Gabriel’s journey on GMAT is one of perseverance and determination. His final score which was also his target score was a 270 points improvement which is commendable in itself. It just goes on to prove that if you have the right attitude and you are determined you will reach your target score irrespective of your starting point. Let’s see how he went about his GMAT journey.
If you want help with Study Plans to get such score improvements, check out our article on Personalised Study Plans for 100+ points improvement. It also has a sample study plan for 250 points improvement.
Rajat: Gabriel, first of all, Congratulations on the 270 points improvement in your score from your first attempt. I am sure your story is going to be inspirational to many. Tell us about your GMAT journey.
Gabriel: I always wanted to do MBA for better career prospects, so I took my first GMAT right after graduation and scored a dismal 430. I dropped the idea of GMAT and focussed on work. In my second attempt, I scored 550. The mistake that I made here was to study for GMAT along with TOEFL. This kind of split attention did not help my score so for my third attempt I first got TOEFL out of my way and then focussed solely on GMAT. I hired 2 Private tutors who were highly recommended.
Rajat: Did you use any other material or study only from the material they provided?
Gabriel: In the beginning, I used only the material they provided. But in one conversation a friend of mine mentioned that GMAT is one such exam which some people ace with just 2 weeks of preparation and others have to use all the help and material they get their hands on. Being an average student so I decided to do everything I could. I researched on GC and came to know about the popular courses and books. I bought the Manhattan books and mock tests. I completed the books thoroughly for Quant. I found their questions to be tougher than official questions, so I relied on my tutor’s material for Quant practice. I used Manhattan books for concepts. I read through the SC book over a weekend by devoting 20 hours to it. However, I did not put as much effort in CR and RC sections. I solved OG 2-3 times. Made notes for easy revision. I felt I was well prepared to score 700 in my third attempt. On the test day, however, I missed the last 10 questions in Verbal as I couldn’t think after a point. I ended up scoring a 650 with Q49 and V31.
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Rajat: I must say you are a very diligent person. What made you take the test again and how did you approach the test this time around?
Gabriel: I am targeting top schools like Tuck, Kellogg, Wharton, and Columbia. To make my application competitive I knew that a higher GMAT score would be better. For my fourth attempt, I knew I had to improve in Verbal because my Quant score was already at Q49. A friend of mine was using the e-GMAT course and he recommended it to me. I checked the reviews on GMAT Club and found that it had good reviews especially for non-natives. I had also looked at some of the files and found them very helpful. I was hooked on right from there.
Rajat: I am glad. So how was it different studying using e-GMAT course?
Gabriel: I loved the structured approach that was used in the course. Everything was well laid out which helped me in understanding the concepts well. I took the study plan that was provided along with the course and followed it strictly. I realized that I never understood how to approach a question in all my previous attempts but I understood it this time and it helped. I used to not spend any time in understanding and analyzing the questions earlier I used to jump right in to solve it. After using the e-GMAT way I started analyzing the questions and it was very helpful in the final test. I regret not using Scholaranium enough. I used it in the last 10 days of my prep but found the insights very helpful. The layout is fantastic and easy to use. It helped me in identifying topics in which I was weak. I focussed on those topics and could improve my score considerably.
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Rajat: It is great to know that you used Scholaranium just the way it was designed to use. What would be your advice to other students?
Gabriel: From my learnings, I would say:
- Focus only on one competitive exam at a time as each exam is different. I made the mistake of focusing on TOEFL and GMAT at the same time and it didn’t work.
- Spend time taking trials of different courses to get perspective and settle for the one that suits your needs.
- Keep pushing yourself to do better. Do timed practice after you are done learning.
- Review your mistakes and learn from it.