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Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey

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Intern
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Joined: 06 Jul 2019
Posts: 14
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q39 V39
GPA: 3.11
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
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Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2020, 17:23
1
Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey
I have been preparing for the GMAT since 2018.
Took my first GMAT in August 2019 and scored a 640 (Q39 V39). I will post a debrief shortly. My debrief.
Since then I have been trying to up my game, with the ultimate goal of breaking the 700 barrier.
I was planning to take the test again next month. But the illustrious dcummins recommended that I focus on my weaknesses first. And that's what I'm going to do!

Books & materials used
Quant
  • Nova's Math Prep, Nova's DS Prep: Good for basics but have a lot of typos
  • MathRevolution: Videos helped me review my concepts
  • Veritas & GMATClub: Using these two for regular practice
Verbal
  • Nova's GMAT Prep: Good intro to the basics, but didn't find much value in it for SC & CR.
  • MGMAT SC Guide: Classic primer. But one also needs to do the practice questions.
  • PowerScore CR Bible: Another classic primer. But doesn't have enough practice questions.
  • Veritas & GMATClub: Using these two for regular practice

Test Scores
Scored a 640 (Q39 V39) in August 2019.
  • 11-Jun-18 | Official 1 | 590(Q36 V35)
  • 29-Jun-19 | Veritas 1 | 470(Q29 V26)
  • 30-Jun-19 | Veritas 2 | 540(Q37 V27)
  • 06-Jul-19 | Veritas 3 | 500(Q28 V32)
  • 27-Jul-19 | Veritas 4 | 450(Q31 V22)
  • 08-Aug-19 | Official 2 | 590(Q39 V33)
  • 09-Aug-19 | Veritas 5 | 670(Q47 V35)
  • 10-Aug-19 | Veritas 6 | 600(Q43 V30)
  • 10-Aug-19 | Veritas 7 | 650(Q44 V36)
  • 11-Aug-19 | Official 3 | 640(Q40 V38)
  • 12-Aug-19 | Official 4 | 630(Q41 V35)
  • 13-Aug-19 | Re-Official 1 | 710(Q47 V41)
  • 14-Aug-19 | Re-Official 2 | 630(Q46 V31)
  • 16-Aug-19 | D-Day | 640(Q39 V39)
  • 19-Sep-19 | GMC-Q1 | NA(Q27 VNA)
  • 22-Sep-19 | GMC-Q2 | NA(Q26 VNA)
  • 29-Sep-19 | GMC-Q3 | NA(Q6 VNA)
  • 09-Dec-19 | GMC-Q4 | NA(Q39 VNA)
  • 28-Dec-19 | GMC-V1 | NA(QNA V23)

Background
I am an IT engineer in India.
In my spare time (when I have it), I enjoy reading science fiction novels.

Length of Study
Have been studying for almost 3 years now.

General strategy
Will work on my weaknesses. Then will take practice tests.
Intern
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Joined: 06 Jul 2019
Posts: 14
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q39 V39
GPA: 3.11
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
Premium Member
Kaladin's First Time | 640 (Q39 V39)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2020, 16:23
Sorry about posting this after so long. :)

Books & materials used
Quant
  • Nova's Math Prep, Nova's DS Prep: Good for basics but have a lot of typos
  • Veritas & GMATPrep: Used these two for practice
Verbal
  • Nova's GMAT Prep: Good intro to the basics, but didn't find much value in it for SC & CR.
  • Veritas & GMATPrep: Used these two for regular practice

