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Joined: Jan 11, 2016
730 Q50 V40
Taking the decision to quit your job of 14+ years and apply to B-school is risky. But once you take the risk, you need to make sure that your partners in the journey to MBA are dependable. And e-GMAT verbal and quant online courses are two really dependable partners who help you to cross that rickety GMAT bridge.
As for most non-native speakers, Sentence Correction was the greatest hurdle I had (or so I thought). I am an avid reader with more than 500 books in my personal library covering multiple topics. But still, I knew that relying on just that will not help me for sentence correction. I had attended the free SC and RC sessions by e-GMAT and did not think twice to order both the Quant and Verbal courses. And as per the plan suggested in e-GMAT, I started with SC.
To be honest, I had trouble with e-GMAT's SC process. Typically, I am a really fast test taker. 41 questions in 75 minutes does not pose a challenge to me, if it were not an adaptive test. In all the competitive exams I have faced, timing was never a problem for me. Following e-GMAT's SC process slowed me down. I started losing focus, and making a lot of mistakes. My score in scholaranium was pathetic for SC. But I had good scores for CR and RC, so I thought that may be enough.
Even though I knew SC was my weakness, I went ahead with the GMAT - to score a 630 with a V28. Given my demographic, I knew that was a low score. I ordered the ESR to see that while I was at the 83rd percentile on CR and 95th percentile on RC, my SC score was at the 5th percentile!
I had already booked my second test and had 22 days to improve my score. So basically, I had to figure a way to adapt the e-GMAT process. So, I decided to break it down. I started with subject verb agreement errors. If I could find the SV error or lack there of in a question, I would call it a win. Later I added other error types one by one till I was at least comfortable with 5 error types. It was the day of the second test by then.
The one mistake I did before the second test was to take 3 mock tests the day before. I scored 680, 690 and 700 in those mocks, but left me very tired for exam day. I was too tired going to the exam but still did feel that I improved well . But unfortunately, not enough. I got a 690 with a V35. A score just south of 700 was just not acceptable.
I took a whole month off after that. I started concentrating on my applications - but in the back of my mind I knew that this score was not enough. So after talking to my wife (2 GMAT attempts were all we budgeted for) I decided to do a third attempt - this time I planned it far off to the future. Got the ESR for the second GMAT- SC at 80th percentile, RC at 85th percentile and surprise, surprise - CR at 45th percentile!
Initially I could not figure out why such a low CR score. So I started taking more CR tests in scholaranium and started to pay more attention to my CR mistakes. What I majorly found was that for questions in topics I was aware of or those resonated well with me, I was developing some bias towards a view. For example, in a question regarding capitalists and socialists, my answer always had a bias to the socialists, even though it was not the right answer. So I had to figure out a way to suspend bias and be more open to other possibilities.
That was easier said than done. Combining that with being able to proceed with my natural speed of answering, the bias always won. I will not say it is something which I am able to control now - but it is better than before. For test number three, I made sure I was well rested the day before - I still did a mock anyways scoring a 710. The actual exam was better, scoring a 730 with a V40.
This whole effort was done in a period of 4 months from August to November 2017. In hindsight - I should have taken more time to prepare. Planning the prep in a more structured way, keeping a good error log and giving enough time to oneself to unlearn a few things that may hinder the GMAT exam is the best way to face the GMAT. e-GMAT provides the first - with a solid GMAT plan and excellent content. As a candidate we do need to find the discipline to learn and unlearn, so as to be prepared for the test.