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First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5

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First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 28 Jul 2017, 10:37
15
11
Hello folks,

I had my first rendezvous with the GMAT a few weeks back and came up with a 750. I have been fairly regular at GMATClub over the past few months and the forum has has been of great help during the entire preparations stage. I'm jotting down my GMAT story here with the learnings and realizations I had over the course of my preparation. Hopefully there will be useful takeaways for others.

Background
I did my graduation in engineering in India and joined one of the Big4 firms as a technology consultant. Worked there for 3 years with clients in India and the Middle East. Now over these 3 years I also prepared for CAT, the entrance exams for B-schools in India. I kept of getting good scores in that (98-99 percentile) and ended up joining an IIM. I got my diploma in management and moved to Malaysia to join a boutique consulting firm in management consultancy, where I;m still employed. Had some good work-life balance here and since there's not much of a social life, decided to have a crack at the GMAT. Prepared for about 3 months and gave it a go.
Note 1: Some readers from India might be surprised to see an IIM grad going for GMAT. In fact, some might feel I'm crazy
Note 2: I have some valid reasons for the decision and they aren't quite relevant for this post. Though I'm not claiming that I'm not crazy.

Preparation

Quant
The reason I mentioned about my India CAT score in the background is to explain why I didn't need to spend much time on quants. The prior background ensured that I was well versed with all the concepts.
Data Sufficiency was the only area I was not very good at. I analysed the results of my first few mocks and saw that the mistakes were primarily because I was either overlooking some key details in the question or falling for one of the traps.
1) The first one was about missing small things like interpreting 'x is a non-negative integer' as x is positive or assuming x to be an integer when that hadn't been mentioned in the question. So I made a change in my approach and every time I would encounter such a question, I'd make a note on the paper such as 'x: non-negative integer. So x>0' or 'x: any number' or 'x: integer only'. This would stay at the back of my mind while solving and it helped overcome the errors.
2) For the second type of mistake, I went through this post on GMATClub: https://gmatclub.com/forum/4-common-typ ... 94680.html
Most of my errors were of the first type, C-trap. I made a mental note of the errors and took a more cautious approach. I ended up spending 30 seconds more per question but that wasn't a problem as I was able to go through the PS questions with good speed and 90%+ accuracy.
With time I was able to reach a point where I would get around 2-4 questions wrong in the section. I was happy with that and knew it was enough for a Q50 or Q51 in GMAT.

Material used:As I was already comfortable with quant, I did not invest in any course. I got GMATClub test free with my e-gmat subscription and that was good enough for practice. The difficult level of quite a few GMATClub questions is a bit above GMAT. So I wasn;t bothered even when my accuracy fell a bit in the tests. I took about 1 GMATClub quant test a week. for about the last 9-10 weeks of my 3 month preparation phase.

Key Realizations/Advice: In my opinion, DS is the trickiest part in this section. So don't get too bothered even if you have to spend day 2 mins 30 secs per question on an average. PS is more about concepts and therefore much easier to master. Try to make up time in PS and save that for DS.

Verbal
Verbal has been a bit shaky for me. I was never too confident about this even during my CAT preparations. After my first few mocks, I knew I clearly had a lot of scope for improvement. SC and CR were the major areas where I needed to work on. I'll go through each part in detail.

Sentence Correction
My accuracy here was around 50% in the first few mocks and I knew I needed to fix this. Went through Aristotle SC and Manhattan SC guide, but the improvement was not too significant. Read some GMATClub reviews and member posts and got inclined towards e-gmat. Went ahead and got the 'Verbal Online' course and I think this was an excellent investment. I went through all the SC videos diligently and I could see where I was going wrong. Learnt to approach questions methodically to reduce the chances of making errors.
I practiced a bit from e-gmat scholarium, though to be honest, the difficulty level there is a bit above GMAT and hence I stopped the practice.
Every now and then whenever I would encounter any doubt about a concept I would go back to the videos to clarify. All in all, a pretty comprehensive resource for preparation.
My approach to SC question was to first just read through the sentence normally and identify any errors that would stick out. Based on that eliminate some of the options. Then identify the points of difference in the remaining options and get back to the sentence to choose the best option.

