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My Story: 650 - 750 :)

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My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 09:03
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Hello Guys,
I had a GMAT retake today and Iam glad to share that I have managed to pull up my score from 650 to a good 750..IN A MONTH'S TIME
I wanted to share my experience of the THE DAY and the preparation for managing the score that I did...
First score (650) break up Q48 V26..I have to acknowledge that although I was scoring 700 in my prep tests consistently...i was never an active participant in the process of preparation...and after the test I realized how lucky I was to have scored 650..
After getting the score, I was down but not out..I decided to give it a better shot with an aim of 700+..
I picked up Sahil's SC notes and Manhattan SC guide, spent a couple of days with them and started solving questions religiously from every quarter possible (1000 SC, CAT papers (CAT is the toughest Indian Management admission test))..i made sure that I participated actively in the GMAT club forum..once I started helping others out, I began realizing that I was internalizing the concepts of SC and they came back to me more smoothly than before..Hence I would say clearing doubts in this forum is the single most important thing that I did during this period..
For CR - I referred to Powerscore, 1000CR, Verbal workbook + cleared doubts on this forum
For RC - I referred to CAT papers and 1000 RC
For quant - After the test, I made sure I solved as many tests as possible for Quant..for I used to make run over mistakes in quant..Over a period of time, i grew confident of my answers..so i spent 1% time on quant..

What was I scoring in the prep tests:
Took 5 tests during this 1 month period and their scores are as below

Kaplan - 730
Manhattan test from site - 690
Manhattan test from site - 730
GMAT prep test (1 week from the site) - 770
GMAT prep test ( a day before the test) - 750

THE DAY experience:
Analytical writing - Good (followed a template borrowed from Beatthegmat.com)
High strung during the break - dint know how to get to rid of it (unfortunately a non-smoker)
carried the nervousness to the seat..
Quant - first 10 mostly right...from then on I started screwing up the answers..for every 3 question was turning out to be a rudimentary level problem..so my overconfidence in quant pulled me down obviously..
High strung during the break again..may be some hormones were fighting amongst themselves to flow out..
Verbal - questions followed a cycle, 3-4 SC, 2 CR and then a RC..

I had clicked on 'Report the score button' in no time..so when I looked at my score on the next screen..the first thought that came to my mind was " Whether I have reported the score".. I reconfirmed with the administrator as to whether I actually reported the score..I hope this has happened with other people..otherwise I would be taken aback for reporting the scene..:)

TAKEAWAYS from my preparation that I hope could be helpful for some one atleast..

1. GMAT is not tough..one needs to follow the rules cited in the books religiously...internalize the concepts...refer more than one source for each part of each section (just to reassure yourself that you are no loser and that you have got the concept fully)

2. SC - perhaps the most tricky section of the lot..I followed Sahil's notes and Manhattan SC religiously and made sure I applied all the concepts, every bit of it religiously.. It helped me to choose between the 2 options after a round of elimination with confidence.. After Manhattan SC I was doing 7/10 in 1000 SC doc and used to eliminate 3/5 options all the times..it used to come down to a choice between the left over ones.. and I believe 700 above scores are made by choosing between the left over options confidently..

One strategy that I devised for myself was: While reading the question get the subject and the intended tense of the sentence..it would almost always help in eliminating 3/5 options...

3. CR - Understanding the question in your way, may be putting it down in your own way(I used to do it), and prephasing the answer was my mantra for CR...it worked from start till the end..the only place I used to flounder was choosing between 2 left over options and for this I religiously rechecked the answer explanations of all the sources that I had referred to..over time..i started choosing confidently between two choices..

4. RC - General outline of the paragraphs (in a series) and putting the general purpose of the passage before looking at the questions helped me answer the RC questions better... I believe one has to be an active reader for doing well in RC..then if one follows a particular method then one is bound to do well.. I would say I did well, because I used to read the passage actively and used to look for important points in the passages..I may have been spending a minute more on each of the passages but it helped me in getting to the answer options quickly, as I used to have the answer more or less in my mind while I had read the passage..

5 Quant - Avoid silly mistakes and more practice was my mantra..I never really prepared for Quant, so cannot offer any takeaways on Quant..but I could be held as example for a case of 'avoid being overconfident' as I was scoring 51 in most of my tests and scored 49 in the actual test..and that I would say is a crime..


Please let me know..if someone has any questions..I owe a lot to this group..



