phew.... im glad its finally done for me scored 730(Q50,V38, 6.0 AWA) .....
Its only fair that i share my experience with the great community we have here. My sincere thanks to all of you here ......
Just want to mention a few key things and i will post a detailed debrief on my preparation later on (quiet exhausted right now!!!)
I last gave my GMAT in september2007 scored 690 then, applied at Duke,Ross,Cornell and Darden. Got dinged from every school without even getting an IV call.
I belong to the the ever growing Male/Indian/IT community.
However the key difference this time was my attention to be focused during the whole exam and believe it or not that's the single most important reason behind the score i have today.
I promise i will write more on this and hopefully whatever worked out for me works out for someone else too.
more to follow... right now its time for a few drinks!!!... cheers!
Well here is the detailed version fellows........
In the feedback i received from Darden and Cornell, both schools pointed out 2 strong factors that went against me
1. My GMAT score of 690 which was far below the average score of candidates with a similar profile
2. The fact that i had given my GMAT way back in September 2007....
Because i already had a 690, i wanted to be sure that whenever i next gave the test i scored at least a 720+....
I prepared for around 2 months and took the date just 2 weeks before the exam......
The books i referred to were the standard ones
2. CR Bible
These 2 are a must for anyone looking to improve his or her score in VerbalStrategy : Verbal SC:
Swear by Manhattan SC , i went through the book once - did not touch any problems in Og but yeah did try out problems posted on gmatclub and other forums. One i had reviewed the book, i went for a second revision and this time made notes and did all problems from OG along with it. This made me quiet confident of my SC abilities. However what was missing was solving a problem in under 60-70 seconds. This is essential if someone wants to crack verbal and complete the 41 questions in time. I tried to conquer this part of the prep but had mixed results. CR:
Powerscore Bible is named aptly i believe and is the best book out there for anyone wanting to improve scores in CR. For this i did not prepare any notes. Credit for that goes to Yakiim - he has a wonderful thread on the CR forum encapsulating what the book says.RC:
there are a lot of strategies mentioned every where on the forum on how to tackle it and i tried almost all of them . What in the end worked out for me was reading the whole passage and making a mental map of the structure of the passage. This did take some time but with increased focus on CR and the attention to detail it requires , it kind of helped me to get my RC strategy in order. In the end with reading the whole passage first and then answering questions is what worked out best for me.
Reading the passage - 3-4 mins
Answering 4 problems - average 2 mins
so i guess in the end 6 mins for 4 problems on RC aint that bad!!!Quant
- Not much to add here, i never studies Quant, its always been my strong area. All i did was questions from OG, helped out a few mates here gmatcub with the problems they posted -- many a times found me and gurpreetsingh posting answers in gaps a minute. Kudos to you gurpreet your quant abilities are amazing im sure ull get a 51 there, just make sure you read about my GMAT quant experience below.
I cannot offer much advice to fellows who are struggling with Quant but for someone who is scoring 47-48 and wants to stretch this to 50-51 - the key is focus. If one is focused during the exam it helps to cut down on silly mistakes and thats how you get your score to 50+!! Also once you get to 50, its easy to target a 700+ score because you just need to be around 34-35 in verbal and believe me we all can get there.... far more easily then scoring a 40+.
Preparation time : 1-2 hours on weekdays, 6-7 on the weekends - this includes a test every Saturday and Sunday!
Tests taken : Kaplan
- scores 560,590,640,650Manhattan
- believe it or not never scored beyond 690 on these --- WHY!!! because the quant section is a sucker!! never got more than 48 here thats more because i gave up on a few questions wanting to conserve my energy for verbal!Gmat prep
- first attempts - 720 and 720 on both exams
Second attempt - 760 and 770
I know i my prep is no different from someone else but i believe here is where the difference is.I wanted to get a score of 720+ and thy key for that were 2 things
1. Increased focus - I realized that by the time i got to the 17-18th question in verbal my mind was exhausted. I had to read almost every question twice just to figure out what the question was asking for. To work on this i started pushing my self at work and during the prep. I would purposely at times overload my mind with tough maths problems and then work on Verbal. i wanted to make sure that i could work under pressure. This was difficult at the start but i believe this is what in the end worked out for me. Well it almost did because on my actual GMAT by the time i reached Q30 on verbal my brains were fried! - just feel lucky i scored 38 in Verbal!!!
2. Small targets : here is the deal guys, on should always have a target breakup in mind. Everyone want s a 750 or a 770 and everyone can get it. The key difference is though someone might take 2 months to get there and someone might take 2 years. The GMAT is a unforgiving test, if you think that you can solve all problems in verbal at 40 and you work hard at it, the test will give you problems which belong to a 41-42 score, you will get them wrong and because of the stress get the 40 level problems wrong too and end up with a sore of 38-39! The best way to conquer all this is keep a breakup in mind. remember 50Q and 40V is 750!! 51Q and 39V is 750, Q50, V39 is 740...........
And this is how i targeted my score. I backed myself to score a 50-51 in Quant and made sure i get a 35+ in Verbal (Q51,V36 is 720, my target score!). I never ever worked on getting 42 or say 43 on verbal! Not because i could not do it, i just took a call and said i need 720+ and for that i need to get to 35+ on verbal and thats what i am going to work on. Brutal SC is a great set of tough problems to work on you SC basics but i never targeted getting them all right! i did not want to fry my brains working on tough problems which i knew was not gonna be on my real test because i was never looking for a score range in verbal that high.!!
I am pretty sure people wont agree with this but it worked out for me in the end and i am pretty sure if people are ready to say i want 720/730 and not spend 5 months wanting to get 750 then this is the way to go!!
This has been a long post, probably the longest i have ever written on any forum....
Just one last thing to write about!! THE REAL GMAT
Quant - i got 50, wanted 51!!! - always had 51 on all the GMATprep exams i gave. I am ok because never had 38 in verbal on any of the GMATprep exams
i have seen and im pretty sure anyone scoring 50+ on the real test would agree that there are very few problems except the ones on GMATprep that provide questions similar to the actual exam. Gmatclub tests
are awesome, Manhattan Quant in the CATs in Brutal! but there is a key difference in those and the actual CAT!!!
On gmatclub and manhattan questions are tough because they will ask you a probability or a combination problem that requires one to be through with the topics! They will use difficult numbers to make the problem tough!
However on the actual GMAt a 50+ quant problem will combine algebra and probability. It would combine number theory and geometry - yes they can do that i had 2 questions i swear i always though could never exist!!! So thats the word of caution to everyone wanting to target a high score in Quant. Just be ready to answer questions which combine fundamentals from all areas!! And for people who are scared of maths, stay away from tough problem sets here on gmatclub or anywhere else. Such questions will never come come on the actual exam and you guys are far better o doing average problems because that would help you to get your basic concepts right and that is what is required on the test.
So thats it guys! hope this was long enough. Good luck to all of you! and remember keep a target breakup in mind, if you have that a target score is easier to achieve.!!
Run towards the things that make you uncomfortable daily. The greatest risk is not taking risks