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Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief

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Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 09:18
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Update: Got 8 in IR! (Shocker) and 4.0 in AWA (Bigger shocker.. Just 23 percentile)

Just done with my GMAT 4 hrs back. Got a shocking and unexpected score - 760. Here's my debrief. Since I am super tired and also because people will find it easier to read, I am mentioning it in points instead of big lengthy paragraphs (unless reqd).

My Background

- Work in construction industry
- Workdays Monday to Saturday - 12-14 hrs min everyday
- Sometimes work on Sunday for 3-4 hrs but rarely
- This is my first GMAT attempt
- Started preparing around April beginning
- Wasn't able to give more than 30-60 min a day due to heavy work load
- Majority of study time was on Sundays

My studies


- In April, google searched GMAT to see what it was all about
- Spent 2 weeks just browsing, reading forums, seeing associated colleges, etc
- Bought OG 13 and started to solve all problems one by one
Tip: Dont solve questions section by section - Example 100 questions in SC then move to 100 q in CR. You'll get bored and tired and wont be able to concentrate

1. Quant

Materials I used:
-OG 13
-Gmatclub Question of the day

Other Details:
-Went through all OG questions.
-My quant was naturally good so didnt bother with all the theory.
-Most of my quant practice came from free online tests such as those in Gmat Club.
-Quant in MGMAT mocks are interesting and challenging.
-solved Gmatclub question of the day everyday without fail. learned a great deal from it.

Tips:
- Go through OG just for fun. The Q here is way too easy. Most questions are 500-600 levels.

2. Verbal - SC

Materials used:
-MGMAT SC guide (Must Have)
-Gmatclub Question of the day
-100 SC questions set - gmatclub http://gmatclub.com/forum/post1113822.html#1113822

Other Details
- Verbal overall was my weakness
- 100 SC set is a must have for everyone. It increased my accuracy from 60% to 90% within 10 days. Explanations are included and are superb. Its a must have to improve your concepts in short duration.

3. Verbal - CR

Materials used:
-Powerscore CR (Must Have)
-Gmatclub Question of the day
-700-800 level CR set - gmatclub http://gmatclub.com/forum/100-amazing-cr-questions-explanations-cr-700-to-800-level-137885.html#p1115972

Other Details
- Verbal overall was my weakness
- Again, the CR set here increased my accuracy from 65% to 90% within 10 days.

Tip:
-700-800 CR set is a must do for everyone. If you are short on time just do the 100 questions of superset included in it. They are superb.
- For concepts refer powerscore. It is THE best book out there for CR.

4. Verbal - RC

Materials used:
-Aristole RC 99
-700-800 level RC set - gmatclub http://gmatclub.com/forum/exclusive-700-to-800-level-gmat-reading-comprehension-rc-143319.html#p1149063

Other Details
- RC was my biggest weakness in Verbal
- Lots of practice required to get better at it.
- Aristole RC is divided into 3 sets of difficulty. I directly too the hardest one.
- After doing half the problems, gave up on it because it was crazy hard. You would never see such RC coming in GMAT even in your dreams.
- Yes I know it was supposed to be more for practice, but I wasnt going anywhere with it so I kept it away.
- My accuracy was around 50% a week before the exam
- The RC set here increased my accuracy to 80%

5. IR

Materials used:
-MGMAT IR
-Magoosh IR (Available Free)

Other Details
- Just like lot of others, IR was my nightmare.
- Max correct ans i got in all mocks was 5.
- Never finished IR properly in any mock.
- I just left it to God for the actual IR in the exam and hoped for the best.