Critical Reasoning
My accuracy in CR too was around 50%. I used Powerscore CR Bible and it helped a bit. But not drastically. I'd say I went up from 50% to 60%. I decided to go through the e-gmat videos and that helped. I basically got a clear understanding of the different types of questions and what are the element the right option would have for the different question types. I tried practicing CR too from e-gmat scholarium but again I felt the level was above GMAT level and hence dropped it.
The approach of reading the question stem first did not work for me. I would always read the argument first, identified the conclusion and the information present to support that and then moved to the question stem and the options.

Reading Comprehension
This was one part of verbal I was relatively comfortable with. Regular practice was enough to maintain good accuracy here. My reading speed is quite good and that helped.
My approach was to read the passage once first. This wasn't a word-by-word reading. The purpose of this reading is just to get an overall sense of what the passage talks about and what information lies where in the passage (basically the structure). The first reading is usually enough to answer 'main point' questions.For the other questions I would read the the question and all the answer choices first and try to maybe eliminate a couple based on memory from the first reading. Then I would get back and re-read the relevant part(s) of the passage more slowly and carefully to zero in on the final choice.

Material Used:As already mentioned I relied on e-gmat for SC and CR theory. For practice, I used only OG and verbal review. I solved each and every question and once that was done, I went back and re-attempted the questions that I had got wrong the first time. I looked at a few other sources as well but it seemed to me that most are unable to replicate exact GMAT type questions. Hence decided to stick to the original sources from GMAC.

Key Realizations/Advice:Make sure you solve OG and Verbal review thoroughly. That is the single best source to understand what type of questions you would encounter in GMAT and the thinking process behind different option types. Try to improve reading speed. It will help save time not just in RC, but CR and SC too.

Mocks
I started with the free mocks of various sources. When the time came to decide which one to pay for, I decided to get Exam Pack 1 and 2 and again I feel this was an excellent choice. While Manhattan, Veritas and all are much cheaper, this again helped me attempt more proper GMAT questions in the test format. Somehow I felt after giving the free mocks from various sources that the questions weren't really of the same type as GMAT. I cannot pinpoint where exactly they fell short but it just didn't seem right to me. Hence I invested a bit extra. It would be better than putting in $250 later for a re-take. My scores in various mocks are as follows:
.........................Total.......Q.........V.......Date
The Economist......710.......49.......39.......22/8/2016
Veritas.................690.......51.......34.......10/3/2017
Manhattan............700.......49.......36.......11/3/2017 (bought e-gmat after this)
GMATPrep 1..........760.......50.......42.......8/4/2017
Kaplan.................730.......50.......40.......12/4/2017
GMATPrep 1 R......770.......50........47.......16/4/2017
GMATPrep 2.........760.......51........42.......17/4/2017
GMATPrep 3.........770.......51........42.......7/5/2017
GMATPrep 4.........770.......50........45.......10/5/2017
GMATPrep 5.........760.......50........42.......13/5/2017
GMATPrep 6.........770.......51........42.......15/5/2017

I booked my slot after the mock on 10th May as I felt confident about my preparation after consistent scores in the mocks

