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730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over

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730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 20:30
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Hi guys,

I wrote my GMAT (my first attempt) yesterday after pushing it for over an year :). I have 3.5 years of work experience spanning across 3 companies- a startup for 9 months, an IT MNC (another 9 months :P) and in a Management consulting firm (working currently). I have done Computer Science and Engineering in my undergrad.

The Prep stage err... the struggle :wink:

I started my casual prep in Dec' 2011 but as I am lazy and didn't want to step in and face the heat. I thought I could take it easy and have it may be some time later. Also, it had been long I took any competitive test. Last one was CAT (for mba in India) way back in 2009.

Also, my work schedule was crazy (infact it is still the same even now). After coming back from office at 10/11 P.M at night in general (at times 1/2 A.M), having worked on multiple projects with critical business rule change or some client request, I found it difficult to be motivated and study.
Weekends were spent trying to come back to life after taxing weekdays. Nevertheless, I knew GMAT verbal is killer and I wanted to improve my verbal in general so that's what I started working out on.

After finishing up Manhattan SC guide twice and finishing the OG quant, I thought I should check where I stand. I took GMAT PREP1 and got 690 (Quant-49, Verbal-34). Link to my splitup -http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-prep1-690-quant-49-verbal-34-help-needed-in-verbal-134586.html
A pathetic score especially in verbal section considering I spent so much time trying to improve on it. Also, Quant needs to be worked on mainly in DS section. I decided to take a break and kick start prep sometime later. Then I again started pushing it back, I guess I am good at procrastination :P

I started my prep 2 months later in end of Aug'12. Things were going crazy in office now, I had a bad stint and got pulled up. Anyways, back to GMAT I felt Manhattan SC is taking me nowhere. I posted in GMATclub and beatthegmat seeking for advice.
I got one of the best advises - Try different strategy, have strategy for each section - each type of question and watch Ron's video when you feel you have hit the end in prep and can't improve any futher :)
I chucked Manhattan SC, CR Bible, RC guides and took up Ron's videos. I went through all his SC, RC and CR videos. I felt SC videos were the best and most useful and unfortunately I couldn't get much out of CR and RC videos. I felt the improvement in my understanding and accuracy instantly in SC's.

My friends started taking GMAT but I kept pushing it back. I didn't find time to prepare to my satisfaction. Also, my scores in MGMAT tests (untimed) were appalling. Anyways, I booked GMAT appointment in mid Dec'12 and took 2 weeks off. Consider that I had availed and prepared solely by practicing from MGMAT tests and GMAT club tests only. I had done almost all of the GMAT club tests which were free for over a week , thanks a lot for that GMAT club :).

I took GMAT Prep1 ( 690 - Q47, VA38) two weeks before my GMAT day, it came as a shocker for me. Not only verbal didn't deliver but also I realized that I have ignored Quant prep somewhere. I decided to reschedule it, but reschedule meant I can't apply in Round 2 this year. My friends asked me to just appear once and then retake it based on the outcome of the test. But I decided to reschedule it cause from the inside I didn't feel I wasn't ready. Beside I didn't even study for a day on IR and AWA. I took 2 MGMAT tests after resetting the question pool but scores weren't very encouraging. But I felt I am ready and I went ahead and gave the test yesterday.

Materials Used:

1. SC's - Manhattan SC guide, however I dumped it for Ron's video later. Manhattan SC is good but it has so many rules that it became impossible for me to choose and apply one in test conditions. For practice I used OG - 12 and 13 ,OG - Verbal Review- 2nd Ed. And, also the collection of 70 difficult SC questions collection in GMAT club. The way I prepared was I tried to understand solution/approach to all problems even when I can solve them with ease. I used Aristotle Ultimate-One-Minute-Explanations-to-OG12-SC to assist in my studies. At the final stage I used to look up explanation from Manhattan forums as they always had discussions where Ron/Stacey would give amazing approach

