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Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!

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Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 12:14
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Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!



First and foremost, I would like to thank this beautiful community. I have had a great time here. I met so many amazing people who are willing to help others.

I decided to appear for the GMAT in Feb 2017. There were 2 biggest motivations/distractions behind my decision: I wanted to prove my father wrong, that I could achieve something in life without his support and I had to leave/forget my lover because I am not affluent enough.

I haven't really had any issues with mathematics in my life; I am a logically sound person. The biggest hurdle in my life has always been "English" and I knew right of the beat that I need to work hard on my verbal.

I joined GMAT Club on 29 March 2017. I had no clue from where to start my study. I came to know that OG is the bible and I should start with it. I found the book very interactive and started with the evaluation test present at the beginning of the book. As I already knew that I am weak in English, the score wasn't very delighting. I thought that since it is just the start of my journey, I would do well in the long run. Since I have very inflexible working hours - almost 10 to 12 hours a day - I started to dedicate around 1 hour to quant and 2 hours to verbal. I started studying MGMAT SC book and solved easy level questions on the club. I continued this for around 1 month and gave the free official CAT. To my utter surprise I scored a lowly V21. I had no clue that I lacked this much in RC and SC.

I was literally torn from inside, thinking how will I improve my score. That's when I met stonecold and jkolachi in the chatroom. These guyz are so helpful and so dedicated person that I can't express in words. They helped me lot, LOT, during my preparation. Without stonecold 's help I can't even think that I could have cracked GMAT, especially quant - as you all might know. He and jkolachi are gem of a person.

I had a word with jkolachi and re-started my verbal practice. I used to ask him so many doubts in the chatroom that anyone would have become irritated. I argued on every point he said, but that was just to clarify my doubts and I think he understood my intentions. Still these regular sessions in the chatroom weren't proving to be fruitful and I was really depressed because I wasn't making much progress.

At this point of time I pinged souvik101990 and was grateful enough to receive his reply - because all know that he one of the busiest members in the club. He was grateful enough to give me a few tips based on my level at that time. He is such a nice person who will patiently answer your queries. Post that I reread the MGMAT SC book and read Aristotle SC book for the first time. I started reading a novel: The Hound of Baskerville. I had always wanted to read this novel :-D. I continued this for another month, but alongside I kept on solving CR on the forum to develop GMAT like logic but this time I didn't touch quant. Later, I took my first free MGMAT CAT and scored a horrible Q34 but surprisingly I scored a V25, a four-point improvement.

Sadly, I had to take a break for some time because of some family issues.

I restarted my prep in around September 2017. This time I started spending more time analyzing my mistakes. I again tried to develop GMAT like ears. At this point of time I did two things: bought a kindle and started reading Scientific American journal and arranged Powerscore CR Bible to strengthen my logical reasoning.

I used a very peculiar strategy to improve my understanding of RCs. I read it on some forum, though I don’t remember exactly where. I started reading parts of the journal randomly from middle. But the most important thing in this strategy was that I made sure NOT to read the topic's name. I used to read 1 para and tried to summarize it. Then I moved on to the next para and tried to find a logical connection between the two and summarize the second para. Post that I read the third para and tried to guess the main point of all the three paras. Post this process I checked whether my main point came any close to the topic's name. This strategy helped me greatly in improving my approach towards RCs. This strategy is especially helpful because in GMAT one doesn't see a RC from the beginning of the source from where it has been taken, rather RC is an extract from somewhere in the middle of a journal.

I completed CR Bible and took MGMAT CAT again. This time I scored V31 and quant was somewhere in 40s. I hadn't touched quant for quiet sometime and this result was satisfactory. But I knew that with this score I wouldn't be able to apply to top schools. I continued my practice with the same strategy and gave 2 more MGMAT CATs, but score was stagnant at V34 Q42 something.

I again became sort of sad because I wasn't making any progress. So, I reached out to souvik101990 again and anairamitch1804. I understood from their points that I was making a very basic mistake in my practice. I wasn't reviewing properly. My RCs and SCs had improved but my CRs weren't up to the mark. I started to concentrate on all the CRs and SCs - wrong or right - and spent about 10 minutes analyzing each question. In each day I wasn't solving more than 10 CR and SC each but this time I was focusing on quality. Also, as per anairamitch1804 's advice I concentrated majorly on 600-700 level CR questions -- by this time I was fairly comfortable with SCs.

