Friday, August 26, 2011

The G-Day

Moderate preparation levels; moderate practice levels - and here I am giving a debrief of GMAT #1.

Preparation :
I booked my exam for August 23, 2011, giving a complete 3 months for preparation. And I felt confident about my plan in mind. Until the big health blow and project deadlines in office broke my regular study hours. To see my progress levels, you can take a look at this blog.

Getting a good 41 days of preparation did not really get me reach my target. There was a good level of break here and there in between my prep schedule which ultimately lead me to think that I will not be able to score as much as I targeted. In course of my preparation, I realized, I was always scoring well in SC, as compared to other sections. Math is never my cup of tea, and this was something that hit me hard on my score. I would not say my verbal was too good, but at least I found it better than my Math score.

As with everyone else, RC is the weakest area, where I could not find much room for improvement, even after trying out different strategies. How much every modes I try for RC, during the test, all that stays in my mind is that I quickly finish off that particular RC quickly and move on. It came to me as a big blow on my G-Day.

Though my target score is very high, I consistently scored between 600 and 660 in all my practice tests. It was already a disappointment for me, as it is said, whatever you score in your practice tests is close to what you will score on test day. And something kept telling me, that I will score 650.

The Day:
My exam was scheduled at 10:00 am in the morning at a center just 11 km away from my house. So I decided I will start 2 hours early keeping in mind the traffic constraints. I started at 8:10 am hoping to reach at least half an hour before the scheduled test time. And to my disappointment, the traffic blocked me from all sides. Whichever different route I took, it was full of vehicles blocking the road. The biggest mistake I did was to drive my bike that day to the test. I reached the exam center sharp at 9:57 am, having informed the test center of my situation. I finally reached the center totally exhausted. And to my disappointment, the lift was nowhere close to stopping, when I reached the building.

The center was in the 6th floor and to add to all the traffic tragedy, I had to walk up all 6 floors by stairs. By the time I reached the 6th floor, my knees went shaky. I spoke to the center official, and I drank some water, and got ready for the test in the next 5-7 minutes. Given all the confusion, my mind was totally blocked, and was not functioning as much as it did during the practice tests. With just a few points to highlight my point of view on the issue and argument, I took a quick break of 5 minutes, had some fruits, and had water and started off with the Math section.

Math seemed good initially, but slowly the tiredness started creeping in. Towards the middle of the Math section, I was totally blank, and could do nothing but skip questions to compensate for the time loss. And so many DS questions at a stretch took a toll on my concentration levels. I have a mindset that I am weak in DS, and this added to the bad moments.  I was sure that my score was going down towards the end of the Math section

The break after the Math section, boosted me up at little, and verbal started off well. Though I took my chances on 1 or two questions, here and there, I was not completely off at any point of time. And I was sure that my score was not going to touch my target score.

And after scrolling through the pages after the test, I got my score.

A 650 with Q-44, and V-35 --- A mind game.. That’s what I thought, and that’s what I got.

Obviously not satisfied with my score. I have scheduled my GMAT #2 for October 31, 2011. Hope things work well this time. I am meanwhile taking a short break off preparation, reading through articles ob BTG, gmatClub forums. Any tips/suggestions to boost my score in my upcoming GMAT is welcome!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Week before GMAT

Oh, and it was one hell of a week for me @ work. With project deadlines fast approaching, and the Independence Day celebrations @ office, and managing the events associated with it, I had almost forgotten that my GMAT was also fast approaching. I had little time to do my last minute prep for GMAT.

What I could do, was just wake up a little early and take a test in the morning, though I had very less time to analyze them. Actually speaking, my first practice test score was 660 as I mentioned in the last post, and apparently that was the highest score I got in all practice tests. And I realize that is purely because, I was not taking tension when I took that test.

Further on, I was too tensed just trying to make sure all through the test that I got a question right and that boosted my score. Apparently I ended screwing every test, scoring continuously like 600, 620, 630, 640 etc. My highest score had been 660 as I already mentioned.

And again, getting hardly 3 hours a day to take the test, I could not spend much time analyzing. So this is how my last week went. With so much to take at a time!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 41 - MGMAT SC

To all Indians out there, Wishing you a very happy Independence Day :)

Today, my plans were a little screwed up by the end of the day. I started with reading a chapter on CR from Kaplan 800, only to realize I got 3 of 7 questions wrong in them.

Quickly deciding on the agenda for the rest of the day, I decided to take a full length test, followed by analysis. But it so happened that my friend had come and I was unable to take the test.

I put off the idea of a test, now that the time is past evening, and most of my energy drained out. I took MGMAT SC, and reread the chapters that I had already covered, followed by Chapters on Modifiers, Verb tense, mood and voice, Comparisons, Idioms, and Odd and Ends.

Each of these chapters was equally interesting, the only point is to do a thorough practice before I could take another test. Loved reading through them. I did them pretty quick considering shortage of time, grabbing just the main points. Idioms was a huge chapter to read through, so I skipped here and there covering areas which I thought I was weak at.

There are advanced chapters still left, which I am planning to cover tomorrow.

Material Covered:

MGMAT SC - Pages 81 to 203.
Kaplan 800 - Chapter on CR

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Days 39, 40 - OG CR, MGMAT CAT#1

Its August and it is countdown time. I have exactly 9 days left for my GMAT. It is definitely frightening to think I cannot take out much time from my work, to prepare for GMAT. I am trying my best to find time and do some practice tests. Apparently I succeeded in taking the first effective practice test today.

I completed the OG 12th edition CR practice questions yesterday. And I should say the last 20 questions made me lose my confidence for the exam. Following this I have 3 continuous days off from work, thanks to Independence Day (Monday).

I woke up today morning, quickly went through the strategies I formulated for CR and RC, and Geometry type questions. I worked on a Diagnostic Math test from my MGMAT account today morning. I am attaching the score sheet of the diagnostic math test below.

I registered online my MGMAT SC book today morning, and was quite determined to give a full length test from MGMAT. And yes, my first test score goes as follows:

I am not even close to satisfied with my score, but it is good for a start. The last full length test which I attempted when I was ill, really scared me. But today's test has taken me out of that fear, and I hope to get better with more practice tests.

Material Covered:
MGMAT Math Diagnostic Test
OG 12th Edition - Pages 494 to 524

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 38 - Critical Reasoning

Hi Reader,

It has been a long break since my last update. My break was not because I wanted a break, but because office kept me so busy to turn to GMAT. Day and night with office work! Hectic hours! Unfortunately, this is the plight till the end of August, and I have my exam scheduled on the 23rd. I will try my best to squeeze some time out of this touch schedule and work for GMAT as well.

Updates are quite meagre for a full week. I tried CR questions from Official Guide 12th Edition. Otherwise I have been discussing with friends about applications and essays. Right now, given my busy schedule, my only target is to take as many tests as possible and complete OG.

Material Covered:
Official Guide, 12th edition - Pages 482 to 493