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My GMAT experience - 710 (Q51,V34) in 2 months - Exam date 15 Sep 2018

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GMAT 1: 710 Q51 V34
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My GMAT experience - 710 (Q51,V34) in 2 months - Exam date 15 Sep 2018  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 Oct 2018, 20:35
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After 2 months of rigorous preparation, finally my GMAT is over with 710 score (Q51, V34, IR4 and AWA 5). I am an IIM (Indian IT Male) with 11+ years of experience with a 2 year old kid at home. In the month of June 2018, I decided to go for Executive MBA and started exploring various options by reading through various GMATCLUB posts.
As a project Manager by profession, I delivered multiple projects before and I took GMAT as another project of my life. First thing was to search for average GMAT scores for the colleges that I was looking to apply and I put 720 as above average score for me as a target. Then comes the study material and after going through GMATCLUB posts, it was clear to have OG, OGVR and OGQR for practice so I purchased it and also bought KAPLAN GMAT prep book with 5 online mock tests. I decided to give GMAT sometime in Sep to have sufficient time for profile and if required another attempt in Oct.

From 1st July, my preparation started in full swing. In the first 2 weeks, I went through KAPLAN book and familiarized with all the sections and the types of questions. Then I gave the first GMATPREP mock exam and got 610 (Q49, V22). It was clear a lot of improvement was required in Verbal. Hence, I decided to take up formal training and after going through various GMATCLUB discussions and explanations on OG questions, I found e-GMAT course would be the best course for me and enrolled on 24th July and booked 15th Sep as my GMAT exam date.

After giving sectional mock tests, I got a personalized study plan from e-GMAT. From my end, I kept some milestone dates on the study plan and decided to adhere to the same, whatever happens in office/home. My rigorous study plan:

E-GMAT – Initial Mocks and Study plan – Completed by 25/7
Quant and Master Comprehension – Completion of all practice & concept files - Completed by 31/7
CR - Completion of all practice & concept files + OG - Completed by 5/8
SC - Completion of all practice & concept files + OG - Completed by 12/8
RC - Completion of all practice & concept files- Completed by 14/8
Mocks on every alternate 1st and 6th date (1st, 6th,10th, 15th,19th, 24th and 28th) of every month
Post completion of all practice and concept files, my approach was as follows:

Quant – After quickly brushing up my concepts, I wanted to have good speed and accuracy. Hence, decided to give at least 1 e-GMAT Scholaranium custom quiz daily and have a Quant Error log in place to cover all mistakes. While going through concepts, I made sure that I would cover all files and all concepts properly and not skip anything. As, these small concept gaps can easily make 1 or 2 questions wrong in actual exam. By practice I got Q49-Q51 consistently in most of the mocks with good speed.

Verbal - SC: This was the weakest section for me and required a lot of efforts. I think e-GMAT SC section is precise and very effective. Their explanation of the answer is descriptive and logical for all options of the question. You can find their comments on most of the GMATCLUB SC forums and can understand what I am trying to say. To improve on SC, after going through completion of files, I gave multiple ability quizzes in Scholaranium and understood the areas where I am getting confused, making mistakes or completely stumped. Accordingly, I repeated those practice files multiple times and even found out few Ron’s videos (Manhattan) on similar topic and maintained a detailed Error log. This iterative process helped me quite a lot. I have also bookmarked all incorrect questions in scholaranium and repeated them in Sep (1 week before the exam). To improve on SC, I would advise first to grasp concepts by giving enough time. Once, you are good with concepts only then emphasize on timing aspects. If concepts are clear then after some practice, while reading the sentence for meaning, you will automatically find flaws in the sentence and it will improve speed drastically.

There was another point on Master Comprehension. When I first read about how to read and take pause, I thought that I would never complete the Verbal section in time. However, after some practice, I realized that to get the right answer and to eliminate wrong choices, I need to read the question multiple times. Whole Verbal section is driven by meaning. Without getting the meaning, it will be very difficult to improve accuracy. To get the meaning, I had to re-read the question. Hence, to avoid multiple reading, I get back to master comprehension slow reading trick. After some more practice, I realized it was very useful and in turn, it helped me improving the speed drastically.

