The common most profile any one can find in India
General Indian Male, working in IT sector.
After a fair number of attempts in CAT (read 4) getting percentiles in the range of 98 - 99 and getting some decent calls(XL, FMS, IIMs), converting some good colleges(NMIMS, XIM, IMT), deciding against attending some interviews (IIM R, R, T, U) but then deciding not to join them for something bigger, I decided to give GMAT and make ISB my resting ground, a place where my soul will finally take a light breath.
So I started my preparation for GMAT.
Having given CAT so many times, i had some idea about the Quants portion, but the verbal part was a total bouncer.
Gave the first GMAT Prep test and scored a 680. To some extent, i was satisfied with my self that i can take the score further ahead. So i wen ahead with the preparationThe preparation (Mid July'12 to Oct'12)
Below is the list of material which i used for the preparation:
1. Official Guide 13
2. CAT material (Creer Launcher)
3. GMAT Club Tests
1. Manhattan Sentence Correction
Guide 5th edition
2. Official Guide 13
3. Pagalguy Forum for SC. http://www.pagalguy.com/forums/gmat-and-gre-prep/gmat-sentence-correction-discussions-t-20698/p-667828
GMAT Club collection of SC Questions
4. Pagalguy forum for CR. http://www.pagalguy.com/forums/gmat-and-gre-prep/gmat-critical-reasoning-dis-t-20700/p-667838/r-4838310?page=279
GMAT Club collection of Cr questions
5. OG Verbal
1. GMAT prep (latest version)
2. GMAT prep (older version)
3. Manhattan GMAT
4. GMAT Club tests
5. All the free tests - Knewton, Veritas
, GMAT Club free tests and any where i got my hands onSentence Correction
In my first GMAT prep, the section which troubled me the most was SC, because i had done ample preparation for CR and RC while preparing for CAT, but none for SC, so it was by far my weakest section.
I tried to tackle it in a very systematic way. I started reading the MGMAT SC
guide,which i can say is the best book for SC. Some how i got hold of a sheet of paper which bifurcated the OG questions under different headings such as Tenses, modifiers, verbs etc.
So i used to finish the chapter and then solve the respective question from OG for that chapter. This built a strong foundation for SC
The sheet of questions was of OG12
so that i solved with MGMAT SC
and OG 13
i solved after wards. I made sure that I go through each and every answer in OG irrespective of if i have got the question right or wrong. That helped a lot as i was able to think on the lines of GMAT! which is most important to crack it.
Along with OG 13
, i also solved the OG Verbal
review, which again is a book by GMAC and hence should be solved thoroughly by everyone who wants to crack GMAT
I also followed the Pagalguy SC thread and it helped me a lot as i was able to solve questions and learn various approaches from other helpful puys.
I would recommend people who are starting their preparations to stay away from unauthorized sources, as they might shake up all your fundamentals
In the starting of your preparation, you might get more than 50% of your answers wrong (was the case with me) but don't let it bother you.
treat it just like maths, if you know how to add, you know what is 2+2.
Similarly if you know the rule, you know the answer.
The 3 2 split approach helps a lot ans we find this split in every other question.
In the end Practice is the only way to improve your accuracy in SC, the more you practice, the more concepts you learn and the lesser your chances of getting a SC question wrong.Critical Reasoning
This was always one of my favorite sections as i used to love the CR questions during my CAT preparations also.
The OG and the verbal review are the best source to solve questions. You need to put a great amount of practice so that you are able to recognize the pattern in the questions. Unlike SC, there are no rules in Cr, so practice is the only key here.
A finding which i made was "a quantitative answer is always better that a spiritual answer"
In decision making always go for the most ethical option.
A very extreme option can be neglected easily 4 out of 5 times.
P.S. These are no rules, but my observations while solving the questions.
Pagalguy thread can be of help in this section although believe that the number of question sin OG, verbal review and the mock CATs are more than enough.Reading Comprehension
The main idea should be to understand the passage and not start rummaging around for the answers straight away.
Always try to read the passage first, understand it and then look at the questions.
I believe with ample amount of reading and practice, we can get hold of RC.
Again reiterating, understanding the passage is of utmost importance, even if it means that you need to read the passage twice. Once you understand the passage, you can compensate for the time in the subsequent questions linked with the passage.
