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From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying

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From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 15 May 2012, 04:25
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I have a very typical profile of an Indian aspirant here on the forum. -Indian, 26 yrs old software dude. :) I plan to apply to the top programs in Europe this year. INSEAD, LBS are my dream schools, HEC,Said and Judge, and Bocconi and IE safety.

After slogging my ass off in the IT industry for the last 5 years, I pretty much realized that I have a stagnating career ahead if I don’t equip myself with the right qualifications. I am a team leader;I earn well but I need to breakout from the monotony of an IT job. I am a person full of energy, enthusiasm and want to do something more with my life, meet exciting people(fed up of these mediocre people around me), learn about new cultures and hone my skills further. After reading a lot of success stories here, I was determined to do well.

Overview of how I studied:


I went to the nearby book store and purchased Princeton Review’s Cracking the GMAT. Within a week, I had solved most of the questions in the book and I realized that something is definitely wrong because I had heard that the GMAT ain’t that easy an exam.

Resources used:
GMAT Prep software and the Official Guide- The most important thing you need for your prep, simply because it is the official material.

Verbal
1. Powerscore CR Bible –The best book for CR
2. Aristotle SC Grail for SC- Thanks to mohater and whiplash for referring this book.
3. Aristotle RC –Really helpful if you are struggling with RC . I also highly recommend people to read The WSJ and The scientific American regularly. Not to mention The Economist, which has now become my favorite magazine.

Quant:
1. Manhattan Number properties book-Good book and better because the book gave me access to 6 Manhattangmat tests.
2. Official Guide: Some of the questions especially towards the end are quite good as they give you a good idea about how the tricky questions on the GMAT are tested. I spent a good amount of time on these questions trying to understand the logic and figuring out multiple ways to tackle the questions. Then I moved on to Aristotle PS & DS Boosters which were pretty good for practice.

About joining coaching institute or doing self prep

I had joined a coaching institute near my house and I think that it was of not much use. The faculty just repeated what was written in the slides. If you have the determination to crack the exam and have the right resources then you can. IMHO, what is really important is how you use the resources that will make all the difference to your prep. And if you want to join, you would be much better off joining some reputed test prep company like Knewton

First attempt 7/04/2012
My first attempt was on 7th April 2012. I got a 700 which is a reasonably good score but I was not happy because I knew that I could much better had it not been for poor time management that messed up my test. So within a couple of days, I booked a slot for the second attempt on 11th May. I didn’t use more resources because I knew that something else-read poor time management was the reason . Just special during this one month just worked on my weak areas more.

Second attempt 11/05/2012

Had breakfast and smoked took a couple of fags. Then I drank a red bull to clear any cobwebs.
Did a couple of OG quant questions just to get my brain moving. Also tried doing verbal but I couldnt focus and thought that do hell with studying now and time to listen to my favorite music on ipod and slept again for sometime(and dreamt about a good score :-D).

Reached the test center on time and relaxed a bit after seeing the tense expressions on the faces of some candidates. LOL! No offence but you could see the nervousness on their faces. This helped me as I thought that if I maintain my cool , I will perform better than the folks there. Started with the essays. They went smoothly. Then the 8 min break. Wanted to smoke so I ran down and out and smoked a cigarette. Came back, splashed water on my face, looked into the mirror and said that I am headed for victory.
Quant had a flying start. Was cruising till the 9th question when I hit a speed breaker. After 2 minutes when I couldn’t figure out the answer, I took an educated guess and moved on. That is something which I learnt from my first experience that I should control the urge to spend more time on questions so that I get them wrong. Verbal went fairly well . I think the experience of taking the GMAT once helped me. My heart really thumped before seeing the score. Finally, saw a 760(Q-50, V-42) and I jumped in joy.

Thoughts on exam:

1) Do not exceed the time you have reserved for yourself in tough questions.
2) Focused practiced of each section is important. There’s no point in doing a lot of questions when you are not able to recognize the pattern.
3) When you miss a problem don't just read the answer. Mark it wrong, don't look at the answer and work it again until you get it right. Hammer the concept into your head.
4) Make an error log : I made an error log of my own because some of the error logs here were too difficult and required a lot of labor.
5) The forums here are the best way to stay in sync with what is the right way to prepare for the GMAT.
6) Total commitment to the exam- that does not mean that studying day in and out but remaining focused and realizing

This score is even better for me because the high scorers usually apply to the top schools in the US and it would help me stand out from the crowd.

