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760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6

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Intern
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Joined: 06 Mar 2014
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Concentration: General Management, International Business
Schools: CBS '17 (A)
GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V41
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760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2014, 23:14
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Took my GMAT last week and received the final score yesterday. Putting up my two cents for whatever it may be worth to peers on the forum.

Background:
I am an engineering grad and have a diploma in management. I currently work in investment banking division of one of the top investment banks in India focusing primarily on cross-border M&A.
Given my occupation profile, time is the supreme luxury for me and I had to finish the GMAT in ~1 month from starting the preparations.

Preparations:
I started my preparation sometime during last week of December which is generally a slow month for most of banking activity for foreign banks in India (even though it has nothing to do with typical slowdown in India which happens around Deepawali). At the onset itself I took GMAT prep test 1 and scored 670 (Q34, V26). This was fairly demoralizing, but gathered some courage to evaluate the test and following were the outcomes.
1. Did not have stamina to last through 2.5 hours of problem solving and reading (although I can spend hours on excel and ppt)
2. Quant: Silly mistakes such as wrong arithmetic operations and incorrectly reading the question.
3. Verbal: Bad accuracy in CR and SC (~30% - 40%), reasons - I did not know GMAT grammar for SC and for CR I thought way too much into the question, most of those are fairly simple to think.

Based on above I started preparing to work on (a) stamina, (b) learning SC nuances, (c) increasing focus to reduce silly mistakes, and (d) just simply my thought process

Preparation hours: I could hardly get 1-2 hours on weekdays that too sporadically, and 4-5 hours on the weekends if I was not working on those days. So I had spread out my preparation plan to 1.5 months from 1 months earlier envisaged.

Material used: OG13, Manhattan SC, Kaplan Premier 2014

Strategy: First week I just read through Kaplan Premier as if it were a magazine or a non-fiction book. Not stressing my mind, just reading it and solving the problems as they came. It just made me familiar with the GMAT landscape. Other than that in my mind that book does not serve absolutely any purpose.

In subsequent weeks, I would spend 1 hour a day to study and practice concepts from Manhattan SC and remaining 1 hour in practicing questions from OG13. I typically would do set of 20 questions from QA, SC, CR or RC on rotation basis, allocating 30 min irrespective of which section it is. I religiously maintained a log book in which I included the following
1. Key concepts,
2. Quality of questions, marking some very good questions in SC which tested unusual concepts
3. Error log
4. My own strategy snippets including shortcut formulas for QA and some ready references SC

I kept the weekends dedicated for test taking. I did this mainly because I had access to Manhattan and Kaplan tests, and I used them to build stamina.

After 2 weeks of this regimen, the test scores were as following.
Kaplan (690) - Q49, V30
Manhattan (700) - V49, V30

Clearly, I was only improving on easily fixable items such as stamina and reducing silly mistakes. The major area of learning SC grammar was still not up to the mark. The challenge however was that I had finished Manhattan SC book and I did not know what to do next, that is when I recalled a old technique I imbibed during my JEE preps. Instead of looking a multiple books and resources, it is much better to repeatedly do the same book as doing so imprints much of the book in your mind. To draw an analogy, if you walk in your room, you instinctively know where the light switches are despite the room being pitch dark, you may not know the same if you lived in hotel rooms, changing the room every week. This idea is controversial and people have divergent views, I used it because it had worked for me in the past.

Hence, I kept on doing Manhattan SC book repeatedly, and continued with my regimen finishing OG13. I bought OG Verbal and GMAT prep question and test packs. So continued with my 20 question - 30 min schedule with carefully logging details as noted above. After another week, test scores were - Kaplan (720), Manhattan (690). So while repeating Manhattan SC was improving my SC accuracy and I could easily identify and recollect the key ideas, I had trouble structuring the thought process keeping all these ideas in mind. While I was sitting one Saturday, thinking about next steps, I got an email from e-GMAT that detailed a free webinar on SC. I attended the webinar and found it quite good, I explored further and decided to purchase their offering suite.