Test Day
My test center was about 20 mins by cab from my house. I had chosen the afternoon slot as I'm not a morning person. I had taken leave from office in advance. Slept well and woke up around noon. Had a bath and lunch and left by 1. Reached the center half an hour in advance. Started the test normally. Used chineseburned's AWA template(https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html?fl=menu) for AWA and finished it in about 24 minutes. Revised the essay once to fix some typing errors. IR was smooth. Seemed much easier than GMATPrep mocks. Sailed through it and went for my break.
Had some gatorade and used the washroom. Returned to my seat with 2 mins on the clock and started quant. The level of questioned seemed similar to GMATPrep barring 2-4 question which were a bit more difficult. Finished the section with 7 mins on the clock and went for my break.
Again had some gatorade and used the washroom. Returned to my seat to see a windows login prompt. The test center admin came and entered the password but it didn't work. The lady on the PC beside me too was facing the same issue. They had to restart their server before we could login successfully. We both lost about 3 mins on the clock at the start of verbal. I tried to maintain my composure and work through it. The RCs were quite at par with what I had seen in GMATPrep. The SCs too I think I did okay. There were 2 or 3 CR questions where I was not split between 2 options and had to make a choice. Overall I would say like quant, maybe a maximum of 5 question which were more difficult than the usual GMATPrep level.
Completed the formalities at the end of the test and the 750 flashed. While I was happy with it, I was expecting at least 42 in verbal based on the GMATPrep mocks and hence a touch of disappointment was there with the V40. I left the center without any thoughts of a retake.
Read a few posts on the internet the next day about how GMAT gives free re-takes if you encounter an issue on test day. Opened a thread on gmatclub too about it. Took a chance and dropped a mail to GMAT support and voila. I was offered a free retake valid for 1 year from the first test's date. Someone had posted that if a retake is offered my first score might be cancelled. But that wasn't the case. The reply clearly stated that the score would not be revoked. Not sure whether I will be re-taking it and if I do then when that would be. Somewhere deep down I still want to try that V42 or higher and since it's a free one I'll probably go for it someday. More keen to take it due to the new option of choosing the section order. An hour of AWA and IR at the start does take some toll. My applications will be in the next year or the year after. So still have time.

Summary
I'll list down some of my key suggestions and observations here for the test day and in general:
1) I'll always maintain that the official source is the best for practice and familiarity. A number of prep companies have come close but I don't think anyone has been able to exactly replicate the type of questions that GMAT has. So OG is a must in my opinion and official mocks are very very useful.
2) Give yourself enough time to prepare for the GMAT. The score is valid for 5 years. You'll do more harm than good if your plan is to take the test 2 weeks before applications deadline.
3) Do not book your date months in advance. No one knows precisely how long you will take to prepare. Unless you are comfortable with spending the extra bucks for postponing it. If you think you are the lazy kind and need a set date to work towards then I would say you rather look at other ways to motivate yourself rather than fixing an arbitrary date which you think will force you to prepare. If you say 'I need a set goal to work towards' I'd say set the goal in terms of the score you want rather than a date.
4) At the end of the day it is all about you motivation and will. If that is not strong enough, then there's very little chance external factors can have an impact on you. Problems in professional or personal life may be there. If you take then as excuses for lack of or delays in preparation then you're not motivated enough. The idea is to make time despite everything.
5) It is important to maintain composure in the test even if something goes wrong. Make the best of whatever the time you have. You can always drop a complaint later. Don't start thinking about the issue now.
6) Don't eat or drink too much in the breaks or before the test. Keep your liquids intake a bit low. You don't want unnecessary distractions during the test.
7) With the choice of section orders available, I would say keep AWA and IR for the end. Take your stronger section between QA and VA first to build the momentum and confidence and to get used to the test center's environment. In 1 hr 15 mins you'll be ready to focus on the next section.
8) Reach the center at least half an hour before. You don't want to start the test with a sweaty forehead and a pounding heart.

Cheers and good luck! :)
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GMAT 1: 750 (Q50; V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5)
Debrief: https://gmatclub.com/forum/first-attempt-750-q50-v40-ir-8-awa-245721.html

Originally posted by nishantd88 on 27 Jul 2017, 23:09.
Last edited by nishantd88 on 28 Jul 2017, 10:37, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 00:24
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Congrats on an amazing score.

If you can recall, do you know which question types were more frequently asked in both quant and verbal?

Also as you said that official guide is the best source to prepare for verbal, do you think the difficulty level of the real test is close to the difficulty level of this book?
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Re: First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 00:48
Shiv2016 wrote:
Congrats on an amazing score.

If you can recall, do you know which question types were more frequently asked in both quant and verbal?

Also as you said that official guide is the best source to prepare for verbal, do you think the difficulty level of the real test is close to the difficulty level of this book?


