770 it is Q51 V45
Thanks a lot everyone!! I am yet to decide on the applications thing though :). I have just over a year of experience, so I m thinking maybe I should wait another year to apply. Suggestions are welcome.
So here goes my GMAT journeyâ€¦I have written everything that came to my mind. So you might want to skim through it, only reading whatever is relevant to you.
PHASE 1 – Before Joining CrackVerbal
Many things were not clear to me – where to start from, what to study and what to skip. Specially with SC, there is tons and tons of material available to choose from. However, I had to start somewhere and so based on suggestions by numerous people( online and offline ), I started with SC grail( Aristotle ). The book is actually good, however, I was never sure of whether whatever I was doing was too much or too less. A lack of a proper schedule added to all the confusion and I was never whole heartedly into the â€œprep stageâ€. I realized then that I needed some external help to get my prep on track for once.
PS – I donâ€™t remember anything from SC grail. it was a long time back 🙂
PHASE 2 – CrackVerbal
After browsing some forums online and attending a demo class, I decided to join CrackVerbal. I think that this decision is one of the most important reasons for my good score. If you think CrackVerbal gave me some magic tricks which will only be available to you if you attend their classes, then No thats not what I am saying :). What helped me the most was the study plan given by CrackVerbal. Additionally, the corresponding study resources( the Day# thing is awesome as well ) and the online student support system is helpful. As soon as I enrolled, I knew exactly what I would be doing for the next 2-3 months( of course you need to trust them when they say it is more than enough ). However, theres no denying the fact that Arunâ€™s classes are one of the best study source I encountered. Every concept/technique( whether SC, CR or RC ) was made crystal clear in the class itself. I never felt the need of reading any other book after attending those classes.
It is a personal choice whether to take Quant or not. I had opted for the comprehensive course( being on a safe side ) and I completed both Verbal and Quant courses together. In the Quant classes, I could make out which areas need some extra work. IMO, its good to finish the classes as early as possible( with a little discomfort over the 6 or so weekends ) coz after that you get a lot of time for self study and self analysis. Thats what makes the difference at the end of the day.
Mid way in the course I had given my first diagnostic( GMAT Prep 1 ) and heres what I had scored.
Scaled Score Percentile
IR 7 81
Quant 47 73
Verbal 34 69
Total 660 81
At this point I knew that I need to improve in both the sections. Where in Quant I was lacking in timing/technique/temperament aspect of the exam, in Verbal I needed to improve on the concepts and application of those in the exam. Also I realized how important it is to have a time management technique so that no matter what, you are able to finish the exam( attempting all questions ).
PHASE 3 – Self Study
Mostly, I wasnâ€™t able to finish the homework on time :). I was always behind the homework schedule. So I completed most of them after my classes got over. My general order for each topic was to finish the CV Guides first, and then go to the Official Guide( No I was not touching Verbal/Quant Review as yet ).
I tried to maintain a very detailed error log as well. This helped me a lot because for every wrong answer, I was forced to analyze why I chose the wrong answer choice and why I eliminated the right one. Also the detailing helps you to recall the context of each mistake when you are reviewing the log at a later stage. Even when you do careless mistakes, writing what exactly was the careless mistake is always good because you sometimes see a repeating pattern there too.
Some section specific details
I think no one should hurry while solving the OG questions just to get the homework done. Each question is very important and even if you do a question right you should look at that the explanations given in the OG. If the OG explanations do not satisfy you( happened a lot with me ), then you can look for external sources that provide better explanations. There were days when I did just 10-15 questions a day because the post question analysis took a long time. I personally liked Maghoosh video explanations for SC which are easily available on the net. Additionally, for SC I had created another doc, just writing down any new SC rule I encounter( be it a new idiom or the modifier touch rule ). OG has good enough explanations for CR but again, do read them even if you get the question right. For RC I did not do much practice but every once in a while I used to do 2-3 passages randomly from the OG( timing them just to be sure I am not taking a lot of time ). The mapping technique was working well for me, however, the amount of info you write in the map should be fine-tuned as per your ability to retain( it should not me too much though ).