I did not attend many live sessions after I purchased it, however I read through the entire SC prep material and in conjunction with Manhattan SC book, this was the boost I needed. After carefully completing the e-GMAT material and Manhattan SC prep book. My SC accuracy went up to ~90% from 60-70% a week before. I would typically get only 1-2 questions wrong in 20-25 questions I would attempt.

Took the tests again on the weekend. Scores improved to Kaplan (720), Manhattan (740). Quant had improved to score of 51 with little left for me to prepare, I usually got 5-8 questions incorrect due to silly mistakes but thought I should channelize my efforts to verbal.

I was about 2 weeks away from the test. So I just stepped on the gas and started revising all the stuff I had gone through. That is when all hell break loose. Two of my dormant projects went live and I could only see consecutive all-nighters for the following 3 weeks. So I made some flash cards on one Sunday in second week of Feb and carried them all around in all my meetings, reading through them in wash room and other breaks.

For two of the following weeks I did not study anything. I had my test scheduled on Monday and on Friday, it looked like I may not be able to take it. So I tried postponing it, and realized that the charges were as much as the test fee (so much for precision preparation). So decided I will take it anyway. Until then I had neither written any AWA nor had attempted IR seriously. So on the weekend I took the remaining GMAT prep tests and scored the following
GMAT prep test 2 - 740 (Q50, V39), IR - 7
GMAT prep test 3 - 760 (Q50, V41), IR - 8
GMAT prep test 4 - 750 (Q50, V40), IR - 8

Relieved by the scores, I purchased the GMAT write 1 and wrote 2 essays. First one was not scored because I was using some words repeatedly. After re-writing, it showed a score of 6 on first essay and second was also scored as a 6.

Test day:
My appointment was for 9am. I reached the test center at 8:20 and after the formalities the test started on time. The infrastructure was impeccable and I had not difficulty of any manner.
AWA: I finished the AWA just in the nick of time, was left with 1.5 min to review, I quickly glanced through and fixed 2-3 grammatical mistakes and clicked on submitting just 2 seconds before the clock ran out.

IR: Fairly challenging and tricky. Standard questions which were intensive on both comprehension and calculations. Finished the section in 28 minutes and took a brief rest for 2 min.

Took the optional break and ate half a chocolate bar and had some juice.

QA: Started with a question so easy that I spent 2 min just to ensure that I may not missing something profound. Subsequently, the degree for difficulty was almost the same and the questions were simple but tricky. Tricky in the sense that it was very easy to fall in a trap. The quality was comparable only to the questions in GMAT prep questions pack. OG is way too easy in comparison, and Manhattan/Kaplan are frivolously difficult. Towards the end I had about 9 minutes to solve 3 questions and at 35th number came a question that required atleast 10 minutes of calculations. I deployed each and every trick I knew to simply the question or look at it from difference angles. So I gave up and randomly guessed. Next 2 questions were even more difficult but were very tricky. Finished the section with 1 min left.

Took my second break, and had some coffee I had brought with me and finished the remaining bar of chocolate (coffee was a big mistake). Also, I kept on thinking about the 35th question I guessed.

Verbal: Fairly standard questions, same quality as those in OG, GMAT prep set, and OG Verbal. I saw a bold faced question at 17/18th spot. It was among the easiest of all the questions I had done prior to that. So it got me worried. Following that the questions became a little more challenging, until I reached question 30, an RC set which was possibly the most difficult to read of all the RC sets I had ever seen. Meanwhile, coffee being a diuretic kicked in and I had to go to the washroom. So the last 11 questions were a nightmare, each one more and more complex as compared to the previous one (or perhaps I thought so, as I was not the best state of mind).

Finished the test and clicked to generate score and was surprised to see 760 (Q51, V41), I was expecting more in the range of 700-720 given my verbal performance.

