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660 - Q: 48 (86%) V: 33 (69%) - Disappointed

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660 - Q: 48 (86%) V: 33 (69%) - Disappointed [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2005, 08:56
Just finished with this abysmal score. Am too tired to post details now, but shall do that by the end of this week. Right now, taking a break from GMAT. Planning to re-take the exam in June / July.

Thanks everyone for the wonderful support. I wish you all the very best in all your endeavours. Needless to say, I'll be hanging around.

Before I leave, I must mention about the level of difficulty - Quant was fairly easy - the toughest problems were of Kaplan level and many were of the OG type. However, the verbal section was a horror story - specifically CR; at least I know what I need to work on.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2005, 10:01
hey Maverick, 660 is not a bad score!

however if you feel you can do better, just take some rest, and retake it!.

I am sure you will get the score you are waiting for!,

don't loose the motivation, and run towards the goal!!

keep it up "bro" :wink:
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2005, 10:06
Congrats maaverick! Do not lose heart and 660 is great as a first score! I'm sure that we more time around the club in the months to come, you will eventually reach the magic 7**! Good luck and see you around.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2005, 10:19
Yes I agree 660 is a great score! What's you plan of applications? If you have time and if you feel you have potential to go higher on another try I say go for it.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2005, 10:52
maaverick, you defintely deserve more. don`t loose heart. i folllowed many of your posts and i know for sure that you can score better. by the way 660 is a great first score. :-D
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level of difficulty on verbal [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2005, 20:04
660 is not too bad, depending on what schools you target. If you want a higher score, you will have it! Good luck!

I want to ask you also about the level of difficulty; you mentioned CR; how much more difficult seemed to you as compared with OG questions? Also, how long were the RC texts/level of difficulty vs OG ones. The same question for SC.

I ask you this because I am concerned about the level of the materials vs actual GMAT difficulty.

Thank you so much,
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2005, 20:18
660 is great. If I were you I would focus on other parts of the application - extra curriculars, community service, improvement in work place, reco's, et al.

Matter of fact it is better to take a short course on business statistics, micro/macro economics and Financial accounting and mention strongly in your app that a 660 score + a course on the above as a stronger representation of your readiness for school rather than a 660 to 700+ score. You alreaady have a great quant score - verbal little short - but frankly to hell with it. Dangling modifiers and verb tenses should hardly matter. If you are a non-native speaker take the TOEFL and ace it to compensate for the lower verbal. All the best..forget the gmat now..move on.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 01:24
Thanks everyone for your kind words.

My background: I'm an Indian national and have been living in Germany for over 4 years now. A Mechanical Engineering by qualification and will have over 8 years of work experience by this fall. Straight out of college, I worked with a start-up for 2.5 years and then joined a global software house where I've been working for the past 5 years. Functionally, I've been involved in Software design and development, Project Management, and Consulting. I shall be switching to Product Management this May.


Honghu - I'm planning to apply this fall, so I have plenty of time on hand. It's just that I wanted to get the GMAT out of the way as I wanted to concentrate on other aspects of my application.

Venksune - Thanks for your words of encouragement. However, my background is such that it gets exceedingly difficult to bring in a differentiating factor. Yes, I belong to the dreaded pool of Indian IT applicants. I shall be taking up activities which would otherwise strengthen my overall application and I am due next month for a change in my job profile. Moreover, B Schools will not consider the big difference between my Quant and Verbal percentile in good light. I need to bridge this gap. All these led me to decide on retaking the test.

A rough recap of my test experience: I reached the test centre at 0800 in the morning. After completing the paperwork, I started off with the test at 0840. A note about the test centre - I took the test at Prometric, Frankfurt and the facilities there were simply fabulous. The examinees were provided with a very good headphone which practically blocked all the ambient noise.

AWA was a breeze - I had looked up on some templates last evening and stuck to them. Although, I feel I analyzed the argument better than I did the issue. Nevertheless, I'll have to wait for a couple of weeks before I receive my official score alongwith the AWA score. I finished the each essay with about 5 minutes to go and reviewed them for
grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Some pointers on tackling
the AWA:

- Always brainstorm on how you're going to approach the topic.
- Make a list of your thoughts and prioritize them
- Think of appropriate examples to support your arguments
- Start of well and end well: make sure you have a strong introduction
and a sound conclusion
- Always make sure you have the time to edit your essays. You might
have given compelling arguments, but a couple of grammatical errors
and spelling mistakes might take away those points for you.

