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Here’s how Vivek improved from a V23 to V39 on the GMAT

Here’s how Vivek improved from a V23 to V39 on the GMAT
A 5 min read

After scoring a 580 in his first mock test with a V23, Vivek persevered to improve his GMAT score by 160 points to score a 740. In this article, he shares his journey of improving from a V23 to a V39 on the GMAT in his third attempt.

Rajat: Congratulations on scoring a GMAT 740 and the amazing score improvement from V23 to V39. When did you start thinking about taking the GMAT?

Thank you, Rajat. I got to know about the GMAT from a friend who scored a 740 on the GMAT and received an admit to Arizona State University (W.P Carey School of Business). He proceeded to share some of the resources that he used in his GMAT preparation such as the Official Guides etc.

Initially, when I saw a few GMAT questions online, I found them really easy as I was able to solve quant questions within 30 seconds and I thought that I could easily score a 750 maybe even a 780. However, when I looked at the hard questions in the official guide, I understood that not all GMAT questions are that easy.

Choosing the right GMAT Preparation resource being a working professionalV23 to V39 - Using books vs a Data-Driven online course

Since I am a working professional, I wasn’t able to devote much time to preparing for the GMAT consistently. I used to practice sometimes on the weekends whenever I found some time. I remember I took an official mock and scored a 580 with a V23 in Verbal and immediately realized that verbal was a weak area.

I tried studying from various books including Manhattan, however, I was not able to grasp the concepts efficiently. Moreover, it was taking quite a lot of time to cover the concepts and progress was slow.

After going through some online videos and not finding a reliable source of preparation I contacted the same friend. He suggested that I should take a look at e-GMAT as it was highly recommended by his friends as well. Thus, I decided to start my preparation in earnest with e-GMAT.

Rajat: What difference did you notice once you started your preparation using the e-GMAT course?

Within 2 weeks of starting my preparation using the e-GMAT, I was able to notice a lot of improvement in my ability especially the verbal section. Earlier I used to mark answers based on my gut feeling and based on how the answer sounds. However, using the e-GMAT course I was able to pinpoint the exact reason why the correct answer choice is right and why the other choices were incorrect.

Another difference that I noticed was that my retention of concepts had improved dramatically. I was able to progress much faster with the video-based interactive e-GMAT course as compared to books.

Rajat: How was your first GMAT attempt?V23 to V39 - Understanding the difference between the right choice and the wrong options

My first GMAT attempt which was approximately 40 days after I started studying using the e-GMAT course, I scored a 660 with a V35 in the verbal section. I was very happy with the improvement in verbal. In fact, I believe it was higher than the score I had got in any of my sectional tests.

However, it was not a smooth journey to this point. There were numerous days filled with frustration when I was practicing using Scholaranium. I remember there were times when I scored between 2-4%ile in sectional quizzes, especially in RC. In some RC passages, I was not able to answer even half the questions.

Rajat: How did you overcome the frustration? What was your mental journey like at that point?


My elder brother was a great source of inspiration and motivation. He asked me to not give up and lose hope. Thus, I kept my cool and continued to focus on my preparation. I went through the relevant parts of the course again and continued to practice using Scholaranium.

Rajat: How was your 2nd GMAT attempt?

In my second attempt, I was taken aback by my quant score. I ended up scoring a Q45, something which I had never imagined. However, I was satisfied with my verbal score.

At this point, I decided to take a break from preparing for the GMAT. I took a break of 2 months before I got back to my preparation. I started my preparation in March again by going through the e-GMAT verbal course. This time, I focused on following the meaning-based approach for SC and the pre-thinking based approach for CR.

For quant, I completely relied on the e-GMAT course which I found to be more than sufficient for solving any and all GMAT questions.

Rajat: How did you start preparing for your 3rd attempt?

V23 to V39 - Reviewing concepts and then practicing application using scholaranium

First, I ordered the ESR for my 2nd attempt. On analyzing my ESR I came to know that performed poorly in quant due to several silly mistakes. Also, I realized that I was not very confident about my ability in the Verbal section. Thus, I went through all the concepts again and discovered many things that I had either missed out on or overlooked during my preparation earlier.

Second, based on my Scholaranium data I figured out my weak areas and proceeded to revise concepts in those areas one more time. I noticed that in CR, I was getting ‘evaluate’ type questions wrong. For RC I resolved to read the passage slowly and deliberately and follow the strategies that were suggested in the e-GMAT course.

Through sectional mock tests, I was able to track my improvement. I was confident about scoring in the V36 range as I was consistently scoring the same in my sectional tests.

Rajat: What was your preparation strategy for Quant?

For quant, I went through the e-GMAT concept files and application files once again. After that, I decided to focus only on taking sectional tests. I practiced using Scholaranium and GMAT Club quant tests. From then on, I focused on performing consistently and repeating the same performance as in my sectional tests on test day.

Rajat: How was your 3rd GMAT attempt?

On test day, I finished the Quant section 2.5 minutes before time and on verbal I was able to answer all question except one question. I knew that I had performed well in quant and was sure of scoring a Q50 or Q51. I was hoping that I performed well enough in verbal to score a V35 or a V36 so that I could score a 720 overall.

It was such a relief to see the GMAT 740 (Q51 V39) score pop up on the screen.

Rajat: Congratulations once again on scoring a GMAT 740 and the amazing improvement from a V23 to V39.

If you want to try out the e-GMAT course that helped Vivek make the jump of 160 points from a GMAT 580 (in his first mock test) to 740, sign up for our Free Trial. We can also help you with a personalized study plan and give you access to quality online content to prepare. Write to us at We are the most reviewed GMAT prep company on GMATClub with more than 2100 reviews. 

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