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I too scored 730

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Joined: 05 Jun 2017
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GMAT 1: 700 Q50 V35
GMAT 2: 730 Q50 V38
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I too scored 730 [#permalink]

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I too scored 730 (Q50, V38) on GMAT.

7 was not my favorite number until I thought of writing GMAT. I was very skeptic about my success in the journey, because I grew up in an environment where English was scarce as a language. Moreover, I was not an avid reader, and I had least interest in reading novels or periodicals. Having said so, Verbal part was always a nightmare for me. Apart from this, I was also average in quant, but I knew I could improve in quant with practice, which will tune me to avoid calculation and conceptual mistakes.

It was my second attempt (14.01.2018) in which I scored 730. In my first attempt (31.10.2017) I scored 700 (Q50, V35). I knew that 700 is a decent score, but it’s prudent try for higher score if you feel there is some room for improvement. Even if you don’t feel that there is a room for improvement, you should go for one more attempt to improve your score by keeping patience and believing in your hard work. In the cases like mine, when you have a safe score, there is a lot of scope for improvement as you will retake the test with reduced stress and anxiety. Everyone may be well aware that score is one of the criteria for getting selected to a B-school, but it’s an important criteria as it is evident from what the majority of B-schools say: a lower score doesn’t always reduce your chance of selection nor a higher score guarantees you a selection, but one should try to score as high as possible on GMAT.

At the outset of my review I thank everyone who have either helped me or inspired me in my journey. Sorry guys; this review will be slight lengthy, because I want to cover all the doubts that I came across while preparing for GMAT. And also, this review may not be of much help to people who can achieve their target score with 2-3 months of preparation. I have written this review specifically for average students who believe in their patience and hard work. Though I thought of writing the GMAT, I couldn’t give a kick start to my prep as I was very apprehensive of my success: I was poor in Verbal, and after seeing the Verbal questions on OG I got repelled from the prep. Finally, whether to my good or bad, I met a girl in the end of April-2017 for marriage and I was fascinated by her personality: it was a love at first site. But, I got rejected. I could understand from the conversations with her family, that they like my present job but still prefer a guy with higher study (especially MBA). I felt dejected (as if I am worthless), but it was the right time to utilize the emotions to your strength. I was dead set on securing a decent score on GMAT and ready to surmount my enemy i.e. GMAT Verbal.

On 02.05.2017 I ordered a video course from BYJU’S having 2 month validity. I knew that for GMAT nothing can do a miracle: there is no fool proof shortcut for success, but I ordered the course (with limited validity period) in order to complete my studies as fast as possible and to maintain a regular schedule for my studies. Although I could not complete the studies as per the schedule because of some health issues, I could finish most of the things. I completed my studies (detail plan is presented below) in 3 months. Though I could not benefit at all from the RC shortcuts thought by BYJU’S I could build my foundation on Verbal (especially SC) and avoid similar mistakes by practicing a vast pool of quality questions provided by BYJU’S. The BYJU’S quant was very much helpful on zeroing on the GMAT syllabus. There are a lot of things to study in Quant, but GMAT has a precise syllabus, only from which GMAT questions are expected in Quant section.

For the first 3 months I went through the video lectures, Manhattan SC guide (really helpful), Kaplan RCs, and OG questions. (This part is about OG. So, skip it if you have no querries regarding OG.): While solving OG, I got a generic doubt: whether the difficulty level of questions on real GMAT will be same as that of OG? The answer is “YES”, the difficulty level will be same, but the OG has equal percentage of all difficulty levels, a phenomena different from real GMAT. On real test you will start with a 500 level question, and if you keep answering correctly, you will see 700 level question from the 3rd question itself. Now, if your performance is consistent, you will have a war with 700+ questions throughout your test. The second generic question is that “what percentage of questions you have to get correct to score a 700+?” This answer may not help much because if you start with OG and get a low percentage correct in answering, it’s just the beginning of your preparation. There is a lot of room for improvement in future. But, my advice is to revise the OG (all sections) to avoid similar mistakes in exam. When I was practicing (in lots of 15 questions from each section), I used to get 80% correct in SC for first 40-50questions, 70-80% correct in rest of the questions even falling down to 60% correct once or twice. In OG, the difficulty level increases after a particular set of questions, approximately (not exactly) 1/3rd, 1/3rd, and 1/3rd of questions belonging to 500-600, 600-700, and 700-800 respectively. Similarly in RCs, I used to get in the range of 60-70 % correct, in CR I used to get 85% correct for around first 60 questions, and 75-80% correct for some range of questions and 60-65% correct for question numbers 85-105. In quant I used to practice around 50-70 questions a single day, and after solving all the questions I got around 85% correct in both PS and DS.

While preparing for the test, even after seeing the explanations in the BYJU’S several times, I still had a lot of doubts on SCs. Then, I came to know about “EGMAT” from gmatclub. I got some pdf files of Egmat on SC topics, and after going through the notes, I could clear all my doubts pertaining to SC. I really appreciate Egmat for so clear explanation of concepts and the approach to solve 700+ Sc questions. I don’t think I could have got a better guidance related to SC from any other source than Egmat. One important thing to note is that SC is the only part in Verbal in which you can achieve maximum improvement. So, before my second attempt I purchased Verbal Scholarium from Egmat, because I knew that I have completed my studies and only a time bound practice can give me the jump I require in Verbal. The Egmat Scholarium is really nice for practicing to avoid similar mistakes and improve your pace.

