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My debrief. 640 to 590 to 720.

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Intern
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Joined: 09 Nov 2015
Posts: 27
GMAT 1: 640 Q49 V29
GMAT 2: 720 Q50 V38
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My debrief. 640 to 590 to 720.  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Mar 2017, 09:51
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A brief Introduction.

I was a kind of person who had created lots of limits for himself. It is always good to know our weakness, but it is not very good to impose limitations on ourselves. All my school and college life I thought that I am not a Gifted person who can score 90 percentile or higher in entrance tests. So I always dodged writing such tests. Eventually in late 2013 I decided to pursue MBA, but due to my CA Finals(equivalent to CPA) studies, I could start the GMAT preparations only in 2015. I finished Chartered Accountancy in January 2015.
This is my story of the GMAT 720 score.
Do not limit yourself from seeing and pursuing your dreams.
Do not tell yourself that It Can’t Be Done.

First Attempt | 640 Q49 V29

I started preparing for the GMAT in February 2015. I bought all the materials that I could access. I enrolled for the physical classes in my city, Ahmedabad. The batch started in March, and I realised very soon that I was not able to keep track of my preparations. Some days I was performing very well, whereas some days I was not.

After getting frustrated, I left the batch midway. With the pressure of new sole proprietorship and studies of Law, I took a break from GMAT preparations for couple of months. Later I enrolled for another different physical classes in June. Even in new place, I faced the same problems as I faced earlier. I was not able to keep a good track of my studies.

After two such experiences, I decided to study on my own. I saw that Round 1 of universities was already about to close. So I booked the date of GMAT in January 2016. So a whole year passed since I cleared my CA Finals. I scored 640 on the test day. It was the highest score of mine till that day. I was happy with my score. But that emotion lasted only for couple of hours. I realised that I need to score more than 640 in order to strengthen my application.

Second Attempt | 590 Q47 V27 | Cancelled
Third Attempt | 720 Q50 V38


I was searching on a website whether anyone was selling used OG Verbal 2016. I found a seller. He said he would be happy to sell me his copy, but recommended that I join e-gmat. He had scored two times 640 and after joining Verbal Live Course, he scored 730.
I was very happy to know about his experience and bought the VLP in end of February 2016.

Again I was so much held in my work that I neither could attend regular Live sessions, nor could watch the recordings. The loop of work was so engulfing that I took a break of a month and later restarted my preparations.

Eventually I reached the end of my subscription date of VLP. So I wrote the e-gmat for an extension. They were happy to offer me one, but asked for the registration of exam date. With so many ups and downs of my preparations, I was afraid to book the test date.

I realised in August 2016 that I need help not only in verbal section, but also in quant section. I was good at certain type of questions of quant sections, and if the test were to ask me such questions, I can score Q49. So, I bought another fresh package of full GMAT course from the e-gmat in September 2016.

When I was watching the concept videos that time, I realised that I had missed earlier so many minute details. I took a break from my work for a month and devoted full time on my studies. It was as if I was preparing for the GMAT for the first time.

I strictly followed the study pattern as suggested by the e-gmat. I would watch the concept files in the mornings. During noon, I would go through my notes. In the evenings I would watch those parts of the concept files that I found harder to grasp. Whenever in doubt, I posted my questions in the Forum. The team of e-gmat would respond within 10-15 hours. So in every week, I finished one topic that was to be discussed in Live sessions in the weekend.

During weekdays, I used to solve the Application and Concept files of the course. In the process, I prepared two full size notebooks for verbal.

Concept Videos: These are the videos in which students are taught the theoretical concepts.

Live Sessions: The sessions conducted live during weekends by the faculties of the e-gmat. Recordings are also available.

The Live sessions of the e-gmat are very important part of my success. I realised during the sessions, that even if I am good at concepts, I cannot score well on the GMAT if my approach towards questions is not proper.

Verbal Preparation

From the Live sessions I learnt the way to solve a question. Such approach is very important in verbal section.
“Understand the meaning” is the phrase that people at e-gmat use the most. I was missing this particular part during earlier preparations. We all subconsciously make out a meaning while reading any sentence, but to do that actively is a very different thing. And to continue that during 75 minutes for 41 questions is another level altogether.
With every different question type - SC,CR, and RC - one needs different kind of skill set. I learnt those skills in concept files, and I learnt the application of those skills in Live sessions.

The way course is designed for verbal section in e-gmat is very apt. The course touches every aspect of the verbal sections. The explanation in concept files is very lucrative.

Why an answer choice is correct or incorrect?

The most important thing I feel in the GMAT preparation is to know why a particular answer choice is correct and why a particular answer choice is incorrect. At e-gmat, I learnt this very crucial part of the preparations.
During earlier preparations I many times overlooked this particular aspect. It was difficult to go through the reasons for rejecting all wrong answer choices when I correctly selected the answer, specially when I felt that (A) choice is correct answer! The approach of ‘Reason’ was very difficult for me to adopt during initial days. But later it became a very important part of my preparation.
Initially I used to take lot of time for solving one question. In verbal I would often spend 5-7 minutes. The intension was to explore the basis for rejecting or accepting a particular answer choice.