CR: I got confidence by going through concept files to familiarize the topics and pre-thinking concept and then by Scholaranium Ability quizzes. By doing so, I used to solve all Easy and Medium type of questions correct within 2+ minutes. To improve my efficiency, I retrospect all ability quizzes and found out that I am wasting too much time in pre-thinking and while doing so most of the time, I am not getting the answer similar to the listed options. Hence, I decided instead of finding the answer in pre-thinking, I would focus on the linkage between Conclusion and premise and what question’s stem was asking for. This trick worked and my CR accuracy moved to 80-90% range. During the last 2 weeks of Sep, I just focused on V-OG CR questions and regular assessments from Scholaranium.

RC: While doing RC, paragraph summary helped quite a lot. Though to improve accuracy in RC, time was required. Since 12th Aug, I planned daily to solve at least 2-3 RCs from OG, OGVR and e-GMAT Scholaranium. Apart from this, I worked on various RCs timing to find out how quickly I need to work on CR and SC.
Exam strategy: I planned multiple mocks throughout my study. Before giving the mocks, I used to go through the Quant and Verbal error logs. Here are the Mocks break ups:

24th July - GMATPREP-1: 610 (Q49, V22)
29th July – GMATCLUB-1: 650 (Q49, V28)
1st Aug – 800.Com – 1: 710 (Q50, V35)
6th Aug – KAPLAN-1: 680 (Q49, V34) (I stopped guessing after this exam for non GMATPREP mocks)
10th Aug – 800.Com-2: 750 (Q51, V41)
15th Aug – GMATPREP-2: 640 (Q49, V28)
19th Aug – KAPLAN – 2: 640 (Q47, V31)
24th Aug – 800.com-3 : 750 (Q50, V42)
28th Aug - KAPLAN – 3: 690 (Q49, V35)
1st Sep - GMATPREP-5: 680 (Q50, V33)
6th Sep – Kaplan- 4: 720 (Q50, V38)
10th Sep – GMATPREP-6: 700 (Q51, V34)

Apart from this I gave few sectional Verbal mocks from GMATCLUB and from other institutes. Till 28th August, I tried different strategies in the mocks such as changing the order of the sections, having 15 mins slots for a set of questions, giving more time and emphasis on first 10 questions. I was unable to complete all the sections and that was the major issue in my performance. Hence, after going through all these mocks, my final strategy was to maximize in Quant at first – have 2 slots of 30 minutes and last 2 minutes are buffer, first slot should cover 15 Qs and next slot will be of 16 Qs. Followed by verbal in which first 10 questions should be completed in 20 mins if 2 RC passages, and in 17 mins if 1 RC passage in it. Skipping RC did not work for me. Even after that much planning, I missed the last 1 question in the actual exam.
At the exam day, I followed my best approach as above. Took both the breaks, ate nuts and biscuits in it, drank 100-200 ml water and used washroom. After completing AWA, when I saw 710 on the screen, I felt 5kg light in weight.
:grin: :grin:

I made sure that I updated all 5 colleges that I am targeting and recently, received mail that my scores are received by those colleges.

I am thankful to GMAT club and e-GMAT team for their help. Hence, I wrote this detailed debrief so that people may get some help from my experience.
Useful links which I used during my study and free to use:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/manhattan-s-thursdays-with-ron-consolidated-video-index-223612.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/six-week-study-guide-to-a-700-gmat-213379.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-you-need-for-quant-140445.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/700-800-level-quant-problem-collection-detailed-solutions-137388.html
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/gmat-score-calculator/
https://gmatclub.com/forum/download.php

Originally posted by Devashishmishra on 29 Sep 2018, 06:23.
Last edited by Devashishmishra on 04 Oct 2018, 20:35, edited 1 time in total.
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GMAT 1: 550 Q45 V18
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Re: My GMAT experience - 710 (Q51,V34) in 2 months - Exam date 15 Sep 2018  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2018, 06:50
2
Devashishmishra wrote:
After 2 months of rigorous preparation, finally my GMAT is over with 710 score (Q51, V34, IR4 and AWA 5). I am an IIM (Indian IT Male) with 11+ years of experience with a 2 year old kid at home. In the month of June 2018, I decided to go for Executive MBA and started exploring various options by reading through various GMATCLUB posts.
As a project Manager by profession, I delivered multiple projects before and I took GMAT as another project of my life. First thing was to search for average GMAT scores for the colleges that I was looking to apply and I put 720 as above average score for me as a target. Then comes the study material and after going through GMATCLUB posts, it was clear to have OG, OGVR and OGQR for practice so I purchased it and also bought KAPLAN GMAT prep book with 5 online mock tests. I decided to give GMAT sometime in Sep to have sufficient time for profile and if required another attempt in Oct.

