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Can do better than 710(Q49/V38)

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Can do better than 710(Q49/V38) [#permalink] New post 11 Apr 2013, 11:15
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Not that this is a bad score, but after scoring a pair of 760’s in GMATprep and scoring consistently in the 39 region in MGMAT verbal (after which I had 9 minutes left on almost every test), 38 in the actual test is a letdown. Yes I was tense and yes I was sleep deprived, but who isn’t? While I retrieve the black box from the twisted smoldering wreckage that was once my fantasy of a 99 percentile, here are some pointers from what I learnt in my first brush with the G-monster.

AWA: Chineseburned is king. I’ll get my 4.5 for sure. [update - scored 6.0 /90%ile :) ]

IR is one section which almost gave me a nervous breakdown. It was tough! I had practiced on MGMAT and most of my friends told me that on GMAT the IR is easier than on MGMAT tests or even GMAT prep. I disagree. I don’t think I touched 5 in this one. [update - got my a** handed to me :cry: 3.0/23%ile ]

PS questions were either tough or easy – one look at the problem and I knew whether to tackle it or skip it. I did feel the sudden jump in difficulty level on PS questions.

DS was somewhat tricky. Some seemed easy, but turned out to be quite time consuming. My $0.02 – brush up on number picking else you’ll be stumped on DS questions on number properties, and I think a third of my DS questions were on number properties. Best resource for this is Ron’s video tutorial collection.

RC : I have read in several articles that GMAT passages are shorter than LSAT passages. Not necessarily true! The 2nd RC passage I came across, which was about a critique of a literary work by a Pakistani author, had 6 paragraphs, and 5(maybe 6) questions. The scroll bar just kept going.

CR – I saw a lot of ‘evaluate’ questions. Got a boldface on my 8th question, which was quite a nasty one. Then one again after a few questions, at which point I was under the delusion that I was doing nicely.

SC is the section which I think is most responsible for the nosedive that my verbal score made. I have confidently handled MGMAT SC questions (some Kaplan 800 questions did kick my rear) and sailed through GMAT prep. But I was befuddled on quite a few in the actual GMAT.

Lesson learnt: Don’t get too cocky on verbal.

Miscellaneous:
Please make sure you carry proper identification. Out of the 8 people scheduled for test in my slot, 2 were not admitted because they were carrying PAN card/Driving License. Imagine preparing for so many months, going to the test center with a heart filled with hope and excitement only to return to tell your friends, family and colleagues that you were not allowed to take the test because you did not provide proper ID. And then waiting a whole month and shelling out an additional $250 for another shot.

This may sound silly, but don’t try to make any notes during one section for help in another section. I wrote down the timing matrix for quant and verbal during the tutorial only to realize that it was gone after I came from my break. They switched my scratchpad after every section.
Those of you who feel the transition from notepad to scratchpad may be a little inconvenient, rest assured that’s not the case. You get a large pad and 2 smooth Staedtler markers, which work very well.

Carry a watch or a stop clock because they will only inform you about your remaining break time 3 minutes beforehand and once you enter the test area, even if you have time left they will not let you sit idle. If you stretch your break, you will not be informed. I got 6.5 mins of break before and after quant because I did not want to guess exactly how long 3 minutes should last. And note that after you finish your break, you have to go through a palm vein identification after which the Pearson guys will have to unlock the system, before you can access your screen again, so set aside a minute for that.

Make sure you are familiar with the name of the program you want to apply to. I faced a situation where a particular school offered several 1-year courses with similar names (PGP, PGPM, PGDM, PGPX, PGPEX….you get the picture). Luckily I guessed correctly.

Resources:
Quant – IIM Quant (PS), Veritas (DS), MGMAT(IR)
Verbal – SC Grail, Manhattan SC, Powerscore CR, LSAT LR, Veritas CR, RC 99, Kaplan 800, OG

Backstory
I started preparing for GMAT with a diagnostic score of 690 (Q47V36, GMATprep1). In the first 2 months I worked very hard on the quant and little on verbal. As a result my verbal MGMAT scores in first 3 tests was Q48/49 , V32 – total in the region of 660. I got the message loud and clear. Worked very hard on verbal, but scores wouldn’t budge. I was stymied, but not ready to give up.

I had exhausted MGMAT materials (CR didn’t work for me) and covered OG once, but all that effort didn’t make a dent on the scores, so had to think of a different approach. Picked up LSAT questions, and got the shock of my life. But that jolt helped me reduce sub-vocalization and develop reading speed and I got more familiar with the construct of the tests of RC and CR. I realized that RC was not about comprehending what you read, but just a cluster of CR questions. After about a month with LSAT materials my verbal scores touched 37 and I crossed 700 in MGMAT for the first time.

