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Intern
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Joined: 10 Jun 2022
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GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V34
GMAT 2: 740 Q49 V41
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Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Strategy
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Re: Stairways to GMAT Heaven [#permalink]
Congrats on your score UltimatePotato. What materials did you go through for RC strategies?
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Re: Stairways to GMAT Heaven [#permalink]
Hello everybody! I saw this debrief discussed in a private chat group and decided weigh in and rate it.

Dear Ultimate Potato - thank you for your debrief. Please do not take this message personally. My goal is only to rate the debrief and debrief quality and I hope that my posts will help to elevate debrief quality. This is my first post but I am hoping to post a few per week picking the most interesting and helpful ones. I welcome your thoughts about my post.

Debrief Summary:
1. The test-taker has started preparing in March 2022. Diagnostic mock score is unknown
2. Took a test in May or June (mentioned 2+ month of prep that was unstructured and only solving questions from the OG) and scored 710 (Q50, V34) - that's a solid score bro!
3. Created account on GMAT Club on June 10 after their attempt. Not clear
4. Never posted prior to debrief (MINUS ⭐)
5. The debrief writer spent 2+ months and gained 30 points and took another GMAT in Aug scoring 740 (Q49, V41) improving their V score significantly but a decline in the quantitative section
6. The debrief then proceeds to idolize a specific product which most of the debrief is centered around. (it appears this debrief is in fact a review written by the user with a few more tips attached). MINUS ⭐⭐⭐ for posting a product review as a debrief
7. PLUS ⭐for providing tips
8. The poster of the debrief has not posted since. Minus ⭐
9. The poster also submitted a review largely the same text which was verified with score report telling us this is likely a real person and not a fake. Plus ⭐
10 The review was edited a few times indicating the poster took some effort to improve it. Thank you Ultimate Potato. I like your username!



Debrief Analysis
The debrief has helpful points at the end - thank you for that. However, overall, this debrief puts all attention on the product and I find it lacking helpfulness, in part seems because a product review was copy pasted. It also seems odd that someone was able to score 710 with a very unstructured approach and having spent the same amount of time and quite a bit more money were only able to improve their score by 30 points. If anything, it seems the original approach would have resulted into a better score. Morevover, the "wonder weapon" even coupled with what seems like personal attention from Rida (instructor?) who have gone above and beyond, ONLY RESULTED INTO 30 points. It is quite an underwhelming debrief if you ask me. 30 points in 2 months. Were you trying to be sarcastic? I would have expected a higher score after doubling your prep time and using a "wonder weapon"


Debrief Rating: ⭐⭐ out of 5 Stars
(this is my first rating so I am still developing the star-rating system)

P.S. If you found this review/rating helpful or unhelpful, please use vote/kudos button or please let me know in a reply if you disagree. I also want to improve my argument and verbal skills and welcome your help.
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Re: Stairways to GMAT Heaven [#permalink]
1
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DebriefRater – your analysis is interesting. Let us start with some very obvious points.

Quote:
“It also seems odd that someone was able to score 710 with a very unstructured approach and having spent the same amount of time and quite a bit more money were only able to improve their score by 30 points. If anything, it seems the original approach would have resulted into a better score. Morevover, the "wonder weapon" even coupled with what seems like personal attention from Rida (instructor?) who have gone above and beyond, ONLY RESULTED INTO 30 points. It is quite an underwhelming debrief if you ask me. 30 points in 2 months. Were you trying to be sarcastic? I would have expected a higher score after doubling your prep time and using a "wonder weapon"”



Just 30 points – focus on what has led to those 30 points


Despite claiming to analyze this debrief with such focus, you failed to observe that this student improved his Verbal score from V34 to V41- or a full 7 points. V34 is 69th percentile on GMAT Verbal while V41 is 93rd percentile. Rather, than congratulating him on his achievement, you chose to belittle this student’s achievement. Let me add some context to this stat:

1. A majority of native speakers are unable to score a V41.
2. Fewer than 5% of non-native speakers score a V41.

Bottom line: Scoring V41 is no easy feat, regardless of whether you are a native or a non-native.


The value of 30 points

If you want to understand the value of these 30 points, then try asking those who faced rejections because they did not have these 30 points.

At 710, Ayush was waitlisted by ROSS and Columbia. These schools told him that his GMAT score was not “high enough”. The same schools admitted him with scholarship when he improved to 750. Note, he did not even apply again. He just updated his score. Ayush worked two months for these 40 points.

