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710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47

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710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 24 Jun 2019, 05:24
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Just passed my second GMAT yesterday and wanted to thank the community and the founders. For me it’s been a long year and a tuff period with ups and downs. Today I am through and relieved.

The beginning


I began a year and a half ago with the 700 threshold in mind. I started my journey with a group course at Sight Prep Paris (a Kaplan certified center) to acquire the basics. Retrospectively, I paid way too much for something that I could have learned in books or on the forum, but the teacher was great and because you‘re not alone, this give you plenty of motivation to continue to train by yourself later on.

This type of course provides you only with the basics, it is your job to do the extra miles. So, I bought the Kaplan book, but did not use it a lot (not sure why, but didn’t liked it), I did use their CAT a lot though.

Official guides & lack of seriousness


My next move was to train with the official guides. They are a great source of questions, but they are also very **** to provide you with advance concepts and understandable answer explanations. I ended up doing a lot of questions without mastering key GMAT concepts, especially for quant and SC. In addition, I did not have rigorous studying schedules. I could study every night for a week and then do nothing for two weeks. During my first year, my average time of studying was 30 to 45 mn after work and 2h the weekend.

Image

All combined, my results weren’t really improving, I was stuck around 650, with a very low quant score and an “ok” verbal score. During all that time I was aware of the existence of the forum but made the mistake of not using it.

First attempt


Even though I knew I wasn’t really ready, I decided to take my chance, 15 months after the beginning of my training.
During the exam, I panicked right after the very first question, I was stuck on a zero-trail question, my pencil wasn’t really working well, the following questions all seemed too hard, in short, I never really managed to gain back focus.

Image

Ended up this part five minutes in advance, guessed way too much questions and realized how weak my preparation was for the quant part. Got into verbal, integrated reasoning and AWA sections alright though.
Finally, I scored a disappointing 640 (Q36, V40) correctly reflecting my experience during the exam, even though my latest GMATprep, two weeks before the exam, was 680.

The rebound


After a day of despair, I got back on track with a new plan to strengthen my quant and maintain my verbal.

  • More hours of training with rigorous scheduled sessions:
    o 2 hours per night after work and 10h on weekend; alternate quant and verbal every day; emphasis on SC for the verbal.
  • Use the GMATclub forum as much as possible:
    o I went through the Quant and SC megathread, through all Slingfox Quant and SC notes. Both training on new concepts and practicing on thematic set of
    questions.
  • Start a notebook for Quant and SC to track all the advance concepts I wasn’t mastering. Memorizing them during my commute every day.

I did that for two months and really felt my confidence grow.

Image

After completion of the megathreads and Slingfox notes, I got back on questions, increasing the difficulties of them with time. For quant I was doing official, Bunuel, EgmatQuantExpert and MathRevolution questions (I knew there were quality questions, representative of the real GMAT questions), and for SC, only official questions found on the forum or in my OGs. I purchased GMAT Club Tests and took load of CATs (Quant questions are really good, some verbal questions are a bit dodgy).

Listening to my wise friend


At that time, I was feeling better with GMAT material, less anxious with time pressure and was ready for another blank exam on GMATprep. Taking a full length GMAT blank test always annoyed me, because it takes you a lot of time: four, undisturbed, hours to do the exam and one full day to review your answers. Because I was complaining of this to a wise friend, she advises me to take a real one instead of a blank, she said “the real exam conditions will give you a more accurate result of your level, and if by any chance your score is sufficient, you would be done with the GMAT”.

Image

So, I listened to my friend and booked the test at the very last-minute, right before leaving on holiday. To remove stress, l decided to change my habits and began the test with Verbal, my strong suit. Also, right before the beginning of the test I had this motto in mind to calm my nerves “Fear is the mind-killer”. I picked it up the night before while reading Dune from Frank Herbert (I added the complete passage at the end of the post *). Nota Bene: a good advice for non-native is to read, all along your training, good English material that you would enjoy.

