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GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month

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GMAT 1: 620 Q48 V27
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GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Mar 2018, 23:37
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Hello Friends,
The entire journey of GMAT is very challenging. It stretches you in all aspects. It drains you mentally and physically. But one thing is for sure, if you continuously strive in it , you will get your result one day.
So I am going to tell you about my experience of GMAT. It is a long experience roughly 7 months. I have tried to incorporate all the details of my experiences. I assure you that you will really relate to it and for sure learn from my experiences.
I started preparing for GMAT in July 2017. I bought E-GMAT . With that I also got the access of GMAT Club tests. I studied all the Sentence Correction videos in E-GMAT in detail. I made notes of it. I completed the Official Guide , Verbal Review and Quantitative Review. Then I took the GMAT slot on 26th of September 2017. I took this slot in order to get more involved with GMAT. I was scoring decently in GMAT Prep Mock Tests. I was getting scores of around 660-670 in that. So the test Day came. I gave the exam. During the exam I was very confident. I started of with the Verbal Section. I completed the section 5 minutes before the time. I was finding all the questions too easy. Then came the Quant Section which I also completed 3 minutes before the time. Then came the two Reasoning and Writing Sections. These two sections I solved relaxing my mind . While solving these two sections I was getting really anxious of knowing my score. I was thinking that I would get a score of around 720. Because in the mock tests , I was never able to complete the questions in time. So I was quite confident that I will get a good score. In anxiety I wrapped up the writing section 2 minutes early and clicked on the Submit Button. What followed next was totally unexpected. I got a score of mere 620. 27 in Verbal and 47 in Qaunt. I cancelled my score and came out of the test centre. I was really shocked. I was expecting a score of around 720 and I got a score of around 620. 50 points less than my GMAT Prep tests.
To recover from the setaback, it took me around 2 days, but I recovered quickly because I knew that I hadn’t practiced enough questions, hadn’t revised the concepts and rushed through the questions in the actual GMAT. Moreover I had known that scoring well in GMAT is a time taking process. So I started off again from October. I went through all the videos e-GMATs all the videos. I made notes. Revised the concepts. I bought the Manhattan Test Prep series. I gave tests every week. But I wasn’t scoring well. My marks were as follows:
Manhattan Test 1 -620
Manhattan Test 2 – 630
Manhattan Test 3 -640
Gmat Prep Test 3- 650
Gmat Prep Test 4 – 650
Manhattan Test 4 -650
Manhattan Test 5-640
GMat Prep Test 5 – 650
Gmat Prep Test 6 -660
I was practicing a lot , studying a lot but I wasn’t able to translate it into big scores. I was slogging at an average of 8 hours daily with 10-12 hours in weekends. Time was also running out. I had planned to apply for 2018-Fall sessions. First I had thought that I would give GMAT in November , but as I was not getting good marks , I postponed it to December. I couldn’t delay it any further. So I took the slot on 23rd December 2017. My personal bests in Quant and Verbal Sections in different tests had been 50 and 36 respectively. I had never got these two scores together. So I thought that if my day is good, I might get a score of around 710. But I was not that much confident. I was under a lot of pressure. I thought if I would not do well in my exams , I will not be able to apply this year. I reached the exam centre quite tensed. I was very nervous. Unlike the previous time, this time I utilised the time properly. I wasn’t hurrying through the questions. I started of with Quant Section this time. Then came the Verbal. I was quite confident of scoring marks above 650 which is a bare minimum to apply to any B Schools. I completed the Integrated reasoning and writing section diligently and clicked on the Submit Button. I was completely shocked by seeing the score. I got a score of 620 again. I got 27 in Verbal and 47 in Quant again. I put my head down in disgust. All my dream of applying to B Schools for 2018 Fall had been shattered. But this time I accepted the score. I don’t know why. I just wanted to keep it. I wasn’t thinking properly. This score of 620 was very different than the previous time. This time I had worked really hard. Despite having office , I wasn’t ignoring GMAT. Thoughts such as may be I not made for GMAT started coming into my mind. I was lost. I decided of not giving GMAT anymore. I had lost all hope.
One day, one of my friends Rahul Anand who is also an aspirant of GMAT came to me and told me to get the Enhanced Score Report (ESR) of the test. I had never thought of purchasing it because it costs around 50 $. But on his advise I purchased it. These were shocking revelations in the Score Report. The ESR gives sectional marks as well. I got a score of 38 in Reading Comprehension , 34 in Critical Reasoning and 5 in Sentence Correction. I was shocked to see 5. I got a 0 percentile in Sentence Correction. It means that all of my Sentence Correction answers were incorrect. I was really shocked seeing this. In maths in Data Sufficieny I got 46 and in Problem Solving I got 49. Following are the things which I discovered:
• Till now, I had thought that each question determines the level of your next question. But its not that case. Every sub section is graded differently. Because if this wasn’t , I would have never got 80 percentile in RC and 0 percentile in SC at the same time.
• Rather than every question determining your level , there are question sets of the same level. So even if you get a question wrong , you will get the question of the same level again.

