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# 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork

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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 9962

Kudos [?]: 3397 [0], given: 172

Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170
Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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25 Feb 2015, 22:30
Expert's post
1
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BOOKMARKED
Hi magneto,

Since you've put together a new plan, it would make sense for you to follow it through. If you don't make the improvements that you're looking for, then you'll have to adjust the plan accordingly. I will recommend that you take FULL-LENGTH CATs on a regular basis (1 CAT every 1-2 weeks), so that you can get a sense of your overall progress and you'll be able to fix the "little things" as they go wrong (instead of having to wait until the very end of your studies to try to fix everything).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Kudos [?]: 3397 [0], given: 172

Intern
Joined: 27 Feb 2015
Posts: 1

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

Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2015, 08:07
Hey! Thank you for your tips and congratulations for the amazing score!
Could you please tell us how many hours a day (weekdays and weekends) did you allocate for the GMAT during the 2 months of your second attempt?
Thanks a lot!

Salwa

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

Intern
Joined: 17 Feb 2015
Posts: 4

Kudos [?]: 3 [3], given: 5

Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2015, 09:00
3
KUDOS
I maybe wrong in this but it's pretty unlikely that a person will score this low on GMAT after scoring 690 in Manhattan test series..hats off to you if the story is true but this story and this story- GMAT club- 470-to-720-i-rise-like-a-phoenix-its-all-about-self-belief (I couldn't post the link which requires atleast to have 5 posts and because this is my 1st post albeit a controversial one) have one thing common in them which is the mention and emphasis of e-GMAT which is not a very renowned program for GMAT preparation unlike Manhattan or Kaplan which have proved to be very accurate and comprehensive test preps..Although I am speculating it but it seems like it's a marketing gimmick by e-GMAT prep guys because although in both the posts other test preps are mentioned but a little more emphasis has been laid on e-GMAT test prep which maybe effective but is not very popular..Forgive me if I am wrong and for being cynical but it seems to me highly unlikely that a person will score 690 in Manhattan and 470 on GMAT..although it's possible but highly unlikely unless a person gets stressed which might not have been the case because in both the cases the guys scored Q50 which indicates they both might not have been under much pressure when they would have moved on to verbal section after having confidence of good performance in Quants..Sorry for a cynical post and for doubting your and other guy's hardwork but I find it hard to believe..

Kudos [?]: 3 [3], given: 5

e-GMAT Representative
Joined: 02 Nov 2011
Posts: 2311

Kudos [?]: 9024 [2], given: 335

Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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23 Mar 2015, 12:53
2
KUDOS
Expert's post
Thank you for your post. First of all, Kudos to you for posting your skepticism in a balanced manner. While I don’t agree with a couple of claims that you have made, I like the fact that

1. You have posted your skepticism. A number of folks would not even care to do that.
2. Your post is well written. It’s written a polite manner, indicating that you are a reasonable person (we love reasonable people).

Let me first address your skepticism and then the claims that I don’t agree with.

Skepticism/Concern

rishank10 implied that “470-to-720-i-rise-like-a-phoenix-its-all-about” is not likely a true story since its highly unlikely that a person will score 690 on Manhattan CAT and 470 on GMAT.

There are numerous examples of students scoring high on Manhattan CAT and yet failing miserably on the GMAT. I will present some data later on. First let me prove to you that this is a true story.

The easiest way to prove that this poster (her name is Richa BTW) in indeed a true poster is to look at the Google Group mentioned in the debrief. The Google group - GMAT Warriorshas over 2000 members. Richa started this group. In fact, to my knowledge (I am not a member but many of our students are) folks from Princeton and Kaplan (Manya Abroad and so on) are members of that group. Also, I believe there have been a few debriefs by members of this group. Here is one below:

hardwork-never-gets-unrewarded-for-ever-189267.html

As you look at his debrief, you notice a few things:
1. This student improved from V28 to V44 (a pretty big improvement).
2. Even though he worked as a contractor for Veritas Prep (he created quant content for Veritas), he trusted e-GMAT for Verbal Preparation.
3. He is a real poster. You can look at his LinkedIn profile at the bottom of his debrief. In addition, you can also view his video interview below.

Moreover, here are a few emails by Richa (the poster of 470-to-720-i-rise-like-a-phoenix-its-all-about). You can see the email history going all the way back.

I hope the above is enough to convince you that Richa is an true poster.