Quant: Took the 5 min break and walked aroung in the waiting room while sipping on some water. Went back to my desk with a fresh set of scratch papers and started off with the Quant section. The first question was one involving addition of numbers raised to fractional powers. The next was a division problem - again on number properties. The third was a probability problem involving basic counting principle. I was extremely careful on the initial 10-12 questions and always back-calculated my answers. The problems became visibly difficult and by the 15th questions, I had encountered a couple of tough DS questions and an extremely convuluted geometry problem. However, geometry has always been my strenght (thanks to my Mechanical Engineer degree) and had no trouble navigating through it. I think I did a mistake on one of the DS questions on number properties and again one on the 34th / 35th question involving divisibility. I got stuck on the penultimate question - a percentage problem which I misread and ended up wasting 2.5 minutes on it. When I actually did solve it, it turned out to be a very simple problem. All in all, I had a good feeling when I took my second break.

Verbal: The verbal section started off with an easy SC. This was followed by another SC and a CR. Towards the 5th question, an 65 line RC with 4 questions popped up with. I felt elated as I thought I must be doing well. Right after the RC, GMAT threw a couple of CR's and they were visibly tough. I think I answered one of them incorrectly. I got a mixture of SC's and CR's till the 15th questions when out came a bold-face. Not that it was difficult - in fact I find BF's quite easy to crack. However, by this time, I was loosing heavily on time. As if this was not enough, I got 2 back-to-back RC's. One was a 50-liner and the other was a 65-liner. This is where I got my timing wrong. I guess I spent way over the allocated time in reading through the passage and had to revisit them a couple of times while answering the questions. All the RC's I had encountered so far dealt with social sciences and the impact of historical events. I guess the ETS simply loves these topics and their only objective in throwing such passages is to numb your brain to the maximum extent possible. Well, so far, not so good. The RC pair was followed by a barrage of extremely difficult CR's. I cannot judge the level of difficulty objectively because of my eventual failure in answering them correctly, but they were comparable to questions I'd encountered in the Kaplan LSAT. All the good feeling I had so far was slowly diminishing. My time management was going haywire. I had barely 9 minutes left for the last 10 questions. What came next was some sort of a devilish ploy to bring to the proceedings to an end - an 80-line RC on the mechanism of social evolution. I panicked and it did me in. I hastily read through the passage and tried to scan through the options while I tried to look out for the correct answer. This never works. I knocked down the 5 RC questions and what do I get next? Yes, another BF. I scanned the first word each of the first BF and the second and blindly clicked on the option which related these two words. If I got that right, it must have been due to some divine intervention. The remaining questions were SC's and they'd got pretty easy by then. I didn't have a good feeling when I ended the section.

This was followed by an irritating survey which I foolishly volunteered to participate in. After 5 minutes of randomly clicking on demographical questions, I saw my score - 660 (86%). I was dejected. Right then as I comfirmed my score, I had decided that I'll be taking the GMAT again.

Preperation: With a full-time job, I decided to start off at least 3 months in advance. Booked my test date for the 29th of March considering the 4 days I'd get for the Easter holidays.

Quant: I brushed up on the quant concepts: Probability and P&C were rather rusty so I made sure I tackled my demons first. I routinely did the quant OG and simultaneously worked with Kaplan. A note about the number properties - the concepts governing these problems are very easy and all one needs to do is practice in order to retain and actively use these concepts. I was quite comfortable in Geometry so didn't let that bother me much. MBA Farbe lent me some of her books - and they definitely came in handy. One of the most fabulous resources for the quant section is Kaplan 800. I simply loved this book.

Verbal: Completely solved the OG and then referred to Kaplan 800 (the SC explainations are really good). Did a couple of LSAT tests and had a good overall feeling. Maintained an error log for both the verbal and the quant section and religiously revised it.

My scores in various practice tests:
PP (cold) - 700
Kaplan diag - 640
Kaplan 1 - 630
Kaplan 2 - 590
Kaplan 3 - 570
Kaplan 4 - 640
PP (after OG) - 740 (irrelevant as was done after I completed the OG)
Manhattan 1 - 680
Manhattan 2 - 720

The forum was one of my regular virtual hang outs and I can only understate how beneficial this has been to my preperations. Now that I've decided to retake the exam, I'll be actively participating over the next couple of months and hope to do better this time.
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Re: level of difficulty on verbal [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 01:31
alin.a wrote:
660 is not too bad, depending on what schools you target. If you want a higher score, you will have it! Good luck!

