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580 to 660 to 730 (A story from a professional athlete)

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Manager
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Joined: 17 Jun 2017
Posts: 83

Kudos [?]: 12 [2], given: 6

GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
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580 to 660 to 730 (A story from a professional athlete) [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 21:35
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Hello everyone,

I scored 730(Q49 V40) on July 13 and would like to share my exam preparation experience. And I’d also like to inspire some students who have doubts about their skills. My story is about believing that everything is possible.

I'd like to start from my background and how I've arrived to passing the GMAT. I am a professional volleyball player from Russia. Actually I finished my career two months ago. Played in Russian Superleague, one of the best leagues in the world. Although I’ve been a professional athlete since I was eleven years old, I studied a lot for the most part of my life. Actually I did not have any free time at all. Thanks to my parents, I’ve studied English from childhood and finished high school with distinction. When I was 17 I came up with my first serious choice in life. I had to decide whether to apply for a good university in Russia and finish with sports, apply for a sports university and continue my career or try to get both good edication and sports career but struggle with a huge load of work. Compared to the U.S. system, which requires you to get a college degree in order to advance in sports, Russian system requires you to make a choice. Everyone was telling me that it is impossible to get an engineering major and become a top athlete at the same time. But I belived in myself and could achieved both, although I got my degree with low marks.

In 2011 I got a serious shoulder injury and since then I was not able to play at my best level. That was the point at which I decided to get a new profession. Again I started to study a lot. I completed a bunch of online courses on Coursera, have created a successful cosmetics business in Russia and decided to apply for MBA in one of the top U.S. universities.

THE GMAT EXAM

First attempt – 580 (Q41, V31)

The next big problem after a low GPA was the GMAT. You cannot imagine how hard it was for me to start studying again after all those years. My first attempt was a year ago in 2016. At that time I wanted to check my real skills without long preparation. A starting point if you want. As you can guess I failed with the score of 580 (Q41, V31). But actually I did not have time for a thorough preparation before my volleyball season so I decided to schedule my next exam for June 2017 and in the meantime enrolled in Mathrevolution Quant course.

Second attempt – 660 (Q37, V42)

I’ve been studying Quant on Mathrevolution for almost one year without any hurry. My second attempt was on June 25 and I arrived home from my season on May 10. So I had a month and a half to prepare for Verbal section and refresh my Quant. I’ve checked a bunch of different online verbal courses and decided to choose E-Gmat. A bit later I will describe my thoughts about the resourses I used for preparation.

In the day of the exam I was superconfident in my ability to score at least 700. I got somewhat easy essay topic and IR section was a good warmup before Quant. But during Quant section I became completely frustrated. I am not sure what happened, but I knew that I made a lot of mistakes. After Quant I was already sure that I would not reach 700 but anyway focused on Verbal section. The verbal had more or less average difficulty for me and I completed the section and had 5 minutes left.

Overall I got 660. Shameful 37 in Q and very nice 42 in V. My feelings were ambiguous. On the one hand I was so upset with Q37. Never got anything below 41 and now, after 1 year of math preparation I got a result worse. Moreover, in preps I usually had 47-49 in Quant. On the other hand V42 was my record. I never scored more than 41 in preps.

Experts from Mathrevolution and E-gmat asked me to order an ESR to determine my exam perfomance. Results were astonishing. I did not get questions easier than “Medium high” level in Q, whereas in Verbal my whole exam was on “Medium” level.

Third Attempt 730 (Q49 V40)


Anyway I was not going to give up, so I scheduled third attempt for July 13 straight away. I solved something like 1500 questions in these 16 days. Reviewed half of the Verbal course on E-gmat and almost full course on Mathrevolution. I studied 10 hours a day everyday.

This time before the exam I had no confidence at all. I solved two preps for 690 and 720. I was a bit nervous. In the test center they described me new rules about section order. As you may know it is possible to start with Q or V and then get AWA and IR. I decided to go with Q -> V -> IR -> AWA, because in the preps I never did IR and AWA nor had I prepared for these two sections.