With 730, Dipinty Ghoshal received two waitlists. She improved to 760 and received multiple admits with scholarships. Coincidently, she wrote about the same on her LinkedIn today. You can watch her interview here.

With 680, Krishna Kanth received 10+ rejections. Many of the same schools offered KK a full ride once he scored a 720. KK spent months improving to 720.

Contact each one of these people, and they will tell you that the months invested to achieve their respective improvement was one of the best investments they could have made. Given a choice, they would do it again.


710 to 740 is not the same as 600 to 630

I am 45 years old. I can jump three feet (36 inches) vertically quite easily. I am sure that with some training I will be able to reach 40 inches. However, it will take me 2 years of training to jump 44 inches. In fact, for humans, it is almost impossible to jump higher than 50 inches.

Bottom line: We live in a non-linear world. To measure things linearly is foolishness. What are we going to do next – belittle Usnain Bolt because, after training for years, he beat Asafa Powell’s record by .02 seconds.

BTW – Souvik– a retired moderator spent years improving his GMAT score from 710 to 740 and then to 760. You can read his story here.

bb – I understand that this is a free community. However, do we allow people to belittle other member’s hard-earned achievements. Please note I am referring to this quote and the part in caps.

Quote:
Morevover, the "wonder weapon" even coupled with what seems like personal attention from Rida (instructor?) who have gone above and beyond, ONLY RESULTED INTO 30 points. It is quite an underwhelming debrief if you ask me. 30 points in 2 months. Were you trying to be sarcastic? I would have expected a higher score after doubling your prep time and using a "wonder weapon"”


BTW – you tacitly indicated that Rida provided private tutoring to this student. This was not the case. At e-GMAT, we don’t offer private tutoring. We provide strategy support free of charge as a part of our LM (Last Mile) program to many students. Each LM student gets their own dashboard with clearly laid out milestones and metrics, all personalized to them.


Idolize a course


Here is some data for you. This entire debrief is 928 words. 682 words or about 74% of this debrief talks about strategies and best practices that worked for him. He does not mention e-GMAT here. 155 words or about 16% of his words are spent on outlining how and why he chose the e-GMAT course. The remaining 10% of his words are spent on praising e-GMAT. If you call this idolizing a resource that has helped him improve from V34 to V41 then maybe that is ok. Let us keep that 10% metric and evaluate every debrief. Accordingly, take two stars away from that rating where more than 10% of words are spent talking about resources that the respective poster used.


To summarize


We don’t live in a linear world. Once you reach the pinnacle of performance, you need to put in disproportionate amount of effort for every ounce of improvement. This, however, does not make that improvement any less valuable.

The cost per KWh for Tesla’s batteries improved by a mere 9% as they moved from 1865 to 2170 battery cells. Should we focus on the mere 9% number, or should we cheer the fact that the cheapest mass-produced cell became cheaper? While you can make your own choice, I would prefer to focus on the latter, as I am sure most people would.

Rajat
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Joined: 04 Dec 2002
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GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
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Re: Stairways to GMAT Heaven [#permalink]
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Thank you for bringing this interesting post to my attention. It is nice to see you Rajat defend the poster's honor. It would be good to hear from the debrief author as well since this is mostly about their debrief and we are sort of spectators here :angel:

I think it is clear that it was a low effort copy/paste of the review. The OP is welcome to disagree and push back - would love to hear from them, what they think about the rating of their debrief. It does seem they put some effort into it and edited it a few times :thumbsup: The way I see it - someone wrote a review of the course with glowing colors (that's their opinion) and then they copy/pasted it it with a number of helpful tips, which is good but it is fair to call it out since it is a more of a product review rather than what I am used to seeing as a traditional debrief. (I do want to point out that even though the user does not have their score verified on the forum, they did indeed verify it for the review as indicated on this page: https://gmatclub.com/reviews/user/UltimatePotato - our Forum and Reviews separate verification so that users can keep their scores on the forum private if they wished to).

In terms of belittling - it is a tricky question. It was pointed out that 710 was a solid score. It seems the main purpose of pointing out the 30-point improvement may have been to point out a discrepancy between the glowing review that was turned into a debrief with the actual result received. I think it would be worth explaining that to get a high 700 score and improve it is really hard. I think that's something to explain to the overall population and worth mentioning and outlining. But right now, the way it is written, it is a bit odd for the user did not have a plan, studied without any prep materials and they were able to hit 710 and then after 2 months with all the resources and prep, they improved 30 points.... Tough sell for the ROI on those 30 points. Though in reality, it is even harder to get an extra 10 points to get to 750. The original debrief does not go into those details. It seems to be fairly casual with the user stumbling onto a course and not doing much thinking/research or setting expectation of a hard battle. It is possible they put more effort into their prep and took more seriously but it is not easy to tell except perhaps via the detailed course specifics. Bottom line, I don't think in this case someone is getting belittled for the purpose of shaming their score. 710 is a good score and 740 is a great score! It is 97th percentile, so really hard to get above that.

