Yep. Just back from the test. That was my retake. I went from 640(Q49,V27) to 700(Q51,V32)
. Needless to say, I'm disappointed but not bogged down to the point where I contemplate if I'm good enough for the GMAT or not. First Attempt
Went in fully under prepared and over confident. Got a reality check though 640 was way way below my actual level at that point.
Just took 4MGMATs and 2 GMAT Preps in the last two weeks. Just analysed what went wrong and went to the test. I was good in SC, alright in CR at this point and weak in RC.
The test day was a nightmare too. There was a power cut and I had to climb 6 floors of stairs and I was already late for the test. I was full of sweat by the time I reached the exam room and I was wheezing because I had to climb the stairs quickly. Quant went okay. Got stuck at a few places and spent 5-6 mins on 2-3 questions. In 26th question, I solved it but marked it wrong and hit next and I just realised the horror of it. Overall, I finished Quant in about 70 mins and took a break. Had a banana and water and came back for Verbal. I was starting to lose concentration as soon as Verbal started. By the time I came to the 6th question, RC greeted me,. I couldn't comprehend what it was saying. I tried to guess and move on and I know full well that I got the entire set wrong. Midway into verbal, I was expecting fully underlined SC q's but they never came and that's when I knew I messed up and I didn't see a bold face question either. By the time I hit 'end exam', I was exhausted but did not expect a 640 with a Q49,V27. I was shocked and livid but I had to live with it.The resources I used
Verbal Review (A few qs here and there)
Just that and a few MGMAT tests where the scores varied from 640 to 700. Prep1-670(Q49,V31), Prep2-700(Q49,V35). All in the last 2 weeks. One test every other day.
I couldn't live with myself for that score. I felt that I terribly under achieved and I drank myself to death that night asking pointless questions about the existence of life and what not but then again I realised that I went in very over confident and extremely under prepared.
I woke up the next morning and immediately applied for a retake 6 weeks from then. Retake Preparation
I took the diagnostic test that's available in OG13 and I found out from the scoring system that I was 'Excellent' in PS/DS and only 'Above Average' in SC/CR and I was 'average' in RC. So I set about working on it. Quant
Quant has always been my strongest suit but I wasn't quite 'GMAT Quant' good. GMAT quant sets up some pretty annoying traps for someone who doesn't go prepared for the test. So I went through a few threads in the Quant section and I downloaded a bunch of PDFs that Bunuel
. These are what I call GMAT gold level quant questions. It pretty much prepares you for all the easy traps that GMAT sets that one would normally quite not notice.
The ZIPNF technique for DS/Inequalities pretty much helped me to evade all the silly mistakes I previously used to make. It has PS/DS in two folders covering pretty much all the topics including the dreaded Probability and Permutations. After that I've taken about 6 different mocks (3 on prep and 3 on other providers) and I always got 98%ile on the other providers' tests. While I got only Q50(90%) all three times on GMAT Prep despite making only 3,4,3 mistakes in those three tests. People who are striving to get to 50-51 from 48-49, look no further than these questions and the other questions that Bunuel posts as pdfs.
In a nutshell, for quant, look no further than Bunuel's questions plus the questions you come across in the mocks you take. These should be more than enough.Verbal
With that, I moved my focus to Verbal. I was quite okay in SC but my CR skills were weak. Critical ReasoningPowerScore CR
Bible. Aptly called Bible imo.OG 13
. Thorough redo.
I couldn't really focus on the conclusion earlier and I took everything given in the argument as the whole thing to concentrate on to answer the questions. Needless to say, again, I couldn't get to a stage where I could eliminate 3/4 options instantly for each question. I then got my hands on Power Score CR Bible
(god send for CR) and went through it chapter wise and it helped me understand how a conclusion is constructed and how to spot in immediately. With this, my accuracy in CR jumped to high 80s from low 60s though I found the hard CR questions in Question Pack 1 to be a little too hard despite it. I could only get to mid 60s here while I maintained about 90% in the easy/med ones. I then shifted my focus to SC to fine tune what I already knew and to take me to the next level. Sentence Correction
OG13 Thorough redo+review+error log
A hundred 700+SC questions
SC grail was quite helpful and this was the only book I referred to for SC theory. it's very concise and you can read through it very effortlessly. I also got my hands on the file (A hundred 700+ SC questions) doing rounds here and that was pretty good though a few of the explanations were a bit sketchy. I also rehashed GMAT Prep1/2 for all the SC questions.Mock Scores
MGMAT5 - 700(Q49,V36) - 10 days before exam
gmatclub free Q/V - (Q51,V36)
GMAT Prep 3 from Exam Pack - 730(Q50,V38) - 7 days before examKaplan
Free Mock - 720(Q51,V36) - 6 days before exam
Was in high spirits. Very confident at this point that I'd touch 730-740 in the real test.
GMAT Prep 4 from Exam Pack- 670(Q50,V30) - 3 days before exam - I felt scared and I reviewed it to see what went wrong. Q#(1,RC(5,6,7),9) were wrong in the first 9. I just couldn't recover from here despite making only 6 more mistakes.
Personally, I wouldn't take the scores from MGMAT and others that seriously. What I look for after a test was if I made mistakes on concepts I knew. If I did, I'd redo the question again. If I didn't, well, I get to learn a new concept every time I make a mistake.
The only take away from the mocks are how frequently are you making mistakes from things you know and how frequently are you unaware of concepts that are tested quite well on the GMAT. Reading Comprehension
Wut? Yep. That was my attitude towards RC. I thought it was 'unteachable' or 'uncoachable' and that it varies from set to set and your interpretation of at that point in time. Just did the questions from OG during the first attempt and had about 63% accuracy.
After the 670(V30) scare, I panicked and spent the last two days redoing the OG again to no avail. My accuracy didn't improve and the questions I got wrong in each set looked eerily like the ones that appear in the test and the ones I got right looked way too easy. I didn't focus on it much beyond the OG questions and I used to get 2/3, 4/6 or 5/8 right in the question sets they had. I thought this was decent enough to take my score to the 80th% on Verbal but I realised that the primary reason for the 640 in my first attempt was that I got an RC quite early (Q#5,6,7) I believe and I couldn't make head or tail out of it and I fluffed the entire set which has 2 inference qs and 1 main purpose. From there I just couldn't recover.
In hindsight the 730/720 gave me some false hope that my RC skills were quite good but I fell flat 3 days before the exam. In Prep 3 I got RC around Q#11,12,13 and RC in Prep 3 was relatively easier so maybe I was blindsided by the score.