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From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days

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Joined: 30 Sep 2017
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From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2017, 22:41
This is a story about how much the actual day of the GMAT matters.

My first attempt had been scheduled for the 24th of October. I had approximately 1 and a half months to prepare. I've always had trouble with being persistent and regular, so my studying happened in stops and starts. I studied the hardest when I had company. I also studied mostly from books. Multiple OGs and a few other books given to me by other GMAT givers.

My biggest pitfall, however, was redoing the mock CATs on GMATPrep. The first two mock CATs gave me scores of 630 and then 670. Then I reset and got scores of 740 and 760. I didn't realise my scores were inflated because of the questions I'd already encountered before.

My GMAT was scheduled at 5pm. I didn't sleep much the night before. Nothing some coffee couldn't fix right? Wrong. Walking out of the centre with a score of 640 was not great.

I scheduled my next attempt the very next day. A friend and fellow GMAT attempter recommended I try a different time slot, and when I saw that a 9 am slot was available, I took it, despite the fact that it was only 3 weeks later, on the 12th of November.

This time I changed my tactics. i had found GMATClub a few days before my first attempt and for my second one, I decided I'd be studying as much as possible online. The GIGANTIC amount of questions on GMATClub meant I wasn't attempting the same questions over and over. Next, I bought more questions (Question Pack 1) and more CATs (Exam Pack 1). In the week before the 12th, I practiced waking up, getting ready and giving a complete GMAT at 9 am.

When I walked into the centre on the 12th, I was well-rested and confident, but most importantly, I wasn't going in blind. Walking out with a 740 was a pretty good feeling!

Biggest Takeaways:
-Repeat questions don't add anything to your prep (unless you're looking at what you did wrong in which case, yes please)
-Practicing what the actual day would go like really helped

Getting a low score when you know you can do better is a terrible feeling, but to anyone who felt the same, please don't lose confidence. You can do it!

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 07:09
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KUDOS
Nam16 wrote:
This is a story about how much the actual day of the GMAT matters.

My first attempt had been scheduled for the 24th of October. I had approximately 1 and a half months to prepare. I've always had trouble with being persistent and regular, so my studying happened in stops and starts. I studied the hardest when I had company. I also studied mostly from books. Multiple OGs and a few other books given to me by other GMAT givers.

My biggest pitfall, however, was redoing the mock CATs on GMATPrep. The first two mock CATs gave me scores of 630 and then 670. Then I reset and got scores of 740 and 760. I didn't realise my scores were inflated because of the questions I'd already encountered before.

My GMAT was scheduled at 5pm. I didn't sleep much the night before. Nothing some coffee couldn't fix right? Wrong. Walking out of the centre with a score of 640 was not great.

I scheduled my next attempt the very next day. A friend and fellow GMAT attempter recommended I try a different time slot, and when I saw that a 9 am slot was available, I took it, despite the fact that it was only 3 weeks later, on the 12th of November.

This time I changed my tactics. i had found GMATClub a few days before my first attempt and for my second one, I decided I'd be studying as much as possible online. The GIGANTIC amount of questions on GMATClub meant I wasn't attempting the same questions over and over. Next, I bought more questions (Question Pack 1) and more CATs (Exam Pack 1). In the week before the 12th, I practiced waking up, getting ready and giving a complete GMAT at 9 am.

When I walked into the centre on the 12th, I was well-rested and confident, but most importantly, I wasn't going in blind. Walking out with a 740 was a pretty good feeling!

Biggest Takeaways:
-Repeat questions don't add anything to your prep (unless you're looking at what you did wrong in which case, yes please)
-Practicing what the actual day would go like really helped

Getting a low score when you know you can do better is a terrible feeling, but to anyone who felt the same, please don't lose confidence. You can do it!


Congratulations Nam16 for your wonderful score.
You made a lot of improvement in a matter of 3 weeks.
Please share your strategy for the test.
_________________

Please give kudos, if you like my post

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going...

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 07:15
Nam16 wrote:
This is a story about how much the actual day of the GMAT matters.

My first attempt had been scheduled for the 24th of October. I had approximately 1 and a half months to prepare. I've always had trouble with being persistent and regular, so my studying happened in stops and starts. I studied the hardest when I had company. I also studied mostly from books. Multiple OGs and a few other books given to me by other GMAT givers.

