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Suggestions for me(?) and a word of advice 4 Non-IIT Engg

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Suggestions for me(?) and a word of advice 4 Non-IIT Engg [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2012, 08:27
You may have read many 700 plus stories but this is not about 700 :-(
This is about 640 (Q47, V31) and wasted efforts of 5 months of rigorous study :-(
I (an Indian, non native so verbal is my weakness) have started preparing in March 2012 and started with a GMATPrep1 of 540.
I studied regularly 2 hours in weekdays and 6-8 hours in weekend.
In the last leg of the study (May, June, and July) this study time increased to 4-5 hours in weekdays and 8-10 hours in weekends.

Study Material Used:
Quant:
MGMAT Quant Books
MGMAT Advance Quant Strategy Guide
GMATClub Tests (Now, i know these tests are closet to the real Quant)
MGMAT Tests

Verbal
MGMAT SC/RC/CR guides (4th Edition)
MGMAT Verbal Foundation
Powerscore LR Bible
MGMAT LSAT CR Guide
MGMAT LSAT RC Guide

Following are my Mock Test Results:

GMATPrep 2 (AWA + IR) 710 (06th Aug)
Kaplna 610 (28th July)
GMATPrep 1 (AWA + IR) 710 (22nd July)
MGMAT CAT 2 (AWA + IR) 680 (1st July)
MGMAT CAT 1 (AWA + IR) 680 (24th June)
MGMAT CAT 1 (AWA)690 (21st May)
GMATPrep 2 (AWA) 720 (16th May)
GMATPrep 1 (AWA) 710 (13th May)

I was expecting Q47 and Q48 and it was not a surprise for me.
In Verbal, I was not confident of my Mock Tests scores because in each of these tests i faced many previously attempted Q's. Though i tried to spend appropriate time for the corresponding but didn't deliberately marked them wrong. SO yes, it was inflated. But i was not expecting V31 :-(

The good part is that i was able to finish IR, Quant and Verbal in time without any hurry. I have decided to maintain my pacing strategy as suggested by MGMAT. I guessed a 1 or 2 alternate Q's if i am behind mile stones. I end up guessing 5-6 Verbal Q but not consecutively. In quant it was all on the time.

Now the bad story, in introspection, i was confident in answering majority of Quant Q's and opposite is true for Verbal.
In particular:
RC and CR:
I was not able to confidently eliminate the wrong answers choice from the final two choices and may be i marked the wrong answer.
SC:
I was hardly confident in any of the SC Q.

So here are my Question:
1. I my next attempt i am targetting Q50 (minimum) and V40 (minimum).
Is it a realistic (SMART Goal) target?

2. What is the best retaking strategy for me?

Advice to Non-IIT Engg. Grads from India
1. Don't think that GMAT is an easier exam than CAT (IIM Entrance Exam). In AWA terminology its a conclusion based on many questionable assumptions and unsupported premise. This can be true for IIT Grads but not for us lesser mortals. I know many Non-IT Engg. Grads, misled by 770 GMAT Briefs, who go through the OG's and a basic study of concept and end up with a 500-600 score. Be aware, it is as tough an exam as IIM-CAT if want to get into a good MBA college. We are the overrepresented in MBA colleges across the GLOBE and a low GMAT score doesn't help.
2. You have to toil hard and study harder than you ever did. Learn time management. On top of it this also is not enough, you have learn to study smarter. Smart use of your time and resources. Choosing best material from terabytes of study material and thousands of GMAT Q's.
Manhattan GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
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GMAT 1: 720 Q49 V39
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Re: Suggestions for me(?) and a word of advice 4 Non-IIT Engg [#permalink] New post 08 Aug 2012, 12:32
Brother, from reading of your post, I would suggest you to inculcate a reading habit which I presume you don't have as of now.
Also, try to do as many CR and RC questions on screen rather than those on paper. Its easy to lose concentration while reading on screen than on paper. Comprehension may be your problem in answering these questions.
Be patient. We non-natives are used to the sprint category of exams. Although, quant may not be a very difficult task but you will have to be slow and relax a bit with verbal.
Finally, I would suggest you not to repeat tests except GMAT Prep in the last week or so. From my experience, verbal on MGMAT is a bit easier than GMAT and GMAT prep.
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Re: Suggestions for me(?) and a word of advice 4 Non-IIT Engg [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2012, 23:51
ShalabhAr wrote:
Brother, from reading of your post, I would suggest you to inculcate a reading habit which I presume you don't have as of now.
Also, try to do as many CR and RC questions on screen rather than those on paper. Its easy to lose concentration while reading on screen than on paper. Comprehension may be your problem in answering these questions.