Sentence Correction

SC questions are easier to score if meaning is properly understood. I used to solve only Official and e-gmat questions. Later to test my comfort level with unknown questions, and for extra practice, I solved some questions from gmatclub.com.

Critical Reasoning

I ordered Enhanced Score Reported when I gave first attempt and I realised that I had faired not so well in CR. It is very important to learn the bifurcation of question types. Every different question type requires different skills. I focused a lot on the various skills as taught in concept videos of the e-gmat verbal course. It really helped in improving my accuracy.

Reading Comprehension

It is very important to like and embrace RC passages. Official RCs are very specifically designed and test very specific kinds of questions. I focused a lot on the RC section. In my first attempt I had scored only 22 percentile in RCs. In 3rd attempt, I scored 84 percentile, my highest among all 3 question types of verbal section. The 7 strategies as discussed in e-gmat were helpful for this improvement.
I used to earlier read RCs as if I were reading a newspaper. That approach I found was incorrect. Changing the approach, taking notes while reading, and focusing in sentence construction while reading passages, are some of the many things that improved my accuracy in RC.
Scholaranium

I feel I didn’t use the Scholaranium of the e-gmat for verbal setion as good as one should use. I made hundreds of Custom Quizzes and not so many Ability Quizzes. I recommend others that they focus more on concept and application files and on official questions, and later solve most of Scholaranium questions in e-gmat in the form of Ability Quizzes and not merely by custom quizzes.

Quant Preparation

Personally I feel OG material for quant is not enough. Some of the OG questions are very good and very tough, but more practice is very much necessary. I solved many materials, but the quant Scholaranium of e-gmat has some very good questions. I was not good at pace at Scholaranium Questions as I found most Hard and Very Hard questions tough. They are very good questions and helped me in focusing more in understanding the questions.

Quant is more of Verbal

I feel that majority of quant questions require good understanding of identifying what the question is asking. At times the question construction is so very well drafted, that if one is good with verbal section, he or she will find such questions as ‘word questions’ very easy. So, in quant section, the success would depend on how well one is with the verbal section.

The test Day

The only difference between my 2nd and 3rd attempt was my approach on the test day.

My second attempt was on 12th January 2017. I had booked 2 PM slot. I thought that I would take good rest and then go for the test. So, I slept till 11 AM. This laziness is what hurt me on that day. During test I realised I was not performing well. This was very well reflected in 590 score. My 6 Practice tests on GMATPrep had following scores: 680, 690, 700, 700, 710, and 720. But that lazy approach proved my nemesis and despite of good practice, I did not fair well on the test day.

My third attempt was on 9th March 2017. I had booked 10 AM slot. I woke up at reasonable time and practiced OG 2017 new questions of verbal section. This warmed me up. I was feeling confident because of that. I gave 4 GMATPrep tests in previous week- 680, 720, 720 and 720.

So, the test day makes a huge difference on your result. Do not be overexcited. It is difficult to not be! But that is what we got to learn. Clam down your nerves and treat the test day as a mock test- as rightly said by Rajat, co-founder of the e-gmat.

Exam day is not merely the judgement day. The score will reflect everything of your character. I feel the mental gruelling exam such as the GMAT will test your soft skills, the skills that you carry with yourself in day to day life.

Following things will play a huge role on the test day:
How is your approach towards day to day work scenario,
How well you can handle pressure,
Whether you can let go couple of questions,
How philosophically sound you are,
How well you control your nerves,
How patient you are, etc.

Solve some questions before leaving for the test. It is important to warm up.
Carry some snacks with you. I took two bananas. Even a chocolate can be a good option. Eating little bit in the break will help to keep you calm and gain some energy.

Why Online Classes work?

In physical classes, I was not able to track my study pattern. As the GMAT has so many topics to cover, at the end of the week, I was not able to compile how I faired during the week.
But at e-gmat, I not only could watch the concept vidoes n number of times, but also could keep track of how much I scored in quizzes. This log keeping helps a lot in tracking your limitations and hitting on right areas.

Conclusion

It is possible to score very well in the GMAT provided one focuses on question types and develops relevant skills to solve those questions. Identify the weak areas and constantly work in improving.
All the best for your GMAT!
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Re: My debrief. 640 to 590 to 720.  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2017, 04:37
You wrote " Whether you can let go couple of questions, " is important. Did you let go more than one question in a row? I heard it hurts score that's why I'm asking. So it is still possible to score high even if you let go questions in a row?

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Re: My debrief. 640 to 590 to 720.   [#permalink] 12 Jul 2017, 04:37
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