2. CR's- I started out with CR Bible but it wasn't much of help and turned out to be waste of time. I did Ron's videos to build up the required base. I used OG- 12 and 13, OG -Verbal Review- 2nd Ed, Aristotle Prep- LSAT questions and GMAT Prep's collection of CR questions

3. RC's - Ron's videos, OG- 12 and 13, OG -Verbal Review, 2nd Ed and GMAT Prep's collection of RC questions

4. Quant - OG 12 and OG quant supplement. I mainly did GMAT club test questions and looked up Manhattan tests problems

Test day experience and tips:

Tips:
1. Go visit the test center! You shouldn't spend time trying to figure where it could be and how to get there. For me the cab driver didn't know the location, it was good that I knew the location of the test center
2. Have plenty of sleep before you head for the test
3. Before you go to bed, tell yourself your dream score and assure yourself you will get it. I don't know it works or not but it sure does calms your nerves :)
4. Remember it's just a test, you can retake it as many times as you want! It won't hurt except the 250 USD :) As was said by my friend- GMAT is best taken with calm mind, you can always reschedule/cancel it. It won't be apocalypse if you don't feel like it now or you feel you screwed it.
5. Have light breakfast and avoid water :)
6. Get chocolate bars, Red Bull / some energy drinks for your breaks
7. Don't predict your scores in the middle of your exams
8. There is a subtle difference between letting the question go and spending some more time to get it correct it. I screwed it up in verbal and paid heavily for it. Don't let it happen with you, keep tab on time and be realistic. Take mocks under timed condition to develop that sense
9. Breaks are effectively of 5-6 mins. Keep that in mind!
10. Remember the location of 5 B-schools you want to apply for free :)

Test day Experience

I was suffering from cold and bad headaches for last 1-2 weeks but I just had to take the test now!. I had booked a cab for my test center but the guy didn't turn up, I am yet to talk to that cab company and give him a piece of my mind. I was lucky to get a cab willing to go on hire just outside my housing society. I ran into a old schoolmate of mine in the test center. I met her after ~ 10 years!, it was sure some day. She had so many things to talk about! anyways it in someway took my mind off from the test and take it easy after the chaotic ride to test center.
AWA - It was kinda easy, I just wrote according to Chineseburned's template. I took it easy and just filled up
IR- Easy compared to what I have been through in MGMAT test. I skipped 1 two part question and 3 multi source questions (language wasn't clear to me and I didn't want to burn myself in this section). I hope the score isn't abysmal
Quant In first 10 question itself I saw probability and questions which were pretty tough. Thank god that I did GMAT club tests and I wasn't under shock with difficult questions popping up back to back. It was easier compared to MGMAT tests as there were I believe occasional 500-600 questions in actual test. Got some weird questions, I haven't seen or dreamed before! Anyways I finished with 1:30 mins remaining
Verbal Difficulty level seemed to sky rocket after 21-23 questions. Crazy RC's, CR's and SC's started popping up. RC's and CR's were difficult ones and I haven't seen these many ambiguous/tricky type of questions before! two of the RC's actually threw me off along with occasional CR's. I ended up with no time in the end. I had to rush through 5-6 questions, just randomly guessing. I couldn't even read the last question as time got up. I believe I had to pay heavy penalty for it. There was a good lesson that GMAT is smarter than you and it starts throwing questions you can't handle after one stage. Its important to realize it, accept it, bow out and keep track of time.

Practice tests:

Take the MGMAT tests -Verbal and Quant questions and GMAT Club tests (for Quant only) very seriously! I found close resemblance of difficulty level and skills tested in the actual test with those in MGMAT/GMAT club tests

My scores in practice tests were low, ridiculous and demoralizing :) But I always believed that mocks are MOCKS and real one is the actual thing. I took even the GMAT Prep as a mere mock :P
Things I thought about practice tests are - take mocks ->learn concepts and time management and ignore the scores. If you feel from the inside that you are ready then you are!
Sorry for my irreverence to the mocks!