Once I was done with the OG. I gave my 2nd Gmat prep and had done quite well( 760 Q50 V42 ). At this point I was not sure whether I should solve the Verbal review( shortage of time). Arun suggested me to do only the last 50 questions for SC and CR and that was quite helpful as well. I would suggest that If you have ample time, solve at least the the full SC section. There is always scope for more in SC 🙂
The OG level is much below the level of questions that you get once you cross the Q45 level. Hence, you should finish this resource as soon as possible. You donâ€™t need to see explanations for all questions. Just for the wrong questions or the ones that took you a long time. Additionally, I created a small sheet just for writing some random techniques that I didnâ€™t know or tend to forget. Noting down some questions to be revisited later also helps. Beyond that solve GMAT prep/Retired GMAT questions as much as possible. Try to make concepts like properties of numbers, divisibility, ratios, percentages as strong as possible. Donâ€™t put in a lot of time in those topics from which only 2-3 questions are expected. Prioritize. Make use of the webinars made available by CV( for weak areas ). There are free webinars available from other sources as well( specially number properties by egmat )
I did not solve Quant Review
Random suggestions / Things that worked for me
–The approach of managing your whole time in terms of 5 ’15 minâ€™ intervals is the way to go IMO. This worked wonders for me. I tried to maintain Q8(60 mins left) – Q16(45 mins left ) – Q23( 30 mins left ) – Q30( 15 mins left ) – Q37( finish ) for Quant and Q9(60 mins left) – Q17(45 mins left ) – Q25( 30 mins left ) – Q35( 15 mins left ) – Q41( finish ) for Verbal. I usually started skipping questions midway( if needed )
-Use the online resources to a very good use. There are lot of online forums available including this one( I was quite active here ). Donâ€™t blindly follow random peopleâ€™s explanations in forums like gmatclub. I found most explanations by Ron Pureval in the Manhattan forum very helpful – both for Quant( gmat prep ) and Verbal( verbal review and gmat prep )
-Do quality practice. Donâ€™t waste a lot of time reading theory from books. When you solve, read the explanations given at multiple places and then write down any new rule/technique you encounter. For example, in SC I never read a lot of theory/grammar. I just did as many ( good ) questions as I could, read the explanations of confusing/wrongly answered questions from multiple sources and maintained a separate doc just for SC rules
-Do detail analysis of the Questions( right and wrong both ) in the Gmat prep practice tests and try to see how the experts solved the same questions( online forums ).
-First give all gmat prep practice tests(or maybe you can leave one for the end ) and then go to the advance Doc. I had just solved 20 questions from the advanced doc( shortage of time ) but even then I felt there were some repetitions.
-There is not much difference in V40 and V45. But just a 1 point increase in the Quant score – from 49 to 50 or 50 to 51 can bring at least a 20 points difference in your score. So you should put in efforts accordingly.
–TestDay – Remember to take your passport :). Once you come back inside after taking the break, the invigilator starts the exam even if you have time left. So donâ€™t be in a hurry to run back( use the centreâ€™s clock if there is one to keep track ). Get used to practicing with marker on the GMAT scratchpad( Would suggest CrackVerbal to improve that infra. It is not up to the mark ). If you finish a section early, donâ€™t be in a hurry to end the section, take some rest. Make sure the markers are working before you go inside the test room.
-Finally, donâ€™t blindly follow others’ advice. Start experimenting and you would eventually figure out what works for you.
Congrats, could you please share your logs and cards. You mentioned of some detailed analysis for each question, please share that excel sheet. I wil use it as a template or reference for my study. Thanks in advance. My email id: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me start by thanking Crack Verbal for its excellent classroom experience as well as its full-proof student support system. IMO, the study schedule/plan provided by CrackVerbal is more than enough to crack this exam!!
As for me, only day before yesterday I got to know that I need a passport to take the GMAT( Yes I didn’t know that 🙂 ). So from almost being sure that I won’t be able to take my exam today, to scoring an awesome 770, its something 😀
Today, I am too tired/lazy to write my full debrief. And generally also, my preparation was not a very idealistic one :P. However I will soon sit and jolt down my experiences for the benefit of everyone. One advice, follow what Arun( and CrackVerbal ) says!!!
Edit – Have added the detailed debrief below
Gurpreet( email@example.com )