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1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule

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GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V37
1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 25 Oct 2019, 00:57
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It is in fact a privilege to post my GMAT Debrief on GMAT Club. I have been reading through lots of debriefs on GMAT Club and did not imagine that someday I will be posting my own debrief.

Background:
    • I am an Indian, Male living in Mumbai. I have completed my B Tech in Computer Engineering in 2008 and graduated with a Post Graduate Degree in Management (Finance) from one of the top 5 institutes in India in 2010. I have been good at taking standardized tests (especially quant and verbal). In CAT (2008), I scored a 99.76%ile with 99.83%ile in verbal and a 95%ile in quant (This was despite quants being my major strength, it sometime happens on the actual exam with couple of q wrong). I was a quant teaching faculty at one of the CAT Training institute for few years during and after my study.
    • After graduating, I was involved in setting up of my own venture for couple of years which eventually has to close down. My journey then continued into the corporate world and I ventured into the corporate real estate in the credit division at one of the leading bank of India with few grade promotions and eventually a switch in 2018.
    • Few years after working, it appeared that lot of my batch mates were going for a 2nd MBA degree or advanced professional courses at various international destination. There were others who started working with various MNCs and got a posting at exotic international locations. Although, I was performing decently in my job, I somewhere felt that I should also endeavor to gain some international exposure or pursue an advance degree to enhance my knowledge and grow as a leader. However, despite registering at mba.com could not continue my journey for GMAT in 2015. Finally, I switched my job in 2018 and the working conditions at the new organization and intermittent reinforcement from colleagues further strengthened my belief in pursuing some higher degree.
    • I am married and have 2 kids (4 yr old son and 2 yr old daughter). Planning to take on the GMAT and pursuing higher degree became a distant sight for me due to the family commitments and high pressure at job (handling a team of 3-4 members). The ever worsening traffic conditions of Mumbai added on to the plight. Combining everything on weekdays, a well over 13-14 hours was being spend towards work commitments (office + travel). Weekends were mostly occupied with household chores and devoting the remaining time to the kids. Despite all the odds against preparing and after long period of procrastination, I finally ventured into my GMAT journey in May 2019.

Journey:
    • To start with I ordered GMAT OG and GMAT Review 2019 and after completing the OG and solving questions I felt that quants would be relatively easy for me because of my general background. But to my surprise being out of touch with basic maths and quants for last 8 years I was not so proficient even in quants as I expected. I could not remember even the basic tables and properties. Even for the basic calculations I had become overly reliant on excel sheets and calculators.
    • After going through the OG, I found that under untimed conditions I was able to have 80% accuracy in quant. 80% accuracy in CR. 80% accuracy in RC for easy and medium difficulty questions. However, in difficult RC questions and SC questions the accuracy was close to 60%. Moreover, I found that in SC questions I was marking choices not on sound grammatical and meaning principles but more on the gut feeling. Not being a native English speaker my gut feeling mostly ditched me.
    • Based on my experience, I felt that a more structured approach was needed in order to ace the GMAT. I ordered the Manhattan Books (entire set). In the meanwhile during June 2019, I also came across E-gmat and Gmat Club. I joined Gmat club and attended few webinars from E-gmat. Although, I liked the e-gmat structure and approach but did not purchase the course. I eventually became a regular user of the GMAT Club, solving regular questions and browsing through the articles.
    • Finally, gave my 1st GMAC Prep test on 15th July and scored a 690 (Q49/V35/IR8). Although, I was pretty satisfied with the score especially with verbal but it was an eye opener as I had serious timing issues in Verbal and had to guess on last 4 questions and luckily got 3 questions correct.
    • I continued preparing with Gmat Club resources (daily questions 4 quants and 4 verbal) and Manhattan books. In the meanwhile, I went through Math Revolution for which I got 1 month complimentary access while registering for the GMAT Club. The period involved giving couple of free mock tests from Veritas Prep (680), Economist (700) etc.
    • Finally, in the last week of July received a promotional mail from E-gmat regarding their mentorship offer wherein one of their faculty was available for counselling. I scheduled the session immediately and was advised to acquire GMAT Club Mock Tests and E-gmat Verbal Online which came as a bundled product. During my preparation I already felt the need to have a more structured approach especially for verbal and so immediately decided to purchase both of them.
    • My mentor at E-gmat shaarang helped me with deciding which module to go through and what sequence to follow. Meanwhile I also registered for my exam on Sep 14, 2019 as I was planning to apply to colleges in R1. However, by August end I felt that the balance time is not sufficient to cover the entire syllabus and hence rescheduled my exam to 9th Oct.
    • I must admit here that GMAT CLUB quant mocks were a real eye-opener as in the first mock I scored a mere 40 having to guess on last 6-7 questions. Gradually, my scores improved in quant on the mocks and ranged from Q 44- Q 51.
    • I was suggested to establish my base line for GMAT and hence appeared for Sigma X mock test (which was a part of E-gmat package) and scored a 630 (Q48 V26) which was the worst score. I must admit that the test was significantly difficult from the actual GMAT but good for making you realize that GMAT preparation is not easy.
    • For verbal, I continued using the E-gmat Verbal Online. Going through the videos, solving concept quizzes, practice quizzes, OG quizzes and Scholaranium. The concepts suggested by e-gmat such as Pre-thinking for CR, Error Analysis for SC and Comprehension for RC were a great tool for providing a structure to the problem solving and deciding confidently on the correct and incorrect answer choices.
    • Owing to my hectic work schedule and kids at home, I used to wake up at 4 am and study till 6:30 on week days and around 6-8 hours during weekends from end of August till the exam.
    • In the meanwhile I also appeared for GMAT CLUB Verbal mocks and scored a V29 twice which made me doubt whether I was making any progress in verbal.
    • Finally, during October started giving ability quizzed in E-gmat and the scores although initially being very low and disheartening, gradually started improving.
    • 2-3 days prior to the exam, I developed a bacterial infection and got extremely skeptical whether to give the exam or not. My family doctor advised paracetamol and antibiotics. I kept on giving the Official Mocks and scored a 730.
    • I did not practice too much for the IR Section as I was consistently scoring an IR8 in all the exams.
    • For AWA, once read the Manhattan Guide somewhere in August and no additional preparation. During, last few days visited the chineseburnt template on GMAT CLUB and other related posts. Wrote one essay each on last 3 days of the preparation and posted them at forums to obtain feedback. Finally managed to get a 5 on the AWA.