My passport reissue conundrum took its toll on my motivation level and I just stopped studying altogether. I was unemployed for a long time, neck deep in debt, and no hopes of giving the GMAT because the passport authorities had too many applications on their plate and were facing shortage of staff. My health suffered as well and my future seemed bleak. I lost the will to live.

Wonder of wonders, my best friend of 11 years decided that she would rather be with a pauper she knew than a prince her family arranged her match with. On the day we had decided to meet to say goodbye forever, feelings were stirred, words were exchanged and life changing decisions were taken. Long story short - I found my soulmate. The next two months I forgot all about GMAT.

One fine day I got a message from the passport authorities that my passport was on its way. I was so out of touch with studies that I was afraid to give a diagnostic. After 2 weeks of meager effort I gave another MGMAT, hoping for the worst. I scored 680, which was way higher than what I had expected.

I slowly picked up my speed, and by mid March, my verbal scores in MGMAT were touching 40’s. I decided not to wait any longer (lest I burn out). My test scores were going good and I was giving 2-3 tests a week. I finished it off with 99 percentile on both the GMATpreps, 1 week before the test.

On d-day, I sensed my thinking powers were somewhat diminished due to nervousness and though there were not many surprises in the test (with exception of IR), when the scores flashed I realized that I had tanked my most dependable section and just touched the top 10% (instead of the 1%). On my way out, there was a guy from a prep institute which helps with app essays, recos and stuff, who was badgering me for my phone number. I lashed out at him, at which point he backed off a few steps and let me walk away (later felt bad about it – he was just doing his job).

It has been a couple of days, and I have gathered myself. I have not planned any future steps. GMAT is out of the way (for now) and I have to focus on the other significant aspects of my life.

As for GMAT, as Arnold would say, I’LL BE BACK!!
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Re: Can do better than 710(Q49/V38) [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2013, 10:28
Legendaddy,

Congratulations on 710. You can always retake GMAT. A 710 in the kitty never hurts :).

BTW, how many LSAT problems could you solve ?

Thanks
AbhiJ
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Re: Can do better than 710(Q49/V38) [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2013, 21:47
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AbhiJ wrote:
Legendaddy,

Congratulations on 710. You can always retake GMAT. A 710 in the kitty never hurts :).

BTW, how many LSAT problems could you solve ?

Thanks
AbhiJ


My accuracy did not go up by a big margin. I was initially able to solve about 60% - 65% of the questions correctly. After a month I was getting about 70% correct. LSAT questions helped me work on timing. My initial time required to solve a RC question was over 2 minutes and CR(in LSAT it corresponds to LR) was close to 2 mins. By the end, I was able to shave off 30 seconds for each of the question types.

In GMAT the average time allowed for a CR is 2 mins. In LSAT you need to solve 24 - 27 questions in 35 minutes. The difficulty level is comparable, in fact, LSAT questions are a bit tougher than GMAT questions(that we usually encounter......LSAT is not adaptive).
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Re: Can do better than 710(Q49/V38) [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2013, 07:52
Awesome debrief, Legendaddy. My favorite part:

Quote:
Wonder of wonders, my best friend of 11 years decided that she would rather be with a pauper she knew than a prince her family arranged her match with. On the day we had decided to meet to say goodbye forever, feelings were stirred, words were exchanged and life changing decisions were taken. Long story short - I found my soulmate. The next two months I forgot all about GMAT.


Wow, congratulations! I mean, the 710 is impressive too, but finding your soulmate makes the GMAT look awfully irrelevant. It was a ton of fun to read all of this, and I really wasn't expecting the romantic plot twist.

And we all know that a guy with your spirit and work ethic will never be a pauper. Your princess chose wisely, sir.

Normally, I would tell you that a 710 is fantastic, and that you should be really happy with your score. And that's true, but after seeing all of your work on the forum and after reading this debrief, I realize that you have a completely different motor propelling you forward. You'll get that 760 sooner or later, and you'll feel awesome when it happens. But even if you don't, a 710 can get you into a great program.

