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Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside

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Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 00:21
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I took the GMAT on 30th November and almost destroyed it with a 770(Q-51,V-44) . I had been raring to write the debrief here, but some other commitments and post GMAT celebrations tied me up for the last 4 days. Today the urge to share my story became all the more and here I am writing my debrief after putting all the other sundry things on the backburner.

Firstly, I don't have words to express my gratitude to gmatclub for helping me achieve this fete. It wouldn't have been possible with the numerous advices I solicited time and again. Whenever I needed help or was confused/depressed, all I had to do was put my heart out in a post and then there used to be always someone who used to support me.

I started my prep in July and finally finished it after 4 months.Although I am a non-native speaker, Verbal wasn't much daunting to me as I have pretty much been a voracious reader right from college days. However, SC was still a tough nut to crack and that's the area which I prepared for the most. Most of the gyaan which I am giving below is already on the forums, but I'm sharing my knowledge here for the benefit of future test takers.

Strategies & Advice
1. While preparing for any topic, do not practice the questions from the OG sequentially. Pick any topic, learn the concepts inside out, practice a sufficient number of questions, then move on to the next topic.Thanks shovitdhar for this tip

2. Read the explanations to each question and in your error log , write down the takeaway from each question. This will help you revise the questions easily.

3. The cardinal rule which I learnt early on is that "if you don't learn anything new from a question, that means you have wasted your time and effort".

4. In reading comprehension, figure out what works for you. Skimming, for example, didn't work for me. This is in contrast to what most instructors suggest. You have to understand the passage properly to be able to do the questions correct.

5. At the same time, don't get too much entangled in the details in RCs. The GMAT makes RCs difficult by using weird terminology, so make sure that you are not getting bogged down by that.

6. Do not exploit the OG questions in the beginning. I used theSC Grail + 100 questions at the end first. After having done this, I felt pretty confident. And then I moved on to OG12 and again did the questions topicwise. Then I did the SC questions in OG11 which didn't overlap with the OG12 questions. At the end, I did the Aristotle New SC Questionbank which had an emphasis on meaning type of questions.

7. Take at least 6 CATs and not more than 8 CATs. Devote an entire day to take the test. Taking a CAT will take you around 2.5 hours, if you skip AWA. Analyze the test for at least 2 hours after that.

8. In the analysis of the CAT, recognize the pattern of mistakes which you are making. Then refer to the relevant reference material to work on those areas.

9. Take the GMATPREP CATs at least twice each. These are the best tests available in the market.

10. Do not go crazy learning Idioms. I don't remember seeing any Idiom based questions so that rumour that idioms are being phased out is indeed not a rumour,it's the truth. This is from my own personal experience so please don't hold me accountable if you see any idiom based SC.
11. In the last week, go through the compilation of GMATPREP SCs and CRs and review them. Believe me this is the best thing you would do just before your exam as the questions are closely reflections of the GMAT questions and you would gain a good hold over the questions if you practice these sets.

Review of materials used :
SC was the area where I used to struggle in. RC and CR had never been big challenges so I didn't refer anything. In fact, if I were to tell the truth, I didn't practice any passages from OG12 let any other resource. It was something which came naturally to me.

1. OG12 and OG11: OG12 is the simply the best practice material for Verbal. Don't know why though they have given very easy questions on Quant. Otherwise the book is really superb for Verbal. You can also use OG11 If you are looking for more practice problems. However, there's an overlap between the questions in OG12 and OG11 ,so I did only the unique questions from OG11 which were not there in OG12
2. Aristotle SC Grail + Aristotle New SC Questionbank - Great book. To the point and easy to understand. The questions at the end of the SC Grail are not of high quality though. However,the New SC Questionbank is pretty good as the questions has a lot of emphasis on meaning,something which has increasingly become important on the GMAT.
3. Ultimate One minute Explanations to OG12 SC- The OG explanations are notorious for being too complicated, and searching for the explanation to every question was tedious, so I bought this book which has explanations to all the OG12 SC. Really helpful.
4. Barron's GMAT- Why the hell did I buy this book!
5. Manhattan Number properties Guide-Great book. I bought this book all the more to gain access to the 6 CATs which come free alongwith the purchase of any Manhattan book
6. GMAT Prep SC and CR documents- Awesome compilation and the best thing is it's free of cost
7. Chinese Burned AWA Guide- Simply the best guide for AWA.

