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Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)

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GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V42
Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Aug 2019, 00:23
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Background


Indian Male Engineer who graduated in 2017 from an IIT. Working with one of the largest Telecom Service Providers in the country, building an operations support and analytics platform as a product manager.

GMAT – 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)

A point to note here is that I had appeared for CAT 2018, and ranked in the top 0.2% of the applicants. This score would have been sufficient to get an interview call to the top 3 IIMs, had I not messed up my 10+2 examinations. I decided to make the most of this setback, and started prepping for the GMAT 3 months before my chosen date, in August.

Month 1


Prepped exclusively on GMATClub and solved OG quant and verbal questions. I realized there was no theory I needed to study for quant (I had covered almost all of it during my CAT prep), and all I needed was extensive experience solving DS questions. Verbal, however, was quite a shock for me - From being among the top 0.3 percent in the CAT, I was struggling to get more than 50% of the questions right, and most of these were from Sentence Correction (no surprises here, 3 months later). I purchased the Manhattan Prep Sentence Correction Guide and started going through it. I must have gone through the book atleast five times before appearing for the GMAT, but I simply wasn’t able to mould it into my intuition. I met an alumnus from my undergrad, who had scored a 770. His advice was simple – Ignore your intuition and “mouth feel” when it came to verbal. Use the tips and processes highlighted in the Manhattan SC guide, and build a process to solve verbal questions. Rely on your intuition only when the process gets you to the final two choices, and the process doesn’t help you anymore.

Month 2


Gave the first official GMAC Mock Test, and scored a 750. Two things stuck out from this attempt, for me
1) I had still not grasped the Sentence Correction process. However, my CR and RC were respectable
2) There was still room for improvement in my accuracy of solving DS problems.

Continued solving OG and GMATClub problems. GMATClub is addictive AF – I had started reading debriefs at lunch, solving SC questions while having my evening tea and CR questions during my daily commute. GMAT is a way more fun exam, and GMATClub is an incredible forum. By this stage I was confident I could improve my score to a 780. Things didn’t turn out so smooth, though.

Month 3


Similar to the GMAT, I didn’t attend any classes for CAT prep. I had bought a problem set and close to 20 full length tests. By the time there was just a month left, I was solving one test a day. I adopted a similar strategy for GMAT. I purchased the Experts’ Global Test Series – For INR 2500 they give you 15 full length mock tests. One thing to note is that the Experts’ Global mock tests are NOT adaptive. I had written the first test in Month 2, and scored a 690. I chalked this off as a half-hearted attempt, and didn’t bother reviewing my mistakes. Come month 3, I was solving close to a test-a-day. My scores fluctuated drastically – I was scoring a 700 the very next day after scoring a 770. My accuracy in SC was slowly improving but I was losing accuracy in RC and CR. I shifted my focus to CR, and started spending more time reading the RC questions – This was around two weeks before my GMAT. I started to panic, and resigned myself to a sub-750 score. Luckily, I happened to come across GMATNinja 's Youtube series on Sentence Correction. I started watching the series diligently, and tried to mimic his thought process. Stuff finally started to make sense, and I decided to go through the Manhattan SC guide one last time, and it all finally made sense to me. One week before the exam I wrote the second mock test, and scored a 770. The 770 on my screen significantly calmed my nerves. The last four days, I wrote no tests, and just went through my error log on GMATClub. My self-prep was only possible with the help of this ridiculously good community, and I hope to someday give back to it.

D-Day (Or maybe G-Day?)


Mistake 1 - I had booked a cheap hotel close to the examination center, and reached the hotel a night before. If you are a light-sleeper, DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE. I walked out of my room thrice to ask the staff – who played weird music all night – to keep quiet. I probably fell asleep around 3, waking up intermittently, before finally waking up at 8. Reached the center with five chocolate bars in my bag for breaks, a can of redbull, and a whole bottle of water. Mistake 2 – Do not drink too much water. I know this sounds silly, but trust me. I rushed through my final 5 verbal questions because I simply couldn’t hold it in. The exam otherwise went as planned, and I saw a 760 flash in front of me. I was rather disappointed I didn’t get a Q51, as I had scored a 51 on most of my mock tests. The V42 was adequate, however. I was rather disappointed I had only made a 10-point improvement over my first mock – I usually perform better on the exam than the mocks. I was disappointed, but relieved – I could finally focus on building up my profile, and get some rest after back-to-back exam prep sessions.

