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# My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44)

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My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 11:56
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I have been itching to write this post since I registered with GC. So finally sat for the GMAT on Monday. I will try to recount here my complete experience including pre-day rituals, as a guide for future GMAT takers.

I had wound up all my preparations on Saturday. For Sunday, I had written down outlines for Analysis of Argument and Analysis of Issue essays for revision. Around the middle of the day, I went out and checked the location of the examination center and the travel time. Got back cooked a nice meal (helps me relax, you should do whatever soothes you down). Selected what I would wear the next day, collected all the things necessary for the appointment:
1. Passport (id proof)
2. GMAT appointment letter
3. 2 Kit-Kat bars (breakfast and exam-break)
4. Water bottle
Happy with my preparations, I talked to my wife and friends and had a nice night's sleep.

On the D-day, woke up nice and early. Did a few stretching exercises, got ready, had a talk with wife and set out for the exam center. As luck would have had it, all the transport systems were running like clockwork and I reached at 8:25 for a 9:30 appointment. The center wasn't even open . Finally a guy walked in at 8:30 and told me that I had to wait outside as they had to clean the premises. Cue ... it started raining!!! Had to wait outside under an overhanging roof to save myself from the rain, for a good 15 minutes before I was allowed to enter.

Anyways shook myself for the test, went through all the pre-test checks - emptied the pockets, removed the wrist watch, removed the Kit-Kat and water bottle from the carry-bag before putting everything in the locker, did the digital signature thingy, had the palm veins scanned and was ushered into the examination center. Took a deep breath and settled myself for the exam. I don't know what are the other exam centers like but I felt really nice about this one - nice comfy chair, good height for the PC screen, nice keyboard, temperature controlled - overall the best exam conditions I could have asked for.

My exam started with the usual info screens. Clicked through them like a breeze, entered my choice of 5 schools, stretched my fingers and got ready for business. I was well prepared for the AWA section, having written something like 7 essays of both kinds, and to make matters easier both the topics were extremely easy to write about. There were gaping holes in the argument and a no-brainer of an issue. I think I completed my argument essay with 4 min left on the clock and Issue essay with 8 min on the clock.

Took a small break after the essays to gather my thoughts before the Quant section. Was really confident about this one and seemed to be doing quite well. But my bubble was burst by a question similar to cuberoot(125)/squareroot(25) = ?. I really panicked when I got such an easy question. Thankfully, I was solving the questions really fast and had a lot of time to spare. So calmed myself again and and attacked the questions with a renewed vigor and greater concentration. There were fairly simple problems on geometry. There were a lot of problems on number properties but everything else was fairly evenly distributed.

Took another break after Quant, had a Kit-Kat drank some water and felt ready for the Verbal part. Nothing spectacular, except the fact that despite the preparation I put in, I was still stuck with two answers choices after elimination, in nearly half the CR and SC questions, and both the answer choices seemed equally plausible. In my practice tests I had always had 10-15 minutes left after Verbal, so I consciously slowed myself down, spending more time on each question. By the last two questions, I just wanted to get the test over with, and clicked on the answers without much thought. I do not remember the idiom they tested in Verbal, but what I do know is that it was not there in the Manhattan SC book. That is why it was difficult for me to judge the right answer. One RC passage was on biology, one on history and one on geology. All were pretty simple.

I had a feeling I had screwed up in Quant and never really expected something great in Verbal. Did ponder for a few seconds on the screen to cancel the scores, but decided against it. I was never going to prepare again anyways :D. Mildly surprised at the final scores, as the test had dimmed my expectations a little.

Quant – 50 (93%)
Verbal – 44 (97%)
Overall – 760 (99%)

This is exactly the score and the break-up which I had in my GMAT Prep I retake. I would have to say that the GMAT Prep Tests are a pretty good judge of your final score. Anyways that's the easier part of my MBA journey done :D. Now a summer break in India and then back to the grind with the essays and recos. Would like to add a few more posts on my blog about GMAT prep strategies and Do's and Dont's, but more on that later. For now, a month away from the books and the constant checking of MBA courses' websites beckons.
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 12:18
That is a great score, congratulations!