Received final score yesterday and AWA score was 6

Tips:
For people having trouble with Verbal, specially SC, I will strongly recommend e-GMAT and Manhattan SC. Use them in conjunction.
Do not drink coffee or any other diuretics during the breaks.
Quant: It may be helpful to look at some basic theories of trigonometry and solutions of triangles, they save a lot of time and are not that complex to understand. Formulae for incircle, circum-circle, sine rule, cosine rule, and knowing some basic pythagorean triples (3-4-5, 12-5-13, 8-15-17, 7-24-25 etc) will make your life much simpler.

Happy to help on any queries.
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesManhattan GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 12 Mar 2014, 01:27
Hi,

First of all, congrats for your amazing score. You did very very well in few time!!!!
I am preparing for the GMAT exam (predicted in August) and I am focusing on both Quant and Verbal (above all, cause my bigger lack is on Quant part)
Even if my background comes from law, I am a Consultant in one of the big4 and I am used to work with xls,ppt and other stuff.
I want to attend an MBA because I want to get into investment banking.
In order to get into your sector, do you think are required a lot of skills and knowledge in math, or just the basic stuff?
Furthermore, is life so hard as many people say? (balance private life/work hours/salary).

Thanks a lot in advance :)
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Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 30
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Operations
GMAT 1: 650 Q42 V36
GPA: 3.6
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Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 18

Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2014, 07:32
Hi,

First of all i would like to congratulate you on your brilliant score. I too want to take up the gmat exam and have been trying to prepare for the same, however i have been struggling with Sentence correction, critical reasoning and Data sufficiency. Somehow i tend to screw up in these sections, and my previous experience of a 650 in December 2012 is not helping my cause. I wanted to know from you the approach you took for tackling SC and the material you used for Quant and DS. Also, are you an avid reader of the newspaper or some kind of weekly magazine? If so please let me know the reading material you used, it would be extremely helpful. Oh and i almost forgot, is the e-gmat course realy helpful? And what is the cost to purchase the course and more importantly which course did you purchase?

Thanks,
Aamir
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Joined: 06 Mar 2014
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GMAT 1: 760 Q51 V41
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2014, 09:26
Hi Aamir,

Thanks. I used Manhattan SC book and e-gmat course. For practice I just used official gmat material (OG13 + verbal guide + GMAT prep). e-gmat SC prep module is fairly useful, it has these bite sized modules covering critical SC topics. I quite liked these modules as they are typically 10-20 min long and are optimal for typical concentration span. I would still suggest use both Manhattan SC and e-gmat course in conjunction.

Will PM the price i paid for e-gmat stuff.

To answer your next question, I am not an avid reader of newspapers for the very reason that most of English newspapers in India, except for a few, are written in awful English. Reading them for a long time actually screws up most of instinctive grammar one gathers in high school. However, I read a lot of legal and corporate documents, and frequently prepare formal documents including board memorandums, legal terms etc which are written in as formal and grammatically correct English as it can get. Still has to work quite a bit on GMAT SC. I did not prepare much for QA section, just GMAT prep.

Regards,
Kaashi
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2014, 10:00
Congrats for your awesome score... You really managed it well... =)
This post is one of the most useful posts at this forum, specially for me as I am an Indian too and it helps a lot, when the guidance comes from a person of similar origin.
btw, just one question, Programs that I will apply for, have their dates starting from Late September or October. I have a good quantitative base, just lacking a bit in Verbal Part. In your opinion, what would be a good time to give GMAT Exam, taking into consideration that I will put every effort, and get maximum time for preparation.
Also, if I appear for the exam in AUGUST then when should I fill the form? Like how many days in advance to the selection of date?
_________________

"Mistakes are the portals of discovery." - James Joyce

Have a nice day.. :)

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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2014, 05:31
kaashi wrote:
Took my GMAT last week and received the final score yesterday. Putting up my two cents for whatever it may be worth to peers on the forum.

Background:
I am an engineering grad and have a diploma in management. I currently work in investment banking division of one of the top investment banks in India focusing primarily on cross-border M&A.
Given my occupation profile, time is the supreme luxury for me and I had to finish the GMAT in ~1 month from starting the preparations.

