My experience with GMAT !!! Read it over a COFFEE : Share GMAT Experience
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# My experience with GMAT !!! Read it over a COFFEE

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Senior Manager
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17 Feb 2010, 22:41
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I have been contemplating if I should write this down in my favorite club. GMATCLUB to me is as good as a TWITTER is to our Super Heroes these days (pun intended). I am one among the ocean of IT Indian Male pool with 5 years of work experience. Right on the day I joined IT I decided to do a MBA but was just waiting for the right time. I had an On and Off preparation for 6 months (when I say ON-OFF I really mean it) probably like studying for 15 days and breaking for couple of months !!!! But from Dec 15 to Dec 27th and Jan 2nd to my exam date of Feb 1st, 2010 I had a serious study.

Books referred :
OG11 - Verbal is up to GMAT standard and Quant is no way near to it.
Princeton - very good for the startup. they have 3-4 sets of questions in the book which I thought were good for practice.
MGMAT SC - Must have as everyone say.

Tests Taken :
Princton Diagnostic -> June 2009 -> 660
MGMAT 1 -> 660 (diagnotic test and took in June-2009)
These tests were taken during the preparation :
MGMAT 2,3,4 -> 660-690
GMATCLUB test Quant - 13 Tests
GMATCLUB tests Verbal - 6

Taken this after finishing the above books :
MGMAT 5 -> 690
MGMAT 6 -> 750 (Was on cloud nine for quite a few days and I must say that this was a real confidence booster and which gave me confidence that I CAN DO IT to the BIG League!!!)

GMAT Prep 1-> 750
GMAT Prep 2-> 730
GMAT Prep1 -> 710
GMAT Prep2 -> 710
GMAT Prep1 -> 770
GMAT Prep2 -> 780

Knewton Diagnostic (Just before the test ) -> 710 (Got very questions wrong something like 5 Quant and 4 in Verbal) and told myself that their scoring was screwed. I have been following GMATCLUB for quite sometime and started following GMATPrep Question explanations in Manhattan forums as well. By far GMATCLUB and MGMAT forums stand out of all the GMAT forums that we have currently.

section wise :

Reading Comprehensions -> Despite being a Indian IT Male I thought I was doing very good in RCs with the strike rate above 90% most of the time. I used to get 1-2 questions wrong in this section. So I wasnt stressing this section much

Critical Reasoning -> I didnot have any specific strategy here apart from going by the normal procedure of reading the question and picking the right answer where I thought (remember this) I was fairing well. But I think this is one section which I should have stressed more since my strike rate here was wavering between 60% to 100%(yes I got all of them right in some tests). Though I tried to follow the thumb rule of picking the conclusion and then premises etc etc but I couldnt stick to it and I didnot follow that on the D-Day.

Sentence Correction -> I thought this was the beast standing between me and my GMAT score and I still think this was a spoiler on the D-Day. I was practising practising practising like MAD!!! Even here I think I didnot have a proper strategy of picking the Noun-Verb, dependent clauses etc etc. But I had a list of things where I was going wrong and a diary of important points which I thought will need to be followed as a thumb rule. I am not sure if I can say this here ...but I saw an exact same question which I saw on one of the forums, but to my astonishment there was a big debate about the correct answer. The OA says something while we all thought the answer was something else including the Staff (Stacy, Ron etc). I was just shattered to see the same question there!!!! (Please let me know if I have to remove my last line)

In Quant -> PS was always my strong area so I did not bother much though I knew that I was bit weak on work-rate problems, lines and circlets and worked on them.
DS Inequalities was killer which was killing me all the time that I save in PS. I still remember the Inequality question where I spent lot of time in the main EXAM.

My first question in Quant was a very lengthy one and I am sure I got it wrong after spending 4 minutes on it. Something to do with the Average means etc but due to the length of the question I think I got it wrong.

I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS A MYTH OR A FACT IN ITSELF ---> GET THE FIRST FEW QUESTIONS RIGHT...But in my case I feel it is a fact!!!!

Just before the D-Day, I thought I did a very good job with my preparation and took a chill pill before the D-Day and was trying to have confidence levels high as I was scoring well above my target score of 720. But I couldnt resist myself so I started going through the GMATPrep Questions Forum and MGMAT where I was getting lot of them wrong. But I did not let that deter my confidence levels.
Though my test was scheduled for 12 in the afternoon, I reached there by 10:45 and since a slot was free I started my exam by 11:15 AM.

After successfully finishing the AWA on the D-Day, I took a break and told myself I am doing perfectly alright and should continue the GOOD WORK (As my boss keeps saying me always!!!!)

