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Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39)

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Joined: 05 Jun 2013
Posts: 40
Location: United States
Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 720 Q51 V35
GMAT 2: 750 Q51 V39
GPA: 3.4
WE: Marketing (Commercial Banking)
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Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2016, 04:02
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This post is for people who can relate to either of the following:


1. You have a seriously slow reading speed and are still targeting 740 +
2. You already have a 700+ score, but due to your demographic, you will need an even better score. You are still on the question, is it worth the second shot?
3. You have strong quant but are struggling with the verbal, and you do not know what component of verbal you should prioritize
4. You gave GMAT more than a year back, now you want to get into the race again!

I have no intention to make it super long. I am writing just to share my tricks of getting this score. It was a hard task for me to even get to this score as my reading speed is less than 150 words per minute. My strength has always been the Quant side of GMAT but I struggle big time with the verbal section. I got a 720 on my GMAT in 2013 (Q51 V35). However, that's not the score which can help an average Indian to get into top 5 B-schools. So, I finally decided to retake GMAT and boost this score further before applying into top B-schools. After 3 weeks of preparation, I finally scored a 750. In this journey, I was able to create a plan which works for a slow reader like me. Here are my learnings on the three components of verbal section:

1. Critical Reasoning : If you are a quant-driven person, critical reasoning will be the section which can get you right on top. You need a HIGH accuracy and GOOD speed for the CR section. The time I generally spend on CR was the highest to get the best of the accuracy. AVG TIME : 2 minutes and AVG ACCURACY : 90-95%

2. Sentence Correction : This is the section you will use to compensate for your low reading speed. You need to be super fast with accuracy. I reached a level where I got a GOOD accuracy and VERY FAST speed on SC. AVG TIME : 1 minute 20-30 seconds and AVG ACCURACY : 75-85%

3. Reading Comprehension : This is the section you have really no command on. RC takes the longest to improve on either the accuracy or the speed. The best shot is to increase accuracy. One strategy which I implemented was to solve a lot of Inference based CR questions, which helps you understand common RC question wrong answers. The live sessions of E-GMAT can help you get the central idea question right. Detailed questions are generally easier to crack if you understand the blueprint of the passage. With this strategy in place, I got down the average time for each RC to 8 minutes (4 questions) and an accuracy of around 70-80%. One small note on RC - I got a super difficult RC on my GMAT. The language was so abstract that it was impossible to decipher information from this passage. So I finally tried POE directly on the option after a single read of the passage, even though I only understood not more than 25 % of the passage. I think that worked out fine because in the end you are under a lot of time pressure, and not all your techniques work.

Timing Strategies:

The quant section in GMAT is extremely simple. I got only one question wrong in the quant section that too was the one which I left because it was taking a lot of time. The section was far simpler to the ones you get in MGMAT or even GMAT official mock tests. I completed the section in approx. 60 minutes, however, I used to run out of time in all MGMAT tests. I think MGMAT have very good questions but their algorithm of computer adaptive Mock is very different from GMAT. In actual GMAT you get a mix of all level of questions at every stage. Even if you are getting all the question correctly, GMAT raises the AVERAGE level of the questions gradually. The word "AVERAGE" here is very important - it does not mean that if you answered a 600 level question correctly, next question will be a 600 +. It simply means that if you get all question right in 1st 10, which were of say average level 600, you can expect a mix of question in 2nd 10, that will have an average difficulty of 600 +. MGMAT gives you all 700+ level question if you get first 5 questions correctly, which makes it impossible to give justice to each question (which you can easily give in actual GMAT).

The verbal section is at par with MGMAT and GMAT official guide. Here was my strategy,

1. Give maximum time to the first 10 questions. I just got 1 question wrong in first 10.
2. Do not give a second thought for any type of questions. I anyway was running out of time because of my slow reading pace, so this was essential. However, I used to give a good amount of time to CR, which was my strength.
3. Follow a methodical way to solve a SC problem. E-GMAT course will give you a strong foundation with this. I love the course and the staff. They are super cool people and really know GMAT well. The key is to find a source which can give you the answers of the question "what will GMAT think about this question" and not "what is the right answer to this question as per perfect english". I am not doubting GMAT faculty in any way, however, English is not a language which is completely rule-based, hence, it becomes really important to know what does GMAT think of issues which are in the gray zone. I found E-GMAT well aligned with GMAT's ideologies.
4. Allot least time to middle questions, and more time to first 10 and last 10. Even though last 10 questions might have lower weights, I had the lowest accuracy in the last 10 because a. I was too tired to solve difficult problems. b. I was always short of time. So I alloted 20 minutes each to first 10 and last 10 questions.

One additional thing which I want to call out, the gap of 3 years between my GMAT was like a super power for me. The reason is that the GMAT Mock tests are the most limited resources in GMAT. The biggest challenge you will face while reattempting GMAT is that you already have exhausted all the Mocks, and hence cant judge whether you are improvig on your skills or not. So if you give a reasonable break, you can leverage all you have learnt in past, and build on these skills, and also test on GMAT mocks. For verbal section, I will strongly recommend E-GMAT. They have broken down the process into really simple and understandable parts. Hope this debrief helped you planning your study.

Tavish
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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jun 2016, 21:59
Congrats Tavish :)
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I need to work on timing badly!!

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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2016, 00:20
congratulations. good show on Ross :)
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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2016, 23:22
Hi tavish
You said you are really good in CR. Can you help me with the strategies and the resources you used for preparation? I need the advice badly.

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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2016, 06:49
Sure. I only used OG for CR.They are the only authentic source for CR type problems.
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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2016, 08:21
If you used EGMAT...Could you please tell what was your Ability in verbal tests????Also if you could expand on your math strategy.
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GMAT 1: 770 Q51 V44
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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2016, 11:07
Congratulations on the great score and thanks for sharing your study strategies!

It sounds like you have ordered the new version of the enhanced score report. If that's the case, would you mind sharing your report? A group of us are pooling our reports together to understand the GMAT scoring algorithm better, and would love you to join us! :)

information-on-new-gmat-esr-report-beta-221111.html
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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2016, 14:19
@MavericKing I recently posted a couple short, downloadable podcasts on critical reasoning strategies, to my blog on the website listed below. Hope you find them helpful. I have more ideas for future podcast but open to suggestions.

Farrell Dyan Hehn, MBA
Admissions Consultant & Verbal Tutor MBAPrepCoach.com
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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jul 2016, 05:30
I liked your timing strategy :- SC should be fastest. CR should be Avg 2 Mins per question. This would ensure sufficient time to RC, for a slow reader like me.
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Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39) [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2016, 03:42
HMC wrote:
I liked your timing strategy :- SC should be fastest. CR should be Avg 2 Mins per question. This would ensure sufficient time to RC, for a slow reader like me.


Agree, slow readers are bound to allot enough time for the RC. It's also challenging to focus solely on the text and not be tempted to check the time.
Re: Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39)   [#permalink] 09 Jul 2016, 03:42
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Journey from 720 (Q51 V35) to 750 (Q51 V39)

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