Thanks buddy for you advice.
I never studied on paper but reading is an issue. I have started reading Scientific American/The Economist etc. it did indeed helped me in my RC in the real exam. But i failed to answer Q's confidently. Most likely, i was worried about keeping up with the pace :-( How to i go about reading the fiction any other non-GMAT stuff to improve my reading skills? Any guidelines?
ShalabhAr wrote:
Finally, I would suggest you not to repeat tests except GMAT Prep in the last week or so. From my experience, verbal on MGMAT is a bit easier than GMAT and GMAT prep.

Any suggestions for Practice tests? I have exhausted 4 MGMAT and given GMATPrep 1 & 2 each twice. MGMAT guys have are very good in terms of mimicking the real GMAT. But they have OLD and very unrepresentative Question Bank :-(
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Re: Suggestions for me(?) and a word of advice 4 Non-IIT Engg [#permalink] New post 10 Aug 2012, 03:17
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Hi,

The very first thing i would say is cheer up! Take a break of a month if you have time or a week or two. Go for a nice trip to a nice place(goa!) and forget EVERYTHING! Come back and start fresh!

I was able to move from 570 to 700. So i guess you can move from 640 to 750 or something BIG? :)
570-to-700-my-gmat-journey-133461.html

Following is what I used for my prep
how-to-start-gmat-preperations-136048.html

one thing i will strongly suggest you is to make a ERROR log. You can have a search in gmatclub for a good error log (or you can try what i suggested in the link above)

Regarding MGMAT verbal tests... yes i think their Verbal score is bit inflatted... i was getting 35-36+ consistently but still I ended up getting only a 31 ( I would say it was a bad day as i got 35+ in GMATPRep also!)

What more can be done?
1. When you solve a question and you have already taken 2mins and you don't see yourself going anywhere in that question in next 1min. Then guess and move on! (its not necessary to get all questions correct to get a 50 or 51!)

2. Identify the weak areas (which i guess you have) and try the following:
Prepare a xls sheet (topic by topic).. and keep a track of your progress on a daily basis. Use color coding (Red,Orange,Green).
Red: You are weak in theory - brush up your concepts.
Orange - Done with theory but weak in application of the concepts
Green - Done with the topic

3. Regarding the individual topics:
For i=1 to end
For i=1 to end
-> Study "chapter i"
-> go to grockit.com and schedule game for "chapter i" with difficulty level easy, If doing good then increase the difficulty to "medium" else go to next step
-> re-read the "chapter i" if you are doing bad
-> else goto next chapter and repeat the above steps.


4. Why grockit?
Because they have a timer for each and every question so it will help you improve your speed.
They have tricky questions which is what GMAT asks you!

5. General Advice
GMAT Quant is not tough - its tricky
Keep an eye on that then i guess you can help yourself out a bit.
Also, i read it somewhere that when you are doing good in Quant then you get either a probability or a PnC question. So if you get a question like that then its a plus for you!

6. Go to gmatclub and follow the discussions of the topics in which you are weak. Try to do the 700 level questions and try to follow the discussion which they have. It will help you in knowing how to think about the problem.

How to improve Verbal :-- Watch Thursday's with Ron
How to improve Quant :-- Register in grockit.com and practice, practice and practice!

Good Luck for your prep!
Hope it helps!
_________________

ankit
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Re: Suggestions for me(?) and a word of advice 4 Non-IIT Engg   [#permalink] 10 Aug 2012, 03:17
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