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750 and done

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750 and done [#permalink]

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04 Jun 2012, 11:17
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Preparation:I did not take any online or instructor led courses and relied mainly on MGMAT books and GMAT Club . I prepared for a total of 9 weeks (I subscribed to the Question a day email on GMATClub and would do the 2 questions that come in the email every day). The first 3 weeks of my prep were a JOKE. I barely spent like an hour a day and was just warming up. At the end of these 3 weeks I took my first MGMAT and was surprised to see a 730. I saw a verbal score of 45 and I was quite sure this was a fluke. I never saw this number again, EVER. The next 2 weeks were spent identifying my weak spots - every section in verbal needed effort but RC was the worst. I cannot read long passages and hence my RC skills NEVER improved. My target score was 770 so I was not sure if I should be happy on seeing the 750 (also there were many things that went wrong on exam day and that kept me far from my target score). Anyways, I am not retaking this exam to prove a point or something. So I am done and I am happy to be done.

Books Used:MGMAT SC was a good reference, My SC skills improved after going through this one. It has a ton of information which was difficult for me to digest given the amount of time I was spending on prep. PowerScore CR was a GREAT BOOK and it totally improved my accuracy with CR questions.I also used some of the MGMAT math books and enjoyed those. My quant skills were pretty good to begin with but I did pick up some key points here and there from these books. Again given the time I had, I mostly did the exercises to identify gaps and close on those.

Sample exams:Took all 6 MGMAT exams, 2 GMATPrep and 3 Kaplan. Every Sat and one weekday went in taking exam - I enjoyed this more than sitting and going through the books. The Kaplan exams are very easy and not worth taking if you are score above 700 in MGMAT. The quants section in MGMAT is way more difficult than the actual exam, but the verbal section is quite comparable. I scored 770 on both the GMAT prep exams (now you see why I was a little disappointed on seeing 750) and my MGMAT scores were 730, 660, 680, 720, 740 and 780 (780 was 5 days before the actual exam ).

Exam Day: I screwed up and ate something that did not sit well with me and spent both breaks throwing up. Sitting through the two essays was a feat in itself since I was feeling very very sick. I came in late by 2 mins for the quants but still finished it on time. During the second break, I came on time but then the person who had to check me in was talking to someone inside the exam room and when he checked me in, he typed the wrong password 4 times! started the verbal 3 full minutes late and could not read the last 2 questions . The person told me he will call and see if I can get extra 2 mins but nothing happenned. Big lesson: Finish you breaks 1-2 mins before and come wait since they check people in individually and this and other lame things could cause delays. These are factors you cannot control so be prepared. I think I was able to do decently despite these issues since I was very calm (just before going into the exam my husband said I can always write it again and this is just a trial and that helped) and decided to get it over with.

Key Points to Consider:
1. Complete all questions in OG (in all sections) and review the tough ones before you take the GMAT. The questions on the GMAT are quite similar to the ones in OG
2. Write the essays during the practice tests as this will help you gauge your energy level after each section
3. Practice your nutrition plan - this is important, I screwed this up and was lost time on exam day (see exam day exp for more details)
4. Stay calm during the entire exam and take 2-3 second micro breaks if you feel like you are reading something (esp in the Verbal section) and are not able to digest a single word
5. When taking practice exams, make sure your breaks are 8 mins. I used to chat with my husband and take 15 minute breaks and was not used to the shorter time
6. 4-5 sample exams are sufficient and you need to review your mistakes right after the exam so the questions are still fresh in your mind
7. Some of Ron's videos were useful to me (I did the ones on RC and a couple on CR) - some of his lectures use the GMATPrep questions and this means there is a chance that when you take the GMATPrep you might see familiar questions. Watch these on days when your brain is a little slow. He is very good and will explain everything in great detail.
8. The GMAT club debriefs are extremely useful. They kept me motivated and pointed me to some very useful resources (ex: PowerScore CR and Ron's videos)
9. Try to enjoy the prep process, it will help you do well on the exam

Sorry about the long debrief. I got so much out of the debriefs on this forum and wanted to share my experience. Now that I am done with the exam, I need to start thinking about the next steps (which will make the exam looks like it was a breeze).
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04 Jun 2012, 11:20
I had to re-register today since my old login had some issues. Been a member since Feb but this is my first post.
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04 Jun 2012, 11:55
Hi Vibha,

Congrats on the magnificent score
What was the split btw?

BR
Mandeep
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04 Jun 2012, 11:57
Awesome! Great score despite your sickness
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04 Jun 2012, 13:29
Thank you both .

