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I think 570 is inlove with me.

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I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 18 May 2013, 11:57
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I took the GMAT Prep Exam 1 today, and for the 3rd time running, I scored a 570.

Situation: My exam date is on the 24th of this month i.e. this coming Friday. Wonderful. Time to faint.

To be honest though, I'm not feeling tense oddly enough (with a 570 score, I guess it's best not to feel anything for a while), and after a 10 minute introspection (half of which was spent devouring a red velvet cupcake), I decided to write this post as an antithesis to the usual 700+ score debriefs that drive this forum and though my awe-inspiring mistakes, ensure that people who are starting out with prep steer clear of them. You've probably heard all them all and most of the points are intuitive but we just don't learn do we!!!!


Please step away from the door:

1. Dragging your prep on for way to long - I've been prepping on-off for about a year now. Ok that's a lie, I've been on-off for about a year and a half. And every, single time I think about it, I want to go back in time and kick my silly little ass for not taking the exam seriously from Day 1. Once you decide to head down this path, that's it. Give it your all for the next 2-3 months. If you procrastinate like I did, you'll end up giving up on your life, your free time, and your piece of mind until you take the blasted thing. I could have worked on extracurricular activities (something that's still a blank on my sheet), slept more, read more, or just do anything but try to pretend to study!

2. Take a prep exam as soon as you're done reviewing the basics - I'm so used to exams that test you on rote learning. Learn your numbers and dates and then you vomit them out on exam day. But not the GMAT. Noooo. While I knew what to expect, I did not expect the test to be so ...harsh! So you should know that the impending 24th is actually the second time I've booked the exam. My first date was actually way back in August of last year but I had to skip it because of work commitments. No loss there though because back then, I took my first GMAT prep test a whole 2 days before the exam. Yep. 2 days. And how you know why I call myself 'iissosmarts'. And that's the first time I received my first 570. I was/am an avid time-logger though. Every time I practiced any problems, I always kept track of my time. But I learnt that that tracking time for a set of 10 questions is no way to prepare for a 75 minute session.

3. Don't listen to them. Listen to me - book the exam only when you're prepared. I'm warning you! - Almost every post I've come across says that you should go ahead and just book a date - it's your self-imposed time bomb and will push you towards making sure that you stay the course on your prep, and while that makes total sense, it obviously hasn't worked for me and I'm now $500 down the hole. The past 2 months have been crazy for me in terms of work and I thought that by pushing myself to set a date, I would in turn push myself to stick to my schedule. Can you say EPIC FAIL?! I haven't even taken a IR mock test yet!!!!!

4. Be a little wary of the posts that are on here - Especially when you're starting out, don't start hitting up the 700+ type-questions-list thread like I did. It intimidated me and added a lot of unnecessary stress. Without even solidifying my concepts, I tried to solve some of the tough ones and I just got more confused, especially when a few were written in something resembling hieroglyphs.

These are currently the only 4 points I can think of (it is 1.11am here). Hopefully I don't have to add anymore. More than anything, this is a post for me - to motivate myself because I am going to continue. Given how badly I've behaved with my prep, I know I can do better, much better. But I'm not going to cancel my exam date. If nothing else, I'll at least familiarize myself with the test environment. So I'm going to head to the exam center, sign in, and do the best I can. I might see Mr. 570 again for the fourth time, but I don't care because I'll be seeing his sorry ass for the last time!!
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 19 May 2013, 06:05
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Good luck with the exam. Thanks very much for the post.
Found it encouraging as I also got myself psyched out with the exam by focusing too much on 700 stuff and not focusing enough on my own game.

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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 19 May 2013, 11:27
RESET

Day 1: May 19, 2013.
Verbal is killing me at the moment. All this while my prep has been too quant-focused and I've probably spent about less than 1/5th of my study time on verbal. Needless to say, the lack of verbal prep is now coming back to haunt me. The funny thing is I was great in CR! In the beginning, I was hitting an accuracy rate of 87% but then hubris set in and I let my CR prep slide. Most of the verbal questions I answered incorrectly at yesterday's Prep Test were CR. Motherf%#^&@.

Lesson learnt:

Don't go on too long without practicing a particular set of questions, no matter how good you think you already are in that area.

