxed wrote: congratulations for your excellent score. Hope you get into your desired school. Excellent debrief too. When you mentioned$80 savings regarding gmat club tests in connection with Knewton, did you get the tests free because you joined Knewton? I dint exactly get that part of your calculation. can you please explain.

Thank you in anticipation.
Manager
Joined: 14 May 2009
Posts: 143
Schools: AGSM '16
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 14 [0], given: 29

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2010, 07:28
Going from 660 to 740 is quite an achievement. I'm curious to know about your preparation strategy...
Director
Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 583
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 56 [0], given: 7

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2010, 09:31
Congratulations and looking forward to your report.
CEO
Status: Nothing comes easy: neither do I want.
Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 2797
Location: Malaysia
Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship
Schools: ISB '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 670 Q49 V31
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
Followers: 218

Kudos [?]: 1448 [0], given: 235

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2010, 14:52
Congrats, very nice debrief. Your perseverance has paid off well.

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Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2010, 15:06
Expert's post
Kudos

Also, thank you for the Knewton feedback! Did you feel it helped or not really?
I could not quite extract the final verdict from your review.

Thank you.
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Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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19 Jun 2010, 19:55
Congratulations. Your focus and discipline is impressive.
Director
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Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2010, 03:25

1) How tired were you after work and how did you deal with that?
2) What was the quality of your studying after work?
3) You mentioned that you studied at your work place. If you were disturb, how did you get back into the rhythm?
4) You studied for almost 6 months if I'm not mistaken. Was there a time when you felt like burning out? If so, how did you deal with that?
5) Did you take notes while studying?

Thank you.
Intern
Joined: 05 Jan 2010
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V38
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 28 [0], given: 0

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2010, 05:01
nonameee wrote:

1) How tired were you after work and how did you deal with that?

I used to be mentally exhausted after work. So, I would eat food early and then take a nap in my room to refresh myself and then study.
If I took a nap for 30 min, then I could study till 12 am comfortably without feeling enervated.
If I did not sleep, I used to feel very exhausted and could not study with much focus.
Sleep or power nap is so important for me.
I did not push myself too much as I knew that I better work slowly and steadily than slog heavily during weekends.

2) What was the quality of your studying after work?

Work days focussed more on taking tests and building stamina. Weekends - review tests and build fundamentals. Reason for this was because if I studied during week days, I would feel asleep or distracted.

3) You mentioned that you studied at your work place. If you were disturb, how did you get back into the rhythm?

As I only studied for 1 hour during lunch time, if I lost rhythm for some reason, I could not go back to normal. So, I took a longer nap and then tried to start my work early. As and when I could get time during work, I would study (but this was limited due to my work pressure).

4) You studied for almost 6 months if I'm not mistaken. Was there a time when you felt like burning out? If so, how did you deal with that?

A lot of times. That is why in end of March I got little panicked and decided to take Knewton course. It helped me get more serious as I spend a lot of money.

I was also losing focus during last 2 weeks. So, I focussed more on taking test and building stamina.

During my study period, one thing I realized was that whenever I spend time thinking what I need to study before my study time, I would end up not studying. So, what I did was everyday in the morning I would decide what I should study - made a weekly plan on google calendar and set it on sms alert. So, Whenever I would get a sms, I will just start doing what sms said. No further thinking.

5) Did you take notes while studying?

heavily depended on error log. It really helped me when I made my notes on error log; improved my retention.

Thank you.
Director
Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 583
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Kudos [?]: 56 [0], given: 7

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2010, 10:15
anubhavjain03, thank you for answering my questions. I understand that you are not a native speaker. What did you study besides SC (you mentioned reading The Economist)? Did you study grammar for foreign students or something like that?

Also, what notes did you take and how detailed were your notes? Could you describe that more? I still don't know if I should take notes or not. It seems to me that it's a huge waste of time and that it's not that productive. Most concepts are rather easy to grasp. I took notes at university a lot but that was different: the material was obviously much more complicated than the GMAT. So how did you approach that?

Did you study continually, or did you have days when you didn't study at all?

My final question is regarding various "life" distractions like problems at work, heavy work load, neighbors fighting etc. How did you deal with that (I mean getting back to the learning zone) and getting your thoughts together?

Thank you.
Director
Joined: 23 Apr 2010
Posts: 583
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 56 [0], given: 7

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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22 Jun 2010, 04:25
Thanks a lot for your very detailed answers. It'd be great if you could answer the questions you wrote:

 I will write more on the following:1. How I maximized my return on official materials?2. How I improved my RC skills?3. How I kept myself motivated?
Intern
Joined: 16 Dec 2009
Posts: 18
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 8

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2010, 06:52
Excellent debrief and replies. Thanx much!!
Intern
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Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2010, 07:20
Congrats! Great Job
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Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2010, 12:09
Congrats and Thanks for such an excellent debrief and replies.
Intern
Joined: 10 May 2010
Posts: 11
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 11 [0], given: 1

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2010, 08:38
congratulations for your excellent score. Hope you get into your desired school. Excellent debrief too.

When you mentioned \$80 savings regarding gmat club tests in connection with Knewton, did you get the tests free because you joined Knewton? I dint exactly get that part of your calculation. can you please explain.

Thank you in anticipation.
Intern
Joined: 04 May 2010
Posts: 1
Followers: 0

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

Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2010, 01:18
A quick question. Where can i find the Gmatprep SC question bank mentioned above?.
Ms. Big Fat Panda
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Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok) [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2010, 08:18
Expert's post
It's called 1000SC I believe, and I think it's all copyrighted material. I don't know if you're able to download that anymore.
Re: 660 (Delhi) to 740 (Bangkok)   [#permalink] 26 Jun 2010, 08:18
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