I stopped taking CATs and studying quant and concentrated only on practice and review of CR, RC and SC. I solved 2 RCs daily without fail and did as many CR and SC I could. I started going through "Thursdays With Ron" SC and CR videos. This source is a true gem and anyone looking to improve their weak parts should go through these videos. Trust me you will gain a lot. After about 2 months, when I felt that I was comfortable with verbal I took free Kaplan exam and scored a V35.

At this point of time I was like "Oh God", what else can I do? I was literally out of options. And then I stumbled across the great savior GMATNinja and the very helpful abhimahna. These people are the backbone of GMAT club. They are truly phenomenal. GMATNinja ‘s video sessions helped me a lot. I took abhimahna 's advice and started to answer other people's queries before any expert. Sometimes I even challenged GMATNinja. Sorry sire, if I in the process I might have ended up irritating you :lol:.
My motive was not to act as an expert but to try and understand the problem that others were facing. In doing so I learnt more patterns that GMAT tests and new strategies that I could use. Of course, I also read the expert's answer when one was posted. I also started solving all the QOTDs and made sure that I don't miss any question at any cost. In around January mid I took my fifth MGMAT CAT and scored a V36 Q42.

So now I was really stuck with verbal and my quant wasn't moving either. I again became sad. I approached stonecold and my other life saviour pushpitkc. I urged stonecold to help me with my quant and he was more than generous to help me with my studies. As directed by him I started solving Stonecold's Quant Challange. I finished the first set in about 2 days. I reached out to him and we started with our famous "quant sessions" in chatroom again. I solved Bunuel's Inequality set and most of the questions from his signature. pushpitkc was my moral support. I would call him at mid-night and eat his brain and he is such a generous and warm person that he never complained. My last and only hope was LSAT questions because I needed something to push me. At this point of time I started solving LSAT questions grouped by Broall. By this time I had finished all my official questions so I decided to buy GMAC Official Question Pack 1. I solved LSAT questions alongside QP1.

Seeing that I was stuck with my score, stonecold suggested me to book a date and give the exam once so that even if I don't fare well I can always give a second try. This time I trusted him and in first week of Feb I booked the exam for 26 March 2018. I would like to break my debrief week wise from here on.

6 Weeks before exam:
I studied diligently LSAT CR and RC questions. I would make a word file consisting of around 45 to 50 questions and tried to solve them all in 75 minutes. This was my starting of time attack alongside regular practice. I did quant and verbal on alternate days. I gave my first official free mock after almost 1 year again and scored a 710 BUT I had a Q50 and a lowly V35 something. I was feeling DOOMED. I called @pushitkc the very next day and for next 2 hours he was just explaining me to remain calm during the exam.

5 weeks before exam:
I continued my time attack practice alongwith stonecold 's quant sessions and self-practice. I enrolled to GMAT Club CATs. This is the best time to use GMAT Club CATs. I suppose they are really close to the real questions that one sees on the exam. Second, these help you in setting up a rhythm for solving quant questions. Again, on the following weekend I gave my second free official mock and I got a 660. I was really damned. I reviewed all the questions and I found that I committed so many silly mistakes, not only in quant but also in verbal. Of course the very next day I was on call with pushpitkc again :lol:. I don't know how but he just managed to somehow calm me down.

4 weeks before exam:
I think I was thinking too much about GMAT and unnecessarily stressing myself out. I took 2 days off and forgot whether there is anything called GMAT. This week I only on one day I did my usual verbal time attack. On the other verbal day I did only LSAT questions. This time on the weekend I gave my remaining MGMAT mock and score a whooping V42 and Q47. I knew that finally I am all set for the big day. I didn't want to get overexcited so I just tried different ways to calm myself down.

