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My dreaded GMAT experience.. Help needed

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Intern
Intern
Joined: 19 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT 1: 200 Q39 V34
WE: Research (Investment Banking)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 16

My dreaded GMAT experience.. Help needed [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2013, 22:38
Hey, apologies for the very long post but please please please read it as i am in a state of despair
I want to start of by saying that i took my GMAT yesterday and scored 600. Q 39 V34.

I am a research analyst by profession and also a Level 3 CFA student. I have 4 and a half years of experience in equities and currencies research and also a fund manager. Now just to tell you that getting a MBA from my dream b school has been my dream since the last 5 years when i embarked upon this journey. I took up a job after graduation, working up the ladder and gaining the necessary experience over the years all for fulfilling this one dream of mine which was to do my MBA. Even my pursuit of the CFA charter has much to do to add to my profile while applying for the b school. Now after 4 years of work i take up the proposition of giving GMAT. A brief introduction of my educational skills. I am a non native and particularly not fond of Maths especially difficult algebra ( roots, inequalities, functions) and co-ordinate geometry. When i thought of giving my GMAT i stumbled upon GMAT club. I read all about the study plan and everything such as books to buy, other materials, notes etc. I bought the Manhattan Guides and the OG. I also downloaded a ton of stuff from the verbal and quant resources.

Now to how i prepared. I had 2 and a half months and started my studies. I followed a weekly pattern where i used to do quants and verbal on alternative days.
A brief of my preparations:

Quants

Completed MGMAT guides all 5
Completed OG (only the PS part)
Solved quants questions from the GMAT Prep Pack 1 (230 DS & PS)

Verbal

Read MGMAT SC Guide
Read Powerscore CR
GMAT Pill SC course

Apart from these things i solved verbal and quant questions from GMAT Prep, practiced on the GMAT Pill platform for both quants and verbal questions around 600 questions combined.

I would also like to be honest with you about my lacunae with regard to GMAT namely

1: Did not do Probability & Combinatorics at all (During the earlier days of prep i was not able to grasp them and when time came to solve sums for some time i could not and then i just left them :x just cant seem to get my head around it
2: Functions, inequalities, Co-ordinate geometry and number properties (Till the very last day i was not very sure regarding my abilities in these questions. The simpler ones i can solve but a bit tricky and i take a lot of time. not that i am unable to solve but i take more than 3 mins especially some number system questions where they ask you to find remainders in questions)
3: The other areas are relatively better (equations, FDP's, Word Problems)
4: In verbal i do not know where i went wrong

Reading Comprehension : I have a notion that i really cant improve by some strategy in this section so i would practice answering passages and take them as they come and pray to god that i don't get a real tough one in exams. I am not very bad in this section considering for most of the passages i can get all questions correct and that too in the time limit. Even the difficult questions such as, infer the passage, primary meaning are not too difficult if i can understand the passage. However, i noticed a glitch when i was practicing from OG and GMAT Prep that rarely comes a passage which is incomprehensible for me and i mean it. In some of the passages i can understand absolutely nothing let alone answer any questions and i am not able to figure out a way how to improve on that and whether i can actually improve that problem of mine.

Sentence Correction: I figured early that i was very poor and a friend of mine suggested GMAT Pill so i took that and it really helped. I am really confident with the SC. Regarding how to approach and solve the questions. I consider that a part of my strength as i can solve questions under a minute also.

Critical Reasoning: I am okay in this from the start. Considering the various question types the only places i face problems are boldface questions and its a problem because even prior to a week before my exams i was getting most of them wrong. I referred to Powerscore also but it was to no avail

In a nutshell apart from those incomprehensible RC's and boldface questions i am confident about verbal

Practice tests and mocks

I gave just 1 practice test from GMAT Prep and scored 640 Q45 V32. I gave this 20 days prior to my exam day and that was my only full length test. I opted for giving sectionals where i practiced 38 questions from quants and 41 from Verbal seperately. I used to do this everyday repeating questions after GMAT Prep was exhausted. I completed questions on Practice Pill platform from GMAT and i was always ahead or in time. Also, i was getting 70-80% of the questions correct and yes a few of them were guesses but educated ones where i was able to eliminate three choices and guessed on the last two. Moreover, 1 week prior on the GMAT Prep even on the hard section i was getting 85% questions correct in Verbal including RC, SC and CR. I was very confident because i was not guessing and it was happening in a breeze. GMAT Prep was considered suitable standard reflecting the exam quality so i was very sure i was on the right path.
Also, i was never maintaining any error log in he standard form but i was checking on my mistakes.