Scoring Well on Mocks but messing up on the exam

Lastly, I would like to mention that there are a number of students who do really well on Manhattan tests and don’t do well on the GMAT. Here are two main reasons:

1. The student’s mental condition before the test.
2. Familiarity with Questions: Pretty much all the Manhattan Questions have been discussed on GMAT Club and Beat the GMAT. Hence, a number of people, mostly familiar with the questions, get bloated scores.

Here are a few examples:

1. V13 after scoring V35 in Manhattan Mock: my-journey-starts-from-194922.html
2. 480 after scoring 680 on Manhattan tests: my-gmat-journey-so-far-from-194618.html
3. V14 after scoring V32 on Manhattan tests: my-gmat-journey-so-far-from-194618.html

These are very recent posters – in the last 1 month or so. There are many more. Here are a few of the eGMATers who faced the same problem. Below are a few such folks:
https://e-gmat.wistia.com/medias/elyiasoemw
https://e-gmat.wistia.com/medias/8tt5bpp53t
https://e-gmat.wistia.com/medias/lb4y2cuiex

Again, this does not mean that these tests are bad. Its just that many students seem to do well on these mocks, yet mess up on the actual test.

E-GMAT is not as reputable as Manhattan or Kaplan

I would like to dispute the above. I believe that in the GMAT Club community, we are as popular as the above two. Here are a few reasons:

1. Reviews: We have almost twice as many reviews (530+ vs. 278) as Manhattan or Kaplan do. In fact, Kaplan does not even participate in the review program anymore (they had fewer than 50 reviews when they did).

2. Articles: e-GMAT experts have written more articles on GMAT Verbal on GC than anyone else. In fact, we are the only company that has written Subject Matter articles that have garnered more than 100 Kudos. (Just visit the SC, CR forum and look at the sticky posts).

3. Quality of Experts: 4 out of the top 5 rated Instructors are from e-GMAT. In fact, in a competition amongst test prep companies held by GMAT Club in 2012, Shraddha from e-GMAT was voted the best instructor – better than the instructors (who participated) from every other test prep company.

4. Community’s Trust: GMAT Club members trust e-GMAT the most. 50% of the responders to a survey conducted by GMAT Club in September 2014 were e-GMAT students. The other 50% belonged to the remaining 7 test prep partners. This just shows the overwhelming trust that the community puts in us. Note this survey was conducted by GMAT Club at GMAC’s (the authority that administers the GMAT) request. We only received the results of the survey.

I am not sure if your opinion is based on the fact that we are a relatively new company. However the facts (not claims) above are pretty telling. I hope that the data above helps reduce the skepticism.

The debriefs in the email talk more about e-GMAT than other preparation companies

Of course they do. And that is precisely why we selected them to be sent in the e-GMAT sponsored newsletter. Most test prep companies (the Premium Partners) send newsletters through GMAT Club (you would have seen the ones from Economist, MAGOOSH, VERITAS) in which they market their content with the goal of increasing the awareness of their brand. So it’s natural that both debriefs will contain success stories by eGMATers. However, this does not make them false.
I understand that the score improvement seems pretty amazing. However, we have had many such students. These are just two examples in the recent past. Click below to see all success stories by eGMAters.

search.php?search_id=tag&tag_id=488

I hope that I have been able to address/lower your concern/skepticism. I invite you to experience e-GMAT. We have a free session this weekend. Let me know. I will be happy to send you a link.
Regards,
_________________

| '4 out of Top 5' Instructors on gmatclub | 70 point improvement guarantee | www.e-gmat.com

Kudos [?]: 9024 [2], given: 335

Intern
Joined: 13 Nov 2014
Posts: 43

Kudos [?]: 12 [1], given: 178

Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q47 V30
GPA: 3.5
Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

### Show Tags

07 May 2015, 07:20
1
KUDOS
2
This post was
BOOKMARKED
surenagastya wrote:
I have seen many students ace the GMAT with ease. I am not one of them and have a learned a lot through this struggle from the people on GMAT Club as well as from my own introspections. Below are a few pointers that helped me. One key take away - you can do quite well on the GMAT even if you have forgotten the basics of english grammar and are confused between an Adverb and an Adjective. If I can improve from 470 (Q50, V17) to 740 (Q50, V40) so can you.

Background

I am your typical non native techie who aims to study at one of the top 20 schools and like pretty much everyone who is from the same background, I need a stellar GMAT score stand out. I started preparing for the test.

First Attempt - 470
Time spent: 2 months, 80% of time on GMAT Verbal.

