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740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work

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740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jun 2017, 05:18
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I have heard a lot of people saying that you can prepare for GMAT in a couple of months, but I think I am not one of them. When I started my GMAT preparation, I was not even aware of basics of English grammar, leave aside peculiarities that are required to ace GMAT verbal section. When I looked at the GMAT verbal question, I thought even if I score 680 scores, which seemed too difficult at that time, I will be more than satisfied and will join any MBA school that I can get with this score.
I took a very different path while preparing for my GMAT score, as my grammar was poor. I started preparing for English Grammar by looking at YouTube videos in which one guy was teaching Hindi medium students about basic of English Grammar. After spending numerous hours with those videos and reading on various blog and articles (random search) about various grammar rules for GMAT, I finally decided to give my first GMAT mock exam (GMAT Prep), about a year ago. I couldn't answer even a single Sentence Correction question with confidence; I just used my gut feeling to answer SC corrections. For critical reasoning questions, I could get some sense, same with the Reading comprehension. I managed to score V24, Q49 (620). I am from India, so yes, my Math is strong.

GMAT Verbal preparation Start again - 1st try(v24 -> v25)
As everybody else starts their GMAT preparation, I also got Manhattan Prep GMAT Strategy Guides (9 books) from my friend and started reading them religiously.
Initially, I felt good after reading these books, because I was learning new things about English grammar, but when I again gave mock exam after spending a month, I failed miserably and scored v25 (luck).
After spending time, I though it's time to analyze what is really required to prepare for GMAT exam. End conclusion, just mugging Grammar rules won't help me, I need to know how to effectively use the rules even if I know few rules.

GMAT Verbal Preparation Start again - 2nd try (v25 -> v29)
This time, I again googled and went through success stories of various people and different GMAT strategies mentioned in various videos lectures and on blogs.
I also attended free webinars from E-gmat, Jamboree, etc. After spending couple of weeks looking for discount coupons, offers and also thinking whether I should buy online subscription of E-Gmat and actually pay USD 199 for an online thing as I don't trust online courses and also I have never paid for anything online (including software) except when I bought something from e-commerce websites. Finally, I decided to shell out 199 USD with a heavy heart and bought an E-Gmat verbal online subscription in mid-October of 2016. I started looking at videos from E-Gmat and was spending at least 2 hours daily. Initially, I went through all the videos and sections quizzes, and after spending a month, I was able to improve my score to v29. However, I felt that my score didn't improve that much, but this time I was able to answer few SC questions with confidence and also, I managed to understand CR and SC questions correctly. Due to some personal reasons, I had to take around two months break, and I again started my preparation in mid-February again.

GMAT Verbal Preparation Start again - 2nd try(v29 -> v38)
This time, I again went through all the videos and spent more time on each video and tried to understand more in depth and questioned everything that I was learning. I also gave ability quiz (E-Gmat stuff) this time and around 10 Verbal mocks, and 10-12 math mocks (GMAT CLUB cat test and 800score test, got it free with E-Gmat verbal subscription). This time my verbal score was in the range of v34-v38 and math score from q49-q51.
I also gave AWA mocks (testbig.com and kaptest, you can mail kaptest, they will review your AWA for free) and was able to score from 4-4.5, don't know how.
Finally, I gave another GMAT prep mock exam and scored 700 and just right after the mock exam I decided to take a date for my D-day (22nd April 2017). I even planned for ten days of vacation to the Himalayas after my GMAT exam.

D-day 22nd April - **** happened
Could sleep properly in the night and thought I can now score 690-700. But I was little worried about my AWA and IR (didn't prepare much).
Reached exam center at 12:30 pm, my exam was scheduled for 2:00 pm. Voila, **** happens, and it happened, all the servers of my center got crashed, and the exam was canceled for everyone. I even told the exam centre people that I can wait for 2-3 hours if you can rectify the problem, but I think my destiny didn't want me to give exam on that day and I came back home, ordered pizza (as planned), went for movie (as planned), and went to the Himalayas for trekking and sight-seeing (as planned) and was back on 11th May. Yes, I also rescheduled my exam for 3rd June.

Prepare for 20 more days
This time, I spent a couple of days preparing for AWA and IR. Also, I spent time doing OG questions and went through their explanation given on e-gmat. Knowing why the wrong answer is wrong and why the right answer is right matters a lot during exam time. E-gmat explains OG questions solutions in a good way. Just two days before the exam, I again gave GMAT prep mock and managed to score 750.

D-day 3rd June - **** can happen again
I reached exam center at around 1:00 PM, exam center door was locked, I thought they might have gone for lunch. I waited for five more minutes with no luck. Somehow, there was a phone number given on the gmat test card, so I called the center people and viola, they have changed their exam center to another location, and by God grace, I was not informed of this thing. Thoughts started coming in my mind; Am I not supposed to give GMAT exam? Finally, I booked my Uber as the new center location was nearby, but I got stuck in Jam for another 10 minutes because of some accidents in front of me. Somehow, I managed to reach exam center in an angry mode and shouted at exam center people for this kind of behavior. They tried to calm me and finally, I started my exam.

Exam time
AWA - I mostly use my laptop and good quality keyboard for my day to day task. Exam center keyboard was horrible; I hardly managed to type properly and couldn't write as much as I wanted to. Somehow time passed, and AWA section got over.
Score- 5/6

IR - Did it as expected, but couldn't attempt all the questions, the last question was left.
Score- 6/8

Break - Got some fruits with me, helped to maintain my energy level. But eat fast, you have only 8 minutes.