From 1st July, my preparation started in full swing. In the first 2 weeks, I went through KAPLAN book and familiarized with all the sections and the types of questions. Then I gave the first GMATPREP mock exam and got 610 (Q49, V22). It was clear a lot of improvement was required in Verbal. Hence, I decided to take up formal training and after going through various GMATCLUB discussions and explanations on OG questions, I found e-GMAT course would be the best course for me and enrolled on 24th July and booked 15th Sep as my GMAT exam date.

After giving sectional mock tests, I got a personalized study plan from e-GMAT. From my end, I kept some milestone dates on the study plan and decided to adhere to the same, whatever happens in office/home. My rigorous study plan:

E-GMAT – Initial Mocks and Study plan – Completed by 25/7
Quant and Master Comprehension – Completion of all practice & concept files - Completed by 31/7
CR - Completion of all practice & concept files + OG - Completed by 5/8
SC - Completion of all practice & concept files + OG - Completed by 12/8
RC - Completion of all practice & concept files- Completed by 14/8
Mocks on every alternate 1st and 6th date (1st, 6th,10th, 15th,19th, 24th and 28th) of every month
Post completion of all practice and concept files, my approach was as follows:

Quant – After quickly brushing up my concepts, I wanted to have good speed and accuracy. Hence, decided to give at least 1 e-GMAT Scholaranium custom quiz daily and have a Quant Error log in place to cover all mistakes. While going through concepts, I made sure that I would cover all files and all concepts properly and not skip anything. As, these small concept gaps can easily make 1 or 2 questions wrong in actual exam. By practice I got Q49-Q51 consistently in most of the mocks with good speed.

Verbal - SC: This was the weakest section for me and required a lot of efforts. I think e-GMAT SC section is precise and very effective. Their explanation of the answer is descriptive and logical for all options of the question. You can find their comments on most of the GMATCLUB SC forums and can understand what I am trying to say. To improve on SC, after going through completion of files, I gave multiple ability quizzes in Scholaranium and understood the areas where I am getting confused, making mistakes or completely stumped. Accordingly, I repeated those practice files multiple times and even found out few Ron’s videos (Manhattan) on similar topic and maintained a detailed Error log. This iterative process helped me quite a lot. I have also bookmarked all incorrect questions in scholaranium and repeated them in Sep (1 week before the exam). To improve on SC, I would advise first to grasp concepts by giving enough time. Once, you are good with concepts only then emphasize on timing aspects. If concepts are clear then after some practice, while reading the sentence for meaning, you will automatically find flaws in the sentence and it will improve speed drastically.

There was another point on Master Comprehension. When I first read about how to read and take pause, I thought that I would never complete the Verbal section in time. However, after some practice, I realized that to get the right answer and to eliminate wrong choices, I need to read the question multiple times. Whole Verbal section is driven by meaning. Without getting the meaning, it will be very difficult to improve accuracy. To get the meaning, I had to re-read the question. Hence, to avoid multiple reading, I get back to master comprehension slow reading trick. After some more practice, I realized it was very useful and in turn, it helped me improving the speed drastically.

CR: I got confidence by going through concept files to familiarize the topics and pre-thinking concept and then by Scholaranium Ability quizzes. By doing so, I used to solve all Easy and Medium type of questions correct within 2+ minutes. To improve my efficiency, I retrospect all ability quizzes and found out that I am wasting too much time in pre-thinking and while doing so most of the time, I am not getting the answer similar to the listed options. Hence, I decided instead of finding the answer in pre-thinking, I would focus on the linkage between Conclusion and premise and what question’s stem was asking for. This trick worked and my CR accuracy moved to 80-90% range. During the last 2 weeks of Sep, I just focused on V-OG CR questions and regular assessments from Scholaranium.