D-day Experience:
    • The test center in Andheri, Mumbai was pretty close to my Wife’s Office so I paid a visit on the penultimate day.
    • Finally, on the morning I woke up at 6 AM as my test was scheduled at 8 AM. I took my dose of paracetamol as I had a high fever in the morning. Reached center around 7:30 and after the rituals was allotted the seat and began with the test at 8:05 AM. I selected QVIR/AWA as the sectional order.
    • Quants: First 8-10 questions were really easy with some word problems, arithmetic, algebra, co-ordinate geometry, geometry (regular polygons and triangles) which I sailed through quickly. Q 10-20 were decent with 1 difficult questions which I had to guess. Q 21-31 were again moderate difficulty level had to calculatedly guess 1 more question in this range. Completed quants with 5 minutes remaining. Used the remaining time to create a grid for answer choices A/B/C/D/E for the verbal section(20 sets).
    • Verbal:
      o Initial questions were easy to moderate difficulty level. Q6 was an inference questions where I was not able to find an answer despite spending 3 min, eventually marked the answer choice which appeared to be the best.
      o Q 8-11 were an RC which was of moderate difficulty. Then the usual CR/SC. It was difficult to gauge whether the questions were easy or difficult. But for CR I was able to comfortably answer most of the questions. There was 1 boldface questions which made me think that perhaps I am performing decently.
      o At Q25, I realized that I had only 18 minutes left and started rushing a bit in answering the questions.
      o Q30-33 was a long RC passage on Animal Science (environmental conservationists planning to reintroduce now extinct mammoth and tigers in sub-saharan Africa). At Q34, I was left with around 3 minutes and took a calculated guess and completed the test with 9 sec remaining.
    • Integrated Reasoning:
      o The questions were of moderate difficulty level with few easy questions (1 probability question).
      o I was at the last question which was very calculation intensive when I was prompted that the time for this section has finished. Perhaps the reason for my IR7 (first time).
    • AWA
      o The prompt was quite long and difficult to understand but eventually decoded basis by finance basics correlation between sales and profit and the usual correlation does not implies causality assumption.
      o Completed the essay with 5 min left. The essay must have been around 500 words.
      o Clicked on the submit button.

The screen flashed with a score of 720 (Q50/V37/IR7) and the prompt asked whether to accept/cancel the score. I was definitely happy with the score but had it not been for the poor health and medication and with some luck favoring me, I could have scored few points higher in the verbal section. Nonetheless, I accepted the score.

My Preparation:
    • GMAT Official Mock 1 – 690 (Q49/V35/IR8)
    Veritas Free Mock – 680 (Q50/V32/IR8)
    • Economist Free Mock – 700 (Q50/V34/IR8)
    • Sigma X Mock – 630 (Q48, V26)
    • GMAT Official Mock 2 – 660 (Q50/V29/IR8)
    • GMAT CLUB Quants – 40 & 45-51 (Total 10 tests)
    • GMAT CLUB Verbal – 29 & 29.
    E-gmat Verbal Ability: SC – 25%ile – 97%ile, CR – 45%ile – 80%ile.
    • GMAT Official Mock 3 – 730 (Q50/V38/IR8)
    • GMAT Official Mock 4 – 730 (Q50/V38/IR8)

