Before I begin let me thank few members from RC forumIcandy
- you are amazing man, you accuracy in RC passages always pushed me do better.Ritula
: you guys are awesome.
too, unknowingly you guys really inspired me a lot.
I scored pretty badly in my verbal section in my first attempt on 08/29/08. I was well prepared for GMAT, but did not give much attention to exam day preparation. I was struggling in verbal section during my exam and ended up getting mere 19. This score led me to go back to my shell. I never performed so badly in any exam. Nothing seemed right at that moment. I was pretty much depressed and never wanted to talk about my GMAT day. 3 of my friends appeared for GMAT and everyone got more than 700 in GMAT. All I was thinking during that time is “Am I this bad that I cannot even go past 650 mark”. Next 4 months went by and never thought I will give GMAT again.
Earlier I was good in CR and SC and all I wanted was to go past 700 so that my applications will become competitive for the schools that I am aiming for. Well clearly that did not happen and I was completely shattered and devastated.
I changed my goals in New Year and after doing all the research on b schools I realized that I need to get 85+ percentile in both the sections. With this goal in mind I started my preparation again. I knew that problematic area for me was RC and unless I kill RC there is no way I can go past 700+ mark or my 85+ percentile mark. With burden of past failure and RC ghost, I pretend to work normally in office where work was killing me. One day while doing my research on Chicago booth, I came across soni’s blog. This led me to the discovery of GMATclub. This was the only place where RC forum was moving. I thought may be other guys don’t find RC that much difficult.
With so much going on I thought let me check gauge my level so I gave GMAT prep and scored 600(Q37, V25) well this was not bad as I gave this without preparation, but still it did pinch me. I thought dude GMAT is not your cup of tea and let’s forget about it, but on a second thought I realized do I have another way?
With all these thoughts I started with LSAT stuff and RC forum, where Nitya34
used to post 3 RC passages every day. Initially I never felt like doing 3 R gruesome passages after full day of work, but somehow I managed. This is the forum where I met Ritula
I loved Nitya’s signature
“3 RC passages a day keep RC fear away”
Time was flying out of my hand, sometimes I felt I should have started early. All I did during this time was RC, RC and RC. After a while I became consistent with LSAT passages and while at the same time RC forum also helped in gauging my skills against other good people.For SC
I used MGMAT SC
guide and OG. While doing OG I realized that certain things are always wrong such as “because of”, “in order to”. After doing certain exercises I became good at finding these errors, but again I knew that this would be area where I will face toughest questions. I completed 1000SC series with 75% accuracy. I was not happy but this was still better than my 570 score. This 570 score ghost never stopped chasing me.For CR
I used power score book and did some LSAT passages. After a while I found myself doing better in this section. So I started enjoying CR forums.For Quanta
I did not study. I was taking 2 mins for Quanta problem without all those formulae so I was happy that I don’t need to work on this section. Oh did I tell that I am Electronic and Telecomm engg so quanta was not a problem for me.
Soon April,09 came, I thought now onwards I will give test on every weekend, but again this was the time when I started feeling that I could not study anymore and started feeling exhausted. Since I did not want diminishing returns so I thought let’s take a break for while. I made quick trips to NY, NH and VA with friends. Here came last weekend of April and I thought dude you need to complete this GMAT before June.
From 04/25 onwards my focus was to give only practice tests on weekend with essays and take off on one weekday. With this strategy in mind, I spent next few months giving 5 MGMAT test and GMAT preps. I also planned that I will book GMAT date once I get 3 continuous 700 scores.
MGMAT 1-620(Q47, V29) -04/25/09
MGMAT 2-640(Q48, V31) -05/10/09
MGMAT 3-700(Q51, V35) -05/16/09
MGMAT 4-700(Q51, V35) -05/23/09
Prep1 -730(Q51, V38)-05/30/09
Here I achieved my target of getting 3 700 scores, but still I was not convinced so next day I went for one more test.