Test Scores
Scored a 640 (Q39 V39) in August 2019.
  • 11-Jun-18 | Official 1 | 590(Q36 V35)
  • 29-Jun-19 | Veritas 1 | 470(Q29 V26)
  • 30-Jun-19 | Veritas 2 | 540(Q37 V27)
  • 06-Jul-19 | Veritas 3 | 500(Q28 V32)
  • 27-Jul-19 | Veritas 4 | 450(Q31 V22)
  • 08-Aug-19 | Official 2 | 590(Q39 V33)
  • 09-Aug-19 | Veritas 5 | 670(Q47 V35)
  • 10-Aug-19 | Veritas 6 | 600(Q43 V30)
  • 10-Aug-19 | Veritas 7 | 650(Q44 V36)
  • 11-Aug-19 | Official 3 | 640(Q40 V38)
  • 12-Aug-19 | Official 4 | 630(Q41 V35)
  • 13-Aug-19 | Re-Official 1 | 710(Q47 V41)
  • 14-Aug-19 | Re-Official 2 | 630(Q46 V31)
  • 16-Aug-19 | D-Day | 640(Q39 V39)

Background Information
I am an IT engineer in India.

General Strategy
My general strategy was centred around taking lots and lots of practice tests. The practice tests definitely helped me get over my test anxiety. However, I now feel that I should have spent more time working on my basic concepts.

Things I wish I knew
  • No magic pill: l wish I knew that no GMAT course can teach me something instantly. There is no magic pill. No shortcut.
    If you've seen 1999 film "The Matrix", you will remember the scene where Neo learns advanced martial arts in a couple of seconds.
    In the real world, learning takes time. It happens not when you study the concepts but while you practice problems and re-inforce those concepts through practice.
    Unfortunately for me, I realised this too late. I realised this after I fell prey to the hype around a certain GMAT Math product. While the product itself isn't too bad, my expectations from it were unrealistic.
  • Studying same thing from multiple books: Another mistake that I made: I studied the same topic from multiple books. For example, I studied sentence correction first from Nova, then from Veritas. Instead of wasting time learning the same contents from two books, I could have spent time practising OG questions.
  • Taking too many tests: Although, I benefited from taking a dozen practice tests before the actual GMAT, I might have been over zealous in this matter. I realise now that I took too many tests. I should have spent more time working on my foundation. Also, I should have maintained an error log and reviewed my mistakes at regular intervals.

GMAT Test Experience (16-Aug-2019)
My actual test went very much as expected. I scored a 640 (Q39 V39) which was close to what I was getting in my practice tests scores.
I reached the test centre an hour before schedule and had to wait outside for the staff to arrive.
I did not solve any questions before the test to warm-up. This is something I'll do next time.
Overall, my test experience was positive.
I had taken a dozen practice tests so I knew what to expect. In fact, these practice tests had prepared me for the worst. Even though, my computer crashed during the test. I was able to take it in my stride and continue with the test.
I had also practised writing on a scratch pad so that didn't stump me either.

TLDR;
Test experience was positive. The actual test went just like any other practice test.
There were gaps in my preparation that I shall fill before I take the test again.
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Posts: 16121
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Kaladin's First Time | 640 (Q39 V39)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2020, 19:38
1
Hi kaladin123,

To start, a 640 is a solid Score, but the Q39 will likely be seen as a potential 'red flag' at many Programs - so retesting (with the goal of scoring higher in the Quant section) is a good idea.

Regardless of how you choose to proceed with your studies, it's worth noting that while the most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to assess your skills - since you will likely see some 'repeat' questions that you have already faced. Unfortunately, seeing even a couple of repeats can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. (meaning that they would likely all appear to be better than they actually are). Thankfully, the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you correctly take the CAT in a realistic fashion) - so you can use any NEW CATs from any of those sources during this next phase of your studies.

GMAT skills can 'fade' over time. Between your two recent posts, it appears that you have not taken a FULL-LENGTH CAT since you took the Official GMAT (back in August). As such, I strongly recommend that you take a NEW CAT sometime soon and make sure to take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss how best to proceed.

Beyond that data, before I can offer you any additional advice for your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) Since you took the GMAT, what type of study plan have you been following? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What is your overall goal score?
3) What 'brands' of CATs/mocks have you used over the course of ALL of your studies?
4) When are you planning to retake the GMAT?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School and what Schools are you planning to apply to?