I started of my preparation with MGMAT books. I got the entire set, started with Sentence Correction and then moved on to CR and RC. It took me 20 days to complete a significant portion of the SC book and while reading the book seems a lot of fun (the book contains a lot of information), at the end I felt that while I knew a lot of stuff I was still not sure about the same. I remember that I created this chart which was filled with grammar terms, many of which are still alien to me.

I then moved on the CR book. The CR book is much easier to comprehend and I was able to complete the same in 10 days. I took a mock test and scored 630 with a V29. Since I still had another month to go, I felt that I was in the right direction.

I then completed the RC book and doing the same was a breeze too. The RC book was more of a refresher. I did not feel that I learned a lot from it. I took a bunch of tests, and since I was scoring around 690 (Q50, V32) and I had read that Manhattan tests are more difficult, I felt that I had a good chance of scoring 700+.

The actual GMAT was very different. The SC, CR questions on the real test seemed somewhat different than those on the Manhattan tests. RC actually seemed easier. Yet, I was expecting a score of around V30 but was devastated to see a V17 on my screen. In fact, I never accepted the V17. The least score that I could live with was V25.

Second attempt - Improving to 740

Time Spent 2 months, 90% of Time on GMAT Verbal. Had the added advantage of vacation days in December.

I frankly did not know what to do. I was very angry with myself to have scored in the low 20 percentiles. I remember keeping to myself for that weekend. The MBA dream seemed to have faded. Then I read a few debriefs on GMAT Club in which students had improved in as little as a month and decided to go for eGMAT since their courses are built for non-natives. It was one of the best decisions I made. Thank god for it.

Egmat completely changed my outlook towards GMAT verbal and made it methodical as Maths. Prior to e-GMAT I never knew that GMAT Sentence Correction could be so simple. Truly, sentence correction is the easiest section to master. The online courses and live sessions are truly amazing. You get to interact with others who are in the same boat. Here are a few tips that I learned that helped me improve:

Sentence Correction

It's important to know your basic rules very clearly - SVs, Modifiers, Comparisons, Lists etc. but beyond these, what matters is meaning. Its very important to spend time on the question stem and comprehend it fully before POE.

Fully underlined Sentences: Its paramount in fully underlined sentences or sentences which have confusing comparisons. Spend more time to understand the meaning for such sentences. Once you get the meaning then POE becomes very simple. If you don’t get the meaning, then simply mark the answer randomly (only in timed test, not in practice) and move on.

For long sentences (and you will see some long sentences) breaking the sentence down to get to its meaning is very important. You should be able to spot errors as you do so and then applying the POE works wonders. If you are unable to spot errors then re-read the sentence and focus on modifiers.

Critical Reasoning

Prethinking or thinking one possible answer before POE helped me do really well in CR. Initially even in my second attempt, I did not practice Prethinking since CR used to be my strength till I reached a score of V32 but could not improve my score beyond the same using traditional POE approach. Learning Prethinking took some time but if you follow the structured approach in which you first spend time to understand the conclusion, then ask the question "what would break the conclusion" or "under what conditions does the conclusion become invalid" then assumptions and weakeners will start to come in your mind. I am not super smart so the first 5 questions took a lot of time. I had to read the argument 3 times to come up with one candidate but once I understood how to read the argument and create the logical structure things became much more easy

RC is something that you can improve in a short amount of time provided you know the basics. The key here is to spend focused effort. There are three challenges that you need to overcome to do well in RC. They are

1. Ideal reading speed: We are all used to reading at a certain speed. Unfortunately that reading speed does not apply to GMAT RC since we need to comprehend while reading. Even in topics where I was more comfortable, I realized that to do well, I needed to recognize where the author was presenting cause and effect reasoning, contrasts and comparisons, drawing conclusions, sequential events etc. I had to slow down a lot more in topics that were more foreign to me. Initially, as I breezed through the passages, I drew a complete blank while attempting the questions and had to go back and refer to the passages. This took more time and I made more mistakes. I recommend using eGMATs reading strategies while reading the passage. They helped me identify the ideal time to read.

2.Prethink in some Questions
: I found prethinking the answer in Main Point, most inference and most detail questions and most function questions. It is a super time saver and helps boost your accuracy as well.

3. Reading the answer choices in isolation: I initially found answer choices in RC to be very tricky just because the volume of information present in an RC passage would make every choice seem correct, even those that are out of scope for the passage. However I found that eliminating choices became very easy once you read them in isolation (thanks Rajategmat for suggesting that in CR) and then ask a question whether the passage talks about it. Similarly it is very important to understand the difference between evaluating, criticizing and contrasting, defining and presenting, author's viewpoint vs someone else's viewpoint etc.

