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God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week!

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God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 05:19
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Hi everyone,

Date: Sep 25, 2013 ' Score: 710 (Q48, V40)

Thank you GMAT Club!

Firstly, it's a privilege to be writing my debrief on GMAT Club. I have been such a HUGE fan of this community. I would want to thank bb from the bottom of my heart for coming up with this masterpiece. Over the last two months, I think I have breathed GMAT Club all day and all night long. Bunuel and his fantastic solutions, Krishna, Stacy, Cacass, Souvik, Vercules and so many others who make the verbal forum awesome - I thank you all for contributing toward the success of others - believe me, the fantastic work that you're doing, and the wishes that you garner from so many of us - it's going to take you to the best of heights in this lifetime. My best wishes to everyone out here, who makes sure that GMAT Club remains a beautiful experience for newbies like me.

Onto the GMAT Story now:

I work in the International Tax team of a Big 4, and work is at an all time high around the year. Till about April this year, I was working every weekend, and leaving home post 10pm. Come May, I decided I wanted to get an MBA, make the next move in my career. In the third week of May, I joined some classes near my place (Imperial Hotel, CP, New Delhi), so that I am atleast regular with my stuff. I started to study in the class, and always made an attempt to study 3-4 times a week. There were times I couldn't study for many days at a stretch, but atleast, in my mind, something or the other kept going on.

In August 2013, I realized that there was too much dilly-dallying that had happened. All I was studying was doing the Question of the Day on GMAT Club. I decided to take the GMAT Prep in August (after 4 delays already), and took it on 18 August. Result - scored a terrible 570! Strangely enough, I saw it 'not a very bad performance'. "Ok, a Q40 - I can definitely take it up by 5 points, and a V28, I can definitely score 33-34 with some more basic clarity." With that thought, got back to my studies. All through June to August, I had been suffering from a severe back ache, so that used to take a lot of my time too.

I went on leave starting Sep 1 (exam was on Sep 25), and started to study basics again. Did SC through all the notes I had (those that were given to me in the class), and Quant via a book called NOVA, that was a passed resource from a friend. After about 8-9 days of preparation, I decided needed to take a mock (this was supposed to be my first of a list of 7 I wanted to take before the exam). I banked on the free Veritas test. Result - a 530: Q44, V18! Just a day before, I had taken the free GMAT Club Verbal test, wherein I had scored V39. I gulped down the sadness, smiled at myself, and put it on a bad day. "After all, I had taken the exam after studying for 12 hours - should've taken it fresh. Maybe the Veritas test is crass." But I just couldn't get the V18 out of my head.

I couldn't sleep that night. This was 12 days before my exam. Next day, I woke up at noon and again gave a free Manhattan test. Focus was on Verbal. Did Quant in an un-timed way, and then gave Verbal. Overall score was a 560 - but I was looking at only the Verbal part, since I had given Quant just like that. This time, it was V30. I analyzed this score for about 3 hours and made strategies for all three types of questions hereon. The score also sort of gave a little breather..maybe I can inch my way now. Maybe. So I made a new strategy - I will focus on basics for the next 4 days, give GMAT Prep 1 again, if I am able to score a 650+, I will go for the exam, otherwise, reschedule it.

Studied for 4 days - just basics. Devoted one day to RC completely. Did Quant's basic fundas. Did a huge amount of SC questions. Then prayed to God and gave my GMAT Prep one fine Saturday. Scored a 700. Was so damn happy! Saw atleast 4-5 verbal repeats and 3-4 quant repeats, but I was happy anyhow. Also to note, I had taken this mock without the AWA and IR, unlike the first time. I had my apprehensions around the score, but it was good enough to put the reschedule thought out of my mind. 10 days to go now!

I was studying 8-9 hours per day. Half of that time on GMAT Club. Doing questions left, right and center. There was this compilation I had found on SC - 100 Awesome SC Questions to build on concepts - though I did about 30 of them, these were gold standards, and helped me ace SC in the end. Then, there were the GMAT Prep questions for CR, these again helped me strengthen CR questions, with which I was struggling.

