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Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730

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Current Student
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Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 316
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q39 V35
GMAT 2: 620 Q43 V33
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V40
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Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2012, 17:20
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I gave my GMAT for the third time yesterday and scored a 730 ( Q 50, V 40 ) 96 percentile
I ran out of time and could not answer the last question on verbal..oh well.

This is probably what I looked like after I saw the score :
Image

About me : Indian, male, 31 years old. Working in USA for last 7 years in media and entertainment

Attempt # 1 : 620 ( Q 39 , V 36)
I gave my first GMAT about a year ago on Nov 15, 2011 and scored 620.
You can read my debrief here :
gmat-620-q-39-v-35-knocked-over-not-knocked-out-123203.html
Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed and knew that my score was not good enough to get me into a good b-school.So I decided to spend some time to improve my GMAT score and push my MBA plans ahead by a year.

Attempt # 2: 620 ( Q 42, V 33 )
My second attempt was on August 25, 2012.
I spared no expense in preparing for this attempt. I signed up for the Knewton online GMAT course. I signed up for the e-gmat online course. I bought Jeff Sackmann’s sets. Between Dec 2011 to Aug 2012 , I solved literally thousands of quant problems,gave MGMAT tests multiple times and pretty much had GMAT on my mind 24x7. However, no matter how much I practiced, I never crossed the magical 700 on any of my MGMAT tests. The highest I scored on them was 680.I scored 630 and 650 on the two GMAT PREP tests before the second attempt.
I was not confident of getting 700 in my real but I expected to score atleast a 670 or 680.
Real GMAT score : 620

Now this was a true wake up call in a lot of ways. Even after more than 8-9 months of preparation I got the same score ! My quant score improved from 39 to 42 . It was still low, but there was at least some improvement. I always considered verbal as my stronger section on the GMAT. The drop in my verbal score from a 36 to 33 was very disappointing. None of the online courses seemed to work for me.
It was almost September, the first round deadlines were looming over. I attended a lot of b-school information sessions. I always felt that I was going for every session with a huge disadvantage because of my low GMAT. While talking to the school alumni or admission panel members, my first question would always be “ How does the admission committee look at someone with a low GMAT score ? “ Everyone always replied that the whole application was looked at holistically and admission did not depend on GMAT score alone. But there was always a hint that the GMAT score needs to be close to the class average to improve your chances.
I knew I was clutching at straws here. There was no way around it. I had to get a good GMAT score.


Attempt # 3 : 730 ( Q 50, V 40 )

I went ahead and scheduled a date for Nov 19. I also hired a private tutor to help me boost my quant score. I had already exhausted all my MGMAT tests and already taken both the GMAT Prep tests. For two months I practiced quant from my tutor’s material , OG 13 and GMAT prep question pack. For verbal I only used OG 13 and GMAT prep question pack and MGMAT SC guide.
I gave only two GMAT prep tests ( after resetting ) and scored 650 and 710. The 710 was after a straight two week practice from GMAT prep question pack . This was the only time I scored above 700 on any of my practice tests.
I had a pretty shaky start on quant yesterday. The first question was a simple overlapping sets
problem.But for some reason, I couldn't make out anything of the problem even after reading it twice. I spent 2 minutes just reading the problem and deciding on how to approach it. I took a deep breath and tried to relax a little bit and read the problem again. I started solving it and got a wrong answer. I tried to keep calm and solved it correctly for the second time. I spent a whole 6 mins on the first question. I could solve the second question easily. I got into the rhythm soon and was able to finish quant in time.
I actually enjoyed the verbal section on my GMAT yesterday. I was happy to see that my practice from only official questions was paying off and could recognize the patterns for SC questions.
RC and CR were pretty standard but I ended up spending a lot of time on two CR questions.
I ran out of time for the final question on verbal. If I would have answered that I might have been able to score more on verbal.

Takeaways :

For Quant :
- Bunuel's posts are the bomb. Anytime I was unsure about a problem, I scoured gmatclub’s posts till I found Bunuel’s explanation for it. His lucid explanations make even the most twisted problems easy to understand.
I used OG 12, OG 13, Horacio’s problem sets and GMAT prep question pack for practice.
I also used http://www.gmatquantum.com for explanations to OG quant problems.