The Mental and the Tactical side of the test

While it's important to master the various sections there a mental and tactical aspect that is truly important and which we need to master. Here are some things that I learned.

1. Leave ego aside: There are things that may come naturally to others which may be very difficult for you. I experienced that during my preparations and during some eGMAT live sessions in which some students gave excellent explanations in areas where I had doubts. Initially I felt embarrassed but I told myself that I am here to learn. All of us have some super power or the other. For me, I realized that while I took longer than average to understand a concept, once I did the same, I made very few mistakes.

2. Accuracy First, Timing Next: This is a difficult one. I used to fret over timing during my first attempt and it did me no good. Get the method right. You only get marks for answering a question correctly. Another thing that you will notice is that increasing accuracy will sometimes lead to increase in time required as you start getting a greater share of difficult questions. It happened with me. This is a good thing as this means that your score is improving.

3. Its ok to skip some questions: If you cannot get the gist of a question in 1 minute, have the heart to mark it randomly Trust me, it is much better to spend time on questions that you are confident about.

4. Monitor Total Productive Time: This is an egmat term that tracks the percentage of time spent in answering the questions correctly. Make sure that your total productive time for the first half and second half of the test is similar. If this is not the case then you are not attempting the exam as per your ability. Ideally, your total productive time should be better than 60%. My TPM in my first mock was 50% and towards the end was about 75%.

5. Recognize your mental state: As you approach the end of any section, your mind would start to go slow. In my case, I found that relaxing for 5 seconds by closing my eyes paid made me stay alert and commit fewer mistakes towards the end. Also taking more practice tests helps address this issue. In addition, make sure that you make good use of the breaks. Think about a happy memory (Harry Potter fans - cast a PETRONAS to scare away GMAT dementors)

6. Own your Weakness: This is very important. The key to improving is isolating your weakness. Spend time in isolating your weakness and use GMAT Clubs tagging system to solve problems in your weak areas. Focus on official questions and questions from reputed test prep companies such as MGMAT, Veritas, egmat etc.

A list of useful references

I spent a lot of time on this forum both on my Tablet and on my desktop. Here is a list of a few posts that I bookmarked:

1. GMAT Sentence Correction Questions: the-most-comprehensive-collection-of-everything-official-sc-140372.html -
One of the most valuable posts. Thank Souvik.

2. eGMAT SC all topics consolidated: e-gmat-s-all-sc-topics-consolidated-2nd-edition-168892.html - awesome collection of articles and questions.

3. GMAT Reading Comprehension: The 7 most common passage types gmat-reading-comprehension-7-most-common-passage-types-168362.html . This is a super post that contains tonnes of free content. The content by MGMAT, eGMAT, Magoosh and Veritas is most relevant.

4. eGMAT CR all topics e-gmat-s-all-cr-topics-consolidated-168945.html

5. The most comprehensive collection for all things CR: the-most-comprehensive-collection-of-everything-official-cr-140375.html

6. GMAT Scoring: Bunnels analysis: gmat-prep-software-analysis-and-what-if-scenarios-146146.html This is a super mega thread where they prove that the first 10 questions are very important. Bunnel and the GMAT Club team should be awarded the Noble prize for GMAT for this research.

7. eGMAT Strategy Session: https://e-gmat.wistia.com/medias/07r3z9lsh0 - talks about GMAT timing, Total Productive Time and the importance of first 10 questions. Super informative session.

8. MGMAT article on timing: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... anagement/ another excellent article by Stacey Koprince

9. GMAT 800 debrief: A debrief by a Ukrarian that you should read every so often. Warning, it may pursue you to take the test even when you have a good enough score. long-debrief-800-q51-v51-ir-8-awa-135335.html

10. Another very helpful debrief: never-say-never-gmat-4th-attempt-730-q50-v38-170499-20.html

I have learned a lot from this community and owe my success to you guys. Do let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to answer.