Just 2 days before the exam, I gave my GMAT Prep 2. Saw multiple repeats again - scored a 680 (Q44, V38). I realized that ideally my Q score is hovering in the 45 range and V was at best 35, since there were always 5-6 repeats I could see on the test (this was because I had done those questions somewhere or the other on the GMAT Club forum). I was more or less convinced that I might have to take the exam again - but also confident that this just might work, because I had worked very hard.

Did the AWA via the Chinese Burned Guide, practiced IR, and was good to go for the exam.

The Exam Day

I reached about 10 mins earlier and the center hadn't opened up. My father wasn't well, and I badly wanted to make him proud. A day before the exam, I spent about 2 hours making myself believe things will happen. Reading all those wishes by close friends. Getting motivated by reading some GMAT Club Stories. There is this one particular story I remember - wherein a guy score a 660 in his last mock before the exam, and then went on to score a 730. Went to the INSEAD website, and saw an admit's story, she had scored a 710 in her second retake. I prayed to God, "just help me achieve me 710 somehow - anyhow. I have always helped people by going out of my way, always, this is my time, I should hit it"..

I was taking the exam at Yusuf Sarai, New Delhi. I spoke to the test center people about my back issue, and that I would have to stand in the middle of the exam or take breaks. They were very helpful, and even offered a pillow to me. I had taken 3 bananas (as read in one of VeritasPrep Krishna's advice), and an apple, along with mywaist belt just in case the pain becomes too much to handle.

AWA went off smoothly. I did things exactly the Chinese Burned way. Struggled a lot with IR. My advice to anyone would be to figure out IR was before the last few days. Took a loo break, spoke to myself on the Q strategy. I had always missed out questions in Quant, never reaching beyond 28 or 29. Plus, the other issue was atleast 4-5 careless mistakes. Since I had taken just 3-4 mocks, I had not been able to work too much on the careless mistakes part. Well, the break soon finished and I was ready to face it head on. What I foresaw was something I had never expected. My speed was much slower than any of my previous mocks. The questions were more difficult than anything I had ever experienced. Nothing like the stuff I had prepared for. And way beyond GMAT Prep standards. I just held on to my horses and saw it one question at a time. I was taking about 3 minutes per question. Did some intelligent guessing on 2-3 DS questions between the 18th to 23rd questions. In the end, with 3-4 minutes remaining, I was on Q. 28. Started to randomly select any option - if I could read a question, well enough, if it's long, a random guess is all I could afford. With some 30 seconds remaining, I knew the last question, had seen that type before. Put my cursor on the correct choice 0- and bang! The section was over.

I knew I was gone. This would be fetching me a sub-40 score for sure. What now - I started to make strategies for the retake in those 5 minutes. Probably next time I will follow Bunuel religiously, take GMAT Club Quant tests, do this, and do that. Took a loo break, had two bananas, and told myself it's not over yet. My favorite, Verbal, is left. Let's just try and score a 40 here, so that next time I can take that egmat guarantee and study with them.

Verbal started. This was again tougher than what I had expected, but fortunately enough, this was an area where I had practiced like crazy (just for the love of it - 50-60 SC questions on GMAT Club every day - and reading up every question with complete analysis). Did RC (had done just 5-6 passages in my entire last 45 days). Did CR (the GMAT Prep [practice was helping). By the time I was on last question, some 2 minutes were left. I attempted it with some guesswork, and got done. Boom! Test Over.

Answered those standard questions. Reported my questions. And then just went still. 710 - I couldn't believe that!! This was the number I was dreaming of. This was the number I asked God for. I heaved a sigh of relief. Took my unofficial report, called my parents, and started to text all my well wishers. I was very happy.

Things I did differently, but they might just not work for everyone

1. In my first week of leave (25-15 days before the exam), I was going for 2 hours every single day to get treated for my back problem. This worked for me. I used to interact with so many people, I was never stressed. These were people who did not know the GMAT or work-lingo. Talking here was fun. :lol:

2. For the entire duration of my exams, I walked every night for 1 to 1 and a half hours. Spoke to myself. Used to forget everything and listen to slow music. It made me calm. More calm than I had ever left. I did this till the very last day, and I think this is one major reason for being confident in the exam hall on the final day. :-D

3. Focused on basics. NOVA for Quant and RC, my Sir's notes for SC, and the GMAT Prep Questions for CR. I also did about 300 questions in the last week, based on GMAT Prep, for Number System, Inequalities, Geometry and Co-ordinate Geometry. I never focused on P n C and stuff. I knew it was way too tough to invest time in. If at all a question came, I would try to do it the counting way. That's what I did in the exam as well.

