730 Q50 V38 AWA 5.5
Finally got my 700+ score on the GMAT. A big thank you to the GMATCLUB community. It wouldn't have been possible without you guys.Intro
I’m a mechanical engineer, worked in General Motors for a few years. I wasn't even planning to apply for MBA until 2013, but an unexpected lay-off changed things and my future plans. So, I decided to take GMAT mid-summer this year. In my first diagnostic CAT, I got a score of 520 and I think I was happy about that because I thought it was very close to the GMAT average score. After doing extensive research, I registered for MGMAT, in-person classes. I must admit, taking MGMAT classes
was a big waste of time & $$$. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it will be a waste for you as well. Why I thought of registering in the MGMAT class
? Keep reading for an answer to that.Phase 1
Research for books
Ordered a long list of books:Official guide 10
& 11.MGMAT books
. MGMAT also provides OG 12
and verbal review 2nd edition and quant review 2nd edition.Kaplan premier
2012 (barely used it for 3 days)
Criticle reasoning bible (just read through it once, but didn’t learn much from it)
Aristotle Prep SC (didn’t use much)
Books borrowed from the library
LSAT 180 (didn’t do much)Kaplan
’s Mastery the LSAT (highly recommend to improve reading comprehension and critical reasoning)Phase 2
Being an engineer, quant comes naturally to me, but I still wanted to do it first to get it done with. MGMAT quant guides are AWESOME with an exception of strategy guide#2, percents, & ratios, useless for the most part. Some of the questions in the MGMAT strategy guides were very unlike GMAT questions but still worth doing.Phase 3
I was very very weak in critical reasoning. Like many others, I had never done critical reasoning prior to the GMAT. I always got it down to 2 answers and almost always picked the wrong answer. So to improve the odds of getting a question right, when it got down to two options, I always picked the one that I thought was wrong (joke). To improve my critical reasoning skills, I ordered critical reasoning bible. I read through each and every single chapter of the book. After finishing the book I tried to attempt some CR questions and my success rate jumped up to 50% from 45%. I was very frustrated. Then one day, after extensive practise, I got 90% of CR questions right. I was very excited and I thought I could do well on the GMAT. Phase 4
Sentence correction: ” The biggest hurdle”
I cannot stress enough how important it is to practise as much as you can for sentence correction. A lot of people just ridicule SC 1000, but if you ask me, I think SC 1000 is a god sent gift to those who want to improve in sentence correction. For my first attempt, I just went through OG 10
, 11 and 12 and verbal review for sentence correction with an accuracy of 80%. I still wasn’t confident at the end about sentence correction.
Here’s why I registered for MGMAT course. Hoping that MGMAT can help me with sentence correction because I didn’t think I could do well on SC without some help. MGMAT actually made it worse and my accuracy went down, so in hindsight it was a waste of money.Phase 5
I have done fairly well in reading comprehension. Other than OG, I used Kaplan
’s mastery the LSAT. Passages in the mastery the lsat are so boring that its hard to read more than 3 in a day but I stuck to the goal of doing 4 everyday. I think reading comprehension was my strength in the verbal section. To ensure that you get most of the questions right, try to personalize the reading comprehension passage and try to take interest in it. I hate reading about historians and sociology stuff but when it came down to GMAT I wanted to know more about them.Phase 6
Register for the GMAT ahead of time. I took my GMAT on 12th October for the first time.
GMAT prep scores:
Prep 1 720
Prep 2 680
I caught flu 2 days before the exam, but I didn’t wanna cancel my test. I took the exam and scored 620 AWA 5.5. I was very disappointed to say the least. The world came to an end. I did nothing for next 4-5 days. I was so depressed that I didn’t even want to talk to anyone. I was so sure that I’m going to re-take but I didn’t know when I want to re-take because I was scared of a re-take. Phase 7
Re-register for the GMAT for December 1st. Since October 12th, my first GMAT, I barely studied for 25 hours. All I did was SC 1000 and E-gmat
SC course. To those who want to recommend Sentence correction and those who think they can’t do anything else to improve their sentence correction consider SC 1000 and E-gmat
. MGMAT taught me to focus more on key words rather than meaning. I think their approach made it worse for me and I did so bad in SC. Just a day before the exam, I quickly browsed through the MGMAT quant strategy guides.
GMAT prep scores for 2nd attempt. I didn’t remember the answers or anything from GMAT prep exams that I had taken earlier, therefore, the scores weren’t inflated
Prep 1 770 Q50 V45
Prep 2 730 Q50 V 38
Prep 1 (Retake) 780 Q 51 V47 (Re-installed GMAT prep. didn’t get too many repeats)Test day experience
On my first GMAT attempt, I was very sick and very very nervous. Nervousness drained me and by the time I got to the exam centre I was already tired. Never did essay section at home during the practise exams and ,as a result, by the time I got to verbal I was so tired that I didn’t even care to read carefully. End result 620
On my second attempt, I was very confident that I could score 700 plus. My exam was at 1:30 PM and the exam centre is less than 5 mins away from my house. A lot of people recommend having a good night sleep a day before the exam and I can tell you it makes a huge difference. I felt so energetic while I was taking my exam that I was able to maintain high concentration level throughout my exam.
In the end, a score of 730 popped up. Before going in to the exam I was thinking that I’ll score something between 730 and 760. Had I known that my wish will come true, I’d have asked for 780-800 haha. I was happy, relived, content to see a 730. Few tips
1. GMAT is very learnable. The more you do better you get at it.
2. Don’t take it personally. I had never done well in standardized exams in the past, so I took it very personally to prove a point to myself. As a result, I was very nervous during the first attempt and I bombed it.
3. A lot of people stress it enough, make sure you write essays in practise GMAT exam. I didn’t listen to those who advise to write essays during practise exams. My score could've been better had I taken those essays seriously.
4. Sleep well a night before, it can make a huge difference.
5. One size doesn’t fit all. If something worked for someone else, it might not work for you. Try a few things and figure out what works best for you.
6. Highly recommend SC 1000. It can really help you if you need a little more practise for SC.
Please feel free to ask any questions. I’d be more than happy to contribute to this community.
1) I might just take GMAT again to see if I can do better than 730.
2) In October, GMAT questions were weird and unlike OG, for me atleast. On my second attempt on December 1st, almost all the questions were very much like OG 12
Edit: AWA score