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Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40)

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Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2010, 15:21
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I took GMAT this morning (8 AM !) and glad to report that I am done.

Quant-49 (86%)
Verbal-40 (89%)
AWA-5.5 (77%)

Overall-720 (94%)


Is this enough - YES. :)
Do I want more - YES. :lol:
Will I retake - NO. :P

Thanks to everyone here. I have pm'ed few of you and discussed question with others. I think this forum is extremely helpful in providing a platform to people with similar goals. (I plan to write another posts on how GMATclub is actually contributing to pushing the overall GMAT score higher). Thanks to everyone, especially BB !

A little longish debrief, but my prep went through a little roller coaster ride.

[highlight]THE PREPARATION[/highlight]

I had been procrastinating for a while. I knew that I would need to put in some effort and was just been lazy. Finally, I started preparing in mid Sep, 2010.

Prep Time -

6 weeks. I work full time, therefore, I invested 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening on weekdays, and about 5 hours on the weekends, except the last four days before the GMAT. For the last four days before the GMAT, I was focusing full-time on GMAT with about 8 hours a day.

Material used -

Bought in 2009:
MGMAT - Complete Set of 8 Guides
OG 12

Downloaded in Oct, 2010:
SC Grail

Like many other people have already said - OG12 gives you a pretty good idea about the stuff you will see in the GMAT.

I started by going through all the 8 MGMAT guides. It took me about 3 weeks; couple of hours daily. I did not use the CR from MGMAT. It is way absurd and you never know the OA coz they have real weird justifications. Once I was done with the MGMAT set, I knew it was time to take an appointment and fire up GMATPrep-I. On 1st Oct, I took an appointment for 1st Nov, 2010.

3rd Oct, 2010 - GMAT Prep I 650 - Ran out of time on both Quant and Verbal Sections (questions unattended). Definitely a big wake up call. I knew the stuff, but wasn't use to crunching the numbers and reading with the clock ticking away.

Started working on OG12 problems in timed conditions. Finished PS section and still working on all other categories. Timing: DS is about 2 mins and PS is about 2.5 mins.

10th Oct, 2010: MGMAT I - 700 Quant Section seemed tougher/lengthier than OG 12 questions (maybe not I was not use to MGMAT style quant questions). Took short paragraph pointers for RC and it was extremely helpful.

COOL. 8-) So now I just got to keep working on my timing and get myself familiar with different types of questions. That was easy !

Rishiraj had emailed me SC Grail and trust me - YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED TO HAVE SC GRAIL. Unless, you kick some serious butt in SC. From a 20% success rate in SC, I was finally getting about 80% right.

17th Oct, 2010: MGMAT II - 580 WTF ! I couldn't believe what had hit me with just 3 weeks to go. Thanks to mainhoon for his assistance. My confidence was shaken up. What the hell happened to SC Grail. I did bad in both Q and V. Extremely lengthy questions in Quant and absurd CR questions.

Got up next day and continued working question. Use to spend my lunch time at work solving question on the forum.

21th Oct, 2010: MGMAT III - Did not finish whole thing but got Q 38 So essentially no progress.

24th Oct, 2010: MGMAT IV - 620 With 2 weeks to go it is not something that will pump you up. Didn't help much. I only kept telling myself that everyone says that MGMAT quant is way tougher than GMAT quant. A rush performance in quant use to spoil verbal for me. Was still struggling to finish quant. Already started looking at retaking. A retake will not be possible until Jan, 2011. I had put in a decent effort and wanted to get more out of it. Did I do something wrong ? Was my approach wrong ?

25th Oct ~ 28th Oct - Fired up GMAT Club Verbal and Quant Tests. They are not CAT, but still FABULOUS. They are not complete tests, but helps you get your timing right in each section. For everyone making issues with the time - Try and get use to the clock. Not all of us can perform with the clock running, but that is the reality of GMAT. You have to get yourself conditioned to not get pressurized by the clock. GMAT Tests helped me with my time issue. I was getting about 80% correct, but that was fine. I was at least completing the section on time.

Started with Q1 ~ Q4. I was finishing with time remaining on the clock and a decent performance. Started getting my confidence back. Moved to Q20 and missed one question. Ahhhh ! The tests get tougher as you move on. I did all tests from Q16 to Q25 and V1 to V4.

