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My GMAT Journey : 560 to 710

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Intern
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Joined: 10 Aug 2016
Posts: 39

Kudos [?]: 32 [4], given: 28

Location: India
GMAT 1: 560 Q47 V21
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
WE: Supply Chain Management (Manufacturing)
My GMAT Journey : 560 to 710 [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2017, 06:05
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My story is a journey from 560 (Q47, V21) to 710 (Q50 V35). I’m sharing my story below with a hope that it helps a few aspirants.

Let me start with some of the initial challenges I faced even before I started my GMAT journey.


1. I was out of touch from academics from the last 8 years.
2. Job was going good (now many of you might think how this situation poses a challenge. It does. When everything is going good, you are in a comfort zone. You don’t want to try something odd, especially like GMAT ?).
3. My Family (Parents and wife as well) was against the idea that I devote time to studies at this age ;).
4. I am a mechanical engineer. My job not only had mental pressure - every day has a project deadline - but required a lot of physical movement and hence exertion as well.
5. I had a job in Tier-II city, which had (and even currently has) no good GMAT Prep center.
6. Unpredictable work schedule - my job involves lot of unplanned travelling, making regularity in study a daunting task.
7. My job was and is a six-days-a-week job. I do not get a luxury of two days off on the weekends.

If you are also facing any of these challenges, this story is definitely for you.

Starting of journey:-


I embarked on my GMAT journey on 8th Aug 2015, 8 long years after I graduated. I was completely out of touch with academics and fully involved in my job of presentations, excel and Microsoft word! So, I decided to join TIME (India's competitive exam coaching center) to get armored for GMAT. I dedicated wholeheartedly myself to the TIME faculty, methodology, study material, and mocks. I was doing fairly well in its materials and therefore decided to take the GMAT in May 2016. My worst dreams materialized when I scored a dismal 560 with Q 47, V21. A heart-breaking performance.

When I was attempting the verbal section, I was feeling like ‘It is all out of syllabus’! I had neither been taught nor practiced for that level of questions. I found striking differences in terms of language of questions and the kind of questions between what I had learnt and what I faced in the exam. I learnt the hard way that generalized preparation (Like many coaching centers in India offer) would not get me anywhere. These institutes are oriented towards Indian exams like CAT, XAT. They are not meant for the global exams such as GMAT.


Wake-Up call & Change in Direction:-


From the very next day of the exam, I took a week break from work and enjoyed the valleys of KASHMIR (India) to rejuvenate myself and start afresh. I very often heard the name of e-gmat. I decided to take its SC webinar. It was an eye-opener session. I was completely debunked. The approach and secrets taught were completely alien to me. I came to know that there is a concept like "meaning and conveying the message" of SC sentences. However, I ended up taking Magoosh course since it just cost me USD 100. I once again started with full energy, though a bit cautiously. I also joined GMATCLUB in-between.
Magoosh questions were really good for Quant, SC and RC. When I was about to exhaust my course, I started giving free mocks available on different websites such as Veritas, MGMAT etc. I was not able to score more than 620-630 on mocks. I realized what I was doing was not enough or probably not in right direction. Often, I didn’t like (in hindsight, understand) the correct choice. For me, the test-makers FORCE-FITTED logic to make the correct choice correct!! I was clearly frustrated and annoyed.
In hindsight, I understand that I was not able to understand why the correct choice was correct and the incorrect choice was incorrect. Clearly, if I was not understanding that, I was not learning from the questions. CJ later told me something that now seems common sense though. He said that if you are not learning from the questions, your practice is good for naught. The practice is useful only to the extent we are learning. Clearly, this explains the reason I was stuck.

A phase for tough decision- GMAT not my cup of tea or try differently


On GMATCLUB, I came across numerous interesting and comprehensive articles on CR by Chiranjeev Singh aka CJ, who was Director-Curriculum at e-GMAT at one time but is now a private GMAT tutor. I enquired about him from social media and friends and got positive feedback. Even though private tutoring is always much more expensive than any online course, I had to take a call for my career.
I decided to take sessions from him. In the first CR session, I was totally blank and hardly answered any of the questions. In that session itself, I realized that I was not moving in the right direction. Then, every subsequent session on CR changed and refined my thought process.

