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710 -02/23/07 Updated: My Strategies to conquer this beast

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710 -02/23/07 Updated: My Strategies to conquer this beast [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2006, 11:29
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02/23/2007

I selected 'score the report', clicked next....My heart was thumping....dhum---dumm....I could hear the sound. I was praying to my deity, had my eyes closed, thinking this time I guessed only 1 question in verbal....Opened my eyes....The score is not yet reported.
closed my eyes again...

This time........

710.

WOW...............I DID IT. I nailed the beast. Finally I am the winner.

Q47 V40.

Thanks GMATCLUB, thanks to all the members.

I am too excited, I will provide more updates soon.

Check out the strategies that helped me on the later part of this thread.

I am updating this post only...Just for time being. Writing this great news right on TOP, so that people don't need to read the whole story again.

02/25
Thanks guys, thanks for the wishes. I was out for last 2 days, after almost 15 months. I expelled this GMAT beast out of my mind. I am much relieved. I will post my debrief in a day or two. But before that I would again like to thank the GMATCLUB, without this I wouldn’t have achieved this score.
My sincere thanks to all the club members from whom I learnt so many things.
When I go back to those days when I joined this club, I remember when Nakib and Rahulrao used to post more than dozen questions each day. Vivek123,Professor,Christoph, Himalyan, laxieqe,allabout, gsr, giddi77, TeHCM, andy and of course GMATT73 used to answer them. Then came guys like PS_DAHIYa who was very patient and profilic to post 3000+ replies. I can’t forget ryme, necromonger,Haas and Dilshod, kalfurt, Kiddreck, Dishod, u2lover, buzzgaurav, trivikram, ak_idc,kripalkavi and jaynayak. Pelihu, kevincan and ncprasads are some heavyweights, each of their postings provide you some insights.
Salute to Fig for teaching all of us Absolutes and to hobbit for writing some thoughtful comments.

Thank you very much Paul, Praet, and Honghu the master to provide this site to us. This was the biggest fraternity we have ever got. Thanks again.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


12/21/2006

Yes guys, I scored lower than my previous score. Huh..This was the score, for which I put 1 year of efforts, all sacrifices, I can't believe it. But it is a reality and I have to face it. It was my third attempt and I was waiting for 'Third Time Lucky" or 'Third is a charm" thing to happen. But it didn't happen in my case, verbal screwed me big time and I scored an aweful 620. I went into the state of shock. My wife and kid were waiting eagerly for my call and they remained numb when they heard this.Since then, it is all sadness, gloominess in and around us.I am the culprit for this. But I finally decided to share the experience with this forum, which has been my heart and soul for last 1 year. (Don't look at the number of posts I submitted, I used this forum more as a search tool, because most of the questions are discussed here more than 10 times..)
Now,I am with the mixed feelings of what to do next, as sometimes I feel doing MBA in the US is not in my destiny and I should leave this dream ,but at the same time I feel that I should not run away like this.

Just to make a long story short....

I started preparing for this beast around Sept last year. It looked as if I came from a different planet as far as verbal was concerned. I was always good at Maths but those SCs, CRs and RCs made me sick. That time I was not aware of all the GMAT strategies, so didn't focus equally on both verbal and Quant.I prepared continuously for 8 weeks mostly with OG10, PR and Kaplan and Manhattan guides. Finally appeared in exam in NOV

First GMAT 610 -----> Q49/ V25
The message was clear, I needed to improve my verbal. I decided to give it another shot with more preparations. I was too busy that time with other activities that I had to take one and half months break from the studies.