What I did today
1. Quant - Because quant is still something I need to pick up speed on, I attempted the first 30 PS questions and the first 20 DS from OG13. I've already solved all the quant problems from OG12 and while OG13 is mostly repetition, doing the sums all over again has helped seer some of the basic math principles into my head. One thing I did differently this time, I made sure I went through all the 50 questions I just worked on on the GMAT club forum. Irrespective of whether I got them right or not (happy to report I got only a total of 5 wrong; yeah I know they're the 'easy' ones but at this point I'm going to savour every little progress!). I've downloaded the GMAT Toolkit App on my ipad (a fantastic app btw!) and one of the great things about it is that the 'OG Tracker' contains forum links to each of the OG quant questions (all added by bunuel). So it was easy for me to navigate directly to the forum discussion for each OG question. If you don't have the app, just Google the question up and the first links are usually the Gmatclub's links. Anyway this time consuming exercise has already opened my eyes to a few new ways of solving specific problems. Even if I answered a question correctly and it was probably one of the easiest questions in the book, I made it a point to read up on the solutions listed on the forum. I had set aside a time of 2 hours to solve all 50 questions and review the answers, but I ended up spending 3.5 hours instead. Well spent.
Another site which I refer to for OG problems is GMAT quantum. I don't think I've ever heard anyone mention this site before. While some of the videos may seem lengthy, Mahendra Dabral does more than an excellent job of explaining OG problems.

2. CR - I've been using the MGMAT books for prep and I love them. Their quant books are excellent for math novices like me. I think their CR book is fine too but I have decided to give Power Score CR a try. I know it's not advisable to keep switching between books and methods, but I've just heard so many good things about this book that I have to at least glance at it. I've only finished reading till the 2nd chapter and I can already see that this book does appear to be slightly better than MGMAT's. I wish I had picked this up in the beginning but I was put off by how thick the book was :? . That being said, because I've been practicing the MGMAT technique, I'm going to try and stick to it, while maybe interspersing it with any Power Score tips that might compliment it. After completing chapter 2 and the practice questions after it, I attempted 10 questions from OG (medium level). 3 out of 10 wrong :x But to be fair, I worked on the 10 questions after coming back from a heavy buffet dinner with my sister where I did drink a couple of glasses of wine :P

That's another thing I've learnt - not to put my life on hold because of this. All this while, I haven't been hanging out with my friends, going out, or even allowing myself to read my plethora of books because I've been trying so hard to not let anything make me lose my focus. But I think depriving myself all this while only made it worse because I kept spending half my study time thinking about how nice the weather was outside and how I'd much rather be doing a, b, c, or d instead of this!So if you want to do a, b, c, or d, go and do it. Just as long as you have the discipline to come back and continue where you left off. It's only been a day for me, but living this new 'philosophy' has already made me a less snappy person and it has helped me plan my time more.
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 21 May 2013, 10:12
Day 3: May 21, 2013.
Now work is killing me. I keep hoping I can sneak in some time at work to study but to no avail. Trying to put in a minimum of 2-3 hours of study every weekday but it's tough.


Lesson learnt:

Not rocket science, but when possible, take time off from work to completely focus. I know people who haven't done so, and still manage to get a good score, but that means their prep has been extended over 6-7 months. One guy who posted a 700+ debrief (can't remember the exact post) said that while he was on holiday in a foreign land (Bali?), he studied for hours every day in a local coffee shop. Sounds crazy...or is it really? A 2-week solid vs. 6 months of prep. Going to see if I can get at least a week off before D-Day.

What I did today/yesterday
1. Quant - 25 PS - 10 'easy' range, 10 'medium' and 5 'hard'. The classification is based on what's written in the GMAT Toolkit App. Realized that not all of the quant questions have forum links built into the App. Bleh.

2. CR - Done with the 4th chapter of Power Score CR and I can now say that this is much better than MGMAT's CR book. I especially love the 'summaries' that are provided at the end of each chapter - really helps you drill down to the important points among all that verbose. Not that I've seen any improvement in my CR score (still at a ratio of 3:7) - but I blame that on my mixing of methodologies. Going to try and stick to Power Score.

3. SC - Re-reading MGMAT's SC book. Great book. One must read it at least twice. Too tired to do any practice questions.
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 24 May 2013, 02:44
TEST DAY!!

Day 6: May 24, 2013.
As you probably know, I went ahead and took the exam because I figured I had nothing to lose. Since B schools only look at your best score anyway, I thought I might as well at least acquaint myself with the whole test-day' experience. Well what do y'know - I took the exam today, and my score was, guess what, 570!!! Q36,V32 (Does it even matter if I add the break up? A sh***y score, is a sh***y score). Not that it was a complete shocker, but I thought that some improvement might be had, given the 3-4 days of study I put in between today and my mock test. New found respect for the GMAT prep software though. It does not lie!