Thanks. Don't quite recall the split in quant. In verbal I had 4 RC passages, two of which had 3 questions and the other two had 2 each, 13-14 CRs and rest SC.

The first half of the OG questions are on the easier side. The second half is more around the GMAT level. In my opinion there were about 10% questions which I would classify as slightly more difficult than the level in OG. Rest were pretty much at par with the official guide and GMATPrep mocks.
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Re: First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 01:12
Hello nishantd88 First of all congratulations for the amazing score! And also thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed post. Definitely, one of the best posts I have read.

I must say that your point no. 4 was bang on and is really an integral piece of your preparation.

4) At the end of the day it is all about you motivation and will. If that is not strong enough, then there's very little chance external factors can have an impact on you. Problems in professional or personal life may be there. If you take then as excuses for lack of or delays in preparation then you're not motivated enough. The idea is to make time despite everything.

One question I would like to ask though is on the verbal section. When it comes to the type of questions, were they similar to the OG or GMAT Prep questions? I know you answered this briefly in your post, but the reason I am asking is some people have been saying that the level of verbal questions has become more difficult and not what we see on OG and/or GMAT Prep? Any clarification here would be helpful.

Once again great job and good to see the way you maintained your composure for verbal even after losing 3 mins! It's definitely a good learning.

All the best for your applications!
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"Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Best AWA Template: https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html#p470475
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Re: First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 02:14
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ydmuley wrote:
Hello nishantd88 First of all congratulations for the amazing score! And also thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed post. Definitely, one of the best posts I have read.

I must say that your point no. 4 was bang on and is really an integral piece of your preparation.

4) At the end of the day it is all about you motivation and will. If that is not strong enough, then there's very little chance external factors can have an impact on you. Problems in professional or personal life may be there. If you take then as excuses for lack of or delays in preparation then you're not motivated enough. The idea is to make time despite everything.

One question I would like to ask though is on the verbal section. When it comes to the type of questions, were they similar to the OG or GMAT Prep questions? I know you answered this briefly in your post, but the reason I am asking is some people have been saying that the level of verbal questions has become more difficult and not what we see on OG and/or GMAT Prep? Any clarification here would be helpful.

Once again great job and good to see the way you maintained your composure for verbal even after losing 3 mins! It's definitely a good learning.

All the best for your applications!

Thanks mate.

Well yes there were some difficult questions. As I said, about 10% of the questions were about above OG or GMATPrep level.
The reason I stress on OG is that if you have done OG thoroughly you will get a rough idea of the kind of things GMAT tests and the elements that you need to look for in the correct answer choice. That sense will help navigate through the slightly more difficult questions. Basically its about trying to understanding the psyche of the person who prepared the question. This is especially useful for CR and RC. SC is more rule based and hence more direct.
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New post 28 Jul 2017, 04:22
nishantd88 wrote:
Thanks mate.

Well yes there were some difficult questions. As I said, about 10% of the questions were about above OG or GMATPrep level.
The reason I stress on OG is that if you have done OG thoroughly you will get a rough idea of the kind of things GMAT tests and the elements that you need to look for in the correct answer choice. That sense will help navigate through the slightly more difficult questions. Basically its about trying to understanding the psyche of the person who prepared the question. This is especially useful for CR and RC. SC is more rule based and hence more direct.


Great nishantd88, thanks for the clarification. I agree to your point of recognizing a pattern is important for OG questions.
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Best AWA Template: https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html#p470475
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Re: First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 06:38
nishantd88 wrote:
Hello folks,

I had my first rendezvous with the GMAT a few weeks back and came up with a 750. I have been fairly regular at GMATClub over the past few months and the forum has has been of great help during the entire preparations stage. I'm jotting down my GMAT story here with the learnings and realizations I had over the course of my preparation. Hopefully there will be useful takeaways for others.