Preparations:
I started my preparation sometime during last week of December which is generally a slow month for most of banking activity for foreign banks in India (even though it has nothing to do with typical slowdown in India which happens around Deepawali). At the onset itself I took GMAT prep test 1 and scored 670 (Q34, V26). This was fairly demoralizing, but gathered some courage to evaluate the test and following were the outcomes.
1. Did not have stamina to last through 2.5 hours of problem solving and reading (although I can spend hours on excel and ppt)
2. Quant: Silly mistakes such as wrong arithmetic operations and incorrectly reading the question.
3. Verbal: Bad accuracy in CR and SC (~30% - 40%), reasons - I did not know GMAT grammar for SC and for CR I thought way too much into the question, most of those are fairly simple to think.

Based on above I started preparing to work on (a) stamina, (b) learning SC nuances, (c) increasing focus to reduce silly mistakes, and (d) just simply my thought process

Preparation hours: I could hardly get 1-2 hours on weekdays that too sporadically, and 4-5 hours on the weekends if I was not working on those days. So I had spread out my preparation plan to 1.5 months from 1 months earlier envisaged.

Material used: OG13, Manhattan SC, Kaplan Premier 2014

Strategy: First week I just read through Kaplan Premier as if it were a magazine or a non-fiction book. Not stressing my mind, just reading it and solving the problems as they came. It just made me familiar with the GMAT landscape. Other than that in my mind that book does not serve absolutely any purpose.

In subsequent weeks, I would spend 1 hour a day to study and practice concepts from Manhattan SC and remaining 1 hour in practicing questions from OG13. I typically would do set of 20 questions from QA, SC, CR or RC on rotation basis, allocating 30 min irrespective of which section it is. I religiously maintained a log book in which I included the following
1. Key concepts,
2. Quality of questions, marking some very good questions in SC which tested unusual concepts
3. Error log
4. My own strategy snippets including shortcut formulas for QA and some ready references SC

I kept the weekends dedicated for test taking. I did this mainly because I had access to Manhattan and Kaplan tests, and I used them to build stamina.

After 2 weeks of this regimen, the test scores were as following.
Kaplan (690) - Q49, V30
Manhattan (700) - V49, V30

Clearly, I was only improving on easily fixable items such as stamina and reducing silly mistakes. The major area of learning SC grammar was still not up to the mark. The challenge however was that I had finished Manhattan SC book and I did not know what to do next, that is when I recalled a old technique I imbibed during my JEE preps. Instead of looking a multiple books and resources, it is much better to repeatedly do the same book as doing so imprints much of the book in your mind. To draw an analogy, if you walk in your room, you instinctively know where the light switches are despite the room being pitch dark, you may not know the same if you lived in hotel rooms, changing the room every week. This idea is controversial and people have divergent views, I used it because it had worked for me in the past.

Hence, I kept on doing Manhattan SC book repeatedly, and continued with my regimen finishing OG13. I bought OG Verbal and GMAT prep question and test packs. So continued with my 20 question - 30 min schedule with carefully logging details as noted above. After another week, test scores were - Kaplan (720), Manhattan (690). So while repeating Manhattan SC was improving my SC accuracy and I could easily identify and recollect the key ideas, I had trouble structuring the thought process keeping all these ideas in mind. While I was sitting one Saturday, thinking about next steps, I got an email from e-GMAT that detailed a free webinar on SC. I attended the webinar and found it quite good, I explored further and decided to purchase their offering suite.

I did not attend many live sessions after I purchased it, however I read through the entire SC prep material and in conjunction with Manhattan SC book, this was the boost I needed. After carefully completing the e-GMAT material and Manhattan SC prep book. My SC accuracy went up to ~90% from 60-70% a week before. I would typically get only 1-2 questions wrong in 20-25 questions I would attempt.

Took the tests again on the weekend. Scores improved to Kaplan (720), Manhattan (740). Quant had improved to score of 51 with little left for me to prepare, I usually got 5-8 questions incorrect due to silly mistakes but thought I should channelize my efforts to verbal.

