– This word got me going crazy for 1 and ½ years. Every time I come across this word, the dreadful experiences in the past and the alarm bells from the future come across my mind. But, I never gave in. Took each day as a learning process and went ahead with my preparation. ALAS!!! After seeing the score report after the exam, I felt like I was on cloud 9. Never did I feel so happy, so excited. Coz I belong to the 700 club!!!
After seeing the score, my dance steps in the exam hall were interrupted by the staff. (Did I care??? Hell NO!!!)
Let me introduce myself- I’m Kalyan from India( and yeah I belong to the IT field…surprised ?? I guess not!!! ) . I have been working as a SAP Business Intelligence Consultant for a reputed IT company for the past 2 and ½ years. My journey was a rollercoaster ride. But I guess it ends here. I’m quite satisfied with what I got. Fingers crossed I hope I could get into my dream college with this score. I gave GMAT twice. Attempt 1 – (640: Q-48 and V-29 AWA 4.5)
It was way back in 2008 June, that I decided that doing MBA is my goal and since abroad interested me, the only option available is through GMAT. I enrolled in Princeton review
Many of my friends enquired about this institute, asking is it worth spending so much on classes. I would say “YES”, especially if you are working. PR will help you understand the basics of GMAT. As for that mater any institute does. But, that said (as my scores showed up), they will help you to get into the range of 600-650. From there on, it’s up to the individual to go forward and take the score to 700+.
Well, I completed all the standard materials prescribed in PR and of course the OG11
. Being an Indian and an engineering graduate, Quant was never tough for me. Constantly, I scored 48-50 during the mocks. But, verbal was a pain in the ass. I never managed to get that mark beyond 30. But that said, I never really had an approach to solve the question types. I prepared for a month or so ( the application deadlines were fast approaching) after I completed my course and PR. Booked my date and damnnnnn 640!!!
I wasn’t sure how to react to such a score. On one side, I could see most of my friends battling out to get 600 in the actual test, and on the other I could see fellow Indians and Gmat club members scoring 700 like a piece of cake. I was stuck!! SC
- OG 11
and some of the questions in PR tests. My accuracy rates were about 50-60 %. The tutors at PR told me to practice OG questions at least 8 times before I gave my actual test. I managed to do so 4 times. But, this approach never really helped. The answers were recorded in my mind. I was never able to get the grip on SC. CR
– This was the most disgusting part during my preparation for the 1st attempt. All the answers were damn similar. I was not able to pick the wrong ones out. I said to myself, am I really that bad in English? Because, I managed to get some good grades in school and college. This was a reality check for me. My accuracy was always around 50%.RC
– The savior: Well, of all the questions, I was sure that I can get the maximum out of RC. No special skills were needed, just read actively and you can spot the answers.
After meeting various US university representatives in 2009 and the fellow students in the college fairs, I thought I was way beyond the required mark. I was left embarrassed by students who were enquiring if their score of 730 would get an admit in to their college, standing beside me, who was having a mere 640. I decided next year while I stand here, I want to be a 700 club member. Attempt 2- (700 Q-49 & V-36)
The period from June 1st to August 2nd 2010, was the most draining experience I ever had. I had to manage the work pressures and the GMAT preparation at the same time. I was not able to do it. After a small pep talk with my uncle in the US, I decided I’m going to work towards my goal of MBA aggressively. So I took a month off, went back to my home town and studied for about 6-10 hrs daily. I was sincere with what I did. Truth be told, this 1 month period was a learning curve for me, not just in the terms of GMAT but as a person myself. I knew where I was missing out, why I was missing out and what should I be doing to rectify these mistakes. These lessons can’t be taught in any institute no matter how much you pay them. Every person is different and a general approach would just never work.
But I need to thank the GMAT CLUB members and the founder for making this website so useful. Since I was at my hometown, I had no interaction with my faculty in PR. But, I never needed them. GC was always there incase I had any doubts. I got many of my doubts cleared by the guru’s here and many misconceptions cleared I previously had. This is the best resource one can get for GMAT. Coming to the strategies I used for tackling the verbal this time:SC
– Manhattan Gmat Sentence Correction
- Mother of all resource for SC. I revised this book 3 times and made special notes to myself. The previous time in spite of the short-cuts PR staff mentioned about for SC, I was not able to spot the mistakes and often went wrong. But this time, this guide gave a blue print on how to approach the questions and how to spot the errors. My accuracy levels went up to 80%. I practiced like crazy, 1000 SC was done by the end of month. There was this blog for 1000 sc answers, quite helpful. The most important thing to do while approaching this questions is to have the ability to spot the errors (which only comes by practice) It’s not the number of questions you practice that helps you, rather the approach and the POE methods. CR&RC
– The devil turned out to be an angel after I went through the POWER SCORE
CR guide. This guide helps us a lot in identifying the possible errors. In fact, the content in this book also helps us in solving the RC questions. This is a must read if you have enough time for your preparation.
Advice: I may not be the best guy from whom you can take the advice, there are quite some big fish out who scored 750+. They are the GMAT GuRu’s. But the reason why I’m including this section in my write-up is that, I want to let the fellow clubbers know that getting 700 is not big deal. All you need is a strong mind, the will to do it, and the resources to help you do so. I was really taken back when I got 640, such that it took me 8 months to recover from it. I never wanted to touch the gmat book again. But, like I said, things happen for a reason, and that experience propelled me to get to my 700 mark. Final Hints:
1.Approach every question with a strategy in mind. ( The GuRu’s have already put some good practices in this forum, just follow them blindly)
2.Practice every question you do in a timed mode. (even while you are doing them at home)
3.Never let carelessness get to you. Try to increase your resistance ( if it’s low, after all you need to sit for 4 hours continuously in the exam hall)
4.Pick your strengths and weaknesses after some practice. ( Do the MGMAT tests and see your accuracy levels, the time spent on each type of questions) The assessment report in MGMAT exams is a really cool feature. I was able to time myself based on these reports.
5.Take at least 10 mock exams before you attempt the gmat prep software.
6.Follow the AWA template from Chinese burned. This guy is amazing.Special Thanks to: Bunuel
- The math guru1: The topics covered and the respective questions were just top classGayatri
: Gayatri’s SC notesSriharimurthy
: The Math Guru2: His notes on rates, work and mixture problems are very good
Last but not the leat the founder : BB
Thanks to each and every one of those who replied to my questions.
The first part of my journey ends here. The real challenge lies ahead Wish me best of luck!!!
Let me know If I can help you guys in someway!!!
Second cut is the deepest cut...hope the same applies for my GMAT prep