Study Material:
    OG/OGR 19: The importance of OG cannot be expressed in words as it is the bible of preparation. One can solve them multiple time and still you will learn new things every time.
    • Manhattan Quant Books: Good for basics level of quants.
    • Manhattan Verbal Books: Good for Sentence Correction. CR and RC are decent.
    Math Revolution – Very good for basic and intermediate level. Common Mistake Types for DS questions is great.
    E-gmat Verbal: Very good and structured course. A must have for non-native English speakers and someone who wants an immediate verbal score improvement with minimum efforts. SC and CR coursework is very efficiently organized. The quality of questions is very good. Scholarinium has wide range of questions which are close to actual GMAT Exam. Hard level questions are significantly harder, but are good for practice and will eventually improve your timing. The SC course covers the entire sets of questions which can be asked in the actual GMAT.
    • GMAT CLUB Mocks – Good for someone scoring in 47+ range in quants. Verbal can be used for timing.
    • GMAT Official Mocks – The best estimator for actual GMAT score apart from the fact that there are no experimental questions which changes the entire dynamics of the GMAT scoring.

Suggestions for future test takers:
    • Work on building concepts and fundamentals before solving the questions. Quality of questions matter more than the quantity of questions.
    • For non-native English speakers and others having difficulty in the verbal section, enrolling for a structured online course as early as possible in the preparation is of utmost importance. I would personally recommend E-gmat to anyone struggling with the verbal section of the GMAT exam. Enroll with E-gmat prior to attempting OG and OGR, as the OG quizzes of E-gmat are really an effective way of even attempting the OG questions which are segregated into different topics and difficulty.
    • Try to maintain a schedule for the study preferably 2-3 hours every day interspersed alternatively between quants and verbal. Keeping the study timing in line with the actual GMAT exam timing to ensure that the body and mind are accustomed to solving questions during that time of the day. In fact regular study is much more beneficial in enhancing ones score than sporadic study.
    • Understanding ones strengths and weaknesses in each and every segment of the case is very important in ensuring to effective time management during the actual exams.
    • GMAT Club Quant Mocks are must for someone eyeing Q49+. GMAT Club Quant Megathread + Mocks are more than sufficient to ensure a decent score in the quant section.
    • For working professionals, the GMAT exam will require you to stretch yourself in terms of timing and sacrificing on your personal and professional life. Try to get GMAT out of the way as early as possible.

I hope the debrief will help others in their GMAT Journey. Feel free to reach out to me in case of any clarifications with regards to GMAT preparation. I will be more than happy to help.

Please give kudos if you like the debrief.

Link to my debrief video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlaRfkVl5Bo
_________________

Originally posted by himanshut85 on 25 Oct 2019, 00:24.
Last edited by himanshut85 on 25 Oct 2019, 00:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2019, 07:21
1
Such an informative debrief! Learnt quite a bit!

It would be fantastic for each of us to be able to guess on last 4 questions and luckily get 3 questions correct! :-)
Intern
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Re: 1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2019, 07:28
zhanbo wrote:
Such an informative debrief! Learnt quite a bit!

It would be fantastic for each of us to be able to guess on last 4 questions and luckily get 3 questions correct! :-)


That was on one of the mock tests. But it's actually nice to develop a habit of making calculated guesses to ensure at least 50% accuracy. ;)

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: 1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2019, 10:35
himanshut85, thanks for sharing the entire journey & its really a good feeling i captured while reading the post.
I have my exam scheduled in 10 days, hope to take some +ve vibes from here.

Wish you all the very best for coming days.
Cheers
Intern
Intern
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Joined: 26 Jun 2019
Posts: 45
Location: India
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V37
Re: 1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2019, 18:37
J2S2019 wrote:
himanshut85, thanks for sharing the entire journey & its really a good feeling i captured while reading the post.
I have my exam scheduled in 10 days, hope to take some +ve vibes from here.

Wish you all the very best for coming days.
Cheers


All the best for your GMAT. Do let me know about your score.

Posted from my mobile device
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Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 47
Re: 1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2019, 21:08
1
himanshut85 wrote:
It is in fact a privilege to post my GMAT Debrief on GMAT Club. I have been reading through lots of debriefs on GMAT Club and did not imagine that someday I will be posting my own debrief.

Background:
    • I am an Indian, Male living in Mumbai. I have completed my B Tech in Computer Engineering in 2008 and graduated with a Post Graduate Degree in Management (Finance) from one of the top 5 institutes in India in 2010. I have been good at taking standardized tests (especially quant and verbal). In CAT (2008), I scored a 99.76%ile with 99.83%ile in verbal and a 95%ile in quant (This was despite quants being my major strength, it sometime happens on the actual exam with couple of q wrong). I was a quant teaching faculty at one of the CAT Training institute for few years during and after my study.
    • After graduating, I was involved in setting up of my own venture for couple of years which eventually has to close down. My journey then continued into the corporate world and I ventured into the corporate real estate in the credit division at one of the leading bank of India with few grade promotions and eventually a switch in 2018.
    • Few years after working, it appeared that lot of my batch mates were going for a 2nd MBA degree or advanced professional courses at various international destination. There were others who started working with various MNCs and got a posting at exotic international locations. Although, I was performing decently in my job, I somewhere felt that I should also endeavor to gain some international exposure or pursue an advance degree to enhance my knowledge and grow as a leader. However, despite registering at mba.com could not continue my journey for GMAT in 2015. Finally, I switched my job in 2018 and the working conditions at the new organization and intermittent reinforcement from colleagues further strengthened my belief in pursuing some higher degree.
    • I am married and have 2 kids (4 yr old son and 2 yr old daughter). Planning to take on the GMAT and pursuing higher degree became a distant sight for me due to the family commitments and high pressure at job (handling a team of 3-4 members). The ever worsening traffic conditions of Mumbai added on to the plight. Combining everything on weekdays, a well over 13-14 hours was being spend towards work commitments (office + travel). Weekends were mostly occupied with household chores and devoting the remaining time to the kids. Despite all the odds against preparing and after long period of procrastination, I finally ventured into my GMAT journey in May 2019.

