Before I say anything about myself and my journey, I would like to specially thank Karishma from Veritas Prep
, Mike from Magoosh
, and, above all, GMAT Club. GMAT 1 - 610 (Q49, V23), IR 6 - Sep 1, 2012 http://gmatclub.com/forum/610-re-take-strategy-need-help-140057.html
I Started my GMAT journey in May 2012, with hope of getting a 700+ score. I did almost all materials available, but the result was offensive. I was so dejected that I could not made up my mind to reattempt. The other problem was, I remembered almost all questions, so redoing them was very tedious. But I had no other go, so I started in Dec 2012, with late Jan,2013 as target GMAT date.
Unfortunately, I just could not focus. I left preparing for GMAT in Jan 2013, but I knew I would attempt one more time. I subscribed to GMAT club CR and SC forums, and decided to do only the notified questions so that I don't loose touch.GMAT 2 - 650 (Q48, V31), IR 7 - May 6, 2014
I resumed my study on Feb 1,2014. Started with a Kaplan
Free Test to asses my level and then decided to focus on verbal. Having done almost all the materials during preparation for my 1st attempt, I knew which ones were helpful for me. I used below materials:
1. Aristotle SC Grail - This is short and sweet. My advise, don't mix with Manhatten SC with this one. Follow only one of them.
2. Official Guide 12
- I had the pdf version that came along OG 13
. 12 and 13 are almost same, so did not carry the hard copy OG13, as I was travelling.
3. OG Verbal
Review - For additional practice on official questions
4. CR Bible Summary - This one I had picked during my 1st attempt from GMAT Club. I am not sure who is the author, but it had what I wanted for a quick refresh.
5. 1000 CR - I did only 1st 15 sets.
6. GMAT Club Math Book
My job is very demanding, so I could not put much effort. I studied for 2 hours on weekdays and 4 hours on weekends (including the tests). After 1 month of preparation, I had refreshed my memory, and started doing CATs. I planned 1 CAT each weak on Saturday till exam, followed by Sunday review session, starting from March 8. Weekdays I used to do GMAT club tests
My CAT Scores(in 2014):
Feb 1: Kaplan
Free Test - 700 (Q48, V38)
Mar 8: MGMAT 1 - 680(Q47, V35)
Mar 15: MGMAT 2 - 710(Q45, V41)
Mar 22: MGMAT 3 - 680(Q46, V38)
Mar 29: MGMAT 4 - 680(Q45, V38)
Apr 5: MGMAT 5 - 690(Q47, V37)
Apr 12: MGMAT 6 - 720(Q50, V38)
Apr 19: GMAT Prep 1- 760 (Q50, V41)
Apr 26: GMAT Prep 2- 750 (Q50, V41) - Don't know how the score dipped, even though the split was same
May 3: GMAT Prep 1 (repeat) - 770(Q50, V46)
May 6: Actual GMAT - 650(Q48, V31), IR 7Retrospection:
In both of my attempts, I had scored well in mock tests, still I could not perform well in real tests. I have no idea why I scored terribly in 1st attempt, but luckily I knew what went wrong in the 2nd time.
At quant question 20, I realised in the DS question I was only evaluating statement 1 alone, Both, or neither sufficient. I absolutely forgot that I had to test statement 2 independently
. I reassured myself - considering I had attempted around 10 DS questions, maximum for 3 would have B or D as answer, so I could still do well in Verbal and bring the score to level.
My reassurance did not help. During verbal 22 question, I found - in SC questions, I was not evaluating option A at all. That question was damn easy and B,C,D, and E were terribly wrong. I had little hope for my score now. Still I tried to complete rest of the section and clicked 'Yes' to report the score - 650.
I was devastated and shocked. I did not have courage to call my parents to share my results. I had crushed our dreams. But they stood by me and console that there are better things in life, and I must forget higher studies. GMAT 3 - 770 (Q50, V47), IR 8 - June 9, 2014
I had put so much of effort, and I knew where I went wrong, and I knew I could not live in a life-long regret. I decided to reattempt on the 3rd day after my test. This time I wasn't aiming 700+, but 670 - an average score for not so famous Indian B-School.
I mailed eGMAT
support to ask whether it is possible to improve my score with 1 month prep with their verbal online course. I am very thankful to Rajat, who personally mailed saying - though it is possible, you must take the free trial to check whether the format suits to you. He was correct; I tried the free sessions, it was too basic for me.
I turned to GMAT Club, and one helpful mate (dabral) suggested to stick to Official material. I purchased GMAT Prep Exam Pack 1 and Question Pack 1. My scores below:
May 24: GMAT Prep Exam Pack 1 - Test 1 : 670(Q50, V29) - I realized, all my previous mock scores were wrong and my real level as 670. I still could be satisfied with 670, then.
June 1: GMAT Prep Exam Pack 2 - Test 2 : 720(Q50, V37) - I still thought 700 was beyond my reach.
June 8: GMAT Prep Exam Pack 1 - Test 1 (repeat) : 760(Q50, V42) - I took as a jumbled 670, to make me happy that I will reach my target score of 670.
June 9: Actual GMAT 770(Q50, V47) , IR 8
I went to the test with hope of 670. I wasn't in pressure at all and I think that counted. Few patterns I noticed in my test:
1. 3 Quant problem solving questions were super difficult for me. One particular, the 34th question was 8 line word problem on weighted average + overlapping sets. I could not solve.
Verbal after mid 20s,
2. CR question were all 'following logically complete' , 'Resolve the paradox' and 1 'bold face'.
3. SC questions were all fully underlined
4. 35 to 38 was a marathon RC with 5 paragraphs-80 line about Parallel between American Colonial Era and 17th Century Europe. The questions were all very indirect and CR type.My Timing Strategy
I had difficulty in keeping track of how-many-question at what-time. So I divided the tests into 5 sections of 15 minutes each. For Quants I targeted 7 (7X5=35+ 2 guesses if needed) and for verbal 8(8x5=40+ 1 guess if needed) during each section. I had decided, if I am lagging at end of any section I would guess the remaining questions of that section. Fortunately I never had to do that. I was ahead of time, and that helped me for tackling that Marathon RC, which was strategically placed towards the end.Final Words:
My verbal score could be largely dedicated to 'The New York Times'. I have been reading it - in & out - from past 5 years.
I don't look unto top 10 or 15. I will be happy, if I could get in a decent school with good scholarship. I know GMAT is not everything and I had little time to work on my resume. Still, I have hope.... Wish me luck.
"Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."
Press Kudos, if I have helped.