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Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6

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Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6 [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 10:29
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Folks, Following is my experience.

Disclaimer: This might be a long post. Proceed at your own risk.

First things first. Don't want to forget the people who helped me in this journey.

Acknowledgements:
    1. To a generous soul who shared the GMATPrep material
    2. Couple of friends who were on the same journey and discussions with them
    3. Another person who helped with the strategy bit and motivation

Special mention to this post (the title of this post was the name of our whatsapp group for discussion) arise awake and stop not till the goal is reached (not able to post the link. search for this post on gmatclub)

First Attempt - 700


I gave the test 3 years back and scored 700. I prepared for 1 month then and had lot of work at office during the same time. I was in a rush to apply to some colleges and woke up too late. I was complacent and didn't give GMAT the respect it deserves. I don't want to sound cool by saying I studied for only 1 month or 15 days or 1.5 months and scored 760. I would like to stress that if one puts in the effort, one will reap the benefit. Improvement in score is possible. Trust yourself and put in those hours.


Second Attempt - Improving to 760


2016 - I realized that a score of 700 wouldn't help me a great deal in the Ph.D. application process and it was something which can be improved. Bought Magoosh Course sometime in October (based on the reviews in the GMATClub forum) and thought of studying religiously. Well, the procrastinator struck back and delayed the prep till Jan 2017.

I started off with Official guides sometime by Jan End and used to practice few questions on a daily basis (The GMATClub timer was very very helpful). The serious prep started 2 months before the exam date. I used to spend 3-4 hours daily for studying. The weekends were reserved for the Mock tests. The plan was to take 7 mocks (6 official and 1 MGMAT) and have 1 week gap between the last mock and exam.

Let me get into the specifics for each section. (What works for Tom might not work for Harry. These are my 2 paisa.)


Verbal Preparation


Material Used
  • Sentence Correction - MGMAT SC Guide
  • Critical Reasoning - Powerscore CR Bible
  • Questions - OGs (whatever I could get hand on. GMATClub has a cool collection of question directories).
  • Magoosh Verbal Questions - The video explanations are worth the time invested
  • GMATPrep Question Pack

2 cents - There's ton of verbal material out there. But I would strongly suggest to use only the Official Questions for Practice. I found lot of difference between questions of other test prep companies and official questions. Towards the end, I could sort of distinguish between official and other questions.


Quant Preparation


Initially went through the MGMAT guides and the GMATClub Math Bible. I started the practice with Nova's GMAT questions. Some of their DS questions are really good. After completing Nova's, moved to Magoosh Quant questions. Found some of them to be above GMAT level. One concern for me through out was that I scored 50 only once in the 6 official mocks. Since, I need a decent quant score for the program that I wish to apply for, I had to put in extra efforts. Despite those, the score didn't improve. Finally, based on suggestions of my friends, I tried the GMATClub quant tests. The initial tests were brutal - got decimated. But then, I didn't have the luxury of time. I completed the 25 GMATClub quant tests in 9-10 days (took 3 tests on some days - morning, afternoon and evening including the review of the entire tests). These tests make you think on the GMAT lines. I scored around 50 in the final few tests. That gave the much needed confidence. The actual GMAT quant might appear easier than the GMATClub quant. Also used GMATPrep Question Pack.


IR and AWA


IR: Practice in mocks and GMATPrep Question Pack

AWA: Chineseburned template


Some points which might or might not be useful


1. Error Log
I followed one of the formats on gmatclub. What I found useful was that I used to note down the rules esp. in the case of Sentence Correction in an excel sheet. (Adding an example to the rules would be much more beneficial - I didn't do it from the start). Revising these rules once in a while helped a lot. I also maintained a similar sheet for Quant.

2. Mock Analysis
As suggested by my mentor, use the official mocks to analyze and work on the areas of improvement. The scores needn't be taken at face value (thought they are a reliable indicator). What I found especially useful was the separate breakup for SC, CR and RC sections in the official mocks. It gives an indication of the areas in which we are good and in which we need to improve. Please use this feature (this might work only if you have Exam Pack 1 or Exam Pack 2). Also, the official mocks are the best resource.

3. Last Week
I planned the mocks in such a way that I had a gap of 1 week between the last mock and the actual exam. Since, I already exhausted all the OG material, I didn't have any new material to work on. I wanted to use the questions compiled from GMATPrep Exam 1 and Exam 2. The only issue with using these is that, if you use them before completing the official mocks, some questions might be repeated and one might have an inflated mock score. These questions are better saved/used after completing all the mocks.