For Verbal :
- DEVELOP A STRATEGY THAT WORKS FOR YOU.
The internet is filled with tips, tricks and all sorts of different methods when it comes to approaching GMAT Verbal. Read all of them and see what works for you and stick with it.

- RC.
I read a bunch of methods for effectively approaching RC and took bits and pieces from each one and combined them to form a method that worked very well for me. I was able to achieve more than 90% accuracy using it. I can post the details of my approach for RC if anyone needs it .

- SC
MGMAT SC guide, Ron Purewal’s explanations on manhattan gmat forums and only OG and GMAT Prep questions .I can't stress enough on how important it is to use only questions that are truly representative of the ones used on the real test.
GMAT SC questions are based on pattern recognition more than anything. Stick with the official material and you won't go wrong.
I highly recommend getting the GMAT Prep question pack for verbal practice.

General :
- RELAX .
Don't try to judge your performance while taking the test. I made a big deal about taking the test for the first two attempts and failed. I treated my third GMAT attempt as a casual event...worked wonders for me.

- DONT TRY TO BE A JUGGERNAUT.
You cant tackle every GMAT question head-on.I learned this the hard way. Unless you are a super awesome quant genius and a english language pundit, chances are that you won't be able to knock out every question the GMAT throws at you. The key is to pick your battles. The GMAT is smart, you have be smarter in not wasting your time on questions that you cannot solve.Guess and move on. Use that time for other questions.

- STUDY CONCEPTUALLY
Everybody says this, and I will too. I took two GMATS without doing it and scored a 620 twice. I put in tons of time and did thousands of questions. I changed my style and scored a 730. It is pointless to solve thousands of questions without reviewing your mistakes. Review your mistakes, analyze them, understand the concepts clearly and make sure those mistakes and not repeated again.

- STAY MOTIVATED.
My GMAT saga lasted for a whole year and a half. It was a pretty bleak time with disappointing results. I logged on to gmatclub everyday to read the comeback stories and GMAT debriefs.
The GMAT can be beaten. There is always hope and chance for improvement if you believe in it.



-- Zynga
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My GMAT Debrief : http://gmatclub.com/forum/third-time-s-a-charm-142800.html#p1145912
Quant Concept Videos : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/2012/07/gm ... ideos.html
My GMAT Blog : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/

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Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2012, 19:08
Wow, congratulations on a spectacular score improvement! You deserve extra points for pulling that off after two identical scores on your previous attempts--it takes some guts to keep fighting after that.

Just one question, though: do you really have a mustache and a pug? ;)

Congrats again!
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Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 20 Nov 2012, 23:38
Heartiest congrats mate..Your perseverance has paid off well.
I second your approach of taking it casually.
thanx for the nice debrief.
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Fire the final bullet only when you are constantly hitting the Bull's eye, till then KEEP PRACTICING.

A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

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Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2012, 09:03
Congrats. And thanks for such a motivating post.

Could you please share your experience about e-gmat course. Did you took verbal live course?
Please give your views on each section i.e. SC, RC and CR.

Congrats once again
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Current Student
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Joined: 05 Jul 2011
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Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q39 V35
GMAT 2: 620 Q43 V33
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V40
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Kudos [?]: 63 [0], given: 3

Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2012, 12:57
GMATNinja wrote:
Wow, congratulations on a spectacular score improvement! You deserve extra points for pulling that off after two identical scores on your previous attempts--it takes some guts to keep fighting after that.

Just one question, though: do you really have a mustache and a pug? ;)

Congrats again!


Thanks for the kind words
Haha ! No I dont have a pug or a mustache, although I did consider giving "movember" a serious thought.
_________________

My GMAT Debrief : http://gmatclub.com/forum/third-time-s-a-charm-142800.html#p1145912
Quant Concept Videos : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/2012/07/gm ... ideos.html
My GMAT Blog : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/

1 KUDOS received
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GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V40
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Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2012, 13:09
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rajeevrks27 wrote:
Heartiest congrats mate..Your perseverance has paid off well.
I second your approach of taking it casually.
thanx for the nice debrief.