Manager
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 12:45
That is a great score, congratulations!

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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 12:58
[quote="pyarapopat"]
Quant – 50 (93%)
Verbal – 44 (97%)
Overall – 760 (99%)
[\quote]

Many congrats to you

Just out of curiousity, are you English native speaker?
Manager
Status: On my way !!!
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 13:12
Top5Gun wrote:

Many congrats to you

Just out of curiousity, are you English native speaker?

Nope ... am an Indian working in France ... so don't have too many opportunities to improve my English ... I think I achieved my max potential in the GMAT
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 13:16
pyarapopat wrote:
Top5Gun wrote:

Many congrats to you

Just out of curiousity, are you English native speaker?

Nope ... am an Indian working in France ... so don't have too many opportunities to improve my English ... I think I achieved my max potential in the GMAT

That is an incredible accomplishment! Good luck on your apps.
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 13:48
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Top5Gun wrote:

That is an incredible accomplishment! Good luck on your apps.

Thanks again
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 14:53
Nice score...could you write about the preparation, if you don't mind?
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GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V44
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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09 Jun 2011, 15:44
To begin with a disclaimer : This post is based on my own experience of preparing for the GMAT. I understand that not everyone thinks the same way. So for you the methods could be quite different, but I hope you find something of interest in this post .

The Beginning
I am the kind of person who does not work well without deadlines. After thinking about preparing for GMAT for a month and doing nothing about it, the first thing I did was to take an exam date.
How much time do you require to prepare for the exam will vary from person to person. In my opinion all the material takes about a month and half to go over and then it is just about practice, practice and practice !!! All in all a solid two months should suffice. (my take on the prep time)
I didn’t even have enough patience to do that. So I started giving practice tests after two weeks of preparation. So for all those of you who have the tendency to procrastinate things indefinitely … Take a GMAT date and then start preparing.

Preparation
The first thing that people do when they think of giving the GMAT is to start collecting study material. The course content for GMAT is very simple, it is the kind of questions that makes it a tough nut to crack. So more than the reference material, you need the practice material.
For me the Math Review section in the GMAT Prep Tests software was enough to review the basic concepts in maths and start cracking the questions. You can go through the Manhattan Math review books, if you really need help. Verbal is a different story altogether (especially for non-native speakers like me). You need to e aware of the rules to start attempting the SC problems, need to develop a GMAT way of thinking to crack CR problems, and will have to start reading to get through the RCs. I reckon the Manhattan Review SC book does come in real handy to learn the SC rules. The CR and RC can be improved by practice.
So my list of study material would include :
2. GMAT Prep software (the MATH review section)
3. Manhattan Review Sentence Correction
optional. OG 2 Verbal (for further practice in verbal)
optional. Manhattan Review guides for Maths

Study Plan
1. Start approximately 60 days in advance.
2. You can get access to a whole lot of Free Mock Tests on the web :
Kaplan GMAT Test
Knewton GMAT Test
Manhattan GMAT Test
Princeton Review GMAT Test
Veritas Prep GMAT Test
Plus you can get access to all 6 MGMAT tests if you buy the Manhattan SC book. Plan to give mock tests on all weekends leading up to the test.

3. Develop interest in the test – If you are good with verbal, start with verbal. If you are good in Maths start with Quant. But develop an interest in the test. If preparing for the GMAT becomes a grind from the first day. You are not going to last long .
4. Start reviewing sections (no particular order, go by your interests). Once you have reviewed a section, solve corresponding problems in OG.
5. Download an OG Error log (These ones here are nice). Solve OG problems daily and keep track of your errors. Once you have finished the OG, use the error log to work on your weaker sections.
6. Plan to finish reviewing all sections within a time-frame of six weeks. If you let it stretch, the preparation can go on for ever. Therefore, make goals and deadlines and stick to them.
7. Subscribe to GMAT Club question of the Day here. It is a fun way to be regular during your preparations. I used to solve the two problems that come daily via email just after lunch at my office.

