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# 740 Debrief - Goof up on AWA

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Intern
Joined: 28 Jan 2014
Posts: 14

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 2

Location: India
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
740 Debrief - Goof up on AWA [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2014, 07:02
Well, it's finally done! My first (and probably only) attempt at GMAT was this morning. After what felt like a mediocre performance (the quant actually was), I was pleasantly surprised to see 740 pop up on the screen. Just to give you an idea, 690 is the current batch's average at the school I'm shooting for [ IIM-B ], and I'd have been happy with a 720! Celebrated (Read: doused growling tummy) with a hot sandwich & a cuppa tea and 45 min later I was home

IR - 6 (67%)
Q - 49 (81%)
V - 41 (93%)
Total - 740 (97%)

The goof up - and here's where I seek some assurance from you guys
So the AWA was a pretty simple topic, (without giving too much away) a comparison involving two separate strategies - one implemented in February, the other in June. I think I wrote it decently well, but for some unfathomable reason, in my response, I typed "MAY" instead of "JUNE" throughout the whole essay!! I had four minutes to review, and read through the whole thing twice, but of course I realized this mistake only in the last 10 seconds. I was only able to replace May with June in the conclusion… Murphy's Law totally kicked butt. How much trouble am I in??

Meat of the Debrief:

Books & Material Used - Only book I used was the OG 13th edition. Rest of the material was thanks to the almighty gmatclub - this forum truly rocks

Time - I started studying exactly 2 months ago. Though I must confess I'm currently unemployed, so I had plenty of time on hand. Even so, I don't think I averaged more than 4 hrs per day, except for the last few days.

General Strategy - Nothing exclusive here - I first completed the OG, and realized that my math was not as good as I thought it should have been. So the last 3 weeks before the exam, I focused heavily on math. I revisited all of the problems I had gotten wrong the first time around, and attempted them over & over again at various intervals till I got it right. Same thing with the problems I attempted here on the forum [The Workbook feature is highly awesome!]
I was also struggling with IR, but initially that was because I had ignored the fact that a calculator was provided! Once I overcame that brain fart, I was slightly better off, but still not > 50 percentile consistently. It turns out, just as some had said on this forum, the IR questions on the GMAT are easier than the practice Qs they provide online.
For AWA, I just decided to monkey the template that 'chineseburned' had provided. It is really really good. I guess 933 Kudos for that post says it all ( I couldn't post the link coz I have <5 posts! )

Mock Tests (All taken in the last 2 weeks)
Manhattan #1 680 (Q45 V37)
Kaplan 720
Veritas Prep 720 (Q48 V41)
Gmat Prep #1 750 (Q49 V44)
Gmat Prep #2 680 (Q47 V36) --> This one really put me off since I took it the day before the exam!

Complaints:
I guess my main complaint is with the test centre (Bangalore). They have 23' monitors, but make you sit so that your face is barely a feet away from the screen. You have to fully turn your head to read the entire question - like when you're in the first row of a movie theatre trying to figure out who is shooting whom!
And the keyboard was a piece of junk. The alphabets 'T' and 'A' were sticky… quite a pain in the neck while typing out the AWA response. I would rather the sticky keys were 'Q' or '~' or something

My 2 cents:
I guess stay calm would be my no.1 advice. Panicking never helps
On the quant questions, specially the PS, It helps to race thru the question at the end once you've selected your answer - that way you won't mess up questions that ask "how much MORE" instead of "how much"
Don't sweat over IR - it's not bad at all
Take those breaks! - I utilized all three breaks, and I think it definitely helped. If you take a break, you tend to forget about the previous section regardless of whether you think you did good or bad

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 2

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Senior Manager
Status: busyness school student
Joined: 09 Sep 2013
Posts: 419

Kudos [?]: 306 [1], given: 145

Location: United States
Schools: Tepper '16 (M)
GMAT 1: 730 Q52 V37
Re: 740 Debrief - Goof up on AWA [#permalink]

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20 Mar 2014, 07:09
1
KUDOS
Congrats!!!