4. GMAT Club - all the way! I have given some 1000+ kudos' in a month. Every single question was analyzed in great detail by me. My quantum was limited, but I made sure the little that I am doing, I analyze it very well. 8-)

5. Took just 3 mocks, and stayed as close to the GMAC practice material as possible - Trust me on this one. If analyzed properly, the official material is way too much to finish. I never gave a lot of mocks. Maybe that's not the right way to go about things, but it worked for me. :wink:

Twist in the Story

I received the official score reports today. Though an AWA is a 6 on 6, I have scored a 0%, on IR, a score of 1. Shell shocked! :oops: Need advice from this community on how to approach things now. Will the admissions committee look into it too deeply? I have 2 and a half years of experience with a Big 4, some start-ups, lots of extra curricular, etc. Though I believe I have a good profile (not sure how good it is for the top schools I dream of), but my being on the lower side in terms of years of experience, and this IR score of 1 are worrying me. What schools can I apply to? How to go about things? Will be very grateful, like always, for any kind of advice. I had been looking at the top schools in the US and ISB, India. Rejected LBS and INSEAD since they are high on experience, and mine would be just about 3 years before admit. :!:

Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, Yale, Chicago Booth, ISB, Said (Oxford), MIT Sloan, Kelloggs - how to go about things? Also, what are the scholarships for international students? Is it true that the total cost would go upto some INR 2 crore+. Is there an ROI that justifies that kind of investment? Please do help guys, keeping the whole picture in your mind. I can always send my CV via email if someone can help me out. :)

And yes, for all my friends out there, wishing you the very best. Mine is not a great score, but I am sure all of you would do amazingly well and score a 730+, or even higher on the GMAT. If I can be of any help to anyone, please feel free to reach out to me. Thanks a lot. :-D

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Last edited by akshaychaturvedi007 on 02 Oct 2013, 06:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 06:03
Congrats on your great improvement. what were your quant / verbal splits? Regarding your IR query ask admission consultants for free

ask-admission-consultants-124/?fl=menu

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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 06:53
fozzzy wrote:
Congrats on your great improvement. what were your quant / verbal splits? Regarding your IR query ask admission consultants for free

ask-admission-consultants-124/?fl=menu


Thanks a lot fozzy, I've written to him.

My split was Q48, V40.

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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 09:42
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Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, Yale, Chicago Booth, ISB, Said (Oxford), MIT Sloan, Kelloggs - how to go about things? Also, what are the scholarships for international students? Is it true that the total cost would go upto some INR 2 crore+. Is there an ROI that justifies that kind of investment? Please do help guys, keeping the whole picture in your mind. I can always send my CV via email if someone can help me out


I would not count on any scholarships from a top 20 school. The only reason they may issue you one, is if you are an amazingly unique candidate and they feel the program would benefit from your presence. Pretty arrogant but true. A few folks get scholarships that are a part of an under-represented group (e.g. Women with military experience)

As to your score, it is on the good but below average side for most of those schools (except Said).
The total cost has been discussed many times, and is very straightforward. it is 100-120K for tuition + your lifestyle which will be $50K on the low side and $100K on the OK side over 2 years. You can try to get away with less by working during school but it is harder... some schools do offer loans without cosigners - there has been a discussion on that here: loan-programs-for-international-students-w-o-us-co-signer-135745-20.html#p1264015

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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 10:44
bb wrote:
Quote:
Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Columbia, Yale, Chicago Booth, ISB, Said (Oxford), MIT Sloan, Kelloggs - how to go about things? Also, what are the scholarships for international students? Is it true that the total cost would go upto some INR 2 crore+. Is there an ROI that justifies that kind of investment? Please do help guys, keeping the whole picture in your mind. I can always send my CV via email if someone can help me out


I would not count on any scholarships from a top 20 school. The only reason they may issue you one, is if you are an amazingly unique candidate and they feel the program would benefit from your presence. Pretty arrogant but true. A few folks get scholarships that are a part of an under-represented group (e.g. Women with military experience)

As to your score, it is on the good but below average side for most of those schools (except Said).
The total cost has been discussed many times, and is very straightforward. it is 100-120K for tuition + your lifestyle which will be $50K on the low side and $100K on the OK side over 2 years. You can try to get away with less by working during school but it is harder... some schools do offer loans without cosigners - there has been a discussion on that here: loan-programs-for-international-students-w-o-us-co-signer-135745-20.html#p1264015


Thanks bb, this really really helps. I will research it up. As for the IR, I think I'll speak to some schools directly as well.