Interesting fact - I only noticed it now after typing all of the above so not sure if I am contradicting myself but UltimatePotato posted their review on July 16th and their debrief over a month later. It seems out of pattern for someone to post their debrief months after getting their score, esp since they did that as their one and only post. I think it would be good to hear from the UltimatePotato about their motivation and reason for posting it 5 weeks later. At least they put some effort into coming up with a username - give them a credit for that! But would be good to know what spurred it?

It will be interesting to see if the DebriefRater posts more or if that's a burner account that comes and goes - i think it will be clear pretty soon and that may point to their intentions.

This is my take on the points brought up.
Feel free to push back - I don't always get everything right.
-BB.
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Re: Stairways to GMAT Heaven [#permalink]
Expert Reply
Well... seems we did not get a comment from the author or the critic 😢
I am somewhat disappointed...
Intern
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Joined: 10 Jun 2022
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GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V34
GMAT 2: 740 Q49 V41
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Stairways to GMAT Heaven [#permalink]
2
Kudos
Hi everyone bb, DebriefRater and egmat,

Apologies for the late reply. I was away for a few days. First of all, I would like to thank all of you for your feedback. I appreciate the thought that all of you have put into these and hopefully I may provide some extra details on the points I have mentioned, for the benefit of the community.

1. I was able to get the 710 score with 2+ months of preparation, relying mainly on the OG course book.
- This is true. As I had mentioned earlier in my review, I have an Engineering background and graduated from university in the UK. Hence, I was relatively confident with both my Quant and Verbal skills. Overconfident, I foolishly decided to prep for the exam relying mainly on solving questions from the OG course book (no structure to my approach). I found the Quant section relatively okay for me and did struggle in the Verbal section, a struggle which I thought can be resolved through solving as many questions as I can (solving each question in the OG course book twice).

2. The role eGMAT played in my GMAT journey.
- I took the course for only a month as I knew my weaker area was the Verbal section (plus I did not have much time to take the exam after July). I stumbled upon eGMAT 3 days prior to my exam (Went through the free content and found it useful; Signed up for it when I obtained my score, which I was not satisfied with). As mentioned by Rajat, Rida was not a private tutor, she was just a mentor (checked in on my progress & provided some extra support when I requested for it) throughout my eGMAT journey. Most of my learnings were done via eGMAT's online platform, from video lectures to quizzes / exercises. The eGMAT platform gave me much needed structure in my prep that I did not had previously and hence I wanted to emphasize that point (needing a structure) via my debrief.

3. Other pointers.
a. My 710 attempt happened in early June, and my 740 attempt took place in early July. (Roughly 1 month between the 2 attempts)
b. I never had a GMAT Club account prior to my 710 attempt. I only created it after I enrolled into eGMAT as I wanted to expand my GMAT prep material beyond the OG course book.
c. My debrief is centered around the key learnings I have gained throughout my GMAT journey and thought that those pointers would be the most beneficial to the community. (Hence, the pointers are roughly similar to my review)
d. The decline in my Quant score was simply due to my performance on the day of the exam.
e. I am in no way trying to be sarcastic in my debrief. All the points mentioned are my genuine thought on my GMAT journey, including the eGMAT course.
f. I do not intend for my debrief to sound like I am idolizing a product. I merely wanted to highlight eGMAT's role in my GMAT journey.

I understand that my debrief might be lackluster in some areas and appreciate the feedback given to me. This is my first time writing in such a public forum and will be sure to improve on it in my subsequent post.

Once again, apologies for the late reply and I hope these points do help clear things up.
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Re: Stairways to GMAT Heaven [#permalink]
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Thank you everyone for your feedback.
Appreciate it and and hope to do better with my next review. You gave me ideas to improve my approach.

Ultimate Potato: thanks for your comments and congratulations on your score. Great result! Thanks for not taking offence.

P.S. I have no intention of arguing with anyone.
Have a good night!
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Re: Stairways to GMAT Heaven [#permalink]
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