Let me tell you guys that this is gonna be a big post so bear with me.I aint getting any cookies for this but I want that if my exp. Could help any potential gmat candidate,I will be more than happy as I had prayed to God that if I get my dream score I would be more than happy to help others as well..just a goodwill gesture… I hope at the end of this post I am able to communicate few most important which I realized during my GMAT journey, to all of my friends over here.
Well guys I always used to think of this day,when I will be writing my own GMAT experience .I always use to passively read through so many successful GMAT takers blogs as most of you are doing right now.I strongly believe that this really acts as a motivation ,atleast it did worked for me . SO first I will be describing everything from my 1st day to my D-Day in best possible manner and you will bump into few interesting stuff,bet me on that.
I took my mock test at a Kaplan
Centre without any preparation and scored meager 510 (Q 32 V23)approx.not sure of the split.I knew that the score was always low on Kaplan
but still the picture wasn’t rosy even if I deem it to be 50 score higher.It doesn’t matter how much you say that I got this without prep,but since we are human beings and have high expectations,I thought it would have been better in 600s.Anyway I enrolled in the Kaplan
Coaching.Trust me that I thought long and hard and also did a lot of research before joining it.I knew that 99% ppl do self study.But from the 1st day itself I made 1 thing sure,that I didn’t wanted any “if” or “but” . I didn’t wanted any stone left unturned to achieve my dream.So I decided that even if I get 10% out of the Kaplan
teaching,it will be atleast 10% higher than what I could have done by myself.So I sheved out 25000 bucks.But contrary to my expectations they were good. The maths teacher was good while the English teacher was a bit below par.But anyways it was enough to sail me through when combined with my effort.So I wasn’t regretting anything.The best thing of Kaplan
coaching were 2 things.First,the 8 online CAT Exams prepare u really well ,improves ur timing,u are able to do detailed analysis of ur answers and etc.So for that part ,if any1 wishes, can enroll not only Kaplan
but in any other online services like MGMAT,etc.Secondly,I got a very nice room over thereto study.It was so calm and quiet that I always wanted to study there insetad of home.The environment was very positive there and very few students came,so got lucky.Moreover we had a library.So I didn’t had to purchase any books.I got all books such as KAPLAN premier
and lots more.SO wasn’t worried to get books from here n there.
TESTS TAKEN AND MATERIALS USED
I studied for 6months..at beginning of the classes I studied very little..taking time to adjust ..then I studied moderately for 2 months like around 2 hrs a day as I was on my way to re-collect old maths skills and getting adapt to GMAT style.Yeah,that ‘s most important for any competitive exam u give.I started studying like crazy for 12-14 hrs a day for last 20 days or so.Took a leave from work too.My scores on test taken in range of 2 months are as follows.Kaplan
CAT 1 - 590 Q40 , V26.felt terrible coz I worked fr 1.5 months b4 taking thisKaplan
CAT 2 - 660 Q49 , V30.felt relieved but nowhere near my dream scoreKaplan
CAT 3 - 680 Q50 , V32.was happy to see myself improve.Kaplan
CAT 4 - 590 Q38 , V30.was devastated.couldnt sleep.had very very low moral.Kaplan
CAT 5 - 650 Q48 , V28. Felt tensed as I about to complete my test quota and still hvnt touched 700Kaplan
CAT 6 - 660 Q48 , V31. Started excepting tht this is gonna be my avg score fr actual gmat.Kaplan
CAT 7 - 710 Q52 , V36. Hurray.atlast I believed that I can still pursue my dream.Kaplan
CAT 8 - 680 Q49 , V35. Was too tired too think anything.but was on disappointing side.Manhattan GMAT
-650 dnt rem the split.sry.
GMAT Prep 1(2 weeks b4 D-Day) - 670 Q48 V34 not sure. Will tell u about it below
GMAT Prep 1 again(1.5 weeks b4 D-Day) - 710 Will tell u about it below
Gmat prep 2 (2 days b4 D-Day) - 640 WILL DEFINITELY TALK ABOUT IT .SWEAR ON GOD
GMAT prep2 again(1 dayb4 d-day)- 650 with 5 repeated ques.
Now.i always thought that ok..kaplan
might be depreciating my marks a bit,so was always had a positive hope throught mu kap cat exams. I would say that kapaln CD does depreciate the schore but not there online course.Since they are paid service they try to be as accurate as possible.So I would like to tell ppl that only the Kaplan
cds show wrong score,but the online course may be tough ..may not be accurate..but they are smwhwere aroung the mark..But when I 1st witnessed my 1st gmat prep score of 670 I was taken aback.I had almost completed my preparation…3months of hard work..all kap tests..and this is what I get from the exam which I used to think as a solution to my mediocre kap tests??
