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Second attempt 730 (50M, 38V)

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Second attempt 730 (50M, 38V) [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2003, 09:22
Alright, I can already hear somebody whining " another bastard bragging about his score". Well guys I finally said good-bye to this exam yesterday after going through the grueling 4-5 hours of shit and really glad to share my experience with all of you :-). Like most of you, I've been the silent observer of this website and writing here so that some of you might learn from my previous agonizing experience.

I prepared for GMAT in July-Aug 03 and appeared first time in late Aug. That time I mainly prepared using OG,Kaplan and 800score tests. In power prep I scored 740/750 and was scoring well in 800score tests (I don't remember the scores). So as a result I was quite confident and was expecting a score in mid-700. However, it was a different story altogether on the actual GMAT. I scored 650 (96M/56V) and was completely devastated. I couldn't believe the score when it popped up on the screen. Later, in the soul-searching I decided to find out what went wrong. Two thing stood out:
- my power-prep scores were inflated becoz I had seen the problems earlier in OG
- I blew-up big time on the timing in verbal section . On question 32 I had 3 minutes left and after that I just clicked on the remaining questions.

As most of the deadlines were in Oct, so there was also not enough time to start preparing from the scratch. And I was also losing confidence on seeing this score, so just couldn't dare to register the exam without regaining the confidence. Anyway, I did nothing for next 2-3 weeks, searched internet, heard people's opinion and kept on thinking on how to approach the exam again. I luckily found out about this group and believe me, hearing from many of you about your experiences convinced me that if you are capable then it's just the 'day' which matters. And of course, I'm not forgetting the practice here, that makes a great difference.

Among all the above factors, only practice was in my hand. So, I started practicing. I purchased CDs of Kaplan and Princeton and crackGMAT tests, and downloaded GMAT+ from this site. Here are my scores in various exams

Kaplan 1,2,3- 640,650, 600
Princeton 1,2,3,4- 650, 670, 730,740
Crack GMAT 1,2,3,4- 650,660,660, 700

Amonng these, Kaplan's math is on the tough side but still not as tough as in the real exam. Verbal is ridiculously tough and you should make sure that you don't touch Kap tests anywhere near the exam day, it'll take a big beating on your confidence, I can tell you that. Kaplan probably has made its CATs extraordinary difficult to attract the beleaguered students to its coaching institute.
Crack GMAT's verbal I found on the easier side, its math is the toughest though.
Princeton is probably the best indicator of your actual score and its difficulty level (verbal) is also similar to the real exam, maths is on the easier side.
(My assessment here might not be true for all, as I'm not a native English speaker and on the better side in maths.)

Anyway, I practiced using these exams and decided to give a shot again. Essays and Maths were breeze. Now came the Verbal section. This time I wanted to make sure that I at least don't blow the timing and I'm glad that I didn't. But never in the exam I got the feeling that I'm doing well. Probably the reason is that GMAT always keeps you at the edges of your capabilities. I finished verbal in time, and believe me was ready to see any score popping up on the screen. Well, it came out to be on the better side, so I'm glad and spent whole last night drinking :-)

Some tips, which some of you might find useful

- practice practice & practice with the help of CATs
- Among books, for verbal, I think Kaplan Verbal is the best. For the guys starting fresh, I would recommend that you go through Kap Verbal once and then give one of the power prep test and see how it goes. It'll help you to find out the weaknesses in your armory, it could be RC, it could be timing. Then start working on OG(*the* best) and don't just see the explanation of the wrong questions but of the right ones as well. Keep note of all the questions you get wrong, so that you can revisit them. Keep practicing with CATs. For math I didn't refer any book, so can't comment much on that.
- While writing the exam, keep yourself cool and calm, donn panic
- Don't get discouraged with the scores in Kaplan CATs, Kaplan's grading is way off the scale
- If you're aiming for 700+ and have to leave/guess more than 5 questions at the end of the section, then consider canceling the score
- donn believe the $hit that first 10-15 questions decide your score. No. I think algorithm is smart enough to weigh all questions as equally as possible.
- Make full use of the 5 minute breaks you get in the exam, take deep breaths, splash your face with water, take sips of sugarated water.
- There is no single way of preparing for this exam. So, formulate your own strategy and as long as you can see that it's working on your practice CATs, stick with it, refrain experimenting something new altogether on the actual GMAT.

That's it guys. I read the experiences of many of you who screwed up on GMAT on the first attempt and aced it on the second, and that gave me a lot of confidence that I also could do better. I hope my post will help to boost the confidence of some of you.

All the best,
Sach.

Last edited by sach on 23 Oct 2003, 00:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Great Feedback [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2003, 10:53
Sach-

Thanks for the feedback. I scored the same as you (650), and did the same as you in terms of prep for the first exam.

I'm intent on taking it again, but I dont want to just dive right in without forming a better strategy.

If you dont mind answering a few questions:

1) How much time off did you take between the first exam, and then studying for the 2nd time? How much study time (e.g. 2months?) did you devote the 2nd time around?

