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680 to 700 - Wondering if it was worth the effort

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Joined: 03 Jan 2011
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Schools: McCombs, ISB, Insead, LBS
WE 1: 1.5
WE 2: 5.5
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Kudos [?]: 21 [2] , given: 94

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680 to 700 - Wondering if it was worth the effort [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 08:09
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Take 1 - 680 Q47, V36, AWA 5.0:
3+ Month preparation using MGMAT guides and OG. Not the best circumstances for GMAT prep with stressful full time work, 14 month baby and 8 month pregnant wife :oops: Braved it out and scored a 680 (Q47, V36). Had the baby 9 days after the test so its almost a photo finish. Please click the link below for detailed debrief of my first try

http://gmatclub.com/forum/guess-who-is-retaking-the-test-680-q47-v36-awa-127845.html

Take 2 - 700 Q48, V38, AWA 5.0:
Slightly better circumstances, a month off from work (baby leave) but now we have 2 babies :band
I started preparation on the first day we got sent home from the hospital :madd. I registered for the e-GMAT SC course and completed in 10 days (should have completed it sooner and allowed for more practice but oh-well!!!). This was my only preparation during these 10 days. The e-GMAT course is great in that it emphasizes on reading the whole sentence and understanding the meaning of the sentence before jumping into the answer choices. I really like their 3-step process and will highly recommend the course (at least to non-natives). On the down side, this process will slow you down quite a bit so you need ample time to master it. If you are having difficulty with SC and have at least 2 months before the test, certainly register to this course. Do not completely depend on the course to improve your grammar though. The course covers important grammatical points and the rest you need to learn from a more comprehensive GMAT grammar book (I used MGMAT SC and loved it).

Since I used up all the OG quant problems, I purchased GC tests and I should say I am not completely satisfied. I felt that these tests (as hard as they are) are lacking the GMAT type of complex wording quant questions. The tests are very very very hard, but kind of focus on fewer areas than are covered in GMAT quant. Moreover, on a lot of the tough problems, if you identify the hidden fact that will help solve the problem, you can answer them in less than 30 secs. On the real GMAT, even though you are required to find the hidden information, you will still need at least a minute or more to solve the problem. My intention here is not to criticize the tests but to set the expectations of folks who are thinking about buying these tests. And for the test makers, may be its time to add some newer problems.

All that said, I had a decent workout and felt I made some improvements to both Quant and Verbal. Come test day, I found out that I did make progress but only slightly. I feel slightly embarrassed about spending 25 more days for prep and improving only 20 points. But I should say halfway through the test, I was doing very very good and saw some very tough questions. At halfway mark, I was ahead of time and got a little arrogant. I started spending more time on each problem and wanted to answer everything right. Next thing I know, 8 problems and 11 mins to go. I got my senses back (although kind of late) and finished the test on time. On the verbal section, I did good on the SCs and slightly worse on CR compared to last time. A big mistake I made this time during verbal prep is to focus on SC completely and ignore RC. I did not read at least one RC passage in the whole month before the test. The only RC I did was during the practice tests and I noticed the drop in my RC performance. :wall So in the end, I improved my SC and got worse on RC.

Good thing that GMAC changed the test to include IR, I am done with GMAT. I am not in a hurry to apply yet as I realized that my kids absolutely hate me studying. 2013 is when I will start thinking about applying, but until then if there is anything that I should do to improve my chances of getting admitted please suggest. Also, I need suggestions about how to decide on what universities to apply to.

Here is my list and the reasons for why I chose them (some of the reasons are really silly, but those are my reasons :bebe)

1. UT - Mccombs School of Business (I am based in Austin and dont have to quit my job if I get into UT)(
2. ISB - Hyderabad (Looking for reasons to move back to India and this will force me to go)
3. Insead - Singapore (If not India, somewhere closer to India)
4. LBS - (Always dreamed about playing cricket in English conditions :bouncer )

Any suggestions are welcome and good luck to future test takers

Vijay

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Last edited by vbetanabhatla on 24 Apr 2012, 13:42, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 680 to 700 - Wondering if it was worth the effort [#permalink] New post 24 Apr 2012, 12:34
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I would say, it was worth. Now you are in '7**' club. Congratulations. After earning your prep conditions, I would think twice before giving any excuse about not studying.

And congratulations on the baby girl! :)
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Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
GMAT 2: 730 Q49 V41
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Re: 680 to 700 - Wondering if it was worth the effort [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2012, 10:28
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I do not know why you need to wonder on what's a done deal, oh well congos on improving :)... remember many here report a low score, does not mean that they had not worked for a better one.... but I would say get over it ... this weird feeling of looking back kills :twisted:

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Re: 680 to 700 - Wondering if it was worth the effort [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2012, 12:02
Looks like you are only interested in UT Austin due to your current location? What are you looking to get into after MBA? Based on your school choices, it seems as though you are more interested in a specific location and are good with your current career.
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Joined: 03 Jan 2011
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Schools: McCombs, ISB, Insead, LBS
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WE 2: 5.5
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Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 94

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Re: 680 to 700 - Wondering if it was worth the effort [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2012, 13:20
tcepicnightwithgmat wrote:
Looks like you are only interested in UT Austin due to your current location? What are you looking to get into after MBA? Based on your school choices, it seems as though you are more interested in a specific location and are good with your current career.


Since you are asking specific questions, I will try be more specific with my answers.

First of, the reasons I provided in the debrief are true only to a certain extent. If you noticed all the universities I listed are reputed universities and are ranked very high. So that is obviously one of the reasons for me picking those universities. So in a way, I picked the top universities close to areas I am willing to live in. I will certainly add to that list initially and have about 10 universities that fit the criteria mentioned above. Then I will start researching into what kind of programs each of the universities have and trim the list down to 3 or 4 universities and then apply.

And about the career preference, I will certainly say that I am happy with the field I am in. I have my MSEE with a focus on Power Systems and worked for 7 years in the industry. I think there is a lot of potential for growth in Energy Sector and specifically in Power systems in the next couple of decades. I will certainly research if there are programs that focus on Energy sector and if I find one, I will certainly apply.

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You can see from the number of "Kudos Given" on my profile that I am generous while giving Kudos. Is it too much to ask for a similar favor???

Re: 680 to 700 - Wondering if it was worth the effort   [#permalink] 25 Apr 2012, 13:20
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