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My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR

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My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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A Brief about me:

I’m not a typical test-taker. I am a private GMAT tutor and have earlier worked with e-GMAT. I took GMAT once in Feb 2013 i.e. around four years back and scored 770 (Q50 V44). I took GMAT again a couple of days ago and scored 780 (Q51 V47). The intention of writing this post is to share some of my experience with GMAT that I think may be helpful to others.

One of the reasons for taking GMAT

One of the big reasons for my taking GMAT again was a presence of frequent voices on this and other forums that GMAT has changed. That RC has become very difficult or that passages are extremely long or dense. That other sections have changed in different ways.

Even though I didn’t believe that a standardized test could change significantly over a short period i.e. 4 years, the doubts still crept in my mind and I could not deny those claims with conviction.

GMAT hasn’t changed and Hard OG questions are representative

One of the things that came out of my experience was that GMAT hasn’t changed. It is still testing the same skills and at around the same difficulty level as it was testing four years back. I would also like to emphasize here that the higher difficulty level questions on OG and GMAT Prep are representative of the hard questions you’ll see on actual test. I see a lot of students carrying a misconception that they cannot rely on official questions for the hardest questions and thus need to look at non-official sources for the same. While, of course, the number of hard official questions are limited, there is not a great dearth of them if you consider the gamut of all official sources available in the market including Official Guides, Verbal Review, GMAT Prep Question Bank, GMAT Prep Exams 1-6, and GMAT Paper Tests.

This point is especially relevant for the Verbal section, for which, I believe, many of the questions offered by even the top test-prep companies are not representative of the questions you’ll see on GMAT. While the quant questions have black and white answers (an option is either correct or incorrect), the verbal questions generally operate in shades of grey. And which shade of grey is more acceptable than the other shade of grey is a question answered differently by different test prep companies, and while some of them are better than others, none of the interpretations matches completely with the actual. Now, it doesn’t mean that you should not touch or practice non-official questions. However, it does support the idea that your learning should not be primarily driven by non-official questions. The primary source of your learning should be official questions, but you may use non-official questions for additional practice with an understanding that these non-official questions have their own limitations.

Preparing for Quant

Last time I took GMAT, I hardly prepared for Quant since I found it quite easy. However, I could not score Q51 last time. The reason was clear that I fell into some of the traps in the questions. This time, I practiced Quant using GMAT Clubs tests and GMAT Prep exam packs.

My view on GMAT Club tests

I had heard very positive things about GMAT Club Quant tests, and I was not disappointed. I really liked the fact the questions were made difficult not by introducing unpleasant calculations or by testing some advanced topics but by making the reasoning difficult and multi-step. Even though I did find the questions in these tests, on an average, way more difficult than the questions I faced in GMAT Prep Mocks (I scored 51 on all four I attempted) and even the questions I faced in the actual exam, I always felt the questions aligned with the purpose of GMAT Quant i.e. to test quantitative reasoning.

Would I suggest these tests to others?

If you are targeting Q50 or Q51, then definitely, these tests are a good practice. However, I’m not sure whether I’d recommend to others who are targeting below these scores since I don’t know about the medium level questions in these tests (I scored Q51 on all the five tests I took, so probably, I didn’t see many medium level questions).

My GMAT Club test results:
Image

I think that people who are targeting Q48 or below may not need such tests. Till Q48, I believe official questions are more than enough.

My Analysis of my ESR – Coming Soon

By the way, I have also taken out my ESR, and I have some interesting observations to share from the report. I’ll be sharing those observations in my next post.

Before I stop, I’d like to share one thing, probably the most important thing in this post.

The Most Important Thing I want to share

At times, I have seen that people become disappointed with themselves after hearing my story that I could score 770 last time quite easily (780 is just a couple of days old). Well, for 770, I still prepared for a week. I scored 760 on my first official mock when I didn’t even have knowledge about the different sections and question types on GMAT. It was June 2012, and I was thinking of applying to Ph.D. programs in US universities. When I got to know that these programs required GMAT, I just downloaded the free software and took one mock. I scored 760 (Q50 V42).

