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GMAT Debrif - 760 Q50 V42

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Joined: 08 Jul 2014
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GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V36
GMAT 2: 760 Q50 V42
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GMAT Debrif - 760 Q50 V42 [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jul 2017, 13:59
Hi all,
I gave my GMAT on 27th July 2017 and scored a 760. I though of sharing my experience as it could be of help to someone else here. I do not consider myself a proficient writer. If you do find some grammatical errors do let me know and I will correct them.

My Background


I am an Indian Engineer working with a consultancy firm. I did under graduation from IIT Kharagpur. Despite my high verbal score I can assure you English was never my favorite subject in (high) school. In fact it used to be that one subject that would pull my grades down. Through my experience I can assure you that being good at English not a necessity to score well in verbal. Also I gave GMAT once on 29th July 2014 and scored a 710 (Q50 V36).

My Preparation


Concepts-Sentence Correction


I always wanted to re-give the GMAT as I was never satisfied with my first score. Over the last two months things kind of started falling in place with more free time at work and with a friend of mine scoring a 760. He suggested that I take e-GMAT course as it was comprehensive for SC. By then I already bought Magoosh , but still decided to purchase e-GMAT as he strongly suggested it. Over the next couple of weeks I started diligently going through the Sentence Correction video lectures. They were very informative and really helped me grasp all the basic rules of English Grammar. Feeling all fired up I gave a Veritas Mock test and to my disappointment I still scored a 710. I kind of understood that if going through a specific course was all that's needed to get a 99 percentile then everyone should be able to get it.

Practice


I started doing problems from OG. I did notice a significant change while practicing SC from OG. The mistakes in SC started feeling like the mistakes in quant. Let me elaborate this statement. Most Indians (and I am sure many GMAT test takers in general) have a much higher knowledge in Maths than the prerequisites of Quant demands. But we still do mistakes in Quant because GMAT tests how craftily we can apply those basic principles. This was a significant revelation and a great step up for my Verbal in General. I then started practicing both from Magoosh question bank and e-GMAT scholaranium. I really liked how flexible the magoosh question bank was especially with the practice sessions. It also allowed one to veiw results immediately and also had a short video explaining that question

One thing I really loved about Magoosh was expert help they provided through emails. Although e-GMAT had internal forums for posting questions which are moderated by experts I really liked personalized email based communication. The learning I had from this process was very useful. Whenever I couldn't understand the explanation given by the OG I would google the questions and if I was still not satisfied I would drop a mail to Magoosh student help. The ensuing conversations where expert would give examples to which I would sometimes add my own examples to verify if I really understood the core kind of really helped me bridging the gaps.

Critical Reasoning


I was good at Critical Reasoning but not flawless. I used to commit couple of mistakes for every 10 problems I practiced. I didnt like e-GMAT CR methods personally. I found that creating those logical flows was much more difficult that answering that actual questions itself. I am by no means saying that CR methodologies were bad, its just that they flew right over my head. Power Score Critical reasoning guide came to my rescue here. I really liked this book as it almost gave out a road map (well not directly but all the pointers and traps to look out for were very useful) on how to think CR. After finishing this book my accuracy in CR on OG and Verbal review improved for 80 % to 95%. In the official practice tests (I bought the 4 extra ones) I would at the most make 1 mistake in CR

Practice Tests



06/15 Veritas- 710 Q51 V37
06/20 MGMAT- 690 Q47 V37
06/27 MGMAT- 730 Q48 V41
06/28 GMATPrep- 750 Q50 V41 <- this is when I decided I should stop taking the non Official tests seriously.
07/09 GMATPrep2 750 Q51 V40
07/16 GMATPrep3 770 Q51 V42
(I had to move to a different place. So when I attempted the Test 4 it started giving me questions which I have already seen in Test 3)
07/23 GMATPrep5 710 Q50 V36
07/25 GMATPrep6 770 Q51 V42

Test5 was a real eye opener. I got a bit too over confident in middle of the verbal section and started to listen to my intuition, completely ignoring logic. Fortunately it put in my place and drilled into my head that I should be very careful while dealing with GMAT , even the slightest loss of concentration and focus could spell a disaster. In the end I am glad that I bombed the 5th Test.

I always practiced in the time slot which my actual GMAT was (3:15 PM).
I would strongly recommend one to but the Official practice tests even if they are bit more expensive(of course once you reset the scores it will fail to be an accurate representation), especially if you are targeting 740+ My MGMAT and Veritas scores never crossed 730. I would give them more for endurance training rather than assessing my current standing.
Veritas is felt was way too easy on Quant , but penalizes you too harshly for any mistakes in the first few questions. It will not throw any hard questions at you severely limiting your score. the Quant on MGMAT is much harder than the one you will find on your actual GMAT. MGMAT forces you to do quite a few calculations while the actual GMAT tests if you are considering all the possible conditions/scenarios.

Words of Advice



1). You do not need to be good in English to score well in GMAT. GMAT test your application of these skills. I might not be able to write a very good sentence, but I sure can pick one out from the options. This comes only through practice and detailed analysis of official questions. Go though various explanations written all over the forums for the Official questions and try to understand what it takes to make a good tricky wrong answer. Ask questions on forums or get email help from experts depending on what you feel works best for you. Also I personally feel you shouldn't just go around looking for a compilation of tricks that GMAT uses to trick you into wrong answers. I feel that only when you do this on you own will you be able to extrapolate those key learnings to the problems you would face on GMAT.

2). This works other way too, just because you are good at English / Match wouldn't guarantee a good score. It sure can give you advantage , but without sufficient practice you will still fall for traps in GMAT

3). Never every underestimate GMAT. Like I mentioned I bombed test 5 because I grew over confident that I could handle anything the GMAT could throw at me. Every question has a purpose. Especially if you are aiming for the higher 700's you should know why you crossed out every option(and still answer the question in under 2 mins) . At least for me most questions would have some obvious flawed answers but will still be left with two very close (or grammatically correct) answers. Understanding the subtle difference in meaings based on the structure becomes essential to ace SC.

Hope my experience helps some people out here. All the best for your exam

PS. I haven't really put in much effort into Quant. In hindsight it probably was not the best thing to do
I also had no problem in RC as such so didn't really have to put in extra effort.
AWA is from stranded template as written by Chineseburned

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Re: GMAT Debrif - 760 Q50 V42 [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jul 2017, 08:57
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Even as a native speaker, I agree completely with your feelings towards the verbal section. Strategy is more important than knowledge of the language beyond a conversational level. I struggled with reading/writing courses in high school and undergrad, and haven't read a book for pleasure in years. The gmat is very forgiving in this, and a lot of the questions have "rules" just like math problems. Once you are able to identify these, your score will start to climb.

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Re: GMAT Debrif - 760 Q50 V42 [#permalink]

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New post 03 Aug 2017, 11:09
Wonderful words of advice
Quote:
1). You do not need to be good in English to score well in GMAT. GMAT test your application of these skills. I might not be able to write a very good sentence, but I sure can pick one out from the options. This comes only through practice and detailed analysis of official questions. Go though various explanations written all over the forums for the Official questions and try to understand what it takes to make a good tricky wrong answer. Ask questions on forums or get email help from experts depending on what you feel works best for you. Also I personally feel you shouldn't just go around looking for a compilation of tricks that GMAT uses to trick you into wrong answers. I feel that only when you do this on you own will you be able to extrapolate those key learnings to the problems you would face on GMAT.


Also, thanks a ton for writing the debrief.
Congrats on the awesome score and all the best of luck for the applications!
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Re: GMAT Debrif - 760 Q50 V42   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2017, 11:09
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