Test experience:

1. Test Center
I was feeling fairly confident, that I would be sitting for the exam a second time, because of which my anxiety levels were at a minimum (some of amount of stress was there, but mostly because I was afraid I wouldn't reach the test center on time given Mumbai's notorious traffic). There are now two test centers in Mumbai. The one I went to, the Churchgate branch, is only a month old. The office is surprisingly small, and seats only 4 people at a time. The administrators were very helpful though (one of the fellas said that 570 was a "good score" given how I prepped for it, yeah right!) . I asked them when I should book my next appointment so as to stay clear of the crowds and they told me to avoid weekends. There was a guy in my batch who would randomly start muttering loudly to himself and normally I would turn around and tell him to pip down, but he sounded like he was in pain! Almost every second question would elicit a 'tut, tut' or a sigh from his mouth. Lol. Another guy behind me let out a "Yes!" after the end of his session. He must have surpassed the 700 mark. If you're Indian, you know you're not going to say a "Yesss!" unless you've crossed the 700 mark!

2. The Test.
AWA topic was very straight forward, but me being me, I ended up adding to many points to my essay. I guess I got a little too excited but in the end, I couldn't completely review it within the allotted time. IR was surprisingly not as tough as I expected. There were a few that stumped be but my main problem was time - I actually enjoyed answering some of the questions until I looked up and realized that had 59 seconds left and I was still on question number 9! 'Enjoyment' flew out of the window and I just selected random answers for the rest of the segment without even bothering to read the question. Lesson learnt Do not allow myself to be completely submerged in a question! No matter how interesting!
I thought quant started off well (yeah, thought wrong!!) until I hit a plateau in the middle. The thing about a few of the questions was that I hadn't seen these type of questions before - I have gone through the OG12 and OG Quant, including a few questions available online, but I just didn't know how to go about solving them. I was fairly confident about quant basics before but it looks like I'm going to have to dig deeper.
Verbal. Damn you verbal. With quant questions, you sort of know when you're right or just guessing, but with verbal, you can never tell, which makes analyzing how you did on verbal so much harder. I know that if I'm going to have to pull my score up considerably, I have got to start concentrating on verbal.

Going to aim around mid/late June as my next exam date. I have to think of a way to excuse myself from work for at least a week. I'll invent an ailing grandmother or some impending marriage in the family, I don't care but I will get the time off for it!! Going to unwind for the rest of the day. Will watch a movie and then get cracking on verbal. While I'm not terribly annoyed at my score, I am terribly annoyed by the fact that I can't immediately start working on my applications. The more I put this off, the less time I have for everything else. Sucks.

To-do list for the weekend:

1. Finish off Power Score CS. At this point, I really wouldn't be spending too much time on theory, but I can't relax when I know I haven't finished a book.
2. Continue re-reading MGMAT SC;
3. Go through the GMAT Club Math Book v3 (I think that's the latest version). I've never gone though before, but after glancing through after I got back, it appears to cover a few shortcuts/formula not mentioned in the MGMAT books.

Here's to gearing up for round 2!!
:-D :-D 8-)
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 25 May 2013, 20:21
I can understand your state of mind, but you should refrain from taking exam, If you are not scoring close to what you intend to score on actual test day.
Moreover, GMAT prep is an actual score predictor, no matter how many times you take the exam, unless youmemorize the option choice.

Consider kudos if my post helps!!!

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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 26 May 2013, 02:19
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570 is in love with you because you apparently don't love the GMAT :). Just Kidding.
Don't read too many debriefs and try to incorporate every tip out there.
Just read the debrief that makes sense to you and stick with the approach. If you haven't read , go ahead and read these epic debriefs:

1.) The debrief on how to structure your GMAT Prep if you want a time bound schedule

http://www.urch.com/forums/just-finishe ... post152529

2.) If you are looking for a more flexible schedule this might be a good approach

http://www.beatthegmat.com/770-50q-46v- ... 95399.html

3.) The best debrief for miscellaneous GMAT preparation tips.

gmatclubbing-administered-770-50q-45v-86239.html
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 26 May 2013, 04:26
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dude, don't get discouraged, fight back. I know what it likes to be on 570, I have been through it. You're not alone. We'll help you make a come back, just that you've to trust yourself. The feeling you'll get after scoring 650+ will be out of this world. don't give up.