Last edited by foofighter5 on 28 Jan 2012, 04:18, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 09 Jun 2012, 02:46
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rni wrote:
Congrats for the great score !!!



Thank you very much . All the best to you too!
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 01:33
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Congrats for the massive score.
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 08:32
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mittal82 wrote:
foofighter5 wrote:
10. Do not go crazy learning Idioms. I don't remember seeing any Idiom based questions so that rumour that idioms are being phased out is indeed not a rumour,it's the truth. This is from my own personal experience so please don't hold me accountable if you see any idiom based SC.


Congratulations for an outstanding score!

Do you think that, at any point of time during the exam, any of the 220 idioms that are in SC Grail helped you to identify the correct answer? I am quite skeptical to cram the idioms that are in SC Grail since at one hand, the number is quite high and at the other hand, the idioms are not actually idioms but are more on focussed on the usage. Can you help me to get out of this dilemma?

Cheers!


Mittal,

I would not have suggested this to anyone a few weeks ago before all the talk about GMAC trying to phase out "American idioms" out. But from everything I have read so far from different forms, I am inclined to believe that GMAC is actually phasing out all idioms (or at least solely idiom based questions).

That said, I think cramming all the idioms into your head can actually harm you in 2 ways.
1) You end up spending disproportional amount of time on studying idioms compared to the frequency they appear on the test. Obviously not the best bang for your study time.
2) I feel that most of the idioms actually diverge from the traditional grammar rules. You run the risk of unlearning some of the rules for the sake of idioms and end up being more confused.

I am planning to take my test in Feb and above are my thoughts about idioms and am going to stick to those. Highly recommend folks to evaluate their situation and pick their approach.

Vijay
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 09 Feb 2012, 22:16
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surya02 wrote:
Great, great score! I read somewhere that the laminated board which they give on the GMAT is difficult to use as it is quite slippery to use. Is it so ?


Yeah, to some extent it is but it wouldn't be much of a worry. It'd have been better had there been a sheet of paper but at the end, there would have been seen some reason why the GMAT started using laminated boards instead of paper.
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 01:08
Hi
Congratulation for this awesome score!!!!!....
Good luck for your application part...

could you please explain more on your mock test results and your number of errors in those tests(specially verbal)?

thnx
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 01:33
All the best for admissions. All the best to apply for Wharton and LBS. :)
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2011, 07:14
Hey,
Congrats on the score.
i am in the same boat. Verbal comes naturally to me but still getting to 47+ seems to be a challenge. Any suggestions for that?
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 22:34
Anasthaesium wrote:
Hey,
Congrats on the score.
i am in the same boat. Verbal comes naturally to me but still getting to 47+ seems to be a challenge. Any suggestions for that?


Thanks. Why do you want to get a 47+ on Verbal ? I guess people rarely get that . Since I myself have a 44, so don't know how to get to a 47 :-D
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 00:29
Congrats!!!

Can you help me in RC, i can read novels and wsj easily but when i read RC, i get confused in intricate writing style of passage
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 03:32
wow wat a score!!!
congrats....
i am going to write my exam on 19th jan. but i still haven't figured out how to crack RC. i tend to lose concentration and skimming doesn't work for me either. can you help me??
also regarding your first strategy, did you find any topicwise questions for quants?
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 04:05
foofighter5 wrote:
10. Do not go crazy learning Idioms. I don't remember seeing any Idiom based questions so that rumour that idioms are being phased out is indeed not a rumour,it's the truth. This is from my own personal experience so please don't hold me accountable if you see any idiom based SC.


Congratulations for an outstanding score!