The exam experience was exactly the same as in the second attempt. I started to get difficult questions in Q but I concentrated and told myself: “You have nothing to lose. Just concentrate and stick to the timer”. Verbal section was also more or less of average difficulty like last time. After these two sections it was a HUGE problem for me to concentrate on IR and AWA. I was thinking only about my results in Q and V. When I got 730 I was so surprised that I even forgot to save the result, grabbed my passport and headed towards the exit, then realized that I have to save the exam and finish it correctly, got back and did all the procedure. Funny but I barely felt my feet.

Exam preparation

Here I would like to mention all the resourses I used to get to 730 in the order I came up with them.

1. Official guide for GMAT 2016, 2017 and 2018 with Q and V books. I’ve solved each and every problem from all of these 9 books.
2. Mbastrategy – Russian company, which has a team of super skilled tutors. I had some private lessons on the topics in which I was not confident. If you are Russian – definitely choose this company.
3. Mathrevolution – a great sourse for studying GMAT math. They have a very kind and helpful staff. Always responded to each e-mail from me. Their variable approach is super effective. Actually on the real exam I was able to solve 2 DS questions in 15 seconds using this approach. They even extended the course for couple of days for free so I could prepare 2 days before the exam without having paid for additional month.
4. E-Gmat – One of the best offers for the Verbal section. If you don’t mind I won’t mention other courses I tried, but E-gmat course was for sure the best of them. However, you must have a lot of patience to complete it. The lectures, especially in RC are very long but in the same time very helpful.

Last thoughts

Persistence is the key to success in the GMAT. You may not know the math at the start of your journey, your reading skills can be far from perfect but if you are persistent – you will overcome everything and achieve what you are aiming. I studied for 6-10 hours a day since May 10 to July 13. I’ve lost 7kg of weight. I’ve started to drink coffee ( I always hated it before). And the result was 730. So I wish you all good luck. And never give up. Just get better from day to day.

Kudos [?]: 12 [2], given: 6

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Joined: 24 Jan 2015
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GMAT 1: 590 Q39 V31
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WE: Consulting (Pharmaceuticals and Biotech)
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Re: 580 to 660 to 730 (A story from a professional athlete) [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2017, 22:10
Congratulations on that great score. Sincerely wish that you get into one of your dream schools. :)
I have read many debriefs in which people score 700 even in their first diagnostic with no preparation and then reach 770 in their actuals.
But reading a story like yours is what motivates me that even I can achieve the 700 mark with hard work and perseverance.

Kudos [?]: 143 [0], given: 1

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Joined: 04 Jan 2016
Posts: 165

Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 419

Location: Afganistan
GMAT 1: 620 Q44 V32
GMAT 2: 600 Q48 V25
GMAT 3: 660 Q42 V39
GPA: 3.48
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Re: 580 to 660 to 730 (A story from a professional athlete) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 20:11
Great Score.
Considering your background in sport and running a business, I bet you would have a great chance to a school of your choice.

My question is however, that how many mock test, during these three exams did you take and what was your score break up?

Kudos [?]: 73 [0], given: 419

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Joined: 17 Jun 2017
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Kudos [?]: 12 [1], given: 6

GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
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Re: 580 to 660 to 730 (A story from a professional athlete) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 22:42
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Heseraj wrote:
Great Score.
Considering your background in sport and running a business, I bet you would have a great chance to a school of your choice.

My question is however, that how many mock test, during these three exams did you take and what was your score break up?


Hi, Heseraj

I did each and every mocktest from GMAT prep twice. All in all 6 tests and twice each test. My score were more or less around 700. To be more precise, I had 580 (once) and 740 (also once). Other tests were from 690 to 710. Verbal was usually around 40 and Quant somewhere from 44 to 49.

I also registered on Gmat Wiley website using activation codes from the OG. There you can also create exam like test, although it is not adaptive. But if you create this test using only medium and hard problems it will be even harder than a mock. There I have solved all the problems they have.

Good luck with the exam!!

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Kudos [?]: 12 [1], given: 6

Re: 580 to 660 to 730 (A story from a professional athlete)   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2017, 22:42
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