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Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690)

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Manager
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Status: Never ever give up on yourself.Period.
Joined: 23 Aug 2012
Posts: 138
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Human Resources
Schools: Mays '16
GMAT 1: 570 Q47 V21
GMAT 2: 690 Q50 V33
GPA: 3.5
WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking)
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 96 [15] , given: 35

Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2013, 01:46
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Yeh, you read it right, no one wants to be defeated.
When GMAT slaps you tight in the face, don't give up, stand again to avenge. If you don't, you will have to live your entire life with that embarrassment. true story!!

I gave my GMAT second attempt on 25th March 2013 and took revenge of the fallen me. It was not easy, neither I wanted it to be.
I know some SCHOLARS will laugh at my score, but I know what its like to be on 570 score and I know the value of 690.

Here's my long debrief:

They say that wise man learns from mistakes made by others. well, certainly I was not so wise to understand this till I myself made mistakes in my preparation.
In this debrief, I will try and focus more on the mistakes I made, so that you won't repeat them.
Getting 120 points increase is not an impossible task, you just have to follow the road you never had thought of.

Journey Start:
In June 2012, I started preparing for GMAT. I had no idea from where to start, I neither had any book nor knew about any book at that time. That's when I came to know about this forum. I won't waste much of your time stating how difficult it was to get the materials, tests and blah blah blah..

The materials I used in my first attempt:
For Verbal:
1. Kaplan premier 2012-2013 + 5 free test
2. Manhattan GMAT SC guide
3. OG 12
4. Aristotle SC and RC
5. 1000 series

For Quant:
1. Kaplan 800
2. MGMAT all quant guides
3. NOVA Gmat Quant
4. GMATClub math book
5. 1000 series

As most people do, I started with OG12's diagnostic test that comes at the start of the book. My performance was hideous in that test, I knew I have long way to go. Started with quant, studied for three straight months while doing job and exhausted all OG, Kaplan , MGMAT and Nova GMAT questions. I worked on some quant concepts from scratch such as Probability, Permutation n Combination, Standard Deviation and progressions.

On 8th September, I took the exam date as 8th Nov 2012. I had then 3 months to study for verbal. I felt that is kinda more than sufficient. By then, on most of the forums I had read that save your GMATprep tests for the last week. Before starting studying for verbal I gave one KAPLAN diagnostic test. while giving kaplan's diagnostic test I struggled much with time management in both quant and verbal. In verbal, I had no idea which answer was right, they all appeared same to me. Still somehow I scored 610. I was happy cuz most forums say that KAPLAN tests are more difficult, so on real test you'll score 50+ points. Keeping that in mind, I convinced myself that three months of verbal study would do a trick and I would end up with 700 easily.

Big question was how to prepare for verbal? which one to do first SC, CR or RC? I felt I must make my grammar concepts clear, so started with MGMAT SC guide. It took me 15 days to go through it completely. Then I started directly with with OG verbal questions, solved all of them in 15 days. I had 60% accuracy in SC, 50% in CR and abysmal 40-50% in RC. Threw the OGs aside, thinking I am done with them and never bothered to have a look at the wrong questions as to why were they came out to be wrong. I then moved to 1000 series, woha, so many questions to solve. I just kept on solving the questions. I felt practice would bring me more marks, just as the case with quant. I didn't keep the record of the important points that I encountered while solving the verbal problems. I started again with quant, as I used to love solving quant. 1 month passed by, and in last month, I was convinced that I am ready to fight the real GMAT and its time to give the practice tests. I kept on giving tests scoring in mid 630 range.


Kaplan Test1: 620 (Q90%,V30%)
Kaplan Test2: 650 (Q93%,V32%)
Kaplan Test3: 600 (Q83%,V38%)
ManhattanGmat1: 600 (Q94%,V25%)
GMATPrep test 1: 620 (Q50 V25)
GMAT Powerprep 1: 650 (Q47 V28)
GMAT Powerprep 2: 700 (Q50 V31)
one of my post asking for help..need-gmat-verbal-help-141208.html

In the last week before the exam.

GMATprep test 2: 680 (Q50 V31)
Kaplan Test4: 710 (Q99%,V74%) I was then confident to score 700 on the real exam.

first attempt:
Exam Day: 8th Nov 2012 slot : 1.30 pm
Quant went well, verbal went well and then score displayed

570 (Q47 and V21) :wall

GMAT slapped me in face very hard.
What the heck, how come 21 in verbal?, what went wrong? I never really touched below 600 in any test, then how come so low score? Eventually, there was no one to answer those questions. I tried analyzing but couldn't because of my habit of not paying attention to what went wrong in practice tests.

