I want to thank GmatClub for all the help and support that I have got during my GMAT Journey.
A little about me: I am definitely not the Quant/Verbal whiz, and not sure how much this post will be of help to those who are already scoring in their higher 600s. A very average guy, with average academics and a decent career progression. A engineering graduade with 8+ years of experience in semiconductors domain and have worked for leading Indian MNC and leading semiconductors companies(mostly European).
This was my fourth attempt and please read the thread desperately-need-help-and-directions-in-verbal-127464.html
to know my mistakes and my level of frustation after my 3rd attempt.
After posting the above thread, I got reply from the the GMAT experts and must thank them for their invaluable suggestions and unconditional help. Thank you Karisma and Rajat, your guidance really helped me, and most importantly it gave me the strength to stand up and walk the path once again.
As you can see from the scores in my thread(link above) that I was struggling with verbal and really need to come up with strategies to boost my score in verbal, So I will be talking mostly on my verbal preparation, and I did not prepare Quant at all except for the last 1 week before my exam (Please dont do that !! )
So after my third attempt I plan to take my Exam after 1 or 1.5 months, which didnot happen due to personal committments. My father had heart problem and now is doing good after the pace-maker surgery.
Slowly days passed by and before it is completely out of my mind I booked a date on 1st of June and later I changed it to 2nd June(Yes I changed by 1 day only, mostly due to reason/circumstances in office, I would not get leave before my Exam. 2nd June being Saturday, was convenient for me) I started preparing from April 1st week and here it goes.
1: CR Bible
course: SC and CR packages.
4. Manhattan SC Book: Though I didnot use it at all lately, but have read it earlier.
5. GMATPrep Verbal collection.
6. New GMAT prep Question Pack.
I started with CR Bible. Read through the book completely once again. My concepts were clear but than I didnot had a strategy. I did not put effort to categorize the questions, i didnot took few seconds out after reading the argument to think what is the best answer I would like to see in the answer options. I changed my method of solving CR, I stopped making diagrams and rather mentally drew a picture of the argument and even if i was not able to come up with a paraphrase answer, I would paraphrase the argument and that helped me to understand the argument better and differentiate the answers with subtle differences. Started practicing with GMATPrep verbal collection. My accuracy improved to 80 to 90%. I would like to mention that I have taken the e-GMAT
CR package,however later find out that the methods described was not working for me. Using e-GMAT
method, I was taking more time to solve CR questions, but many have find it useful in this forum, I guess its more of a personal choice and to experiment different methods as to what works better for you. I maintained a error log
which gives me an idea as to which question type i got wrong the most.From this data I inferred that there are more chances of a Weaken qns getting wrong, and hence I pay more atention to these type of qns type while solving.
For RC - I bought the Veritas
RC book. This book is a good practice and also have the theory part that you can go through before start practicing the RC questions. I finished the RC book, doing 1-2 RCs a day. I did not visit the RC question that I got wrong, but maintained a log, as to which question I have got wrong and why. Initially, after practicising few RC and logging the qns type, it bacame clear that I pay little attention to the overall structure and hence I get the 'Main Purpose' & 'function of the 2nd para' questions wrong. I started paying more attention to the structure of the passage, and kept on practicing. Slowly it becomes clear as to which portion to skip/pay less attention within a passage and which lines to pay more attention. After finishing the Veritas
Book I started with the GMAT Verbal questions collection. Some of these passage I find it real eazy and some are real cute killer passage. My accuracy started to improved to 90-100%. However in some passages I get only 33% accuracy. After careful analysis I found that I was not in a right state of mind or I was rushing through these passage. It was clear that if you really want to improve verbal(for those who are in similar state of mine) you cannot rush through the passage. At least that was in my case,because during mocks if i had to rush through a RC, I get all wrongs, 3 to 4 qns in a row and that really hurts my score. I made it a point even if I do not understand the passage, I would try to get at least the Universal questions right. And I continue to practice both RC and CR till the last day before my exam. This gives me a comfort feeling even if i did only 2 to 3 questions a day.
For SC- I took the e-GMAT
course. I would highly recommend the course for non-natives. I already have gone through the course once so my SC accuracy was quite ok. However when it come to taking tests, I would spent time more time and that hurts my timing in other section. I made it a point to finish a SC question not more than 90 sec. Again I maintained a log and I can see that sometimes I finish well within prescribed time - 30 to 40 seconds and sometimes it stretched to 180 seconds. I didnot practice SC much, but than I try to figure out as to which question I will skip or will spend less time in the exam. I had a accuracy level of 70% in SC.
I did not use the GMAT prep Question Pack much except for the CR questions. I started to use this at the end and was focussing more on the take-away from each question than practicising number of questions and hence ran out of time. Please spare ample time for these golden questions.
Below are my Mocks results: (All with the AWA) Veritas
CAT1: 640 ( Q47 V34 ) 06May2012
GMATPrep2 : 680 ( Q46 V38 ) 12/13May2012 - (not sure about the date)
MGMAT4 : 680 ( Q47 V35 ) 19May2012
GMATPrep1 : 660 ( Q49 V31 ) 26May2012
GMATPrep2(repeat) : 700 ( Q48 V38 ) 30May2012
As you can see I have not taken many tests and did not pay much attention to the scores(I have seen these scores before in the mocks, however that doesnot mean I will see these in the real exam ). From above read, it looks like that I have a decent accuracy in CR/RC/SC but than the same was not reflective of my score. Actually before 1 week of my D-day I found out that I actually screwed the timing, and I was not able to improve on this till my D-day. I believe that this was a fundamental issue with me as I am a slow reader and would take quite sometime to improve on this and therefore although I was able to finish the With this thought and whatever strategy I have in mind, I decided to go ahead. I scored 660 with Q47 and V34.
There we come to the end of my story, as I told you its a story of a average guy with a average score and even if one GmatClubber find this debrief useful I will be more than happy. I have given my test multiple times, I dont intend to take it again(Unless adcom ask me to do so) Also I am not targetting the top colleges, a decent college with probably ranking between 25 to 40 would be fine for me, more importantanly I would like to go to a college where I can thrive better. I am yet to do the research on my colleges, so It would be great if you can suggest something for me.
I end my de-brief here and would be glad to answer any question if any. Wish you all the very best and do enjoy the unique experience of GMATting.
Take care !!