3 weeks before exam:
Again, I took 1 day off in order to calm myself down and continued with my usual time attack in verbal and quant. This time I bought Official Exam Pack 1. I gave my 3rd official CAT and scored a 710. This time my verbal was V37. I thought that maybe my last try was a fluke and again went into depression because I wasn't making any progress. I was committing many silly mistakes. By silly mistakes I mean I was getting stuck between two choices and ultimately chose the wrong choice. I knew that the correct answer must be the correct choice but always convinced myself that, somehow, the other choice (wrong one) is the correct choice. I really got frustrated now because I was really putting in all the efforts and somehow I was justifying myself. This time I didn't call pushpitkc for a change :lol: -- did you think I was always baby sitted? :P (sorry to shatter your expectations)

2 weeks before the exam:
On the very first day of this week I did a detailed analysis of my exam. I took a day off from work and wrote each and every point that I missed in my notebook. I analysed the pattern of wrong questions from my past 4 exams. I came to know that I wasn't doing good in bold face, inference and evaluate type questions. In SC I was lacking in construction type questions. Thankfully I was going strong in RC. My 2 RC each day practice - strongly suggested by abhimahna - was paying off. And since I was solving atleast 1 LSAT RC alongside hard Veritas/MGMAT RCs I was pretty sure that I should be fine with RCs. On the following weekend I gave my final 4th official mock. This time I really stayed calm and just focused on the questions. I got a 770 - V47 Q49. I was like I am on cloud 9. Although I had seen a few questions earlier, I was happy that I didn't ruin hard questions that I was solving for the first time.

Final week before the exam:
This last week I didn't do any timed attack since I wanted to keep myself in top mental condition. I just solved all the QP1 CR and SC again and continued solving LSAT CR questions. 2 days before the exam I didn't even feel like studying but I forced myself to study this time so that I don't become relaxed before the exam.

26 March 2018 - Exam Day:
I had a good sound sleep. I woke up fresh and revised probability concepts. I went through my error log and all the 50 main points that I had written pertaining to SC. I went through the summary that I had prepared while studying CR Bible of all the different types of CR. I had a call with pushpitkc and read a few more AWAs before leaving for the exam. Things took shape when my cab driver closed his eyes while driving and I was like WTF. I asked him to stop the car and asked whether he was sleepy? He said yes; he was damn sleepy. I was in the middle on a flyover with no internet access. Finally, I took the charge of driving, allowing him to sleep while I drove myself to my exam centre. One good thing about this event was that I didn't get time to be nervous. I reached exam centre 1 hour before the scheduled time. I opened GMAT Club and solved a few CRs to warm up myself.

My exam started at about 5:15 PM. There were only 3 people in the centre, appearing for the GMAT. I chose to start with Verbal. During each break I ate chocolate and had some water. When I finished the exam I closed my eyes and clicked next to see 730 (V41 Q49 IR8) flashing on the screen. Since I was the only one sitting in the centre I literally screamed in excitement. I still can't believe I improved this much and achieved a decent score.

I had sacrificed so many things for this day: uninstalled whatsapp and facebook for an year, slept daily at around 4:00 AM, put on weight and what not.

I just followed one mantra: treat GMAT well and it will treat you well !! --Try to make GMAT as much part of your life as possible. Try to learn from anything in your daily life. I personally think that I improved in SC because of the emails I sent in office daily. I am really serious about this. I used to correct my friend's email at the workplace. I even made one of my colleague so cautious that before sending his emails he would always ask me to check his emails for any grammatical errors.

Always keep in mind to review the questions; quality is better than quantity. Make a strategy that suits you the best. There is no one way to crack GMAT; carve your own path. Just remember that GMAT is more of a mental exam; it will beat you before you will even come to know.

Major takeaway is that no matter what don't lose hope. Just try to stay focused; even if you aren't getting desired results just hang on. Hard work will always be paid off!!

P.S. Sorry for any grammatical mistakes; please ignore them because it's 01:34 AM right now in my time zone. Feel free to drop me a PM whenever you are stuck; I will be more than happy to help.

Thank you GMAT Club for supporting people and giving people beautiful opportunity to study from any part of the world.
All the best to all the aspirants !!

Special thanks to hazelnut, subsauce, nightblade354, srishti201996 and sarbjeetsingh777 for all the great practice sessions we had in the chatroom.
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 12:28
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Congrats gmatexam439 on this remarkable improvement!
I truly think you deserve this success and have seen first-hand
what sacrifices you have made to achieve this dream of yours.