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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 11:20
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Brilliant debrief Akshay and heartiest congratulations to you :). Quite an amazing journey you had, Have my GMAT in 10 days needed a debrief like this to get going. As for the IR score, I have attended the ISB seminar online as well as in person, they are very clear they are not considering IR score. With regards to other school, visit the school threads to find more about scores acceptance and ask the official representative at GMATclub.

A V40 in verbal in quite an uphill from a V28, I started with a similar V28 and now I am at V35-36 in mocks, have taken the e-gmat verbal online course, these guys are good. My SC accuracy is in dumps even after doing more than 700-800 sums and reading all explanations :(. Would be great if you could give some tips on SC.

All the Best with your apps mate.

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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 11:31
farhanc85 wrote:
Brilliant debrief Akshay and heartiest congratulations to you :). Quite an amazing journey you had, Have my GMAT in 10 days needed a debrief like this to get going. As for the IR score, I have attended the ISB seminar online as well as in person, they are very clear they are not considering IR score. With regards to other school, visit the school threads to find more about scores acceptance and ask the official representative at GMATclub.

A V40 in verbal in quite an uphill from a V28, I started with a similar V28 and now I am at V35-36 in mocks, have taken the e-gmat verbal online course, these guys are good. My SC accuracy is in dumps even after doing more than 700-800 sums and reading all explanations :(. Would be great if you could give some tips on SC.

All the Best with your apps mate.


Thank you so much for your words, really appreciate them. All the more, your ISB info really helps me heave a sigh of relief :)

Coming to the important part, I think you're doing really well in the mocks at the moment, scale this score even higher. I see a V43-44 potential already, so work toward that! I a sure egmat is fantastic, since I had some really fantastic learnings from the free stuff they had. The pre-thinking bit in CR is what I applied all through.

For SC, PM me your email id, and I'll send you the SC pdf I've mentioned in my debrief. More than that, I focused on doing the 700+ SC questions on GMAT Club, as much as I could. This helped me get better and better. It takes me 2+ minutes to evaluate a CR argument, so saving up via doing SCs under a minute really helped. Besides that, in case you feel you need any other kind of advice, feel free to call me, I'll drop in my number visa a PM.

And I am sure you'll rock it, expecting a 750 from you, go for the kill!!

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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 23:21
Very good score, Akashay :D.
Would you mind to share your practice score (MGMAT, GMATPrep) with details in Q and V?

All the best come to your application :D
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2013, 23:52
That is an awesome improvement, Congrats on your score ...

I have PM'd you my email ID please forward me the NOVA RC and SC notes you have ...


Best of Luck for your Apps.

Regards,
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 08:33
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lequanftu26 wrote:
Very good score, Akashay :D.
Would you mind to share your practice score (MGMAT, GMATPrep) with details in Q and V?

All the best come to your application :D


Thanks for your words mate. As I described in the debrief, I just gave the free MGMAT, where the focus was on Verbal and I did Quant in an untimed way, managing just 16-17 questions. I remember it was V30.

Besides this, I gave 3 mocks in total:

GMAT Prep 1 - 18 August - 570 (Q40, V28)

GMAT Prep 1 (again) - 14th September - 700 (Q47, V38)

GMAT Prep 2 - 23rd September - 680 (Q44, V38)

As I mentioned earlier, I saw 4-5 repeats in V and 3-4 in Q while giving the GMAT prep 1 again and GMAT Prep 2. Also, I had given the Veritas free mock, where I scored a 530 (V18, Q44) - but I have this after studying for 12 hours. Though I believe this was a shocker to me, coming ten days before the exam, and motivated me to gear up on the basics again.