RC: While doing RC, paragraph summary helped quite a lot. Though to improve accuracy in RC, time was required. Since 12th Aug, I planned daily to solve at least 2-3 RCs from OG, OGVR and e-GMAT Scholaranium. Apart from this, I worked on various RCs timing to find out how quickly I need to work on CR and SC.
Exam strategy: I planned multiple mocks throughout my study. Before giving the mocks, I used to go through the Quant and Verbal error logs. Here are the Mocks break ups:

24th July - GMATPREP-1: 610 (Q49, V22)
29th July – GMATCLUB-1: 650 (Q49, V28)
1st Aug – 800.Com – 1: 710 (Q50, V35)
6th Aug – KAPLAN-1: 680 (Q49, V34) (I stopped guessing after this exam for non GMATPREP mocks)
10th Aug – 800.Com-2: 750 (Q51, V41)
15th Aug – GMATPREP-2: 640 (Q49, V28)
19th Aug – KAPLAN – 2: 640 (Q47, V31)
24th Aug – 800.com-3 : 750 (Q50, V42)
28th Aug - KAPLAN – 3: 690 (Q49, V35)
1st Sep - GMATPREP-5: 680 (Q50, V33)
6th Sep – Kaplan- 4: 720 (Q50, V38)
10th Sep – GMATPREP-6: 700 (Q51, V34)

Apart from this I gave few sectional Verbal mocks from GMATCLUB and from other institutes. Till 28th August, I tried different strategies in the mocks such as changing the order of the sections, having 15 mins slots for a set of questions, giving more time and emphasis on first 10 questions. I was unable to complete all the sections and that was the major issue in my performance. Hence, after going through all these mocks, my final strategy was to maximize in Quant at first – have 2 slots of 30 minutes and last 2 minutes are buffer, first slot should cover 15 Qs and next slot will be of 16 Qs. Followed by verbal in which first 10 questions should be completed in 20 mins if 2 RC passages, and in 17 mins if 1 RC passage in it. Skipping RC did not work for me. Even after that much planning, I missed the last 1 question in the actual exam.
At the exam day, I followed my best approach as above. Took both the breaks, ate nuts and biscuits in it, drank 100-200 ml water and used washroom. After completing AWA, when I saw 710 on the screen, I felt 5kg light in weight.
:grin: :grin:

I made sure that I updated all 5 colleges that I am targeting and recently, received mail that my scores are received by those colleges.

I am thankful to GMAT club and e-GMAT team for their help. Hence, I wrote this detailed debrief so that people may get some help from my experience.
Useful links which I used during my study and free to use:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/manhattan-s-thursdays-with-ron-consolidated-video-index-223612.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/six-week-study-guide-to-a-700-gmat-213379.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-you-need-for-quant-140445.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/700-800-level-quant-problem-collection-detailed-solutions-137388.html
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/gmat-score-calculator/
https://gmatclub.com/forum/download.php


Thanks for the information


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Re: My GMAT experience - 710 (Q51,V34) in 2 months - Exam date 15 Sep 2018  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2018, 11:23
Devashishmishra Congratulations. This is an awesome score. Maybe I missed it but I don't see the 560 mentioned anywhere in the debrief. Did you score 560 in your first mock test? I asked because I had a similar score in my first official mock test. Anyways, best wishes for your applications.

Cheers!
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Re: My GMAT experience - 710 (Q51,V34) in 2 months - Exam date 15 Sep 2018  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2018, 11:54
1
funsogu wrote:
Devashishmishra Congratulations. This is an awesome score. Maybe I missed it but I don't see the 560 mentioned anywhere in the debrief. Did you score 560 in your first mock test? I asked because I had a similar score in my first official mock test. Anyways, best wishes for your applications.

Cheers!
Yes, it was my first mock..I don't have the break up. It was Veritas free mock that I did in June.


Thanks,
Devashish

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Re: My GMAT experience - 710 (Q51,V34) in 2 months - Exam date 15 Sep 2018 &nbs [#permalink] 29 Sep 2018, 11:54
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