Of course, it tells that I possessed the right way of thinking that GMAT tests. However, it should not be a reason for you to be disappointed with yourself just because it is taking you time to breach the 700 or even, let’s say, 600 barrier. I may be better than you in this one aspect, but you may be better than me in several other aspects. For example: I may be far behind you in terms of creativity, leadership qualities, programming ability, or communication abilities. Rather, I would like to mention that when I got into IIMA, my spoken English was terrible. I could hardly speak a couple of sentences without pausing. I was terrified of speaking in the classroom since most people there had far better communication skills than me. It has taken me years and years to build communication skills, which other people take for granted at the undergraduate or even school level.

So, am I better than or worse than you?

More importantly, do we need to compare?

I think not.

We need to accept our strengths and weaknesses and then build on our strengths and work on our weaknesses without passing value judgments about our worth.

Frankly, I don’t find my 770 or 780 inspirational. I was expecting such scores both the times. However, I find a 710 of my friend inspirational. Why? Because on his first attempt, he scored 540 even after working hard for 3 months. But he didn’t give up. He worked hard and eventually got what he wanted.

I think our biggest achievements lie in overcoming our biggest weaknesses.

Let’s not judge our weaknesses. Let’s use them to create our biggest achievements.

All the best!

- CJ

EDIT: I got my AWA rescored this time. Please follow this link to know more about this.
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My articles:
My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR
Three pillars of a successful GMAT strategy
Critical Reasoning and The Life of a GMAT Student
The 'Although' Misconception
Dear GMAT Aspirant, You need not swim against the tide


Last edited by ChiranjeevSingh on 05 Apr 2017, 20:57, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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Analysis of my ESR (Enhanced Score Report)


In this post, I’ll share some observations from my ESR that I found interesting. The order of the observations below is not according to their importance but according to the order things are presented in the ESR.

1. In the IR section, there are 9 scored and 3 experimental questions.

How can I say so? Because the percentage of correct answers is always a multiple of 11% (I have checked this with ESRs of my students too). This is possible only if the total number of scored questions is a multiple of 9.

Image


2. In Verbal, I got around 30 scored questions and 11 experimental questions.

Image

I got two questions wrong in Verbal, one in the first and one in the second of the four sets.

How can I say so? Because neither 12% nor 14% can stand for 2 questions. Since if 12% stands for 2 questions, 88% will stand for around 15 questions, meaning a total of 17 questions in the first of the four sets. Since there are only 41 questions in all, including experimental questions, it doesn’t make sense to have 17 scored questions in one of the four sets.

Similarly, we can rule out that 14% stands for 2 questions.

So, both 12% and 14% stand for one question each. It means that the first set has 8 questions and that the second set has 7 questions. (Well, someone may wonder “why would GMAC create sets with different numbers of questions?”. I think for the simple reason that they don’t want a guy like me to figure out the exact number of experimental questions in the test!)

It means that there were 15 scored questions for me in the first two tests. If I extrapolate that to the next two sets, it would mean that I had 30 scored and the remaining 11 experimental questions. That’s a large number of experimental questions, I believe! Now, of course, I have extrapolated the data of the first two sets to the last two sets. There is indeed a possibility that the last two sets may not have the same mix of scored and experimental questions as the first two sets. In such a case, the total number of scored questions in my test might be higher than 30.

However, it could be lower than 30.

And I believe it makes sense for it to be lower than 30. Why? Because I was consistently getting the questions right. Rather, I didn’t get any question wrong in the last two sets. So, the system didn’t need to doubt my capability, and thus, could throw even more experimental questions at me to figure out the quality of the questions.

It also means that you may not face the same number of scored or experimental questions as I did since you might perform differently than me and the system may need more or fewer questions to figure out your exact capability level and score.