My exam day experience

I was relaxed and went with a cool head. The AWA and IR sections went smoothly and when i started with quants the first 4 questions were pretty easy. It went smooth untill the first 20 questions. I had to guess on a couple as i encountered Combinatorics questions but i don't think i made too many mistakes. Then i faced a trick problem on Number system. Untill now i was maintaining the avg 2 min/question limit. To my horror i spent 3 minutes on that problem. It was a DS question and as soon as i was to choose the answer i tried to double check and ended spending 6 minutes in total. I don't think i ever got it right and the panic coupled with completing the nest few questions earlier broke me but i managed to complete my section in the time.
Verbal went much smoother as apart from one boldface CR i was pretty comfortable with rest of the questions. Then came true my worst horror. I got a really long passage on some space exploration technique including some gravity and what not. The first question they asked was the primary meaning of the passage. I tried my level best but i could not understand a single line of it let alone the whole passage. I spent 7 mins reading it but to no avail. I was in tears and i know all the 4 questions for the passage which i did were wrong. It was there that i knew i had blown it. One more boldface CR after that which i know i couldn't answer correctly but just somehow completed my exam and then the score.

Now i am completely devastated with my score. I dont want to retake my exam in a month but my situation is very dire. I have left my job because this year i wanted to apply for my MBA at any cost. I was certain with colleges and everything and now i have already missed the first deadline and it wont help much rushing through the exam in a month again considering how poorly i fared. Deep down i know my mistakes and have shared all of them with you but i am not so bad that i deserved a 600. I am shattered to the core and have no point as to how to structure my exam. I will give it again and i will get my target score but i am really in a fix regarding how. I have read your posts regarding the study plan and i have also seen a lot of stuff which is available on your forum but i am really in a fix as to how to start and what resources should i really consider considering there is so much(you have a never ending list of stuff on all sections and i really don't know what is absolutely necessary and which stuff should be completed in what order). I am in a state of despair and i really need your help regarding this as i have spent not 3 months but a good part of the last 5 years for this day and now i feel that i am not good enough for it. Please suggest me a way forward as i really need your help.
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Manager
Manager
Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 116
Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Schools: HBS '16, Fuqua
GMAT 1: 510 Q25 V36
GMAT 2: 510 Q29 V31
WE: Research (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 8

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Re: My dreaded GMAT experience.. Help needed [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2013, 23:25
Well done first for starting your journey and sitting the GMAT! Any dream delivery starts by doing. You have plenty of time before r2 deadlines. So take a deep breath!

You sound very stressed! That does not help with studying or exam taking. So recommended steps take yourself to your doctor for a chat. Step 2 book yourself a holiday and go now! You need to unwind and give yourself mental space.

Step 3: start studying again for the GMAT. You have a really good foundation to work from and you have a clear idea of what you need to work on. So go through the forum for suggestions on study time tables, how to improve your score and how to answer questions.
I would also mix the studying up, different locations, maybe a private tutor or a study group. Make sure you make sleep and fun as much as a priority as studying.

Step 4: narrow down the schools you want to apply for. If your studying for GMAT you don't have time to do lots of MBA apps. So only do a few!
Step 5: book GMAT test!

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Intern
Intern
Joined: 14 Oct 2013
Posts: 1
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 1

Re: My dreaded GMAT experience.. Help needed [#permalink] New post 15 Oct 2013, 03:34
You need to focus on quant. Everybody from India is strong in this area.
Re: My dreaded GMAT experience.. Help needed   [#permalink] 15 Oct 2013, 03:34
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