I wouldn't worry too much about the AWA. For what it's worth, the time ran out when I was rewriting a sentence, and I never got to finish my sentence... I had an incomplete, half written sentence in my AWA somewhere in the conclusion. I still managed a 5, which I think is fine - my understanding is that most schools won't even care as long as it's not horrendous.
_________________

My review of some of the CAT practice exams
You can usually find me on gmatclub's chat.

Kudos [?]: 306 [1], given: 145

Intern
Joined: 14 Aug 2013
Posts: 14

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

Re: 740 Debrief - Goof up on AWA [#permalink]

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27 Mar 2014, 09:29
Hi,
congrats ....Please share how you improved your quant

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

Current Student
Joined: 26 Jun 2013
Posts: 68

Kudos [?]: 59 [0], given: 22

Location: India
Concentration: Technology, Marketing
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V41
WE: Marketing (Internet and New Media)
Re: 740 Debrief - Goof up on AWA [#permalink]

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01 Apr 2014, 06:09
Hi there! Thanks for the great debrief and Congratulations on the awesome GMAT score!
I think you'll be fine on the AWA.

I must say, reading your experience at the Bangalore testing center was a little scary for me as I'm planning to take the test there sometime next month. Test center factors are not really in our control and getting stuck with a crappy keyboard on GMAT day is really not something I'm looking forward to!

Just had a couple of questions for you:

1. Did you practise IR Questions from any particular source apart from OG 13?

2. Is the laminated "scratchpad" provided on exam day easy enough to write on or does it take some getting used to?
_________________

Follow my blog: My Journey to Business School

Kudos [?]: 59 [0], given: 22

Intern
Joined: 28 Jan 2014
Posts: 14

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 2

Location: India
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
Re: 740 Debrief - Goof up on AWA [#permalink]

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02 Apr 2014, 08:10
Quick Update - On the AWA, I ended up with a 5.0, so I guess I was worried for no reason

pareshcs wrote:
Hi,
congrats ....Please share how you improved your quant

Pareschs, like I described in my OP, I didn't do much other than the OG 13 material and 600-700 level quant questions from the forum. If you're fairly comfortable with the basics and just need some practice, these two sources are quite sufficient I think

vandanasathpathy wrote:
Hi there! Thanks for the great debrief and Congratulations on the awesome GMAT score!
I think you'll be fine on the AWA.

I must say, reading your experience at the Bangalore testing center was a little scary for me as I'm planning to take the test there sometime next month. Test center factors are not really in our control and getting stuck with a crappy keyboard on GMAT day is really not something I'm looking forward to!

Just had a couple of questions for you:

1. Did you practise IR Questions from any particular source apart from OG 13?

2. Is the laminated "scratchpad" provided on exam day easy enough to write on or does it take some getting used to?

Vandana,
Sadly there isn't much you can do about the monitors... but if you can, avoid the second computer clockwise from left.. that's the one I was in. Maybe I was just unlucky with the keyboard.

1. Apart from the OG 13, the practice tests were the only IR questions I had worked with. Just practice whatever material you have available, and make sure you revisit your mistakes. IR is not at all hard on the exam.. just remember that an on-screen calculator is provided!
2. The scratchpad is real easy to use. It's just A4 sized (maybe slightly larger) spiral bound booklet... You'll get two black markers to write with - these have 0.5mm tips, not like the mega huge whiteboard markers.. it's like writing with a regular pen. And there is PLENTY of space, so don't waste time trying to optimize writing area, or erasing anything you've written... Prior to the Verbal section, during the break, don't forget to write down the ' a b c d e ' to eliminate options...

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 2

Re: 740 Debrief - Goof up on AWA   [#permalink] 02 Apr 2014, 08:10
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# 740 Debrief - Goof up on AWA

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