In Quant Spent 4.5 minutes on my first question and I am sure I got it wrong.
Had to rush on my last quant questions a bit and was able to finish them just in time...I think I had to guess couple of questions to get my timing right in the end. Was just able to finish in time.
I was sure that I didnot do it as I would like to do it but I was still confident that my score will be 49-50.

I TOOK THE MUCH NEEDED BREAK, WENT TO THE LOO AND THEN STARTED DRININKING THE GLUCON-D WHICH I CARRIED WITH MYSELF AND I WAS TRYING TO GET MYSELF OUT OF THE QUANT BLUES!!!! TO MY ASTONISHMENT I WENT INTO THE VERBAL SECTION WITH ONLY 73 MINUTES SINCE I SPENT OVER 2 MINUTES EXTRA IN THE BREAK!!!!! GOD CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS ....I WAS CURSING MYSELF WHY DID I DO THIS ...!!!!!

BUT I WAS QUICK TO ADJUST!!! My first question was a SC which I couldnt understand a bit...picked the best answer that I thought and moved on.
All through the exam I am sure I was doing great on my RC. I was confident about a few SC questions but got stuck with two options on most of the CRs and SC questions. This kept on playing on my mind but I was piicking the best that I thought and moved forward. Since I was doing the RCs fast I was right on time in finishing the Verbal section even thought I ate up 2 minutes of my time.

For the past couple of weeks I was trying to recuperate while trying to find out what went wrong. I still remember lots of questions that appeared on my GMAT and I was thinking if those went wrong and trying to find out where I missed it.

I do not want to blame anything for my failure this time but want to learn from my mistakes. I know I didnt have a strategic approach in verbal and may be that killed me on the D-DAY!!! I simply love this exam and couldnt just leave it here. I am going to take it one more time or another time till I get a good score.

I have been trying to get feedback from lot of people on how to improve my score and any course that would help me ....but I think I partly found answers to them and I am planning to hit the GMAT this time by following OG, MGMAT SC, PowerScore SC Bible and CR Bible and MGMAT Ineqalities and Number Properties book and of course the GMATCLUB TESTS. I am still contemplating if I have to take Knewton course as they have 50 point improvement program which is really tempting me. I just want a strategy this time!!!

My final score - 680 - Q49 and V32 and AWA -6 (Was ahappy to see this 6, I hardly prepared for this except the day before the exam)

My advice, have a strategy folks and dont be under the illusion that you are doing good in one section like I was assuming in CR which is one of the reasons for my failure in GMAT and practice and practice as if there is no tomorrow. Nothing can replace this. Have a error log and go through them as many times as you can. Right down the mistakes and go through them as many times as you can. And if you see, all the questions in GMAT follow a specific pattern so try to work on such problems rather trying to learn the whole of SC and CR. These patterns are available in GMATPRep questions.

This is a lengthy one without any structure followed , I just dumped my brain out!!!!! Please excuse or appreciate if it inspired you in any sense

Special thnxs to sudeep, bigoyal , bb and crojec and lot of my other GMATCLUB friends ...You guys are the best company any MBA aspirant can have!!!! And I will keep you posted on my progress about my nextDATE with GMAT!!!!

The above mentioned is my self analysis which could be wrong,any advices here will be appreciated and please let me know if there is something that you folks feel that I missed!!
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Re: My experience with GMAT !!! Read it over a COFFEE [#permalink]

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18 Feb 2010, 07:40
Good brief and good luck for your second try.
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18 Feb 2010, 13:20
Awesome debrief. I think you are only one who said "I simply love this exam and couldnt just leave it here. " in all the posts that I have read. Thats great and inspiring too. Good Luck.
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27 Feb 2010, 11:46
Good advice -- all the best on the next try...
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27 Feb 2010, 12:05
Congrats!!!
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Re: My experience with GMAT !!! Read it over a COFFEE [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2010, 03:11
GMATCLUBBERS,

I have enrolled for Knewton classes and I am updating my experience with them in the below thread :

my-stint-with-knewton-will-keep-updating-as-my-journey-90773.html

Simple Reason for going with them :

They replicate and duplicate the GMATPrep questions and the OG questions, I thought this is a good idea.
And 50+ improvement program if not money back gurantee.
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Re: My experience with GMAT !!! Read it over a COFFEE [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2010, 11:01
Acer - great write up. Good detail and sage advice.

the best part though was really the all caps COFFEE in the subject line for no particular reason. For some reason, perhaps as a fellow coffee-addict, that rubbed me the right way.