Quant - Got another reason to hate center guys. While doing math questions, I use a lot of sheets, by the end of 30th questions, I used all the available sheets and raised my hand to get extra sheets. No one noticed anything; I was solving questions with one hand raised with anger inside me. Finally, quant got over, and I got out and again scolded those people and thought, fine, I will take another attempt to give GMAT exam.

Verbal - Got first five questions from SC part, somehow, I managed to answer them, but found them too difficult. Something exciting was waiting to happen. Exam center Internet connectivity went off (feeling of sadness and anger start coming inside me). Somehow, they managed to correct it, and my exam started from the same question and same clock time.
Finally, exam got over, and surprise was waiting for me. I scored 740 (v40, q50, IR-6) in my first attempt and left the exam center happily :)

Some tips

AWA - Don't leave AWA preparation for the last week, it hardly takes 30 minutes to write one AWA. Spend time well in advance so that you can at least get a sense of your mistakes. Kaptest gives excellent feedback. The feedback that I got was to "proofread" and "state what assumptions you're weakening before you weaken them". These two minor, however super helpful advice helped my score 5 in AWA.

IR - Give two mock IR that you get with GMAT Prep. Do these two tests religiously and try to analyze your mistakes also. One thing that I noticed was that most of the time calculator is not required. So better to analyze the question first, don't just jump over and try calculating.

Quant - Give around 5-10 mocks in all the conditions. Conditions mean when you are super tired, out of mood (you want to hit someone), and when there is noise around you. Getting prepared for different situations will help you a lot during exam time. Also, read the question properly, sometimes we miss some important point of an easy question.

Verbal - Don't lose your heart if you are not good with grammar. Start from basic, it might take some time but trust me you can improve your verbal score a lot. I did that, and I think everyone else can also do that. Just stick to some suitable material, preferably e-gmat verbal and do it religiously. I did this same material twice sometimes thrice for some topics. It's better to spend time on same material again and again instead of preparing from multiple sources.
Also, I took notes while preparing for verbal. Just revise the notes before the exam. Notes might or might not help you, but they will increase your confidence and confidence is a must for GMAT exam.

And last advice, try to be calm during the exam despite whatever situation you are in.

So, this is my story from 600 to 740 in the first attempt. Hope this motivates some people to score well in GMAT exam. Feel free to ping me for anything.
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Re: 740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jul 2017, 12:16
Excellent score. Congrats! Seems like all your hard work paid off. Good luck with your apps I am sure you will get in the school of your choice. Best of luck
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New post 16 Jul 2017, 10:28
jkolachi wrote:
Excellent score. Congrats! Seems like all your hard work paid off. Good luck with your apps I am sure you will get in the school of your choice. Best of luck


Thanks a lot for your wishes :)
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Re: 740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2017, 10:51
My goodness which city you stay in and what kind of exam centre management this is ??

But I should have first congratulated you on your score :) Kudos for a great score and a great debrief! You just might have increased the confidence of a lot of people, especially in Verbal and in handling God-knows-what-happens-at-exam-centre.
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Re: 740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2017, 08:39
Hi

Congrats for the super score. I have been preparing for gmat for a long time now but can't raise my verbal score beyond 30-35 though i have completed all material once (OGs, Manhattan). There are time management issues as well. My weakest section is CR and strongest is SC. Kindly advise how to raise my score to v40

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Re: 740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jul 2017, 09:26
First of all congrats for a great score. I am facing timing probem in verbal. On official GMAT, i had to guess on 5 Qs and on GMAT Prep Mock tests, i had to guess on 7-9 Qs because of shortage of time. Did you also face such problem? Please tell how to remedy this problem?
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Re: 740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 11:41
amanvermagmat wrote:
My goodness which city you stay in and what kind of exam centre management this is ??

But I should have first congratulated you on your score :) Kudos for a great score and a great debrief! You just might have increased the confidence of a lot of people, especially in Verbal and in handling God-knows-what-happens-at-exam-centre.



Hey,
So there is a new center in Hyderabad. But I won't blame that center for not informing me. It's GMAC responsibility to inform about any changes. Other folks were informed about this. Also, happy to help other folks :)
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Re: 740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 11:44
kreel11 wrote:
Hi

Congrats for the super score. I have been preparing for gmat for a long time now but can't raise my verbal score beyond 30-35 though i have completed all material once (OGs, Manhattan). There are time management issues as well. My weakest section is CR and strongest is SC. Kindly advise how to raise my score to v40

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Hey, for CR, I would suggest you to follow an approach for every type of question. As-in for assumption/weakening. etc.
Also, pre-thinking helps in every type of CR question. So try to implement pre-thinking, it will help u give correct answer for CR question.
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Re: 740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2017, 11:48
kashifraza wrote:
First of all congrats for a great score. I am facing timing probem in verbal. On official GMAT, i had to guess on 5 Qs and on GMAT Prep Mock tests, i had to guess on 7-9 Qs because of shortage of time. Did you also face such problem? Please tell how to remedy this problem?




Following a proper approach will help you in this issue. Most of the time, our time is wasted in re-reading the statement and re-reading the answer options.
If we have a proper approach then we won't have to spend time re-reading again. Also, initially it may take time to understand the approach and implement it. But with more practice, time taken will reduce and accuracy will increase. One such approach is pre-thinking in case of CR questions.
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Re: 740 in my first attempt - A reward for perseverance and hard work   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2017, 11:48
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