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Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)

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GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V41
Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 16:55
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There are enough number of awesome debriefs on this forum that I feel my traditional debrief will not add any value to forum. Especially what I did to achieve score of 740 was not much different than what others have already done in the past. However, I did make few blunders along the way and wish to share those with everyone.

To start with, brief background about my GMAT experience, I started my GMAT preparation around Aug 2018 with a plan to appear for GMAT in February 2019. Around January, I started seeing the scores of close to 700 in my mock exams and hence took the exam date of February end. To my surprise, or rather shock, I scored only 620(q48, v28), which was lower than the first mock exam I had taken before starting the GMAT preparation. While I thought I was thoroughly prepared for the exam, chink in my armor was exposed. I took 2 days to introspect, took my next date from April first week and started the preparation all over again.

So what did I do differently in second attempt? I identified some myths, mostly self created, that were holding me back and worked on those :

1. Getting few questions wrong is not ok.
"...You will always end up getting few questions wrong, even if you are scoring >90 percentile...". You read this all the time on various website and forums. Whenever I got few questions wrong on my question set or during my mock exams, I did not bother me much mostly because overall accuracy for more than 80%. Although I did cursory review it to figure out the mistake and put it in the error log, I did not lose my sleep over it. In my second attempt, I prepared with the mindset that each and every mistake is a crime, at least during the prep phase. This was one significant change that changed the game for me.

2.Use GMATClub wisely.
GMATClub is awesome, with such valuable discussions from experts as well as other participants. But, if you don't know what should look for, it does more harm than good, it did for me at least. In my second attempt, I hardly referred to the forums on GMATClub. With so many experts and participants opinions, it was causing more confusion to me and was making me challenge my methods. Only when I had no clue about the solution, I referred to couple of solutions for hint, then proceeded to explore the solution on my own. That way, I was building my own approach to solve the problem, rather than rely on someone else's approach.

3. Official questions are precious.
I know how much GMATNinja has stressed on importance of referring to OG problems as much as possible. I observed one typical behavior during my preparation. Whenever I study the material provided by the prep company and then attempted their question set, my accuracy was very high. However, when I switched to OG questions or some other prep company, my accuracy dropped. So during my second attempt, I used prep company material for study, and OG for doing practice set. I had already solved OG twice before that, so being fair was little bit of a challenge. But anyways practice set was more about applying the concepts rather than getting the answers right

4. Its all about your preparation and conceptual knowledge, voodoo wont help
There is lot of content around taking the exams on the same time as mocks and during your peak attention time, eating specific stuff during section breaks, etc... and I followed them all in my first attempt. Result 620. For my second attempt, I had a late night event on the night before exam, took the exam in late evening when I am usually tired as that was the only slot available, did not care about what I do in the break and it was still fine. I believe, exam day is 99% about the preparation you have done and 1% about everything else.

5. "Gut feel" is never right with GMAT.
All throughout my first attempt, I was reasonably comfortable answering the questions, both in Quant & Verbal. At no point in the exam, I felt challenged to the point of breaking apart. Hence, I found it very difficult to digest the score of 620. On the contrary, in my second attempt, halfway through the verbal section, I was disgruntled. After completing my Quant & Verbal section, I became too casual with IR and AWA sections, as I thought I have screwed up this attempt as well.

I would like to conclude by saying that, GMAT is a predictable exam, once you have your eye set on a target score, all you need to do is lose your sleep over it !

If you feel any more details from my preparation would help you reach your target score, feel free to comment and I will be happy to share.
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 17:21
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Congrats on the awesome score nrg08

Hard work doesn't go in vain ever, inspiring story. Can I DM you for more details?
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2019, 18:44
Hello nrg08 ... welcome to the community and CONGRATULATIONS on such a stellar score.
All the best for the next phase of the journey.
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2019, 09:54
nrg08 wrote:
There are enough number of awesome debriefs on this forum that I feel my traditional debrief will not add any value to forum. Especially what I did to achieve score of 740 was not much different than what others have already done in the past. However, I did make few blunders along the way and wish to share those with everyone.

To start with, brief background about my GMAT experience, I started my GMAT preparation around Aug 2018 with a plan to appear for GMAT in February 2019. Around January, I started seeing the scores of close to 700 in my mock exams and hence took the exam date of February end. To my surprise, or rather shock, I scored only 620(q48, v28), which was lower than the first mock exam I had taken before starting the GMAT preparation. While I thought I was thoroughly prepared for the exam, chink in my armor was exposed. I took 2 days to introspect, took my next date from April first week and started the preparation all over again.