Background
I did my graduation in engineering in India and joined one of the Big4 firms as a technology consultant. Worked there for 3 years with clients in India and the Middle East. Now over these 3 years I also prepared for CAT, the entrance exams for B-schools in India. I kept of getting good scores in that (98-99 percentile) and ended up joining an IIM. I got my diploma in management and moved to Malaysia to join a boutique consulting firm in management consultancy, where I;m still employed. Had some good work-life balance here and since there's not much of a social life, decided to have a crack at the GMAT. Prepared for about 3 months and gave it a go.
Note 1: Some readers from India might be surprised to see an IIM grad going for GMAT. In fact, some might feel I'm crazy
Note 2: I have some valid reasons for the decision and they aren't quite relevant for this post. Though I'm not claiming that I'm not crazy.

Preparation

Quant
The reason I mentioned about my India CAT score in the background is to explain why I didn't need to spend much time on quants. The prior background ensured that I was well versed with all the concepts.
Data Sufficiency was the only area I was not very good at. I analysed the results of my first few mocks and saw that the mistakes were primarily because I was either overlooking some key details in the question or falling for one of the traps.
1) The first one was about missing small things like interpreting 'x is a non-negative integer' as x is positive or assuming x to be an integer when that hadn't been mentioned in the question. So I made a change in my approach and every time I would encounter such a question, I'd make a note on the paper such as 'x: non-negative integer. So x>0' or 'x: any number' or 'x: integer only'. This would stay at the back of my mind while solving and it helped overcome the errors.
2) For the second type of mistake, I went through this post on GMATClub: https://gmatclub.com/forum/4-common-typ ... 94680.html
Most of my errors were of the first type, C-trap. I made a mental note of the errors and took a more cautious approach. I ended up spending 30 seconds more per question but that wasn't a problem as I was able to go through the PS questions with good speed and 90%+ accuracy.
With time I was able to reach a point where I would get around 2-4 questions wrong in the section. I was happy with that and knew it was enough for a Q50 or Q51 in GMAT.

Material used:As I was already comfortable with quant, I did not invest in any course. I got GMATClub test free with my e-gmat subscription and that was good enough for practice. The difficult level of quite a few GMATClub questions is a bit above GMAT. So I wasn;t bothered even when my accuracy fell a bit in the tests. I took about 1 GMATClub quant test a week. for about the last 9-10 weeks of my 3 month preparation phase.

Key Realizations/Advice: In my opinion, DS is the trickiest part in this section. So don't get too bothered even if you have to spend day 2 mins 30 secs per question on an average. PS is more about concepts and therefore much easier to master. Try to make up time in PS and save that for DS.

Verbal
Verbal has been a bit shaky for me. I was never too confident about this even during my CAT preparations. After my first few mocks, I knew I clearly had a lot of scope for improvement. SC and CR were the major areas where I needed to work on. I'll go through each part in detail.

Sentence Correction
My accuracy here was around 50% in the first few mocks and I knew I needed to fix this. Went through Aristotle SC and Manhattan SC guide, but the improvement was not too significant. Read some GMATClub reviews and member posts and got inclined towards e-gmat. Went ahead and got the 'Verbal Online' course and I think this was an excellent investment. I went through all the SC videos diligently and I could see where I was going wrong. Learnt to approach questions methodically to reduce the chances of making errors.
I practiced a bit from e-gmat scholarium, though to be honest, the difficulty level there is a bit above GMAT and hence I stopped the practice.
Every now and then whenever I would encounter any doubt about a concept I would go back to the videos to clarify. All in all, a pretty comprehensive resource for preparation.
My approach to SC question was to first just read through the sentence normally and identify any errors that would stick out. Based on that eliminate some of the options. Then identify the points of difference in the remaining options and get back to the sentence to choose the best option.

Critical Reasoning
My accuracy in CR too was around 50%. I used Powerscore CR Bible and it helped a bit. But not drastically. I'd say I went up from 50% to 60%. I decided to go through the e-gmat videos and that helped. I basically got a clear understanding of the different types of questions and what are the element the right option would have for the different question types. I tried practicing CR too from e-gmat scholarium but again I felt the level was above GMAT level and hence dropped it.
The approach of reading the question stem first did not work for me. I would always read the argument first, identified the conclusion and the information present to support that and then moved to the question stem and the options.

