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My Journey - The Unfinished

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Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Sep 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Canada
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
Schools: Ivey '20 (I)
GMAT 1: 580 Q35 V31
GPA: 2.7
My Journey - The Unfinished  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 19:30
Graduate Management Admission Test, GMAT, has been the hardest thing I've done since going 45 days with a wired jaw and only liquid foods. One year from 2015 October, 2016 October I heard from a colleague they were planning on taking the GMAT for an MBA, this intrigued me as I had never looked at what an MBA provides to different types of careers, aka mine.
I googled GMAT/MBA and was immediately directed to GMATclub.
I was infected with the GMAT bug, I signed up for the same tutor as my colleague and did a mock exam, result 540 Q32 V31, my sister who had completed and MBA had a 590, I thought to myself I might just be able to crack this exam if I start at a 540.
I started going to the tutor and reading up on what schools look at in a candidate, I realized that the biggest hurdle for me will be my GPA, ~2.45 from one of uOttawa/Carleton/McMaster in BCom MIS. Not too challenging of a course load, the reason for my GPA was my lack of focus and a nonchalant attitude towards grades. I scored a B+ average on courses I enjoyed and C in ones I didn't, with one semester being atrocious E,E,F,C. Yes, it was that bad at one point, I do have an extenuating circumstance for that one semester, where in the second semester of my first year the school decided to put me on probation even though my first semester grades were adequate. They decided that my high school grades were lower than they anticipated.

I've read the entirety of the Low GPA thread at least 20 times to understand how to mitigate the GPA, again and again it came back to GMAT. I set myself the mammoth task of mitigating my GPA by scoring a 750 Q49 V43, so I kept going to the tutor and after 2 months lost steam as I was not studying in my own time, thinking I could wing by. I lost focus and stopped studying till January 2018. I instead focused on being promoted and subsequently moving to one of the Big 4, I was ultimately successful after being rejected by one of the Big 4, five times, sixth time lucky!
Once at the new company, I wanted to ramp up quickly but also realized I am 26 and if I want to do my MBA I need to get my GMAT score. I started again with the tutor and went to the tutor for 1 month but still did not study in my own time, I stopped with him and lost focus again with my job ramping up. I tried going with empowerGMAT, they have great materials and amazing customer support but I found that I'm not disciplined enough to keep a schedule on my own. I then signed up for a Kaplan course and completed it and scored a 630 in the Kaplan test, I forget the breakdown. The Kaplan course is meant for people who are targeting a mid 600 score IMO, the instructor himself had a 720, not sure how he would've helped me to a 750.

I started again with the tutor from June 1st, wrote a CAT to score a 610 Q40 V34.
I actually studied for the first time on my own every day, for 1.5 weeks and took another on June 15th CAT to score 670 Q41 V41, I had always been strong at verbal and just consistent reading and a little bit of direction in SC has helped me maintain that higher end Verbal.

Today I took another CAT after a terrible week of barely any studying, due to my friend being in a crisis and asking desperately for help and myself not being able to get into a study zone due to work and relationship problems, as well as a camping trip that I was insanely nervous going to without studying this week properly. I scored a 620 Q36 V39.

Summary:

GMATPrep

November 2016: 540 Q31 V32
1st June 2018: 610 Q40 V34
15th June 2018: 670 Q41 V41
2nd July 2018: 620 Q36 V39

All in all, I know my quant is way below par and I know that when maxx'd out I am a Q43-44 at the moment, I am continuing with my tutor. I am also maintaining error logs from the OG to track and re-do, review problems I get wrong. I made a tracker to see whether I'm getting questions in the exam wrong from a specific angle, but they were ALL over the place.

The only reason for this post is me wanting to share and note down my experience and tell anyone who bothers reading that there are ups and downs, what matters is how you respond.
I've had my wonderful gf volunteer to take care of my meals for the next little bit so I can focus on my quant score.
For anyone wondering, my target schools are Ivey and Cornell Johnson. My long term career goal is to get in to the strategy side of technology, I already have a soft technical background (no dev work, more projects) so I thought lets move into strategy and then tech. Instead of moving into full immersion of tech then strategy. I also prefer to remain in Toronto, hence leaning towards Ivey for now.

I'll update this post as my scores *hopefully* improve.
P.S. If anyone has any comments or help for improving your quant score, I am ALL EARS.

Thanks GMATClub
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Intern
Intern
User avatar
B
Joined: 09 Jun 2018
Posts: 25
Location: United States (IN)
GPA: 3.95
WE: Engineering (Transportation)
GMAT ToolKit User
Re: My Journey - The Unfinished  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jul 2018, 19:52
1
Here are some excellent posts by bb that I read recently. Not sure if you have already seen these, but here you go:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 42810.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 41670.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-ultimate ... 09801.html

You should definitely try some strategies from the above posts. Maybe building up confidence slowly by getting more questions correct is the way to go here. Have you tried picking questions from sub-600 level first, get most of them/all of them correct, then move to 600-700 level questions and then try to get as many correct as possible and so on? That might help with developing an eye for the common GMAT traps which become more complex with the level of questions.

I myself just started prep and have found that I tend to miss key words in the question like x and y are +ve integers or consecutive numbers and so on. But after tripping a couple times on such types, I've started looking out for just these words in a question stem (Not yet mastered, still tripping up sometimes). That said, I have also realized that good amount of practice with gradual increase in level of questions and a good error log helps a lot. (All of which are available in this forum!)

Just my thoughts. Hope this helps!
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Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 23 Sep 2016
Posts: 29
Location: Canada
Concentration: Strategy, Technology
Schools: Ivey '20 (I)
GMAT 1: 580 Q35 V31
GPA: 2.7
Re: My Journey - The Unfinished  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2018, 08:20
Thanks for the reply nkin.
I'm maintaining an error log and was initially focus on only the medium/hard/very hard but switched yesterday to warm up with 10 easy then move into harder ones to build confidence.

I'm trying to improve my reading of quant questions to make it one time read only, instead of reading it again.

I'll be doing a free test this Saturday and will post my score here, see how it goes.
Re: My Journey - The Unfinished &nbs [#permalink] 05 Jul 2018, 08:20
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My Journey - The Unfinished

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