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480 to 680, a dream I have held for 12 years. Full time Job and selfst

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Joined: 18 Sep 2009
Posts: 16
Location: India
WE: Business Development (Internet and New Media)
480 to 680, a dream I have held for 12 years. Full time Job and selfst [#permalink]

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New post 15 Sep 2017, 21:47
Hi guys,

My gmat score and split 680 (Q45, V38, IR7)

(Quant could have easily been a 47, read my test day experience here to know what happened

I would like to share my story on how I have gone about GMAT and hopefully it helps people, especially the ones who are in self study mode.

A brief background about myself.
• Experience – 10 years (All in sales)
• Highest Education – MBA from Mumbai University, yes this will be my second time around 
• Targeting one year MBA programs from Top schools

The 12 year part is in the end, I wanted to start with the important stuff first.

I work in sales, it’s high pressure and time consuming job where there is only a time to start the day but never a fixed time when it ends. I could only pull off 2 hours on weekdays (6am to 8 am) and this is with 6 to 7 hours of sleep. Weekends I would invest atleast 7 to 8 hours each day and closer to the exam 10+

I believe in regretting things that I did than the thing I didn’t do. I couldn’t live with not having given the GMAT and I had to check this off my list. I didn’t speak to anyone (or read too many debriefs on gmatclub) who had given the GMAT while I started preparing, I will later tell you how this is a big mistake.

I started off with the OG’13 and went through it cover to cover twice, I was also sporadically using gmatclub for guidance. I thought I was ready and gave the mock on gmat prep, my first score was 590 I was pretty thrilled about it and thought I could comfortably start breaching 650 in the next few tests.

I brought the Vertias test, which contained 7 tests (real value for money) I gave some 4 tests the following 4 weekends and my score in the tests ranged from 590 to 630. I realised I was stalling and there is some gap I need to address and I really need to work on my fundamentals, else my score is not going to move up.

I was very weak with SC, during the course of these tests my CR and RC were both getting better (70-75% accuracy) and that made my SC accuracy worse. My quant had also plateaued at 43 and wasn’t getting any better but I needed to get my SC right. I spoke to a few friends and was recommended the MGMAT SC guide, I borrowed it from a friend and really saw the value in the book. SC is not about grammar, no matter how many grammar books you read you might still not get SC right, there is a method to go about it and that’s where MGMAT really saved the day for me. My accuracy had hit a bottom of 12% and post MGMAT it was as high as 50 to 60%

Just to add on RC and CR, what really helped was I read a lot of Non Fiction books for 1 hour every day while travelling to work. This really helped especially RC as I was used to reading the typical content that comes on an RC question.

When I realised the value in the MGMAT SC book, I got the quant books too and started making detailed notes of the books and in the process, till gmat date I would have gone through the books cover to cover atleast 5 times. You need to know all the rules and approaches at the back of your hand. Keep going back to the books again and again till this happens.

I truly believe MGMAT books can easily help you cross the 650 mark no matter what you current score is, the rest of the journey is pure practice using gmatclub problems.

Lastly but most important I have to mention Bunuel, his methods of solving and guidance really lit the way for me in quant. I cannot thank him enough for it, for people who are self-studying Bunuel can be of immense help. I have rarely seen solutions for problems which are better than how Bunel has solved them
I would also like to mention VeritasPrepKarishma, she also had great solutions to questions her methodical approach can really educate you.

The mistakes I made hopefully helps others, my suggestions below:
• Speak to friends before starting or read debriefs on gmatclub, whatever helps you to start off the right direction
OG is good for practice but the fundamentals have to be studied from some other source, I personally recommend MGMAT books (Completely changed my thought process).
• Start with MGMAT and then parallelly solve OG, check you MGMAT and understand which OG is your version of MGMAT refers to and then get that OG. (at end of each book they guide you to the specific questions of that subject in the OG)
• If I had started with MGMAT I would have hopefully used the OG better, used my time better and scored more.

Thoroughly use the gmatclub, this the best free resource you have at your disposal. Moderators and fellow students are helpful. There are unlimited questions to solve and humongous pool of experiences to learn from don’t make the mistakes others have already made.
Bookmark all the questions or solutions you think are important or contained rules or methods you didn’t know about. Keep revisiting these questions and as you internalise these methods or rules remove the old ones. With this method by the end of your practice or nearer to test day you will have a rich collection of bookmarks with important solutions.

My story of 12 years in below:
Back in 2005 was the 1st time I was going in for a MBA and I was preparing for a variety of entrance exams and decided to try my hand at GMAT too. I gave a mock test and scored a 480, realising it’s a hopeless score I gave up and went in for a regular MBA from Mumbai University.
Cut to 2013, I again aspired to give the GMAT I brought OG’13 and did some brief reading from the OG and gave the Gmat prep mock. I got a 480 again and someone I knew suggested you can expect a maximum improvement of 100-150 and that’s it. This would have taken me to a 630 in total and again made me miss on the top colleges.
And finally I gave my 1st attempt in Sep’17
2 KUDOS received
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Joined: 27 Mar 2010
Posts: 965
Location: Bangalore, India
Re: 480 to 680, a dream I have held for 12 years. Full time Job and selfst [#permalink]

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New post 16 Sep 2017, 09:16
12 years is a long time Arun. Very inspiring post.

Clearly you are not among the ones who give up. Says a lot about your grittiness and perseverance.

Good luck.

EducationAisle, Bangalore

Sentence Correction Nirvana available on and Flipkart

Now! Preview the entire Grammar Section of Sentence Correction Nirvana at

Joined: 04 Jan 2016
Posts: 166
Location: United States (NY)
GMAT 1: 620 Q44 V32
GMAT 2: 600 Q48 V25
GMAT 3: 660 Q42 V39
GPA: 3.48
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Re: 480 to 680, a dream I have held for 12 years. Full time Job and selfst [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2017, 18:21
Congratulation for the score.
It shows your true spirit and the fact that you don't give up doesn't matter.
I also wish you the best for targeting top schools though you might have a rough road ahead and a tough argument to make.
None of the above should discourage you. Do what do you think is the right thing to do and i wish you all the best.
Your spirit inspires me as i have a situation like yours.
Re: 480 to 680, a dream I have held for 12 years. Full time Job and selfst   [#permalink] 17 Sep 2017, 18:21
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480 to 680, a dream I have held for 12 years. Full time Job and selfst

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