Tips:
- IR materials dont really matter. Dont waste your money
- Best practice is do it along with GMAT mocks
- Just understand the types of questions once. Dont waste your time going into detail


5. AWA

Materials used:
-chineseburned notes - gmatclub : http://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html

Other Details
- Chineseburned notes are all that you require.
- From his notes made a template common to all arguments.
- I wrote the same intro and concl to all without even reading the questions. Saves time, increases words.
- Gave AWA with all my mocks. This was my only practice

Tips:
- AWA materials dont really matter. Dont waste your money buying them.
- Most good materials are available in gmatclub forum itself.
- Best practice is do it along with GMAT mocks
- Unless your writing skills are bad, dont spend much time practicing it.

My mocks

For the last 2 months before the GMAT exam, i made it a habit to give one mock every sunday and review it deeply. (4 hrs + 3 hrs for review).
I had set my target at 700.

1. MGMAT Mock 1 - 630 (Q44,V32)
Started with this mock which i got with MGMAT SC book purchase. These mocks are highly recommended. They are the best available out there.
Anyway, so my first mock was disappointing. I said no prob.. Just starting to work. Will get better.

2. MGMAT Mock 2 - 660 (Q44,V36)
Improvement. Felt better. Hoped for further increase in next mock.

3. MGMAT Mock 3 - 640 (Q44,V33)
Down again. I noticed that my Q was pretty fixed by V kept going up and down.

4. MGMAT Mock 4 - 640 (Q44,V33)
Still no improvement. I started feeling disappointed and tensed. Low on confidence. Is this my final level? 640? I thought its time i tried a mock apart from manhattan just to make sure.

5. Kaplan Free mock - 720 (Q47,V36 or something)
Kaplan scoring is highly inaccurate. Talking about the mock, Q was unbelievably easy. It was giving mostly 500 level questions. I coulnt help but laugh while giving the test. Weirdly, I got just 3 ques wrong in Q and still got Q47. In V i got 20 wrong ( more than Mgmat) and still got V36. I looked up some discussion threads discussing Kaplan tests and found out people usually get in low 600s ( those who get MGMAT in 700) So I was fully confused with the result and chose to ignore it.

6. Princeton Free mock - 660 or something not sure
Dont remember the details sorry.

7. MGMAT Mock 5 - 620 (Q45,V31) - 2 weeks before GMAT
After this is I decided that my actual level was low 600 only and I should probably aim for 650 in the actual test. After studying and giving so many mocks for 2 months and getting a score lower than my 1st mock was completely demoralizing.

8. GMATPrep Mock 1 - 700 (Q49,V36) - 1 week before GMAT
I let out a sigh of relief. One thing i noted here is that MGMAT Q is much tougher than actual GMAT. MGMAT V is similar in SC and CR but RC are much much tougher than actual GMAT. In Q i got 13 incorrect and in V i got 14 incorrect. I was happy with my Q score. Decided that in the week thats left i will concentrate only on Verbal.

9. GMATPrep Mock 2 - 710 (Q50,V35) - 2 days before GMAT
Slight improvement. Improved Q again. V was quite to the contrary. My main aim here was to reduce the number of incorrect answers. I got 10 incorrect in both Q and V which was a big improvement. I didnt understand why even after giving 4 fewer incorrect ans than previous mock by score reduced by 1 point. But happy with anything above 700.

Exam Day

- Reached 1 hr in advance
- Got gatorade. Just something i read in gmat club forums :D
- Finished with the routine checks
- They allowed me to start immediately. (Highly recommended not to wait longer. You will start feeling tensed and probably tire soon)

1. AWA

- Didn't see the question. Wrote my template of introduction and conclusion (chineseburned notes)
- Recommended not to see questions, your mind will start wandering, you may forget the template
- Make sure you write template withinin 6-7 min, read question deeply 2-3 min, Fin essay with clock around 23 min, check for spelling, grammatical errors, sentence construction, etc for remaining time - very imp
- In my exam AWA wasn't that straightforward. Took some time to come up with points.
- Fin with 1 min to spare. Did decent. Will update AWA score when it comes.