2 days later I took it again.got 710.was happy.but I was not a fool as I knew that I had around 10-12 ques same from prev test.but it still was motivatior for me.I understood that I was not at all nearby my target as even the most accurate of all..the gmatprep was showing 670s.Even in the manhattan gmat
mock test which is also beleieved to be a close estimator of actual gmat,I socred 650..thought this definitely became my avg score I studied very hard for next12 days ..12hrs-14 hrs each day..i went through all notes ..books…I could get.. I had solved following books.:-OG 11
all 300 new questions that were added.was tough to do as I got this book at the Kaplan
centre. And had only 5-7 days left. Kaplan
primere bookGMAT 800
Manhattan SC cotes.
Spidey SC Notes.
Sahil’s SC Notes.
So as u can see I left no stone unturned .Was tough but then who said that GMAT wil going to be easy??
Just 2 days b4 my exam I took gmat prep 2 and scored 640 .What do u think my state of mind would be…I totally broke down…next dayi.e, 1 day b4 actual exam I got 650..with 4 questions common..i started believing that this will my scorewould be around these ..and I would not achieve my dream target.I bet if I had posted here every 1 would have agreed with me as gmat perp is indeed the closest predictor.I went home and decided to not study new questions n sums .So just downloaded sahils notes and went thru them calmly.
MY EXAM DAY
I surprisingly had a nice sleep.I DID YOGA FOR FEW MINS TO CALM MYSELF.I had taken 13th June ,09 date @ 10.am slot .THERE WAS SMTHING UNUSUAL WID THIS DATE.U WL KNOW SOON.KEEP READING . I had done all the exams together with AWA.So wasn’t worried about fatigue.Anyways had given hordes of exams for CFA and MS Finance which were 6 hrs of writing with1.5 hr break in between.So knew that sitting that wont be a pain in my ass.The test centre was near my house so it took me 5-7 mins.Was there 30 min b4 time .The person in charge took my picture thru a webcam..took digital signature..tookk passport..and then said that my signature didn’t matched with the passport and I was like WTF??..i signed again on the e-pad..this time he was convinced though after 40sec verification.silly guy!!..then palm print..n all…I was taken to the test room. I was overjoyed to find that the test room was empty .I was the only guy giving exam .So I thought atleast I will be able to verbalise all questions and will not be disturbed by any1 else.I sailed thru essays..i thought I did really well though scores are not out yet.will let u know soon. completed maths n verbal section within time..one tip don’t drink too much water..i realized during 1 of my mock test tht u will be screwed if u feel like peeing while clock is ticking on the screen..so beware friends…anyways just had to guess 1 last maths ques.The proctor came in and clicked to view my result.I prayed hard and hard and also thought will I b able to crack GMAT even though I never did it on mock ??? Will I be able to defy all the odds and deliver when it mattered the most??Those 10 secs were tough…and then the score appeared…
TOTAL - 710 92 percentile
Q uant - 48 84 percentile
Verbal- 39 87 percentile
AWA- 5.5 80 percentile( received after 5days)
I coudnt believe what I just saw.I didn’t know what to do..to cry?? To scream..was emotionless for 5 sec and when I heard from the proctor “ well done”..i just jumped screaming that YEAH BABY M GOING TO US AND AM GOING TO APPLY TO MY DREAM UNIVS..
I took the print out.Distributed all the chocolates I had with me, among the staff.Due to pressure I ate none.I called friends n relatives and went screaming on the road while talkin to them…ppl might have found me crazy..but I never bothered..i was on top of the world..and b4 leaving the centre I said to the proctor “ DUDE, I SWEAR YOU WILL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN IN THAT ROOM..AND THEN…I SAID “TOUCH WOOD” HAHA..funny me..”….
Felt relieved..realized what it really feels like CRACKING sm thing…DEFEATING THE 800 POUND MONSTER….CONQUERING THE GMAT LAND…INVADING AND CAUSING HAVOC AT THE DEATH “GMAT” VALLEY..AND PROVING WHAT I M REALLY CAPABLE OF!!
Also I never knew anything about balanced score.Only after surfing after my GMAT ,I came to know that balanced scores are preferred .So,I was preety cool n happy as my percentile were comfortably above 80 percentile..even my AWA score.Also I m feeling so nice that I am representing the commerce/finance background in the 700 clubbers which has always been dominated by IT friends!!!
NOW FEW MOST IMPORTANT TIPS
Firstly,there is only 1 mantra for cracking GMAT
..hard work and more hard work.I know for sure that many many ppl over here will be thinking that this dude studied so much..so many days…12 hrs …all books and notes available on planet and scored 710..but friends its all about the appropriate reward u get according to ur ability..there may b ppl who study 24 hrs and get 760.But believe me u will get what u ought to get.I had this score in my mind from the 1st day when I sscored 510..i got 650s in Kaplan
test and same in manhattan gmat
and gmat prep…so I was more than happy cracking the 700 barrier..also including my name in 700 clubers on diff social websites feels really gr8 n awesome..
