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a 720 and relieved :)

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a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2011, 13:27
hello All, I made it a point to read the GMAT experience from gmat-clubers as it had helped me a lot. I hope my experience will also help fellow friends preparing for the D-Day. So its time .. Got 720 (50-M; 37-V) and I was really relieved.

here it is............
prep time: 2 months; last month was real crazy and i am glad it paid

SC:
Manhattan SC is a must. It is not only important to read it once but also to revise, revise and revise
see explanations in Manhattan Gmat site and Gmat club.: Great discussions...
Once theory from Manhattan is done, OG must be done. SC used to be my weak area, though after practice from Manhattan and OG I became really confident. It is good to solve a couple of SC questions daily.
For my studies I followed the following approach:(by Ron) This is important especially at the start of the preparation when it is difficult to figure out why an option was wrong.

for EVERY verbal problem:
* you should be able to give SPECIFIC reasons why EVERY wrong answer is wrong, and why EVERY right answer is right. ("i just know that it's wrong/right" is NEVER acceptable -- you need to think carefully about the problem until you have discerned a specific reason.)
* you should GENERALIZE these lessons in ways that could conceivably apply to future problems (e.g., "on this problem type, any answer choice more general than the passage = wrong").

for EVERY SC problem, in addition to the above:
* you should be able to go through the CORRECT sentence -- including the non-underlined part -- and justify EVERY construction in that sentence.
e.g.
-- if there's a modifier, you should be able to explain exactly what it modifies, and exactly why that modification makes sense.
-- if there's a pronoun, you should be able to explain exactly what it stands for, and exactly why that makes sense.
-- if there's a verb, you should be able to find its subject. you should also be able to justify the tense in which the verb is used, and/or the tense sequence of multiple verbs.
-- you should be able to explain the exact meaning of the sentence.
-- if there are parallel structures, you should be able to explain (a) the grammatical parallelism AND (b) the parallelism in meaning.

CR:

This was a tricky bit. During course of my studies, at times I was able to do all the questions correctly. At other times I was really confused.
I started with CR bible, however I realized what it says is more of a common sense stuff. If some one wants to start from real scratch I would recommend CR bible. It explains what the CR is all about.
BUT My issue was: I know what it means to find a premise, or the conclusion. How to get the right answer?

PRINCETON REVIEW gives a short approach (casual, stats, analog) that helped me kick start finding right answers. Once the sub 700 questions were done, and I switched to tougher problems (in various tests), Kaplan800 was handy. Kaplan 800 shows the subtle changes that GMAT authors make. Once I was able to identify these subtle changes, it was even easier to identify the premise and conclusion in tougher problems.

OG for practice

RC

RC is all about understanding the intent and it is at times difficult to understand the same. I will not state much about RC as this was not my best area till the end. One thing I did learn was how to read/ scan passage quickly.
Again, I followed the KAPLAN structure of making a quick passage road map with key words. However my idea was just to know where to find the context in case the question pops up.
The best way not to answer a RC question incorrectly is to look back at the passage once you mark the answer. It does prevent to make silly errors that are very common in case the answer comes from sheer memory of the passage.

OG for practice

PS AND DS

Coming from engineering background I was able to solve almost all PS and DS questions. Only mistakes were when I reinvented the maths by making 2+3= 6 or something silly. AND GMAT is full of such questions where there is a lot of scope of silly errors.
Did not like OG, though the GMAT questions were of similar toughness as in OG. Hence it is worthwhile to go through OG atleast once.

GMAT CLUB : very important to atleast not become complacent. Some of the questions are real tough but I enjoyed working out these problems. The questions are a good mix of tough questions and tricky questions.

TEST scores:
Manhattan : 730, 690, 700,710
Princeton: 690, 690, 730,700
GMAT PREP: 740, 700

Manhattan: real tough maths. always got 50-51 in maths. However the questions were too tough for GMAT. verbal questions : good
Princeton: Maths questions were not tough but tricky., Verbal questions : good
GMAT prep: made most of the silly errors here. So was very careful in GMAT exam and was double checking all the questions. Generally, i used to complete maths section with 20 min to spare, however in final paper I had just 2 min to spare. & I was happy... It was good that I saved these two test for the last couple of weeks. I knew the areas where I needed to be careful in actual paper.


Must haves:


Error log: verbal + maths
How did it help: It helped me to know and remember why did I make a particular mistake for the first time. On subsequent revisions, I repeated the question and checked if I am solving the question correctly or not.

Self notes: Verbal + Maths

How did it help: The various test I took, i came across many rules, idioms, exceptions, that were simply not available in any text book. Once they are noted at a single location, it was much easier to revise them. Whenever I felt too bored to pick up a pen and pencil, i used to glance these notes.

I would stress that there is no dearth of practice materials and if you think so just search GMAT club.

finally: PRACTICE... PRACTICE.... and PRACTICE
why it is important:
1. you stop getting bored from doing questions: it may sound silly but it is true. or else after 1 hour of exam you will really get bored
2. it reminds your strengths and weaknesses: you know which specific area you need to stress and where you are confident


D-DAY
Some suggestions though very cliched but helped me a lot.......
  • DO not panic
  • reach center before time.
  • Go to the loo and wash your face with cool water before each part.
    My schedule during prep time was 9 hours of office work before comp, rest couple of hours again before comp, and during the test days my eyes were really burning. Something that was the savior :washing eyes with cold water.
  • have a juice, water, or any drink that you like and that refreshes you.
  • a banana or some fruits..


I must add that GMAT club is a really good site to follow. Though I have not posted a lot on the sites but I can remember solving hundreds of problems here.