Consider giving a Kudos, if my posts help you :-D

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Last edited by akshaychaturvedi007 on 17 Oct 2013, 23:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 08:35
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abhinav11 wrote:
That is an awesome improvement, Congrats on your score ...

I have PM'd you my email ID please forward me the NOVA RC and SC notes you have ...


Best of Luck for your Apps.

Regards,
Abhinav


Thanks Abhinav, sharing the requested resources and a few others right away. Wish you all the very best, I am sure you'll ace it! Let me know if I can be of any help at any pont of time, cheers.

Consider giving kudos, if my posts help you ;)

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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 10:02
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shraddhasahoo wrote:
Many many congrats to u....need a help can u plz share ur sc notes :)......thanks in advance .....

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No problems Shraddha, just drop me a pm with your email id, will send 'em to you.

Consider giving kudos, if my posts help ;)

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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 11:43
Hi Akshay,

As i was going through ur debrief, I could actually see myself in ur position and feel my heart burning and pounding with the same anxiety as urs...Just needed a few tips, my exam is due this November, have written 2 mock tests so far(Veritas and Princeton), but never paid much heed to AWA. The first mock test(veritas) got me an IR of 6 and Q-38,V-30. The second mock test(princeton) got me an IR of 5 and Q-40,V-30 again. SC is pretty fine for me I feel as I get around 11 to 12 questions correct out of 13 and CR gets me around 10 to 11 correct questions on 14. What I am worried about are the assumption questions in CR, did you get any of those assumption questions in ur exam. Secondly, which mock test more or less has its standards similar to the actual GMAT because like you said, you found the questions pretty difficult and different from the ones you had taken in the mock tests. I just wanted to know the mock tests that have their standard of questions similar to the gmat.

Congratulations once again. :)
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 12:21
Congrats on the score! Great job! For your IR, It sounds like you rushed through it since you got a 0% as a result you got a stamina boost of 30 points. Did you have a lot of time left over? You may want to check with the schools that you are considering how they look at 0%
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 16:55
Heartiest congratulations on your score Akshay!!!! Sent you PM, please advice whenever you have time
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 21:10
Congratulations to you !I am a broken heart after getting 420 in the first GMAT :(...I was terribly under prepared and better to say I was not prepared at all.

Gearing up again for the retake and your debrief acted as fuel ...Way to go..
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 21:14
Ashay, thank you for the debrief!
Congrats!! Your debrief made my day!
I'm struggling with verbal now and your words are very helpful!..
I'm using too many resources now and don't see an improvement actually, so maybe I will follow you and concentrate on official GMAT resources. Also working in a Big4 and can imagine how it's difficult to study and work over hours.
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 03 Oct 2013, 22:35
minkathebest wrote:
Congrats on the score! Great job! For your IR, It sounds like you rushed through it since you got a 0% as a result you got a stamina boost of 30 points. Did you have a lot of time left over?

Interesting observation.
I want to further ask whether you had many questions in quant in your stronger areas and vice-versa?
Congrats on the score. But i want to remind people, this may not work out for everyone.
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2013, 00:10
I read your comments and this motivated me to accelerate the process of my study. I think your suggestions will be helpful. Will be appreacite if you send me your notes for all 3 verbal sections and study schedule, if possible, and advice me how to improve my score within 3 weeks: what I must to do, from what to start, any links in gamtclub regarding database.
Thanks.
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Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week! [#permalink] New post 04 Oct 2013, 10:04
Hi everyone,

Sorry, I haven't been able to get back to your comments (as above), have had a very hard day at work. Have sent the requested material and a lot of other stuff that I found important to about 18-20 of you who PMed me. However, a lot of people forgot to put down their email address - you can just PM me that and I'll send the material your way asap.

Additionally, to many of you who wanted to speak, I've dropped down my number. My apologies, I am in the middle of a 6 day conference and hence my days are ending only at midnight. Nevertheless, as mentioned, I'll try and take all your calls between 4 to 7pm this Sunday itself.

And yes, I am sure all of you are going to rock it, and do far better than I did! Wishing you the very best, please do share you r success stories soon, I'm sure they are on their way :D

_________________

Dream On...

Re: God's Kindness: From 570 to 710 - In a month n a week!   [#permalink] 04 Oct 2013, 10:04
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