Insights on CR Section: -
1. Never make an assumption in order to validate answer choice
2. Precision is the key
3. Spend more time on CR argument than answer choices
4. Understand how to break long and convoluted sentences.

One big thing I realized from sessions with CJ was that the correct choices in CR questions are indeed correct!!


Insights on RC Section: -.

Two things CJ told me helped me the post in RC. Adopting these two things, I increased my accuracy from 20% to 80%.

1. To establish the relationship between a statement to the previous one
2. Figuring out which pronoun refers to which of the previous nouns. Unlike SC, RC contains a lot of different nouns in different contexts. RC passage refers to these nouns in subsequent lines or paragraphs. If one understands a pronoun reference incorrectly, the meaning of RC gets distorted. So it is very essential to understand the pronoun reference in RC to get understanding of the passage.

Insights on SC Section: -

1. In SC, the meaning is the king.
2. Only up to 600 to 650 level questions, one can solve by focusing primarily on grammar. Afterwards, one must focus on meaning to get the questions right.
3. Another striking difference came in my approach to attack the questions. One needs to spend sufficient time with the original sentence to understand the meaning and the problems in it. If one practice through this approach, a lot of time can be saved on exam day.

Second Attempt - GMAT

Finally, I decided to book a date for GMAT. I gave exam in April'2017 and scored 660 Q47 V34. Though I raised my overall score by 100 points and 13 points in verbal, I was not satisfied.

Enough is enough:-

It had already been 2 years and my family & social life was taking a plunge. In the mean-time, I changed my job also, leading to more job pressure. I almost gave-up to take on exam one more time. My family too was against any more preparation as I was unable to give time to them.

However, CJ pushed me to try once again as he too thought that I could do better. I once again entered into my prep. This time, I used GMAT Club tests for practicing quant. I also took a couple of classes from CJ on quant too on advanced concepts. Before that, I was relying on luck and was stuck on Q47.

My Last attempt – GMAT 710

Once again, the game was set. However, this time I didn’t tell anybody that I was taking the exam. On 18th Aug 2017, I gave exam and scored 710 Q50 V35. IR score too increased from 4 to 7. I have finally decided to stop preparing for GMAT but not learning the skills tested on GMAT.

My Learnings in the entire journey:-

1. Success is just one step away when you start thinking it is not possible.

2. GURU (Teacher) is essential to get success in life. In my case it was CJ :)

3. Approach matters more than practicing randomly.

4. “Jack of all trades, master of none” does not work in GMAT Prep. You need a specialist to help you in your GMAT journey.

5. Nothing is better than achieving success. However, even if one does not get success, GMAT preparation imparts great learning in the process. I'm much more matured now in email etiquette and written communication. Now, when I attend or conduct meetings, I am critical in taking or giving facts. My way of looking at data and information has changed a lot.

6. Luck only works if it is not included in the game plan.
_________________

Consider giving Kudos, if you find worth it :) !!

Kudos [?]: 32 [4], given: 28

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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
B
Joined: 08 Jun 2015
Posts: 323

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 101

Location: India
GMAT 1: 640 Q48 V29
Re: My GMAT Journey : 560 to 710 [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 24 Aug 2017, 08:53
AbhiGarg2007 wrote:
My story is a journey from 560 (Q47, V21) to 710 (Q50 V35). I’m sharing my story below with a hope that it helps a few aspirants.

Let me start with some of the initial challenges I faced even before I started my GMAT journey.


1. I was out of touch from academics from the last 8 years.
2. Job was going good (now many of you might think how this situation poses a challenge. It does. When everything is going good, you are in a comfort zone. You don’t want to try something odd, especially like GMAT ?).
3. My Family (Parents and wife as well) was against the idea that I devote time to studies at this age ;).
4. I am a mechanical engineer. My job not only had mental pressure - every day has a project deadline - but required a lot of physical movement and hence exertion as well.
5. I had a job in Tier-II city, which had (and even currently has) no good GMAT Prep center.
6. Unpredictable work schedule - my job involves lot of unplanned travelling, making regularity in study a daunting task.
7. My job was and is a six-days-a-week job. I do not get a luxury of two days off on the weekends.