So with the ESR I came to know my weaknesses which were Sentence Correction and Data Sufficiency. After seeing this report I took a week off from GMAT. I did not think about it at all. I was really trying to figure out as to what I should do next. My friend Rahul gave the GMAT exam during that week and scored 720 in his very first attempt. I went up to him and asked his strategy. He told me that time management is the key to doing well in this exam. He said to me that he had practiced hundreds of questions but when he gave his first two GMAT Prep exams , he got 690. What he did next was simply superb. He just managed the time. He understood which questions he should put time on and which questions he should leave. And just doing this he improved his score by 20 points and got 710 in GMAT Prep 3 (Please note he gave all these 3 GMAT Prep exams in a single day). Never had I heard 20 points improvement in a single day. He took that momentum in the exam and scored 720.
His strategy really gave me a path to follow. I got motivated to give GMAT again. This time I did everything different. I first took the test date i.e 28th January which was 3 weeks after that day. After that I started emulating the strategy given to me by Rahul. This time I really wanted to score at least 50 in Maths. So I opened GMAT Club and started giving the sectionals of Maths. I gave 3 back to back sections and my marks increased from 43 in the first to 50 in the third. I increased 7 points in one single day. I decided to solve as many questions but with with time. At that time I also took access of GMAT Wiley. The online version of all the Official Guides. I swear it guys the questions which seemed simple in book version were appearing to be more difficult in the online version. From childhood we have been accustomed to books. Our thought process changes when we have a pencil and book in front of us. We are more confident in this than in the online version where you also have a timer ticking on top right corner to distract you. GMAT wiley really helped me in practicing Official Guides. My thought process for the entire GMAT had changed till now. I wasn’t putting extra pressure on me before my mock exams which I had done till now. I just thought that nothing can be worse than this. I thought that even If I score bad , I will in the end learn. The problem in my second GMAT exam was also that I was too nervous. I thought that this is the only thing in my life.
As I had exhausted all the GMAT prep and Manhattan mock tests, I need a new set of Sample Question Paper. I bought the Veritas test series. I gave 4 mocks of it. I strategically gave the exam on Fridays such that I would get enough time in the weekend to understand and correct my mistakes. I got 670 . I felt nice. 50 in Quant and 32 in English. Getting 50 in Quant felt amazing. Slowly I was getting the gist of the examination. I was understanding my strengths and my weaknesses. For example I understood that in CR if I get more than 3 minutes into the question, I feel that all the 5 answers are right and get confused. But I don’t leave the question at that time. I put in 2 minutes more to mark the answer and in the end mostly I get the answer wrong. I wondered if I could just leave those questions and put in the extra time which I gained into other questions which would be my strength ,such as Reading Comprehension. In Maths I found that word problems were my biggest concern. It was not that I wasn’t able to solve those questions , but I unnecessary spent on an average 4-5 minutes for solving it. From the ESR report I had learnt that its not at all important to mark all the answers correctly. So I started making a conscious effort to improve these problems and manage my time well during my mocks. In the next three mocks my marks just grew exponentially.
Veritas Mock 2- 690 (Quant 50 , English 34)
Veritas Mock 3 – 710 (Quant 50 , English 36)
Veritas Mock 4 – 720 (Quant 50 , English 37)
In came my exam date. I was very relaxed this time around. I was thinking that even if this time I don’t get a good score, I will work harder and give my exam again in February. I was adamant that I won’t leave GMAT until I get a good score. This really cooled my nerves. I went into the exam focussed , unlike the previous times where my mind was more occupied in the negatives of not doing well.
I started off with the Quant Section. In the beginning everything was going quite smoothly, but in the end (from 20-30) I was finding the questions slightly more difficult. In the end I had 3 minutes and 3 questions. I was able to solve 1 of them and had to guess the remaining 2. I quickly moved on from that episode and took an 8 minute break and got myself prepared for the Verbal Section. My verbal section started with 5 questions from SC and CR.Then I got my first RC . It was a 5 paragraph long passage. It really derailed me. Moreover it had only 3 questions. It took me 10 minutes to solve it. I was lagging behind time. In the last 30 minutes I had to solve 22 questions. I increased my reading speed and started solving the questions. Luckily I was able to see all the questions except the last one. I guessed it. After that I solved the IR and Writing Sections. While I was going to submit the Writing Section, last time’s score card was creeping into my mind. I was thinking what if I get a 620 again. And then what do I see . A score of 740 (50 in Quant and 40 in Verbal). My heat beat increased. I wasn’t able to believe it. I clicked on the Accept the Score button and went to the exam coordinator to get the score report. The exam coordinator congratulated me and I left the exam hall feeling elated. I just paused outside the exam hall and took a deep breath. I had done it. Just the previous month I had got 620 and this time I got 740. 120 points improvement in one month. I thanked God and all my family and friends who had helped me in achieving this thing.
In the end, I would just say friends that nothing is impossible without failures. Don’t let the failures derail you from your actual Goal. I would suggest you all to not make GMAT your life. Study for it whenever you get time, but don’t sacrifice the moments of happiness in between (For example if you plan on going for a vacation don’t postpone it just because of GMAT). Just remember GMAT is not your goal , it is a means to your goal. The more relaxed and patient you are , the more return you will get. I hope you all found my testimonial worthwhile. Please give your feedback below and just enjoy the process of giving GMAT. Hope to hear from you all soon.Cheers.