I was OFF for about 4 days before my GMAT (28th ~ 31st). These four days - one CAT a day, followed by a complete review of the CAT and continue working on GMAT Club Tests.

28th Oct, 2010: GMAT Prep I - 720. (80% of the tests was different than my previous GMATPrep I)

29th Oct, 2010: MGMAT V - 680.

30th Oct, 2010: GMAT Prep II - 730.

31th Oct, 2010: MGMAT VI - 700.

1st Nov, 2010: Actual GMAT - 720.

Important -

1. It seems that GMAT is like second nature for some people. I think it is all about conditioning the mind. GMAT is all about using trick and shortcuts. It is all about knowing how to approach the questions in quant and read between the lines in CR. In SC, one has to identify the mistake and come up with the correct version before looking at the choices.

2. SC Grail talks about reading vertically. VERTICAL ! who does that. I was like, this guy is crazy. Who knew I will be reading vertical too. I noticed this about 1 week before the GMAT. I was reading vertically through the choices. If you are not sure about SC question, sleep with the SC Grail under your pillow (it helps :P ). Seriously, keep flipping through the Grail, it is very NEAT. The SC Grail is based on MGMAT SC book. I had both. MGMAT SC helps to give you more detailed explaination, but sometimes you don't need that. You just need to know that "would" is used for future of the past and for hypothetical cases. This is what SC Grail does.

3. Last one week - crank it up with the CATs. Run at least one CAT a day. Your brain needs to get conditioned to the whole thing. I think my last 4 days of prep played a vital role in helping me recover from my 580 on MGMAT II. For the first GMATPRep on 3rd Oct, I froze on my own study table. It just showed that I had to condition myself not to get nervous when the clock is running.

Make sure you get good sleep at least two nights before the test. At least it was important to me. People talk about cranking CATs the night before. In my opinion, not a good idea.

I stopped visiting GMATCLub a week before my GMAT. You do not want to get distracted in your last week.

[highlight]THE DAY[/highlight]

Got up at 4 AM. Ran through the last 10 questions in each category from OG12. I think this is important to get the brain fired up. Got ready and was at the center at 7:15 AM. Extremely nice people at the center, nice place. In case anyone if curious - took it at the center on 1960 in Houston.

While waiting to check-in, another lady had craving for c affine. She decided to uncap her coke. BOOOOM. The whole freaking thing exploded like a mini bomb. I was like - are we under attack ? I thought they had found all the explosives :lol: Luckily, I was not sitting next to her ! She and I were the only two GMAT takers. Got my face, thumb and palms scanned and moved to the testing area.

AWA - Standard stuff. Make sure you stop typing with 2 mins to go. Use the last two minutes to proof read. I believe there is this e-rater or something. Pretty sure the best that machine can do is look for spelling mistakes.

QUANT - Started off easy. Kept moving smoothly. Kept an eye on the clock. Suddenly two DS question that I could solve in my head. (something you develop with the MGMAT guides - you do not need to solve or calculate each and every DS question, some can be figure by looking at the choices). So now, for the first time in 1 month, I am like a minute ahead of the clock 8-) . Got this weird Vein Diagram question - look 5 minutes !. Finally I guess and moved on. Last two question had two minutes. Guessed the last one. I am sure if I had 30 seconds more, I would have worked it out.

VERBAL - Started off well with CRs and SCs. I think I got 4 RC. The last RC was exceptionally small. Like, double the size of a long CR statement. I don't know what was the deal with that. Anyways, finished with 18 seconds on the clock.

Clicked through all the other stuff. KEEP / CANCEL ? KEEP - 720 :)

All the prep leads to this one moment. It is like an orgasm; it is all over in a second. :P

[highlight]ADVICE[/highlight] -

The key is in bring your performance to the optimum by the test date. The brain needs to get conditioned to checkout and check-in information from the storage areas as you are solving the problems. You don't want to peak out before the test. In my case, I just got lucky that I got my act together in the week before the GMAT. From my experience - make sure you hit the pedal at the right time, not too soon, not too late. I think a week before the test is just good enough.

Stay calm. Absolute key to your performance. I know it is easy for me to say this now but trust me, I had been telling myself to stay calm for the last four days leading up to the tests.

Learn to loose a few battles to win the war. I had a lot of difficulty with this in the earlier prep CATs, but managed to learn to move on. I think it is important to realize that the system is like a homing device. It is infact designed to access your GMAT taking skills (for whatever they are worth !). A wrong answer will lead to an easier question, which you will hopefully get right, and that brings you back to the higher level again.

