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Joined: Feb 13, 2011
710 Q48 V38
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I would like to share my experience so far with the study curriculum of e-GMAT. I believe my review will be most helpful for non- natives. I am from India a B. Tech and MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai (MBA aspirants from India would know). I have around 4.5 years of post graduate work experience and generally work 60-70 hours a week. I am a FRM holder and CFA Level 3 candidate and have academically done well throughout. I am a credit analyst and frequently required to write reports and do number crunching. Thus, I was a bit overconfident and never thought taming GMAT would be difficult. GMAT humbled me, showed me I was wrong.
1st Attempt (January 7, 2013) (570, Q47, V22): Disaster - I was applying for Autumn 2013 intake for two specific courses, however, as the average work experience of the class was around 7 years I was asked to apply after a minimum of 5 years work experience plus for Autumn 2014 intake. Though I knew this was not my final attempt, since I had already registered for the exam I tried to give it a shot. The resource material used was Manhattan entire strategy guides, and OG. Quant PS was quite easy for FDP, Geometry, word problems and algebra. DS was a bit tricky for number properties.
Sentence correction: Too different from how we are taught English in our schools. We can frame our own sentences which we know are correct and carry with flow. However, when subjected to sentences with different structure finding the correct answer was tricky. I read the Manhattan SC book twice and tried to memorize all the idioms. Though I understood the rules, their application was far far away. Whenever subjected to a complex sentence I would read the entire sentence and was unable to find anything wrong with it. I would read the answer choices, look for splits, madly try to look for parallelism and many other mistakes. Accuracy suffered and timing was poor.
Critical Reasoning: I was okay with the CR from the beginning. The guides helped identifying the types of problems etc. Timing was decent except the only few where I was stuck between 2 choices and had to re-read the question and the choices.
Reading Comprehension: Tough! Solving the problems in time was impossible. I took around 15 mins to solve 4 questions. The guide said make notes, read the 1st para/sentence twice. I followed everything but, still, accuracy was poor and time consumed was highest.
Interactive reasoning: The guide had just a glimpse of what the problems will be like. Not too many problems to solve. I did not know even just before taking the exam that for each individual question you have to answer the sub questions correctly or else you will not be awarded a point for that question.
Exam experience: I did not touch quants or solve any problems for at least 1 to 1.5 months before the exam. I only wanted to focus on verbal and my timing. The argument essay was okay. IR managing time was tricky. Quants though wasted time on few DS questions but still solved all the questions with 3 mins to spare. Took my break. Verbal I had heard the first 10-15 questions are very important, they will decide your overall score. I spent the initial 45- 50 mins with the first 20 questions and from there the disaster was waiting to happen. I submitted the answers to the last few questions even without seeing them.
I was shattered, even with this low level preparation I had expected a score of 640 plus so that I could improve to a 700 plus score in my final attempt. Then at the end of FY13 I started looking for study options. I had long working hours, so classroom programs were not for me. While exploring across GMAT Club I came across the e-GMAT program. I attended one of the free session on SC and strategy and I liked the course at once. I registered for the Verbal live prep program.
Here is the difference that e-GMAT brought to my study program.
Sentence Correction: It is a remarkably well-designed course. I moved finding splits and what sounded correct to finding the errors and looking for meaning. My problem-solving approach has changed in all aspects, now breaking the sentences into clauses and the subsequently looking for errors such as subject verb disagreement, verb, pronouns, structure, modifiers and idioms errors. The structure was set and timing has improved with practice. The applications files and online classes were eye openers, how the concepts were applied to each and every question. I realized at times the split was irrelevant and the sentence had other errors that made it incorrect. While in my prior approach, I used to select the answer choices based on the split. The concept files are amazing and helped in my daily work as well.
Critical Reasoning: The course has been great in improving my accuracy. It gave me tools which can be applied with precision. The new concepts were ABC test for finding the conclusion in case of confusion. I learned a better application of negation test, variance analysis which helped me in assumptions and evaluate type questions. And pre-thinking has become a part of solving the problem. Though I just have one pre- thought answer to question before seeing the options, the process made choosing the final answer easier.
Reading Comprehension: I have tried to internalize the RC passages using the RC strategies. Humanities passages don’t haunt me anymore. Still I need to improve on my timing and accuracy.
Interactive Reasoning: I haven’t seen so much material on IR on any forum. All type of probable questions from graphs, 2 part quants, table, verbal, MSR etc. Though the question on standalone basis are not tough but been familiar with the structure has its own rewards.
Presently, I am almost a month out from taking the GMAT exam, still I believe that e-GMAT course has already made a big difference in my performance in my verbal scores. On my Manhattan mock tests I am able to complete the verbal and IR portion on time. Accuracy has improved and my raw score is hovering around 34- 35. I am trying to improve the same in the range of 37- 40 in my final month.
Wish me luck for my GMAT exam next month. The best part of the course is that it teaches you a new way to look at the problems and helps you to internalize the process and apply it across all questions. I hope my review will be helpful to non natives.