Problem Solving
I had no real trouble in this section. So not many tips to share. Just remember that concepts behind the problems are very simple. These are not abstract equations you have to derive. The solutions are always simple.
Never make any question an ego-issue. If you haven’t been able to solve a question for 4 minutes, don’t just keep going hammer and tongs at it. Guess ! even if you get it wrong the next question will be simpler. If you waste your time you are risking getting a lot of questions wrong at the of the test.

Data Sufficiency
I tried to form an equation as I read the problem statement. This would give me an idea of how many variables are there, and what information I need to solve the question. Sometimes it worked, sometimes didn’t. Just another approach .

Sentence Correction
Most difficult section to master for me. Read a lot and a lot and a lot. Basically, if you are lucky there will be more than one rules separating the correct answer from the wrong ones. Normally, one rule (the easier one) would get you down to two choices, and both would seem equally possible. There are rules to separate them of course, but if you don’t know them just hope that this is your lucky day .

Critical Reasoning
Practice, Practice, Practice !!! If you solve enough problems, you would start realizing the GMAT way of thinking and CR would become a piece of cake. There is no substitute for practice here. No matter how plausible your answer seems to you, if GMAT says it is wrong, it is wrong.

I love reading, and this was perhaps the easiest section for me. You have to get used to reading, and the mock tests will help you a lot in this regard. The reading stamina slowly build up. So do not panic if you eyes become bleary and brain freezes on those long RCs. Steadily your mind will adjust, just keep at it.

Mock Test Phase
When you feel you have covered enough subjects to be confident in your ability to hold your own in the GMAT, give the GMAT Prep 1 test. Try and replicate exam conditions, and sitting for the exam for the full 75 minutes of both sections. Whatever your score is, don’t get disheartened. This test was just a reality check. We now know, the things you are good at and not so good at. Try to improve your score by practicing questions from your weakest sections.
The next time you give a Mock test, write the two Analysis essays as well. The actual GMAT is 4 hour and not 3 hour. The first hour you spend writing the essays will drain you. In the majority of the cases, when people feel that they were performing well in the mocks but couldn’t replicate the scores in GMAT, the problem is that their mind was only trained to be sharp for 3 hours straight. That is when you are at the start of your Verbal section in your actual GMAT. And then the score just tapers off. Make it a habit to write the Analysis essays in all the mocks.
Plan to give the GMAT Prep 2 a couple of days before the GMAT (or as close as you feel comfortable). This should be your indicator for the performance in actual GMAT. If the score is still bad, do not panic. Analyze your GMAT Prep 2 performance. Identify the questions you got wrong, identify the patterns. Did you get consecutive questions wrong at the end of section ? Then make sure your concentration is higher in the actual GMAT. Did you perform weakly in CR ? Spend extra time in GMAT on questions from this section. Make such strategies for the exam day for yourself.

D-Day
Just remember pace yourself in the GMAT. You would be charged up when you reach the exam center. Normally your brain would be in peak performance mode. Don’t waste this. Remember you have to write those two 30 minutes essays. Stay calm when you enter the center, and try to psyche yourself up for the test as you go along. You should hit the peak performance level at the start of Quant, not the essays.

Hope I am able to help at least a little. Happy GMATting .
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Last edited by pyarapopat on 10 Jun 2011, 05:24, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2011, 01:50
wow well done. You scored in 99th percentile. A dream score for anyone!

you told practice is best strategy for CR, but apart from OG there is hardly any practice material available. Can you tell me from where can we practise cr questions ? Also are the rc passages on real gmat of comparable size to what we see in OG ?
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2011, 02:12
Aj85 wrote:
wow well done. You scored in 99th percentile. A dream score for anyone!

you told practice is best strategy for CR, but apart from OG there is hardly any practice material available. Can you tell me from where can we practise cr questions ? Also are the rc passages on real gmat of comparable size to what we see in OG ?

Thanks ... there are already more than a 100 CR questions in OG ... if you still don't feel confident you can have another 100+ from the OG Verbal Review ... Plus then you will be doing (hopefully ) a lot of practice tests ... assume 10 CR questions at least for 10 practice tests ... that is another 100 CR questions ... believe me that's a lot.