A great amount of reading of newspapers, editorials will help a lot with RCQuants
I relied heavily on the books for CAT preparation for Quants. I never faced any difficulty as such in this section due to my intensive preparation for indian entrance examinations.
But having said that, we should never take Quants lightly and think that it can be done in a short span of time. I would not say i did not devote my time to Quants, but ya i will accept that a bit more practice would have helped me achieve the perfect 51 score and would have helped me to boost my score by 10 or 20 points may be ... (But then i might have settled for 720 and would not have aimed for 760 .... so whatever happens happens for good. Lets see if i will be able to achieve my target score this time around)
For practice i would suggest not to waste time on the starting questions of OG as they are too basic and will not test you thoroughly. Last few questions in problem Solving and DS are of good level and should be done properly.
For additional practice you can solve the GMAT club practice tests and quiz if you need. Else questions from the mock CATs (MGMAT and GMAT Prep)should be sufficient is analysed thoroughly.
In DS, you are never expected to solve a question and find out the answer, you just need to tell whether the answer can be found out or not. Some times, we go with the flow and try to solve the problem, which results in a wastage of precious time on the actual GMAT.
DS should not be feared, because the concepts are covered when you prepare fr Problem Solving, just apply the concepts, and deduce whether the answer can be found out or not.
Now comes the most important part of preparation acoording to meTHE MOCK TESTS
By far the most important factor in your final score. Every test you take, enables you for D Day. By adjusting your time, stamina, fatigue, strategy during the mock tests, on the final day you can do wonders
Always start off with a GMAT prep test before you start the preparation to get an idea where do you stand.
Then follow it up with MGMAT tests during the middle of the preparations.
And finally when you have one or two weeks left for the actual thing, give the GMAT prep test again.
The score you get in the final test usually is 20 points plus minus your actual score.(although everybody hopes it to be plus ... but alas!!)
The GMAT Prep exams have a huge database and so can be taken twice, by resetting the rooster. There might be a few repeats but not as many which may bother you.
My schedule for the mock test is detailed below along with the scores:
GMAT Prep 1 680 (before the starting of the preparation)
MGMAT 1 680 (Q47 V36)
MGMAT 2 690 (Q50 V34)
MGMAT 3 690 (Q48 V36)
Some free tests form GMAT Club ... scored in the range of 690 750
GMAT Prep 2 720 (dont remember the breakup and have uninstalled the software)
MGMAT 4 690 (Q45 V38)
MGMAT 5 690 (Q49 V35)
MGMAT 6 700 (Q47 V38)
GMAT Prep1 (Reset) 730 (dont remember the breakup and have uninstalled the software)
GMAT Prep2 (Reset) 750 (dont remember the breakup and have uninstalled the software)Actual GMAT 700 (Q50 V 34)
Although i was getting scores of around 690 700 in MGMAT, but the relief was that i was scoring less in Quants and not the Verbal part. And i had read somewhere that the Quants part of MGMAT is of higher difficulty than the Actual GMAT, which was actually true.
The GMATprep exams can be taken at least twice without seeing too many repeat questions. Please make sure you take at least 2 GMATprep exams right before your GMAT at the same time as your GMAT appointment.The G-Day experience:
I scheduled my appointment at 1:00 PM as this was the time i believed was the best for my body. People have different eating and sleeping habits and their body adjusts accordingly. I thought this was the best time for me.
The previous night i tried to have a sound sleep of 8 hours, but i just simply do not know how much i slept, due to the last minute revisions and anxiety
I reached my center at 12:30 PM and was done with the formalities in 15 minutes. Was seeated in front of the computer and after some password entering, my GMAT was on the way AWA section
The arguement was given and i decided to break it. There is nothing better than the template from Chineseburned to get a good score on AWA.
You just need to plug in sentences in the format and a good AWA score is guaranteed.
Here is the link:http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.htmlIR Section:
Was prepared for this section as i had solved the section during my mock tests and the section was more or less on teh same lines, so did not find any difficulty.
One important thing to keep in mind: Do not over exert your brain in this section
, if you are not getting an answer just guess and move ahead, because till now i do not think any of the schools pay too much attention on the score of this section
Break 1: Gatorade and Biscuits, Restroom. stretchingQuants section:
I was pretty confident about this section and believed that 51 was manageable.
