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GMAT -750 Q-50 V-40 IR-4 AWA-5.5 First Attempt

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GMAT -750 Q-50 V-40 IR-4 AWA-5.5 First Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 18 Jul 2017, 13:23
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I am about to share my GMAT preparation strategy and test day experience with you guys and also will try to explain why my case was a bit peculiar than others due to which I faced several problems during the initial stages of preparation.

My details and Background
To give you bit of a background I am a Chemical Engineer and work in production department of a fertilizer producing company. Since I am a chemical engineer the main problem which I encountered during my preparation was that I work in shifts with Wednesday as my weekly off. I didn't have so called weekends at my disposal. Moreover after each Wednesday my work timings change from 6 AM to 2 PM or 2 PM to 10 PM or 10 PM to 6 AM on a rotational basis. To put in simple terms there is a weekly change in my work timings and they include night shifts from 10 PM to 6 AM every third week which take a huge toll on my body so I had to factor in these constraints while preparing for GMAT.

I enrolled for eGMAT on February 28th I think and gave my exam on June 21. But I cannot really claim that this 750 result was only because of these 3.5 months preparation. Actually I gave CAT the previous year and got around 99.5 percentile in quant but a meagre 77 percentile in Verbal and as per the feedback that I got from some of my peers quant of CAT is one notch above than that of GMAT. So my aim was pretty much clear that I have to mainly focus on my verbal.

Importance of Picking a Test date Well in advance and thought process behind it
Now let us come straight to my strategy. First of all what I did was that I booked a test date. I researched that most of the universities' round 1 deadline is around first week of September so Mid June would be the ideal time which would give me a buffer of around 2.5 months to complete the application processes and also give TOEFL in case I get a decent enough GMAT score(which eventually I did get). Booking the test date not only gave me pressure of meeting the deadline which prompted me to perform well but also gave me pecuniary pressure which again augmented me to study meticulously otherwise the money spent (afterall the form is costly by our standards and I was paying from my pocket) would go waste.

Identification of Weakness and Working on Corrective measures
Second thing which I did alongwith enrolling for eGMAT was to buy a Kindle and thus inculcate a habit of reading and develop comprehension skills organically. It helped me tremendously and also increased my reading speed many folds( trust me fast reading with good comprehension is just gold for reading comprehension (RC) section of GMAT). Sentence correction(SC) was my weakest section and that's where I think there is nothing better than eGMAT modules. They have done such an extensive research on this topic and for each slides of sentence correction which they provide I prepared my personal notes for future reference. Now I did not mug up each and every rule which they provide to be frank but I used to just skim through my notes on a weekly basis or just before giving a mock test. This in my opinion ingrained those rules in my subconscious and I say this with conviction because explicitly even today I cannot state all of those rules but my accuracy with SC gradually increased and that's was a fact for me to see. Now the remaining portion was that of critical reasoning (CR). For this section initially going through the strategies stated by eGMAT was absolutely necessary for me since similar to SC section this section also does not appear in CAT. And though I did not completely follow eGMAT strategies ( devising your own strategy that suits you is of paramount importance) but the segregation which eGMAT has done on the basis of question type is commendable for CR section and in turn it familiarised me with the CR section. Then coupled with my enhanced reading skills CR became my strongest section.

Planning out the daily and weekly tasks
I dedicated atleast 1-2 hrs to Kindle reading daily and another 1-2 hrs for verbal practice, which I mainly did from GMAT official guide(initially I tried to attempt scholaranium portion of eGMAT but somehow I found out that better finish official guide which is an exact replica of actual GMAT given by GMAC itself and I knew with my time constraints I will not be able to cover both). I completed the theoretical portion of verbal within a month if my memory serves me correctly.

After covering the theoretical portion I just practiced verbal from official guide and on each Wednesday(my weekly off) I gave a complete mock test. My quant preparation was through these mock tests only on a weekly basis and none of the other days and therefore I strongly suggest you to not follow my example for doing quant preparation. In my first mock I got 680. Analysis of the mock is again mandatory. Even if you think you don't remember all the wrong questions but trust me it remains in your subconscious mind and surely your frequency of doing similar mistakes will diminish. I gave I think 4 complete mock tests (since I wasn't able to utilise Wednesdays of night shifts). My scores were 680,710,750,740 respectively in these four mocks. For IR I just read eGMAT material two weeks before the test and for AWA actually I did nothing and placed a bet on my decent reasoning and writing skills and just attempted it only during mocks(again case specific and not worth following)

Extremely Important
One of the biggest tip apart from booking your test date well in advance and preparing an individual specific time table is that find some of your peers whose aim is also to give GMAT or exam of similar nature. I had two of my friends preparing for GRE and did my preparation along with them. Because there are certain phases where you lose your enthusiasm to study, so in that case studying in group helps you great deal.

Test Day
Now coming to the test day, I reached the centre well in advance. Never forget to bring a passport if you are an Indian citizen since no other id works. First section was AWA and in my view I aced it (which later proved to be true). But then came the IR section. Now my biggest mistake in the IR question was that I spent much more time then required in the first question itself. Then the panic started to creep in and again the chain reaction. So please keep in mind to guess and move forward even if you think you are close to the answer but are not getting just the last part(I know it's very difficult to curb this feeling but it's a bare necessity) otherwise for sure it will damage the answer of future easier question which was my case and hence a meagre 4 in IR. Now to recollect yourself after a bad section is again an art which you should master, and the eight minute break helped me do that. Moreover the next section was quant section that also helped since it was inherently my strongest point. Coming to the Quant section my advice is simply that if you are also good in quant just don't be overconfident because I could have easily got more in quant but for one easy question at the starting which I did wrong and came to know as soon as click the confirmation button of that option. And one more thing right at the end I guess the third last or fourth last question of quant which Ingot was easier than even the first question so my humble request is don't get startled, it happens and it's normal(I think they were part of some extra questions which have a mention on the GMAC website). Lastly the verbal section was smooth and I got a feeling that I should get good marks this time around (the feeling which was lacking after the CAT exam). In the verbal section since you have to do 41 questions in 75 minutes it is inevitable that you will face a time shortage if you try to divide the time equally to all the questions. RC questions are bound to take extra time so you have to without a shadow of doubt make up for that time via SC or CR questions. Since CR questions are also a handful in terms of amount of matter that you have to read to majority of people suggest to squeeze the time for SC question. Again that depends on person to person. Since my SC portion was weakest and CR was strongest so I made up the time through CR and that's where my quick reading came in handy. Quick reading (offcourse with good understanding) is a tool which also decrease the time to solve RC questions and was a boon for a person like me who had problems with the SC section.

So according to me if you find some help through my story then I will be highly obliged but my personal view is one has to formulate his own study plan and never stop believing that you can do it because those who do it are humans like you and me. If they can do it so can we.

Originally posted by Sanchit Mital on 15 Jul 2017, 13:03.
Last edited by Sanchit Mital on 18 Jul 2017, 13:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: GMAT -750 Q-50 V-40 IR-4 AWA-5.5 First Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2017, 14:22
Congrats on the great score!
I wish you luck for the second phase.

Since you mentioned about regular reading,
was there anything specific that you read, which helped you during your journey?
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Re: GMAT -750 Q-50 V-40 IR-4 AWA-5.5 First Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jul 2017, 14:28
Nothing specific but renowned works like Three Musketeers, Wuthering Heights, Immortals of Meluha Trilogy, Pride and Prejudice etc. I did not target any specific type of content.

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Re: GMAT -750 Q-50 V-40 IR-4 AWA-5.5 First Attempt   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2017, 14:28
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