3. In the first half of the test, the system had decided that I didn’t deserve V51.

As can be seen from the graphic in the point 2 above, I didn’t get any question wrong in the last two sets. Thus, it means that I didn’t even have a chance to score V51 after I got a couple of questions wrong.

Image

As can be seen from the above graphic, the average difficulty level actually dropped in the last set of questions. Probably, the system had made its mind on my score and didn’t want to waste more high difficulty level questions on me. Probably, they wanted to save them to be used in my next attempt! Also, since the system had already made its mind, it seems likely that the system might have thrown more experimental questions at me in the last set. They were using me to assess the quality of their questions!


4. No matter what you do, you cannot get more than 51 on Quant.

I think a lot of people already know this, but my ESR confirms this. I didn’t get a question wrong and got Q51.

Image


5. The system behaved quite differently in quant than in verbal, in terms of the difficulty level of the questions.

Image

While in the verbal section, the system seems to have had made up its mind by the third set, in the quant section, the questions became more and more difficult even till the last set. In the last set, the difficulty level seems to be almost breaking through the roof!


6. The strategy that you should be spending more time per question in the first ten questions doesn’t work all the time.

Image

As can be seen above, I completed the first 10 questions in about 13 minutes i.e. 1.3 minutes per question, way below the required average of 2 minutes per question. However, as can be seen from the graphic in the point above, the average difficulty level of the questions in the first set was way lower than that of the questions in the remaining sets. If I had unnecessarily spent more time on these questions, I would not have had the luxury to spend an average of two and a half minutes per questions in the last two sets.

So, I’d suggest that you attempt the first 10 questions with care but not with over-caution. Otherwise, you may end up unnecessarily wasting your time that you could use up in the latter harder questions.

This is all I had!

My ESR is attached. If you have more observations from the same, I’d like to know. 

All the best!

- CJ
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My articles:
My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR
Three pillars of a successful GMAT strategy
Critical Reasoning and The Life of a GMAT Student
The 'Although' Misconception
Dear GMAT Aspirant, You need not swim against the tide


Last edited by ChiranjeevSingh on 10 Jan 2017, 23:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2017, 00:43
Great Post. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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ChiranjeevSingh wrote:
Analysis of my ESR

Coming Soon!


Interesting, thanks for sharing!

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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2017, 13:11
Great post CJ,,, well articulated and deeply briefed..... really helpful,,,
thanks
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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2017, 13:22
Hi CJ!
Thanks for such in depth analysis..
Please share sources for VERBAL practice , just the way you shared for quants. ( besides GMAT Official...)

Thanks
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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2017, 18:54
Thank you saadharis. I like your signature a lot.

Thank you Celestial09. I am a GMAT tutor, so I didn't need any resources for concepts for Verbal. For practice, I relied on Exam Packs and Paper Tests. I didn't practice any non-official resource for Verbal.
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My articles:
My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR
Three pillars of a successful GMAT strategy
Critical Reasoning and The Life of a GMAT Student
The 'Although' Misconception
Dear GMAT Aspirant, You need not swim against the tide

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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2017, 12:42
soumyatandon
hahahahaha,,,, your line of reasoning is exceptional and very similar to the style of CJS attacking the CR arguments.
Well, you people should go and better dig the old e-gmat's verbal topics/posts on gmatclub, where you will find this only guy CJS reflecting his style and giving precious guidelines for the community.
P.S: I am neither his student nor does I have any link with him for people to think me of his frontman.... just writing myself...
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New post 16 Jan 2017, 14:17
nice write rajat.... this forum is not a place to challenge any of the experts' integrity
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New post 16 Jan 2017, 20:22
Thanks for sharing. Very interesting!

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Wow. This is quite a thread and even I am jumping in.

Cheeranjeev reached out to me with the request to ascertain and confirm his score by providing me with an official score report link and his date of birth.
I have been able to successfully pull up his core report based on that link and DOB provided. I am attaching it here. Please note that I am hiding some of the information for privacy reasons. The email on the score report and that of the user match; names match as well.

