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How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760

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How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2012, 09:49
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When GMAT Club said - "The GMAT will leave you emotionally and mentally exhausted", it couldn't have been more accurate. More so, for a person like me who had just come off not one, not two but actually three attempts. In my three attempts I went from 650 to 630 to 760.

Who I am
I am an IT engineer from India and have 6 years of experience in IT services/consulting firms.

The idea of a third attempt
The idea of a 2nd attempt was still OK, but when I decided for a 3rd attempt, even I had started questioning my abilities. But I put my head down and did what I had not done during the previous 2 attempts - practice like hell. With every question and test, my accuracy went on increasing. Now here is the part which I think is the most valuable for people aiming for a good GMAT score, specially for people who are into a full-time job and hard-pressed for time.

I realized that it is neither practical nor advisable to practice a full 4 hour GMAT mock paper everyday or may be even every other day. So, I divided the GMAT into 5 standard sections - SC, RC, CR, PS and DS. Everyday I did one exercise of 20 to 25 questions from anyone section. Including the analysis which is a must after every such test, this took in total 1.5 hrs.

This continuous practice eventually made all the difference.

Books & materials used
OG 12, GMAT quant and verbal guides, GMAT Prep tests, GMAT Club Error Log (very very crucial), Kaplan Tests, MGMAT Guides.
1000SC is an awesome resource for practicing Sentence Correction. And so are the sectional tests you get with the Kaplan CD.

Test scores you received along the way
First attempt - Sep, 2011 - 650 (V34,Q46)
Second attempt - Nov, 2011 - 630 (V36,Q40)
Third attempt - 13th March 2012 - 760 (V42,Q50)
The final score of 760 was my highest ever, including all my practice mock test attempted at home.

Length of study: 8 months
- Know your starting point and definately your target score.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses early on.
- Practice and practice.

Words of Advice
Things you wish you knew
- That making a simpe habit such as doing 25 practice questions everyday can make a world of difference. Had I realized it earlier, I think I would have crossed 700 in my first attempt itself.

Things you have learned
- You are your biggest strength. Keep the faith in your abilities.

Things you wasted your time on
- Focussing on a particualr section too much. This way performace in other sections went down.

Test day experience

The first two attempts were under a heavy load of expections - from myself and from people around me.

For the third attempt I was remarkably calm. Listened to music which took my mind off the GMAT. Just before my third attempt, my scores on Kaplan test had already started surprising me. I had started scoring way beyond my target of 700 in these mock tests. While going to the test centre, I kept telling myself that my scores at the mock tests were not a fluke :) My appointment was for 1 pm. I entered the centre (Green Park, Delhi, India) at around 12:30 and the paper started at around 1:30.
For people attempting GMAT in India "The original PASSPORT is the only valid ID proof GMAT accepts on the day of the test". I have seen it happen twice now, people showing up at the test centre with a driving license, Voter ID card or a PAN card but without the passport. They are turned away.
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Re: How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760 [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2012, 20:53
Congratulations on a fantastic score. If you have any question banks on any of the topics in addition to what is available on GC, it would help us all.
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Joined: 22 Sep 2011
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GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V40
GMAT 2: Q V
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Re: How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760 [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 01:40
Wow, great score -- you blew verbal out of the water. Any advice on scoring 45+ on verbal? Specifically having a little trouble with SC. Thanks!
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Re: How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760 [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 08:40
Wow.. congrats on such a dramatic increase! May I ask what your study routine was before you decided on taking this new strategy of doing 25 questions per day? Also, during your post analysis, what specifically do you analyze?
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Re: How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760 [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 08:46
Here is my strategy for verbal

The core of my learning was the MGMAT verbal guides. For practice, I got started with OG 12 and Official Verbal workbook. Since I gave GMAT three times, by the end of 2nd attempt I had exhausted all my previous resources (which included OG 12, Official Verbal guide, MGMAT tests).

In my desperation to improve the verbal score, I came across 1000SC. It is a question bank of 1000 Sentence Correction questions. The best part is that associated with each question, there is discussion thread - given on the same page, which virtually answers all your doubts. I used to do 30 questions at at time and used to set my set my timer to 32 minutes for every such exercise. To have a look: Simply google "1000SC".

For RC and CR, you can use Kaplan guide. Specially its 25 question exercises that come on the CD. Just remember, when you do these exercise always do it under the given time duration.

Needless to say, keep recording your mistakes in an Error log (a GMAT Club tool). This in turn will serve as you won personal collection of tough question which you can revisit time to time.
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Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
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Re: How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760 [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 11:31
justme1 wrote:
=For people attempting GMAT in India "The original PASSPORT is the only valid ID proof GMAT accepts on the day of the test". I have seen it happen twice now, people showing up at the test centre with a driving license, Voter ID card or a PAN card but without the passport. They are turned away.


Seriously. If you are writing the exam in India, take your passport. The guy I wrote about in my debrief who didn't get his passport actually told the proctor, "But all the teachers know me at this institute!" Needless to say, he was politely asked to leave.

Be more aware. Find out exactly what documents you need in the country you are taking the test in. And, on this point, you are allowed to take nothing with you into the exam hall. Nothing. No cell phone, no watch, no notes, no pens, pencils, nothing. No water bottle. Don't be caught with your phone. Switch it off. Leave it in your car.

The only things you are allowed to take are: a) the ear buds the proctor gives you, b) the laminated pad the proctor gives you, c) the 2 marker pens the proctor gives you.

And, yes, I know I had a friend ask me this: you can take inside the belt you are wearing!
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Re: How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760 [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2012, 22:34
Hi
Congratulation on fantastic score. You proved "Hard work pays"

Could you please tell what was your mock test scores in 3rd attempt ?
Also please state what was your accuracy level in scoring V42?



Thanks
Re: How far will you go ... 650 to 630 to 760   [#permalink] 22 Mar 2012, 22:34
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