Wish you all the best for the applications and hope you get into your first choice school.
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 13:47
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Such a well articulated post.

Thanks a ton for mentioning all the handy resources, I have bookmarked them all ;)

Congratulations on that stellar score :thumbup:
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Thanks :-)

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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 14:52
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Hey man, congratulations on your accomplishment! I am truly happy for you, and hope you get into the school that has motivated you to this point.
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 17:05
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Congratulations, gmatexam439! These are the moments that make all of this worth it for us at GMAT Club. All of those hours I spend talking into a camera, without hearing another voice talking back? It's awesome to hear that it helps a real person move the needle on the test, if only a little bit.

gmatexam439 wrote:
I took abhimahna 's advice and started to answer other people's queries before any expert. Sometimes I even challenged GMATNinja. Sorry sire, if I in the process I might have ended up irritating you :lol:.

Lol! It was never irritating for even a moment, my friend! I LOVE that you and abhimahna have taken on the challenge of jumping in on the expert requests, and the conversations and interactions -- and mistakes, my own included! -- are the best thing about GMAT Club.

Seriously, it's been a tremendous pleasure getting to know you a little bit over the past year or so, and I'm so thrilled that it all worked out on the exam. And even cooler to see how much you've connected with some of my other favorite people the forum. Makes me happy to see good people supporting good people.

Congrats again, and please let me know what happens with your applications!
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 22:58
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Congratulations gmatexam439 !

Great to see that you have achieved your target and enjoyed this fruitful journey. :)

All the best for your applications and Welcome to Another tiring but beautiful part of Pre MBA journey. :P

Work a little more hard to reach your dream school next year!
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 23:19
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Congratulations gmatexam439!!

Even though I may not have been a major part in your long preparation here at the GC, the last few weeks of Late night "Quant sessions" on the main chat :-D were both enjoyable and challenging because of your presence. I am glad you got a great score in the end :-)

All the best for the app process!

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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2018, 23:59
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Congratulations gmatexam439!

An inspiring debrief! You proved that hard work pays off.

Really a great and fruitful journey!!

Wish you good luck for your future. :)
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 06:38
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Congrats and best wishes :)
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 07:40
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pushpitkc : I won't be the only one ;) :angel:

nightblade354 : I am waiting to hear from you bro .... just keep in the hard work .... it will certainly pay off !! As I always tell you: PM me any time :-D

abhimahna : Thank you sire .... your suggestions worked every time for me ... I just can't thank you enough :-D .....

Gladiator59 : Don't worry bro ... I am just a PM away ... let me know anytime if you need any help .... i will share my whatsapp number as well if need at any point of time during your prep ..... just stay positive !!

Tridhipal : Thank you sire .... now it's your turn \m/
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Long And A Fruitful Journey - V21 to V41; If I can, So Can You!!
Preparing for RC my way
RC Summary Activity - New Project to imporve RC Skills
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My study resources:
1. Useful Formulae, Concepts and Tricks-Quant | 2. e-GMAT's ALL SC Compilation | 3. LSAT RC compilation | 4. Actual LSAT CR collection by Broal | 5. QOTD RC (Carcass) | 6. Challange OG RC | 7. GMAT Prep Challenge RC

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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 07:48
GMATNinja wrote:
Congratulations, gmatexam439! These are the moments that make all of this worth it for us at GMAT Club. All of those hours I spend talking into a camera, without hearing another voice talking back? It's awesome to hear that it helps a real person move the needle on the test, if only a little bit.

gmatexam439 wrote:
I took abhimahna 's advice and started to answer other people's queries before any expert. Sometimes I even challenged GMATNinja. Sorry sire, if I in the process I might have ended up irritating you :lol:.

Lol! It was never irritating for even a moment, my friend! I LOVE that you and abhimahna have taken on the challenge of jumping in on the expert requests, and the conversations and interactions -- and mistakes, my own included! -- are the best thing about GMAT Club.

Seriously, it's been a tremendous pleasure getting to know you a little bit over the past year or so, and I'm so thrilled that it all worked out on the exam. And even cooler to see how much you've connected with some of my other favorite people the forum. Makes me happy to see good people supporting good people.

Congrats again, and please let me know what happens with your applications!