[c]Reading Comprehension[/b]
This was one part of verbal I was relatively comfortable with. Regular practice was enough to maintain good accuracy here. My reading speed is quite good and that helped.
My approach was to read the passage once first. Then see the question and get back and re-read the relevant part(s) of the passage more slowly and carefully.

Material Used:As already mentioned I relied on e-gmat for SC and CR theory. For practice, I used only OG and verbal review. I solved each and every question and once that was done, I went back and re-attempted the questions that I had got wrong the first time. I looked at a few other sources as well but it seemed to me that most are unable to replicate exact GMAT type questions. Hence decided to stick to the original sources from GMAC.

Key Realizations/Advice:Make sure you solve OG and Verbal review thoroughly. That is the single best source to understand what type of questions you would encounter in GMAT and the thinking process behind different option types. Try to improve reading speed. It will help save time not just in RC, but CR and SC too.

Mocks
I started with the free mocks of various sources. When the time came to decide which one to pay for, I decided to get Exam Pack 1 and 2 and again I feel this was an excellent choice. While Manhattan, Veritas and all are much cheaper, this again helped me attempt more proper GMAT questions in the test format. Somehow I felt after giving the free mocks from various sources that the questions weren't really of the same type as GMAT. I cannot pinpoint where exactly they fell short but it just didn't seem right to me. Hence I invested a bit extra. It would be better than putting in $250 later for a re-take. My scores in various mocks are as follows:
.........................Total.......Q.........V.......Date
The Economist......710.......49.......39.......22/8/2016
Veritas.................690.......51.......34.......10/3/2017
Manhattan............700.......49.......36.......11/3/2017 (bought e-gmat after this)
GMATPrep 1..........760.......50.......42.......8/4/2017
Kaplan.................730.......50.......40.......12/4/2017
GMATPrep 1 R......770.......50........47.......16/4/2017
GMATPrep 2.........760.......51........42.......17/4/2017
GMATPrep 3.........770.......51........42.......7/5/2017
GMATPrep 4.........770.......50........45.......10/5/2017
GMATPrep 5.........760.......50........42.......13/5/2017
GMATPrep 6.........770.......51........42.......15/5/2017

I booked my slot after the mock on 10th May as I felt confident about my preparation after consistent scores in the mocks

Test Day
My test center was about 20 mins by cab from my house. I had chosen the afternoon slot as I'm not a morning person. I had taken leave from office in advance. Slept well and woke up around noon. Had a bath and lunch and left by 1. Reached the center half an hour in advance. Started the test normally. Used chineseburned's AWA template(https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html?fl=menu) for AWA and finished it in about 24 minutes. Revised the essay once to fix some typing errors. IR was smooth. Seemed much easier than GMATPrep mocks. Sailed through it and went for my break.
Had some gatorade and used the washroom. Returned to my seat with 2 mins on the clock and started quant. The level of questioned seemed similar to GMATPrep barring 2-4 question which were a bit more difficult. Finished the section with 7 mins on the clock and went for my break.
Again had some gatorade and used the washroom. Returned to my seat to see a windows login prompt. The test center admin came and entered the password but it didn't work. The lady on the PC beside me too was facing the same issue. They had to restart their server before we could login successfully. We both lost about 3 mins on the clock at the start of verbal. I tried to maintain my composure and work through it. The RCs were quite at par with what I had seen in GMATPrep. The SCs too I think I did okay. There were 2 or 3 CR questions where I was not split between 2 options and had to make a choice. Overall I would say like quant, maybe a maximum of 5 question which were more difficult than the usual GMATPrep level.
Completed the formalities at the end of the test and the 750 flashed. While I was happy with it, I was expecting at least 42 in verbal based on the GMATPrep mocks and hence a touch of disappointment was there with the V40. I left the center without any thoughts of a retake.
Read a few posts on the internet the next day about how GMAT gives free re-takes if you encounter an issue on test day. Opened a thread on gmatclub too about it. Took a chance and dropped a mail to GMAT support and voila. I was offered a free retake valid for 1 year from the first test's date. Someone had posted that if a retake is offered my first score might be cancelled. But that wasn't the case. The reply clearly stated that the score would not be revoked. Not sure whether I will be re-taking it and if I do then when that would be. Somewhere deep down I still want to try that V42 or higher and since it's a free one I'll probably go for it someday. More keen to take it due to the new option of choosing the section order. An hour of AWA and IR at the start does take some toll. My applications will be in the next year or the year after. So still have time.