Edit: This post is edited with addition of ESR with user's permission for benefit of community.

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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2018, 08:36
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Congrats for your excellent score :thumbup: ! Best of luck for your application.
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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2018, 09:36
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Hello harshitsantosh

Congratulations on your wonderful score. I appreciate your dedication iwith respect to humber of hours you spent on a day , that required higher level of concentration and dedication.

There are good takeaways for me from your debrief. Thanks for posting.

All the best for your application.

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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2018, 21:32
Hii Harshit
first of all i sincerely congratulate your struggle and sincere effort for exam ..I thought u can help me in figuring out which test series would be better fr gmat as I m preparing fr first time..
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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2018, 09:53
Hi harshitsantosh,

Congrats on a great score.
A really good debrief as well.

Could you please share how you managed time on Verbal?
How many questions did you guess and when?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2018, 05:37
So even the time you take to answer a question is important? I mean even the time is measured for grading ? What you mean to say is that it's not about how many correct answers you give but how long you take to answer the questions? Is that so? Please reply...

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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Mar 2018, 10:02
AdityaHongunti wrote:
So even the time you take to answer a question is important? I mean even the time is measured for grading ? What you mean to say is that it's not about how many correct answers you give but how long you take to answer the questions? Is that so? Please reply...

Sent from my XT1562 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

No time is not at all mentioned in grading. I am just telling that Time Management is very important in getting a good score. And if you find just as me that you are taking a long time to answer one type of question, then it's better to leave that question than stress yourself for completing the remaining questions. Hope I made my point clear.

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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2018, 02:36
KINU wrote:
Hii Harshit
first of all i sincerely congratulate your struggle and sincere effort for exam ..I thought u can help me in figuring out which test series would be better fr gmat as I m preparing fr first time..

Hello,

GMAT prep is the best exam series. In total you have 6 test series. You have 2 which are free . The other 4 are paid.
Veritas is good. It's english and quant are very good and of a level higher than that of actual GMAT.
Manhattan is good but it's quant is too difficult but english is very good.
So my rating will be
1. GMAT prep
2. Veritas
3. Manhattan

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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Mar 2018, 05:52
nitishmalagi wrote:
Hi harshitsantosh,

Congrats on a great score.
A really good debrief as well.

Could you please share how you managed time on Verbal?
How many questions did you guess and when?

Thanks in advance.


Well my target was to keep less than 20 questions in the last half an hour.
I used to start slowly. In the first 10 minutes I used to solve 5 questions. And then slowly I used to pick up pace.
Well I guessed around 2 questions. Both in CR. I had found in mocks that when I spent more than 2 minutes in a CR question, mostly I mark the wrong answer. This happened to me twice in the exam. So at that time I just guessed these 2 questions.
nitishmalagi wrote:
Hi harshitsantosh,

Congrats on a great score.
A really good debrief as well.

Could you please share how you managed time on Verbal?
How many questions did you guess and when?

Thanks in advance.



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GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 02:40
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma AjiteshArun mikemcgarry

Quote:
• Till now, I had thought that each question determines the level of your next question. But its not that case. Every sub section is graded differently. Because if this wasn’t , I would have never got 80 percentile in RC and 0 percentile in SC at the same time.


Interesting findings as per ESR of 620 score. That means GMAT does not decide the difficulty level for a particular bunch
of SC / CR together, but ONLY for a set of questions in a particular sub-topic say SC/ CR.
That effectively means all three sub-topics in verbal are graded mutually exclusive of one another.

