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770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45

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770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 18:42
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Having returned from my vacation, I figured that I owed a debrief to the forum for all the help and direction it has provided in the last 3 months.

I started studying in February planning to write the exam in end April but that my strenuous work affected my study plans and I finally wrote the exam in June. I have a poor GPA in my undergraduate study (2.76) and planned to score high to make up for this.

Books

OG11 , Verbal Review 2nd Edition , Math Review 2nd Edition

I had bought OG11 a year earlier and used it to get an understanding of GMAT questions.This was not the best way to start studying for GMAT. As you study , you will find a shortage of actual GMAT questions. So save these GMAT questions for when
you are ready from revising the other material. GMAT type. 0G12 MAth review questions were not challenging.

MGMAT Sentence Correction
Simply the best book out there.If you have to buy one book to study for GMAT, it has to be this book. It explains the typical areas tested in GMAT grammar. Going through this book 2 times really helped improve my scoring in SC. Every detail in GMAT grammar is explained in this book.

MGMAT Critical Reasoning
This book while not amazing as the SC book is quite good. While I had been answering CR questions earlier based on logic, this book helped provide a more structured way to approach questions. The information on wrong type answers helped identify them easily in GMAT questions.

MGMAT Reading comprehension
I didnt find this book useful. The method of paraphrasing the passage was time conusming and did not add value.

MGMAT Equations , Inequalities and VICs
MGMAT Fractions, DEcimals and Percents
MGMAT Geometry
MGMAT Number Properties
MGMAT Word Translations
MGMAT Foudations of GMAT Math


Coming from an engineering background, I didnt find the quant books as useful as the Verbal books from MGMAT. Foundations of GMAT math should definitely skipped by anyone from engineering background, It covers basic school level mathematics.

World Translations, Geometry and Equations , Ineq and VICs are good to ensure you have covered all the topics.In general all the Quant books can be read in a single day to refresh your quant knowledge.


MGMAT CATs
Available with the MGMAT books- accessible online
These tests are extremely difficult , especially if they are taken in a timed fashion. They are good at pointing out minute details to learn. The CR questions are sometimes tough , illogical or based on too minute a detail.

GMAT PREP CAT
2 tests free with the GMAT test appointment
Best prep work for the actual exam and scores were closest to my final score. It taught me better time management.I used to get stuck working on some tough quant question and my ego wouldn't let me to guess at the question. In the end I faced similar issues at the exam and was pressed for time in the quant section.

GMAT test
Retired tests - Bought online from MBA.com
These tests are good for extra GMAT questions , though some are repeated from the OG guides. The way the questions were sectioned and times , makes the experience a bit weird but the scores were similar to my final score.

GMAT club Math tests
These tests are really good to hone on the finer points and to learn to look for traps. The Permutation and combination questions are more difficult than seen on GMAT though.The tests are good for getting the finers point of inequalities and number properties.


Study plan

My work is usually quite busy and tiring, requiring 14 to 16 hours on weekdays. I knew studying was going to be difficult as I was mentally tired at the end of the day when I returned home.

February
I had bought the OG11 a year earlier and started off by reviewing the material before each section and solving it. I soon realised that my weak section was verbal especially SC and CR. Math section was easy coming from an engineering background and I was solving the questions untimed. I was using OG11 as an introduction to GMAT and this was a mistake as I was wasting GMAT valuable GMAT questions for later practice.

March
I bought the OG Verbal and Quant review books to bolster the amount of practice questions. OG Quant review was of average difficulty and I wasnt really being challenged by the questions.As expected , work threw a spanner in my plan to write the exams in end April . I gave up on the idea of writing the exam in April and decided to do some research online. Having discovered Gmat club, I soon figured that I need specialised books to improve SC and CR. I bought the 3 MGMAT verbal books and started by browsing through them .

April
I really started studying at this point. By April 11th, I had daily plan laid out and fixed my GMAT test date - June 10th. I planned to read MGMAT SC ,CR and RC ,redo OG 11 Verbal questions and do the OG 12 Verbal Review. In the end I only managed to read the MGMAT books and redo OG11 question with my work eating into my study time.Impressed by the MGMAT verbal books , I ordered the MGMAT quant books as well.

May
Finally I managed to get some reading done. I planned to complete the OG Verbal Review, read the MGMAT books and do one GMAT club test per day.Everything went according to plan till 17th MAy when everything went haywire in office and I had to stop studying for 2 weeks on weekdays.I spent the weekends doing some tests to keep myself in mental shape. I also wrote some sample essays (around 6) based on Chineseburned's guide. I started an error log of SC questions whenever I attempted them. Keeping an error log helped identify the typical questions in which I was committing errors and helped focus on these areas.This really helped improve my scoring at SC . Besides the MGMAT SC book , keeping an error long was probably the biggest contributor to improving my SC score. Writing the exam in a foreign land (China) I scouted the exam centre on a weekend as I did not want spend time of the exam day searching for the exam centre. This was a good move as I did take more than 30 mins tracking down the centre the first time around.