I was about 2 weeks away from the test. So I just stepped on the gas and started revising all the stuff I had gone through. That is when all hell break loose. Two of my dormant projects went live and I could only see consecutive all-nighters for the following 3 weeks. So I made some flash cards on one Sunday in second week of Feb and carried them all around in all my meetings, reading through them in wash room and other breaks.

For two of the following weeks I did not study anything. I had my test scheduled on Monday and on Friday, it looked like I may not be able to take it. So I tried postponing it, and realized that the charges were as much as the test fee (so much for precision preparation). So decided I will take it anyway. Until then I had neither written any AWA nor had attempted IR seriously. So on the weekend I took the remaining GMAT prep tests and scored the following
GMAT prep test 2 - 740 (Q50, V39), IR - 7
GMAT prep test 3 - 760 (Q50, V41), IR - 8
GMAT prep test 4 - 750 (Q50, V40), IR - 8

Relieved by the scores, I purchased the GMAT write 1 and wrote 2 essays. First one was not scored because I was using some words repeatedly. After re-writing, it showed a score of 6 on first essay and second was also scored as a 6.

Test day:
My appointment was for 9am. I reached the test center at 8:20 and after the formalities the test started on time. The infrastructure was impeccable and I had not difficulty of any manner.
AWA: I finished the AWA just in the nick of time, was left with 1.5 min to review, I quickly glanced through and fixed 2-3 grammatical mistakes and clicked on submitting just 2 seconds before the clock ran out.

IR: Fairly challenging and tricky. Standard questions which were intensive on both comprehension and calculations. Finished the section in 28 minutes and took a brief rest for 2 min.

Took the optional break and ate half a chocolate bar and had some juice.

QA: Started with a question so easy that I spent 2 min just to ensure that I may not missing something profound. Subsequently, the degree for difficulty was almost the same and the questions were simple but tricky. Tricky in the sense that it was very easy to fall in a trap. The quality was comparable only to the questions in GMAT prep questions pack. OG is way too easy in comparison, and Manhattan/Kaplan are frivolously difficult. Towards the end I had about 9 minutes to solve 3 questions and at 35th number came a question that required atleast 10 minutes of calculations. I deployed each and every trick I knew to simply the question or look at it from difference angles. So I gave up and randomly guessed. Next 2 questions were even more difficult but were very tricky. Finished the section with 1 min left.

Took my second break, and had some coffee I had brought with me and finished the remaining bar of chocolate (coffee was a big mistake). Also, I kept on thinking about the 35th question I guessed.

Verbal: Fairly standard questions, same quality as those in OG, GMAT prep set, and OG Verbal. I saw a bold faced question at 17/18th spot. It was among the easiest of all the questions I had done prior to that. So it got me worried. Following that the questions became a little more challenging, until I reached question 30, an RC set which was possibly the most difficult to read of all the RC sets I had ever seen. Meanwhile, coffee being a diuretic kicked in and I had to go to the washroom. So the last 11 questions were a nightmare, each one more and more complex as compared to the previous one (or perhaps I thought so, as I was not the best state of mind).

Finished the test and clicked to generate score and was surprised to see 760 (Q51, V41), I was expecting more in the range of 700-720 given my verbal performance.

Received final score yesterday and AWA score was 6

Tips:
For people having trouble with Verbal, specially SC, I will strongly recommend e-GMAT and Manhattan SC. Use them in conjunction.
Do not drink coffee or any other diuretics during the breaks.
Quant: It may be helpful to look at some basic theories of trigonometry and solutions of triangles, they save a lot of time and are not that complex to understand. Formulae for incircle, circum-circle, sine rule, cosine rule, and knowing some basic pythagorean triples (3-4-5, 12-5-13, 8-15-17, 7-24-25 etc) will make your life much simpler.

Happy to help on any queries.



Hey Many many congratulations for such an awesome score. I wanted to seek guidance from you for the resources to be refereed for quants specially data suffuciency.