Thanks rajeev.

I am still surprised at how taking a casual approach works so well . As many others have said in their debriefs, you preform your best when you relax.

Attempt # 1 : I took a a 12 day vacation from work before the GMAT.

Attempt # 2 : I took a 5 day vacation from work before the GMAT.

Attempt # 3 : No Vacation. Went to work in the morning like any other Monday. Worked for half a day. Took the GMAT at 3 pm.
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My GMAT Debrief : http://gmatclub.com/forum/third-time-s-a-charm-142800.html#p1145912
Quant Concept Videos : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/2012/07/gm ... ideos.html
My GMAT Blog : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/

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Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 21 Nov 2012, 18:43
Congrats and all the best for the applications!

Could you please elaborate on your approach for RC?

Thanks,
Akanksha Sharma
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Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2012, 07:06
Congrats Zynga for the awesome score :)
I am going to take my GMAT in 3 weeks time.
Can you please elaborate a little on your RC techniques.

BR
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Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 22 Nov 2012, 10:12
Expert's post
Zynga wrote:
rajeevrks27 wrote:
Heartiest congrats mate..Your perseverance has paid off well.
I second your approach of taking it casually.
thanx for the nice debrief.


Thanks rajeev.

I am still surprised at how taking a casual approach works so well . As many others have said in their debriefs, you preform your best when you relax.

Attempt # 1 : I took a a 12 day vacation from work before the GMAT.

Attempt # 2 : I took a 5 day vacation from work before the GMAT.

Attempt # 3 : No Vacation. Went to work in the morning like any other Monday. Worked for half a day. Took the GMAT at 3 pm.


I guess taking a vacation puts your mind into overdrive, stressing about the test.
Awesome debrief man. And I completely agree to the sticking to official questions only on verbal part.
Congrats again!!!
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Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 316
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q39 V35
GMAT 2: 620 Q43 V33
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V40
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 63 [0], given: 3

Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2012, 09:11
souvik101990 wrote:

I guess taking a vacation puts your mind into overdrive, stressing about the test.
Awesome debrief man. And I completely agree to the sticking to official questions only on verbal part.
Congrats again!!!


Thanks souvik ! I guess you are right about the vacation theory
_________________

My GMAT Debrief : http://gmatclub.com/forum/third-time-s-a-charm-142800.html#p1145912
Quant Concept Videos : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/2012/07/gm ... ideos.html
My GMAT Blog : http://gmatlife.blogspot.com/

Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 05 Jul 2011
Posts: 316
Location: United States (CA)
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 620 Q39 V35
GMAT 2: 620 Q43 V33
GMAT 3: 730 Q50 V40
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 63 [0], given: 3

Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2012, 09:18
I am getting a lot of messages asking about SC pattern recognition and my RC strategy, I am in the process on creating a detailed list of my RC methods which I will post here soon.

This is my take on GMAT SC pattern recognition:
By patterns, I mean the kind of structure GMAT uses to formulate a particular type of SC error . It can be any type of error. There are certain sequences of word types that fit together, and others that do not. They key is reading the sentence carefully under time constraints and recognizing that particular set of words that don't fit correct as you read the question.
Reading MGMAT SC multiple times helps to easily correct these errors but you first have to be able to spot these errors to correct them. IMHO The only way to improve do that is to solve official questions.You'll learn the most about SC patterns from the questions you get wrong. Analyze the ones you get wrong ( check gmatclub, mgmat forums) and don,t proceed to the next question until you are fully satisfied with the explanations.

IMHO a two pronged approach for SC works the best. First, read through MGMAT SC guide to learn the types of errors and how to solve them.This is an iterative process as a single reading would rarely suffice.
Once you are familiar with the types of errors and their solutions, start solving OG SC questions. Rushing to solve OG questions without knowing the lay of the land is a waste of precious official questions
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Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730 [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2013, 05:45
Your post gives me so much hope, thanks for your debrief and strategies.
Re: Veni Vidi Victory: 620-->620-->730   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2013, 05:45
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