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My Experience, Your opinion sought

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Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 36

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Location: New Jersey
My Experience, Your opinion sought [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2005, 21:04
Dear Guys,

I went for the actual exam on Dec 16th. I was although not very confident since I had not taken many timed tests but I knew that I had improved a lot from where I had started.

The first two essays went fine. I could finish within the time limit. I took a 5 mins break as suggested and then started off with Quantitative section. Guys believe it or not, I felt one or two questions which came on the test were quite different from what I had conceived. The questions are subtle not tough.... I lost my cool, that was the fall....I started spending immense amount of time on questions and slowly I could see the test closing on me. I had to guess 5-6 questions on Quant...

Still somehow keeping my cool I started off with the Verbal section. I didnt get RC until the 6th question. I was cool but suddenly I felt myself panicing. I was running out of time. I saw Critical reasoning questions which I couldnt solve confidently. I could feel that CR questions were much tougher than I had ever seen. I should say they were more like LSAT. Parallel the reasoning, drawing a conclusion to name a few....

I had by now decided that I have flunked and that I will simply cancel the test. In verbal I was left with 3 mins and 11 questions still to do ....miserable ehh... I know people who do well on the test usually get a near perfect score on Quant and around 40 on verbal. Now I wasnt even close to this so I feel that cancelling the test was the best I could have done.

I know doing this I have lost one full year because I dont want to apply in the 3rd round. Most experienced people say that the 3rd round in general is meant for superstars.

Guys here are some statistics:

My average accuracy on SC = 70% - From all sources. In fact I find Kaplan questions much easier than GMAT PLUS and OG

My Average accuracy on CR= 70%- But questions which came on GMAT were very tough, I should one should be really quick in solving those properly. I feel LSAT questions are a really good source.

My average accuracy on RC = 50% - 60%. I improve dramatically if given more time than usually available. Now I know this is my weakest area and I can only improve by the following strategy.

If I do SC and CR faster with similar or higher accuracy then I can probably save more time for RC thereby increasing my overall score.

This test is a meant of people who can manage time very effectively. I see myself stumbling over and over again.

Having narrated all what I have gone through, I request some of you who probably can understand my problem to express your opinion.

I am also looking for someone who is in an around New York and will like to share questions and problems may be sometime discuss over the phone.

Thanks guys and I hope we all succeed.



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New post 02 Jan 2005, 21:54
Hi Mohit, that is quite a detailed experience you have posted. Clearly, time management was the issue here and as much as you could imagine, it can account for at least 25% of your overall score. You can be answering all questions from this forum right or from any paper test right but if you do not do it within the alloted time, you are into big trouble. While doing Kaplan, PR problems, I originally did not time myself and just tried to answer those questions with as much precision as I could without any consideration given to time. Wrong. Even when you do paper tests, remember to time yourself. Ideally, even when you do those individual bundles of verbal and math questions, make sure you time yourself.

As a rule of thumb, try to do SC under 1.5 min. and CR under 1.75 min. As for RC, spend about 2 min. reading the passage(approx 50-65 lines) thoroughly and about 1.25 min per question. If you are doing LSAT passages or CR, I would allow myself more time given the higher lever of difficulty of CR and also the longer RC passages. Given your actual verbal accuracy level, you should focus on RC. It is very boring but it is the only way to deal with your weakness. I at times studied for hours straight doing ONLY RC and doing about 5-10 back to back. You will see that after a few, your concentration level will go up and you will definitely improve your comprehension level. If you do not deal with your weakness, it will catch up with you during the exam time. For RC, read the "very very scared of RC" sticky in the "GMAT" forum. Eventually, you would like to bring your SC and CR accuracy level to 85%+ and RC to 75%+.

Although you should focus on verbal for the upcoming weeks, do not neglect math. Do not take math for granted; this could adversely affect your score. Join the math challenges as they are definitely good to keep your adrenaline up and your timing under check. Doing occasional math problems from this forum should keep those skills fresh.

Ultimately, in the week prior to the test, you should focus on CATs and participate less in the forum. You should limit yourself to 1 CAT per day otherwise you will just be drained. Also, spend about 50% of the time doing any test correcting it. So doing a 2h30 test, you should spend at least 1hr going over, not only your errors, but also the questions you got right. This will ensure that you learned the concepts rather than the answers themselves.

Good luck and let us hear about your success story.

Best Regards,


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  [#permalink] 02 Jan 2005, 21:54
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