I started off in a good fashion and then never looked back. In between i was stuck on a question or two, and that might have gone wrong and hence the score ...
But one thing which did correctly in the Quants section was that i never ever thought about the score i was going to get, this helped me remain focused andi was able to complete the section 8 mins before the stipulated time.
The learning from here is ... even if you finish the section earlier, sit back and relax for 7 8 mins before you submit the final question. This gives your mind the pleasant much needed break additional from the 8 minutes break.
I submitted the last question when the clock showed 30 secs left and moved out for the break.
Break 2: Gatorade and Biscuits, Restroom. stretching.Verbal Section
After the Quants section, I was feeling pretty confident as i believed that i had done justice to the Quants section. I started off with the verbal section cautiously, but at the same time maintaining the pace. It was all going fine, when one RC came and i remember explicitly that i knew i had marked the option wrong as soon as i clicked on confirm.
After that one SC question did me and I did the biggest mistake that any one who is giving GMAT can do. The thought about my final score rushed through my mind. I lost around 30 seconds there thinking of the possible combinations of (50 37) (51 36) (51 38) etc.
Although those 30 seconds did not hurt me much, but my mind was distracted from the path, which i believe hurt my score and i was not able to perform up to the mark. Finally i was able to finish the verbal section with a min and 15 seconds on the clock, I waited for few seconds and then submitted the section.
Then came the survey questions, was in no mood to answer the, but then a silly thought came to my mind that they might give some brownie points for my effort in helping them
(That is not at all the case although and i also knew it
Then the cancel and submit your score screen, i think i paused on the screen for 5 seconds and then submitted the score.
Then came my score and i was deeply hurt with myself. All the three months of preparation and i managed a "decent 700"
My friend who was also taking the test with me went out before me and saw me shaking my head vigorously and thought that i had scored a 500 or 600
Came out, called up my friends and family. All were happy with the score, but i was not. Deep inside i knew i could have done better had i not thought about my score during the verbal section.
Well, in the end of it i got a 700 (Q50 V34)
A not perfect Quants score and the lowest Verbal score i scored in all of my mocks.
A perfect recipee for the retake.
I thought of writing this before i start my preparation for the retake so that I remember what needs to be done and what not to be done and i would be extremely happy if some one else is benefited from it.My tips for the GMAT test day:
1.Get proper sleep before the day.
2. Reach the center atleast half an hour before your appointment.
3. Just revise the formulas and rules which you have prepared over the course of your studies.
4. Go through the AWA template by Chineseburned a day or two before itself. I assure you that would suffice
5. Take an energy drink and something to eat. May be biscuits or chocolates or anything,, but have some thing during the breaks.
6. Take both the breaks and i would recommend use the restroom to keep your mind free
7. NEVER NEVER NEVER think about the difficulty of the question and judge your performance based on the difficulty of the next question. if you are very well prepared, you are bound to feel all the questions easy
8. Keep a track of the time and its ok to make a guess in some unsolvable question and move on rather than wasting 5 minutes on the question.
9. Past is past, dont think about the section which is completed, leave it and move ahead. A good next section can also get you to 750 760.
10. NEVER NEVER NEVER let the thought of the final score cross through your mind during the exam. I have learned it the hard way. I hope the people who read this will leanr from m y mistakes and not repeat it.
I hope you people wont beat me for such a long post, just wanted to write what wrong i had done.
RETAKE in progress, hope to update this post with a 99th percentile score
I applied to NUS, NTU and ISB.
NUS, NTU rejected me even before an interview and ISB after the interview, so thinking of getting a spike in my profile with the help of GMAT
All the best to all
Updating the post with my latest GMAT score. I don't think i should be writing a debrief for the second one
GMAT 700 Q50 V33
Updating the post with my latest GMAT score. I don't think i should be writing a debrief for the third one
GMAT 710 Q50 V35
ISB Class of 2016 | Chat Session with ISB ADCOM | How to get started with Essays | GMAT Retake Debrief
ISB Class of 2015 | My GMAT Debrief | My ISB Interview | General interview tips | How to tackle "Do you have anything to ask" question | Important links by the ISB ADCOM for applications and interview preparation