Before reset: Didn't analyze these tests for close to 2 weeks after taking them! All of these tests were untimed

MGMAT 2: Sep'15, 2012 - 670-Q -45 , VA-36. Got 7 DS and 8 PS wrong, across numbers, quad equation, geometry pretty much everything. Got 8 CR , 4 RC and 5 SC's.

MGMAT 3: Sep'26, 2012 - IR - 5.34, 680 - Q - 45 , VA-37. Got 8 DS and 7 PS wrong. Got 5 SC's, 6 RC's and 4 CR's wrong

MGMAT 4: Sep'29, 2012 - 650 - Q - 44, VA -35. Got 11 DS and 7 PS wrong. Got 4 SC's, 4 RC's and 8 CR's wrong. This test was absolutely devastating for me. Untimed test and still this is what I got with scores plummeting down!

After reset: I took GMAT prep1 some where in mid Dec'12 and got 690 - Q 47, VA - 38. This is when I decided to reschedule the test though I had two weeks left for GMAT at that time. I went back to the GMAT club tests I took , I had list of questions I screwed up in GMAT club tests and I started to go through them and solve them

These tests were timed :

MGMAT 1: Dec'30,2012 - 680 - Q-46, VA-36. Got 7 DS and 7 PS wrong. Got 6 CR, 4 RC and 3 SC's wrong

MGMAT 2 & 3 : I skipped them! So its like I set too low time and the test automatically got over. I thought MGMAT 4 and onwards would be easier and I would get a moral booster :P . But the way MGMAT tests work is that questions of higher difficulty keep coming if you haven't used them up early. I didn't know it then :)

MGMAT 4: Jan'6, 2012 - 690 - Q-48, VA- 36. Got 5 DS and 4 PS wrong. Got 3 CR , 5 RC and 5 SC's wrong. I had got lot of repeated questions as in questions which I have seen before, what I did was solve it rather than try to recall what answer was or could have been. Even if i knew the ans to a question and I couldn't reason it then I marked the questions wrong

Next steps and may be retake?

That's all I guess I had to share! Let me know if I can be of any help/assistance. I am going to take 2 weeks off from MBA prep and applications. I guess I am already pretty late and out of time for apps for this season. Well for now, I hope that the girl I am pursuing relents and decides to meet me :). I hope I will be able to decide on retake and apps once I come back to the fray

Retake:
Well, I believe I could have done better if I managed my time better in Verbal. I am aiming at US top 10 B schools and I feel 730 is not a great score. I would like to know what experts feel I should do at this juncture! Shall I retake the GMAT and get better score so that I have a better shot at Chicago/Kellog/MIT?

Regards,

Last edited by aniruddha601 on 27 Jan 2013, 05:14, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 20:40
"pro castrating" - seriously?
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 22:07
730 is a great score and above average at even HBS /Stanford.The question is how quickly can you achieve 760 or above. If its 1-2 month than retake is worth it. However the more likely scenario is it would take 3-4 months, include that with couple of months of tough schedule at work. You would have devoted 6 months for retake. So choose your battles wisely.
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 19 Jan 2013, 23:13
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Ani - 730 is a great score! Is there really that much of a difference, in your mind, between 730 and 760?

I guess you can try to get a couple of points on verbal. If you can move to the mid 40 zip code, you will be looking at a 760. But that assumes you maintain that 50 on quant.

730 is definitely not a dealbreaker for your admission to these top 10 schools. What do you think? Going to retake it?
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 00:34
AbhiJ wrote:
730 is a great score and above average at even HBS /Stanford.The question is how quickly can you achieve 760 or above. If its 1-2 month than retake is worth it. However the more likely scenario is it would take 3-4 months, include that with couple of months of tough schedule at work. You would have devoted 6 months for retake. So choose your battles wisely.