GMATNinja: Thank you so much sensie !! I really learnt a lot from the people on this forum. This is a very beautiful community and I will be always online here to help others - that's the minimum I can do !!
And I bet, your sessions had been so useful for me, especially those taken in the last year. I feel lucky to have my issues resolved by such experts as you; this community is gem.
What you are doing by taking online sessions is helping many aspirants, especially non natives.

I had so much fun during interactions on a few posts. Likewise, i am honoured to meet you :)

Quote:
Congrats again, and please let me know what happens with your applications!

You bet I will !!

Thanks once again sire and I hope the junior ninja grows up to love bhindi masala even more than you :-D
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Long And A Fruitful Journey - V21 to V41; If I can, So Can You!!
Preparing for RC my way
RC Summary Activity - New Project to imporve RC Skills
Bloomberg's US Bschool Ranking

My study resources:
1. Useful Formulae, Concepts and Tricks-Quant | 2. e-GMAT's ALL SC Compilation | 3. LSAT RC compilation | 4. Actual LSAT CR collection by Broal | 5. QOTD RC (Carcass) | 6. Challange OG RC | 7. GMAT Prep Challenge RC

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Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 07:54
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gmatexam439

Truly inspirational and well written debrief.
Wishing you all the best for your apps.

Where's the party this weekend to celebrate?
My good wishes to you coming all the way. :thumbup:
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 08:07
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adkikani wrote:
gmatexam439

Truly inspirational and well written debrief.
Wishing you all the best for your apps.

Where's the party this weekend to celebrate?
My good wishes to you coming all the way. :thumbup:


It's your time to turn the tables around broo.....and thank you so much :-D

Come by Mumbai anytime ... we will celebrate !! \m/
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Long And A Fruitful Journey - V21 to V41; If I can, So Can You!!
Preparing for RC my way
RC Summary Activity - New Project to imporve RC Skills
Bloomberg's US Bschool Ranking

My study resources:
1. Useful Formulae, Concepts and Tricks-Quant | 2. e-GMAT's ALL SC Compilation | 3. LSAT RC compilation | 4. Actual LSAT CR collection by Broal | 5. QOTD RC (Carcass) | 6. Challange OG RC | 7. GMAT Prep Challenge RC

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Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 09:17
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Hooya!
Getting punched right in the mouth <-> Standing up <-> Facing it <->Annihilating it.
This is my kinda story!

I am both happy and proud of you pal. I know
jkolachi will be too.

P.S->Great to see you helping others in the chatroom…

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Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 09:24
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Congratulations gmatexam439!

Fantastic job and thanks so much for giving a credit to all the folks who helped along the way - really cool to see that! Congratulations on getting it done and happy 1-year anniversary!
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 10:25
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 10:28
bb wrote:
Congratulations gmatexam439!

Fantastic job and thanks so much for giving a credit to all the folks who helped along the way - really cool to see that! Congratulations on getting it done and happy 1-year anniversary!


bb: Thank you so much .. and while writing my debrief i realised that I did it, almost, on my anniversary :-D

This community has helped me a lot; I am forever indebted to it :)

P.S. I just wrote the truth .... each person mentioned in my post is out of the world ..... I can just say: I am lucky :)
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Mar 2018, 18:55
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Congrats gmatexam439...

It's like revenge of fallen ;) And Good comeback...

Everybody has their own story :-)
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2018, 08:34
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Somehow I am not able to see my post but I am getting notifications for this post.

Writing it again:

gmatexam439, All the best for your application. Congratulations for a great score. Very well deserved!
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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !!  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Mar 2018, 09:33
warriorguy : Thank you bro. I had almost lost hope in the middle .. I am glad that I hung onto it :-D

BTW i think your reply is one liner, so maybe the site automatically deleted the post. I also usually get those warnings
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My study resources:
1. Useful Formulae, Concepts and Tricks-Quant | 2. e-GMAT's ALL SC Compilation | 3. LSAT RC compilation | 4. Actual LSAT CR collection by Broal | 5. QOTD RC (Carcass) | 6. Challange OG RC | 7. GMAT Prep Challenge RC

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Re: Long and a fruitful journey: V21 to V41; If I can, so can you !! &nbs [#permalink] 29 Mar 2018, 09:33

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