Anjana improved from a V27 to V40 in her third attempt. She credits her 730 GMAT score to following a structured approach and being methodical about tackling her weaknesses in each section. She shares her strategy and preparation tips in this debrief. You can go through the video interview or read the transcript to learn more.
Rajat: Congratulations on scoring a 730 with a V40 on the GMAT! How did you start with your GMAT Preparation?
I had the initial thought of taking the GMAT in October. However, I only started my preparation in earnest in December. I purchased the official guides to start my preparation. However, I followed a largely unstructured approach for my GMAT Preparation. For e.g., rather than learning concepts I would solve questions randomly.
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To supplement the OG, I borrowed some more test preparation material from my friends who had already given the GMAT. My hectic work schedule also played spoilsport in my GMAT preparation. And thus, to make sure I stayed on track I booked my GMAT test date for February.
Rajat: How did you come across e-GMAT?
As my test date was approaching, I was not feeling very confident about breaking the 700 GMAT score barrier. It was during this time that I came across e-GMAT and attended a free live session. I must say that the free live sessions were eye-opening. They reminded me of the fact that continuing with my unstructured study approach would not help me in getting to my target GMAT score.
However, during this time my work schedule became very hectic, and I could hardly devote any time to prepare for the GMAT. And I went into my first GMAT attempt with half-baked preparation. I managed to score a 640 on the GMAT in my first attempt.
The first thing I did was to sign up for the e-GMAT live preparation course because I did not want to lose any momentum in my GMAT Preparation.
Rajat: How did you prepare using e-GMAT?
I knew that I was decent in quant given that I could manage a Q49 score. However, verbal was a major weakness that I needed to tackle if I wanted to break the 700 GMAT score barrier. While using e-GMAT for my GMAT preparation, I focused on using the right approach to solve GMAT questions.
This helped me immensely, especially in sentence correction and critical reasoning. It did take a while to master the approach, but with enough practice, I was able to improve both my ability and timing.
I also made it a point to attend all the live session conducted by e-GMAT. These live sessions were beneficial in understanding my level of preparation and uncovering any conceptual gaps. The real-time feedback provided after each question helped in clearing the conceptual gaps. It also provided the feeling of solving questions in a timed environment.
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The doubts asked by other students during the session further helped me benchmark my understanding of concepts. Thus, despite my inconsistent study pattern I managed to master the approaches and felt much more confident about going into my second GMAT attempt.
Rajat: What was your verbal preparation strategy?
From my first attempt, I knew that I needed to focus more on preparing for the verbal section. I specifically chose to focus on SC and CR as these had the most significant scope for improvement in the limited time I had before my 2nd attempt.
I focused on mastering the approaches taught by e-GMAT for these subsections. Furthermore, I used scholaranium to practice the application of concepts and the approaches that I had learned. This rounded off my verbal preparation strategy.
Rajat: What went wrong in your second attempt and how did you recover?
In preparing for my second attempt, I had completely neglected preparing for the reading comprehension subsection. This cost me dearly in my second attempt. I ended up scoring a 670 in my second GMAT attempt.
I realized that there was no way I could score 700+ on the GMAT without tackling RC head-on. And that is what I did. In the one month, I had before my next attempt I focused on improving my reading comprehension by reading and analyzing passages from The Economist.
While doing so, I would make mental notes of the main idea and meaning of each paragraph in the passage. I also would practice RC questions on scholaranium. The ability to create custom quizzes in scholaranium is handy.
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I did this for around 2.5 weeks into my preparation after which work got very hectic again. So much so that I was not able to put in any time towards GMAT preparation. Fortunately, my GMAT test appointment was on a Sunday. I spent the preceding Saturday in revising the notes that I had taken of important concepts and practiced around 10 Quant questions.
I was elated to see the 730 score flash on my screen after I was done with my 3rd attempt. In none of my previous attempts had I touched a V40 score.
Rajat: Though your preparation may not have been consistent you focused on mastering the approach to questions. I believe this is the essence of the GMAT.
Rajat: Congratulations once again on your GMAT 730 score. So, what is next for you?
Well, currently I am thinking of pursuing an MBA in Information Management. And I am looking to join a program in the next academic year itself. At present, I am focusing on Indian institutes such as SP Jain, IMT Ghaziabad, etc. I also looked at ISB. However, their admissions page specifies that they require 24 months of work experience before March. And I would be falling short of that by around 3-4 months when the applications are due.
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Rajat: I would advise you to speak to the admissions office before you rule out applying to ISB.
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