Journey:
    • To start with I ordered GMAT OG and GMAT Review 2019 and after completing the OG and solving questions I felt that quants would be relatively easy for me because of my general background. But to my surprise being out of touch with basic maths and quants for last 8 years I was not so proficient even in quants as I expected. I could not remember even the basic tables and properties. Even for the basic calculations I had become overly reliant on excel sheets and calculators.
    • After going through the OG, I found that under untimed conditions I was able to have 80% accuracy in quant. 80% accuracy in CR. 80% accuracy in RC for easy and medium difficulty questions. However, in difficult RC questions and SC questions the accuracy was close to 60%. Moreover, I found that in SC questions I was marking choices not on sound grammatical and meaning principles but more on the gut feeling. Not being a native English speaker my gut feeling mostly ditched me.
    • Based on my experience, I felt that a more structured approach was needed in order to ace the GMAT. I ordered the Manhattan Books (entire set). In the meanwhile during June 2019, I also came across E-gmat and Gmat Club. I joined Gmat club and attended few webinars from E-gmat. Although, I liked the e-gmat structure and approach but did not purchase the course. I eventually became a regular user of the GMAT Club, solving regular questions and browsing through the articles.
    • Finally, gave my 1st GMAC Prep test on 15th July and scored a 690 (Q49/V35/IR8). Although, I was pretty satisfied with the score especially with verbal but it was an eye opener as I had serious timing issues in Verbal and had to guess on last 4 questions and luckily got 3 questions correct.
    • I continued preparing with Gmat Club resources (daily questions 4 quants and 4 verbal) and Manhattan books. In the meanwhile, I went through Math Revolution for which I got 1 month complimentary access while registering for the GMAT Club. The period involved giving couple of free mock tests from Veritas Prep (680), Economist (700) etc.
    • Finally, in the last week of July received a promotional mail from E-gmat regarding their mentorship offer wherein one of their faculty was available for counselling. I scheduled the session immediately and was advised to acquire GMAT Club Mock Tests and E-gmat Verbal Online which came as a bundled product. During my preparation I already felt the need to have a more structured approach especially for verbal and so immediately decided to purchase both of them.
    • My mentor at E-gmat shaarang helped me with deciding which module to go through and what sequence to follow. Meanwhile I also registered for my exam on Sep 14, 2019 as I was planning to apply to colleges in R1. However, by August end I felt that the balance time is not sufficient to cover the entire syllabus and hence rescheduled my exam to 9th Oct.
    • I must admit here that GMAT CLUB quant mocks were a real eye-opener as in the first mock I scored a mere 40 having to guess on last 6-7 questions. Gradually, my scores improved in quant on the mocks and ranged from Q 44- Q 51.
    • I was suggested to establish my base line for GMAT and hence appeared for Sigma X mock test (which was a part of E-gmat package) and scored a 630 (Q48 V26) which was the worst score. I must admit that the test was significantly difficult from the actual GMAT but good for making you realize that GMAT preparation is not easy.
    • For verbal, I continued using the E-gmat Verbal Online. Going through the videos, solving concept quizzes, practice quizzes, OG quizzes and Scholaranium. The concepts suggested by e-gmat such as Pre-thinking for CR, Error Analysis for SC and Comprehension for RC were a great tool for providing a structure to the problem solving and deciding confidently on the correct and incorrect answer choices.
    • Owing to my hectic work schedule and kids at home, I used to wake up at 4 am and study till 6:30 on week days and around 6-8 hours during weekends from end of August till the exam.
    • In the meanwhile I also appeared for GMAT CLUB Verbal mocks and scored a V29 twice which made me doubt whether I was making any progress in verbal.
    • Finally, during October started giving ability quizzed in E-gmat and the scores although initially being very low and disheartening, gradually started improving.
    • 2-3 days prior to the exam, I developed a bacterial infection and got extremely skeptical whether to give the exam or not. My family doctor advised paracetamol and antibiotics. I kept on giving the Official Mocks and scored a 730.
    • I did not practice too much for the IR Section as I was consistently scoring an IR8 in all the exams.
    • For AWA, once read the Manhattan Guide somewhere in August and no additional preparation. During, last few days visited the chineseburnt template on GMAT CLUB and other related posts. Wrote one essay each on last 3 days of the preparation and posted them at forums to obtain feedback. Finally managed to get a 5 on the AWA.