Thanks again for a fun read, and congratulations again on the 710, the passport, and the soulmate... but not in that order. :-D
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Re: Can do better than 710(Q49/V38) [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2013, 07:57
Great Debrief and I would say Fantastic score too :)
But your debrief has sowed some seeds of doubt in my head.
My GMAT is on the 27th..so thats 15 days from now. I have given some MGMAT mocks and my verbal score has been around 38. Till now I was quite cool about verbal. However this comment of yours has prompted me to rethink - SC is the section which I think is most responsible for the nosedive that my verbal score made. I have confidently handled MGMAT SC questions (some Kaplan 800 questions did kick my rear) and sailed through GMAT prep. But I was befuddled on quite a few in the actual GMAT.
What can be done now to improve SC for GMAT in less than 15 days???
BTW which video of Ron were u referring to when u wrote this
Best resource for this is Ron’s video tutorial collection.
Ur help will be hugely appreciated :-D
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Re: Can do better than 710(Q49/V38) [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2013, 09:05
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Quote:
Great Debrief and I would say Fantastic score too :)
But your debrief has sowed some seeds of doubt in my head.
My GMAT is on the 27th..so thats 15 days from now. I have given some MGMAT mocks and my verbal score has been around 38. Till now I was quite cool about verbal. However this comment of yours has prompted me to rethink - SC is the section which I think is most responsible for the nosedive that my verbal score made. I have confidently handled MGMAT SC questions (some Kaplan 800 questions did kick my rear) and sailed through GMAT prep. But I was befuddled on quite a few in the actual GMAT.
What can be done now to improve SC for GMAT in less than 15 days???
BTW which video of Ron were u referring to when u wrote this
Best resource for this is Ron’s video tutorial collection.
Ur help will be hugely appreciated :-D


I was referring to the series of sessions in August, 2012 titled "DS Testing cases". You might also want to check out a video titled "General GMAT Timing Considerations".
In fact the entire collection is gold.

To answer your question, the grooves in your brain are firmly etched by now. At this stage of your prep I would advise you not to try to learn new things. Focus on timing, stamina etc.

As far as my SC experience is concerned, don't let that bother you.
My study strategy had its flaws. I focused more on quantity than quality, did not maintain error logs and my focus was skewed towards RC & CR.
Each person experiences the test differently. I know people who did much better in the actual test than in their last few prep tests. Here is a CR analogy :)
Don't raise concerns based on an unrepresentative sample size.
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Legendary Collections
1. 700 Level Quant 2. IIM Quant 3. 100 CR from LSAT 4. 100 Legendary SC 5. 5000 Practice problems 6.125 Quant 7. 38 SC 8. 10 Full Length GMAT Pen&Paper Tests
9. 1500+ RC 10. 100 Legendary CR 11. Additional Verbal Qs 12. Additional Quant Qs

My debrief |Free essay review initiative
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Re: Can do better than 710(Q49/V38) [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2013, 10:31
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GMATNinja wrote:
Awesome debrief, Legendaddy. My favorite part:

Quote:
Wonder of wonders, my best friend of 11 years decided that she would rather be with a pauper she knew than a prince her family arranged her match with. On the day we had decided to meet to say goodbye forever, feelings were stirred, words were exchanged and life changing decisions were taken. Long story short - I found my soulmate. The next two months I forgot all about GMAT.


Wow, congratulations! I mean, the 710 is impressive too, but finding your soulmate makes the GMAT look awfully irrelevant. It was a ton of fun to read all of this, and I really wasn't expecting the romantic plot twist.

And we all know that a guy with your spirit and work ethic will never be a pauper. Your princess chose wisely, sir.

Normally, I would tell you that a 710 is fantastic, and that you should be really happy with your score. And that's true, but after seeing all of your work on the forum and after reading this debrief, I realize that you have a completely different motor propelling you forward. You'll get that 760 sooner or later, and you'll feel awesome when it happens. But even if you don't, a 710 can get you into a great program.

Thanks again for a fun read, and congratulations again on the 710, the passport, and the soulmate... but not in that order. :-D
Got married yesterday to this girl, in a bare bones ceremony. Got a decent job, for which I move to a new city next week. Seems like the black night is getting over.

Life takes unexpected turns, and all we can do is never stop. The biggest lesson I learnt from the last 1 year of unemployment, battle with the GMAT and other challenges which I have mentioned is that you should never stop moving. Taking a rest now and then is fine, but if you let something stop your motion, you may exist but you will cease to live.

Why am I saying all this in a GMAT prep forum? Because preparing for this exam teaches you much more than Maths and Grammar.................
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Legendary Collections
1. 700 Level Quant 2. IIM Quant 3. 100 CR from LSAT 4. 100 Legendary SC 5. 5000 Practice problems 6.125 Quant 7. 38 SC 8. 10 Full Length GMAT Pen&Paper Tests
9. 1500+ RC 10. 100 Legendary CR 11. Additional Verbal Qs 12. Additional Quant Qs

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Re: Can do better than 710(Q49/V38)   [#permalink] 14 Jun 2013, 10:31
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