Do you think that, at any point of time during the exam, any of the 220 idioms that are in SC Grail helped you to identify the correct answer? I am quite skeptical to cram the idioms that are in SC Grail since at one hand, the number is quite high and at the other hand, the idioms are not actually idioms but are more on focussed on the usage. Can you help me to get out of this dilemma?

Cheers!
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 20:39
congrats on the great score....n all the best for your future endeavours...
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Fire the final bullet only when you are constantly hitting the Bull's eye, till then KEEP PRACTICING.

A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2011, 10:58
great score indeed!

Quote:
2. Read the explanations to each question and in your error log , write down the takeaway from each question. This will help you revise the questions easily.

3. The cardinal rule which I learnt early on is that "if you don't learn anything new from a question, that means you have wasted your time and effort".


I have been using the same take-away technique - particularly for Sentence Correction.
However for Critical Reasoning - Strengthen and Weaken questions, I can rarely see any patterns or types of correct choices. So I get a feeling that I am not gaining much by solving. Is that how this question type works you think?
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2011, 13:13
vbetanabhatla wrote:
mittal82 wrote:
foofighter5 wrote:
10. Do not go crazy learning Idioms. I don't remember seeing any Idiom based questions so that rumour that idioms are being phased out is indeed not a rumour,it's the truth. This is from my own personal experience so please don't hold me accountable if you see any idiom based SC.


Congratulations for an outstanding score!

Do you think that, at any point of time during the exam, any of the 220 idioms that are in SC Grail helped you to identify the correct answer? I am quite skeptical to cram the idioms that are in SC Grail since at one hand, the number is quite high and at the other hand, the idioms are not actually idioms but are more on focussed on the usage. Can you help me to get out of this dilemma?

Cheers!


Mittal,

I would not have suggested this to anyone a few weeks ago before all the talk about GMAC trying to phase out "American idioms" out. But from everything I have read so far from different forms, I am inclined to believe that GMAC is actually phasing out all idioms (or at least solely idiom based questions).

That said, I think cramming all the idioms into your head can actually harm you in 2 ways.
1) You end up spending disproportional amount of time on studying idioms compared to the frequency they appear on the test. Obviously not the best bang for your study time.
2) I feel that most of the idioms actually diverge from the traditional grammar rules. You run the risk of unlearning some of the rules for the sake of idioms and end up being more confused.

I am planning to take my test in Feb and above are my thoughts about idioms and am going to stick to those. Highly recommend folks to evaluate their situation and pick their approach.

Vijay


Thanks Vijay!
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2011, 14:27
FooFighter5:
1. I did a quick search on Aristotle SC Grail & Aristotle New SC Question bank on Amazon- A Powerscore book showed up- I this the one you are referring to?
http://www.amazon.com/PowerScore-GMAT-S ... 146&sr=8-1
2. Ultimate One minute Explanations to OG12 S- I didn't find this book either

Care to share link for purchase?
Thanks!
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2011, 17:07
alicegmat wrote:
great score indeed!

Quote:
2. Read the explanations to each question and in your error log , write down the takeaway from each question. This will help you revise the questions easily.

3. The cardinal rule which I learnt early on is that "if you don't learn anything new from a question, that means you have wasted your time and effort".


I have been using the same take-away technique - particularly for Sentence Correction.
However for Critical Reasoning - Strengthen and Weaken questions, I can rarely see any patterns or types of correct choices. So I get a feeling that I am not gaining much by solving. Is that how this question type works you think?


I made an error log because it was recommended by many succesful test takers but i do not know how to benefit from it. Can anyone explain by showing a snippet of his/her error log
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2011, 19:42
Congratulations- this was inspiring to read :)
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2011, 23:27
Hi
From where can i get Aristotle SC grail ??
Also GMAT prep SC --> are you talking about the questions from gmat prep tests ?

thanks in advance
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2011, 01:54
congratulation for scoring such a high score.. and very effective debrief.
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Re: Destroyed the GMAT with 770 : Strategies & Advice Inside   [#permalink] 09 Dec 2011, 01:54
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