The mistakes I made:
1. Underestimating the GMAT and OG.
2. Solving but not analyzing.
3. I gave importance to quantity rather than to quality questions.
4. Thought 'Practice makes perfect', but the actual rule is 'Smart practice makes perfect'
5. Saving GMAT prep tests till the last week.
6. Not reading any books (Fiction / non-fiction)

2nd attempt:

I knew that I have to give time and analyze everything I do. I let the 1 month go by and started preparing from 1st of December. My approach was simple give more time to verbal and analyze each and every question that I get wrong. In the first attempt itself, I had already exhausted all the tests I had, so I bought Princeton review tests.I gave one and scored 570 (Q50 V19) in that too. I was so angry at myself, I didn't know what to do and How to improve my verbal. I analyzed the results for one day, got to know that my basics are not clear. From December end I started participating in forums, discussing questions and original answers. I again picked up MGMAT SC and reviewed all the concepts again. I gave 2 more PR tests n scored 560 and 590. I was still not good at concepts. How to develop strong base in verbal was the biggest question.

I was convinced then that I am never gonna cross the 600 barrier in life. Depressed and exhausted with study and so many exams, I finally concluded that English is tough and can't be studied in just two or three months. If you are to enhance your verbal skills, start from basics and start reading more and more books, magazines and newspapers.

From January I started reading Economist,Scientific american and more news papers. That helped me in my reading comprehension skills and in understanding the sentence structures. Trust me on this, I read about 1000-1500 pages of the real published material. I am quite good at scientific passages, as Biology was my favorite subject and I kinda used to take interest while reading. I thought if I know about the subjects and if I take interest while reading, I will definitely score well in RC. Having thought that I started reading about US history, US political system, social science, psychology, Economy and geography. Youtube is a great source of knowledge, its videos helped me understand the US history and political system in depth. I also read articles about feminism and humanism. These were the subjects on which most of the reading comprehension topics are based. Side by side I started solving MGMAT advanced quant book.

On gmatclub, in one debrief, I came to know about the PowerScore CR bible. without wasting much time I went through that book. I have to admit that this book gave me techniques to solve the CR questions. I was then ready with CR and RC, but was struggling with SC. For SC I picked the OGs again and solved all the questions, understanding each one. Then on this forum I got GMATprep questions file, which had all the questions from GMATprep. I solved each question but still struggled with basic concepts which later made clear by RON from mgmat. Ron is the best tutor for the GMAT sc. I saw all his videos of 'Thursday's with Ron'. Trust me, these videos taught me more than anything else about SC. Thanks RON for that. I followed this method of studying for whole three months and in the last I took veritas prep free test, and scored 700 (Q50 and V35). I forwarded my scores to VeritasPreKarishma to evaluate and provide me some insights on how will I perform. Her review helped me a lot. Thanks Karishma, thanks a lot for that review. Crossed my fingers and took 25th March as an exam date.

2nd attempt: 25th March 2013

Quant went like breeze, I was left with 12 minutes in quant section. Took full break of 8 minutes. I was nervous to face the verbal section. I had decided that I would pay more attention to first 20 questions.(I developed this strategy from the tests I had given, as it worked well most of the time)

I took 45 minutes to solve first 20 questions, then next 20 minutes for the questions numbered from 21st to 31st.
On 32nd question, I encountered with 1 short RC and I had 10 minutes left with me. To my surprise that RC was on the feminism and took just 4 minutes to solve. I was left with 6 questions (4SC and 2CR questions) with 6 minutes remaining. I know that CR is difficult to solve in just one minute, so I just went through the answer choices and made intelligent guesses, made sure that the answer choice I was choosing don't have extreme words such as all, must, everyone etc. At last, 2 questions and 1 minute were remaining. I solved one sc correctly and when just 3 seconds were left, I marked B as answer to last question and window poped up 'Time's up'. Then followed through the Background Check and selected to report the GMAt score.

Score:
690 : Q50 and V33 :king

I punched in the air with happiness.

Materials used:
1. GMATprep question pack 1.0
2. OG10, OG11 and OG12
3. All the GMATprep verbal questions (total 857) >> gmatprep-verbal-question-bank-130070.html << God bless Anonym.
4. MGMAT Advanced quant
5. MGMAT SC
6. 'Thursdays with Ron' videos << Ron you simply rock ( on thursdays..:):) ).
7. In quant I wanted to improve from 47 to 50, so I used 700-800+ pdf..700-800-level-quant-problem-collection-detailed-solutions-137388.html#p1113454 but this pdf has questions that are way more tougher than a real GMAT. I didn't solve all the questions, I just solved 15 questions on each section.
8. PowerScore CR Bible << This book is a must have, if you want to crack the GMAT CR.


Some words of wisdom:
1. Do questions from legitimate sources (keep 1000 series off the list..it's just a waste of time)
2. OG10, OG11 and OG12 are the tickets to high score. Do them thoroughly.
3. Don't keep your GMATprep tests till end. Give those tests early, analyze and improve the weak areas.
4. Focus on making concepts clear rather than on finding right answer... Concept clarity will automatically fetch you the right answer.
5. Instead of using hard copies, use soft copies(pdfs, word files) to study from. Solving RCs on computer screen is more difficult (for me) than solving them in book. (Actually it depends entirely on you)
6. Post more doubts on forum, participate in discussion, help people know the concept you are good at and let people also help you in return.
7. Rather than giving many tests, give quality tests. Try new strategy for each test and find out which one works best for you.