That's a fair point, I would need close to 2 months in the minimum. I am actually not clear whether 760 or above would give me a definite edge. I think it might give me some edge. Also, I am not sure what should I do for profile building just in case I don't go for retake
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 00:47
le7els wrote:
Ani - 730 is a great score! Is there really that much of a difference, in your mind, between 730 and 760?

I guess you can try to get a couple of points on verbal. If you can move to the mid 40 zip code, you will be looking at a 760. But that assumes you maintain that 50 on quant.

730 is definitely not a dealbreaker for your admission to these top 10 schools. What do you think? Going to retake it?


I am confused on the retake part :). 760 has that silver lining of 99%. I am not sure how much the difference between 730 and 760 matters for securing a call/admit in B Schools. I guess I will just wait for sometime and based on suggestions from GMAT experts will decide on the retake
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 08:45
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aniruddha601 wrote:
AbhiJ wrote:
730 is a great score and above average at even HBS /Stanford.The question is how quickly can you achieve 760 or above. If its 1-2 month than retake is worth it. However the more likely scenario is it would take 3-4 months, include that with couple of months of tough schedule at work. You would have devoted 6 months for retake. So choose your battles wisely.

That's a fair point, I would need close to 2 months in the minimum. I am actually not clear whether 760 or above would give me a definite edge. I think it might give me some edge. Also, I am not sure what should I do for profile building just in case I don't go for retake


That's where the challenge lies. A few humble suggestions
- Taking part in Clubs that help improve communication skills. Eg: Toastmasters
- Creating a website in an area where you want to work post MBA. For example if you want to move into Investment Management side creating a website where you do financial analysis of few companies and put some charts etc. This will even help finding jobs/internships.
- Doing some certifications in area where you want to work post MBA. For finance its CFA/FRM. For operations its Six Sigma. For project management its PMP.
- Trying to get promotions at work or work that involves managing people.
- Being involved in NGOs outside work and take a leadership position to make an impact.

In an ideal world you would want a GMAT 760 and at least few of the above.
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 23 Jan 2013, 00:30
I am actually not clear whether 760 or above would give me a definite edge.730 is definitely not a dealbreaker for your admission to these top 10 schools.
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 05:49
hi aniruddha,
congrats on the great score. .

How was IR in comparison to the one in Manhattan CATs?

I find IR very time consuming on Manhattan CATs and I have never been able to complete the section in these tests. Couldn't go beyond the score of 1.7 so far..

Is IR really tough on teh gmat or is it manageable?
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 23:51
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Sachin9 wrote:
hi aniruddha,
congrats on the great score. .

How was IR in comparison to the one in Manhattan CATs?

I find IR very time consuming on Manhattan CATs and I have never been able to complete the section in these tests. Couldn't go beyond the score of 1.7 so far..

Is IR really tough on teh gmat or is it manageable?


I feel IR is manageable in GMAT.
I personally felt IR in Manhattan CAT's as calculation intensive with pretty high difficulty level. In GMAT I felt there was good mix of low-medium-difficult problems unlike Manhattan CAT's in which difficulty level is high. In fact, the questions in GMAT were of similar type and difficulty level as what comes in GMAT Prep

Having said that, I would suggest to solve all the IR problems in Manhattan CAT's. Solve them untimed if you are struggling with time management. I feel these guys have compiled good variety of questions and it will help you in strength building :). Most importantly you don't want to go into Quant section with a feeling that you have probably messed up IR section!

For me in GMAT, I got 3 Multiple Source question and 1 two part question which I couldn't make sense of :(. Rest of the problems were manageable and practicing Manhattan IR problems certainly helped me. So I feel practicing good IR problems might help you and be confident!
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2013, 07:28
hey aniruddha,

Do we need to remember the GMAT codes of 5 Schools to which we want to send the scores?
Or we can select the school name there?

Also, say If I plan to do my MBA 2 years from now. Do I need to send the scores again to schools after 2 years?
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2013, 08:44
Sachin9 wrote:
hey aniruddha,

Do we need to remember the GMAT codes of 5 Schools to which we want to send the scores?
Or we can select the school name there?