The split was Q 50, V 41
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04 Jun 2012, 13:39
VibhaVKM wrote:
Thank you both .

The split was Q 50, V 41

Great Score !!

I am sure you are fully geared up for your next step - application.

Wish you all the best
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05 Jun 2012, 01:11
Great score!!
What kind of questions did u see in the quant section.What was the pattern like?Were there mainly algebra/geometry questions,what about overlapping sets and standard deviation.

Thanks,
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05 Jun 2012, 07:34
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Great score vibha
Big congrates...
How did you improve in RC and what was your accuracy level in verbal?
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05 Jun 2012, 10:00
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As for the questions in Quants, most of them were easy but since I was so sick during the exam it all feels like a daze. There were only 2-3 questions that were tough.
In verbal, I got 3 RCs - the longest was the easiest. The last one appeared when I had about 8 questions left and 12 minutes so I was getting into a panic mode and also it was one big paragraph. The questions were quite tough esp to finish under 1.5 minutes. I dont remember seeing too many idioms. Overall verbal felt easy (may be because I was not doing well ).
I NEVER improved in answering RC questions - My final performance was as bad as my first sample exam I am sure. I just cannot read a lot under time constraints I realized. I believe many people in the forums have mentioned that reading through science and business articles would help but I cannot comment on it since I did not even try. I went through the Ron videos and thought I was learning something but I seriously doubt that now.Like I said, RC was one weak section and the only one so I said screw it and focused on SC and CR, given that I was going to prep seriouslyt for 6 weeks. After reading PowerScore CR, my accuracy went up from around 70% to 90% I would say. I would make occasional errors in SC but RC I would get under 50% right .
Not sure I answered all of your questions well. My BIGGEST take away is focus on the OG questions, the actual exam felt it was very close to the GMATPrep exams. So Dont miss OG and GMATPrep exams.
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Re: 750 and done [#permalink]

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05 Jun 2012, 10:18
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Incredible. I will definitely not that break time and the nutrition plan of urs
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05 Jun 2012, 12:39
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hi guys

if anyone is looking for some tips with respect to the quant and verbal section, i can help them out. i have been doing so for quite some time now. i took my gmat in 2009 and scored a 760 (verbal- 42, quant-50). i followed it up with an year at ISB, Hyderabad.

you can get in touch with me @ 9873209590 and we can talk more about it. feel free to call me during the day or to sms during the later part of the day

i can entertain questions wrt the applications process as well

thanks
sid
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05 Jun 2012, 12:50
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sid789 wrote:
hi guys

if anyone is looking for some tips with respect to the quant and verbal section, i can help them out. i have been doing so for quite some time now. i took my gmat in 2009 and scored a 760 (verbal- 42, quant-50). i followed it up with an year at ISB, Hyderabad.

you can get in touch with me @ 9873209590 and we can talk more about it. feel free to call me during the day or to sms during the later part of the day

i can entertain questions wrt the applications process as well

thanks
sid

Hi Sid,

Congrats on your score! I will be taking my GMAT in the beginning of Sep and I have just started with my GMAT preparations!

Right now, my score is 520-530. I need to work on both quant and verbal and I have MGMAT study guides + OG 11 and OG 13.

My weaker areas in quant is work/rate and combination problems. Can you please suggest some ways to improve them?

Also, I do aspire to go to ISB, hyderabad. Can you please give an overview of their admission procedure and what they look in a candidate?
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05 Jun 2012, 12:58
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hey abhilashaa

im afraid i woudnt be able to answer your queries here. i would prefer to take it offline. so you can give me a call at the number i mentioned any time during the day and we can discuss it further.
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06 Jun 2012, 00:56
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you spent both breaks throwing up and you still got a 750??

Wow! Congrats!
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06 Jun 2012, 07:21
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Congrats VibhaVKM! Thank you so much for the helpful pointers.

Mind if I ask what is your educational background?
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07 Jun 2012, 11:16
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So guys, my being sick made the exam a little tough, esp making the breaks longer. I lost track of time and esp since I finished Math on time even after being late, I thought I was Ok for verbal as well - the best thing about being this over confident is I did not panic and that TOTALLY helped.
As far as my education background, I did my bachelors in India and Master in the US and have about 7 yrs of work ex in the SW industry.
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03 Jul 2012, 23:00
Thanks for tip about coming back from break early since the exam proctor can mess up... ugh, didn't even consider this scenario!
Re: 750 and done   [#permalink] 03 Jul 2012, 23:00
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