My biggest pitfall, however, was redoing the mock CATs on GMATPrep. The first two mock CATs gave me scores of 630 and then 670. Then I reset and got scores of 740 and 760. I didn't realise my scores were inflated because of the questions I'd already encountered before.

My GMAT was scheduled at 5pm. I didn't sleep much the night before. Nothing some coffee couldn't fix right? Wrong. Walking out of the centre with a score of 640 was not great.

I scheduled my next attempt the very next day. A friend and fellow GMAT attempter recommended I try a different time slot, and when I saw that a 9 am slot was available, I took it, despite the fact that it was only 3 weeks later, on the 12th of November.

This time I changed my tactics. i had found GMATClub a few days before my first attempt and for my second one, I decided I'd be studying as much as possible online. The GIGANTIC amount of questions on GMATClub meant I wasn't attempting the same questions over and over. Next, I bought more questions (Question Pack 1) and more CATs (Exam Pack 1). In the week before the 12th, I practiced waking up, getting ready and giving a complete GMAT at 9 am.

When I walked into the centre on the 12th, I was well-rested and confident, but most importantly, I wasn't going in blind. Walking out with a 740 was a pretty good feeling!

Biggest Takeaways:
-Repeat questions don't add anything to your prep (unless you're looking at what you did wrong in which case, yes please)
-Practicing what the actual day would go like really helped

Getting a low score when you know you can do better is a terrible feeling, but to anyone who felt the same, please don't lose confidence. You can do it!


Many congrats Nam16 :-) . Can you please share your strategy and EP1 CAT scores!

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 09:54
Hi Nam16

Congrats on getting the GMAT out of the way.
It would be very beneficial if you could share your splits
during the two attempts.

More importantly, if you could share the change in strategy
which you feel actually helped you make this improvement
in the score.

All the best for the application phase.

Thanks in advance
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Class of 2020: Rotman Thread | Schulich Thread
Class of 2019: Sauder Thread

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 10:49
Congratulations Nam16 - That's a great and definitely a score to make you feel proud.

I can't agree enough with the below two take away points.

Biggest Takeaways:

-Repeat questions don't add anything to your prep - I face this challenge for CR, if I happen to read in detail the explanation for a question, there are high chances that I will remember the answer for this question and this can definitely give anyone a false feeling of achievement (of course if the score is good) due to the inflated score.

-Practicing what the actual day would go like really helped - Absolutely makes sense as you are preparing your nerves for the exam.

It would be great if you can throw some more light on:

- Overall Strategy
- Number of Mocs you appeared for


If you have ordered ESR, it would be great to know how did you fair on SC, CR and RC respectively.

Thanks for the note and once again Kudos to you.

All the best for your application process. :thumbup: :-)
_________________

"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."

Worried About IDIOMS? Here is a Daily Practice List: https://gmatclub.com/forum/idiom-s-ydmuley-s-daily-practice-list-250731.html#p1937393

Best AWA Template: https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html#p470475

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 12:09
Nam16 wrote:
This is a story about how much the actual day of the GMAT matters.

My first attempt had been scheduled for the 24th of October. I had approximately 1 and a half months to prepare. I've always had trouble with being persistent and regular, so my studying happened in stops and starts. I studied the hardest when I had company. I also studied mostly from books. Multiple OGs and a few other books given to me by other GMAT givers.

My biggest pitfall, however, was redoing the mock CATs on GMATPrep. The first two mock CATs gave me scores of 630 and then 670. Then I reset and got scores of 740 and 760. I didn't realise my scores were inflated because of the questions I'd already encountered before.

My GMAT was scheduled at 5pm. I didn't sleep much the night before. Nothing some coffee couldn't fix right? Wrong. Walking out of the centre with a score of 640 was not great.

I scheduled my next attempt the very next day. A friend and fellow GMAT attempter recommended I try a different time slot, and when I saw that a 9 am slot was available, I took it, despite the fact that it was only 3 weeks later, on the 12th of November.

This time I changed my tactics. i had found GMATClub a few days before my first attempt and for my second one, I decided I'd be studying as much as possible online. The GIGANTIC amount of questions on GMATClub meant I wasn't attempting the same questions over and over. Next, I bought more questions (Question Pack 1) and more CATs (Exam Pack 1). In the week before the 12th, I practiced waking up, getting ready and giving a complete GMAT at 9 am.