Jan2006 -- I came back again, started preparing verbal, right from the scratch. My SCs started to improve. I was able to see through the CRs, able to humble some RCs, but RCs always remained my weakest point.In some RCs I would perform well, but on some others I would fail completely. I went through OG10 verbal once again, got OG11 went through verbal. My main focus was Verbal as I was confident that I can pull through the Quant. This time I spent a significant time on the GMATCLUB. My main contribution was in the form of posting good questions. I used to take some practice tests also. This was the time when GMATPREP came around. We were not aware that it gives different questions each time we take it. Still I took it 3 times. Scored 720, 700 and 740.So I thought that my real score should range somewhere between 680 and 720.

second GMAT 660 ---49 Q and 31 V ----> didn't mention this score on the club....As I was very disappointed to have missed my target score of 700. But I knew that I could do this. WIth some more practice in the verbal I would break the 7++ barrier. In the verbal section of the real test I had to rush thru the last 12-15 questions. I had just 15 minutes to complete last 11 questions. Some of them went as educated guess. A couple of mishits. I realised the correct answer after clicking next. So it was a problem with time management. This score already spoilt my last year's chances.So second chance gone, but I felt it was somewhat respected score.

I started the studies again back in June. Now I was very familiar with all the question types, patterns etc.Started with working on the basics. Got a strong hold on SCs, mastered over the CRs and started doing decently on the RCs. I spent almost 6 months wholeheartedly on doing studies. Whenever I got a free time, I spent that on GMAT. Everyday 5-6 hrs at least I spared for the preparations and over the weekend-12-13 hrs.I took several practice tests and GMATPREP mulitple times. Now my concepts became very clear and my speed also improved. I conqured the entire LSAT CR document.I did almost all 30 LSAT CR tests.
I took PR online tests with 700 and 640 scores.
2 kaplan tests 640 &590
Mgmat tests non cat 670, 640
MGMAT CAT 720,720
took gmatprep around 7-8 times --> always scored 700+ as there were many repeats

Fast forward to the test experience.
AWA went fine as usual.
Quant started with a 5 liner word problem, but after reading it a couple of times I realised that it was an easy problem. Q2 was a twister on geometry, I think I spent too much time on this and started lagging behind my speed. First 10 were real twisters,but somehow pulled them thru. I was always 5 minutes late of my target time so in the
end i had to rush thru the questions. Questions in the end became surpsingly easy, So i had a doubt that I screwed the test, but consoled myself that it was not the time to think about all these ,rather I should just focus on taking the test.....
Break time -----> I was feeling very confident contrary to my last 2 attempts. I was eagerly waiting to start the verbal section, just wanted to kill it. But the god has something else in the mind. Ist question was a SC, total braintwister..3 answer choices seemed equally good. spent 3 minutes on that and picked one.2nd one was worse than the previous one, another 3 minutes. 3rd one was CR assumption---> all the answer choices were wildest of my dreams. 4th one SC---> gosh.....my target to finish SCs in less than 1 minute was screwed. Finished 4 questions in 12 minutes without getting convincing answers of any of them.
Then came RC, not too bad but again answer choices were very narrow.I fell apart- first 10 questions 26 minutes, and the trend continued, all the SCs were convoluted. They could qualify to any brutal list, I am sure. Second RC took all the juice out of me and I was left with 23 minutes and 21 question remaining kind of situation.I started rushing, skipped the 3rd RC, guessing all the questions, thinking that it would be experimental.Kept on getting SCs and CRs, but even the single liner SCs were too narrow in their answer choices. None of the verbal rules was getting applied or they were getting applied to at least 3 of the answer choices. 4th RC was easier but I didn't have sufficient time, somehow completed all the questions of the verbal section.

Completed the survery and hit report the score. ---------------WOW---------620

What???????? 620
Q49 V27

Great I lowered my score with so much of hard work, great.....Kept on staring at the screen, the proctor came and told me Sir, your exam is over. I just didn't cry that time. My 4 yr kid was waiting to watch CARS with me, my wife had taken off from the work to celebrate the completion of my test, but I couldn't fulfill their dreams. I wanted somebody to drop
me to home......I was lost....Thats is ...I got the biggest gift of my life.My Christmas was already over...

4 days after this I am still alive, still thinking what to do.....My wife wants me to take one more shot, but I am still fighting with myself- I am always a NEVER SAY DIE kind of a person, but somehow feel defeated this time. I will see which direction do I go. I will keep you posted guys.
Thanks for reading this story and I wish you all best of luck.

Last edited by gmacvik on 26 Feb 2007, 22:11, edited 7 times in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Dec 2006, 12:19
In 5 days I am going to take my GMAT for the 4th time, the third time I took it, my score went down, and I think this was due to burn-out, i'd just had enough of the GMAT.