Hope this helps!!!!!
cheers,
sanjeev

PS: I can see some grammar mistakes in my post but I assume you will spare me :)
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2011, 14:27
Congratulations Sanjeev !!!
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2011, 17:33
congratulations Sanjeev!
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2011, 18:52
Congratulations Sanjeev !!!
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2011, 21:07
Awesome! thanks for ur valuable suggestions, I have to agree MGMAT SC guide is a "must have" and you definitely get a better understanding once u've gone through this guide...but the other sections in verbal are killing me, CR and RC - I make a lot of mistakes and need a strategy to improve my accuracy, hopefully practicing a lot shd do.

Any strategies for time mgt that helped you? I feel I take extra time with the verbal section, especially RCs. Also since quants on MGMAT tests are tougher, I tend to spend much more time on each problem which ruined my score on my last test (I couldn't complete the test, did not attempt 9 questions :( :( ...is there anything I should do to improve my time mgt?

My exam is 3 weeks away, your help is greatly appreciated! :) wish me luck for my d day!
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2011, 10:03
First of All Best of Luck for the D-day :) ....
Please note that these are just my personal opinions. just choose the ones you like and filter the rest

coming to the easy bit: Quant : If you are having only 3 weeks left for exam, take other tests to see if you are still short of time in these tests. If no, i would not take Mgmat quant tests any more. I repeat, the Mgmat quants does not seem accurate representation of GMAT test questions.
If you are still short of time, then you may try the following:
1. divide the time into three sets : Q1-Q12 : 25 min Q12-Q25: 50min Q25-Q37: 75min It will help you track the time.
2. go back to the tests to see which section is toughest for you and which section is least time consuming.
e.g.: mixture problem, or std deviation problem... so I would see it as : I get stuck when I see 2 mixtures getting mixed or i do not know what effect range or average will make on std deviation..
unless you know the exact type of questions that you get stuck in it is difficult to improve.

If you are taking Mgmat tests, see the report card: in which sub-section are you making most of the mistakes. that will be a good starting point.

3. Once the tough sections have been identified. go back to read the concept and solve similar problems
4. Finally, search for questions in gmatclub.com for these sections and solve them

CR: as stated in my post, see if you are able to accurately point out the conclusion, and premise of the passage. just take 25 Q of OG and mentally note the conclusion and premise then compare them with OG answers. read princeton CR once .. I some how have liking for princeton CR.
If you are not satisfied look at various online discussions. PRACTICING.. and KNOWING why an answer is wrong or right both are EQUALLY IMP.
3 WEEKS & 10 questions daily implies min 150 questions : ENOUGH to gain confidence

RC: It will consume time
some discipline to follow : 2-3min to read the passage including noting the passage framework.
Go back to the passage to confirm answers: this atleast reduced my wrong answers in RC
again a cliche: know why author is writing this topic.
Finally a quicky.... only if you are time starved in RC... read the 1st question and then start reading the passage. if you get the answer in mid of passage answer it... BUT note that if this Q is to find the purpose/aim of author it may be difficult to answer that question before reading a good chunk of the passage.

Take the Gmat prep tests if you have not taken it yet...
Hope this will help ....
cheers,
sanjeev
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2011, 08:42
Hey san03, i followed your advice and took a gmat prep test today, i didn't score too well 600 (Q44, V28), but realised i still have some timing issues. The good news is, i still managed to randomly guess the last 3 questions, and complete the section on time, (it's good because i didn't lose too much time as compared to the MGMAT test).

I've analysed my weak areas, need to review each question and will start working on them soon.

I think i'm also going to try timing the problems when i practice, say 1.5 minutes per problem, 30 minutes for 20 questions, if i can't solve it, i'll take a guess and move on to the next.

As for the RC and CR questions, i felt these were relatively easier in GMAT prep, i don't know if any of you have felt the same way, but my scores in each section were way better in the GMAT prep test.

My strategy for now is to complete the OG, i've not even completed half of it yet! and practice problems concept wise for quants, hopefully i'll get through the GMAT, will let you know how it goes.

Thanks for all your help! :)
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2011, 02:21
Congratulations Sanjeev
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2011, 09:19
I totally agree with your take on MGMAT Math -- the questions are way more difficult than the real GMAT questions. I also think the MGMAT CR questions are not as crystal clear as the GMATPrep questions -- they are not as crisp as the real deal.

MGMAT is solid practice though -- but if you are running short of time -- work on OG and GMATPrep instead.
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2011, 23:25
Well done:-)
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2011, 11:09
san03 wrote:
[*]have a juice, water, or any drink that you like and that refreshes you.
[*] a banana or some fruits.. [/list]


Good work Sanjeev-bhai,

I'm glad you aren't recommending other exotic drinks (like this top scorer talks about) that seem to be popular among some GMAT test takers. Natural options are the best.

san03 wrote:
prep time: 2 months; last month was real crazy and i am glad it paid


After 2 months for GMAT prep, you've got much less than that to work on the rest of the apps if you are targetting Round 1 deadlines. So time to roll up your sleeves and keep the momentum going.

Good luck, bhratashri.
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2011, 13:33
Good De-brief!!! Congratulations on your score.

Good luck with the apps.
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 19 Aug 2011, 09:20
Thats a good score , all the best for the apps
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 21 Aug 2011, 12:14
Thanks all !!
I am indeed neck deep in essays prep
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 02:32
I like the advice you used from Ron for SC. I need to do this more I think.

Congrats on the score.
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Re: a 720 and relieved :) [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 08:02
Good Debrief!! Congrats for your great score:)
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Re: a 720 and relieved :)   [#permalink] 22 Aug 2011, 08:02
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