So what did I do differently in second attempt? I identified some myths, mostly self created, that were holding me back and worked on those :

1. Getting few questions wrong is not ok.
"...You will always end up getting few questions wrong, even if you are scoring >90 percentile...". You read this all the time on various website and forums. Whenever I got few questions wrong on my question set or during my mock exams, I did not bother me much mostly because overall accuracy for more than 80%. Although I did cursory review it to figure out the mistake and put it in the error log, I did not lose my sleep over it. In my second attempt, I prepared with the mindset that each and every mistake is a crime, at least during the prep phase. This was one significant change that changed the game for me.

2.Use GMATClub wisely.
GMATClub is awesome, with such valuable discussions from experts as well as other participants. But, if you don't know what should look for, it does more harm than good, it did for me at least. In my second attempt, I hardly referred to the forums on GMATClub. With so many experts and participants opinions, it was causing more confusion to me and was making me challenge my methods. Only when I had no clue about the solution, I referred to couple of solutions for hint, then proceeded to explore the solution on my own. That way, I was building my own approach to solve the problem, rather than rely on someone else's approach.

3. Official questions are precious.
I know how much GMATNinja has stressed on importance of referring to OG problems as much as possible. I observed one typical behavior during my preparation. Whenever I study the material provided by the prep company and then attempted their question set, my accuracy was very high. However, when I switched to OG questions or some other prep company, my accuracy dropped. So during my second attempt, I used prep company material for study, and OG for doing practice set. I had already solved OG twice before that, so being fair was little bit of a challenge. But anyways practice set was more about applying the concepts rather than getting the answers right

4. Its all about your preparation and conceptual knowledge, voodoo wont help
There is lot of content around taking the exams on the same time as mocks and during your peak attention time, eating specific stuff during section breaks, etc... and I followed them all in my first attempt. Result 620. For my second attempt, I had a late night event on the night before exam, took the exam in late evening when I am usually tired as that was the only slot available, did not care about what I do in the break and it was still fine. I believe, exam day is 99% about the preparation you have done and 1% about everything else.

5. "Gut feel" is never right with GMAT.
All throughout my first attempt, I was reasonably comfortable answering the questions, both in Quant & Verbal. At no point in the exam, I felt challenged to the point of breaking apart. Hence, I found it very difficult to digest the score of 620. On the contrary, in my second attempt, halfway through the verbal section, I was disgruntled. After completing my Quant & Verbal section, I became too casual with IR and AWA sections, as I thought I have screwed up this attempt as well.

I would like to conclude by saying that, GMAT is a predictable exam, once you have your eye set on a target score, all you need to do is lose your sleep over it !

If you feel any more details from my preparation would help you reach your target score, feel free to comment and I will be happy to share.


Congrats on your awesome score. Thanks for sharing your experience. :thumbup:
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2019, 09:13
Thanks for sharing all of this. It is amazing to see what is possible if you keep a few things in mind!
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2019, 21:23
nrg08 wrote:
There are enough number of awesome debriefs on this forum that I feel my traditional debrief will not add any value to forum. Especially what I did to achieve score of 740 was not much different than what others have already done in the past. However, I did make few blunders along the way and wish to share those with everyone.

To start with, brief background about my GMAT experience, I started my GMAT preparation around Aug 2018 with a plan to appear for GMAT in February 2019. Around January, I started seeing the scores of close to 700 in my mock exams and hence took the exam date of February end. To my surprise, or rather shock, I scored only 620(q48, v28), which was lower than the first mock exam I had taken before starting the GMAT preparation. While I thought I was thoroughly prepared for the exam, chink in my armor was exposed. I took 2 days to introspect, took my next date from April first week and started the preparation all over again.

So what did I do differently in second attempt? I identified some myths, mostly self created, that were holding me back and worked on those :

1. Getting few questions wrong is not ok.
"...You will always end up getting few questions wrong, even if you are scoring >90 percentile...". You read this all the time on various website and forums. Whenever I got few questions wrong on my question set or during my mock exams, I did not bother me much mostly because overall accuracy for more than 80%. Although I did cursory review it to figure out the mistake and put it in the error log, I did not lose my sleep over it. In my second attempt, I prepared with the mindset that each and every mistake is a crime, at least during the prep phase. This was one significant change that changed the game for me.

