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From 650 to 770 (Q50, V45) - Its Finally Over

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From 650 to 770 (Q50, V45) - Its Finally Over [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 19:05
I am finally done. Its really a great feeling. Thanks to Gmat club and all its members for all the advice and great material that is posted everyday on this site. Will write my debrief soon. Still in a hangover from yesterday night's drinking..
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 19:14
Amazing! Of course we want all the details!
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 19:52
wow congrats on a very great score! (i'm envious) looking forward to your debrief! :)
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 22:29
Awesome, good job!!! 770 is WOW!!!
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2007, 23:39
I have been thinking of taking GMAT for quite some time now. Have been thinking of it since beginning of 2006, but never got around to preparing for it until end of May 07. That’s when I decided to have a go at it. I started as usual with a diagnostic test from OG. I immediately realized that my weaknesses were SC and DS. Especially Sentence correction was absolutely horrible. I read in this forum and several other forums about Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction. Got the book and went through the concepts. At first it didn’t make any substantial difference. Then started doing OG. Finished the book in a month. Along with it did the supplementary book for Verbal. Then did all verbal from Kaplan. Slowly I started getting better in Sentence Correction. I was always pretty good in CR’s, but RC was a problem for me sometimes when I don’t understand the passage fully. But I kind of ignored the problem I had with RC at that time.

I did the 2 powerprep tests and got scores of 670 and 700 and registered for the test to take it on August 6, 2007. I did the 2 GmatPrep tests as well and got scores of 650 and 710 a couple of weeks before my test date. I was quite confident but very stressed since I knew that I was not fully prepared.

On the night before the test day I took a sleeping pill and went to sleep. But I couldn’t sleep!! I took another pill and still no effect. My test was at 9 in the morning. I lie the whole night awake and finally went to sleep sometime early morning. Had a couple of hours of sleep. By the time I woke up I was really dizzy due to the pills and was in a horrible state. But somehow pushed myself to the test center. Gave the test and got a 650 (Q46, V34). I was really disappointed since I was expecting at least a 700.

I was really heart broken and I decided that day that I am going to cut this beast open one day!! I knew the mistakes that I had made the first time around.

Mistake 1. took math for granted
Mistake 2. Screwed up my sleep
Mistake 3. got too tensed
Mistake 4. Not well prepared

I wanted to make sure I don’t make any of these mistakes the next time around. I gave myself enough time of 2 months to fully prepare and decided to take the test around beginning of October. I revised all my Sentence Correction once more. Went through the SC’s from OG once more. Started keeping an error log for myself with excel sheets to analyze my progress. Whenever I do a test I used to note the time I took, number of wrong questions, percentage, note down the wrong ones and mark them as careless, concept error, etc.

Bought the GMAT challenges and started doing them. They are really great stuff. If you want to get a good math score I would say this is an absolute must. I learned a lot of concepts from them and also prevented myself to a large extend to avoid careless mistakes.

Did the Kaplan tests. My scores were 570, 580, 620, 630. (Don’t remember exactly)
Did a lot of practice on RC’s. After a while I became really good at RC’s. I could make out the questions that will be asked while reading the passage. I practiced to do SC’s faster. My strategy for Verbal was simple. Spend more time on RC’s and less time on SC’s. Registered to take the GMAT exam on Oct 3. My practice scores on GMAT challenges varied between 99% - 89%. I usually got around 90% average on RC’s in the final stages on my prep.

Took the 2 gmat prep tests.

Gmatprep1 – 750 (49,42)
Gmatprep2 – 720 (49,40)(Kind of spend 7 minutes on a math question in between)

Another mistake I made in my first preparation was to not do the essays while doing my full test. This is absolutely important. I don’t know how to stress this more. Write your essays while doing the full tests. While doing Kaplan tests I used to do one essay and while doing the gmat prep’s I did both of them.

I made a document with all the math formulas and another document for all SC questions and some concepts that I gathered during my second preparation. I went through these a day before my exam.

Day before the exam- didn’t go to work. Played football with a friend on mine, mainly just passing the ball around. I just wanted that extra energy to leave my body so that I sleep well that night.

Night before the exam – manage to sleep on time. I was really relaxed since I was well prepared. Slept for a good 8 hours.

Day of the exam - Woke up at 8:30. My test was at 1:15. Had a good breakfast. Bought a couple of chocolate bars and a coke. Reached the test center at 12:30. They checked my passport took my finger print and a mug shot! Started the test with the essays. It went fine. Got out of the exam room for the 10 minute break. Splashed water on my face. Walked around the hall for sometime. Started thinking of math and trying to recollect my notes. Started the math. First few questions were ok. I felt I was doing well. Around the 15th question I got a DS probability Q. I felt a sense of relief. I knew I was doing well so far at least. Went on. Around the 30+ question I got another probability question. My heart started pumping really fast. I just froze for a few seconds. I was also running short of time. I couldn’t fully solve that question. I had to guess and move on. Managed to finish math with a few seconds to spare.

Took my 10 minute break. Again drank some coke, had some chocolate, splashed water on the face. Went back in. Verbal started well. To be frank I am not really that good in SC’s. Its just due to the immense practice I knew the patterns and SC’s had almost become intuitive for me. Got a couple of RC in the first 15. Good passages. Not very difficult. Took time with the passages and understood them well and then knocked out the questions faster. Somewhere in the middle I got stuck on a SC. There was a choice that looked so appealing but I knew something was wrong in it and another choice that looked very bad but some things right in it. It was a really weird situation. I was just stuck on that for a few minutes. In the end chose the less appealing one. Again another CR similar case. I read the CR stem once again and the answer became clear to me. What I had learned during my practices is that GMAT is so full of tricks. Every question in the high bracket always tries to trick you. We have to be on our guard all the time. I didn’t get any Bold face which kind of scared me. Finally reached the deciding screen. Report/Cancel scores. I just wanted to see my score. I didn’t care even if it was a 650 again. 770!! I was amazed. I had never got such a high score. I had never score a 50 in math and never a 45 in Verbal.