When I walked into the centre on the 12th, I was well-rested and confident, but most importantly, I wasn't going in blind. Walking out with a 740 was a pretty good feeling!

Biggest Takeaways:
-Repeat questions don't add anything to your prep (unless you're looking at what you did wrong in which case, yes please)
-Practicing what the actual day would go like really helped

Getting a low score when you know you can do better is a terrible feeling, but to anyone who felt the same, please don't lose confidence. You can do it!


Congrats Nam16
Great score and good luck in your application process
_________________

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If we chase perfection we can catch excellence Vince Lombardi

GMAT Club Live: 5 Principles for Fast Math: https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-club-live-5-principles-for-fast-math-251028.html#p1940045
YouTube sessions by GMATNinja: https://gmatclub.com/forum/verbal-live-with-gmat-ninja-sc-pronouns-that-parallelism-250568.html#p1936104
The Best SC strategies - Amazing 4 videos by Veritas: https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-best-sc-strategies-amazing-4-videos-by-veritas-250377.html#p1934575

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From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2017, 07:35
I'm terribly sorry for the late reply!

I unfortunately do not have the breakdown for my first attempt (cancelled the score immediately on seeing it).
For my second attempt the breakdown is Q48, V44, I7. As you can probably tell, my Verbal scored really pushed my overall score up.

souvonik2k, saswata4s, pushpitkc : in terms of a change in strategy, the second time around I focussed on computer, not book learning. Verbal was my strong suit, so Quant was where I focussed my attention. Initially with Quant I practiced topic wise, 10 sums at a time, until I felt like I had at least a good grasp on the topic. Later I created mock tests by opening 37 tabs of random 600-700 level quant questions/ 41 tabs of 700+ level Verbal questions to solve in 1 hour and 15 minutes. I would go over my mistakes the next day, and make sure I understood where I went wrong.

Honestly something that really helped is doing full length tests. Building up the stamina to remain focussed for the entire paper was a major hurdle. For my initial attempts I attempted all the free mocks I could get my hands on, but I got multiple repeat questions in those mocks. For my second attempt I bought Exam Pack 1 and built fake tests using questions from GMATClub and Question Pack1, so that I wasn't repeating any mocks. Massive shoutout to Bunuel and souvik101990 for all the high quality questions they post on this forum, they were truly amazing for prep.

ydmuley : I haven't gotten an ESR for this attempt. From my performance in my mocks though, I would usually get about 100%-98% correct in RC, and slightly lower in SC and CR. My performance in CR is definitely my weakest of the Verbal sections.

saswata4s : I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the term EP1 CAT, is this about my first attempt?

Thank you so much for all the good wishes!

Last edited by Nam16 on 15 Nov 2017, 07:53, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2017, 07:44
Nam16 wrote:
Later I created mock tests by opening 37 tabs of random 600-700 level quant questions/ 41 tabs of 700+ level Verbal questions to solve in 1 hour and 15 minutes. I would go over my mistakes the next day, and make sure I understood where I went wrong.

Woaw! thats sound innovative :-D :thumbup:
Nam16 wrote:
saswata4s: I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the term EP1 CAT, is this about my first attempt?

Thank you so much for all the good wishes!

EP1 means exam pack 1 - The 1st paid exam pack by GMATPREP. Anyways, you dont need it anymore ;) ! best of luck for your applications! :-) :thumbup:

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2017, 08:35
Ah, I totally didn't guess that :P I got a 760 (Q49, V44, I7) and a 730 (Q47, V44, I8) in the EP1 CATs.

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days [#permalink]

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New post 15 Nov 2017, 12:17
Thanks for the update Nam16

Nam16 wrote:
Initially with Quant I practiced topic wise, 10 sums at a time, until I felt like I had at least a good grasp on the topic. Later I created mock tests by opening 37 tabs of random 600-700 level quant questions/ 41 tabs of 700+ level Verbal questions to solve in 1 hour and 15 minutes.


Now this is called as "BEING INNOVATIVE" such a smart and a brilliant way of appearing for mocs...! Kudos Man

All The Best!
_________________

"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."

Worried About IDIOMS? Here is a Daily Practice List: https://gmatclub.com/forum/idiom-s-ydmuley-s-daily-practice-list-250731.html#p1937393

Best AWA Template: https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html#p470475

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Re: From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days   [#permalink] 15 Nov 2017, 12:17
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From a 640 to a 740 in 20 days

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