Pls help me with it!!!
Thanks!!
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2014, 12:52
congrats on your super score..please provide insights on preparation for crtical reasoning..which book was referred..
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Posts: 173
Concentration: Finance
GMAT 1: 750 Q48 V46
GMAT 2: Q V0
GRE 1: 327 Q161 V166
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WE: Corporate Finance (Retail Banking)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 123 [0], given: 115

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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 27 Mar 2014, 08:25
What an awesome score you have Kaashi! Very balanced! Congrats!

Unfortunately I have a very one sided score V46+Q48=750. I really need to retake the GMAT as I am applying for PhD finance where all that matters is your quant score. It looks like you are natural with quant but still wanted to see if you have any advice for me as I will attempt to improve my quant score from 48 to 50/51. What material you used for quant? Any tables, formulae, flashcards that you might have used? Any tips or strategies? etc etc

Thanks!
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Read about my journey to 750 here - a-non-native-speakers-journey-to-99-le-on-verbal-750overall-171722.html#p1367876

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Posts: 173
Concentration: Finance
GMAT 1: 750 Q48 V46
GMAT 2: Q V0
GRE 1: 327 Q161 V166
GPA: 3.7
WE: Corporate Finance (Retail Banking)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 123 [0], given: 115

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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 07:26
kaashi wrote:
Took my GMAT last week and received the final score yesterday. Putting up my two cents for whatever it may be worth to peers on the forum.

Background:
I am an engineering grad and have a diploma in management. I currently work in investment banking division of one of the top investment banks in India focusing primarily on cross-border M&A.
Given my occupation profile, time is the supreme luxury for me and I had to finish the GMAT in ~1 month from starting the preparations.

Preparations:
I started my preparation sometime during last week of December which is generally a slow month for most of banking activity for foreign banks in India (even though it has nothing to do with typical slowdown in India which happens around Deepawali). At the onset itself I took GMAT prep test 1 and scored 670 (Q34, V26). This was fairly demoralizing, but gathered some courage to evaluate the test and following were the outcomes.
1. Did not have stamina to last through 2.5 hours of problem solving and reading (although I can spend hours on excel and ppt)
2. Quant: Silly mistakes such as wrong arithmetic operations and incorrectly reading the question.
3. Verbal: Bad accuracy in CR and SC (~30% - 40%), reasons - I did not know GMAT grammar for SC and for CR I thought way too much into the question, most of those are fairly simple to think.

Based on above I started preparing to work on (a) stamina, (b) learning SC nuances, (c) increasing focus to reduce silly mistakes, and (d) just simply my thought process

Preparation hours: I could hardly get 1-2 hours on weekdays that too sporadically, and 4-5 hours on the weekends if I was not working on those days. So I had spread out my preparation plan to 1.5 months from 1 months earlier envisaged.

Material used: OG13, Manhattan SC, Kaplan Premier 2014

Strategy: First week I just read through Kaplan Premier as if it were a magazine or a non-fiction book. Not stressing my mind, just reading it and solving the problems as they came. It just made me familiar with the GMAT landscape. Other than that in my mind that book does not serve absolutely any purpose.

In subsequent weeks, I would spend 1 hour a day to study and practice concepts from Manhattan SC and remaining 1 hour in practicing questions from OG13. I typically would do set of 20 questions from QA, SC, CR or RC on rotation basis, allocating 30 min irrespective of which section it is. I religiously maintained a log book in which I included the following
1. Key concepts,
2. Quality of questions, marking some very good questions in SC which tested unusual concepts
3. Error log
4. My own strategy snippets including shortcut formulas for QA and some ready references SC

I kept the weekends dedicated for test taking. I did this mainly because I had access to Manhattan and Kaplan tests, and I used them to build stamina.

