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Seems like people have been wondering here where have I vanished after taking the GMAT. I had actually planned a vacation from 30th October to 5th Nov and today I am back from the vacation and glad to know that people have been waiting for my debrief. I planned the vacation just after the GMAT as I couldn't enjoy my Diwali due to the looming GMAT and thought that a vacation would be an award in case I get a good score and a break in case I got a bad score.
Strategy: I prepared for around 4 months in all . Though I don't plan to apply this year as I just have 2 year of work experience but I thought that I'd take the GMAT well in time so that in case I don't achieve my target score, I have the flexibility to take the GMAT again. What I learnt early on is that Verbal on the GMAT Is not something which is easy to master. It has to be tackled in a systematic way. I planned out the schedule for myself and as suggested by others spent around 1-2 hours on the weekdays depending on my schedule and 8-10 total on the weekend. Alongwith that, I started with "Of Mice and Men" mentioned in the "GMAT Fiction" section. The book really got me interested in reading and gradually, I finished reading a lot of fiction and non-fiction books and I feel really good that I have read a lot of books now. I was excited to start with sentence correction and started with the SC Grail first and then moved on Manhattan SC. I think both the books are really superb and you'd definitely want to have them so that you gain a firm understanding of the concepts. Did the Aristotle New SC Questionbank towards the end of my preparation. Though this questionbank is not very difficult but it really has those "meaning" based questions which are being tested on the GMAT lately.
After that, I moved on CR. CR Bible is a very good book. Used OG12 while doing the concepts from CR BIble. Make sure that for both SC and CR, you really analyze the questions well. What is not important at all is the accuracy level you have on the questions. What is more important is the learning you derive from those questions. After OG12, I did the free CR questionbank on Aristotle and then moved on the 1000CR questions . Did the first 100 questions from there.
I somehow never had major issues with RC. Practised all the 24 passages in OG and then did the passages from Aristotle RC. Managed to take my accuracy to 90%.
Never found Quant to be too difficult but Data Sufficiency questions can sometimes be a pain and if you don't do them attentively, they have good traps to make you fall.
Observations: I think that after a certain point my scores stagnated on the practice CATs. So what I did was that instead of taking more practice CATs, I took a complete break of 3-4 days in the second last week of my exam. Before taking this break, I was averaging around 720, but after that, I scored 750,760 and 740 on the practice CATs and I was quite happy with my performance.
Test day The test was fine and there was nothing unusual. I think after having taken a sufficient number of practice tests, I knew that which areas do I need to keep a tab on , the prime area of these being timing. I ensured that I do not spend more than the stipulated time on any question. At the same time, I also ensured that I am not looking at the clock every other minute and getting nervous about the timing. After having done both the sections, when I was filling up the survey data and all, I knew that I had done very well and was just praying to God to give me a good score as I didn't want to take the exam again. Thankfully, I landed up with a 750(Q-51, V-40). I was ecstatic and felt like I had conquered Mt Everest. The other candidates could also see that I had got a good score. I spoke to another guy and he said that didn't have a very good day as he was expecting around 730 but landed up with a 680. I thanked God again because I could have been that person too.
Since I am back from the vacation today itself, I am unable to write the entire debrief, and will try to complete it when I get time.
P.S.- shovitdhar , I didn't let the GMAT gun me down, rather I gunned it down
Last edited by gmatgunner on 05 Apr 2012, 11:14, edited 7 times in total.
Re: 750(Q-51,V-40) Gunned down the GMAT [#permalink]
09 Nov 2011, 22:49
Congrats man! Great score! You totally killed it. I am compelled to discuss my verbal preparation just in case some people are reading about your preparation and feeling overwhelmed. You were obviously extremely dedicated but I'm sure some folks won't have the time to put in an equivalent effort. If you are a native english speaker and short on study time I would not emphasize reading fiction and non fiction to prepare. The GMAT is a standardized test and with any such test the most important aspect of preparation is knowing what you'll be asked before you are asked it. I too read the Manhattan SC (in fact the whole Manhattan book set) and also the SC Bible. I feel the Manhattan SC book was my single best resource to prepare for the GMAT over all the other books I read and practice tests. I read the Manhattan SC book twice. Once over a 3 month period and another during an intense last week cramfest before the test. By the end of the second read I could look at any SC question and easily eliminate 3 of the 5 options. In the end I may have neglected the quant preperation being an engineer. I was overly confident I would dominate the quant section due to the high level math I've been exposed to and lacked respect for the quick problem recognition requirements of the test.