great score!! I wish you could elaborate on your debriefing.
Took GMAT last week, was convinced that I'd get over 750. I'm satisfied though since this is above the Harvard average.
I'd like to thank everyone at this forum, particularly Manish8109 and gschmilinsky. I was mostly passive on this forum however the guidance was invaluable.
Great score congratulations. Could you please write more about your test experiences and your prep.
When and where are you planning to apply, i assume that you're planning to apply to harvard all the very best.
Failure establishes only this, that our determination to succeed was not strong enough.
Thanks buddy. Your help and support have been invaluable. Apologize for the delay, I was visiting the schools. In the meantime, also got my AWA: 5.5. I'll apply at HBS, Wharton, and Stanford.
I studied for 3 months.
The material I used for the prep: Princeton Review, Barron's, Official Guide 10th Ed, Powerprep, Manhattan GMAT all 7 books, Kaplan, GMAT 800, MLICETS, Official Guide 11 th Ed, Verbal and Quant supplements, GMAT Prep, Veritas Project GMAT and obviously Testmagic. I almost went through this stuff cover to cover but did cheat on the verbal since I was confident that I'll nail it. That was not to be.
I feel Testmagic was one of the most important tools that I used for the prep. I mostly focused on the quant. Should have also done the verbal. The Official Guide has to treated as the bible, as this is the closest approximation to the real thing.
I thought I needed to focus more on quant since I was consistently
scoring around 48 on the GMAT and the power prep verbal. Did not focus much on CR and RC. This is where I got blindsided. I believe if there is one phrase that can encapsulate success on GMAT, it is thorough practice on each section.
Two weeks before the test:
Took a full test (including essays) each day. 5 am – 8:30 am on weekdays and 9 am- 12: 30 am on weekends.
Scored between 770-790 on all the paper tests.
GMATPREP 1: 760 (Retake after 3 months, previous score was 690)
GMATPREP 2: 770 (previous score was 700)
Test 1: 590
Test 2: 620
Test 3: 680
Powerprep 1: 770
Powerprep 2: 720 (Interestingly, this was the last test I took before the real test)
Day before the test:
Returned from work around 5pm. Did problems on the forum until 7 PM, then went to the gym. Had dinner, saw a comedy (Wedding Crashers), slept at 10.
Woke up around 5 am. Test was at 9 am. Had a big breakfast. Did a few problems in personal statement and SC. Reached the center at 8:20. The test started at 9.
The essays were easy, argument was whether doctors in private hospitals are more qualified than those in University hospitals. Issue was about work place ethics. Then took the 10-minute break.
Believe it or not a few questions were straight out of GMATprep (just different values). I had done one question just that morning ! It was about a triangle inscribed in a circle and I believe I had to find the length of the arc. Quant looked relatively easy compared to most of the tests I had taken, and maybe I became overconfident while taking the test. I got a probability and combination problems early, so I thought I was doing well. The probability was about six bulbs in a sequence, and the prob of each bulb failing is 0.15, what is the prob. the sequence will fail. Yes, it was that easy. Then there were questions on median, SD, there was a graph with perimeter on x axis and I think area on y axis and I had to find at what point is the perimeter maximum, or something like that. Most questions did not involve any calculation, just had to think through. I barely touched the notepad for the first 15 questions. I finished the quant with five minutes to spare, which is probably not a good thing. Time was never a problem, it was always in surplus but I kept rushing since I thought its better to be instinctive than overcautious.
Took the 10-minute break. Went out of the test center, and came back very relaxed as I thought Verbal will be a cake walk.
The first was a SC, easy, moved on another SC thought it was tough, as three of the choices looked right, spent about four minutes, then moved on. Then CR spent about three minutes, at this point I was already falling behind the clock. Wished I could borrow time from quant. Then RC, it was straight out of a medical journal about diseases. Verbal was a struggle from the third question onwards. I tried hard but never recovered. I think I was messing up on CR and RC (both the areas that I didn’t practice much, since I had consistently nailed these in Kaplan 800 and GMATprep). For the last 15 questions, I had 13 minutes, then came another RC, then came boldfaced CR. Finally for the last five I had 3 minutes. Did not want to guess blindly, so still kept trying to win, finally I had 30 seconds for the last two, just guessed and got it over with.
I should have spent more time practicing CR and RC. GMAT however is 'a means to an end'. I am satisfied since 720 is higher than the averages of Harvard, Wharton and Stanford (though Stanford’s median is 720), so I am not a liability as far as the GMAT is concerned. I know GMAT by itself will not close the deal, but it can be a deal breaker. I don't think GMAT will break the deal for me, so now I am working on the essays and informing my potential recommenders.
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