After 2 weeks of this regimen, the test scores were as following.
Kaplan (690) - Q49, V30
Manhattan (700) - V49, V30

Clearly, I was only improving on easily fixable items such as stamina and reducing silly mistakes. The major area of learning SC grammar was still not up to the mark. The challenge however was that I had finished Manhattan SC book and I did not know what to do next, that is when I recalled a old technique I imbibed during my JEE preps. Instead of looking a multiple books and resources, it is much better to repeatedly do the same book as doing so imprints much of the book in your mind. To draw an analogy, if you walk in your room, you instinctively know where the light switches are despite the room being pitch dark, you may not know the same if you lived in hotel rooms, changing the room every week. This idea is controversial and people have divergent views, I used it because it had worked for me in the past.

Hence, I kept on doing Manhattan SC book repeatedly, and continued with my regimen finishing OG13. I bought OG Verbal and GMAT prep question and test packs. So continued with my 20 question - 30 min schedule with carefully logging details as noted above. After another week, test scores were - Kaplan (720), Manhattan (690). So while repeating Manhattan SC was improving my SC accuracy and I could easily identify and recollect the key ideas, I had trouble structuring the thought process keeping all these ideas in mind. While I was sitting one Saturday, thinking about next steps, I got an email from e-GMAT that detailed a free webinar on SC. I attended the webinar and found it quite good, I explored further and decided to purchase their offering suite.

I did not attend many live sessions after I purchased it, however I read through the entire SC prep material and in conjunction with Manhattan SC book, this was the boost I needed. After carefully completing the e-GMAT material and Manhattan SC prep book. My SC accuracy went up to ~90% from 60-70% a week before. I would typically get only 1-2 questions wrong in 20-25 questions I would attempt.

Took the tests again on the weekend. Scores improved to Kaplan (720), Manhattan (740). Quant had improved to score of 51 with little left for me to prepare, I usually got 5-8 questions incorrect due to silly mistakes but thought I should channelize my efforts to verbal.

I was about 2 weeks away from the test. So I just stepped on the gas and started revising all the stuff I had gone through. That is when all hell break loose. Two of my dormant projects went live and I could only see consecutive all-nighters for the following 3 weeks. So I made some flash cards on one Sunday in second week of Feb and carried them all around in all my meetings, reading through them in wash room and other breaks.

For two of the following weeks I did not study anything. I had my test scheduled on Monday and on Friday, it looked like I may not be able to take it. So I tried postponing it, and realized that the charges were as much as the test fee (so much for precision preparation). So decided I will take it anyway. Until then I had neither written any AWA nor had attempted IR seriously. So on the weekend I took the remaining GMAT prep tests and scored the following
GMAT prep test 2 - 740 (Q50, V39), IR - 7
GMAT prep test 3 - 760 (Q50, V41), IR - 8
GMAT prep test 4 - 750 (Q50, V40), IR - 8

Relieved by the scores, I purchased the GMAT write 1 and wrote 2 essays. First one was not scored because I was using some words repeatedly. After re-writing, it showed a score of 6 on first essay and second was also scored as a 6.

Test day:
My appointment was for 9am. I reached the test center at 8:20 and after the formalities the test started on time. The infrastructure was impeccable and I had not difficulty of any manner.
AWA: I finished the AWA just in the nick of time, was left with 1.5 min to review, I quickly glanced through and fixed 2-3 grammatical mistakes and clicked on submitting just 2 seconds before the clock ran out.

IR: Fairly challenging and tricky. Standard questions which were intensive on both comprehension and calculations. Finished the section in 28 minutes and took a brief rest for 2 min.

Took the optional break and ate half a chocolate bar and had some juice.

QA: Started with a question so easy that I spent 2 min just to ensure that I may not missing something profound. Subsequently, the degree for difficulty was almost the same and the questions were simple but tricky. Tricky in the sense that it was very easy to fall in a trap. The quality was comparable only to the questions in GMAT prep questions pack. OG is way too easy in comparison, and Manhattan/Kaplan are frivolously difficult. Towards the end I had about 9 minutes to solve 3 questions and at 35th number came a question that required atleast 10 minutes of calculations. I deployed each and every trick I knew to simply the question or look at it from difference angles. So I gave up and randomly guessed. Next 2 questions were even more difficult but were very tricky. Finished the section with 1 min left.