Key Takeaways


1. Do not hesitate getting professional help – I probably would have hit that 780 mark if I had figured out the process to solving verbal questions sooner. I was lucky I had someone tell me to not rely entirely on my intuition, and build a process.
2. Build a habit of solving tests – This process helped me do well on the GMAT despite a lack of sleep. I was afriad I would tank the exam, but once I sat down, I forgot all about the previous night (also probably helped by the can of red bull I had prior to the exam)
3. Try to solve questions from legitimate sources; As is frequently quoted by bb and other admins, GMAC spends close to $2000 per question. Test prep agencies can only do so much. That being said, Magoosh, Veritas and Manhattan Prep questions are pretty decent. Be careful while solving LSAT questions – personally, I felt GMAT CR questions aren’t as hard, and don’t test your critical reasoning ability the way LSAT questions do.
4. This applies to Indian Engineering Applicants – The verbal section of GMAT does not test your English Skills. It tests -
    a. Your ability to comprehend information (RC)
    b. Your ability to reason (CR)
    c. Your ability to apply frameworks and logically arrive at a conclusion (SC)

Final Notes


I would, again, like to thank this community. GMATNinja ’s videos, and his answers on the verbal forum were succinct, and precise. Experts’ Global’s test questions were pretty decent IMHO. I hope they make the tests adaptive soon. I look forward to engaging with the community more, as I work on my applications. I will be applying in Round 1, 2020 with four years of work ex. under my belt by 2021. Please feel free to PM me if you need feedback regarding the Pearson Vue GMAT centre in Mumbai, Experts’ Global’s mock tests, and tips on how to self-prep, if you are confident enough. I’ve made quite a few mistakes while prepping for CAT and GMAT, and hope you don’t make the same on your self-prep journey.
Cheers!
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Aug 2019, 23:11
wizmaverick

Congratulations on your score and all the best for your application.

Could you please state your scores (with Q/V breakup) on the expert global tests?

Thanks

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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2019, 00:12
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Hi Shobhit7,

The scores on my Experts Global tests were as following

690 Q50 V32
700 Q50 V34
730 Q50 V38
770 Q51 V44
700 Q51 V33
770 Q51 V42
680 Q50 V31
710 Q50 V35
730 Q51 V37

My Scores on my official mocks were as follows

750 Q50 V40
770 Q51 V44
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 21:28
How did you effectively use gmatniinja video series? I tried to watched with due diligence but when I try practice problems I find it difficult to remember anything as the timer ticks.

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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 22:34
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Wow! Fantastic score and great performance on the CAT as well. I have no idea what the 10+2 is but you seem to have a solid base. Would you say that CAT has helped you prepare for the GMAT or do you feel the overlap is minimal? (we have recently started the CAT forum and I am still learning about the overlap)

You applying in R1 this year? Have you left enough time for applications?

P.S. Great job on the AWA. Did you use the Chineseburnt template?
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 22:59
congratulations on the amazing score!!
All the best for your next phase

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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2019, 23:19
anbknaga

Firstly, GMATNinja's video series is not a substitute for theory. I was able to make the most of his videos after studying the Manhattan SC Guide. Use the videos to brush up on important concepts, which Charles Bibilos, before putting forth the questions, introduces to the viewer. For me, the videos helped me intuitively understand what was explained in the Manhattan SC Guide, and apply those concepts.

So, my answer to your question as to how I effectively used gmatninja's video series is this - I read up on my theory first, and then watched those videos and solved along with him. Ofcourse this was only because I happened to stumble upon those videos after reading my theory, but I believe this approach will help you as well.

Best of luck for your prep!

Cheers :)
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2019, 00:00
All the best with your applications..!! :thumbup:

I have seen a few GMATNinja series video but never figured how to use successfully.
Thanks for mentioning.

bb 10+2 = equates to high school.
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Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2019, 00:26
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Thanks a lot! bb

So, IIMs take into account three academic scores while assessing applicants for their flagship 2-year PGP course.