I'm hoping that my 4th attempt will be better, but we will have to wait and see, I have been studying for 3months, but I have been taking a private tutor for this 4th attempt to try and work out what is going wrong.

If you are going to take the GMAT again, take a break from it first, to refresh, and then go for it.

I must say, your 660 is good enough, and I would use this score? BUT if you feel that 7++ would make you more successful then go for it.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2007, 06:00
I suggest u take the test again...as you know there are many guys who improved their scores by taking test again..
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2007, 06:16
Even though you thought that you were not doing so good on the Quant. section and had troubles with the first questions, had to rush through many questions, and ended up seeing easy questions towards the end, you still managed to get a 49 on the Quant. section.

for the verbal, obviously you don't lack any technical or language skills. It is merely test taking and stress management skills that you need to improve. Just keep working on them and take more and more CATS and eventually ReTake the GMAT test again. i'm pretty sure you'll do better this time.

While I find 660 a decent score with your background, I still think: why limiting yourself with a 660 while your skills can take you further than that ?
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jan 2007, 08:49
I can feel what you feel, gmacvik. Putting in so much effort and not getting the expected result. From the description of your test, I feel that you were perhaps putting too much pressure on yourself, and wanted to make sure you get a correct answer too much. It resulted in your poor time management, especially in the Verbal section. Pressures build up. If you can't let one hard question go, then the coming ones will become harder for you because your brain will work less well when it is under too much stress, and you'll have shorter time.

If I were you I would take a good break, enjoy life with my wife and kid. Then don't wait for too long and take another shot. You already have a 660 score, which is very good already. And you are lucky to have a great supporting family. This time make sure you don't get stressed out for one or two questions.

You'll get it, believe in yourself.
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keep on seeking, and you will find;
keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.

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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2007, 22:48
GMAT has gone into my blood; I can’t simply run away from it. I have decided to take the test again. Lets see who wins this time. Let me put my efforts again. Over the past few days, I have done a lot of intro/retrospection, and analyzed my weaknesses, the areas where I failed the most. I need to put special attention to these areas if I want to tame this GMAT. I have another 6-7 weeks to go, lets see if I can improve my score with new strategies.

1) As some of you pointed out while reading my post, Time Management is very crucial. During my last 2 attempts, I know that I screwed the Time Management.
It seems, I am spending too much time on the first 10-20 questions. In my last attempt, I spent 25 minutes on first 10 questions. Another 21 minutes on next 10. So I was left with a situation of 21 questions in 29 minutes.
During my 2nd attempt also, I was in the same situation. 20 questions to do in 30 minutes, 15 minutes for last 10 questions and then I had to guess those questions. I always remembered this situation, but still landed in the same situation this time also.

I analyzed my PR and KAPLAN tests, and found out the similar pattern. Almost always, I took 45 minutes for the first 20 questions and I was left with 15 minutes for the last 11 question. Hence I need to work out on this issue.

2) Not using the Grid approach. I relied too much on my mental ability to eliminate the answer choices. I think by doing this, I was re-reading the choices which were totally irrelevant and could have been eliminated completely. I need to use grid approach, as few seconds saved on each question can sum up to big minutes.

3) My strategy of doing SCs in < 1 minute backfired. I thought by doing SCs in less than a minute, I can allocate more time on CRs and RCs. This didn’t happen; I got SCs which took almost 2 minutes or more.

4) RC is my weakest area. While doing OG/LSAT material, my hit rate is good, but during practice tests- PR/KAPLAN/MGMAT…My hit rate is just around 50%. This brings down my verbal score. I am a non-native speaker, so I am not sure if this can be improved, given the 6-7 weeks time frame I have with me now. Still I have decided to do at least 5-6 RCs a day.

5) While analyzing PR and Kaplan test, I noticed I tend to put 3:30 to 4 minutes on some of the questions while finding the correct answer. I think no question is worth 2 or 2:30 minutes. If you are spending, more than 2 minutes on a question, you are digging your own graveyard.