D-day Experience:
    • The test center in Andheri, Mumbai was pretty close to my Wife’s Office so I paid a visit on the penultimate day.
    • Finally, on the morning I woke up at 6 AM as my test was scheduled at 8 AM. I took my dose of paracetamol as I had a high fever in the morning. Reached center around 7:30 and after the rituals was allotted the seat and began with the test at 8:05 AM. I selected QVIR/AWA as the sectional order.
    • Quants: First 8-10 questions were really easy with some word problems, arithmetic, algebra, co-ordinate geometry, geometry (regular polygons and triangles) which I sailed through quickly. Q 10-20 were decent with 1 difficult questions which I had to guess. Q 21-31 were again moderate difficulty level had to calculatedly guess 1 more question in this range. Completed quants with 5 minutes remaining. Used the remaining time to create a grid for answer choices A/B/C/D/E for the verbal section(20 sets).
    • Verbal:
      o Initial questions were easy to moderate difficulty level. Q6 was an inference questions where I was not able to find an answer despite spending 3 min, eventually marked the answer choice which appeared to be the best.
      o Q 8-11 were an RC which was of moderate difficulty. Then the usual CR/SC. It was difficult to gauge whether the questions were easy or difficult. But for CR I was able to comfortably answer most of the questions. There was 1 boldface questions which made me think that perhaps I am performing decently.
      o At Q25, I realized that I had only 18 minutes left and started rushing a bit in answering the questions.
      o Q30-33 was a long RC passage on Animal Science (environmental conservationists planning to reintroduce now extinct mammoth and tigers in sub-saharan Africa). At Q34, I was left with around 3 minutes and took a calculated guess and completed the test with 9 sec remaining.
    • Integrated Reasoning:
      o The questions were of moderate difficulty level with few easy questions (1 probability question).
      o I was at the last question which was very calculation intensive when I was prompted that the time for this section has finished. Perhaps the reason for my IR7 (first time).
    • AWA
      o The prompt was quite long and difficult to understand but eventually decoded basis by finance basics correlation between sales and profit and the usual correlation does not implies causality assumption.
      o Completed the essay with 5 min left. The essay must have been around 500 words.
      o Clicked on the submit button.

The screen flashed with a score of 720 (Q50/V37/IR7) and the prompt asked whether to accept/cancel the score. I was definitely happy with the score but had it not been for the poor health and medication and with some luck favoring me, I could have scored few points higher in the verbal section. Nonetheless, I accepted the score.

My Preparation:
    • GMAT Official Mock 1 – 690 (Q49/V35/IR8)
    Veritas Free Mock – 680 (Q50/V32/IR8)
    • Economist Free Mock – 700 (Q50/V34/IR8)
    • Sigma X Mock – 630 (Q48, V26)
    • GMAT Official Mock 2 – 660 (Q50/V29/IR8)
    • GMAT CLUB Quants – 40 & 45-51 (Total 10 tests)
    • GMAT CLUB Verbal – 29 & 29.
    E-gmat Verbal Ability: SC – 25%ile – 97%ile, CR – 45%ile – 80%ile.
    • GMAT Official Mock 3 – 730 (Q50/V38/IR8)
    • GMAT Official Mock 4 – 730 (Q50/V38/IR8)

Study Material:
    OG/OGR 19: The importance of OG cannot be expressed in words as it is the bible of preparation. One can solve them multiple time and still you will learn new things every time.
    • Manhattan Quant Books: Good for basics level of quants.
    • Manhattan Verbal Books: Good for Sentence Correction. CR and RC are decent.
    Math Revolution – Very good for basic and intermediate level. Common Mistake Types for DS questions is great.
    E-gmat Verbal: Very good and structured course. A must have for non-native English speakers and someone who wants an immediate verbal score improvement with minimum efforts. SC and CR coursework is very efficiently organized. The quality of questions is very good. Scholarinium has wide range of questions which are close to actual GMAT Exam. Hard level questions are significantly harder, but are good for practice and will eventually improve your timing. The SC course covers the entire sets of questions which can be asked in the actual GMAT.
    • GMAT CLUB Mocks – Good for someone scoring in 47+ range in quants. Verbal can be used for timing.
    • GMAT Official Mocks – The best estimator for actual GMAT score apart from the fact that there are no experimental questions which changes the entire dynamics of the GMAT scoring.