I want to ask you also about the level of difficulty; you mentioned CR; how much more difficult seemed to you as compared with OG questions? Also, how long were the RC texts/level of difficulty vs OG ones. The same question for SC.

I ask you this because I am concerned about the level of the materials vs actual GMAT difficulty.

Thank you so much,
Alin


Alina - CR was pretty tough - far tougher than the ones in OG. However, the basic pattern of questioning was the same as that in the OG. What I found strikingly difficult was the possibility to eliminate options. The disguise was almost perfect and it was very difficult for me to choose one option over the other on the basis of elimination.

SC was comparatively easier, but perhaps that was because I had already made many mistakes on the previous questions - the CAT throws simpler questions at you when you're doing bad.

RC: I got 4 in all. The first one was a 65 liner. The next 2 were back to back - the first one being a 50-liner and the one appearing after it was a 65-liner. At around question 30, I got an 80-liner with 4 questions. The topics were related mainly to humanities and social sciences.

Please take my opinions with a grain of salt. Responses on such issues are very subjective and it is only appropriate that you weigh them in perspective of your strenghts and level of preparedness. If you have any further questions, I'll be more than happy to take them. However, my response time might be a bit bad considering I have a work-related deadline looming in front of me.

Good luck with your preps!
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 05:37
Thank you very much! It is very kind of you to answer me so quickly. I would be satisfied with 640, because this would be enough for the schools I target and I have a very short time to prepare. The problem is that my accuracy is 85-100% (mostly 90%+) in all OG sections , simulating a test with 14/14/13 questions. But CR OG is obviously simple, while RC is mostly based on very short texts (25 rows). I have a real problem with the timing, but maybe this is improved with the self confidence, so I would not need to double and double check all answers. English is not my first language and lately I decreased my speed of reading and it seems I can not improve on this (maybe because I have not changed yet the glasses).
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 07:31
Maverick,

What types of schools are you targeting?
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 07:41
Hjort wrote:
Maverick,

What types of schools are you targeting?


Hi Hjort,

Thanks for asking. I'm considering the following: INSEAD, Wharton and LBS. Perhaps Chicago GSB; haven't decided on it yet.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 10:58
Maaverick, don't lose heart, now that u know ur strengths and weaknesses, u will be far better prepared for the next duel with GMAT. Congrats on ur first good score, will see u around ! :)
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 11:49
Hey Maverick,
You scored pretty well man, a 660 is pretty darn good, but from following your posts and answers to question I think you are definately eligible for the >700 club. I have a question and I wanted to get your perspective on it. IT seems to me you were pretty well prepared before the exam, would you say that the Verbal wasn't your problem and it was more an issue of your mental stamina? I had that EXACT problem when I took the test. After AWA and quant, when I reached verbal I found that I was mentally not as into the test as I was when I started the test. I feel that if I got the Verbal part first and then was hit with Quant I would have done significatly better on the test because Quant requires less thought and concentration for me. I know you mentioned time management as an issue you encountered (as did I during the Verbal section) but do you think that was really a result of the challenging questions or more your mental juice running out?
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 12:46
Hey Maaverick,
Your score is not as abysmal as you think.In fact it is a very good score. You might be able to apply with that score. Remember, good schools don't base their decisions entirely on GMAT. Good luck for the application.
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 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2005, 16:42
Maaverick, I think your decision of taking the GMAT again is rightly made, eventhough your score is pretty decent. Based on your postings, I think you are worth a 700+.

Best wishes for your prep and Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2005, 00:14
greenandwise wrote:
Hey Maverick,
You scored pretty well man, a 660 is pretty darn good, but from following your posts and answers to question I think you are definately eligible for the >700 club. I have a question and I wanted to get your perspective on it. IT seems to me you were pretty well prepared before the exam, would you say that the Verbal wasn't your problem and it was more an issue of your mental stamina? I had that EXACT problem when I took the test. After AWA and quant, when I reached verbal I found that I was mentally not as into the test as I was when I started the test. I feel that if I got the Verbal part first and then was hit with Quant I would have done significatly better on the test because Quant requires less thought and concentration for me. I know you mentioned time management as an issue you encountered (as did I during the Verbal section) but do you think that was really a result of the challenging questions or more your mental juice running out?


Perhaps it was the same with me. After answering about 12 questions on the verbal, my mind sort of became numb. I was seeing the questions and while I was reading them, I always had the time at the back of my mind. The result being that I had to re-read the question once over again in order to get what was being asked of me. This just snowballed and it kept getting worse over the rest of the exam.

