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Sharing my journey to GMAT Score 660 Q47 V35

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Sharing my journey to GMAT Score 660 Q47 V35 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2013, 10:01
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Hi,

Today I appeared for my official GMAT test and scored 660 - Q47 V35
I won't say I am very happy with the score as I had scored 700 in mocks, 3 times in last 1 month.
But at the same time, scores from my earlier mocks were not that consistent and quite low, so I would take it.
More so because I don't have sufficient time for retake as the last date for application for my 3 target schools end in August.

Anyways, this community has been very helpful during my prep. All the discussion around the questions, different ways of solving a particular problems, prep strategies all have been very useful. And all the motivational debriefs, they kept me going whenever I lost hope after a disastrous score in mock. Thanks to all the community members and all the experts who have contributed to my prep.

Background and prep:
I am Indian male, 33, IT professional, with close to 10 years of work-ex with around 3 years of work-ex in US, at different client locations. I was contemplating the idea of doing an MBA for few years, but somehow didn't give it a go. Last year I decided that I need to have an MBA to come out of this IT service industry. Started my prep around Feb, with planned test date sometime in May end. Initially I went through my CAT material to brush up on my Quant, which was rusty. And started my verbal prep with OG-12. After a month of studying, I started giving mocks and finetuned my prep accordingly. In between, there was a break due to wedding in family and I had lost the momentum. I started serious prep again around April. I had bought Manhattan 6 mocks and was giving mocks after 3-4 weeks prep. I quickly realized that I need to postpone my GMAT test plan as I was not seeing good scores. Between long hours at work and 3 hours of commute, I had difficult time in GMAT prep. Sometime, I could not study for conecutive 2-3 days and then had to study for long hours in weekend. I think this was the major problem with my prep. I should have studied more regularly.

Mock Test results:
Here is my test scores from mocks, with dates and splits.
31-Mar GMAT Prep1 630 Q45 V32
27-Apr M CAT 1-free 550 Q35 V31 (my self confidence tanked)
13-May M CAT 2 620 Q45 V31 (Regained a bit, but worried about Quant)
09-June M CAT 3 560 Q39 V29 (disasterous to say the least, found Quant very tough)
09-June M CAT 3 560 Q39 V29 (disasterous to say the least, found Quant very tough)
26-June M CAT 4 640 Q41 V36 (little happy to see I got past 32 in Verbal, but Quant was low again - I booked my GMAT test date anyway)
07-July Veritas CAT1 710 Q48 V40 (Ecstatic; but found both Q and V too easy compared to Manhattan)
21-July GMAT Prep2 700 Q49 V35 (Real confidence booster; thought I can do better with improve efficiency in SC)
29-July M CAT 5 700 Q41 V43 (can see improvement, with real test 1 week away, thoght I can give it a final push, took 1 week off from work)
31-July M CAT 6 600 Q45 V29 (confidence at bottom of sea, but tried to stay positive, thought this is not official stuff)
03-Aug GMAT Prep1-Re 630 Q49 V26 (bad idea to give a mock 2 days before actual GMAT, but I wanted to erase previous 600, wanted to go in test with good last score)

D-Day
05-Aug Official GMAT 660 Q47 V35

Test Day experience:
I had appointment at 1:30 pm. Reached test center half hour early. After formalities, I went in, selected 5 schools for score reporting and then started the test.
AWA was breeze, thanks to Chineseburned template.
IR started with very descriptive questions. They were not very difficult, very question stems were very lengthy and writtten in twisted way. I took almost 15 minutes for first 3-4 questions, then picked up the pace and finished section with last 2 as guess.

Took optional break. Splashed water on my face, sipped gatorade and went back in.

Quant started well. First 8-10 questions very straight forward and I found them easy. Then I started seeing some relatively tough one, but they were still managable as they didn't require too much calculations comared to Manhattan Quant questions. Instead the questions were little trickier and needed to be very vigilant while reading the questions stem. I was on schedule till Q # 22-23. Then was stuck in 1 probability and 1 geometry question, which took up good few minutes. I had around 15 mins left for last 10 questions or so. I had to rush on some DS ques and guess on 2 PS questions, which required lot of calculations. Managed to finish the section in time.

Took optional break. I thought Quant went well and I should at least get 49. I kept saying to myself, just 1 more session, 1 final push and I can get 700+ for sure. Again splashed water on my face, sipped gatorade and went back in.

Verbal also started well. 2 SC, 2 CR, then a passage (3 Ques), again series on SC, - It was going nice. I was able to solve the questions and was doing it in good time. Finished 13 questions in first 20 minutes. Then saw a Passage (3 Ques), couple of CRs, few SC - at half way mark, on Q # 21, I had 35 minutes left. again couple of CR, and a long passage (4 Ques), this one was very long and convoluted. Took up lot of time. But I didn't bother as my accuracy was much better in RC and CR than in SC. But then I realized that I had only 13 minutes left for last 11 questions. Had to rush on next all questions. Guessed in 2 CRs and 1 SC and finished the test in time.

After Background Info. Questions, clicked on Report my score. I was hoping to see at least 700 if not more. Initially got disappointed at seeing 660, but then calmed myself and told that this is not the end of world, and I can still put up a good case with better essays and overall Application.
Hopefully, I should be able to compensate my low score with stong application and should make it to any of the 3 IIMs. (A,B,C)
If that doesn't happen, I'll give GMAT another try early next year, but I still hope that I don't have to go through it all again. :-)

Here are my bits of advise to propective GMAT takers:
1. Start early with your prep. Don't wait till last date of Application deadline. Better to get it done with in advance.
Make a schedule and try to stick to it as much as possible.
Do regular studies - I cannot give more emphasize to this. Heavy studying in last few days cannot give the same result as regular studies.
2. Try to learn the patterns for each question type. Take note of those specific questions and refer them regularly.
While working on your weak area, make sure not to ignore your strong areas, otherwise you'll get rusty on it.
3. For Quant, you can study from different sources that give tougher questions. Some good ones are Manhattan CATS, online communities etc.; For verbal study as much as from Official material. Need to understand the reasoning and explanation very well behind the official questions as it is different from other sources.
4. The only thing matters is how you do on actual test on the D-day. So don't worry too much about scores in Mocks from 3rd party prep companies, unless you are doing too badly in any particular area. These mocks are mostly meant to build your stamina, but official mock (GMAT Prep CATs) are the important ones, save them for last few days just before real GMAT.
5. Sources for Good tips: Articles from Manhattan staff - specially Stacey Kaprince, Chris Berman, Ron Purewal. Specially the explanation given by Ron is quite well. Thursdays with Ron is also good collection of videos on various question types.
6. Last but not the least, think about the sacrifices you and your family/loved ones have made and ensure they don't go waste. STAY POSITIVE and KEEP WORKING HARD to achieve your goal till last moment.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck.
Thanks.
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Re: Sharing my journey to GMAT Score 660 Q47 V35 [#permalink] New post 05 Aug 2013, 22:02
appreciate your positive attitude!. i have the same goals as you. the 1 yr courses of the IIM's. i am scoring in the 670-680 range right now.but august 31st seems too close and contrary to you,i am postponing my application to next year . i cant live with myself for scoring in this range ,especially when i know i can do better than this.i wish i had your ability to let go. i wish that you make it..let us know how it goes!!
Re: Sharing my journey to GMAT Score 660 Q47 V35   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2013, 22:02
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