4. Day before the exam
Relax. Watched a movie at home as no good movies got released on this weekend in India.

5. Exam Day
The entire process was smooth. Had a glitch in the IR section. Showed the same to the proctor. She asked me to make a note of the question. But somehow, I was able to select the options and proceed. Had 1 banana each before the start and between the breaks. These were supplemented by Bourneville and Coconut water. Was relieved to see Q51.


Mock scores in the order they were taken


GMAT Prep 1 - 710 - Q 49 V 36
GMAT Prep 2 - 730 - Q 49 V 41
GMAT Prep 1 (repeat) - 770 Q 50 V 46
(Note: at least 12 repeats in quant. 4 DS, 8 PS. 24 repeats in verbal. SC - 7, CR 7, RC 10 i.e. 3 passages)
MGMAT1 - 710 - Q 46 V 41
GMAT Prep 3 - 750 - Q 49 V 42
GMAT Prep 4 - 720 - Q 50 V 38
GMAT Prep 5 - 760 - Q 49 V 44
GMAT Prep 6 - 750 - Q 49 V 42

Actual Exam - 760 - Q 51 V 41

Don't want to sound like a self-help guru. But if I can do it, so can anyone. Don't lose the hope. Put in the effort.

“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

Edit: Forgot to mention Bunuel for the awesome explanations. GMATNinja for verbal explanations (QOTD during the last stretch) souvik101990 carcass for the awesome collection of the questions ankurgupta03 for the arise-awake-stop-not post

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Re: Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6 [#permalink]

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New post 16 Aug 2017, 11:13
Wow excellent score. All the best in your applications I hope you will get into your desired school. 760 is one heck of a score. Congrats
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350--> 700

https://gmatclub.com/forum/700-q47-v39-ir-7-awa-246682.html

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Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 08:47
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Amazing score and good job on achieving your target score. I am honored by the mention and glad that my post was able to help you :)
I am not sure but I think you need to have 5 posts to post a link.

Now gear up for the last leg - the B-School applications.

"Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight i'll ever know
Live and die on this day
Live and die on this day"

All the best!

P.S. If anyone is interested, here is the link to the post referred: https://gmatclub.com/forum/arise-awake- ... l#p1383715
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Re: Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 11:39
A q51... Is awesome. What section order did you go for?

Additionally did you feel the verbal difficulty level was at par with official guide and gmat prep?

Posted from my mobile device

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 17:32
Fantastic score.

Now sky is your limit as long as GMAT is concerned and through hard work you boosted your chances of getting to any school of your choice significantly.

Hope to year more from you.

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Re: Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6 [#permalink]

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New post 17 Aug 2017, 18:09
ankurgupta03 wrote:
Amazing score and good job on achieving your target score. I am honored by the mention and glad that my post was able to help you :)
I am not sure but I think you need to have 5 posts to post a link.

Now gear up for the last leg - the B-School applications.

"Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight i'll ever know
Live and die on this day
Live and die on this day"

All the best!

P.S. If anyone is interested, here is the link to the post referred:


Ankur Bhai, thank you. Last leg is Ph.D. apps. (Didn't have any Target score or big expectations from the test. No additional pressure. That helped to an extent.)

Heseraj wrote:
Fantastic score.

Now sky is your limit as long as GMAT is concerned and through hard work you boosted your chances of getting to any school of your choice significantly.

Hope to year more from you.

Thanks, mate.

jkolachi wrote:
Wow excellent score. All the best in your applications I hope you will get into your desired school. 760 is one heck of a score. Congrats

Thanks, mate.

TheMechanic wrote:
A q51... Is awesome. What section order did you go for?

Additionally did you feel the verbal difficulty level was at par with official guide and gmat prep?

Posted from my mobile device

Posted from my mobile device

I chose - Quant - Verbal - IR - AWA.

I would say more of GMAT Prep. OGs are a good resource to start with. They help in building the basics. But if someone's targeting a high verbal score, one needs to practice higher level questions i.e. 650+ and 700+ level questions. OG has a limited set of those questions (more often towards the later part of the guide).
GMATPrep Question Pack 1 and the Exam Packs (both free and paid) have good questions. During the last week of the prep, I practiced the questions from the GMATPrep collection documents that are available on GMATClub. The questions weren't that different from those in the collection documents. My 2 cents - Although other books will help in building the foundation, official material is the best source for practice questions.

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 10

Re: Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6   [#permalink] 17 Aug 2017, 18:09
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Effort pays off - 760 - Q 51 - V 41 - IR 6

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