You might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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Re: Kaladin's First Time | 640 (Q39 V39)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jan 2020, 19:40
1
Hi kaladin123 ..
Thank you posting this. Your verbal score is fantastic. Quant score seriously needs improvement. Q39 suggests that you lack some basic fundamentals of Quant. You need to put some time in understanding concepts followed by practicing questions on the concepts. I think you are self preparing. Why don't you take a course which can help you to get a good score. I can recommend you 'TTP' or 'EmpowerGmat' for Quant prep. Take a look on their trial versions. I am sure that with correct strategy and dedication, you can cross 700 mark. All the best.

kaladin123 wrote:
Sorry about posting this after so long. :)

Books & materials used
Quant
  • Nova's Math Prep, Nova's DS Prep: Good for basics but have a lot of typos
  • Veritas & GMATPrep: Used these two for practice
Verbal
  • Nova's GMAT Prep: Good intro to the basics, but didn't find much value in it for SC & CR.
  • Veritas & GMATPrep: Used these two for regular practice

Test Scores
Scored a 640 (Q39 V39) in August 2019.
  • 11-Jun-18 | Official 1 | 590(Q36 V35)
  • 29-Jun-19 | Veritas 1 | 470(Q29 V26)
  • 30-Jun-19 | Veritas 2 | 540(Q37 V27)
  • 06-Jul-19 | Veritas 3 | 500(Q28 V32)
  • 27-Jul-19 | Veritas 4 | 450(Q31 V22)
  • 08-Aug-19 | Official 2 | 590(Q39 V33)
  • 09-Aug-19 | Veritas 5 | 670(Q47 V35)
  • 10-Aug-19 | Veritas 6 | 600(Q43 V30)
  • 10-Aug-19 | Veritas 7 | 650(Q44 V36)
  • 11-Aug-19 | Official 3 | 640(Q40 V38)
  • 12-Aug-19 | Official 4 | 630(Q41 V35)
  • 13-Aug-19 | Re-Official 1 | 710(Q47 V41)
  • 14-Aug-19 | Re-Official 2 | 630(Q46 V31)
  • 16-Aug-19 | D-Day | 640(Q39 V39)

Background Information
I am an IT engineer in India.

General Strategy
My general strategy was centred around taking lots and lots of practice tests. The practice tests definitely helped me get over my test anxiety. However, I now feel that I should have spent more time working on my basic concepts.

Things I wish I knew
  • No magic pill: l wish I knew that no GMAT course can teach me something instantly. There is no magic pill. No shortcut.
    If you've seen 1999 film "The Matrix", you will remember the scene where Neo learns advanced martial arts in a couple of seconds.
    In the real world, learning takes time. It happens not when you study the concepts but while you practice problems and re-inforce those concepts through practice.
    Unfortunately for me, I realised this too late. I realised this after I fell prey to the hype around a certain GMAT Math product. While the product itself isn't too bad, my expectations from it were unrealistic.
  • Studying same thing from multiple books: Another mistake that I made: I studied the same topic from multiple books. For example, I studied sentence correction first from Nova, then from Veritas. Instead of wasting time learning the same contents from two books, I could have spent time practising OG questions.
  • Taking too many tests: Although, I benefited from taking a dozen practice tests before the actual GMAT, I might have been over zealous in this matter. I realise now that I took too many tests. I should have spent more time working on my foundation. Also, I should have maintained an error log and reviewed my mistakes at regular intervals.

GMAT Test Experience (16-Aug-2019)
My actual test went very much as expected. I scored a 640 (Q39 V39) which was close to what I was getting in my practice tests scores.
I reached the test centre an hour before schedule and had to wait outside for the staff to arrive.
I did not solve any questions before the test to warm-up. This is something I'll do next time.
Overall, my test experience was positive.
I had taken a dozen practice tests so I knew what to expect. In fact, these practice tests had prepared me for the worst. Even though, my computer crashed during the test. I was able to take it in my stride and continue with the test.
I had also practised writing on a scratch pad so that didn't stump me either.

TLDR;
Test experience was positive. The actual test went just like any other practice test.
There were gaps in my preparation that I shall fill before I take the test again.