June

With the exam date coming close and me not able to do much studying done, I started pushing myself to get atleast one hour of study every working day. I was squeezing in time whenever possible with my job taking up 14+ hours everyday. The weekend before the tests, I did the two GMAT Prep tests to evaluate my readiness. I also revised all the MGMAT material in two day marathon just before the test.I had applied for vacation from work (it seemed to be the only way to study at that point).

Test scores
10th May - GMAT Club test - M25 - 31/37
11th May - GMAT Club test - M01 - 76% - 28/37
12th May - GMAT Club test - V06 - 63% - 33/41
13th May - GMAT Club test - M02 - 93% - 34/37
15th May - CAT MGMAT Test - 1 - 700 - Q46,V40
16th May - CAT MGMAT Test - 2 - 700 - Q46,V39
17th May - GMAT Club test - M03 - 34/37 - 95%
18th May - GMAT Club test - M04 - 33/37 - 87%
19th May - GMAT Club test - M05 - 31/37 - 84%
20th May - GMAT Club test - M06 - 26/37 - 70%
22nd May - GMAT Test 1 - V40 , Q49 - 710
23rd May - CAT MGMAT Test - 3 - 780 - Q51, V45 (Untimed - something wrong with the connection and test kept logging off)
29th May - GMAT Test 2 - V47 , Q51 - 790
30th May - GMAT Test 3 - 730 - V41 , Q50
5th June - CAT GMAT PREP 1 - 740 Q49 , V42
6th June - CAT GMAT PREP 2 - 770 Q50 , V44
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 18:51
Excellent Debrief. Are you a non-native speaker? I just saw the location and I must congratulate you even more if you are! This is outstanding.
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 19:30
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Thanks Whiplash ..
I am from India and am working in Beijing now. I guess I lie in the grey zone between native and non-native speakers - I speak English all the time but not really good enough to be called a native speaker ?

Last edited by sanlitun on 01 Jul 2010, 21:26, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 19:36
Expert's post
wow - fantastic job!
Kudos for the debrief too.
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 20:08
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sanlitun wrote:
Thanks Whiplash ..
I am from India and am working in Beijing now. I guess I lie in the gray zone between native and non-native speakers - I speak English all the time but not really good enough to be called a native speaker ?


That is quite interesting :). I'm Indian myself, and I am an undergraduate in the US. I'd say I am bilingual in English and my mother tongue but I'm not sure if I'd be a native speaker.

But either way, excellent score. Congrats!! :)
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 20:18
Bravo. Excellent debrief.

Good luck with those pesky apps. That GPA is probably going to raise a few eyebrows.
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2010, 10:10
great work..Congratulations !
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2010, 17:55
excellent debrief! congrats on a great score!
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 02 Jul 2010, 22:33
Amazing debrief -- really inspiring!!!

Good luck on the applications!

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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 04:02
sanlitun, congratulations. Great job. Could you explain how you managed to study after spending 14 hours (!) at work? Are you used to that or do you use some techniques to overcome fatigue? Was your studying productive? Could you describe it in greater detail. Thanks a lot and once again - congratulations.
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 05:04
@dokiyoki ,remixed,Yourdreamtheather - Thanks!

@nonamee - I found that studying after having dinner (after work) was not productive at all . Some of those not so good GMAT club test scores were due to the fact that I took the tests late at night.

I changed my strategy in two ways - 1) On somedays,I slept as soon as I got home and woke up early(4-5AM) and got some studying done before I went for work. The reasoning was that I could afford to be in average mental shape at the tail end of a work day but not while taking the tests or studying.
2) On somedays when there were late night meetings, I squeezed in a GMAT club test or AWA trial between the end of the normal work day and the late night meeting.

@strikethree - worried about that GPA. I posted my profile
profile-evalution-low-gpa-good-exp-96777.html
What do you think are my chances at a top school ?
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 05:55
Well, I guess then that you took the whole thing very seriously. I mean seriously like an adult. Really. And that's probably the real reason behind your success.
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 07:56
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2010, 17:25
great job and thanks for sharing your debrief with us
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2010, 03:12
great effort
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 06:13
Excellent!
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 11:39
Great effort-Greater result. Congratulations. Please keep us updated which business school you get into. Thanks for sharing the info with the fellow test takers.
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2010, 12:07
that's awesome
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 07:41
kudos !! ur debrief was truly inspiring !!!
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Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45 [#permalink] New post 09 Jul 2010, 07:55
Nice debrief....congrats for the high score.
Re: 770 - 99 percentile - Q50 , V45   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2010, 07:55
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