The second attempt


Three months after my first attempt I was back to the same exam center. I worked the morning -I had loads to finish before leaving on holidays- and took the afternoon for the test. About the exam itself there is not much to say. I finished all sections on time, didn’t felt super great on verbal compare to the previous exam, but definitively much better on quant. IR went horribly and AWA quite smoothly. After a draining 3 hours and a half (I always use all 8mn time-breaks), a brilliant 710 (Q47, V41) flashed up on the screen. For me it was 10 more than expected, and of course one of the best moment of my GMAT journey.

Image

Thanks!


I read a lot of these success stories on the forum, and always wanted to have one of my own, this kept me going. I hope this post will help others, and I am happy to share.

To conclude, a formidable thanks to the guys who created this forum and who maintain it. Thanks to the guys who post the questions, and to those who leave insightful explanations. A special thanks to VeritasKarishma, GMATNinja, souvik101990, daagh, EgmatQuantExpert, Bunuel, mikemcgarry, and nightblade354 who served me as teacher even though they never heard of me and owe me nothing. I will finish by thanking slingfox for the most helpful job he has done with its notes, a real life-boat when I was looking for help after my first attempt. Thank a lot dude.

Thanks guys, I am now moving on to the next chapter: MBA admissions.
* Update 20/06/2019: admitted to HEC Paris MBA and INSEAD MBA (I'm over the moon :))
* Update 24/06/2019: final decision INSEAD. Good luck to all!


Image

Cheers,

(*) Frank Herbert, Dune:
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

PS

A note on ESR. Out of curiosity I have purchased it, and was quite disappointed with the information provided or better to say the lack of information provided.
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Originally posted by loneo3006 on 06 Nov 2018, 04:08.
Last edited by loneo3006 on 24 Jun 2019, 05:24, edited 15 times in total.
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2018, 07:03
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Congratulations on the great score!!You really had a great improvement in Quant!!

I am yet to write my debrief ..hopefully one day :)

Can you please suggest your verbal strategy?
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 08 Nov 2018, 02:35
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Thank you for your congrats Prabashi.
As for my Verbal strategy:


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Originally posted by loneo3006 on 06 Nov 2018, 09:53.
Last edited by loneo3006 on 08 Nov 2018, 02:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2018, 05:10
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loneo3006 wrote:
Thank you for your congrats Prabashi.
As for my Verbal strategy:

  • I subscribed to "the economist"
  • Always had a proper written novel on my nightstand (novel in English of course)
  • Went through and memorized Slingfox SC notes
  • I made a long list of idioms, and red flag for SC
  • Practiced mainly with official questions




Thank you so much for the reply.

Seems like I am already copying you :-D

Wish you all the very very best with the applications!!
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2019, 13:39
prabsahi wrote:
loneo3006 wrote:
Thank you for your congrats Prabashi.
As for my Verbal strategy:

  • I subscribed to "the economist"
  • Always had a proper written novel on my nightstand (novel in English of course)
  • Went through and memorized Slingfox SC notes
  • I made a long list of idioms, and red flag for SC
  • Practiced mainly with official questions




Thank you so much for the reply.

Seems like I am already copying you :-D

Wish you all the very very best with the applications!!


Hey Prabashi,
Just wanted to check on you and update my story: received admission from HEC Paris MBA. So glad !

Let me know about u.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jun 2019, 14:34
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Congratulations on your well-deserved success !!
Enjoy Paris.
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New post 06 Jun 2019, 15:52
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GmatMinion wrote:
Congratulations on your well-deserved success !!
Enjoy Paris.


Thanks a lot :)
I am also waiting for INSEAD's decision. I've recently completed the interviews so I might finally end up in Singapore.

Will see how it turns out.
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2019, 19:11
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loneo3006 it sounds like you focused on quant significantly. Did you feel your second GMAT verbal score reflected the amount of effort invested?
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2019, 00:09
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dcummins wrote:
loneo3006 it sounds like you focused on quant significantly. Did you feel your second GMAT verbal score reflected the amount of effort invested?