6) While rushing thru the last questions in the real test, I made blind guesses on 3rd paragraph questions. I think this also brought my score down. One shouldn’t be getting 5-6 questions wrong in a row. Wrong/Right combination should be spread out.

7) Relying too much on question types offered by GMATPREP. One should be ready to see Convoluted SCs and CRs in the real test. So it is better to spend more time on GMATCLUB where we get variety of question types.

Lets see how many things I can put into practice. While rushing through the questions, I tend to forget the principles……..I am planning to take as many CATs as possible and work on TIME MANAGEMENT issue.

Meantime I got my AWA score, it is 5.0. The first one was 4.0, second one 4.5 and now 5.0. So there is a progress.

Comments/Suggestion are most welcome.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2007, 00:15
Hi gmacvik, it is indeed disheartening when you know that you put in your best efforts and did not get the desired results. But don't forget that this is only a temporary setback. You already have touched 660 and you know now what mistakes you have been making. That is a very important lesson one learns with each failed attempt.
So no need to lose heart over this and it's good that you have already figured out your plans for the next attempt and detailed your weak areas. Best of luck to you for your next attempt. Don't let this previous score come in between your next prep and demotivate you. There's always room for improvement.
See you around.
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 [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2007, 07:01
hi Gmacvik,

Please, don't give up. Try again. I remember some of your posts. You dfinately can cross 700 barrier. This time, try not to study, but work on your menthal conditions. Relax, have fun, forget about gmat. Then when you feel that you ready, go get it.

I noticed that your english is much better than is mine. I wonder, what does the gmat verbal test if not profficiency in english.
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 [#permalink] New post 13 Jan 2007, 21:24
My short advice would be: leave it alone and start working on apps for next year. Your highest score of 660 will be usually the one considered and it's pretty much within range for most schools. Focus on your goals post - MBA and do some research on schools before going through all this again. I'm not saying you would not be able to improve by committing and following advice, what I'm saying is:

1) it won't be easy at all.
2) Anyone taking GMAT more than 3 times may raise a flag.
3) There is not such a significant difference between your 660 high and your target 700.
4) You'll invest so much time and energy that your apps will not be good enough. And while people with 660 GMATs and great apps get into school all the time, 7XXs with crappy apps get dinged almost always.

I know this is GmatClub, but don't obsess with GMAT. Look at the bigger picture, get advice and then, if needed go back to GMAT.

Hope it helps. L.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2007, 03:22
Hello Gmacvik,

Just read your post, and I am sorry for about your last score. I understand you very well, having gone through the same story, though I tried only twice. I had also the same time management problem.
But I see that 660 is your second score which is good. You're forcing yourself to score >=700 which represents an additionnal effort may be not necessary. It depends on the school you want but if I were you, I would keep 660. I was also thinking to try it a third time after 590 and 670 but I didn't need much time to see that I didn't want to study further. The studies had almost killed me over the last months and I better focus now on the apps.
Anyway, good luck if you want make a last attempt.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2007, 17:33
Great never give up you can WIN!!
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Jan 2007, 23:24
gmacvik,

I know you can do it. Sorry to hear the result but I am happy that you are back to take another shot. Do let me know if you need any help from me.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2007, 14:56
I shouldn't forget to thank god and my wife and my son...Thanks to everybody
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2007, 15:39
gmacvik wrote:
I shouldn't forget to thank god and my wife and my son...Thanks to everybody


Wow....Congrats...What was different(in preparation) from the earlier atetempts of yours?

What a way to glory !! You did it....PLease debrief your preparation and the differences from your earlier atteampts...

Thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2007, 21:44
Cogratulations Gmacvik :)

Good luck with apping.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2007, 21:46
Your perseverance is remarkable.

Great job and good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Feb 2007, 22:31
I had full faith in you. Congrats a good luck.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2007, 01:14
U did it. Congratulations!!! admire your patience.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2007, 06:12
Great job. Congratulations.
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 [#permalink] New post 24 Feb 2007, 06:37
congratulation gmacvik! :good Such perseverance was bound to pay off. Here wishing you all the best for the next step.
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  [#permalink] 24 Feb 2007, 06:37
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