I would recommend u all that refer to all GENUINE books..like there s no benefit going thru barrons..u knw tht..i referrd to all boks that were worthy enough.I never wanted any1 to say that dude if u wuld have referred tht book or notes u could have gt 10 points more.So guys do refer to books that I have mentioned above.SC notes of sahil were gr8..same fr manhatan sc notes..do og 11
-12..also refer gmat 800
..it contains really tough 1s.. though I later thought that I shuld have scored bit more on quant as I felt I did well..i also got 3 prob sums and 1 permutation-combination sum and I bet I got them right as it was my forte..but still I was more than happy with the overall score..although I didn’t got any boldface CR during my entire exam.. I came across a deadly RC ,which had topic on ancient way of calculating probability and modern way to do so along wid weird examples..u might have got the feeling tht it sucked ..but I realized that I might be doing well thts y I came across this RC>..anywasys..there was no other “unusual” ques both in quant and in verbal except this 1 RC…. …at end of the day only ur actual gmat score can be 100% accurate ..in my case GMAT PREP went fr a toss…I proved them wrong!!
I would like to share 1 more imp thing here…ON 13th June,it was my birthday…my mom said son u arnt getting ur dream score so dnt gv the exam on this day….my friends said that on Saturday all ppl around the globe will gv exam as it’s a weekend..so u might suffer lower percentile…few ppl said including the ppl in the Kaplan
that 13th is not consider a good day..so reschedule it..But I always thought that these things doesn’t matter.The only thing that mattered was ur effort and will power to go to extreme to achieve ur dream..So even though I was scoring well below 700..even though my b’day could hv turned sour..even though ppl said tht 13 is fr evil n u shuldnt take exam..i went ahead …with my determination and guess what I did prove them wrong..i fuked that monster hard and proved that the only thing that matter is sheer hard work…..
The moral of the story is to take GMAT for yourself and work really hard.I am no engineer who have superb control over quants(though hv done MS in Finance)..my first language is NOT english ..so wasn’t Shakespeare in it either…so if hard work n effort worked fr me..it will wrk fr u too…Few ppl may be well blessed with high intelligence to crack it with few hrs study..but not for most ppl out there..it doesn’t matter if u shell out few thousand bucks in getting coaching or buying books..always remember that the return u wil get thru lacs and lacs of scholarships…best univ leading to best placements will always be much higher than these small exp..but take tution depending on ur skill level…coz the diff in Kaplan
or any other coaching centre in India and abroad is that in abroad ppl who have themselves cracked gmat teaches u which is a big plus point whereas in india ppl with arts degree do so..so don’t expect them to be ur ultimate mentor..in fact my verbal teacher didn’t knew whts subjunvtive n whts indicative in English…so weigh all pros n cons and then take appropriate decision…but whatever u choose at end of the day its is u who have to really give it all…
It feels so diff after cracking this exam…from the level I was ..that’s 510 to 710 wid 200 points jump n tht too in my first attempt…92 percentile..but I must say that there is some emptiness which I feel now..gmat was not only about giving exam n cracking it.. I feel the process of gmat learning is much more valuable than a gud score itself..maybe I m right may be wrong..maybe I would nt have said this if I had got low marks..but still I would say that when u take gmat ..peoples race..background..age doesn’t matter…so irrespective of all factors and country u r located in when u find that u hv got high PERCENTILE among candidates takinh exam in whole world on that day, u feel so confident and feel so good about ur self….english in gmat is of high level..like that of American standard..so when u study and evolve ..u become so naturally strong in it for rest of ur life..things u could ignore in school days are to be mastered here..so next time u read a newspaper u will be able to pick out the idioms…subj mode..errors..unlike others..so guys give high value to whatever u learn….to ur scores and to the process..coz it is one of the lifetime experience….the whole journey…the excitement..the anguish..the disappointment..the willingness to achieve dream..the fear of the unknown ques behind test screen..everything..so enjoy it friends ….And yeah u need sm luck like I got on the actual exam day as I DID PROVED THAT EVEN WHEN THE GMAT PREP HITS U DOWN..PPL SHOW U THE DOOR..ITS UR HARDWORK AND DETERMINTAION THT TAKES U PLACES U ALWAYS DREAMT OF GOING…..
ITS BEEN A LONG POST..HOPE U ALL WILL UNDERSTAND MY FEELINGS…I WILL LET U GO ANYWAYS…THANKS AND BYE!!!!!!!!
….. IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBTS THEN DO POST IT I WILL TRY TO BE REGULAR AS MUCH AS I CAN AND HELP U IN WHATEVER MANNER POSSIBLE
And guys I would really like to listen to ur coments and views.would really appreciate it.
NOTE- friends just wana tell a small thing also…have become very very wary of using “ BEING”..even in real life while writing or speaking…hahahaha..gmat is infectious indeed!!!!