The major problem I was facing in Verbal was timing. Initially I used to take 15 minutes to solve a medium RC and 3+ minutes to solve a CR question. So, I used to practice with stop watch to track my pace, 3 RCs daily or sometimes on alternate days and 15 to 20 Cr questions twice in a week. For SC, I used to practice 15 questions on alternate days. I could see some improvement in pace, but to maintain the pace you need to be regular on your practice. Even if you leave your practice for 10 days, your pace may drastically fall. Finally, I decided to go for sectional tests. By seeing the reviews regarding gmatclub tests, I purchased a test series. And after appearing for the tests, I would say it is must for anyone aspiring to score 50 in Quant and still not confident of. I know one thing that even if you are better at quant, you can’t neglect it, because to get your target score you have to extract maximum from every section of the test. In the first attempt I scored 44 on gmatclub Quant tests. After reviewing the first test, I could understand the tricks of GMAT quant questions and the need of carefully reading the question. In subsequent tests I scored 46-49 on gmatclub quant tests. In total, I have attempted 9 gmatclub quant tests (44, 49 ,46, 48, 49, 47, 49, 48, 49, 47), but continuously reviewed bookmarked questions from the tests. I would not recommend the gmatclub verbal tests as it contains only 3 RCs, and it is very strict in scoring patter: I was scoring 30-31 and even went to 23 on one test, but never scored below 34 on any other verbal test.
I took a total of 5 Manhattan mock tests and 1 Gmatprep official test (in the first official test I pressed the “End Exam” button at the end of the exam, so didn’t get any score). Scores are presented below:
Manhattan tests: 660,640,620,650,640 (Quant in the range of 42-46 and Verbal in the range of 33-37).
Gmatprep Official test: 700 (Q50, V34)
Test summary: The level of questions in the Gmatprep test are of the same level as of real test. The verbal part of Manhattan is of the same level as real test, but Quant part is quite difficult and involves a lot of calculations. So, take Manhattan practice tests to get practice and do not worry if your quant score is low. Complete all sections (including IR and AWA) in all tests for simulating the GMAT experience and building stamina for the real test.
Study materials I followed:
SC: BYJU’S video lectures, Manhattan SC guide for concepts, BYJU’S tests, Egmat Scholarium, Kaplan guide, OG, OG verbal review and Aristotle SC books for practice and review of errors only. Most importantly, Egmat SC notes for clearing important doubts and improving the method of approach. Generally, Grammars are tested for normal level questions only, but difficult questions mostly test the logic and meaning of the sentence. I could become conversant on this method after seeing the Egmat notes only.
RC: For me, only practice and review of errors could give me some insight into the topic. I practiced RCs from OG, OG Verbal review, Kaplan guide, Veritas free tests, Egmat scholarium, gmatclub 700 level RC questions, and some RCs from Aristotle RC book.
CR: I concentrated on one method to improve on this topic, i.e. finding a cause in the statement (not in conditional statements- Ex: If X, then Y) and trying to locate an answer choice addressing the cause. I practiced from OG, OG Verbal review, gmatclub 700 level CR questions, and Egmat Scholarium.
Quant: BYJU’S videos and Arun Sharma book for CAT (only for Number systems, Permutaion & combination, Probability, and Allegations chapters). I practiced from OG, gmatclub quant tests. I think these two sources are more than enough for practicing.
IR: I am really weak, and didn’t practice much.
AWA: If you are not an IT professional, then chances are very high that you have a slow typing speed. So, practice writing essays. Follow a template (structure words and no of paragraphs) you like. You can follow the gmatclub template. But practice. Lack of practice led me to leave the essay incomplete in both the attempts. So, I scored 5 (couldn’t get 6).

Summary:
Have patience while preparing and have faith on your hard work. Don’t get disheartened if don’t see any improvement over a period of time, because many times it happens so that your improvement is not correctly reflected in your practice tests (there will be always ups and downs in score). Your improvement directly reflects your score on real test like the growth of Chinese bamboo. Don’t forget a famous quote “it always seems impossible until it’s done”. Due to one or more reason I have been under a tremendous stress. I struggle to get sleep in night. Even before the day of the exam, I didn’t sleep properly. The sleep problem has affected me throughout my journey, but I knew that GMAT is the only thing to chase away my stress. In both the cases, I utilized my failures and problems to inspire me rather than to dishearten me. If despite being an average student and having the above said problems, I could do this means everyone can do this. Just go to the exam hall keeping in mind that you are going to take the reward for all the hard work you have done till date.

Good luck,
Sandip
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I too scored 730 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2018, 09:16
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Hi sandipbhuyan , congratulations on a great score!

If you're willing to share your ESR (Enhanced Score Report), then your contribution to the knowledge base would be appreciated. Also, if you like you can anonymously verify your score here on GMAT Club.

-Brian
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Harvard grad and 770 GMAT scorer, offering high-quality private GMAT tutoring, both in-person and online via Skype, since 2002.

You can download my official test-taker score report directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y8zh6qby Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

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Re: I too scored 730 [#permalink]

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New post 07 Feb 2018, 20:15
Congrats on Outstanding Score sandipbhuyan
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Re: I too scored 730   [#permalink] 07 Feb 2018, 20:15
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I too scored 730

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