Keep in mind CR questions are not about finding the best solution ... just the best in the given options ... so with decent amount of practice you will perfect the method of elimination ... try using it from day 1, for problems whose answers are not apparent.
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2011, 05:34
awesome score Congratulations
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10 Jun 2011, 05:40
toughmat wrote:
awesome score Congratulations

Thanks toughmat
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2011, 01:07
hmmm... thats a great score. congrats.
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13 Jun 2011, 01:28
garimavyas wrote:
hmmm... thats a great score. congrats.

Thanks Garima
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Manager
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2011, 01:31
received the official score card from GMAT today … happy to have scored a 6.0 in the AWA section ... I think this covers all bases on the GMAT side of things and I have above 90 percentile in Quant, Verbal and AWA ... Now on to school selection.
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2011, 17:42
So how do you get a Q50 in Math? Are you one of those people who don't even need to study?
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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26 Jun 2011, 19:19
Congratulations. And, gablaze, this person obviously prepared carefully and is a masterful test taker. One must infer that the score is a product of strong preparation, a very bright person and an ability to figure out how the test is written. I think this is some of the best advice I have seen to climb from low 700's to 760 or so. Clearly, the guesses were informed by test familiarity. Especially note the personal observation that "No matter how plausible your answer seems to you, if GMAT says it is wrong, it is wrong." Also, the observation that 760 may have been full potential is astute. There might be a few people who can nail a 760 with limited work... based on innate ability.... but unless you already know you are that person... this more strategic way of squeezing out 20-40 extra points looks very effective!

Congratulations on your strategy development. I think that bodes even better for your future than your score!
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2011, 01:56
gablaze23 wrote:
So how do you get a Q50 in Math? Are you one of those people who don't even need to study?

Hi gablaze,

Quant infact has always been a weak spot for me ... I think I possess sound logic but I tend to make silly mistakes (not reading complete question, or inferring more than what is given in the problem) ... this made DS even more difficult for me ... to add to my grievances I am pretty slow at Maths problems.

I started out by reviewing each and every section on Quant in the GMAT Prep tests (there is a separate section for Quant review) ... once I was done with the concepts I decided I will not refer to any more books ... there is no end to the amount of theory you can read but at some point you have to draw a line ... so I decided that any new concept for me would come from incorrect questions ... next I proceeded to solve all questions in the OG12, making a note of all questions I got wrong and why ... as expected most were silly mistakes ... so I kept making notes of mistakes to avoid on the test day ... when I started with practice tests I realized I always was out of time in the Quant section ... and hence my advice "dont make any question an ego issue" ... I knew from the practice tests which were my strong and weak sections ... I decided I will not spend more than 4 minutes on the difficult problems and make it up for them in the easier problems ... plus I realized getting a question wrong was not a bad thing as finally the test would zero in on my ability ... armed with all this analysis I was pretty confident on the test day, which was reflected in my test score ... I would suggest to all those who are wary of the Quant section as I was that the only solution is Practice, Practice, Practice.
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44) [#permalink]

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28 Jun 2011, 01:58
OldMinolta wrote:
Congratulations. And, gablaze, this person obviously prepared carefully and is a masterful test taker. One must infer that the score is a product of strong preparation, a very bright person and an ability to figure out how the test is written. I think this is some of the best advice I have seen to climb from low 700's to 760 or so. Clearly, the guesses were informed by test familiarity. Especially note the personal observation that "No matter how plausible your answer seems to you, if GMAT says it is wrong, it is wrong." Also, the observation that 760 may have been full potential is astute. There might be a few people who can nail a 760 with limited work... based on innate ability.... but unless you already know you are that person... this more strategic way of squeezing out 20-40 extra points looks very effective!

Congratulations on your strategy development. I think that bodes even better for your future than your score!

Thanks oldminolta for your kind words.
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Re: My D-day experience - 760 (Q50, V44)   [#permalink] 28 Jun 2011, 01:58

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