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Joined: Mar 13, 2013
Appearing for the fourth time wasn't easy. After the previous unsuccessful attempts, it was devastating, took a lot of courage and a lot of support from my husband and family. They believed in me and had the confidence that I could kill the beast (that's what the GMAT was for me).
I have done a Post-Graduation in Finance from India; worked with CRISIL (India's premier credit rating agency) and settled in USA after marriage. I was among the 3 candidates from 250 to be chosen for the job in CRISIL. Writing this not to boast but just to let know that an exam is not a replica of a person’s capabilities and how to handle rejection and stand up after breaking down completely.
The GMAT taught me that, never imagined would have to give a fourth attempt, when have excelled at everything else in life.
I know 610 isn’t as good as 700 but for me it is an achievement, the much needed success to get back the belief in myself.
I am writing this post for people who are strugglers like I am and are thinking what to do next, or what is it that they are not doing right. Why me? Trust me, I asked these questions to myself every time and finally I was able to answer them.
Let me start with my fourth attempt:
I appeared on 11th July, 2013. On the exam day, I was a nervous wreck and was scared to death. Just didn’t want history to repeat itself and there it was a blessed 610 - 40 in Quant and 34 in Verbal. Finally, the hard work paid off.
I was so happy to see a 34 in verbal as it was the section that gave me the wonderful 400s everytime. I thought I was good at English but the GMAT changed my perspective. Never was I able to get above 20. For the 34, I would really like to thank e-GMAT verbal prep and the downloads on GMAT Club. I took it 20 days before my exam, after I contacted Rajat, asked him what would be the best option and when my husband finally made the decision for me as I wasn't ready for taking up a new course just 20 days prior. But e-GMAT really helped me gain a lot of confidence in my weakest section.
The course that they have is structured very well. It really makes you see details that you have not seen. It is truely said that what you see is what you remember better then what you read. e-GMAT follows this. I finished all the videos of SC, RC and CR within 13 days. They also have practice files (which were really helpful).
For SC: The SC videos are just too good. I was always good at SC but the e-GMAT videos helped me to understand the intricacies and gave a few shortcuts that really helped during the exam. For the first time I was able to look at the question, know what was wrong and mark the answer straight away. This saved a lot of time. It basically showed me how to find the mistakes and how to correct them without even looking at the choices. Something I was not able to do in my previous attempts.
For CR: I hated the inference and the assumption questions. Thank God I didn't get any on the exam day but e-GMAT made these very simple. I used to always get confused between two answers and invariably mark the wrong ones. I know many people face this, but the course I took thought me how to not choose the wrong answer and how one word in the choice can make it incorrect. e-Gmat has a process called pre thinking, I wasn't able to master it due to shortage of time but in some questions during the actual exam it really helped me to mark the answers as I could pre think them.
For RC: This was my biggest problem. But again the videos of e-Gmat helped me a lot. They taught me how to take notes, what kind of answers can be for the questions asked and again how to pay attention to each and every word in the choices. For example: if there is a passage on: cure of some diseases and in one of the answer choices they say cure of all diseases you eliminate that choice. It is very obvious that you would do that, but GMAT has a tendency to frame answer choices in a way that make you mark the wrong one. I did that and I am sure many would be able to relate to this.
Apart from the e-GMAT videos I also downloaded all the 700+ files from the GMAT Club free download areas. These also helped a lot in my practice, and helped me get better.
My three attempts; what went wrong:
My first attempt was on May 29, 2012. I was confident and thought I could get a 600 easily, but I ended up with a 480. I did not take any classes, just downloaded materials from websites and studied from Kaplan (which was not helpful at all). The first time material wasn’t right and I took it rather lightly.
The University I was applying to said it would give me a chance to appear again. On July 2, 2012 I retook the test and scored a mere 400. I was devastated and lost on the admissions. I decided that I was not going to try again, but being on an H4 visa and having no plans to go back to India did not leave me a choice but to reappear. Analyzing on why I scored 80 points lower, I realized that I was scared, under time pressure, and focused too much on marking the right answer rather than focusing on the questions and answer choices.
Third attempt: This time I went as far as going back to India taking classes and appearing there. But the classes I took concentrated more on quant then on verbal (which was my weakness, quant was never that much of a problem), they gave me a lot of tests which I started appearing for one week before the exam. My performance on the tests was average I scored a 600-640. Thinking that this time I would get a 600 I went for the GMAT on January 17, 2013. I was very nervous during the exam and was really scared for verbal...I ended up with a 490. I was in tears and lost all my confidence. I didn't know what had happened.
After coming back from India, now I had taken it on to myself. I had lost all my self respect. I told my husband that this time I am going to fight it and get over with it.
In my previous attempts I was scared, under pressure, lacked on confidence and was so focused on marking the right answers that it resulted in a bad performance. Also, the material for the first two attempts were not up to the mark. Studying smartly is very important.
When I went for the fourth attempt, although I was scared, I was confident and this time I took each question as it came being more focused and well versed with the basics and the intricacies, with smarter and better practice.
In the end I would just like to add that GMAT has thought me to be courageous, patient, handle rejection as well as pressure and strengthened my never-give-up attitude. Beating the GMAT is not very simple but it's not very difficult either--it just has to be done the right way. Also, I would like to thank e-GMAT and my family for standing by me through this one.