In retrospect, I would have easily cracked the verbal questions if I had a clearer working mind or some extra time; they were not unsolvable, but their level of difficulty sure seemed high during the exam. However, my stand on CR is still the same - they were tough. Moreover, the POE hardly worked beyond eliminating one answer choice.

I'd be interested in how you're dealing with this problem. If you have any pointers, it would be great if you could share them with me.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2005, 00:43
Maaverick,
I appreciate your decision. My understanding is that from a 660 to 700+ the one big tangible benefit youd see is the scholarship that the schools grant..gets bigger for a better GMAT. So your re-effort to score bigger acually has a cost-benefit for sure. However, since your pressure on GMAT is fairly lesser to what it was earlier...other parts of the application also need a closer view. Your experience can set you apart from the crowd...and you have a terrific chance with the top schools. I wish you very well and look forward to your getting into the top school of your choice.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2005, 02:17
venksune wrote:
Maaverick,
I appreciate your decision. My understanding is that from a 660 to 700+ the one big tangible benefit youd see is the scholarship that the schools grant..gets bigger for a better GMAT. So your re-effort to score bigger acually has a cost-benefit for sure. However, since your pressure on GMAT is fairly lesser to what it was earlier...other parts of the application also need a closer view. Your experience can set you apart from the crowd...and you have a terrific chance with the top schools. I wish you very well and look forward to your getting into the top school of your choice.


Thanks so much for your encouragement, Venksune! Hoenstly, your thoughts were of tremendous help. I'm working towards making a good, holistic application and I believe I'll be successful. Support of people like you will go a long way in helping me.

I wish you the very best for your endeavours.
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 [#permalink] New post 31 Mar 2005, 12:31
maaverick wrote:
greenandwise wrote:
Hey Maverick,
You scored pretty well man, a 660 is pretty darn good, but from following your posts and answers to question I think you are definately eligible for the >700 club. I have a question and I wanted to get your perspective on it. IT seems to me you were pretty well prepared before the exam, would you say that the Verbal wasn't your problem and it was more an issue of your mental stamina? I had that EXACT problem when I took the test. After AWA and quant, when I reached verbal I found that I was mentally not as into the test as I was when I started the test. I feel that if I got the Verbal part first and then was hit with Quant I would have done significatly better on the test because Quant requires less thought and concentration for me. I know you mentioned time management as an issue you encountered (as did I during the Verbal section) but do you think that was really a result of the challenging questions or more your mental juice running out?


Perhaps it was the same with me. After answering about 12 questions on the verbal, my mind sort of became numb. I was seeing the questions and while I was reading them, I always had the time at the back of my mind. The result being that I had to re-read the question once over again in order to get what was being asked of me. This just snowballed and it kept getting worse over the rest of the exam.

In retrospect, I would have easily cracked the verbal questions if I had a clearer working mind or some extra time; they were not unsolvable, but their level of difficulty sure seemed high during the exam. However, my stand on CR is still the same - they were tough. Moreover, the POE hardly worked beyond eliminating one answer choice.

I'd be interested in how you're dealing with this problem. If you have any pointers, it would be great if you could share them with me.


Actually I have no pointers, thats why I asked you :-D Joking aside I think the realization that you did kind of let go on the verbal section is enough for the next time. Funny thing is that after my GMAT I thought about what went wrong with verbal, where I went wrong etc. but more than anything I was beating myself up. My verbal skills were not bad at all. In fact I always, on pretty much every practice test scored between 42-50 on the verbal section. A majority of the time I can figure out CR or SC and on the harder ones I was about 70-80%. So all that over-analysis of my weaknesses was really just that, over-analysis. And so I think that maybe you're just fine with Verbal too. Maybe you didn't see the type of questions you were good at answering. Maybe your blood glucose level was low. I feel there are so many uncontrollable factors involved with the GMAT that it's hard to know. And you know there really is not much difference from a 660 and a 720 in my opinion (except to B-schools of course!), 5-8 questions on verbal and BAM you're there. Right now I am just doing a pratice test a week and looking over everything, verbal and quant included, filling in some gaps in my knowledge. I think for the most part I know all I can know, now it's just a matter of taking a test that works well with me and making sure that I don't become hungry, bored and impatient half-way through the verbal section.
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  [#permalink] 31 Mar 2005, 12:31
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