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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT!

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Joined: 15 Apr 2011
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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2011, 01:04
Entwistle wrote:
Dear Members,

I just wrote the GMAT for the third time and my scores are as follows:

Total: 750 (98th Percentile) || Quant: 51 (98th Percentile) || Verbal: 40 (89th Percentile)

The scores for my previous attempts are as follows:

Attempt 1 (28th Dec 2010) - Total: 650 || Quant: 44 || Verbal: 37

Attempt 2 (27th Feb 2011) - Total: 710 || Quant: 48 || Verbal: 40

Although my target score for my third attempt was 760, I am happy with the 750 (any normal person would, right?).

I will update the thread in a few days. Right now, I am just too euphoric :D


Thank you all for your support and guidance! Couldn't have made it without this board \m/

Amrith Sudhakaran
(A.K.A. Entwistle)


Dear Members,
I'm wanted to keep this short and simple, but as I started writing it became pretty elaborate. I'm hope you benefit from this! :beer:

After scoring 710 (Q: 48 V: 40), early this year, a GMAT coaching institute in my city offered me a job as a part-time quant instructor. Since I postponed my plans to do my MBA to Fall 2012, I accepted the offer. Also, a few days after I scored the 710, I decided to set my sights higher. I wanted that 760!

The Basic Plan:
Lesson learned from the second attempt - I realized that I got lucky in the verbal section the second time I wrote the test; my average score for the mocks I wrote before my second attempt was around 36. I was surprised by the verbal raw score of 40. However, the quant score of 48 was expected.

Plan for the third attempt - Max out my quant score and somehow score between 40 and 42 in verbal :D I knew that in order to exceed the 740 mark, I have to score at least 40 in verbal and at least 50 in quant.

Materials Used:
Quant -
1. The math course material issued by the coaching institute in which I teach
The course material was an excellent source of PS and DS problems. The whole of quant syllabus was divided into 12 chapters, each of which had nearly 50 PS problems. That's around 600 problems in all. The course material also consisted of around 200 assorted DS questions ranging from easy to nightmarish difficulty. Since a new batch of students join the course every month, I had to teach these problems to every new batch of students. As a result, I became thorough with basic concepts in all the areas.

2. Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Kumar Verma (Indian Author) [For additional practice]
This book was written for students preparing for an exam called CAT. The quant part of CAT is at a much higher level compared to the level of quant questions asked in the GMAT. Therefore, it's an excellent book for people who want to go the extra mile. The book has excellent theory coverage and lots of problems (90% of them are solved). A word of caution though, the exercises at the end of every chapter are divided into three levels and for GMAT, it's sufficient to solve only the level 1 problems. Level 2 and 3 is major overkill! :D

1. I have not mentioned the Manhattan Quant Guides here because I had gone through them thoroughly before my second attempt. Therefore, I didn't feel the need to refer back to it while preparing for my third attempt.
2. If you can buy Quantum CAT, you don't need any other book. It's a very good source of questions and the theory coverage is good. Quantum CAT + OG = +50 in quant (Theoretically)

Sentence Correction:
1. Doing Grammar -
Doing Grammar is an excellent book which introduces grammatical concepts without overwhelming the student. The author of the book recommends that the book must be studied over a period of 15 weeks. But I had to do it in 15 days :roll: So I don't think I've extracted the maximum possible from that book. However, I extracted enough to help me meet my target score.
NOTE: This book is FRICKIN' EXPENSIVE... You don't have to buy it... I bought it because I am a nut :-D

2. Manhattan Sentence Correction Guide -
Doing grammar helped me understand how various components of language come together to form a coherent sentence. The book gave me a very good idea of English Grammar. However, GMAT grammar is different from the regular English Grammar e.g. In actual grammar, verb tense is not used to indicate time in the real world. However, in GMAT Grammar, tense is used to indicate time in the real world. Therefore, I needed the Manhattan sentence correction guide to tune myself to the GMAT Frequency!