I found quite a zig-zag pattern for the difficulty levels presented for same ESR and could not find the cause
for the same. For average difficulty chart, does not a pink dot above blue dot suggests that the candidate
got more quantity of harder ones than getting easier ones correct (test taker seems to be doing well in this case.)

egmat

Based on ESR findings, for Gmat planner individual ability bubbles here
should not have ideally changed the ability of other sub-topics. Let me know if my inference if correct.


harshitsantosh

Did you use third party mocks as reasonable predictor of your scores or gaining stamina and working on your timing strategies?
Wishing you all the best for your apps.
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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 05:21
adkikani wrote:
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma AjiteshArun mikemcgarry

Quote:
• Till now, I had thought that each question determines the level of your next question. But its not that case. Every sub section is graded differently. Because if this wasn’t , I would have never got 80 percentile in RC and 0 percentile in SC at the same time.


Interesting findings as per ESR of 620 score. That means GMAT does not decide the difficulty level for a particular bunch
of SC / CR together, but ONLY for a set of questions in a particular sub-topic say SC/ CR.
That effectively means all three sub-topics in verbal are graded mutually exclusive of one another.

I found quite a zig-zag pattern for the difficulty levels presented for same ESR and could not find the cause
for the same. For average difficulty chart, does not a pink dot above blue dot suggests that the candidate
got more quantity of harder ones than getting easier ones correct (test taker seems to be doing well in this case.)

egmat

Based on ESR findings, for Gmat planner individual ability bubbles here
should not have ideally changed the ability of other sub-topics. Let me know if my inference if correct.


harshitsantosh

Did you use third party mocks as reasonable predictor of your scores or gaining stamina and working on your timing strategies?
Wishing you all the best for your apps.


The only thing a 5 percentile in SC implies is that when the performance in SC is measured compared with performance of others in SC, the person scored better than 5% of the scores. It does not give insight on how the questions were chosen or how the overall score was calculated. If one answers most of the SC questions incorrectly, but answers RC questions correctly (irrespective of the level), one could obtain 80 percentile on RC and 5 on SC.
It is not just the previous question that determines the next question - that is an oversimplification made to explain the concept of an Adaptive test. The software does take other factors into account too such as a fair representation of various topics.

The pink dot shows the average difficulty of incorrect questions in each quadrant. The pink dot higher than the blue dot just means that the average difficulty of incorrect questions was more than the average difficulty of correct questions which is pretty much what one may expect (since one is likely to get harder questions incorrect and easier questions correct). But that is not what always happens since our comfort in various topics and question types is different.

All said and done, ESR can sometimes help explain unexpected scores (say a sudden drop in Verbal because of bad performance in SC which otherwise one may not have seen in practice tests) but it doesn't add a whole lot of information in many cases, in my opinion.
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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 06:13
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22 questions with only 30 minutes i.e. last two sets done with 86% and 75% accuracy. This is amazing. Hard & CONSISTENT work paid off!!! Congratulations :)
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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2018, 06:56
Congratulations to the OP on a great score :-)

adkikani wrote:
GMATNinja VeritasPrepKarishma AjiteshArun mikemcgarry

Quote:
• Till now, I had thought that each question determines the level of your next question. But its not that case. Every sub section is graded differently. Because if this wasn’t , I would have never got 80 percentile in RC and 0 percentile in SC at the same time.


Interesting findings as per ESR of 620 score. That means GMAT does not decide the difficulty level for a particular bunch
of SC / CR together, but ONLY for a set of questions in a particular sub-topic say SC/ CR.
That effectively means all three sub-topics in verbal are graded mutually exclusive of one another.

I found quite a zig-zag pattern for the difficulty levels presented for same ESR and could not find the cause
for the same. For average difficulty chart, does not a pink dot above blue dot suggests that the candidate
got more quantity of harder ones than getting easier ones correct (test taker seems to be doing well in this case.)

egmat

Based on ESR findings, for Gmat planner individual ability bubbles here
should not have ideally changed the ability of other sub-topics. Let me know if my inference if correct.


harshitsantosh

Did you use third party mocks as reasonable predictor of your scores or gaining stamina and working on your timing strategies?
Wishing you all the best for your apps.
1. The different question types are not scored separately on the GMAT exam. VeritasPrepKarishma has explained this already, so I won't add anything to this point.

2. The average difficulty of incorrect questions can be above the average difficulty of correct questions in many cases. For example, if a test taker got only one question incorrect in a set, and that was a tough(er) question, the dot representing the difficulty level of incorrect questions will be above the dot representing the difficulty level of correct questions.

3. The GMAT does not select a question on the basis of the test taker's response to the previous question. Question selection is based on the test taker's responses to all the (non-experimental) questions answered till that point.

4. I don't think that the percentiles you see in the ESR for the different question types are very accurate. The GMAT must be doing quite a bit of work with the data in the background to deliver a common percentile for all test takers. This kind of process will probably reduce the reliability of whatever figure is generated.
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Re: GMAT - 620 to 740 in one month &nbs [#permalink] 25 Mar 2018, 06:56
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