Suggestions for future test takers:
    • Work on building concepts and fundamentals before solving the questions. Quality of questions matter more than the quantity of questions.
    • For non-native English speakers and others having difficulty in the verbal section, enrolling for a structured online course as early as possible in the preparation is of utmost importance. I would personally recommend E-gmat to anyone struggling with the verbal section of the GMAT exam. Enroll with E-gmat prior to attempting OG and OGR, as the OG quizzes of E-gmat are really an effective way of even attempting the OG questions which are segregated into different topics and difficulty.
    • Try to maintain a schedule for the study preferably 2-3 hours every day interspersed alternatively between quants and verbal. Keeping the study timing in line with the actual GMAT exam timing to ensure that the body and mind are accustomed to solving questions during that time of the day. In fact regular study is much more beneficial in enhancing ones score than sporadic study.
    • Understanding ones strengths and weaknesses in each and every segment of the case is very important in ensuring to effective time management during the actual exams.
    • GMAT Club Quant Mocks are must for someone eyeing Q49+. GMAT Club Quant Megathread + Mocks are more than sufficient to ensure a decent score in the quant section.
    • For working professionals, the GMAT exam will require you to stretch yourself in terms of timing and sacrificing on your personal and professional life. Try to get GMAT out of the way as early as possible.

I hope the debrief will help others in their GMAT Journey. Feel free to reach out to me in case of any clarifications with regards to GMAT preparation. I will be more than happy to help.

Please give kudos if you like the debrief.

Link to my debrief video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlaRfkVl5Bo

congrats Itern ,
Thats a good score. considering your experience , which colleges are you planning to apply to ? Which countries are you looking forward to get your Masters done? Also any idea on the consultancy that you have finalised.
regards
Aniriddha W.
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S
Joined: 26 Jun 2019
Posts: 45
Location: India
GMAT 1: 720 Q50 V37
Re: 1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Oct 2019, 21:34
aniriddha wrote:
himanshut85 wrote:
It is in fact a privilege to post my GMAT Debrief on GMAT Club. I have been reading through lots of debriefs on GMAT Club and did not imagine that someday I will be posting my own debrief.

Background:
    • I am an Indian, Male living in Mumbai. I have completed my B Tech in Computer Engineering in 2008 and graduated with a Post Graduate Degree in Management (Finance) from one of the top 5 institutes in India in 2010. I have been good at taking standardized tests (especially quant and verbal). In CAT (2008), I scored a 99.76%ile with 99.83%ile in verbal and a 95%ile in quant (This was despite quants being my major strength, it sometime happens on the actual exam with couple of q wrong). I was a quant teaching faculty at one of the CAT Training institute for few years during and after my study.
    • After graduating, I was involved in setting up of my own venture for couple of years which eventually has to close down. My journey then continued into the corporate world and I ventured into the corporate real estate in the credit division at one of the leading bank of India with few grade promotions and eventually a switch in 2018.
    • Few years after working, it appeared that lot of my batch mates were going for a 2nd MBA degree or advanced professional courses at various international destination. There were others who started working with various MNCs and got a posting at exotic international locations. Although, I was performing decently in my job, I somewhere felt that I should also endeavor to gain some international exposure or pursue an advance degree to enhance my knowledge and grow as a leader. However, despite registering at mba.com could not continue my journey for GMAT in 2015. Finally, I switched my job in 2018 and the working conditions at the new organization and intermittent reinforcement from colleagues further strengthened my belief in pursuing some higher degree.
    • I am married and have 2 kids (4 yr old son and 2 yr old daughter). Planning to take on the GMAT and pursuing higher degree became a distant sight for me due to the family commitments and high pressure at job (handling a team of 3-4 members). The ever worsening traffic conditions of Mumbai added on to the plight. Combining everything on weekdays, a well over 13-14 hours was being spend towards work commitments (office + travel). Weekends were mostly occupied with household chores and devoting the remaining time to the kids. Despite all the odds against preparing and after long period of procrastination, I finally ventured into my GMAT journey in May 2019.

