Took GMAT yesterday (27 July 2013) : 710, Q49 V37. I think, I am now in a position to write a debrief of my GMAT experience. I'll try to keep it short and simple.Preparation -
After taking CAT last year, I decided to take GMAT exam. I started preparing for GMAT in March 2013.Verbal
: I had to start from level Zero, as my English was very poor. You can get an idea of the level of my English from the fact that, I did not even know that 'am' is a verb. I was not even able to identify which words in a sentence are adjectives and which are nouns. So I thought to devote a lot of my time in learning English Grammar. I took 'Wren and Martin' English Grammar book, and read it thoroughly, for a month. I even prepared notes, and learned all the concepts. I studied for a month, and then I had to go to US for 6 weeks (job requirement), and there was a break of 1.5 months. Caution
: do not take breaks during your preparation, unless you have to. It may cost you dearly.
It costed me dearly. I lost my grammar notes somewhere in US. Also, as I did not study anything during my US trip, I almost forgot everything. I was doing my preparation of GMAT with a friend. He and I decided to take GMAT on 27th July 2013. (I kept a month of preparation time after returning from US trip).
After returning from US trip, I started preparing for GMAT seriously. I took a month off from job.
1) I revised whole Grammar from Wren and Martin. (use Wren and martin only if you have to strengthen your basic grammar)
2) For GMAT grammar, prefer Manhattan GMAT SC
. Its worth buying and its a must read for Sentence Correction. SC was never my strength, though. I dread SC even today.
3) I was almost good in Critical Reasoning, as I was able to find out the line of reasoning, and was able to deduce things logically. It came naturally to me. Critical Reasoning was thus my strength.
4) I was not good in Reading Comprehension too. and so I started to practice a lot of RC. Start doing 3-4 RC everyday. Do not time yourself, just aim at increasing accuracy. Figure out a way that best suits you, and try to get as many correct as you can. For RC, I used to concentrate and read the whole passage. If you do not understand something, read it twice. Unless and until, you can say in your mind, the whole passage, in your own native language, without leaving any fact, do not consider that you have understood the passage. (Summarizing the passage in your own native language in you own mind, as you read on, helps a lot) It takes time to develop this strategy, but it pays huge dividends on G-Day. I myself practiced around 150-170 RC passages before the G-Day. RC eventually became my strength.
5) OG sucks - I did a few (5-10) questions from OG very initially, just to know what to study. The level of questions is very low. I somehow, got some PDFs from gmatclub, which helped me a lot. I am attaching them in this post. The level of questions in those PDFs is the actual level of GMAT. Try to solve all the questions from those PDFs. (As many as you can)
I used to take 2 sectional tests from those PDFs everyday- 15 CR, 15 SC and 3 RC in 75 mins. It helped me a lot.Quant
: As I had prepared for CAT, and I was an engineering student, I was fairly good in Math. Though I revised the basic Geometry concepts from 9-10 standard RS Aggarwal book, I did not practice a lot for maths. I downloaded the Gmat club math book by 'bunnuel'. It helps a lot in revising things quickly. The only practice I did for math, was during mock tests. Sometimes, I used to go to gmatclub , and solve DS and PS questions, 10-20 questions in a row.Mock-Tests
: GMAT Prep and MGAMT mock tests are quite standard exams, and helped me lot. I took following mock tests ->
1) March 14 : GMAT Prep - 660, Q48 V34
2) June 16 : MGMAT 1 - 640, Q47 V31
3) June 28 : MGMAT 2 - 610, Q44 V31
4) July 6 : MGMAT 3 - 630, Q46 V31 (Quant going down, verbal not improving, tightened my studies)
GMAT Prep Reset
5) July 6 : GMAT prep - 720, Q49 V40
6) July 12 : MGMAT 4- 610, Q44 V31 (still no improvement)
7) July 14: GMAT Prep - 710, Q49 V37
8) July 20 : MGMAT 5- 660, Q47 V33
9) July 22 : MGMAT 6- 700, Q51 V35
GMAT Prep Reset
10) July 25: GMAT Prep - 660, Q49 V30 (a setback, tighthened verbal again)
11) July 25 : MGMAT 1A- 730, Q51 V38
12) July 26 : MGMAT 2A - 650, Q51 V30 (a setback, just a day before actual GMAT, but I was confident now)
13) July 27 : MGMAT 3A - 420 (just a warmup on actual day, did not complete the whole thing even. attempted 10-15 questions from each section in the morning)
Continuously asses your preparation using mock tests. It helps a lot to decide, what to concentrate on now. make sure you take AWA and IR also.G-Day
My Friend and I took the same slot at the same test center, and we visited the test center a day before, to know exactly where it is, and what documents are required. I asked the test-administrator about the procedures, and how to take breaks. On the actual day, I woke up a bit early (10 am
), did a warmup questions from mock test, my exam was from 2:30pm. I usually do not take it easy until the thing is over. I keep myself pushing until things are done. Keeping me on edge, under stess, helps me to focus. Find out a way that works best for you. Although, I watched 2-3 pending episodes from Big-Bang Theory, listened to songs, and most importantly had my lunch. Ate sugar and bananas, as glucose increases brain activity.
I arrived at test-center around 40 mins before, and relaxed a little bit. During test procedures, they take your photo and I made sure that I give a smiling photo. I was getting a bit nervous, so I drank a lot of water. Inside test-room, due to Air-conditioning, the temperature was very low in the room.
AWA - Argument was difficult, but I found 3-4 flaws in it. Completed it 8 mins before time. Felt the need to take a piss.
IR - Questions were easy initially, but, the last 2 questions were very difficult. On the last question, I had 4 mins left, and I was not able to figure it out. I read it thrice, still not able to get it. Had an urgent need to take a piss, due to lots of water, and low temperature. I decided to take a guess, which I knew was wrong. To hell with it. I completed the section, took a break.
1st break - Took 3 mins to take piss and comeback.
Quant - Initially, it was easy, but later on continuously difficult questions were coming. Used up a lot of time in initial questions. Last 8-9 questions were really tough (Geomentry, with complex diagrams DS), and had 12-13 mins left. Overall, nailed some of them. Pleased with my overall performance.
2nd break - Ate a chocolate, drank some water. Took 5 mins.
Verbal - It was going tough, but the level of question was similar to the level of questions in PDF which I am attaching. OG sucks again. Got stuck in some SC questions (ate up a lot of time). CR seemed to be easy. nailed them. RC was real tough. 3 very short(1-2 paragraph) but real tough RC. nailed them though. Some SC were tough, but most of them were easy. (maybe because, I did most of them wrong). Did not get a bold-face in CR, so was doubtful, whether my performance is going to be good or not. Overall, completed the section with 45 secs in hand.
Skipped those stupid background Questions, and when I saw the score screen, I have no other word to express my feeling, except, that I was delighted. I smiled. Q49, V37, 710.
Test-Admin congratulated me! Called my parents to let them know that I am alive!
Overall, just remember - Those who bleed the most in training, bleed the least in the battle
PS: I am not able to upload the PDFs, since internet at my place is slow. So, I'll be uploading them later.
Received my official score today. IR -7(82%)/8 and AWA - 5(60%)/6.
GMAT.rar [7.32 MiB]
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