2. IR

- My nightmare.
- Got the 1st question as easy as anyone can imagine. It was a Quant Find X-Y 2 part. Took 5 min, got completely confused, guessed and moved on.
- More tension due to this. Already short on time.
- Others were somewhat easy and managed to get some of them right. Had to guess a few. Finished right on time.
- My aim was to get above mean score in IR. I think i achieved that. Will update once scores come out.
Note: IR in actual exam is way way easier than those in mocks. Trust me. I know i too read this on posts by other members and didnt believe it but you have to see it to believe it. MGMAT IR is killer - tough and time consuming. Dont get scared by it. GMATPrep IR is slightly tougher than actual IR too.

3. Break

- Wrote time limits for my quant section in the booklet.
Questions Done - Time left
7-61
14-47
21-33
28-19
35-5
37-0
Other people follow other limits. This is my own. I have tried many. This suited me perfectly. You follow whatever you want but DO follow.
- After that i went out
- Drank half bottle gatorade
- Stretched hands and legs.
- Went in

4. Quant

- Always been my strength
- Straightforward PS questions, quick to solve
- Many DS were tricky so i took my time
- Overall maybe guessed/unable to solve just 2-3
- Fin with 2 min left. Felt positive about my performance.

5. Break

- Wrote time limits for my verbal section in the booklet.
Questions Done - Time left
10-57
20-39
30-21
40-3
41-0
Other people follow others. This is my own. I have tried many. This suited me perfectly. You follow whatever you want but DO follow. Make sure to use bigger interval than Q as you may have to accommodate RC in it.
- After that i went out
- Drank remaining half bottle gatorade
- Stretched hands and legs.
- Emptied Bladder
- Went in

6. Verbal

- My overall score has been coming down mainly because of verbal
- Cleared my head. Told to myself, we will take this one ques at a time.
- Many SC were straight forward. But i took my time reviewing each option just to make double sure that there wasn't a trap.
- CR were easy too apart from a few tricky ones. The prob with them is they take more time to read than SC which leaves you lesser time with options
- Tried to read quick and tried to understand what it was trying to say. Answered (do check all options no matter what) and moved on.
- RC was more of a surprise and a relief. I got 3 or 4 RC. Sorry dont remember exactly how many. Really easy ones and straightforward.
- Passages were easy to understand. No weird terms and didnt have to remember anything. Answered most questions without reading the passage again.
- During my last question stage ( Ques 31-41) i was going really behind the clock ( according to my time limits which i wrote during break) so had to speed up
- Marked some quick answers for the last few questions - but never guessed. If i wasn't sure, i took my time to re-read the questions and solutions again
- Dont make hasty decisions due to time shortage. Make quick decisions not guesses.
- Done just in the nick of time. Felt that I did ok but wasnt feeling that confident of verbal overall.

7. Done

- Went through the routine surveys
- If you have updated your profile at mba.com, most options will already be selected in the survey.
- Clicking Next - Next - Next .. countless times
- The important screen with warning in red - Cancel score or show score. They give 1 min time limit. Make sure you select within that else score will be cancelled. Clicked OK and hoped for a score starting with 7.
- 760! completely surprised. At first I thought it was showing something else, maybe what I could have got if i had not made mistakes or something like that. Kept staring at the score looking at all parts of the screen for any conditions apply or something.
- when i was completely sure of my score, i was elated. Couldnt take my eyes off the computer screen. Finally the proctor had to come and tell me to click finish and get out.
- Took my unofficial Report again making sure that it was my name written above the score.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions regarding anything at all, feel free to ask here. I would be glad to help. If this debrief helped you in any way you know what to do (Kudos :P) so that i know my 3 hrs spent writing this wasnt a waste of time.

Cheers!


-

Last edited by ankurq7 on 16 Aug 2013, 04:01, edited 6 times in total.
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GMAT 1: 660 Q47 V34
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 Debrief [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 09:53
Great score! What were your splits?
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 Debrief [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 10:44
That's just sick dude! You are getting my hopes up high haha... Nice debrief and that's a great score! What were your actual splits? All the best for your future!