Congrats!!
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G.T.L. - GMAT, Tanning, Laundry

Round 2: 07/10/10 - This time it's personal.

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04 Mar 2010, 09:09
Good debrief. I find myself falling into the same pitfalls as yourself. My quant is not as strong as yours though.

As far as your following statement goes:

"I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS A MYTH OR A FACT IN ITSELF ---> GET THE FIRST FEW QUESTIONS RIGHT...But in my case I feel it is a fact!!!!"

Of course the OG contends that all questions are equal, but books such as Kaplan argue otherwise.. Oh well, I used to spend more time on the first 10 questions or so, but I've found that treating each question equal to the next as given me a better score. Who knows. Anyway, good debrief and good luck on the next.
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04 Mar 2010, 10:35
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lackofwittyname wrote:
Good debrief. I find myself falling into the same pitfalls as yourself. My quant is not as strong as yours though.

As far as your following statement goes:

"I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS A MYTH OR A FACT IN ITSELF ---> GET THE FIRST FEW QUESTIONS RIGHT...But in my case I feel it is a fact!!!!"

Of course the OG contends that all questions are equal, but books such as Kaplan argue otherwise.. Oh well, I used to spend more time on the first 10 questions or so, but I've found that treating each question equal to the next as given me a better score. Who knows. Anyway, good debrief and good luck on the next.

Ya Ideally even I will treat the questions on their merit. But would spend that extra minute If I think I can crack the question if it is in the first 15. Of course , I ended up spending 4:36 sec on my first question in actual GMAT and I am sure I ended up screwing it. The question was 7 lines long and to do with averages and work/rate.
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04 Mar 2010, 23:40
Great story. Best of luck man.
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05 Mar 2010, 05:53
I wish you all the best for your next attempt.

~Naresh J
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05 Mar 2010, 08:53
Congrats!
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05 Mar 2010, 09:59
Very helpful debrief! I want to take my gmat by the end of this month.

I have faced quite a few of the problems that you faced... and so I think I am get down to devising a strategy.

One question I want to ask, how would you compare MGMAT test questions to the actual GMAT questions???

Did you find the questions difficult or easy in comparison with the actual GMAT questions??

Best,

Roy
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06 Mar 2010, 02:53
Your GMAT will be a replica of your GMAT Prep tests , in the sense, model of the questions and difficulty level.

MGMAT scoring was good and the quant questions are very good and the level of difficulty is bit more than GMAT. But as such I dont feel that they stress more on the topics that are common in GMAT. Rather than stressing the important topics they tend to increase the difficulty of the questions.

Verbal in MGMAT is OK , but GMAT Prep should be your base.

If you are planning to give your GMAT this month, do post me your experience and your strategies as I am planning to take it next month.
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06 Mar 2010, 09:43
thanks acer!! that helps

I was fretting over mgmat quant,i always seemed to do average in it....

I am hoping that the experience will be worth posting.

Best,

Roy
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07 Mar 2010, 00:17
Wow acer2knight! I almost have the same experience as you do (Except i did worse in the verbal). In most of the verbal section I got down the choices between two but all went horribly wrong in the D day and I ended up with a Q-48 V-27 scoreline. I have been thinking of retaking the exam- but have not studied for the last three months. However, after reading your post I feel inspired. Thank you!
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07 Mar 2010, 00:25
manasroy wrote:
thanks acer!! that helps

I was fretting over mgmat quant,i always seemed to do average in it....

I am hoping that the experience will be worth posting.

Best,

Roy

Nahh dont worry about worht an experience or not. I didnt really think my experience was worth posting, atleast I did not feel my score was. But I wanted to tell my fellow members here and see if I can help them and ofcourse gain from the valuable tips that you folks give.
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07 Mar 2010, 00:27
eresh wrote:
Wow acer2knight! I almost have the same experience as you do (Except i did worse in the verbal). In most of the verbal section I got down the choices between two but all went horribly wrong in the D day and I ended up with a Q-48 V-27 scoreline. I have been thinking of retaking the exam- but have not studied for the last three months. However, after reading your post I feel inspired. Thank you!

Ya take your call depending on the kind of person you are. I am that kind of person who is driven by momentum so I am back to my study table, of course not completely but dragging myself towards. Started off with knewton online course and slowly getting into that study mode. I did not want to loose the hard work that I put in my last preparation.
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02 Apr 2010, 23:45
a very good debrief !!!! thanks
Re: My experience with GMAT !!! Read it over a COFFEE   [#permalink] 02 Apr 2010, 23:45
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