Critical Reasoning:
1. Powerscore GMAT CR Bible -
An excellent book for improving oneself in CR! The best way to study it is (pay attention, this is important, I don't think anyone has mentioned this approach before) as follows:

The first few chapters in the book offers a brief overview of what CR is all about. The remaining chapters focus on specific question types. The book divides CR questions into 10 different types and the introductory chapters will tell you how to distinguish one question type from another. After learning the introductory chapters, do the following:
Keep the Powerscore CR Bible next to you and turn to the CR section of the official guide. Start with the first CR question in the official guide and see if you can classify the question type. If you can't refer back to the introductory chapters. If you are able to classify it, turn to the relevant chapter. Go through the chapter and then return to the question and see if you're able to get to the right answer by applying what you just learned. If you're not able to get the right answer, go through the chapter again and again till you know why the right answer is right and why the wrong answer is wrong. Keep repeating the procedure for every question you do till you reach the point where you can start solving questions without having to refer back to the text. If everything goes as per plan, you should get there by question number 60 to 70 in the OG. From there on, do the remaining questions under timed conditions. I assure you, by the time you finish with the CR questions in the official guide, you will be able to breeze through the 500, 600 and possibly the lower 700 level questions in the actual GMAT :D

Reading Comprehension:
Did nothing :P

Mock Test:
I did not write any full mocks for this attempt. I wrote a partial mock to test my preparedness for quant and one partial mock to test my preparedness in verbal.

I scored 48 in quant and 40 in verbal (two separate tests)

Now, this is a very stupid thing to do because one needs to take full mocks towards the actual test date to develop the stamina required to perform well in the GMAT. However, I had written the exam twice and I knew what it takes. Therefore, I didn't have to write a full mock. I just wanted an idea of how prepared I am and that is why I just wrote the quant part of one Manhattan mock and the verbal part of another Manhattan mock.

Test Day
On the day of the test I found myself in familiar surrounding. The test administrator from Pearson Vue recognized me and flashed a friendly smile. I had reached the test centre 45 min before the scheduled time. So I sat in the lobby and started listening to music (classic rock... "The Who" actually... Baba O'Riley has a very calming effect on my nerves) and did some deep breathing. At the scheduled time, the admin called me and logged me in. Mentally, I knew what to expect. Therefore, I was very relaxed throughout the exam. However, in the end when it was time to Submit the scores, I was very nervous! I pressed the next button and LO - 750! I was so happy... I pumped my fist and let out a deep breath which made a few heads turn! I walked out triumphantly and collected my score card and bid farewell to the friendly test admin from Pearson Vue!

Entwistle, you are the biggest inspiration ever!

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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2011, 05:33

Could you pls suggest books for quants other than the one you mentioned by Indian author or that is more than enough? and suggest some strategies for RC...
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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2011, 07:04
Awesome man! good inspiration for all those who are planning for re-take (including me :wink: ).

My GMAT Journey 540->680->730!

~ When the going gets tough, the Tough gets going!

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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 20 Aug 2011, 02:49
Awesome score , all the best for the apps

Please press KUDOS if you like my post

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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2011, 11:59
Kudos on a fantastic score !

I am currently struggling with quant and had some questions for you ,
In one of your replies here :
you said that the Quantum CAT needs to be used in a specific way for the GMAT. Can you please elaborate on that ?

Between Jeff Sackman's book and arihant's quantum CAT, which one would you rate better ? I am in the US but I should be able to get the Quantum CAT book shipped here.

My GMAT Debrief :
Quant Concept Videos : ... ideos.html
My GMAT Blog :

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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2011, 06:42
Great De-brief. Good to hear that you finally got the score you wanted.

Congratulations on your score.
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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2011, 12:04
Fantastic score.. Congrats.

MGMAT 6 650 (51,31) on 31/8/11
MGMAT 1 670 (48,33) on 04/9/11
MGMAT 2 670 (47,34) on 07/9/11
MGMAT 3 680 (47,35) on 18/9/11
GMAT Prep1 680 ( 50, 31) on 10/11/11

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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 13 Sep 2011, 04:30

This was very inspiring. I have very generic question for you. As a GMAT instructor and Q51 scorer what are your recommendations for quants preparation.
This could be in terms of material to be used, topics to focus on, aproach to answer the questions,timings etc.
I am scoring in the Q44-45 range and want to improve to Q50-51 range. I am done with 15 gmatclub maths tests. I know most of the concepts but still make some silly mistakes in quant. Please comment.

Thanks in advance
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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2011, 22:29
Where can I find the Quantam CAT book in the USA?
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Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT! [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 03:27
Hi Entwhistle,

Congratz... 750 just awesome.... :-D

I really need your help.... :(

I am taking my exam in 3 weeks....and I am not doing that great in quant....I have practiced a lot but I am not able to do the questions in two minutes .I took a mock test today separately.... I got 41 in quant and 42 for verbal... But I want to get atleast 49 -50 for quant. So what are your suggestions on quant strategies that I should practice in next 3 weeks ?

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Re: From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT!   [#permalink] 15 Aug 2012, 03:27
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