2) Crack-GMAT, and GMAT-Plus.....where did you get these materials?

3) My quant scores are low. I need to get them up bigtime, in order to ensure the 700+. Any suggestions you recommend (btw - I've done all the Official Guide problems, and most of Princeton Review as well)?
I've heard Kaplan Math Workbook is good for starters and then Arco and Kaplan CD tests are the next best....

Thanks man. Great post. Congrats on your score.
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 [#permalink] New post 22 Oct 2003, 13:54
sach wrote:
- I blew-up big time on the timing in verbal section . On question 32 I had 3 minutes left and after that I just clicked on the remaining questions.

- If you're aiming for 700+ and have to leave/guess more than 5 questions at the end of the section, then consider canceling the score
- donn believe the $hit that first 10-15 questions decide your score. No. I think algorithm is smart enough to weigh all questions as equally as possible.


First of all, congrats on your score Sach, you must be happy!

However, I have to disagree with a few statements that you made for the sake of others that will be taking the GMAT.

I blew up big time in the quant section. I knew how to solve certain problems, but I just couldn't get the answers that were on the screen. Anyhow, I was only on question 27 with three minutes to go! I had to randomly guess on the last 10.

But, I had gotten a lot of the beginning questions correct and I scored a 47 in quant.

It's been shown time and time again that the first questions heavily impact your score.

If you miss the first question, you'll see a very easy question. If get the first 10 correct, and you miss the next question, you won't see a question as easy as if you'd missed the first one! Even if you miss the last 10, you won't see a question as easy as if you'd missed the first one. Hence, if you don't spend a lot of time in the beginning, you'll be wasting your time with easy questions that you wouldn't have otherwise seen. Getting those easy questions correct doesn't bump up your score much.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2003, 00:05
Boy, I'm really surprised to hear that after guessing last 10 questions in quant, you managed to score 47. That's really fabulous. In my case, if I compare my scores on verbal section, first time-56 and second time 86. Both of the times I was doing same in the exam, questions were of similar difficulty level. The only difference was that in the first attempt I randomly guessed last 10 questions, which probably brought my score down by 30 percentile.
I still think that GMAT algorithm is not that dumb that it'll not let a person recover if he/she has made a few more mistakes in the beginning. It's possible that it was just your lucky day and most of your guesses happened to shoot the right ball :-). Although I agree, that there is some truth in saying that getting first 10 quesitons right is far more important than the last 10, however the truth is only partial.

Regarding your questions jj

If you dont mind answering a few questions:

1) How much time off did you take between the first exam, and then studying for the 2nd time? How much study time (e.g. 2months?) did you devote the 2nd time around?

I took 3-4 weeks break after the first exam and then prepared for 1 month for the second.

2) Crack-GMAT, and GMAT-Plus.....where did you get these materials?

http://www.crack-gmat.com/
GMAT Plus is available somewhere on this website

3) My quant scores are low. I need to get them up bigtime, in order to ensure the 700+. Any suggestions you recommend (btw - I've done all the Official Guide problems, and most of Princeton Review as well)?
I've heard Kaplan Math Workbook is good for starters and then Arco and Kaplan CD tests are the next best....

Sorry buddy, I didn't prepare for math at all, so can't tell you much on that.
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 [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2003, 05:51
Sach,

Congrats one the super score. I think you are absolutely right about the KAPLAN test. T have been preparing for the GMAT for some months now and yesterday I took the kap test 2 from the cd behind the book. Believe me I have some track of getting around 15 questions correct on princeton, arco and 800 score but kaplan was extraordinarily tough...so was the verbal section. Some how my confidence is down and i am yet to write 2 more kaptest. I have 2 princeton test,3 800score and 2 powerprep remaining remaining. How do I go about it. I think the confidence is a lot that play a part at the end.

Also please tell us when you wrote practice test aproximately how many correct answers did you get in quant and verbal...and what was the spread of the correct answers. I am planning to write the GMAT this month end and so will be writing few tests till the end. I am also drinking from the OG as someone suggested to do that at the end.

Thanks for you time.

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 [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2003, 03:18
Great score. Congratulations !!!
You really need stomach man to sit for this kind of exam two times.
Did you use Acro ? I'm using it and found it quite good. Kap test - same story as you wrote. Their scoring is in different plane altogether.
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2003, 00:46
Quote:
Also please tell us when you wrote practice test aproximately how many correct answers did you get in quant and verbal...and what was the spread of the correct answers. I am planning to write the GMAT this month end and so will be writing few tests till the end. I am also drinking from the OG as someone suggested to do that at the end.


Bhai,
I was on the better side in quant. In 8-9 tests I took, I got 4-5 questions wrong. In verbal, however, it was a different story altogether. On an average, I used to get 10 questions wrong, with range from 4-16. Regarding spread, I used to get more queestions wrong either in the earlier or the later part of the verbal. In one of the PP test, I got 2,3 and 5th question wrong, but still managed to score 740.

All the best for your exam !

Sach.
  [#permalink] 01 Nov 2003, 00:46
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