If you are also facing any of these challenges, this story is definitely for you.

Starting of journey:-


I embarked on my GMAT journey on 8th Aug 2015, 8 long years after I graduated. I was completely out of touch with academics and fully involved in my job of presentations, excel and Microsoft word! So, I decided to join TIME (India's competitive exam coaching center) to get armored for GMAT. I dedicated wholeheartedly myself to the TIME faculty, methodology, study material, and mocks. I was doing fairly well in its materials and therefore decided to take the GMAT in May 2016. My worst dreams materialized when I scored a dismal 560 with Q 47, V21. A heart-breaking performance.

When I was attempting the verbal section, I was feeling like ‘It is all out of syllabus’! I had neither been taught nor practiced for that level of questions. I found striking differences in terms of language of questions and the kind of questions between what I had learnt and what I faced in the exam. I learnt the hard way that generalized preparation (Like many coaching centers in India offer) would not get me anywhere. These institutes are oriented towards Indian exams like CAT, XAT. They are not meant for the global exams such as GMAT.


Wake-Up call & Change in Direction:-


From the very next day of the exam, I took a week break from work and enjoyed the valleys of KASHMIR (India) to rejuvenate myself and start afresh. I very often heard the name of e-gmat. I decided to take its SC webinar. It was an eye-opener session. I was completely debunked. The approach and secrets taught were completely alien to me. I came to know that there is a concept like "meaning and conveying the message" of SC sentences. However, I ended up taking Magoosh course since it just cost me USD 100. I once again started with full energy, though a bit cautiously. I also joined GMATCLUB in-between.
Magoosh questions were really good for Quant, SC and RC. When I was about to exhaust my course, I started giving free mocks available on different websites such as Veritas, MGMAT etc. I was not able to score more than 620-630 on mocks. I realized what I was doing was not enough or probably not in right direction. Often, I didn’t like (in hindsight, understand) the correct choice. For me, the test-makers FORCE-FITTED logic to make the correct choice correct!! I was clearly frustrated and annoyed.
In hindsight, I understand that I was not able to understand why the correct choice was correct and the incorrect choice was incorrect. Clearly, if I was not understanding that, I was not learning from the questions. CJ later told me something that now seems common sense though. He said that if you are not learning from the questions, your practice is good for naught. The practice is useful only to the extent we are learning. Clearly, this explains the reason I was stuck.

A phase for tough decision- GMAT not my cup of tea or try differently


On GMATCLUB, I came across numerous interesting and comprehensive articles on CR by Chiranjeev Singh aka CJ, who was Director-Curriculum at e-GMAT at one time but is now a private GMAT tutor. I enquired about him from social media and friends and got positive feedback. Even though private tutoring is always much more expensive than any online course, I had to take a call for my career.
I decided to take sessions from him. In the first CR session, I was totally blank and hardly answered any of the questions. In that session itself, I realized that I was not moving in the right direction. Then, every subsequent session on CR changed and refined my thought process.

Insights on CR Section: -
1. Never make an assumption in order to validate answer choice
2. Precision is the key
3. Spend more time on CR argument than answer choices
4. Understand how to break long and convoluted sentences.

One big thing I realized from sessions with CJ was that the correct choices in CR questions are indeed correct!!


Insights on RC Section: -.

Two things CJ told me helped me the post in RC. Adopting these two things, I increased my accuracy from 20% to 80%.

1. To establish the relationship between a statement to the previous one
2. Figuring out which pronoun refers to which of the previous nouns. Unlike SC, RC contains a lot of different nouns in different contexts. RC passage refers to these nouns in subsequent lines or paragraphs. If one understands a pronoun reference incorrectly, the meaning of RC gets distorted. So it is very essential to understand the pronoun reference in RC to get understanding of the passage.