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Beat it, no one wants to be defeated (My journey from 570 to 690) : beat-it-no-one-wants-to-be-defeated-journey-570-to-149968.html

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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 26 May 2013, 18:28
AbhiJ wrote:
570 is in love with you because you apparently don't love the GMAT :). Just Kidding.
Don't read too many debriefs and try to incorporate every tip out there.
Just read the debrief that makes sense to you and stick with the approach. If you haven't read , go ahead and read these epic debriefs:

1.) The debrief on how to structure your GMAT Prep if you want a time bound schedule

http://www.urch.com/forums/just-finishe ... post152529

2.) If you are looking for a more flexible schedule this might be a good approach

http://www.beatthegmat.com/770-50q-46v- ... 95399.html

3.) The best debrief for miscellaneous GMAT preparation tips.

gmatclubbing-administered-770-50q-45v-86239.html



Hey thanks for links! I've come across the first link before but not the others, and they're equally helpful! Thank you!
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2013, 05:27
Day 17: June 4, 2013.

Unfortunately, I'm not done with MGMAT SC. :( Was hoping to complete it yesterday but with work being the way it is, I haven't been able to put in that many hours during the week. But let's not dwell on that! The GREAT news:
1. CR has improved considerably. My accuracy rate is now getting close to 80% (and I'm talking about the harder sets on OG);
2. Starting Wednesday, I'll be off for about 3 weeks!! Albeit I will have to head to the office about once a week but it's better than nothing. Going to try and stretch it to a month.

Btw, I received an e-mail from walker (the guys behind GMAT ToolKit). Starting today at 7am CST, the new GMAT Toolkit 2 will be available at a reduced price of only $0.99 ($24.99 value) up until noon CST. Get it if you can. I cannot rave enough about the old iteration and I'm sure the new version will be amazing as well!
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2013, 09:03
hi buddy......u r a rocker...n thats not an adulation but i mean it....the deep introspection , internalisation of the rights n wrongs , coupled with such a happy go attitude......the smooth flow of ur text makes it such a good read....the spirit to take the bit bxn the teeth and that too with such ease.......its really envious.

mark my words man...u wll surely get your life back n that too the way u want

plz dont change urself....this sheer attitude of urs will take u places rather than a poor 3 digit score that stares at u at the end of 4 hrs.
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2013, 09:42
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Hi Dude,
I felt some of the same things when i too got 570, but slowly & surely, you will get a hang of what gmat is about. (currently am scoring above 660 in gmat prep). what i found is -
It is mostly about clearing your concepts. Any source you find to be good-math websites,mgmat books, high school books, whatever.
You should not jump into gmat problems. You need to get the quant concepts in order for eg, & then practice at the 500 level, then at 600 level, there you might also get stuck. There are some skills that may take time.
You will then need extra practice & other strategies to manage time/panic/estimation etc & lots of practice from official sources (read OGs) before you break that 650 barrier.
When you reach there, you will find the window for that 700 figure, but not before.
Its hard, but frankly what makes it that much harder is our full time jobs & full time lives.Getting four weeks off to study for the gmat seems like a wow situation, but it seldom happens.
And for sure, for a 700+ score posted here, there might be hundreds of 500s never posted.
All the best !
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2013, 10:36
@iwantmylifeback :just a thought......if u r planning to give quant a shot in the arm....u can get in touch with ian stewart, the most revered quant guru ianstewart@gmail.com.......number theory n inequalities, the 2 most dreaded ones, will seem to be
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Re: I think 570 is inlove with me. [#permalink] New post 06 Jun 2013, 08:03
skmskm wrote:
hi buddy......u r a rocker...n thats not an adulation but i mean it....the deep introspection , internalisation of the rights n wrongs , coupled with such a happy go attitude......the smooth flow of ur text makes it such a good read....the spirit to take the bit bxn the teeth and that too with such ease.......its really envious.

mark my words man...u wll surely get your life back n that too the way u want

plz dont change urself....this sheer attitude of urs will take u places rather than a poor 3 digit score that stares at u at the end of 4 hrs.


Lol well thank you for that and you're right, I really shouldn't let a 3 digit score run my life!! That sentence really helped drive home the fact that in the end, it really is just a number :) But...I am going to see this through!
Re: I think 570 is inlove with me.   [#permalink] 06 Jun 2013, 08:03
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