Journey:
    • To start with I ordered GMAT OG and GMAT Review 2019 and after completing the OG and solving questions I felt that quants would be relatively easy for me because of my general background. But to my surprise being out of touch with basic maths and quants for last 8 years I was not so proficient even in quants as I expected. I could not remember even the basic tables and properties. Even for the basic calculations I had become overly reliant on excel sheets and calculators.
    • After going through the OG, I found that under untimed conditions I was able to have 80% accuracy in quant. 80% accuracy in CR. 80% accuracy in RC for easy and medium difficulty questions. However, in difficult RC questions and SC questions the accuracy was close to 60%. Moreover, I found that in SC questions I was marking choices not on sound grammatical and meaning principles but more on the gut feeling. Not being a native English speaker my gut feeling mostly ditched me.
    • Based on my experience, I felt that a more structured approach was needed in order to ace the GMAT. I ordered the Manhattan Books (entire set). In the meanwhile during June 2019, I also came across E-gmat and Gmat Club. I joined Gmat club and attended few webinars from E-gmat. Although, I liked the e-gmat structure and approach but did not purchase the course. I eventually became a regular user of the GMAT Club, solving regular questions and browsing through the articles.
    • Finally, gave my 1st GMAC Prep test on 15th July and scored a 690 (Q49/V35/IR8). Although, I was pretty satisfied with the score especially with verbal but it was an eye opener as I had serious timing issues in Verbal and had to guess on last 4 questions and luckily got 3 questions correct.
    • I continued preparing with Gmat Club resources (daily questions 4 quants and 4 verbal) and Manhattan books. In the meanwhile, I went through Math Revolution for which I got 1 month complimentary access while registering for the GMAT Club. The period involved giving couple of free mock tests from Veritas Prep (680), Economist (700) etc.
    • Finally, in the last week of July received a promotional mail from E-gmat regarding their mentorship offer wherein one of their faculty was available for counselling. I scheduled the session immediately and was advised to acquire GMAT Club Mock Tests and E-gmat Verbal Online which came as a bundled product. During my preparation I already felt the need to have a more structured approach especially for verbal and so immediately decided to purchase both of them.
    • My mentor at E-gmat shaarang helped me with deciding which module to go through and what sequence to follow. Meanwhile I also registered for my exam on Sep 14, 2019 as I was planning to apply to colleges in R1. However, by August end I felt that the balance time is not sufficient to cover the entire syllabus and hence rescheduled my exam to 9th Oct.
    • I must admit here that GMAT CLUB quant mocks were a real eye-opener as in the first mock I scored a mere 40 having to guess on last 6-7 questions. Gradually, my scores improved in quant on the mocks and ranged from Q 44- Q 51.
    • I was suggested to establish my base line for GMAT and hence appeared for Sigma X mock test (which was a part of E-gmat package) and scored a 630 (Q48 V26) which was the worst score. I must admit that the test was significantly difficult from the actual GMAT but good for making you realize that GMAT preparation is not easy.
    • For verbal, I continued using the E-gmat Verbal Online. Going through the videos, solving concept quizzes, practice quizzes, OG quizzes and Scholaranium. The concepts suggested by e-gmat such as Pre-thinking for CR, Error Analysis for SC and Comprehension for RC were a great tool for providing a structure to the problem solving and deciding confidently on the correct and incorrect answer choices.
    • Owing to my hectic work schedule and kids at home, I used to wake up at 4 am and study till 6:30 on week days and around 6-8 hours during weekends from end of August till the exam.
    • In the meanwhile I also appeared for GMAT CLUB Verbal mocks and scored a V29 twice which made me doubt whether I was making any progress in verbal.
    • Finally, during October started giving ability quizzed in E-gmat and the scores although initially being very low and disheartening, gradually started improving.
    • 2-3 days prior to the exam, I developed a bacterial infection and got extremely skeptical whether to give the exam or not. My family doctor advised paracetamol and antibiotics. I kept on giving the Official Mocks and scored a 730.
    • I did not practice too much for the IR Section as I was consistently scoring an IR8 in all the exams.
    • For AWA, once read the Manhattan Guide somewhere in August and no additional preparation. During, last few days visited the chineseburnt template on GMAT CLUB and other related posts. Wrote one essay each on last 3 days of the preparation and posted them at forums to obtain feedback. Finally managed to get a 5 on the AWA.

D-day Experience:
    • The test center in Andheri, Mumbai was pretty close to my Wife’s Office so I paid a visit on the penultimate day.
    • Finally, on the morning I woke up at 6 AM as my test was scheduled at 8 AM. I took my dose of paracetamol as I had a high fever in the morning. Reached center around 7:30 and after the rituals was allotted the seat and began with the test at 8:05 AM. I selected QVIR/AWA as the sectional order.
    • Quants: First 8-10 questions were really easy with some word problems, arithmetic, algebra, co-ordinate geometry, geometry (regular polygons and triangles) which I sailed through quickly. Q 10-20 were decent with 1 difficult questions which I had to guess. Q 21-31 were again moderate difficulty level had to calculatedly guess 1 more question in this range. Completed quants with 5 minutes remaining. Used the remaining time to create a grid for answer choices A/B/C/D/E for the verbal section(20 sets).
    • Verbal:
      o Initial questions were easy to moderate difficulty level. Q6 was an inference questions where I was not able to find an answer despite spending 3 min, eventually marked the answer choice which appeared to be the best.
      o Q 8-11 were an RC which was of moderate difficulty. Then the usual CR/SC. It was difficult to gauge whether the questions were easy or difficult. But for CR I was able to comfortably answer most of the questions. There was 1 boldface questions which made me think that perhaps I am performing decently.
      o At Q25, I realized that I had only 18 minutes left and started rushing a bit in answering the questions.
      o Q30-33 was a long RC passage on Animal Science (environmental conservationists planning to reintroduce now extinct mammoth and tigers in sub-saharan Africa). At Q34, I was left with around 3 minutes and took a calculated guess and completed the test with 9 sec remaining.
    • Integrated Reasoning:
      o The questions were of moderate difficulty level with few easy questions (1 probability question).
      o I was at the last question which was very calculation intensive when I was prompted that the time for this section has finished. Perhaps the reason for my IR7 (first time).
    • AWA
      o The prompt was quite long and difficult to understand but eventually decoded basis by finance basics correlation between sales and profit and the usual correlation does not implies causality assumption.
      o Completed the essay with 5 min left. The essay must have been around 500 words.
      o Clicked on the submit button.

