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# A trek from 560 to 710

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Intern
Joined: 06 Oct 2017
Posts: 6
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 560 Q44 V24
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
GPA: 4
WE: Marketing (Manufacturing)
A trek from 560 to 710  [#permalink]

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13 Mar 2018, 09:37
Although my GMAT journey started in the year 2013, I have boarded the GMAT train only in 2016.
Wondering about the 2.5 yrs in between? I was hanging out with my friend, Procrastination.

With no prior preparation, I went ahead and scheduled my exam for Nov'16. Didn't bother to prepare even as the exam date is approaching, blame my old habits.
Postponed the exam by 3 weeks and took a week off from work before the exam.

Resources available - OG 2014 and GMATPILL with full access (Although I would recommend it for SC alone).

Quant - Quite basic. Didn't bother to work after 100 Qs on OG and focused only on 700-800 level questions. Identified and brushed my basics on few topics such as probability, sets & relations, P&Cs.
SC - Confused. All the options made logical sense on pronunciation while I worked through the questions. Browsed through the video lectures on GMAT Pill and practised various questions on this platform. I started to feel confident as I applied these frameworks to derive the correct answer. But the hit ratio was only 40% as I relied on intuition to solve the rest.
RC - My attention span is limited. At times, I would lose my mind trying to understand the complex passages as I didn't find any useful approach from the study materials either. My accuracy improved as I spent more time re-reading the passage while timing was still a concern. Didn’t really have a plan to address this issue.
CR – At the outset, this section seemed easiest among the three. So tempting that I was rushed to guess the wrong answer many times. Didn’t refer any material but relied on practice to perfect (Well atleast I thought so) this section.

D-Day
Quant – Took time to take off and wasted a good 10-15 minutes on 2-3 tough questions. Had to rush through the second innings and guess at least 5-7 questions.
Verbal – Breezed through. I felt like I’ve over prepared. May be I was consistently giving wrong answers and the algorithm is continuously throwing easy questions at me.
The score - 560 (Q44, V24, IR8)

A train of thoughts passed by... Is this score, a result of unpreparedness or a reflection of my competency level.
Then a chain of shots followed... Hungover. Acknowledged the defeat. Ready to start afresh

Took a break of 7 months and re-launched my prep in July'2017.
I have identified my weaknesses by now through the ESR (Highly recommended for re-takers) and engineered my study schedule towards Mission 700+

-> Quantitative - While I am fundamentally strong in this section, timing and approach have let me down during the 1st exam.
Solution - Practice... Rode through all the questions from OG 12 to 18. Perfected the timing to 90 secs (Easy) to 90+30 secs (Hard) per question.
I have set the checkpoint at 35 Min & 40 Min mark. During mocks, the idea was to complete 20 Qs in 35 Min/ 40 Min and pace my second innings accordingly.
-> Sentence Correction - Revised core frameworks from GMAT Pill and supplemented this learning with Kaplan GMAT. The combination worked magic on my SC skills. Not just the answer but also the approach was consistent with study material on many occasions.
-> Critical Reasoning – Attention-to-detail is the key for cracking this section. Initially, I took time to understand the question and form logic with the correct answer. Later I worked on my timing while maintaining the approach.
-> Reading Comprehension – Improved my focus levels mostly though practice from OG 12 to 18. Imagine the passage as a story or better yet live in it. Once you understand the story completely, each question should not take more than 10-15 sec to answer.

Various mock tests followed

Manhattan GMAT – Q45/V34/650 (Quant is tougher than GMAC’s Exam)
GMAT Prep1 – Q49/V34/670
Veritas Prep – Q48/V33/660 (Verbal especially RC is slightly tougher than GMAC’s Exam)
GMATPill – Q46/V42/720 (Do not recommend)
GMAT Prep2 – Q50/V36/710

Amidst all this, GMATclub was my Go-to solution book. Come with any level of understanding and gmatclub has an explanation tailored for you.

Judgement Day
The order was set - Verbal -> Quant -> IR -> AWA (Shout out to the guys at GMAC for bringing this change)
Verbal - Maintained the timing of 90 sec/ question for RC & SC and took my sweet time for CR. The questions were balanced and so was I. Although I have guessed few questions but I didn't let that disturb my flow. Finished the section with a minute to spare.
Quant - Questions were the easiest. Surprised & scared at the same time.
Took my break and didn't really bother about IR & AWA as I was in a rush to witness the result.

710 it is! (Q50, V35, IR6)

We die to live another day. Walked out like a boss and celebrated in class.

TLDR - When in doubt, trust OG. Kaplan & GMATPill for SC. Practice for CR & RC.
Manager
Status: Single
Affiliations: None
Joined: 09 Dec 2016
Posts: 112
GPA: 3.9
WE: Asset Management (Advertising and PR)
Re: A trek from 560 to 710  [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2018, 03:09
Full of insights, thanks so much for this! You have gone a long way for this well deserved 710

Could I ask you what is your background? and what schools are you applying to now?

Intern
Joined: 06 Oct 2017
Posts: 6
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 560 Q44 V24
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
GPA: 4
WE: Marketing (Manufacturing)
Re: A trek from 560 to 710  [#permalink]

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18 Mar 2018, 23:08
Ross2018 wrote:
Full of insights, thanks so much for this! You have gone a long way for this well deserved 710

Could I ask you what is your background? and what schools are you applying to now?

UG degree (First class with distinction) in Mechanical from a top 15 Engg college in India.
6 years of after-market, sales planning and marketing experience in a major automotive firm.

My application journey for 2018 intake was a disaster in itself - A story for another day.
Targeted random B-schools without an answer to the basic "Where do I see myself in 5 or 10 years" or consideration of practical implications. Part of this failure could be attributed to my consultant, who merely played the role of an essay editor.

As I want to further my career in Marketing (Channel sales), I am targeting the top 5 1-year MBA programs for 2019 Intake in India.
Re: A trek from 560 to 710 &nbs [#permalink] 18 Mar 2018, 23:08
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# A trek from 560 to 710

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