Never leave any question Most of you must be aware, but still - make sure you finish the sections before the time runs out. The penalties are heavyyyyyy. You will pay through your nose.

GMAT Prep is the key I think it is a true indicator of the final performance. No doubt. Period. Don't waste the two GMATPrep CAT. Use them wisely.

Sometimes CAT performance at be misleading All of us try to solve a lot of questions on this forum. A lot of these questions come from the various CATS. Hence, we actually end up beating some of these questions to death before we see them in the prep CATs. If you have been posting long enough, you have most probably seen them all. Of course, it wrongly bumps up the prep score, especially if it was a high level question.

Good luck to everyone. You will always find me browsing around this forum.
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Last edited by adishail on 05 Nov 2010, 02:57, edited 14 times in total.
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2010, 15:27
Excellent, what was the split?

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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2010, 16:40
Congrats ! All the best for your apps!

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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 06:59
Mainhoon and Anshumishra - Thanks.
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 10:20
Congrats!!!!! A very detailed and informative post. Very rightly mentioned about the hard questions, from various CAT's, being discussed on the site and they resulting in a boost of the CAT score.

Any update on your AWA preparation and AWA score?
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 11:27
Really good stuff Dude! What I liked most in your post is that the low scores on MGMATs did not bog you down and you continued working harder. Thats determination my friend. It will help you not only for GMAT but for the rest of your life :beer
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 11:33
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MathewLester wrote:
Really good stuff Dude! What I liked most in your post is that the low scores on MGMATs did not bog you down and you continued working harder. Thats determination my friend. It will help you not only for GMAT but for the rest of your life :beer


Thanks a lot man. I admit it was pretty tough not to get bogged down and keep going. But, it paid off.

If there was only one thing I could pass on to people from my experience - GMAT is a attitude. You need to think the way GMAC wants you to think, even if it is wrong !
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 11:36
Very Inspiring dude! Hats off!
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 02 Nov 2010, 23:26
Excellent debrief and great score. Loved reading about your experience and I think your comments and thoughts are very insightful to people still preparing for the test! Well done and good luck with your applications!! :)

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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 03 Nov 2010, 08:40
Thanks a lot whiplash. Good Luck to you too.
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2010, 20:45
kudos to your tenacity and determination! You really did put amazing hardwork to improve your score.It's certainly inspiring!
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2010, 03:00
shovitdhar wrote:
kudos to your tenacity and determination! You really did put amazing hardwork to improve your score.It's certainly inspiring!


Thanks a lot and good luck to you.

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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2010, 03:10
mattapraveen wrote:
Congrats!!!!! A very detailed and informative post. Very rightly mentioned about the hard questions, from various CAT's, being discussed on the site and they resulting in a boost of the CAT score.

Any update on your AWA preparation and AWA score?


Thanks. Got my AWA score at 2 AM this morning - 5.5.

No special prep for AWA except that I just read through the instructions to understand that I need to critic one and take sides in the other. Plus, I believe they are looking for some sort of quantity also, not just quality. I just made sure that I wrote "at least" 24 lines worth of material on their screen, and stopped writing with 1.5 minutes to go. Use the last 90 seconds to check for typo and spelling errors. I believe that there is an e-rater, which checks for spelling error and penalizes accordingly.

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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2010, 06:43
Hey Adi,

Hope everything is good. Looking forward to your mail response. Thanks.
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2010, 16:44
Well done! Congrats and gl for your apps.

Thanks for the debrief! There are some good insights and advice.

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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2010, 19:58
Nice debrief. Congrats for your score.
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2010, 05:24
Very inspiring debrief. I could experience your GMAT journey through your post. Thanks for the excellent post!
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2010, 23:35
Good job and congratulations!
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 13 Nov 2010, 08:22
Congratulations! nothing like clearing the test of your way in the first attempt. Btw, did you get in boldfaced's in CR in your verbal section??
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Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40) [#permalink] New post 16 Nov 2010, 17:56
gr88 score...n debrief...

i got 610 in my MGMAT 1.. hoping for improvement.. ur debrief is a gr8 motivation for me..
Re: Time to move on ! GMAT-720 (Q49/V40)   [#permalink] 16 Nov 2010, 17:56
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