Wow!!!!! Great....It is one of the best debrief. I wish I could improve from my current score of 600 and reach the 7xx mark

Kudos [?]: 12 [1], given: 178

Intern
Joined: 03 Jul 2014
Posts: 2

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 1

Location: India
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Technology
GMAT 1: 510 Q45 V17
WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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10 May 2015, 21:50
a great inspiration. even I got 510 in the first attempt and was feeling low. Your experience and motivation will help many like me. Wish you good luck

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 1

MBA Section Director
Joined: 19 Mar 2012
Posts: 4468

Kudos [?]: 16950 [0], given: 1961

Location: India
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
GPA: 3.8
WE: Marketing (Energy and Utilities)
Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2015, 02:54
Expert's post
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Congratulations

_________________

Kudos [?]: 16950 [0], given: 1961

Intern
Joined: 11 Sep 2013
Posts: 22

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 10

Location: India
GMAT 1: 660 Q48 V33
Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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15 Jun 2015, 22:09
Awesome... Congrats Suren!

Kudos [?]: [0], given: 10

Manager
Joined: 27 Aug 2014
Posts: 78

Kudos [?]: 2 [1], given: 3

Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

### Show Tags

13 Jul 2015, 04:25
1
KUDOS
surenagastya wrote:
I have seen many students ace the GMAT with ease. I am not one of them and have a learned a lot through this struggle from the people on GMAT Club as well as from my own introspections. Below are a few pointers that helped me. One key take away - you can do quite well on the GMAT even if you have forgotten the basics of english grammar and are confused between an Adverb and an Adjective. If I can improve from 470 (Q50, V17) to 740 (Q50, V40) so can you.

Background

I am your typical non native techie who aims to study at one of the top 20 schools and like pretty much everyone who is from the same background, I need a stellar GMAT score stand out. I started preparing for the test.

First Attempt - 470
Time spent: 2 months, 80% of time on GMAT Verbal.

I started of my preparation with MGMAT books. I got the entire set, started with Sentence Correction and then moved on to CR and RC. It took me 20 days to complete a significant portion of the SC book and while reading the book seems a lot of fun (the book contains a lot of information), at the end I felt that while I knew a lot of stuff I was still not sure about the same. I remember that I created this chart which was filled with grammar terms, many of which are still alien to me.

I then moved on the CR book. The CR book is much easier to comprehend and I was able to complete the same in 10 days. I took a mock test and scored 630 with a V29. Since I still had another month to go, I felt that I was in the right direction.

I then completed the RC book and doing the same was a breeze too. The RC book was more of a refresher. I did not feel that I learned a lot from it. I took a bunch of tests, and since I was scoring around 690 (Q50, V32) and I had read that Manhattan tests are more difficult, I felt that I had a good chance of scoring 700+.

The actual GMAT was very different. The SC, CR questions on the real test seemed somewhat different than those on the Manhattan tests. RC actually seemed easier. Yet, I was expecting a score of around V30 but was devastated to see a V17 on my screen. In fact, I never accepted the V17. The least score that I could live with was V25.

Second attempt - Improving to 740

Time Spent 2 months, 90% of Time on GMAT Verbal. Had the added advantage of vacation days in December.

I frankly did not know what to do. I was very angry with myself to have scored in the low 20 percentiles. I remember keeping to myself for that weekend. The MBA dream seemed to have faded. Then I read a few debriefs on GMAT Club in which students had improved in as little as a month and decided to go for eGMAT since their courses are built for non-natives. It was one of the best decisions I made. Thank god for it.

Egmat completely changed my outlook towards GMAT verbal and made it methodical as Maths. Prior to e-GMAT I never knew that GMAT Sentence Correction could be so simple. Truly, sentence correction is the easiest section to master. The online courses and live sessions are truly amazing. You get to interact with others who are in the same boat. Here are a few tips that I learned that helped me improve:

Sentence Correction

It's important to know your basic rules very clearly - SVs, Modifiers, Comparisons, Lists etc. but beyond these, what matters is meaning. Its very important to spend time on the question stem and comprehend it fully before POE.

Fully underlined Sentences: Its paramount in fully underlined sentences or sentences which have confusing comparisons. Spend more time to understand the meaning for such sentences. Once you get the meaning then POE becomes very simple. If you don’t get the meaning, then simply mark the answer randomly (only in timed test, not in practice) and move on.

For long sentences (and you will see some long sentences) breaking the sentence down to get to its meaning is very important. You should be able to spot errors as you do so and then applying the POE works wonders. If you are unable to spot errors then re-read the sentence and focus on modifiers.

