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From 640 to 760 - Debrief

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Manager
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Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Posts: 94

Kudos [?]: 9 [2], given: 58

Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q49 V29
GMAT 2: 760 Q51 V41
GPA: 3.2
From 640 to 760 - Debrief [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 09:27
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Hey all,

Just wanted to share my experience with the GMAT.
I first appeared for the GMAT in July, 2016 and scored a 640 - AWA-5, IR-4, Q49, V29.
My VA score frustrated me as during the exam I had a feeling that I was doing well, and therefore such a low score was not warranted.
The resources I used in my first attempt:
OG 12Ed
OG Quant Review 2016
Gmatprep tests
Free Manhattan test

Mock scores during the first attempt:
Gmatprep 1 - 680 Q49 V34
Mgmat 1 - 660 Q46 V34
Gmatprep 2 - 700 Q48 V37


I started preparing again in Mid-Jan 2017 and appeared again in Mid-April.
This time I followed the Magoosh's GMAT schedule for advanced students, available at the link - https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... -students/


Resources used for the second attempt:
All the material prescribed at - https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... -students/
Additionally, Gmatclub tests, and couple other free tests

Mock scores in my second attempt:
Prep1 - 760 Q49 V44
Free EconomistTutor - 710 Q51 V38
Free Veritas - 730 Q51 V39
Mcat 2 - 670 Q44 V37
Mcat 3 - 660 Q44 V36
Gmatclub 1 - 640 Q49 V29
Mcat 4 - 680 Q46 V36
Mcat 5 - 700 Q44 V40
Prep 3 - 750 Q50 V41
Attempted Prep 4 and got 770 but saw some repeat questions as it was a fresh install
Attempted another Gmatclub CAT but verbal and quant on consecutive days and scored 770

Tip: Plan beforehand how you would utilize the answer booklet given to you at the test center. What I mean is, plan where you'd write your timing benchmarks, which and how much space you'd allocate to solve the problems, and so forth. I think having this plan really helped me in achieving the score.

One day before the test day:

My plan was to study almost nothing on the last day. I did however review the my answers and explanations for a test I had taken a day before. Other than that I studied nothing and tried to relax as much as possible. Went to the bed early (a little too early I think, but it kind of worked for me in the end).

Test Day experience:

I arrived at the center about 40 minutes early. Mine was the afternoon slot.
After checking in, I was escorted to my seat and the test started.
Got to the AWA section, the prompt was lengthier than any I had practiced so far and yet lacking in obvious flaws. Normally, I can think of a dozen good flaws, but this was not the case here. Finished the essay 4 mins early, and used the time for editing and review.
My IR section was okay, strategically guessed a couple in between to maintain my pace.
Took the optional break and started with Quants.
There were a couple of moderately hard problems in the first 10 questions, but after around 24 questions, the computer was throwing only the extremely easy problems at me. Having practiced many questions, the easy seeming problems raise a red flag in my head, and I try to look for the trap and double/triple check my work, which can take time. Also, getting easy problems at first made me speculate that something had gone wrong but when the level of problems consistently stayed low, I relaxed a bit. The very last problem on the quant section (DS) was tricky and I had under a minute to solve, marked B and moved to the next break.
The verbal section (my nemesis in the first attempt) again started to show its strength. However this time, I was aware that the problems I am getting were not easy, yet i was giving away too much time, and accumulating much lag. I was easily more than 10 mins behind at one point.
The reason behind this was not that I found the problems difficult, but because my test day behavior was different than my normal mock behavior. On the test, I tried to be extra cautious, taking time to go through RCs slowly, and reading SC options multiple times, whereas during mocks, when I have selected an option on SC, I mark it and move on, and don't give the question much second thoughts. This is where mocks are completely different than the real thing - in my experience you can't simulate the test-day pressure and the corresponding cautiousness on the mocks.
I had around 11 mins on the last 11 problems which included an RC, made some calculated guesses and tried to finish the test and avoid any penalty.
Recalled my cancel/accept strategy. Got through the BIQ questions, and to the score screen. 760, could hardly believe - Q51 V41 IR7. Needless to say, accepted the score. Just awaiting my AWA score now with my fingers crossed.

Special thanks to bb (GmatClub) and Mike Mcgarry mikemcgarry

Update: Scored a 5 on AWA.

Last edited by ZenYogi on 22 Apr 2017, 23:57, edited 1 time in total.

Kudos [?]: 9 [2], given: 58

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Joined: 02 Sep 2016
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Kudos [?]: 43 [0], given: 274

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Re: From 640 to 760 - Debrief [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 09:44
Great debrief. Congrats on a great score. That's a great improvement.

It would be great if you could elaborate more on how you prepared for quant?
_________________

Help me make my explanation better by providing a logical feedback.

If you liked the post, HIT KUDOS !!

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Kudos [?]: 43 [0], given: 274

Manager
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B
Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Posts: 94

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 58

Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q49 V29
GMAT 2: 760 Q51 V41
GPA: 3.2
Re: From 640 to 760 - Debrief [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 09:57
Thanks. For Quants, I believe that the official material has the best problems one can solve. Keep an error log while practicing both OG and OG Quant review. Some official explanations are better than the others so when not convinced, check the GC forums for a better or more practical solution. Come back to the problems you found challenging the first time at least once before your test day.

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 58

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Joined: 02 Sep 2016
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Kudos [?]: 43 [0], given: 274

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Re: From 640 to 760 - Debrief [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 10:04
ZenYogi wrote:
Thanks. For Quants, I believe that the official material has the best problems one can solve. Keep an error log while practicing both OG and OG Quant review. Some official explanations are better than the others so when not convinced, check the GC forums for a better or more practical solution. Come back to the problems you found challenging the first time at least once before your test day.



Great. I got a little worried when someone wrote that OG is good but the questions in the real test were much more difficult.

Kudos [?]: 43 [0], given: 274

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Joined: 18 May 2016
Posts: 149

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 103

Location: India
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
GPA: 4
WE: Marketing (Other)
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Re: From 640 to 760 - Debrief [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2017, 21:55
Congrats on the high score!!

How did you practice for IR? Even though they are a combination of quant and verbal, the IR questions seem typical and intimidating in the setting.

Any tips here would be very helpful, I would be attempting for the second time soon!

Thanks !

Sent from my A0001 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 103

Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 03 Jan 2016
Posts: 94

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 58

Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q49 V29
GMAT 2: 760 Q51 V41
GPA: 3.2
Re: From 640 to 760 - Debrief [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2017, 22:12
Hi spc11
Even I found IR the most intimidating
For practice, I used the OG material and questions from Magoosh
Also, I always attempted IR section when taking Manhattan and GMATPrep mocks
All the material that I used for practice turned out to be way harder than what I actually saw in my actual exam, so that was a relief

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Kudos [?]: 9 [0], given: 58

Manager
Manager
avatar
B
Joined: 18 May 2016
Posts: 149

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 103

Location: India
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
GPA: 4
WE: Marketing (Other)
GMAT ToolKit User Reviews Badge
Re: From 640 to 760 - Debrief [#permalink]

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New post 27 Apr 2017, 22:15
Thanks for the quick tips ZenYogi! I shall incorporate the changes.

Best wishes for apps!

Sent from my A0001 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Kudos [?]: 23 [0], given: 103

Re: From 640 to 760 - Debrief   [#permalink] 27 Apr 2017, 22:15
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