Just got back from my 2nd round with the GMAT beast, this day the 26th of March I want to remember as The day that never happened. Scored an absolutely dismal 540 (Q41, V23). Needless to say, only my soul survived the bout whereas my body was shredded to infinite pieces by the GMAT beast.
Here’s a quick backdrop leading to my today’s miserable experience.
September the 23rd was my first shot at the beast. I had started off with a diagnostic score of 540 (irony??). Leading to the scheduled day, I prepared using study materials that everyone normally recommends. The OG 12
, MGMAT -5 Books, MGMAT –SC, CR – Powerscore bible compromised my study arsenal. Nevertheless I was able to improvise by 100 points and this reflected in my GPREP-2 where I scored 640 (don’t remember the splits). And, on the G-day I finally ended up with a score of 630 (Q47, V29). I wasn’t dismayed by my score of 630 rather I exited the test center with a burning desire to propel my score to the Holy Grail of 700+. This made me decide on giving up the fall 2012 MBA dream.
Fresh from being nearly mauled, I gathered my spirits and wrote down my key weak areas.
My weak areas were: Quant
: Inequalities, Permutations and Combinations, word problems and occasional hiccups in statistics and DS was/still is the pain in the rear.Verbal
: SC (Holy cheese cakes!! Loads to learn.. oh yeah!) and CR (The CR questions made me face them with an expression of …. DAFUQ??).
Fast forward to the preparation phase:December 2011
I was on and off with my preparation until December. I began to gather steam by working on my weak areas in Quant section. Revised the MGMAT books
, did the exercise problems including the advance section. I had calendared the GMAT Club Tests
’ free access dates and took two tests on each of the free access dates. Collectively, I had attempted around 8-10 ( Dec12’ – Feb12’) tests. I had taken the tests untimed, but I made a point to finish up the tests under 90 – 100 minutes. On an average I used to get around 7-8 questions incorrect in these tests. January 2012
So, the New Year began and I resolved to make CR and SC my forte. I diligently read through the MGMAT-SC
and the Aristotle CR bible. Compared to last time, when I was eliminating the incorrect answers by using set of thumb rules in SC, this time I made sure to concentrate on the meaning of the sentence. To strengthen my understanding of various SC questions, I used to GMAT CLUB verbal forum
where I used to practice SC questions by sorting them topic wise and difficulty level wise. This systematically improved my performance in SC. I employed the same approach to practice CR questions. The explanations provided were an eye-opener for me. I was able to tackle CR questions with such ease that at times the answers just jumped out at me with a ‘pick me sign’. I guess, I had figured the patterns in CR questions. I even practiced the LSAT RC
passages (2 per day – on and off untimed). Well, this continued until the 22rd of February when I started off with MGMAT CATs and GPREP CATs.
The following were my CAT scores:
MGMAT – free CAT (22nd Feb) – ( 90 mins per section) – 740 (Q47,V44).
MGMAT – 1 (26th Feb) (90 mins per section) – 750 (Q48, V44).
GPREP1 – (29th Feb) – 740 (Q49,V41).
MGMAT- 2 (3rd of March) (90 mins per section) – 760 (Q49, V45). (DAFUQ!!.. alright, I have gotta stop taking untimed tests).
MGMAT -3 (6th of March) (test setting) – 700 (Q47, V39). (baffled!!!)
MGMAT -4 (8th of March) (test setting) – 700 (Q44, V40). (Quant score gave me night mares and more so did my mistakes in quant)
MGMAT -5 (10th of March) (test setting) – 710 (Q47, V40) (And people’s scores sky rocket in the last few MGMAT – CATs
GPREP2 – (14th of March) – 680 (Q49, V34). (I started to doubt my acumen after this test
GPREP2 Retake– (18th of March) – 700 (Q50, V35) (I thought this was all I could improve ).
GPREP1 Retake – (19th of March) – 750 (Q49, V42) (I took this exam out of pure frustration after reviewing my mistakes in my retake of GPREP2… and, I was like.. WHOA!! I guess, I used up all my luck at this point
Guys, a side note regarding my CAT scores:
I took the first 3 MGMAT CATs timed at 90 mins each section mainly to test whether I can tackle the difficult MGMAT quant questions). But, later I scheduled the tests to normal test settings when the CAT scores became unrealistic. In retrospection to my scores where I have scored 700+, I have theorized that the CAT scores were inflated due to my prior familiarity with the questions on forums.
Nevertheless, I thought to myself I will not take any more CAT tests and spent the last week reviewing and revising the OG, the GMAT Prep SC and CR docs and the mountain of notes I had prepared during my preparation phase. The day that never happened
The night before today I could not sleep well as I was plagued with questions in my dreams.. I even got up today morning contemplating ‘what was that inequality sign again…??’. Anyway after having a decent breakfast, took an auto rickshaw to the test center and reported at around 8:30.AWA- The Only Silver Lining of the day!
( No Kidding!)
Thanks to Chienese Burned (Man, you’re my AWA savior), I confidently addressed the argument and the issue questions. This section was a breeze.
Took the 8 min break, took a sip or two of the RedBull to caffeinate my system went in to face the Quant section with a ‘bring it on!’ face only to be beaten black and blue for the next 75mins. Quant – the paralyzer!
The first question was an easy median/average related question. The second question made me fall off the chair.. it was a ratio proportion related question and I took 4mins to solve it correctly (I presume). 3, 4, 5, … so far so good.. 6th question (A DS Question.. this question is deeply etched in my memory). Wasted precious time on this question… panicked kicked in. There was one particular question that I still detest the most, it was something with 3 modulus variable – rootsign with a pi + variable modulus…arghhh! My theatrics to compensate for my lost time had started my downward spiral to doom. Anyway, this is where I knew I had lost half the battle as my subsequent questions were easy with a capital ‘E’. Man, in retrospect did it so happen that I was so miserable today that I even screwed up the easiest of the lot??... <sigh>!Verbal – Knocked – Me – Out! <ding!>
Took the 8 minute break, few sips of red bull, at this point I even planned my exit strategy. I had lost all hope!
Nevertheless, I mustered courage to face the verbal part. Went in, faced the first question, which was an SC Q after spending 3 mins got it right then came a CR then SC then a RC (short one) and so on it continued. I had the feeling I was getting them right because the questions did become tough either that or my incompetence reigned. Anyway, my train wreck of a performance continued and I was left short on time for the last 4 questions, thanks to a short yet convoluted passage and my stubbornness to let go off the passage. I randomly chose the answers without even looking at the Question stem and clicked on to report my scores.
<Click> 540 (Q41, V23) 45 percentile!
Well guys, bottom line I am contemplating a retake for the 2nd time. And, I implore each and every one of you to guide me in this regard.
a)Should I retake? Or offer an olive branch to the GMAT?
b)If ‘yes’, hypothetically speaking I get a good score, will my previous scores hinder my chances?
c)For my 3rd attempt, what exactly I need to concentrate on to get a 49 in Quant?
d)For SC, will enrolling for e-GMAT
be of any help?
e)How exactly should I prepare for CR?
f)For RC, should I purchase the Aristotle RC99?
Guys, I would really appreciate constructive criticism and suggestions regarding the re-take.
On a lighter note, the RedBull surely gave me wings.. well, it at least gave my soul the wings to escape unscathed.
Character is what you have left when you've lost everything you can lose!
Obliterated into oblivion 630 -> 540 -> A Big SOS!