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520 to 710 – NO secret "MANTRA"

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Intern
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Joined: 03 Aug 2018
Posts: 16
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, General Management
GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V35
GPA: 3.69
WE: Consulting (Energy and Utilities)
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520 to 710 – NO secret "MANTRA"  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2018, 11:17
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Hello,
I exactly don’t remember for how long (may be 13 months) I have been waiting to write my 700+ debrief. And here I am, finally, scripting my story for those who need motivation to keep going – chasing that 700+. My story might as well help those who are in the initial stage of their preparation: to avoid the mistakes that I made.
So here we go, “My Journey from 520 in GMAT prep mock 1 to 710 in 4th GMAT attempt”!

For those who are not interested in the story may feel free to jump to final Do’s and Don’ts.

My brief introduction:
My name is Dinkar, I am a Metallurgy Engineer (GPA – 3.69) from India and I work in Oil and Gas sector. I have a total 6 years of work-ex in this field and I am looking forward to grow my career in Operations and Supply chain consultancy.

GMAT attempt 1: July ’17 – September ’17
I vividly remember deciding to study for GMAT in mid-July. Consulting a friend of mine, I came to know that we get 2 free mocks from GMAC and these are closest to GMAT than other mocks in market- PERIOD! My friend asked me to give a GMAT prep Mock-1 to know my present level. So, there I was, without preparing or knowing what is the exam pattern and what are the types of questions that we are tested with, I gave my mock and scored 520 (Q41 and V21). Before giving the mock I had dreamt of scoring 700 (overconfidence), but it hit me hard on the face – BAMMMMM! Immediately, I bought the Official Guide 2017. But, honestly, I did not study from the guide the way I should have. I randomly kept solving questions from some pdf of question bank that my friend shared with me. I did not review my mistakes and kept solving. I did not maintain any error log. Finally, after solving some 100 or so questions I thought I was ready for the battle. I gave GMAT prep mock 2 – 580 (Q44 V23). Now I had used both mocks and I had booked my GMAT date, which was 1 week from my GMAT prep mock 2. 29th August 2017 was my GMAT. I went to the center only to find out that the server was not working and would have to reschedule my appointment. So the next available date was 23rd Sept 2017, which I booked for my 1st GMAT attempt. Scored 600 (Q47 V26). Well I was disappointed then, but today I know I deserved that 600.

My Introduction to GMAT club community:

A fellow GMAT test-giver, on the test-day, told me about GMAT club and asked me to check it out. I can’t thank him enough for giving me that piece of advice. The very same evening I started exploring the site and came across the debrief forum – so glad to have found this. I read few debriefs and learnt the mistakes that others did. Here, I got motivation during my worst days – YOU WILL HAVE THOSE DAYS, just hand on. Whenever I was down, I would open one debrief and read the struggle. In every debrief I saw myself and related their story.
Here, I read reviews about E-Gmat course. I went through their free tutorial and I loved it. I enrolled for E-Gmat Verbal online course. I would recommend this course for those who are struggling to score V30+. This course has got some brilliant presentations and stimulations that help you excel at GMAT. This course is particularly useful for Non-native speakers. I completed the E-Gmat course in 2 months period. As I have no mock tests left, I purchased Manhatan mocks for $49. These mocks are harder than actual GMAT. I was scoring in the range of 580 to 620. I though as these tests were difficult I would score 700+ on the test. I also gave free Kaplan mock test and scored 650. I booked my GMAT attempt 2 – 21st Dec 2017. I selected the usual Verbal – Quant – IR – AWA pattern and after completing the essay the score screen popped up – 600 (Q42 V31) SHOCKKKKED !

Q42 was a disaster for me. Though I was happy for my verbal improvement, I was shattered seeing my quant score. I knew the reason – I had taken quant for granted.

After this attempt, I decided to give myself a break from GMAT preparation and got myself involved in community service to keep myself busy post working hours.

