Ashray’s success on GMAT is what dreams are made of. But this success like every other did not come by without any effort or planning. In fact, if anything, this is a story of how a methodical approach towards GMAT prep, dedication, and doing whatever it takes to make your dreams a reality is the recipe to ace GMAT. We will explore Ashray’s journey in this article – GMAT 760 in 20 Days. You can also watch his interview to hear it directly from him.
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Payal: Congratulations on this amazing performance on the GMAT! How are you feeling?
Ashray: To be honest, this is a dream come true. I chanced upon GMAT when I came across its mention on the Harvard website as a pre-requisite for one of their courses that I was interested in. I was looking at their website because I was bored while preparing for my final exams. So, when I came across the term GMAT, I was intrigued and researched a little about it. I came to know that it tests Quant and Verbal.
Having scored 100% marks in the 12th grade and being the editor of the college magazine, I thought this was right up my alley. My over-confidence in my abilities to crack GMAT without any preparation came crashing down when I scored just 560 in my first mock test. I knew I needed to score 730+ to make it to the programs of my choice and I had to work towards it.
Payal: Interesting. How did you work towards your score – GMAT 760 in 20 Days?
Ashray: I started preparing from 1st June. I did what everyone does – bought the OGs and started preparing from there. I used to solve questions from it and on their software whenever I got some time. From solving those questions for about a month I realized, I was good at Quant, but I was not as good in Verbal as I thought. I thought I was very good at grammar considering I edit articles on a regular basis but as it turned out SC was my biggest weakness when it came to GMAT. Even though I did well in RC, my CR performance was inconsistent. I lacked a structured approach. I was going about my prep in a very casual manner in the first month by just solving questions from OG. Anyway, I started preparing sincerely only from 1st July and booked my GMAT attempt for 15th July, i.e. in 15 days.
Payal: So, what was your strategy for the last 15 days?
Ashray: Within an hour of booking my test it struck me that if I have to improve my score I need to do something different, continuing like this won’t help especially in SC. I immediately went and purchased the Verbal course on the e-GMAT website. I went through the SC course in 3 days and saw my accuracy shot up considerably. Earlier I thought CR and RC were not a problem because SC was the major hurdle. With my SC scores improving, I realized I needed to improve my scores in CR and RC as well to score above 750. I went through those two courses and found Pre-thinking and Reading strategies to be very powerful tools to ace CR and RC respectively. I improved from a V27 to a V42 in Verbal using the processes I learned in the e-GMAT course.
Payal: How did you prepare for Quant?
Ashray: I had no problem in Quant, to begin with. I was consistently scoring Q50/Q51 in mock tests by just solving questions from OG. I had solved around 100 questions in the first month and another 30 in the first ten days of July. However, I got a shock when I scored just Q48 in the mock I took on 10th July. I realized something was amiss, and when I analyzed my mock test, I realized that it was my process in DS. I was doing it all wrong. Panic set in at that time as I was just five days away from my official test. I immediately took the e-GMAT Quant course and completed all the concepts in one day. After completing the concepts, I started practicing on Scholaranium. Over the next two days, I only focussed on Quant prep. I would take quizzes in Scholaranium and improve upon my weaknesses by using the data provided on the dashboard and skill data section. I had a major eye-opening moment when I realized that my actual weakness was not what I thought. This made me re-align my plan to what I actually needed vs. what I thought I needed. I used to go back to the course files to improve upon my weaknesses. On 12th I got a message from my test center that due to certain issues I had to reschedule my test. I took the next available test date which was the 20th of July.
Payal: You have been very methodical in your prep. It is very good to see that. So, what did you do during the grace period that you got because your test had to be rescheduled?
Ashray: I had made notes of around 20 pages of the important things, so I started revising those and then testing those concepts on Scholaranium. I would make three question sets of five questions each and one full-length test for each section. Solving questions in Scholaranium made me realize that I was doing fine as far as the concepts were concerned but I was slow and found it difficult to complete them in time. I started practicing on smaller question sets to work on timing. Then I took full-length CATs from GMAT Club to check how I do on adaptive tests as practice until my test.
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Payal: So tell me what helped you in SC considering that it was your most problematic section?
Ashray: I used to look for only one error in SC, but after going through the e-GMAT course, I realized that there could be multiple errors in one sentence. I started evaluating the sentence in parts using the strategic pausing method taught in Master Comprehension course and that helped me greatly in improving my accuracy and overall performance in SC.
Payal: Congratulations, Ashray! Getting a GMAT 760 in 20 Days is an amazing feat. Yours has been one interesting story.