2.Use GMATClub wisely.
GMATClub is awesome, with such valuable discussions from experts as well as other participants. But, if you don't know what should look for, it does more harm than good, it did for me at least. In my second attempt, I hardly referred to the forums on GMATClub. With so many experts and participants opinions, it was causing more confusion to me and was making me challenge my methods. Only when I had no clue about the solution, I referred to couple of solutions for hint, then proceeded to explore the solution on my own. That way, I was building my own approach to solve the problem, rather than rely on someone else's approach.

3. Official questions are precious.
I know how much GMATNinja has stressed on importance of referring to OG problems as much as possible. I observed one typical behavior during my preparation. Whenever I study the material provided by the prep company and then attempted their question set, my accuracy was very high. However, when I switched to OG questions or some other prep company, my accuracy dropped. So during my second attempt, I used prep company material for study, and OG for doing practice set. I had already solved OG twice before that, so being fair was little bit of a challenge. But anyways practice set was more about applying the concepts rather than getting the answers right

4. Its all about your preparation and conceptual knowledge, voodoo wont help
There is lot of content around taking the exams on the same time as mocks and during your peak attention time, eating specific stuff during section breaks, etc... and I followed them all in my first attempt. Result 620. For my second attempt, I had a late night event on the night before exam, took the exam in late evening when I am usually tired as that was the only slot available, did not care about what I do in the break and it was still fine. I believe, exam day is 99% about the preparation you have done and 1% about everything else.

5. "Gut feel" is never right with GMAT.
All throughout my first attempt, I was reasonably comfortable answering the questions, both in Quant & Verbal. At no point in the exam, I felt challenged to the point of breaking apart. Hence, I found it very difficult to digest the score of 620. On the contrary, in my second attempt, halfway through the verbal section, I was disgruntled. After completing my Quant & Verbal section, I became too casual with IR and AWA sections, as I thought I have screwed up this attempt as well.

I would like to conclude by saying that, GMAT is a predictable exam, once you have your eye set on a target score, all you need to do is lose your sleep over it !

If you feel any more details from my preparation would help you reach your target score, feel free to comment and I will be happy to share.



Congratulation for such a stellar performance.
What material did you use for your preparation?
Did you a take exam date first & then started preparing for the exam or vice versa?
What plan did you follow for your exam?how many hours of effort per day did you put in?

Thanks

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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 17 May 2019, 21:30
Hi there, first of all, congratulations and thank you very much for sharing your experience with us.
I didn't quite catch what you mean here : "Whenever I study the material provided by the prep company and then attempted their question set, my accuracy was very high. However, when I switched to OG questions or some other prep company, my accuracy dropped."

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2019, 22:39
1
sonusaini1

What material did you use for your preparation?
OG 2019
Manhattan GMAT
eGMAT for verbal

Did you a take exam date first & then started preparing for the exam or vice versa?
I took the exam date when I crossed my target score in GMATPrep Mock exam. Exam dates were easily available at the exam center near me, so I was in no rush to book the exam date.

What plan did you follow for your exam?how many hours of effort per day did you put in?
On an average, 3 hours per day on weekdays and 6 hours per day on weekends, with mock exam every 2 weeks. I followed this schedule for almost 4 months. Weekday was split into 2 hours verbal and 1 hour of quant almost every single day. Weekend was for reviewing error log, taking mock exams, and reviewing incorrect practice questions during the week. Before 1st attempt, target was to score 80% accuracy for hard question types, 95% for medium and easy question types. After 1st attempt, I stopped tracking accuracy and started tracking each and every mistake (topic/subtopic/difficulty/reason for getting it incorrect), rather than looking at gross percentages.
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 20 May 2019, 22:49
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lynnglenda

After going through Manhattan GMAT books, i tried practice set from Manhattan question bank & mock exam and my accuracy was high. Once I was comfortable with that topic, I tried the OG question bank for similar topics but my accuracy was going down considerably. I had similar experience while switching from eGMAT Scholarianium to OG as well. This was specifically true for Verbal.
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2019, 15:02
Congratulations on your great score. Wishing you all the best in your endeavours. Cheers

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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2019, 20:08
Congratulation on your great score (740)!!!!!!!!!

Which school will you apply to, nrg08?
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jul 2019, 20:19
Congratulations nrg08 on the 740!!

A very well articulated post!

All the best for apps!
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Re: Debunking myths - 620 to 740(q49, v41)   [#permalink] 26 Jul 2019, 20:19
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