_________________
Intern
Intern
User avatar
B
Joined: 06 Jul 2019
Posts: 14
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q39 V39
GPA: 3.11
WE: Project Management (Computer Software)
Premium Member
Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 08:47
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
GMAT skills can 'fade' over time. Between your two recent posts, it appears that you have not taken a FULL-LENGTH CAT since you took the Official GMAT (back in August). As such, I strongly recommend that you take a NEW CAT sometime soon and make sure to take it in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss how best to proceed.

Thanks Rich. Really appreciate your help.
Am planning to work on the basics for some more time before I take a full CAT.

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
1) Since you took the GMAT, what type of study plan have you been following? How many hours do you typically study each week?
I study two hours every day (except Sundays):12 hours each week. Two hours every morning before leaving for work.
2) What is your overall goal score?
750+
3) What 'brands' of CATs/mocks have you used over the course of ALL of your studies?
Veritas, GMATClub, GMATPrep.
4) When are you planning to retake the GMAT?
In three months time.
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School and what Schools are you planning to apply to?
  • I am planning to apply in R1 from August 2020.
  • One year programs in India (ISB, IIMA, IIMB, IIMC) & Europe (INSEAD, LBS).
  • Two year programs in US (Columbia, Booth, Wharton).

I have replied inline.

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

Will definitely take you up on your offer. Have sent you a PM.
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GMAT 1: 640 Q39 V39
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Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 17:04
I am going to use the streaks approach to brush up on the core concepts.
Have created a basic dashboard to track my progress.
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 18:58
1
Thanks for sharing. If you need any advice regarding your plan moving forward, feel free to reach out.
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

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Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
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5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2020, 19:13
Hi kaladin123,

I've sent you a PM with an analysis of your ESR and some additional notes.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2020, 03:28
2
Staying motivated and putting in the hard yards over a long period is admirable. Not everyone starts the GMAT with the same foundations. Well done lad
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2020, 08:12
1
Hi,Kaladin123,

Thanks for sharing your story especially your lessons, which can help other students if they are in the same boat as you are.
Best of luck for your target score.
Regards

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2020, 15:40
1
Congrats kaladin123 for achieving 640. It is sufficient score to apply to many MBA programs in Asia, Australia, and Canada and in top-30s business schools in USA.

Retesting is needed if you aim for top business schools in USA and Europe.

Good luck for your MBA application

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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2020, 01:58
1
Congrats kaladin123

You have tried to exceed your grasp, I really appreciate that. Kudos! Keep going
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2020, 02:26
Quick update:
I have signed up for the Target Test Prep quant course.
Also, I have practised sub 600 questions from 2 SC topics and 1 CR topic.
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2020, 05:10
Took the TTP diagnostic test.
My "initial level of preparedness" has been assessed as medium.
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2020, 08:59
1
kaladin123 wrote:
Took the TTP diagnostic test.
My "initial level of preparedness" has been assessed as medium.
Image
Image


Not a bad start! Have you started the TTP course?
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
TTP - Target Test Prep Logo
181 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2020, 15:08
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Not a bad start! Have you started the TTP course?

Yes. Am working through chapter 1 "Essential GMAT Quant Skills" now.
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Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2020, 02:50
I have gone through the content from chapter 1 and have taken 8 of the 9 associated chapter tests.
I am pleasantly surprised by how exhaustive the TTP Quant course is. The user interface is refreshing.
Also, I have started using Anki for reviews.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Feb 2020, 10:08
2
kaladin123 wrote:
I have gone through the content from chapter 1 and have taken 8 of the 9 associated chapter tests.
I am pleasantly surprised by how exhaustive the TTP Quant course is. The user interface is refreshing.
Also, I have started using Anki for reviews.

Posted from my mobile device


Awesome!! I’m here if you need me.
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
TTP - Target Test Prep Logo
181 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

GMAT Club Bot
Re: Kaladin's Kombat | My GMAT Journey   [#permalink] 10 Feb 2020, 10:08
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