April 2018 – Run for 3rd attempt
I started from scratch. Extended my e-GMAT course as I knew I will need to see all the videos to catch up. I started making fresh notes of rules. Chalked out a plan and decided not to take quant for granted. I made a routine of solving every question type (SC, CR, RC, DS and PS) daily, 25 each – at least. I did not jump to solve 700 level questions, but took it slowly. I strengthened my grip on sub-600 level questions, got 90% accuracy in that type and only then moved to 600 – 700 level. Similarly I moved to 700 + level, after reaching an accuracy of 85% in 600-700 level questions. I cannot stress enough on the importance of giving mocks. It sets a pace for you. Try giving as many mocks as you can. There are lot of free mocks available. GMAT club has customized verbal and quant mocks (highly recommended). I scored 700 and 730 on GMAT prep exam 3 and 4 respectively. These scores gave me a confidence to appear for GMAT. On 15th July 2018 I decided to take the GMAT test date of 24th July 2018, but due to my negligence (was watching FIFA Final) I booked a slot on 17th July. All my plans of studying for remaining 8 days were put to rest and I knew then that I screwed one more attempt. Still I made up my mind and motivated myself to appear for the test as that was the only option left to me. I gave the exam and scored 660 (V31 Q49). V 31 was disappointing. As it was the same score as my last attempt. I did not lose hope as I knew I had screwed this attempt due to my wrong selection of date. I knew my pit falls, I ordered my ESR and reviewed it in details and I came to know my weakness was CR. For next 25 days I gave everything I had to GMAT. I slept GMAT, I walked GMAT, I talked GMAT… I became GMAT. I knew I would cross that 700 in my next attempt. I gave one final mock and scored 700. I booked my GMAT for the next day, 17TH August 2018. It was a dramatic experience. It rained cats and dogs since early morning. My slot was at 10:30 hrs. All the roads leading to the test center were flooded, but my friend made sure I reach my test center. If not for him, I would have screwed up one more attempt. I reached the center on time with much efforts only to find out that it was locked. I called up the customer care and they assured me to reschedule it if the center didn’t open in next 30 min. I had to wait for almost one hour for my test to start. Finally I started my test at 11:30 hrs. As usual I took Verbal – Quant – IR – AWA. I finished verbal section 3 min before and quant section with 7 min to spare. I knew I had done decently on the test. I finished my IR and AWA and there popped the score. I had no strength to look up to the screen. I had covered my eyes with m hands like a child and slowly I lowered my hands. The screen started to appear …. Quant 50… I was happy… my heartbeat started to increase and with further lowering of hands I saw Verbal 35. I knew this break-up was 700. I uncovered my eyes completely and saw a 710. A tear quickly rolled off my eye and I was smiling. All the memories from my GMAT struggle ran past my mind. Just when the time to accept the report was to get over I managed to click on “HELL YESSS I ACCEPT”

I would like to thank this community from the most bottom of my heart. It became a part of my life. I surely am going to miss GMAT. But it a feeling that you cannot express. I hope all of you reading this post will one day relate to this experience.
I would like to share my Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s
- Buy Official guide and learn the exam pattern and question types before you start solving questions.
- Give at least 6 – 8 mocks before appearing for GMAT.
- Always give mock in exam like condition.
- Practice in timed manner
- Get a good 90% accuracy in one level and only then move to a higher level.
- Thoroughly use GMAT club forum and question bank
- Make error log
- Solve at least 20 questions of each type (SC, CR, RC, DS and PS) daily.
- Review your progress and weakness on weekly basis
- Understand your mistakes and solve those type of questions till you get 90% accuracy in those types.
- Solve at least 5 RC passages from different topics. RC cannot be improved overnight. It needs “daily timed practice”


Don’ts
- Do not give GMAT prep Mocks before preparing for at least a month.
- Do not take longer breaks, do not pause, try to give it on some other PC / laptop than yours and give at some other place than your regular study environment
- Don’t solve hard questions first
- Don’t solve questions from GMAT prep exam source during your practice, as this may inflate your actual mock score.
- Don’t take offs in preparation. Even a two days gap will reflect on your score.

Well these are just a few pointers that have come to my mind. Please feel free to comment or PM me if you need any help from me. I will surely take some time for you from my application process. I am indebted to this forum and would like to contribute my bit for this community. I again take the opportunity to thank all those who have directly or indirectly made 520 to 710 happen.

All the best fellow aspirants. No matter what your current situation is, YOU CAN DO IT !!
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Joined: 24 Aug 2016
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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Operations
GMAT 1: 630 Q48 V28
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Re: 520 to 710 – NO secret "MANTRA"  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2018, 12:29
Congratulations for the great score.

Just out of curiosity....... have u got ur ESR for the 710 attempt ?

All the best for the application process
_________________

Please let me know if I am going in wrong direction.
Thanks in appreciation.

Rice (Jones) Thread Master
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Joined: 18 Jun 2018
Posts: 66
Location: United States (AZ)
Concentration: Finance, Healthcare
Re: 520 to 710 – NO secret "MANTRA"  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 12:41
Wow. Congratulations Dinkar1910. Your hard work and resiliency paid off. I am still preparing for the test and this debrief sure motivated me.

Congrats again, and best wishes for your applications.

Cheers!
GMAT Club Bot
Re: 520 to 710 – NO secret "MANTRA" &nbs [#permalink] 24 Sep 2018, 12:41
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