1) SSC Board Examination Scores - Administered to students in their 10th Grade (High School Sophomore Year equivalent for the US)
2) HSC Board Examination Scores - Administered to students in their 12th (10+2) Grade (High School Senior Year equivalent for the US)
3) Undergrad GPAs
4) Grad GPAs (if applicable)

Coming to the CAT exam, and the overlap with the GMAT - On paper, there is some overlap. CAT's verbal section is comprised of RC passages and paragraph jumbles (you get a set of sentences and you need to arrange them in a logical order). CAT's Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation section is like a longer version of GMAT's IR section. Lastly, CAT has a quant section, which is quite a lot more difficult than GMAT's quant section.

The profiles of the candidates sitting for the CAT are also going to be quite different - Applicants are usually fresh out of grad or undergrad, and often have quite a smooth transition from academics to CAT prep. The age profile of GMAT applicants is more diverse.

Coming to your question; the CAT did help me quite a bit - The Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation section was my weakest when I started prepping for CAT, and this was the section I put the most effort into. The problem solving I did in this section, I felt, helped me catch onto CR questions a lot faster. Also, after CAT quant, I didn't need to prep a lot for GMAT quant questions. I only had to get a hang of the DS questions - which were probably the reason why I didn't score a Q51. I also could manage my timing better on the GMAT because of my experience with CAT

Do let me know if there are any aspects of the CAT that I could help you with :)

Quote:
You applying in R1 this year? Have you left enough time for applications?


No, I'll be applying next year. I have a few great projects lined up and plan to apply after they mature.

Quote:
Great job on the AWA. Did you use the Chineseburnt template?


Haha! Who doesn't? Although I believe I lost the 0.5 due to my tendency to stretch out sentences. The Chineseburnt template is the way to go!

Cheers! :)
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2019, 17:00
Dear,
Congratulations.
1. How you controlled timing issue? Please explain section wise.
2. What was your feeling while questions correctly? Meaning, were you knowing from the flow of questions that you are scoring well.
3. How many times you used to check and recheck your answer before final selection?
4. What was the best study material or book used by you?

Regards and best of luck for your next works,
Basim

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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2019, 02:53
Basim2016

Quote:
1. How you controlled timing issue? Please explain section wise.

I didn't have too big an issue with timing. You can read this blogpost for an exam ritual which, if you build it, will help you manage your time and improve your accuracy.

https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... rt-1-of-3/

Quote:
2. What was your feeling while questions correctly? Meaning, were you knowing from the flow of questions that you are scoring well.


I wasn't really able to figure out the difficulty of the questions TBH, and frankly, worrying about this is rarely productive. Focus on the question in front of you, and focus on doing it right. Don't try to judge whether you correctly answered the previous question; you would end up wasting precious time.

Quote:
3. How many times you used to check and recheck your answer before final selection?

Using the PoE (Process of Elimination), in Verbal, I was able to reduce the five choices to the final two or three. If you examine them and identify the correct option with a coherent strategy backed by sound concepts, you shouldn't need to worry about rechecking answers.

Quote:
4. What was the best study material or book used by you?

I'm not really the best person to ask this question to, frankly. I only referred to the Powerscore CR Bible (First 30 pages) and the Manhattan SC Guide. I filled gaps by reading blog posts and watching videos (GMATNinja's series included)
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2019, 02:56
Dear,

Thanks for your prompt replies.

Best of luck for your future endeavors,
Regards.

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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Sep 2019, 19:33
Holy crap, congratulations on the amazing score, wizmaverick! And thank you for the shout-out. Glad that we could be a small part of your process, but whoa... a 760? That takes some serious hard work and talent, and that's a high enough score that you would be taken seriously if you wanted to work at any of the big GMAT test-prep companies. Awesome.

Congratulations again, and please let us know where you end up for b-school! You sound like a really good dude, and we're rooting for you.
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2019, 22:02
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Thanks a lot GMATNinja !!!

Haha! I'm done with standardized testing for the moment (though I feel, with a little more effort, I can reach the 780 mark). You guys definitely played more than a 'small part' in my GMAT prep. One thing I've told quite a few club members who have PM'ed me is to observe how you approach problems and identify splits, which put everything I read from the Manhattan SC guide into context. Up till that point of time I was unable to explain why my correct answers were correct, which I feel is just as important as maintaining and working upon your error log (or maybe this problem is unique to me)
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Sep 2019, 23:13
HI wizmaverick did you followed any particular strategy for RC, for reducing time consumption.

Whats ur tyming in RC for short and long passages
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Re: Self-Prep 760 (Q50, V42, IR8, AWA5.5)   [#permalink] 04 Sep 2019, 23:13
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