Also, say If I plan to do my MBA 2 years from now. Do I need to send the scores again to schools after 2 years?


Hi Sachin,

You need to remember the region in which the B school is present. Once you choose Country and Region , you can search for B schools in selected region.

Regarding sending scores to B schools, I am not sure how it works it would be best if it's answered by experts. I guess you need not resend the scores after 2 years.
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2013, 18:41
aniruddha601 wrote:
Sachin9 wrote:
hey aniruddha,

Do we need to remember the GMAT codes of 5 Schools to which we want to send the scores?
Or we can select the school name there?

Also, say If I plan to do my MBA 2 years from now. Do I need to send the scores again to schools after 2 years?


Hi Sachin,

You need to remember the region in which the B school is present. Once you choose Country and Region , you can search for B schools in selected region.

Regarding sending scores to B schools, I am not sure how it works it would be best if it's answered by experts. I guess you need not resend the scores after 2 years.


thanks mate. . got ma exam coming thursday.

I am actually yet to do any research on schools..
I plan to do a 1 year MBA..
so XLRI ,ISB and Judge business school are on my mind now.
Kellogg is out since it focuses heavily on sales/marketing, I believe.
Can you suggest some good schools in which we have good 1 year program. .. IIM ABC and L have 1 year programs right?but I guess I don't have 10-12 years experience that these IIMs typically look for. So they are out too.
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2013, 19:54
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Sachin9 wrote:
aniruddha601 wrote:
Sachin9 wrote:
hey aniruddha,

Do we need to remember the GMAT codes of 5 Schools to which we want to send the scores?
Or we can select the school name there?

Also, say If I plan to do my MBA 2 years from now. Do I need to send the scores again to schools after 2 years?


Hi Sachin,

You need to remember the region in which the B school is present. Once you choose Country and Region , you can search for B schools in selected region.

Regarding sending scores to B schools, I am not sure how it works it would be best if it's answered by experts. I guess you need not resend the scores after 2 years.


thanks mate. . got ma exam coming thursday.

I am actually yet to do any research on schools..
I plan to do a 1 year MBA..
so XLRI ,ISB and Judge business school are on my mind now.
Kellogg is out since it focuses heavily on sales/marketing, I believe.
Can you suggest some good schools in which we have good 1 year program. .. IIM ABC and L have 1 year programs right?but I guess I don't have 10-12 years experience that these IIMs typically look for. So they are out too.


All the Best for your exam! :)

I don't have much idea about 1 year MBA programs or MBA programs in India. I am also deciding on the list of B schools I will go for but I will primarily apply in top US B schools.

May be you can ask experts on this query. I believe in India you can apply in ISB, Great Lakes, IIM's, XLRI and SP JAIN. I think you can apply in some of the IIM's as they do take people with fewer years of work ex.
You can also look at european B schools, however given the current economic scenario it might be a risky proposition.
For US B schools, you might want to take a look here - http://gmatclub.com/forum/one-year-accelarated-mba-usa-guide-125904.html
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 26 Jan 2013, 23:57
Thanks mate..
And during the break , say we gobble soemthing and are ready to start with the Quant section/verbal section, can we sit infront of teh computer doing nothing.. or the next section is immediately started by the proctor once we reach our computer?
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Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over [#permalink] New post 27 Jan 2013, 05:13
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Sachin9 wrote:
Thanks mate..
And during the break , say we gobble soemthing and are ready to start with the Quant section/verbal section, can we sit infront of teh computer doing nothing.. or the next section is immediately started by the proctor once we reach our computer?


You get roughly 6 minutes break. Yeah if you can shave off 1-2 mins post break, you can sit in front of computer doing nothing! But you get barely 1-2 mins post snacks. Beside I don't think the staff would allow you to be there doing nothing for whole break as there are other people taking the test.
Re: 730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over   [#permalink] 27 Jan 2013, 05:13
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730 - Q50, V39 -It's not over till its over

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