Thursday, October 28, 2010

What to make out of a 680

Finally after a anxious half day, I finished my GMAT retake with a 680 (Q48,V34). It seems like a more respectable total than my previous take. Still increasing my total by 20 points (only 1 point in verbal made the difference) hopefully makes my $250 investment in the retake worth it in the long run. The score comes close to  the average of many schools like Tepper and Mccombs that I'm targetting. No ISB and Haas though! (sigh). Also the propects of scholarships has me worried.

About the test itself, the quant section was very close to the OG level of difficulty. While I practiced with Grockit and Manhattan, I certainly felt the manhattan level is slightly higher than the actual test for quants. So if you can do Manhattan, you would have a high probability of achieving that score for quants in the real test. I finished with 7 mins to spare, which I could have used in the verbal section, if only it was allowed. The verbal in manhattan however is accurately as tough as the real test. Getting an RC when I had 5 questions left and only 10 mins was no help at all. I was nervous throughout the verbal section, with frequent anxious glances at the timer ticking away. I can guess that a lot of that played on my productivity. But so be it. Its done and dusted.

I hadn't practiced the Analysis of Issue and I wasn't happy with my essay for the Issue section. The Argument essay went well since I had practiced it well. Hopefully the score of one compensates for the other and I get something respectable.

The last week I really stepped up my prep rather than lower my guard. Thanks to Random wok who gave me that piece of advice. I solved all OG, OG verbal guide questions again and went over the Manhattan idiom list. While I think this was good to improve my confidence levels in Math and SC, the CRs unfortunately were not any help since I knew the premise of each argument when I read them again.

Another plus this time was my last GMAT investment of Rs 85 on a can of Red bull. The last time I faced fatigue in my verbal section. I just couldn't wait for the test to end. This time I was alert all through. Maybe it works for some, and doesn't for others. I've never really had a red bull till yesterday, so its not proven to work every time.

A list of what I used as GMAT resources :
OG 11
OG verbal and quant guides
Manhattan SC
Powerscore CR bible
Grockit standard membership practice questions (CATs are buggy, more on that in another post)
Manhattan CAT practice tests
Kaplan free online practice test and CAT CDs
BTG DS strategy overview series

Now, onto to the next chapter. Re-assessing my school choices and getting started with the school essays.
Watch out for my review on the soon to be launched NEW Beat the GMAT practice questions. I also have a few premium accounts up for distribution !


  1. Congrats! Time to move onto essays now.

  2. Congrats on the score Curious! Time to focus on essays and recos!
    btw, any other schools on your list apart from Mccombs/Tepper?

  3. Thanks Cognitive Bias, The Log.
    Time for the most important couple of months! I'm planning on UCLA, Kelley & UNC as well. May try at Haas too.