I m having the test in 1 day, any last minute tips?
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With all the best!

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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 Debrief [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 17:14
CMcAboy wrote:
Great score! What were your splits?


Oops i missed that. Edited post heading. Q50 V42.

TheGerman wrote:
That's just sick dude! You are getting my hopes up high haha... Nice debrief and that's a great score! What were your actual splits? All the best for your future!

I m having the test in 1 day, any last minute tips?


Thats my last min tip - always have your hopes high. If u go to the test feeling good and confident, you might actually do better. All the best!
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 17:21
Did you follow any special routine to increase your quant? Q44 to Q50 is awesome!
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 21:22
okay wrote:
Did you follow any special routine to increase your quant? Q44 to Q50 is awesome!


In fact i didnt do anything at all. As i mentioned, MGMAT Q is much tougher than actual. So once i had lot of practice doing tough mocks , in GMATPrep and actual GMAT Q was seeming much easier. Work towards reducing the number of incorrect answers.
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 22:50
Congrats for your score! Indeed, an inspiring achievement!!

Please share the two topics of your SC and CR preparations:
100 SC Questions (GMATClub)
700-800 level CR set (GMATClub)

These questions might help me raising the accuracy to a 90% level! :shock:

Thanks!
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2013, 02:09
Congrats!! Very inspiring!
All the best!
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2013, 07:39
akshayahuja wrote:
Congrats for your score! Indeed, an inspiring achievement!!

Please share the two topics of your SC and CR preparations:
100 SC Questions (GMATClub)
700-800 level CR set (GMATClub)

These questions might help me raising the accuracy to a 90% level! :shock:

Thanks!


Links updated in the post. Highly recommended that you solve all those problems. They are kick-ass and they will improve your understanding of the concepts a great deal. The best thing is that they have crystal clear detailed explanations to all options. All the best.

saidyuti wrote:
Congrats!! Very inspiring!
All the best!


Thanks! Good luck to you too.
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2013, 08:41
Great work dude...congrats
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2013, 11:34
Can you please share more on how you aced RC ?
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2013, 18:17
dheeraj787 wrote:
Can you please share more on how you aced RC ?


There are several ways on how you can approach RC questions.

1. Dont read the passage, directly read questions and try to find the answers to each question in the passage.

2. Read 1st question first, then read passage from beginning to end.

3. Read passage thoroughly from beginning to end and then go to the questions.

4. Read passage thoroughly and take notes for each passage and then try to answer the questions later looking at the notes only.

5. Read 1st and last para fully and take notes. For the middle para read ONLY the first line and take notes. Then refer questions and find out which para will answer the question seeing the notes you made. Then read that Para alone to answer the question.

6. Read but donot waste time to understand the passage. Just skim it for words that seem like important and note down the words alone. Then read questions. You will notice the question asking for something specific. The specific word in the question will be something you must have written in the bunch of words you wrote earlier. Read that sentence in the passage alone and try to answer the question.

There are several more ways on how you can approach RC passage. Try out different ways while practicing questions and see which way suits you best. (dont forget to time yourself!)
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2013, 19:09
Thanks a lot for such a quick response.

Do you remember approximately how many passage would you have solved ?

Posted from my mobile device Image
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 26 Oct 2013, 22:39
dheeraj787 wrote:
Thanks a lot for such a quick response.

Do you remember approximately how many passage would you have solved ?

Posted from my mobile device Image


Probably a 100.

Quantity doesnt matter. Quality matters more. I probably spent more time in reviewing my incorrect answers than actually solving the questions.
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Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2013, 01:15
Ok, Actually That is where i am spending less time. I will increase the weight of my study time on reviewing my errors than on doing more and more material.

Thanks buddy !
Re: Rags to Riches - 760 (Q50,V42) Debrief   [#permalink] 27 Oct 2013, 01:15
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