Again, this is not something I received but rather a report i downloaded from Pearson Vue - this is the original report and as official as it gets. I hope this helps clear up some questions and doubts.
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cheeranjeev gmat score report screenshot.png
cheeranjeev gmat score report screenshot.png [ 235.17 KiB | Viewed 7169 times ]


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Thank you bb for confirming.

Thank you so much Rajat for your posts. It is so generous of you to take out so much of your precious time to write on this thread.

Thank you saadharis!

Warm Regards,
CJ
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My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR
Three pillars of a successful GMAT strategy
Critical Reasoning and The Life of a GMAT Student
The 'Although' Misconception
Dear GMAT Aspirant, You need not swim against the tide

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Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing :)
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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2017, 11:23
woah so many haters! grabbing my popcorn!

p.s. ESR explanation and info about experimental questions is awesome!

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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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New post 17 Jan 2017, 11:34
This one is the best debrief i have ever seen in gmatclub. It will help me too much for getting a good score in GMAT. Thanks brother.


Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
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New post 17 Jan 2017, 11:41
soumyatandon wrote:
Vow, great way of confirming score reports.
Chiranjeev can post the link to his website, but he cannot post the official GMAT link to verify his score report.
He requires 2 other people to justify his score report, but finds it hard to post the official GMAT link to his score report.
Great way of validating official GMAT score reports.
Thanks a ton.
The writing is clear on the wall.

Revealing private address to an unknown large audience is not a great idea, just saying.

Great analysis CJ :) Thanks for the post.
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An update:

speakthetruth and soumyatandon are actually the same person using the same IP address originating in New Delhi, (probably not a surprise). Both are deactivated now.
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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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An update:

speakthetruth and soumyatandon are actually the same person using the same IP address originating in New Delhi, (probably not a surprise). Both are deactivated now.


soumyatandon and speakthetruth were created to belittle this debrief . The user drew a far-fetched conclusion of the impact of demonetization on the Indian test prep industry that tutors will launch new products to attract students and this was hilarious :) . Also , in one of the posts soumyatandon passes a judgment
and gives a future plan of action and tried to create a feeling that person who wrote the debrief is guilty .
In my opinion, it is acceptable to evaluate the genuineness and caliber of a tutor/test prep company before you join one but that should not be used as an excuse to demean and bash someone on a forum. I wonder who are these people who have so much of free time to create multiple users just for the sake of some cheap thrills. :?
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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2017, 03:32
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Hi,

I'd also like to share another interesting thing that happened with me in this GMAT attempt. Even though I was expecting a score of 6.0 on AWA (just as I got last time in 2013), I received a 5.0. Given my experience of AWA, I did not feel that this score was an accurate measure of my performance.

I then applied for rescoring of my AWA section. I'm not sure how many people know about this facility, and one purpose of sharing this experience is to let others know of this facility. Please follow the below link to know more about this facility:

http://www.mba.com/us/the-gmat-exam/gma ... oring.aspx

By paying $45 (+$10 for availing this facility through phone), we can get our AWA rescored once.

My score was increased from 5.0 to 5.5, a jump from 57%ile to 81%ile - a good enough jump to justify my $55.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I'll be happy to respond.

(I'd also like to share the speed with which GMAC acts. I took GMAT on 7th Jan, received my score report on 12th Jan, applied for rescoring within a couple of hours of getting the score report, and got my updated score report on 13th Jan. Quite Fast! I've also attached a letter I received from GMAC on this rescoring.)

- CJ
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Website: http://www.GMATwithCJ.com

My articles:
My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR
Three pillars of a successful GMAT strategy
Critical Reasoning and The Life of a GMAT Student
The 'Although' Misconception
Dear GMAT Aspirant, You need not swim against the tide

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Re: My experience with GMAT (Score 780) and My analysis of my ESR   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2017, 03:32

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