Yes and no.
Even though I did focus on quant I also spent quite some time on SC and I have to admit that one point improvement was a little disappointing.

Now my objective was to maintain verbal from first test to second test and 93 percentile is a fine verbal score.

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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2019, 02:18
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loneo3006 wrote:
dcummins wrote:
loneo3006 it sounds like you focused on quant significantly. Did you feel your second GMAT verbal score reflected the amount of effort invested?


Yes and no.
Even though I did focus on quant I also spent quite some time on SC and I have to admit that one point improvement was a little disappointing.

Now my objective was to maintain verbal from first test to second test and 93 percentile is a fine verbal score.

Posted from my mobile device



How soon after your first exam did you retake?

Pretty ballsy to roll the dice and take the official exam instead of a practice. When was the last practice exam you had taken prior to sitting the official exam that landed you the 700+?
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2019, 05:22
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dcummins wrote:


How soon after your first exam did you retake?

Pretty ballsy to roll the dice and take the official exam instead of a practice. When was the last practice exam you had taken prior to sitting the official exam that landed you the 700+?


Two months after.
I worked quite hard though, two hours per night and 10 hours on weekends.

I had no practice exam between my first and second exam. You have to consider the format of the GMAT and benefit from it. You can take the GMAT "x" number of time, so if 250$ is not a problem for you than you can take as many official exam as you want (cancel scores if you don't want them to appear on your official transcript) and use real test to practice and eventually succeed.
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jun 2019, 16:27
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loneo3006 wrote:
dcummins wrote:


How soon after your first exam did you retake?

Pretty ballsy to roll the dice and take the official exam instead of a practice. When was the last practice exam you had taken prior to sitting the official exam that landed you the 700+?


Two months after.
I worked quite hard though, two hours per night and 10 hours on weekends.

I had no practice exam between my first and second exam. You have to consider the format of the GMAT and benefit from it. You can take the GMAT "x" number of time, so if 250$ is not a problem for you than you can take as many official exam as you want (cancel scores if you don't want them to appear on your official transcript) and use real test to practice and eventually succeed.



Thanks. I've taken it twice in the last 12 months and GMAC's rule is that you can only take it 5 times Annually, 8 times in a lifetime; however, I believe they may flex the 8 time rule and lets never let it get to that stage haha
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jun 2019, 00:44
dcummins wrote:
Thanks. I've taken it twice in the last 12 months and GMAC's rule is that you can only take it 5 times Annually, 8 times in a lifetime; however, I believe they may flex the 8 time rule and lets never let it get to that stage haha


You are absolutely right.
Eight times is still a high number though :) I would not mind too much
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2019, 09:53
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Congrats on the excellent score and the huge improvement on Quant.

I'm also trying to improve my Quant score. Currently I'm sitting at a dismal Q33. I feel like I know all the concepts well enough but when it comes to doing the questions I'm either unable to answer fast enough and have to guess or I make silly mistakes.

Do you mind sharing your academic background? Were you always good at math in school/undergrad and were just a little rusty when you started preparing for GMAT? What would you suggest I must do to improve my Quant score?

Thanks!

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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2019, 11:55
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gd93 wrote:
Congrats on the excellent score and the huge improvement on Quant.

I'm also trying to improve my Quant score. Currently I'm sitting at a dismal Q33. I feel like I know all the concepts well enough but when it comes to doing the questions I'm either unable to answer fast enough and have to guess or I make silly mistakes.

Do you mind sharing your academic background? Were you always good at math in school/undergrad and were just a little rusty when you started preparing for GMAT? What would you suggest I must do to improve my Quant score?

Thanks!

Posted from my mobile device


Hi,

I was terrible at maths, I got my highschool diploma with 15/100 in maths and then went on to college in a sector where there were absolutely no maths (I have a master in communication). So right from the begining I knew that quants would be a daunting challenge for me.

