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 usedOG 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.