Critical Reasoning

Prethinking or thinking one possible answer before POE helped me do really well in CR. Initially even in my second attempt, I did not practice Prethinking since CR used to be my strength till I reached a score of V32 but could not improve my score beyond the same using traditional POE approach. Learning Prethinking took some time but if you follow the structured approach in which you first spend time to understand the conclusion, then ask the question "what would break the conclusion" or "under what conditions does the conclusion become invalid" then assumptions and weakeners will start to come in your mind. I am not super smart so the first 5 questions took a lot of time. I had to read the argument 3 times to come up with one candidate but once I understood how to read the argument and create the logical structure things became much more easy

RC is something that you can improve in a short amount of time provided you know the basics. The key here is to spend focused effort. There are three challenges that you need to overcome to do well in RC. They are

1. Ideal reading speed: We are all used to reading at a certain speed. Unfortunately that reading speed does not apply to GMAT RC since we need to comprehend while reading. Even in topics where I was more comfortable, I realized that to do well, I needed to recognize where the author was presenting cause and effect reasoning, contrasts and comparisons, drawing conclusions, sequential events etc. I had to slow down a lot more in topics that were more foreign to me. Initially, as I breezed through the passages, I drew a complete blank while attempting the questions and had to go back and refer to the passages. This took more time and I made more mistakes. I recommend using eGMATs reading strategies while reading the passage. They helped me identify the ideal time to read.

2.Prethink in some Questions
: I found prethinking the answer in Main Point, most inference and most detail questions and most function questions. It is a super time saver and helps boost your accuracy as well.

3. Reading the answer choices in isolation: I initially found answer choices in RC to be very tricky just because the volume of information present in an RC passage would make every choice seem correct, even those that are out of scope for the passage. However I found that eliminating choices became very easy once you read them in isolation (thanks Rajategmat for suggesting that in CR) and then ask a question whether the passage talks about it. Similarly it is very important to understand the difference between evaluating, criticizing and contrasting, defining and presenting, author's viewpoint vs someone else's viewpoint etc.

The Mental and the Tactical side of the test

While it's important to master the various sections there a mental and tactical aspect that is truly important and which we need to master. Here are some things that I learned.

1. Leave ego aside: There are things that may come naturally to others which may be very difficult for you. I experienced that during my preparations and during some eGMAT live sessions in which some students gave excellent explanations in areas where I had doubts. Initially I felt embarrassed but I told myself that I am here to learn. All of us have some super power or the other. For me, I realized that while I took longer than average to understand a concept, once I did the same, I made very few mistakes.

2. Accuracy First, Timing Next: This is a difficult one. I used to fret over timing during my first attempt and it did me no good. Get the method right. You only get marks for answering a question correctly. Another thing that you will notice is that increasing accuracy will sometimes lead to increase in time required as you start getting a greater share of difficult questions. It happened with me. This is a good thing as this means that your score is improving.

3. Its ok to skip some questions: If you cannot get the gist of a question in 1 minute, have the heart to mark it randomly Trust me, it is much better to spend time on questions that you are confident about.

4. Monitor Total Productive Time: This is an egmat term that tracks the percentage of time spent in answering the questions correctly. Make sure that your total productive time for the first half and second half of the test is similar. If this is not the case then you are not attempting the exam as per your ability. Ideally, your total productive time should be better than 60%. My TPM in my first mock was 50% and towards the end was about 75%.

5. Recognize your mental state: As you approach the end of any section, your mind would start to go slow. In my case, I found that relaxing for 5 seconds by closing my eyes paid made me stay alert and commit fewer mistakes towards the end. Also taking more practice tests helps address this issue. In addition, make sure that you make good use of the breaks. Think about a happy memory (Harry Potter fans - cast a PETRONAS to scare away GMAT dementors)

6. Own your Weakness: This is very important. The key to improving is isolating your weakness. Spend time in isolating your weakness and use GMAT Clubs tagging system to solve problems in your weak areas. Focus on official questions and questions from reputed test prep companies such as MGMAT, Veritas, egmat etc.

A list of useful references

I spent a lot of time on this forum both on my Tablet and on my desktop. Here is a list of a few posts that I bookmarked:

1. GMAT Sentence Correction Questions: the-most-comprehensive-collection-of-everything-official-sc-140372.html -
One of the most valuable posts. Thank Souvik.

2. eGMAT SC all topics consolidated: e-gmat-s-all-sc-topics-consolidated-2nd-edition-168892.html - awesome collection of articles and questions.

3. GMAT Reading Comprehension: The 7 most common passage types gmat-reading-comprehension-7-most-common-passage-types-168362.html . This is a super post that contains tonnes of free content. The content by MGMAT, eGMAT, Magoosh and Veritas is most relevant.