The screen flashed with a score of 720 (Q50/V37/IR7) and the prompt asked whether to accept/cancel the score. I was definitely happy with the score but had it not been for the poor health and medication and with some luck favoring me, I could have scored few points higher in the verbal section. Nonetheless, I accepted the score.

My Preparation:
    • GMAT Official Mock 1 – 690 (Q49/V35/IR8)
    Veritas Free Mock – 680 (Q50/V32/IR8)
    • Economist Free Mock – 700 (Q50/V34/IR8)
    • Sigma X Mock – 630 (Q48, V26)
    • GMAT Official Mock 2 – 660 (Q50/V29/IR8)
    • GMAT CLUB Quants – 40 & 45-51 (Total 10 tests)
    • GMAT CLUB Verbal – 29 & 29.
    E-gmat Verbal Ability: SC – 25%ile – 97%ile, CR – 45%ile – 80%ile.
    • GMAT Official Mock 3 – 730 (Q50/V38/IR8)
    • GMAT Official Mock 4 – 730 (Q50/V38/IR8)

Study Material:
    OG/OGR 19: The importance of OG cannot be expressed in words as it is the bible of preparation. One can solve them multiple time and still you will learn new things every time.
    • Manhattan Quant Books: Good for basics level of quants.
    • Manhattan Verbal Books: Good for Sentence Correction. CR and RC are decent.
    Math Revolution – Very good for basic and intermediate level. Common Mistake Types for DS questions is great.
    E-gmat Verbal: Very good and structured course. A must have for non-native English speakers and someone who wants an immediate verbal score improvement with minimum efforts. SC and CR coursework is very efficiently organized. The quality of questions is very good. Scholarinium has wide range of questions which are close to actual GMAT Exam. Hard level questions are significantly harder, but are good for practice and will eventually improve your timing. The SC course covers the entire sets of questions which can be asked in the actual GMAT.
    • GMAT CLUB Mocks – Good for someone scoring in 47+ range in quants. Verbal can be used for timing.
    • GMAT Official Mocks – The best estimator for actual GMAT score apart from the fact that there are no experimental questions which changes the entire dynamics of the GMAT scoring.

Suggestions for future test takers:
    • Work on building concepts and fundamentals before solving the questions. Quality of questions matter more than the quantity of questions.
    • For non-native English speakers and others having difficulty in the verbal section, enrolling for a structured online course as early as possible in the preparation is of utmost importance. I would personally recommend E-gmat to anyone struggling with the verbal section of the GMAT exam. Enroll with E-gmat prior to attempting OG and OGR, as the OG quizzes of E-gmat are really an effective way of even attempting the OG questions which are segregated into different topics and difficulty.
    • Try to maintain a schedule for the study preferably 2-3 hours every day interspersed alternatively between quants and verbal. Keeping the study timing in line with the actual GMAT exam timing to ensure that the body and mind are accustomed to solving questions during that time of the day. In fact regular study is much more beneficial in enhancing ones score than sporadic study.
    • Understanding ones strengths and weaknesses in each and every segment of the case is very important in ensuring to effective time management during the actual exams.
    • GMAT Club Quant Mocks are must for someone eyeing Q49+. GMAT Club Quant Megathread + Mocks are more than sufficient to ensure a decent score in the quant section.
    • For working professionals, the GMAT exam will require you to stretch yourself in terms of timing and sacrificing on your personal and professional life. Try to get GMAT out of the way as early as possible.

I hope the debrief will help others in their GMAT Journey. Feel free to reach out to me in case of any clarifications with regards to GMAT preparation. I will be more than happy to help.

Please give kudos if you like the debrief.

Link to my debrief video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlaRfkVl5Bo

congrats Itern ,
Thats a good score. considering your experience , which colleges are you planning to apply to ? Which countries are you looking forward to get your Masters done? Also any idea on the consultancy that you have finalised.
regards
Aniriddha W.


Thanks a lot.

I am currently contemplating in applying to 1Y options for which I am considering 1) London Business School - Master in Finance 2) Kelloggs 1Y MBA with Real Estate as a major pathway 3) Cornell Johnson 1Y Option 4) IMD, Switzerland 5) IE Spain 6) NUS Singapore (Real Estate Specialization).

I am looking for UK (extended 2 year work permit should be a +ve), USA (1Y Options Only), Europe and Singapore.

Haven't finalized on any consultancy but I am inclined towards using Applicant Lab services majorly. Have started using free version of Applicant Lab and liked their interface and service. Planning to upgrade to paid version soon.
_________________
GMAT Club Bot
Re: 1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule   [#permalink] 28 Oct 2019, 21:34

1st Attempt GMAT 720 (Q50/V37/IR7/AWA5) with 70+ hrs Work Schedule

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