Thursday, November 26, 2009

Csquare Learnings-Student feedback-GMAT Score 720

Nitin 720 [M - 49, V - 40]

Preparation :
I took a total of 6 weeks (taking away 3 weeks in between, when I didn't have time to do any prep) to prepare for the GMAT, at the rate of ~2 hours per day. The only material I used, as recommended by Csquare Learnings, was the 10th OG (actually managed to finish just 60% of this) and 11th OG.
I downloaded the GMAT Prep SW and gave a test before I started prep. I scored 650 (v-34,m-47). I booked the GMAT date at this point, taking Kalyan's recommendation on when I should time it. Since time was limited (courtesy a hectic and stressful job), I was always hard pressed and the few days I finally managed to take off before the test helped take work off my mind.

Further tests (I used only GMAT prep SW):
3 weeks into prep : 620 (V-28, M-47). I was trying to apply some of the methods Csquare trainers had suggested for verbal. Since they were new and I didn't have sufficient practice, both accuracy and mainly time suffered.
------work got crazy during this time, effectively a 2-3 week break. So I'm not counting this in--------5th week : 710 (v-40,m-48) No repeats in questions surprisingly! But I didn't have enough time in verbal again - of the 10 mistakes made, I did 6 in the last because I had to blindly select and finish since I had no time. Learnt the value of balancing accuracy and time.
6th week: 760 (v-44,m-49) couple of repeats in verbal and math. But I managed to finish verbal in time, which was my main objective.

Test day :
I'd chosen a morning slot since I'm most active at this time. I slept well the previous night and took a taxi to the venue. I didn't drive since I didn't want ANY stress before the test!

Math: I'd never reached a score of 50/51 in my preps, but I'd never gone below 47 ever, so I was relaxed. Finished with 2 mins to spare; could've gone faster, but I seem to have double-checked a few answers just to be sure...

Verbal: I knew that this section would be trying for me in terms of time.....and it turned out to be true. I took longer to answer all questions types (versus practice time, maybe since I was extra cautious) and the RCs I got were all on the abstract topics that I don't like. In the end, I had to blindly click on answers for the last 4 questions to finish in time. Bad!

Score: Verbal - 40/90%
Math - 49/90%
Total - 720/96%

Thoughts/advice:
In retrospect, I should have done some more practice than what I'd done, both for Math and Verbal. Make sure you follow Csquare's guidance on practice - it is crucial to master the methods taught! I should have also done some additional practice tests to help with my timing in verbal. (Kalyan took this feedback and he will soon be starting a Student Center on the website with practice questions in GMAT format. Good for you current students!).

A special point to note:
Make sure you follow the methods Kalyan and Csquare teaches fully. Following them half is as good as not following them at all! And please try to constantly evaluate yourself in the beginning and take Csquare's help to counter any issues....it makes a difference. You have to fine tune your own test strategy to make use of your strengths and counter your weaknesses - these are different for different people.