My strategy was to first master the most common concepts in quants using the quants megathreads and slingfox quants notes as my lesson books. After having studied a concept I was specifically training on the concept using the question bank and my OG. Make sure you start with 500 level questions and then slowly increase until you are comfortable with 600-700 level questions (most of the time 700+ questions was out of my reach and I didn't even bother to try them).

You should: know your number properties and geometry formula by heart; train your mental calculus; be able to decifer word problem; and know all the "tricks" that help you solve questions more easilly than going through the hard maths.

Also, it is important that you review each question on the forum, the diversity of ways to solve questions often helps you to pick the one that works best for you. I can't and won't solve a question the same way an engineer will.

You should also know that regularity and hard work pay. So I would suggest intensive training whatever the format (depends if you work or no) and then give it a shot to the actual GMAT without procrastination.
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2019, 21:08
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Thanks so much for the prompt and detailed response!

Knowing your academic background both motivates and disappoints me! Motivates me because despite a non-math degree you were able to achieve a great Quant score. Disappoints me because even though I did engineering and continue to work with numbers I can't even crack the Q40 mark ☹️. I know I'm not the best in math but I know I should at least be able to get Q45

I honestly don't know what it is. Believe it or not, I too followed a similar study schedule as yours: 2 hr weekdays (after work) and 10 hr on weekends. After doing this for about 2 months my score was only a 530 (Q33, V30) - same as my benchmark score ?. How can I not make any improvements? Anyway, I am going to follow your advice to improve.

From your ESR are you able to share how many questions you got correct CONSECUTIVELY? I have read that to get your score into the high 40s, you have to answer a significant number of questions right consecutively in the beginning of the test.

Thanks again for all your help!

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2019, 04:04
gd93 wrote:
Thanks so much for the prompt and detailed response!

Knowing your academic background both motivates and disappoints me! Motivates me because despite a non-math degree you were able to achieve a great Quant score. Disappoints me because even though I did engineering and continue to work with numbers I can't even crack the Q40 mark ☹️. I know I'm not the best in math but I know I should at least be able to get Q45

I honestly don't know what it is. Believe it or not, I too followed a similar study schedule as yours: 2 hr weekdays (after work) and 10 hr on weekends. After doing this for about 2 months my score was only a 530 (Q33, V30) - same as my benchmark score ?. How can I not make any improvements? Anyway, I am going to follow your advice to improve.

From your ESR are you able to share how many questions you got correct CONSECUTIVELY? I have read that to get your score into the high 40s, you have to answer a significant number of questions right consecutively in the beginning of the test.

Thanks again for all your help!

Posted from my mobile device


Attached is my ESR, hope it helps.

You might also want to work on your exam strategies (time management, educated guesses, strategy and tactics)
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ESR Loneo3006.pdf [473.8 KiB]
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jun 2019, 12:05
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Thanks a lot - really appreciate all your insights!

Best wishes for school and all your future endeavours! Cheers!
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 02:27
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Happy to update and announce the great news.

I'VE BEEN ACCEPTED TO INSEAD !!! I am now facing the wonderful choice between HEC and INSEAD.

I sincerely wish to all GMAT Club sailors the same success and would like to reiterate my thanks to all active members of the forum. You are definitively part of this success and I am glad you were there when I was struggling improving my GMAT perf.

Moving again to the next chapter: be a great MBA student.
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 20 Jun 2019, 05:11
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Congrats, that's awesome! Very happy to hear that! They both are great schools - can't go wrong with either. Very exciting couple of years ahead for you!

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Originally posted by gd93 on 20 Jun 2019, 02:58.
Last edited by gd93 on 20 Jun 2019, 05:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 710 "en image": how one overcame its difficulties in Quant, Q36 to Q47   [#permalink] 20 Jun 2019, 02:58

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