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Did it! (740 - first attempt) - long post

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Joined: 21 Jan 2006
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Did it! (740 - first attempt) - long post [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2006, 20:50
Hi All,

Just wanted to share my GMAT experience with you.
Test Date – 19th January 2006 (9 AM slot, Mumbai)
Score – Q48, V42 Total 740

Background – Prepared for about 40-50 hours September through mid November 2005. Prep was mostly on weekends and was not focused. Registered for the GMAT in December 2005. However, by mid November, work pressure made it evident that I would not be able to prepare for the exam (was working 14 hour work days). Took a break for a month and started preparing, in earnest, around the 3rd week of December 2005. Registered for a 19th January date. During this second period of my GMAT study, I managed about 2.5 hrs on weekdays and nearly 14 hours on the weekend. Was apprehensive that I’d taken a date too soon and that I would not be able to prepare well for the test. The ETS to Pearson transition added to the confusion.
I stay alone and normally have to do cooking and other chores after I return from work late in the evening. However, my mom came over during this period and so apart from providing morale support, this gave me the very useful couple of hours to study after work. (It is imperative to be regular rather than freak out on GMAT only during the weekend). Hence, the major credit of GMAT success goes to my parents.

Took a couple of days off before D-day. I stay in a city nearly 240 kms from Mumbai and so I set out for Mumbai on the evening of 18th. Reached the city around 11:00 PM and this psyched me a bit. (In such a situation, would definitely recommend reaching the test city at least a day in advance). Anyway, wasn’t able to sleep well on the eve of the test. However, was fairly calm in the morning. Deep breathing and meditation helped a lot. I am a positive person and that attitude helped too. (The strategies in the Kaplan book on how to face the test were useful and helped me feel better as I read them on the way to Mumbai)…

Reached the test center on time. Staff at Pearson was helpful and the Pearson experience was very comfortable. The laminated scratch pads were very, very comfortable and I didn’t need any extras.

The Argument essay went well and I finished with a couple of minutes to spare. My stomach started growling noisily while I was writing the issue essay. This threw me off track and I lost focus. As a result, I didn’t do too well on this essay. Spirits lowered…. Anyway, took a break and was back after a round of deep breathing… Started the quant section and IMHO the level of the GMAT is getting a notch or two up. The questions were definitely do-able but had a lot of DS questions on inequalities (and I really hate these kinds of DS questions)… Surprisingly, had just one question on probability. The level of the test was fairly constant throughout. I did not spend an inordinate amount of time on the first 10-15 questions, as I believe in tackling questions one at a time and treating them all as equals :)
Was confident of a 45+ score and ended the section with 8 minutes to spare. Took a quick break and began the verbal section.
Verbal was a toughie. The pressure was relentless and only RC (my weak area generally) was straightforward. The test started with a string of tough SCs and ended with a string of difficult CRs. SC is my strength and so I did manage them well (though, I had to spend a lot of time on the same). Ditto for CR. CRs were of the type where one has a lot of trouble picking the right answer out of 2 plausible choices. I lost concentration sometime in the middle of this section and was just eager to finish with the test. However, managed to sit through and finished the exam with over 10 minutes to spare. Was expecting about 690 and was pleasantly stunned to see a 740!!! (I still am :-D )

Prep materials:
1) First (unfocussed study period) – Princeton, Kaplan 2006
2) Second (focused study period) – Kaplan 800 and OG 10th edition (The OG is a must!), Deltacourse (could not do a lot of the problems, but in my personal opinion, the course is very helpful albeit overpriced). Visited this forum to read about GMAT experiences and am thankful to a lot of posts that dealt with tackling the test).

Test scores –
Unfocussed period – PR1 (660), PP1 (680)
Focused period – Kaplan 2 (670), GMATPrep1 – 710 (10 days before D-day), PP2 – 720 (5 days before D-day) and GMATPrep2 – 700 (a couple of days before the actual test)…

I think a positive attitude is key to nailing this test. Regular study, knowing one’s concepts cold and relaxation techniques are important.


Last edited by 21stCenturion on 22 Jan 2006, 00:25, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2006, 21:33
Good score. Congrats.
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 [#permalink] New post 21 Jan 2006, 21:41
Cool score. Congrats!

Thanks for words about "attitude" towards the test!

Good luck for your apps.

"To dream anything that you want to dream, that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything that you want to do, that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself, to test your limits, that is the courage to succeed."

- Bernard Edmonds

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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2006, 03:35

Thanks for sharing the experience & advice! :)

Good luck with apps. Are you targetting 2007 fall? What schools?
Joined: 21 Jan 2006
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Jan 2006, 04:13
Thanks everyone!

I'm targetting the Indian School of Business, Nanyang, Melbourne and INSEAD for 2007.

May also be applying to a couple of top 15 US colleges but am not sure at this point in time. Am inclined to go for a one year course.
Joined: 21 Jan 2006
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Feb 2006, 05:51
Friends, I've just received my official score report... (online). I've got a 6.0 on the AWA!!!! Am a little surprised, as I was expecting a 5 at best... Anyway, it's a great feeling. :)
  [#permalink] 04 Feb 2006, 05:51
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Did it! (740 - first attempt) - long post

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