Summary
I'll list down some of my key suggestions and observations here for the test day and in general:
1) I'll always maintain that the official source is the best for practice and familiarity. A number of prep companies have come close but I don't think anyone has been able to exactly replicate the type of questions that GMAT has. So OG is a must in my opinion and official mocks are very very useful.
2) Give yourself enough time to prepare for the GMAT. The score is valid for 5 years. You'll do more harm than good if your plan is to take the test 2 weeks before applications deadline.
3) Do not book your date months in advance. No one knows precisely how long you will take to prepare. Unless you are comfortable with spending the extra bucks for postponing it. If you think you are the lazy kind and need a set date to work towards then I would say you rather look at other ways to motivate yourself rather than fixing an arbitrary date which you think will force you to prepare. If you say 'I need a set goal to work towards' I'd say set the goal in terms of the score you want rather than a date.
4) At the end of the day it is all about you motivation and will. If that is not strong enough, then there's very little chance external factors can have an impact on you. Problems in professional or personal life may be there. If you take then as excuses for lack of or delays in preparation then you're not motivated enough. The idea is to make time despite everything.
5) It is important to maintain composure in the test even if something goes wrong. Make the best of whatever the time you have. You can always drop a complaint later. Don't start thinking about the issue now.
6) Don't eat or drink too much in the breaks or before the test. Keep your liquids intake a bit low. You don't want unnecessary distractions during the test.
7) With the choice of section orders available, I would say keep AWA and IR for the end. Take your stronger section between QA and VA first to build the momentum and confidence and to get used to the test center's environment. In 1 hr 15 mins you'll be ready to focus on the next section.
8) Reach the center at least half an hour before. You don't want to start the test with a sweaty forehead and a pounding heart.

Cheers and good luck! :)

Congrats on your great score. Having taken CAT before , I am not surprised that an IIM grad scored a 750 on his first attempt. Congrats :) Could you share your strategy for RC ? Do you read a lot ? What do you read outside GMAT material to ace RCs ??
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Re: First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 07:51
Hello, You are very smart ~~~
Can i ask several question to you? If u think, i dont disturb

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Re: First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jul 2017, 10:32
spetznaz wrote:
Congrats on your great score. Having taken CAT before , I am not surprised that an IIM grad scored a 750 on his first attempt. Congrats :) Could you share your strategy for RC ? Do you read a lot ? What do you read outside GMAT material to ace RCs ??


Thanks. Well I don't read a lot of books and all. But I do read a lot of random stuff online. And have always read the newspaper. So I guess that habit helped. I didn't do anything extra for GMAT. Just practiced and carried on with the usual reading.

For RCs, my strategy was to first read the entire passage once, but not very thoroughly. This is just to get a sense of what the passage is about and what information lies where in the passage. This reading is usually enough to answer main point questions.
For other more detailed questions, I used to read the question and the options and then go back to the relevant portions in the passage to zero in on the answer choice.

Gisellaliati wrote:
Hello, You are very smart ~~~
Can i ask several question to you? If u think, i dont disturb

Sent from my SM-G610F using GMAT Club Forum mobile app


Do post your questions. Will try to answer to the best of my abilities.
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GMAT 1: 750 (Q50; V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5)
Debrief: https://gmatclub.com/forum/first-attempt-750-q50-v40-ir-8-awa-245721.html
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Re: First attempt 750; Q50, V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5   [#permalink] 28 Jul 2017, 10:32
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