Congratulations on you score.
Are you a native english speaker?
First of all, I can't express in words how thankful I am to this community in helping me improve my score. Although I have been a silent observer(like a lot of others), I have made immense use of this forum and gained a lot from here
I feel so relieved today. My 6 month long GMAT journey has ended and it's such a relief that it ended with a great score!
My first GMAT attempt was in November,2010. I took the exam after preparing for 2 months. I was not very consistent with my studies during preparation. However, I didn't expect that I would get this bad a score because I had always been good at Quant and I thought that I'd be able to manage a decent enough score on the Verbal section.
Strategy after the first attempt
I took a break of 10 days after my first attempt as I didn't want to burn myself out.
Then I chalked out a plan for myself and decided to keep a daily planner of my preparation so that I am able to track how my preparation is shaping up. I divided my preparation into stages and my focus areas was Verbal as I didn't have much problem on the Quant section. Here's my approach for each of the three areas on Verbal
1) Sentence Correction: In retrospection , this was the area which I did badly on when I took the GMAT for the first time. My concepts were not clear and I had a hard time figuring out the differences between the last choices which remain after you eliminate the three choices in a question. I used the suggestions given here on the forum and bought Manhattan GMAT SC Guide and Aristotle SC Grail. I started with SC Grail and then moved on to Manhattan GMAT SC Guide. After doing both the books, I started with the questions in the OG12 and my accuracy was around 80% .
2) Critical Reasoning: I used Powerscore CR Bible for CR and found the strategies to be quite effective.After sometime, I started applying them naturally or instinctively. I learnt the right strategies for tackling each type of question in CR and could see the results of that when I practised questions from OG12.
3) Reading Comprehension: RC was my biggest weakness last time, not so much because I am poor at it but because I never really practiced it. I started reading The Econmist and The Wall street Journal as the quality of editorials and the issues they cover is really good. Alongwith I started doing passages from the Official Guide. The Official Guide passages are quite good.However, most of them are on the easier side and have around 8 questions while on the GMAT you see around 3-4 questions per passages.I started with the medium difficulty level passages in RC99 and did all the passages. In each passage, I would analyze my understanding of the passage ,the correct and the wrong answers thoroughly. By the time, I moved to high difficulty levels passages in it, I was able to comprehend RCs better and could see that in my accuracy.
Practice CAT Scores
Manhattan GMAT CAT#1 690
Manhattan GMAT CAT#2 620
Manhattan GMAT CAT#3 670
Manhattan GMAT CAT#4 700
GMATPREP CAT#1 700
GMATPREP CAT#2 710
GMATPREP CAT#1(Repeat) #740
GMATPREP CAT#2 (Repeat)#740
Final GMAT score -730 (49 Q,41 V)
Some learnings which I'd like to share with you all
1. Discipline is probably the most important thing while preparing for the GMAT.Stick to the planner you have made for yourself
2. Read the explanations diligently.I think what I didn't do the first time I prepared for the GMAT is that I focused more on getting the questions correct while practising. Instead,I should have focused more on reading the explantions especially in SC.
3. Following the right strategy,right books is very important.
4. Take the GMAT calmly. I think the importance of exam temperament can't be overemphasized. You have to make sure that you don't panick on the D-day
5. Do not lose hope. After getting a 590 on the first attempt, I was devasted and thought that I'd not be able to achieve a 700+. However,by prepping the right way, I was able to manage a good score.
Finally, I'd like to say that if I could it, I don't see a reason you shouldn't be able to do the same. All the best to future test-takers. Do let me know if you any queries and I'd be glad to be of some help to you all.
One of the things I notice most in posts like this is the amount of work required to score well on the GMAT.
It used to be the case that students would pick up the Official Guide, practice for a week or two and then take the test.
Nowadays, with so many people taking courses and spending months preparing, the "bar" has risen significantly and everyone must be prepared to invest some time getting ready.
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