That’s it guys. Thanks once more for all the help. Gmat club really helped me a lot. Sorry for the long post. I will try to answer any questions you guys have in the next couple of weeks.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 00:47
you're f**king amazing...

nice on there...
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 05:30
Nice score pal.....

Congratulations!!

- Brajesh
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 10:11
Congrats!
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 22:57
Awesome work!!! Congrats!!!

Robinantony I have couple questions about the questions you have encountered during the test:

1. What kind of Probabability questions you had and what are their difficulty level?

2. Were the SC, RC and CR questions similar to OG 11th questions?

3. Was Kaplan really helpful?

Thanks in advance[/quote]
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2007, 23:28
Thanks guys. Wish all of you the very best in this journey.

I got 2 probability questions. One was a data sufficiency Probability. It was not very difficult, a kind of ration question with Probability.

The second was a probability question with a figure provided. This was quite difficult for me. Also I was quite pressed for time. So I couldn't solve it, had to guess and move on.

Most of the SC questions I would say were similar to the GmatPrep questions and OG questions. RC also the same. The question formats and the difficult levels were almost the same as OG and Gmatprep. For CR I had some different kind of questions. I have seen these before but not a lot. Like completing an argument. they give u a stem and you have to chose which one would complete the argument. The concept is the same. Just the approach a little different. I got 2 of those in CR.

Regarding Kaplan, Its good for practice. The math is quite good and little easier than real gmat. But kaplan verbal is ridiculous. The Rc passages are like PHD thesis papers. So don't take the verbal of Kaplan seriously. But do them for practice. the more you practice the better.

Ideally you should be able to do a kaplan test with less than a couple of mistakes in math. Thats what I was aiming for while doing kaplan tests.

I am person who had lot of problems with RC in the beginning of my preparation. But i think RC is all about practice. Learn the tricks of RC, the type of questions they ask. try different strategies for solving RC and use the one that suits you the best. Look out for trick answers in RC. There are usually a few with some words from the passages. They are there just to trick you. Be very careful with RC. Read every option carefully. Basically throughout the test read everything carefully. even if you have solved a problem read the question once more, just run your eyes over to make sure that you didn't miss anything. Just take a quick look at the other options as well, just to be sure.

For RC's I used to paraphrase while reading the passage. write down the important dates. Some turn of events that happened. note them down. Read the first paragraph carefully. If you don't understand it fully read the first paragraph again. it like painting something. First you make a outline sketch of what you are planning to draw. the first paragraph usually do that. Give you an outline. make sure you understand this outline well. Then go on to the rest of the passage. I usually read the rest pretty fast. Don't worry about the specific facts provided in the rest of the passage. You will get questions from these, but you can always come back to that part of the passage and read it again. After you have read the whole passage, take a few seconds to briefly tell yourself what each paragraph is about. Then go straight into the questions.

Good luck!
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 05:27
Thank you for your quick and detailed responses, it definitely helped!!! :-)
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Oct 2007, 08:33
congrats..and awsome advice on RC..most guys dont realize they looose on verbal cause of RC..
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2007, 13:42
Awesome score!!!! Heck of an improvement!
It's even better than having scored 770 for the first time.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2007, 16:25
R,

It would be very helpful if you posted the docs you prepared with Math formulas and SC notes on this thread... I'm actually more interested in the SC one since, unlike math, there are some nuances there that I know I've encountered, understood, and never wrote down for future review.
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2007, 23:30
sevenplus wrote:
Awesome score!!!! Heck of an improvement!
It's even better than having scored 770 for the first time.


As someone who scored a 770 the first time ......I agree. Ad coms love smart guys, tinted with fallability........make sure, you being this out somewhere in your essays - dont harp on it too much .....one small line will do.

Oh!! Congrats btw ;)
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 [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2007, 23:45
Thanks guys, I was really disappointed with my first score. Lot of things went wrong for me and I knew I was capable of so much more. I was a bit pessimistic the second time around, especially after a bad experience once. So I was realistically hoping for 700+, although I had hit 750 in my Gprep. But 770 was a shock for me.

I am attaching my preparation notes for SC and Math. SC notes are mainly points that I accumulated from different sites (most of them from GMAT Club). I hope you find it useful. If you think that some of them is not 100% accurate then feel free to discuss it and criticize it! Thats how we learn anyway :)

Thanks sangoman for the advice on the essay. I just started on the essays section. Its just ironical how you jump one hurdle and find yourself in a pit!

Good luck to all of you. Always remember your score is directly proportional to the effort you put in. Work smart and work hard!
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2007, 15:14
great score and great stuff.
thanks
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Oct 2007, 18:31
Hyperstorm wrote:
R,

It would be very helpful if you posted the docs you prepared with Math formulas and SC notes on this thread... I'm actually more interested in the SC one since, unlike math, there are some nuances there that I know I've encountered, understood, and never wrote down for future review.


I think SC is one of the areas where you can improve in a short period of time. Just learn the rules and understand the patterns through practice. You can soon get consistent in SC. My SC notes are not the best, but I have put in things that were confusing for me. It might be different for you. RC is a key area that lot of people ignore. fresinha12 has rightly talked about the importance of RC. RC takes a little more practice to get better at than SC. You need to plan and prioritize based on the time you have left.
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Cheers [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2007, 05:34
Hey great score dude. Btw r u robinantony from singapore NUS.
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 [#permalink] New post 18 Oct 2007, 06:21
nice. how did u prepare for CR?
  [#permalink] 18 Oct 2007, 06:21
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