After reading hundreds of debriefs, the time has come for me to post my own.
Take out 5-10 mins.. it’s going to be a loooooong one!!
After working for 8yrs in IT industry, I came to my senses and planned to prepare for GMAT in month of September 2012. Immediately did my favorite thing on net - 'googling' and landed here on GMAT club. Little did i know that I would get addicted to this forum
After initial research, started gathering prep materials and luckily in the same week GMAT Club featured 'veritas prep
contest', very unusually and uniquely I was winner on same day in both quant and verbal section.
Anyway, in short my search for prep material ended as I got lucky! I got one full veritas prep
online course and the books (including 15 practice tests). I thought I am on right track!
Now the time was to find out where did I stand- Like anyone else- and as suggested by everyone on internet, I took first GMAT prep on sept 22nd and scored 690. Again, I thought I am on right track!
I decided to take GMAT exactly after 2 months from the day.
8 weeks to go - Classes started and so did usual learning concept/practice cycle. Also, started doing one practice test every other week and results? Din’t see any improvement in verbal. My practice test scores (kaplan
/mgmat/vertias/pearson review- free ones) hovered around 700 with q49/50 and v in 30s. One month had passed and no improvement, desperate enough I sought for help and posted my query on GMAT Club. Next thing -I was advised to focus only on my weak area by experts. I did so.
4-5 weeks to go - Arranged for an old copy of mgmat SC
(4th ed) from a friend and practiced only verbal. The only quant practice I did in next 2 weeks was the questions I solved on gmatclub. Any other time - verbal! This time I scored a 730 on veritas prep
practice test with q51 and v44. I was overjoyed and as you must have guessed by now, thought that I was on right track!
2-3 weeks to go -Practiced some quants and verbal for next 1 week from OG was getting 85-95% in different areas.
10 days to go- thanks to some really twisted questions posted without OAs by some members, my confidence was shaken and I looked for some more help in SC. Thanks to BB, I registered for SC course on e-gmat
. Excellent course. If only I had a time machine and I could go back 2 months in time, I would have joined e-gmat
SC course on day 1 of my preparation.
However since I did not enough time to complete the course, quickly went through all the videos one by one, but this left me with no time for practice.
Meanwhile, 7 days before the planned date I booked the slot. Unfortunately, the only slot available was morning 9 am. I am NOT a morning person. NOT AT ALL. Couldn’t do much though, booked the slot on "Black Friday'
2 days to go - Took GMAT prep and scored 760 (q50,v42). This time I 'believed' I am on right track.
1 day to go - went to sleep at 11.30 pm. couldnt sleep. 12.30 am- still awake. 2:30 am- no luck yet...... 4.30 am - probably anxiety got better of me- no sleep yet. Frustration started building up. Probably slept for 2 hrs before waking up again at 7 am.
Rushed to test center, which was next building to my work place and i was hoping not to bump into any of my work colleague to avoid any sort of Q&A session.
AWA- Again got lucky - got a topic I had once seen on one of my Veritas prep
CAT. Since, I had analyzed the argument earlier, ripped it apart. Hoping to get a 5+.
IR question 1- GI question. Read once- heavy head dint help much. Read twice, shook my head and read a third time to solve it. By the time, I completed first two questions I had already taken up 10 mins. Bad start!! Ended up completing only 10 questions. However, I hope I did well on the ones I attempted. Time could answer how well I did though
Break 1: Took a short break. Splashed water on my face to 'wake myself up'. Came back and though I still had 3 mins left into the break proctor started the clock for quant.
Recovering from IR shock, I took extra effort to pace myself and din’t bother to look at time till last question. I had a shocking 18 mins remaining when I completed my quant.
To pace verbal properly drew a table on scratchpad and took rest part of entire 18 mins for clicking 'next' and basically tried to spend those 18 mins relaxing.
Break 2: Repeated exactly same thing in washroom and came back to my seat. In the meanwhile, proctor had removed my scratch book and kept a new one.
frustrated, I asked her to return my previous scratch book. She gave me a strange look and returned my old scratch book.
Started verbal as per my pacing table, however questions started getting tougher after 25 and soon were out of my league -thanks to my shaky verbal preparedness. Found it difficult to solve each of those in less than 2 mins. Anyway- I knew I had to complete the section so rushed through some questions and did other patiently. Completed the section just 15sec before the scheduled time.
Formalities and then view score screen (I had this nightmare that on this screen I'll fail to report my score or by mistake will click on cancel my score
Anyway, i did nothing of that kinds and there was my score -720 (q49, v38). Derailed, I was not on the track anymore!
I thought I could have done better. At least fell short by 30 points.
Here are few thoughts, on what NOT to do:
1. Don’t get hung up on a date. Take test on a later date if there is no urgency and if u don’t feel fully prepared.
2. Don’t ever ever ever take a morning slot if you are not a morning person.
3. Don’t practice verbal from unauthenticated sources and avoid questions posted without OA and OE - highly recommended!!
4. Don’t forget to pace yourself for each section, even if you know that you can complete in time. You don’t want to have extra time left at the end.
Recommended books: MGMAT SC
and number properties, e-gmat
SC course. Veritas prep
Statistic and combinatorics(difficulty level-only as much as you can get on GMAT). for other areas any book would do.
Now contemplating on whether I should retake or should try my luck with this score. Will keep updated.
Last but not the least, a BIG thanks to BB for creating this forum and for helping me throughout the GMAT journey. I hope and I am sure GMAT club will be instrumental in getting me to my dream school.
Black Friday Debrief