MGMAT 5-730(Q50, V40) -05/31/09
Finally, I scheduled GMAT on 06/27/09. For next couple of weeks I continued with my strategy of giving tests on weekends.
Prep2 - 710(Q51, V34)-06/06/09
Prep2 Retake- 760(Q51, V40)-06/13/09
Prep1Retake-770(Q50, V44) - 06/20/09(For the first time the number of mistakes in verbal was fewer than Quanta)
As you can see my test was on 06/27 and I had 6 more days to go thru. In the mean time I read blog of another GMAT taker where he mentioned that GMAT is getting tougher and he scored 620 in his second attempt. It shook me for a while and then I came across bb’s post where he mentioned
This comes up every few months when a test taker is destroyed at a test center and starts a rumor that GMAT has become harder.
P.S. Questions are replaced every 30 days.
Well this certainly helped, but still this last week was one of difficult weeks to go thru. During my last week I reserved one day for each section from OG. I started with PS on Sunday (06/21) and finished with SC on Thursday (06/25). I did not take off until Friday (06/26) and reason for taking this off was to give my prep a final touch. I woke up at 5 am in the morning and started my day from there. Idea was to go thru all the MGMAT tests, wrong questions in GMATclub tests
and all the GMATprep questions. This might help certain test takers what to do in last week of their prep.
I went to sleep at 8 pm on 06/26, but could not sleep until 11 pm. I woke up next morning at 6:15 am and reviewed my idioms list, CR question types and meaning of key words for RC (I have posted all this stuff on my wall so I just glanced thru this stuff quickly). I also reviewed my essay templates quickly.
I reached Test center, at 7:10 am for my 8 am appointment while listening to NPR radio. Doors were still closed and I was the first one to reach there. I was able to get in thru the back door. After all the formalities I started with awa and finished argument essay with 5 seconds on the clock and moved onto issue essay this one also I finished with 2 seconds on the clock. I took a break for 2 mins, gulped down half red bull and went to rest room. I started Quanta section and soon level of questions started rising. I had to give it a thought before selecting final answer. 5-6 DS questions were really tricky. In last 5 questions I started getting really tough question. I had 6 mins on the clock and 4 questions to go thru. Somehow I managed to finish this section with 15 seconds on the clock.
I stick to the following rule
Number of Questions: 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 37
Time Quanta : 65 55 45 35 25 15 10 05
Again I took a 2 mins break and gulped down rest of the red bull and ate one energy bar before making a trip to men’s room.
I started with Verbal section and those initial SC questions were horrible. I used POE to find right answers. Again, I saw one tough CR followed by a big and complex RC. I said to myself dude no matter what happens you need to kill all the RCs. I moved on with the rest of the questions and all I remember now is that I got one more long killing RC and 2 short RCs, one of them was complex. Finally in the end I received good SC questions; I completed this section with 1 second on the clock.
I just ignored the entire survey question and finally I remember one error message came that you cannot select next on this screen. I looked at it closely and realized that this is screen where I need to select report score and cancel score. I selected report score and prayed that please give me 730 score with 85+ in both the sections and finally after a while screen displayed. Overall: 760 (99 percentile)
Quanta: 50 (94 percentile)
Verbal: 42(95 percentile)
I asked proctor to open the door quickly as I wanted to make a quick trip to men’s room:(.
Strategy I followed for this section
Number of Questions: 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40
Time Verbal : 66 57 48 39 30 21 12 03
So finally I ended my GMAT journey with 760
I remember one of my friends who scored 740 couple of years back telling me 2 things
1. He told me I know this does not reflect your true potential and I know next time you gonna just flip the first 2 digits. He also gave me example of his friend who scored 660 in his first attempt and 750 a month after and who is matriculating from NYU now.
2. Second thing, which I feel I will remember for long time
He said “Some guys are born geniuses who do not require any study for GMAT and score 780-790, some are lucky like me (he scored 740) while some are like you who have to go through some tough time.”
Now, I think that had I gone for just 700 earlier, I wouldn’t have achieved this score.
Thanks for giving your precious time in reading this post guys.