Last edited by gmatsamurai07 on 16 May 2012, 02:58, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 15 May 2012, 08:43
good one... congrats !!!
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 15 May 2012, 09:22
With an awesome 760 better target US MBA programmes, some mid ranked MBA will give you a full ride as well. Unles you are looking to get back into IT in a Program Manager role, the 1 year European MBA may not serve your purpose.
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 15 May 2012, 10:02
Congratulations Intern. I am also an Indian aspirant working in IT for past 5 yrs. Can you please let me know how long was your preparation..
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 16 May 2012, 03:29
AbhiJ wrote:
With an awesome 760 better target US MBA programmes, some mid ranked MBA will give you a full ride as well. Unles you are looking to get back into IT in a Program Manager role, the 1 year European MBA may not serve your purpose.


Is it ? Did you hear that from anyone who has done his MBA from a top European school because I have heard that LBS and INSEAD are as good as H/S/W .
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 17 May 2012, 04:01
gmatsamurai07 wrote:
AbhiJ wrote:
With an awesome 760 better target US MBA programmes, some mid ranked MBA will give you a full ride as well. Unles you are looking to get back into IT in a Program Manager role, the 1 year European MBA may not serve your purpose.


Is it ? Did you hear that from anyone who has done his MBA from a top European school because I have heard that LBS and INSEAD are as good as H/S/W .


LBS is an exception in this case as it is a 2 year MBA. INSEAD is good as well, but it would all depend on your post MBA goals, and you would need to find out from recent graduates as to whether Indian IT people could make the transition that you are looking for. This is a 1 year MBA v/s 2 year MBA thing, more so than US v.s Europe.
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 18 May 2012, 22:33
AbhiJ wrote:
This is a 1 year MBA v/s 2 year MBA thing, more so than US v.s Europe.

More than the schools, this is the most important factor distinguishing US and European business schools. Secondly, what matters is the geography you want to work in. If you want to work in Europe, then going for European business schools is going to make the hunt easier .The same thing holds true for US. If you intend to work in Silicon Valley and Bay Area, then going to a school is much better than going to a school on the east coast/mid west and much much better than going to European business schools
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 30 May 2012, 02:51
You are applying to Bocconi but do you think that applying to SDA Bocconi would make sense in this economy. Italy is in a bad shape plus one has to have a command over Italian to be able to land up with something good.
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2012, 23:26
gmatgaga wrote:
You are applying to Bocconi but do you think that applying to SDA Bocconi would make sense in this economy. Italy is in a bad shape plus one has to have a command over Italian to be able to land up with something good.


The primary reason I am applying to SDA Boccon is that they provide 2 full scholarships, 1 75% scholarship and 1 50% scholarship to Indian candidates(it's a secret which many people don't know), so it'd be a great time if I can lap up one of these. Bocconi is a top school and it'd be great if it is a free ride. :-D
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 08 Jun 2012, 03:09
gmatsamurai07 wrote:
gmatgaga wrote:
You are applying to Bocconi but do you think that applying to SDA Bocconi would make sense in this economy. Italy is in a bad shape plus one has to have a command over Italian to be able to land up with something good.


The primary reason I am applying to SDA Boccon is that they provide 2 full scholarships, 1 75% scholarship and 1 50% scholarship to Indian candidates(it's a secret which many people don't know), so it'd be a great time if I can lap up one of these. Bocconi is a top school and it'd be great if it is a free ride. :-D



Whoa! I never knew that . It'd probably be the only top school that is so generous. In fact, it resolved one of the conflicts I had- that i didn't want to pay a bomb for going to a top school but at the same time i didn't want to go to tier 2 schools for the sake of getting good scholarships. So I think with Bocconi, I would be able to strike this balance .Thank you very much .
+100 kudos to you.
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2012, 01:20
gmatsamurai07 wrote:
gmatgaga wrote:
You are applying to Bocconi but do you think that applying to SDA Bocconi would make sense in this economy. Italy is in a bad shape plus one has to have a command over Italian to be able to land up with something good.