PS : Wohoooo it took 45 minutes to put my thoughts down...so havent scanned the content for any possible errors in language and grammar..
One additional takeaway for me from GMAT preparation was that I now concentrate on my grammar all the time..I have started correcting myself every now and then...and that I believe is a good thing that one could take away moving forward in life..even if this should come to us naturally after our schooling....
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 10:03
Great improvement. Congrats.
What was your breakup score?
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 10:11
Congrats !
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 10:13
sorry missed out mentioning the break up score - 750 (Q 49, V 42)

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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 15:56
Do you think 1000 SC and CR worth attempting?
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 16:04
motleyfocus wrote:
sorry missed out mentioning the break up score - 750 (Q 49, V 42)

Cheers


Great breakup. :-D I wish I get the same Verbal too.
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 18:00
Great score. Congrats... :)

All the best for your applications.
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 01 Sep 2010, 21:13
great job!
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2010, 01:11
All the resources I referred to..were because i wanted to be very confident of the concepts learnt..because concepts will not vary according to the source..hence what I learnt from Manhattan SC..I wanted to apply to 1000Sc

similarly..what I had read in Powerscore I wished to apply to 1000CR questions..

Just for internalizing my concepts and reassuring myself that I implement the concept correctly anywhere I get such questions..

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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2010, 12:20
Nice Debrief and Awesome Score
Best of luck for your apps...!!!!
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2010, 13:12
great score ... congratulations....
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 00:56
Great score and improvement motleyfocus :)
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 01:11
awesome ! Congratulations..
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 01:13
Congratulations on your score and thank you for sharing your experience with us. You mentioned that you read passages from RC in an active way. How exactly did you do it? Can you describe it in greater detail?
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 02:18
@nonameee
Firstly I have a high reading speed, as I read anything I come across...i read philosophy, psychology, business, current affairs, sports etc..
And when I read a passage for RC, I try understanding what is intent of the author ( why is the author writing the passage..in other words this answers what is the general idea of the passage..)
I write down few points about each paragraph of the passage as i read them...by the end of the passage I will have understood what is the main idea of the passage, is the author recommending something at the end..this also helps me come back to right paragraph quickly after I have read the question..and one becomes active about what turns the passage is taking.. this is active reading for me..
Once I practiced this method for a month, I developed a knack of remembering the whole passage in points..and also that I used to answer questions that required reading the whole passage again to eliminate options, very easily..
Having said the above, I truly believe that once someone has achieved a good reading speed, one must be very objective when reading the passage, implement your method religiously and do not start getting into liking the knowledge in the passage..I ve heard many people do that..I wanted to avoid it..and I followed my method religiously..

Let me know if what I have explained has been helpful..
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 02:31
motleyfocus, thanks for your reply. So did you actually take notes during the test? I have a feeling that the GMAT wants you to remember all the details and to retain the whole text in your memory. Getting the general idea is not difficult. But retaining those little details and understanding convoluted sentences and reasoning is not as easy.
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 02:41
Yes i took down notes even during the GMAT test..i dont think any RC passage expects you to remember anything apart from the general idea of the passage, the intent of the author, the turns the passage took..
RC questions which are very specific and for which one doesnt have to infer anything are very rare in gmat..
its all about drawing inferences..

And I believe GMAT test makers are a little helpful in the sense that if one is good with Critical Reasoning..and has a good reading speed then half of the GMAT questions are there for the taking..i have personally observed that when I was improving with my Critical reasoning, I was also improving with my RC..

One has to get the skeleton of the passage correctly..the muscle part is rarely difficult to trace and compare among the answer options..

When u say, u feel that GMAT expects you to remember the whole text..thats what I mean by getting into the trap of liking the knowledge in the passage and remembering the text..never try memorizing..

try the method that I have outlined..let me recall my method once again..and I would pass on any updates that I feel shud be helpful with regards to my method..
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 03:06
Didn't it take too much time to take notes? What kind of notes did you take?
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 04:17
No..it didnt take me much time for taking down the notes..
GMAT RC passages dont not require more than 3 minutes to read them..
My notes were para wise..like:

1st para: Important words (usually would not take more than 8-12 words to describe the para)
2nd para: Most important points (like if there is a change in flow, author wants to go in detail, author gives explanations for contradictions etc) I would put down 8-10 important words of the paragraph..while remembering the purpose of that paragraph..
3rd para: same as the previous one..and if it happens to be last paragraph then, I look for concluding statements..which will round up the central theme of the passage..

for jotting this down..i would take another 2 minutes..

By this time, i would have spent 5 minutes on the passage..and when i moved to the questions I timed to complete them in a time which would make average time per RC question to be 2 minutes..


I had not mentioned in my first post that " I used to make a grid for options A,B,C,D,and E to put a right or wrong while reading the questions..most of the times, i could eliminate 3 choices, in inference questions it used to be a choice between 2 left over ones..and for this I used to visit the para to quickly spot the answer"


I would say..read all my posts before this..and then synthesize the method..and attempt an RC passage..get back to me..with your doubts..
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Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :) [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2010, 06:15
Thanks. I've read all your previous posts in the thread. I'll give it a try. Though I'm not sure I can afford to spend 5 minutes on one passage. Of course if you can offset it by taking much less time (thanks to this approach) to answer the questions, then it's a reasonable strategy.
Re: My Story: 650 - 750 :)   [#permalink] 04 Sep 2010, 06:15
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