Insights on SC Section: -

1. In SC, the meaning is the king.
2. Only up to 600 to 650 level questions, one can solve by focusing primarily on grammar. Afterwards, one must focus on meaning to get the questions right.
3. Another striking difference came in my approach to attack the questions. One needs to spend sufficient time with the original sentence to understand the meaning and the problems in it. If one practice through this approach, a lot of time can be saved on exam day.

Second Attempt - GMAT

Finally, I decided to book a date for GMAT. I gave exam in April'2017 and scored 660 Q47 V34. Though I raised my overall score by 100 points and 13 points in verbal, I was not satisfied.

Enough is enough:-

It had already been 2 years and my family & social life was taking a plunge. In the mean-time, I changed my job also, leading to more job pressure. I almost gave-up to take on exam one more time. My family too was against any more preparation as I was unable to give time to them.

However, CJ pushed me to try once again as he too thought that I could do better. I once again entered into my prep. This time, I used GMAT Club tests for practicing quant. I also took a couple of classes from CJ on quant too on advanced concepts. Before that, I was relying on luck and was stuck on Q47.

My Last attempt – GMAT 710

Once again, the game was set. However, this time I didn’t tell anybody that I was taking the exam. On 18th Aug 2017, I gave exam and scored 710 Q50 V35. IR score too increased from 4 to 7. I have finally decided to stop preparing for GMAT but not learning the skills tested on GMAT.

My Learnings in the entire journey:-

1. Success is just one step away when you start thinking it is not possible.

2. GURU (Teacher) is essential to get success in life. In my case it was CJ :)

3. Approach matters more than practicing randomly.

4. “Jack of all trades, master of none” does not work in GMAT Prep. You need a specialist to help you in your GMAT journey.

5. Nothing is better than achieving success. However, even if one does not get success, GMAT preparation imparts great learning in the process. I'm much more matured now in email etiquette and written communication. Now, when I attend or conduct meetings, I am critical in taking or giving facts. My way of looking at data and information has changed a lot.

6. Luck only works if it is not included in the game plan.


Congrats :) Stories like these inspire !!!
_________________

" The few , the fearless "

Kudos [?]: 21 [0], given: 101

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 31 Aug 2011
Posts: 3

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 101

Location: India
GPA: 2.31
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)
Re: My GMAT Journey : 560 to 710 [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2017, 09:20
Super inspiring story. Congrats. All the best for your future. :)

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Posted from my mobile device

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 101

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Director
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Joined: 02 Sep 2016
Posts: 788

Kudos [?]: 43 [0], given: 274

Premium Member CAT Tests
My GMAT Journey : 560 to 710 [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2017, 09:40
That's a great debrief. Congrats.
I am in the same situation. I have been scoring 600 or so in Veritas tests. Do you think these tests (like Veritas) are tougher than the GMAT Prep tests?
_________________

Help me make my explanation better by providing a logical feedback.

If you liked the post, HIT KUDOS !!

Don't quit.............Do it.

Kudos [?]: 43 [0], given: 274

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 10 Aug 2016
Posts: 39

Kudos [?]: 32 [0], given: 28

Location: India
GMAT 1: 560 Q47 V21
GMAT 2: 710 Q50 V35
WE: Supply Chain Management (Manufacturing)
Re: My GMAT Journey : 560 to 710 [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 26 Aug 2017, 21:33
Shiv2016 wrote:
That's a great debrief. Congrats.
I am in the same situation. I have been scoring 600 or so in Veritas tests. Do you think these tests (like Veritas) are tougher than the GMAT Prep tests?



Hi Shiv,

Honestly, I dont think Veritas is tougher than GMATPrep. It is more or less similar. Infact my actual score is very much similar to Veritas. Yes, Manhattan quant is extraordinarily tougher than actual GMAC quant but again verbal is almost similar to official one.

Don't doubt on scoring or difficulty pattern of these tests. My personal experience says these tests give fair picture of expected score. You always have official exampack to validate your score :)
_________________

Consider giving Kudos, if you find worth it :) !!

Kudos [?]: 32 [0], given: 28

Re: My GMAT Journey : 560 to 710   [#permalink] 26 Aug 2017, 21:33
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