Confession: Thanks BB, Bunuel, Marcab, SauviK, Carcass, VeritasPrepKarishma, ManhattanGmatRon and all who posted some awesome questions here on GMATclub. You guys helped me achieve this score, without you all it was not at all possible. Thanks a lot. I'll remain active on this forum. Should anyone need any help, just shout..:):)


GMAT mission accomplished!!!!(I don't want that magical 7** figure).
Called two of my best friends and had party that night. :drinking . It took two days for me to get out of the hangover and wrote down my debrief.
Thanks for bearing with me and my grammatical mistakes.
Work smart, learn from mistake's of others, make mistakes in solving the prblems (helps make you concept clear), help people on this forum (this will give you blessings) and have faith in yourself.
_________________

Don't give up on yourself ever. Period.
Beat it, no one wants to be defeated (My journey from 570 to 690) : beat-it-no-one-wants-to-be-defeated-journey-570-to-149968.html


Last edited by daviesj on 01 Apr 2013, 20:32, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2013, 07:10
Expert's post
A 120-point improvement is quite impressive. And thank you very much for the detailed debrief. Congratulations!
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Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2013, 10:26
great show! good luck with the apps.
Manager
Manager
User avatar
Status: Never ever give up on yourself.Period.
Joined: 23 Aug 2012
Posts: 138
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Human Resources
Schools: Mays '16
GMAT 1: 570 Q47 V21
GMAT 2: 690 Q50 V33
GPA: 3.5
WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking)
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 96 [0], given: 35

Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 29 Mar 2013, 02:58
Thanks BM and jumsumtak...:)
_________________

Don't give up on yourself ever. Period.
Beat it, no one wants to be defeated (My journey from 570 to 690) : beat-it-no-one-wants-to-be-defeated-journey-570-to-149968.html

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Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 230
Concentration: Leadership, Marketing
GMAT 1: 540 Q36 V28
GMAT 2: 550 Q39 V27
GMAT 3: 620 Q42 V33
GPA: 2.82
WE: Human Resources (Health Care)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 45 [0], given: 181

Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2013, 18:08
Amazingly identical with my own story but unfortunately my 2nd attempt ended up with a 550 .Your wonderful debrief gave me a dose of optimism I really needed before my 3rd attempt .thanks a million and congratulations for your booming achievement .Wishing you the best of luck with your applications :)

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Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 04 Apr 2013, 22:28
Thanks for the detailed debrief. Currently i am weak in verbal, which is around V18. With this score, i am in dileamma how can i reach GMAT score 700! Your post is giving me ton's of confidence.

Thanks for the wonderful post. Your attitude of not giving up is inspiring!
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Status: Never ever give up on yourself.Period.
Joined: 23 Aug 2012
Posts: 138
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Human Resources
Schools: Mays '16
GMAT 1: 570 Q47 V21
GMAT 2: 690 Q50 V33
GPA: 3.5
WE: Information Technology (Investment Banking)
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 96 [2] , given: 35

Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2013, 07:05
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Thanks Nona and Rakesh.
Just remember one thing 'Our brains learn by imitations, not by algorithms' (Ron Purewal told in one of his videos) . This indeed is true, if you want to really improve your score, then read the rule and solve as many problems as you can to become master of the rule, till that rule becomes natural to you. In order to understand diff between 'Which' and 'That', I solved 50 SC problems of that type. On last 10 questions (41st to 50th), I had accuracy of 90%.This is how I mastered the concept 'Which vs That'. This was just an example, but can be applied to any rule be it of quant or verbal.
I can provide you with materials(Legitimate and Soft copies of course), you just shout..:):)
All the best for the Exam!!
_________________

Don't give up on yourself ever. Period.
Beat it, no one wants to be defeated (My journey from 570 to 690) : beat-it-no-one-wants-to-be-defeated-journey-570-to-149968.html

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Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2013, 05:25
120 point improvement is simply great , i think if u give the 3rd attempt you are sure to cross 720 !!
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Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2013, 22:58
Congrats inspirational
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Status: Never ever give up on yourself.Period.
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Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690) [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2013, 04:32
Thanks ZeroIQ and Prateek.

Hi rakeshd347, As I told already don't fall for quantity, always go for quality. PowerScore CR bible gave me tricks to solve the CR problems and I used those tricks on OG & GMATPrep questions to understand those tricks properly. No material can replicate GMAT problems but GMAC. I recommend you to buy GMATprep Question pack, it has around 400 questions with explanations. (25$ worth it, saves 250$ of your next attempt). In addition to this, GMATPrep question bank (gmatprep-verbal-question-bank-130070.html) has 900 questions (legitimate and original retired GMAT questions). How much more practice do you need? This combination of quality and quantity would easily land you in V40+.
_________________

Don't give up on yourself ever. Period.
Beat it, no one wants to be defeated (My journey from 570 to 690) : beat-it-no-one-wants-to-be-defeated-journey-570-to-149968.html

Re: Beat it, no one wants to be defeated!!! (Journey 570 to 690)   [#permalink] 16 Apr 2013, 04:32
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