4. eGMAT CR all topics e-gmat-s-all-cr-topics-consolidated-168945.html

5. The most comprehensive collection for all things CR: the-most-comprehensive-collection-of-everything-official-cr-140375.html

6. GMAT Scoring: Bunnels analysis: gmat-prep-software-analysis-and-what-if-scenarios-146146.html This is a super mega thread where they prove that the first 10 questions are very important. Bunnel and the GMAT Club team should be awarded the Noble prize for GMAT for this research.

7. eGMAT Strategy Session: https://e-gmat.wistia.com/medias/07r3z9lsh0 - talks about GMAT timing, Total Productive Time and the importance of first 10 questions. Super informative session.

8. MGMAT article on timing: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... anagement/ another excellent article by Stacey Koprince

9. GMAT 800 debrief: A debrief by a Ukrarian that you should read every so often. Warning, it may pursue you to take the test even when you have a good enough score. long-debrief-800-q51-v51-ir-8-awa-135335.html

10. Another very helpful debrief: never-say-never-gmat-4th-attempt-730-q50-v38-170499-20.html

I have learned a lot from this community and owe my success to you guys. Do let me know if you have any questions and I would be happy to answer.

hey

you didnt mention....if mgmat tests were so off the real gmat, then which tests helped you improve by such a big margin??

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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13 Jul 2015, 09:18
Posts like these are very inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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31 Aug 2015, 09:49
Hello,
I am a first time GMAT taker and have not started any preparations yet.
Could you please advise what are the best online coaching / classroom coaching options in Bangalore.
I am targeting the April 2016 admissions in one among the top 20 business schools in the US and hence aim at scoring accordingly (730 and above)
I need a lot of help with Quant and some help with Verbal.

I talked to a few coaching centers in Bangalore and they advise that I should target taking GMAT in Dec so as to target April 2016 admissions.
I was thinking of taking GMAT by mid Jan or Jan end. Will it be too late?

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2015, 22:40
Dear surenagastya,

Your post is very inspiring and it definitely offers an insight that non-native English speaker looks out for.

However, I notice that your score in your first GMAT exam might be a typographical error. It should have been [b]570[/b] instead of 470 that you have quoted. Having said this, it is indeed a big improvement from 570 to 740.

Big Kudos!

Thanks
amit

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2015, 23:10
Hi there,

I plan to apply to B schools for Fall 2016. I gave the GMAT twice and both times I got a 680 (Q 48, V 35).
I want to get a 700+ score and I don't know how to go about preparing for it again.
Could you help me out with this. I recently registered with the GMAT club and both my attempts at GMAT were without any coaching.
I'm applying for Round 1 to most schools. Would the B schools consider my new sore or do they have deadlines before which I need to give my GMAT again to consider the new score.
Would really appreciate it if you could help me out.
Thanks!

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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16 Nov 2015, 07:50
How many marks were you scoring in your mocks?

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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19 Nov 2015, 11:31
1
KUDOS
I read your debrief a day before my third attempt on 16 Nov....Thanks a lot....I've moved from 560 to 720....It took me 8 months to reach here....Finally I m done with my GMAT....560>660>720

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2016, 14:07
Meh, so many stories on here about people who have increased their GMAT score by improving their verbal. Find me a story where someone has been able to get their Quant from Q20 to Q50.

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2016, 14:30
Hi actionj,

I went back to re-read some of your old posts. Back in the summer of 2014, you mentioned how you had gotten a great job offer and that you'd be ceasing your GMAT studies (and delaying your MBA plans). Are you back in study mode now (and are you planning to retake the GMAT?)?

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2016, 15:16
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi actionj,

I went back to re-read some of your old posts. Back in the summer of 2014, you mentioned how you had gotten a great job offer and that you'd be ceasing your GMAT studies (and delaying your MBA plans). Are you back in study mode now (and are you planning to retake the GMAT?)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

I'll resit the GMAT at some point if I can't get the EMBA I want with a 650, but I'm more focused on kicking goals in the above mentioned job, as the prevailing wisdom is that experience and achievements > gmat in the EMBA programs.

I get the emails from Gmatclub in my inbox with stories such as mentioned in this post. They are interesting to me, as I have experienced the struggle of the GMAT and like many I enjoy a 'rags to riches' story. As I pointed out though, many of these seem to be from people with English as a second language, who are naturally intelligent, perform well on Quant with little study to go from, and then push up their verbal score through intense study. Hard to be accurate without taking a tally, but I think that this accounts for at least 4/5 of the ~500 to >700 posts that I have read. Be glad to be proven wrong though, I'd like to hear stories of the English mother tongues that did the same simply by improving their score on Quant.