Took my second break, and had some coffee I had brought with me and finished the remaining bar of chocolate (coffee was a big mistake). Also, I kept on thinking about the 35th question I guessed.

Verbal: Fairly standard questions, same quality as those in OG, GMAT prep set, and OG Verbal. I saw a bold faced question at 17/18th spot. It was among the easiest of all the questions I had done prior to that. So it got me worried. Following that the questions became a little more challenging, until I reached question 30, an RC set which was possibly the most difficult to read of all the RC sets I had ever seen. Meanwhile, coffee being a diuretic kicked in and I had to go to the washroom. So the last 11 questions were a nightmare, each one more and more complex as compared to the previous one (or perhaps I thought so, as I was not the best state of mind).

Finished the test and clicked to generate score and was surprised to see 760 (Q51, V41), I was expecting more in the range of 700-720 given my verbal performance.

Received final score yesterday and AWA score was 6

Tips:
For people having trouble with Verbal, specially SC, I will strongly recommend e-GMAT and Manhattan SC. Use them in conjunction.
Do not drink coffee or any other diuretics during the breaks.
Quant: It may be helpful to look at some basic theories of trigonometry and solutions of triangles, they save a lot of time and are not that complex to understand. Formulae for incircle, circum-circle, sine rule, cosine rule, and knowing some basic pythagorean triples (3-4-5, 12-5-13, 8-15-17, 7-24-25 etc) will make your life much simpler.

Happy to help on any queries.


BTW, I just ran your raw scores through 'GMAT score grid' that I found on the GMATClub. I understand there could be +/- 20 score variation from the grid, so looks like you really lucked out all thru as you have managed to be on the positive side on all your attempts. ;)

What Should have been your Total Score
GMAT prep test 1 - 670 (Q34, V26) => 510
GMAT prep test 2 - 740 (Q50, V39), IR - 7 => 720
GMAT prep test 3 - 760 (Q50, V41), IR - 8 => 740
GMAT prep test 4 - 750 (Q50, V40), IR - 8 => 730
GMAT Real 760 (Q51, V41), IR - 8 => 750
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Last edited by MensaNumber on 28 Mar 2014, 23:46, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2014, 22:35
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Thanks to sharing.................
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 06:24
Apologies for the late responses.

@Pepo - I may not be the best person to answer on what is the level of math required in investment banking, the reason being I have only worked in more math intensive roles earlier and therefore do not have any benchmarks. So far as life in investment banking is concerned, no two ways about it that it is very tough and there is nothing called work-life balance in this space, however this mainly pertains to investment banking division business, sales/trading have better lives though.

@amarmeena1992 - You are the best person to take a call on that depending upon how much time you may need for preparing.

@priya19 - I used mainly GMAT prep and its additional question pack, those I think were closest to actual questions.

@hellohellohello - I used mainly GMAT prep and its additional question pack, those I think were closest to actual questions.

@Mensanumber - Quant, as I noted earlier, I used only GMATPrep material. On the sides, I just prepared some formulae from solutions of triangles, trigonometry, combinatorics etc. which I used to cut some time. While the list is a little detailed, I can prepare a soft copy and send across.

And, while I do not know the algorithm behind the tool you mentioned, but the final score was somewhat in the standard deviation range I suppose.

@Kristaincarry - Happy if it was helpful.
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 07:37
@kaashi: yes it would be really nice if you sent across a soft copy of your formulae. thanks!
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 08:30
While you have mentioned that you need a higher quant score, just wondering isn't a retake on 750 overkill?
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6 [#permalink] New post 30 Mar 2014, 08:34
kaashi wrote:
While you have mentioned that you need a higher quant score, just wondering isn't a retake on 750 overkill?


Ha! While an obvious thought in general, not at all in my case. I have explained my reasons in detail here- retake-advice-for-low-quant-score-of-168498.html
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Re: 760 (Q51, V41), IR-8, AWA-6   [#permalink] 30 Mar 2014, 08:34
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