The primary reason I am applying to SDA Boccon is that they provide 2 full scholarships, 1 75% scholarship and 1 50% scholarship to Indian candidates(it's a secret which many people don't know), so it'd be a great time if I can lap up one of these. Bocconi is a top school and it'd be great if it is a free ride. :-D


Thanks for this valuable info. I also didn't know about this. +1 kudos to you. Just that I'm a little concerned with the Eurozone crisis and Italy seems to be almost at the center of it.
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2012, 04:07
Great info guys. The only problem I see with the Italian schools is that they don't have a great reputation and brand recognition worldwide. I mean if I tell anyone in India that I have done my MBA from Italy, I am sure they'll have that expression on there faces- "MBA in Italy ? Huh ?". Never heard of that.
Italian or for that matter the Spanish schools are good as long as you want to work in the Eurozone immediately after your MBA otherwise it'd be a little difficult for you in the beginning to ride on your school's name
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2012, 18:32
I agree with a lot of the posters that it's important to know what your post-MBA plans are so that you can select the school that can best help you meet your goals. Also, don't forget the strength of the network. A friend of mine selected a school that was located where he wanted to work and live in, and his fellow MBA students connected him to interviews that eventually landed him a great job.

Anyway, congrats on an outstanding score!
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2012, 23:18
ktlemba wrote:
I agree with a lot of the posters that it's important to know what your post-MBA plans are so that you can select the school that can best help you meet your goals. Also, don't forget the strength of the network. A friend of mine selected a school that was located where he wanted to work and live in, and his fellow MBA students connected him to interviews that eventually landed him a great job.

Anyway, congrats on an outstanding score!


Yes, location is a very important factor. If you want to work on the west coast,most candidates would prefer going to Stanford, Haas, Andersen or Marshall than to the schools. However, if someone really wants to study at a particular school for a particular strength the school is known for say Kellogg for Marketing, then location might not be that big a factor because the school is already known as the best one for that particular concentration so graduates won't have much difficulty finding jobs anywhere
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 14 Aug 2012, 23:19
Hey, congrats on the great score! I am facing issue in two areas and would be great if you can help me out
-Firstly, I get most of the questions correct when I practice untimed but when I practice questions under timed circustmances , my accuracy goes down
-Seconldy, when doing timed practice, I tend to make a lot of silly mistakes.
Can you please suggest how to overcome these issues.
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 28 Aug 2012, 03:59
gauravdangi wrote:
Hey, congrats on the great score! I am facing issue in two areas and would be great if you can help me out
-Firstly, I get most of the questions correct when I practice untimed but when I practice questions under timed circustmances , my accuracy goes down
-Seconldy, when doing timed practice, I tend to make a lot of silly mistakes.
Can you please suggest how to overcome these issues.


Oh boy! This happens with everyone so you are no exception. To err is human. I think our accuracy goes down when we practiced under timed circumstances because a lot of variables like concentration, time pressure comes into play and spoils the game so with regular practice we can certainly neutralize, if not negate, the effect of these variables
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 10 Sep 2012, 22:11
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gauravdangi wrote:
Hey, congrats on the great score! I am facing issue in two areas and would be great if you can help me out
-Firstly, I get most of the questions correct when I practice untimed but when I practice questions under timed circustmances , my accuracy goes down
-Seconldy, when doing timed practice, I tend to make a lot of silly mistakes.
Can you please suggest how to overcome these issues.


One thing that helped me avoid silly mistakes is that I'd take quick breaks while doing timed practice. Quick breaks doesn't mean that I get up from my seat and roam around and then start over. It just means looking away from the computer screen for a couple of seconds and letting your mind cool down. This would help your mind to recover and perform well again
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2012, 23:47
Great score. Can you also outline the number of hours you studied in a week and how did you divide your time between Quant and Verbal ?
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 20 Jan 2013, 23:57
shovitdhar wrote:
One thing that helped me avoid silly mistakes is that I'd take quick breaks while doing timed practice. Quick breaks doesn't mean that I get up from my seat and roam around and then start over. It just means looking away from the computer screen for a couple of seconds and letting your mind cool down. This would help your mind to recover and perform well again



Great tip...I also struggle with concentration so will try to implement this tip..
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2013, 05:52
hi
congrats on the great score. .

How was IR in comparison to the one in Manhattan CATs?

I find IR very time consuming on Manhattan CATs and I have never been able to complete the section in these tests. Couldn't go beyond the score of 1.7 so far..

Is IR really tough on teh gmat or is it manageable?
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Re: From 700 to 760 in 1 Month Without Much studying   [#permalink] 25 Jan 2013, 05:52
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