Not trying to take away from the OPs achievement - congratulations to them. Improving verbal is no easy task either.

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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14 Jan 2016, 19:56
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Expert's post
Cadaver - congratulations on scoring 720. How are the applications coming along. Can you report your score report to our team so that we can update our database. How are the applications coming along? Also, can you edit your review.

Action - There are quite a few success stories where people have improved significantly in Quant, although Q20 to Q50 is a tough one. However, you will find quite a few Q30 to Q45 successes.

Why is Q20 to Q50 more challenging in Quant

I think there are two reasons for the same. Please read them in the context that an average test taker puts in about 150 hours to prepare for the GMAT. Similarly, 95-97 percent of test takers put in fewer than 350 (diligent) hours preparing for the GMAT.

1. The Quant curriculum is much more vast than the verbal curriculum. If you score Q20 (7 percentile in Quant), you probably need to brush on all topics. Doing so can easily consume 150 - 200 hours. The verbal curriculum, by comparison is much more confined.

2. There are a lot more "smart" test takers in the Q45 to Q50 range: Indians + Chinese + South East Asians => 80,000+ test takers. Note, I have not included the Indians/Chinese taking the test from USA. A good number of these people crowd the Q45 to Q50 band. There has been a lot written about this topic. Please see the wsj article below:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/on-b-school ... 1415236311

Does this mean that all hope is lost of those who are not as good in Quant?

Not really. But remember, you need do a few things:

1. Strategize properly: If you are weak in Quant, have a verbal driven strategy. This means, to score 720, aim for Q46, V42.
2. Devote time to Quant: Q20 to Q45 is possible if you put in 150 to 200 hours. Be ready to put in that time.
3. Study a topic completely: The most efficient way is to study a topic till you achieve your target proficiency. When you are study Number Properties, make sure that you have improved to a certain degree before moving on to Word problems or Algebra.

If you do the above, then you can improve in Quant a lot. Acing the GMAT is not Rocket Science. Its all about planned and diligent effort. Believe in yourself and go for it.

-Rajat
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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork [#permalink]

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16 Jan 2016, 11:56
Hey guys, wanted to share my experience with gmat. Took it in January 2014 - 610. Devastated by my score didnt really apply anywhere and finished my bachelor's degree with vague ideas about my future. Later on, after coming back home prepared for about a 1.5 months. Got 640 and 710 on Gmat Prep on the first two days of preparation, so felt deceptively good regarding my prospects.

Did not learn by heart or study hard through the whole Manhattan Gmat course. But I did read all the books, the math is explained really well there, if anyone is interested. Doing as many problems as I could (bought 450 problems on Gmat prep) I started being more detail-oriented which I am sure largely helped me in my verbal section during the actual exam. Took 6 Manhattan Tests. Quite a few of them seemed incredibly hard, especially the Q and IR parts. Remember taking a break on one of those exams between Q and V and thinking that I have never felt so exhausted while taking an exam. Nonetheless, it appeared that I had gotten the best score out of all my attempts in Manhattan (690). Felt a clear pattern (at least in the Q section). If I felt that the question were really hard and I did not manage them well, then the score was higher then in the cases I was sure of my good Q score.
All in all my manhattan Prep scores were:
03 December 620
4 December 680
6 December 640
8 December 680
9 December 690
10 December 650

I also did Princeton and Kaplan Gmat, both 670. In the end, I took the exam on the 14th of December. Was extremely nervous, did not sleep well, texting with my bf telling him to calm me down
Scored 710 (Q48, V39). Was happy to tears when saw the result. I thought my heart was going to flip out.

All I can say is that be very attentive and practice, practice, practice. Try to calm yourself down by breathing deeply on the exam? or eating chocolate (that was my way, love sweets, so I deprived myself from them for a week prior to the exam and bought my favourite snacks for the exam itself . Use all the breaks, it will let your body and mind be on the same level.
Waiting for the responses from Sloan, ESADE, Carroll, RSM, Bossoni and Imperial. Woudl be happy to chat with the applicant who have already been admitted to one of those schools or just regular fellow candidates.

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Re: 470 to 740 - Reward of Persistence and Hardwork   [#permalink] 16 Jan 2016, 11:56

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