Tuesday, December 14, 2010

GMAT Score - 670 (Q46, V36)

Thanks everyone, for your wishes and mails. Finally, I took the GMAT yesterday. Already seems like a long time ago. Here are my scores.

Q 46 - 75th percentile
V 36 - 78th percentile
Total - 670 - 84th percentile

Do you think this is worth a re-take? Please send me your thoughts and suggestions! Thanks!

Monday, November 22, 2010

200 Questions to go!

Only 200 questions to go on the PS + DS of OG-12 and OG Math Review. With OG being the closest to resemble GMAT questions, I don't want to have the feeling of going in there half prepared.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

GMAT Study Update

Things have cooled down at work and I'm back to GMAT study. I completed the problem solving section of the OG Math Review and on to data sufficiency now. My first priority will be to complete the OG before I take any more practice tests. Also, I've applied for a one week leave just before the exam.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New and Improved Beat the GMAT Practice Questions - Free Accounts!

BTG has generously offered a few premium accounts to access their new and improved BTG practice questions. Anyone interested in getting access to BTG questions, please drop me a line. I would be giving away these accounts on a first come, first served basis. To know what the BTG's new Practice Questions are all about, read my review here.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I'm one of those gifted people who can doze off within two minutes of hitting the bed, no matter how hard the day has been, but after the nightmare of last week (a deadline to meet and staying up till 5:30 am almost every day of last week, including both weekends) has caused me to be wide awake during the wee hours of the morning.

I just finished the quant section of Powerprep CAT 2, and since I have trouble falling asleep, I might as well analyze my mistakes. I need to get back to my old sleeping patterns and stop walking around like a zombie during the day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Postponed GMAT date again!

I've postponed my GMAT date again to the 13th of December. I know, I'm such a coward and a procrastinator. December 13th is pretty much my last chance now. I would want to see at least 700+ in my practice tests to go for the GMAT with confidence.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review of the New Beat the GMAT Practice Questions

A cool product is launching today, the new Beat the GMAT Practice Questions. Features that I loved:
  1. Adaptive Practice - A BIG plus. If I get too many easy problems, I get over confident. If I get too many hard ones, I get depressed and never want to see a GMAT problem for at least a day. Adaptive practice gives you the right fit and helps you know where you stand. 
  2. Difficulty Level of Questions - I've really, really wished for this feature on all practice CATS, especially the GMAT Prep CATs. Beat the GMAT does a really good job on this.
  3. Flag option - Useful for questions you're unsure of and want to review later. With the numerous CATs that I'm taking I don't find time to review this category and generally miss out on reviewing questions I guessed on because I don't remember the question number. This option would be useful for attacking this category.
  4. Non Repeated Questions - I seriously don't want to spend my time doing a question I've already worked on and got right for the tenth time! I have better things to do with my time. Definite plus.
  5. Crisp video explanations - How many times have you read an explanation that didn't quite cut it? BTG does a neat job of explanations.
  6. Quality, Accessibility - Quality questions, accessible from anywhere. Completely online - Come on, who wants to carry books to office and let the whole world know that you're preparing for the GMAT?
  7. User Interface - Simple, non-cluttered and great to work with user interface. 
  8. 30 day money back guarantee -  I doubt you'll ever need to use this, but still.
Check out the product here! I'm allowed access to a few reviewer's accounts for this review, which I'll be happy to share with the readers of this blog. Thanks to Beat the GMAT for a great product!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mood swings

I've been going through a lot of mood swings these days. Don't know whether its got to do with the GMAT date fast approaching soon and my target score still not reached in those practice tests. Also, work has been hectic of late, with new issues coming up everyday. I had planned to take a few days off before the exam, but another important family event has come up within two weeks of my GMAT date and I would have to take vacation for that. All my leave plans went for a toss! Talk about Murphy's law!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Status on OG-12

I have 80 PS questions and 40 DS questions to be done on OG-12. I'm going to work simultaneously on OG Math Review, because my target is to complete the OG-12 by the end of the week and atleast 150 questions from OG Math review by the end of this week. Next week will be spent of doing the remaining 150 questions from OG Math review and I will be focusing on the error logs and verbal. I've been ignoring verbal for a long time now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Beat the GMAT Practice Questions

Beat the GMAT practice questions were my first exposure to timing on the GMAT. I was leisurely browsing the BTG forum when I came across the link and decided to sign up for the BTG practice questions. I got the shock of my life when I found that I was getting only 2 DS and 5 PS questions right out of 20 questions. I tried SC, CR and RC and fared a little better.

BTG questions are not something you can blindly work on. After you get a good grasp on your study topics, these are the questions to attack. They are mostly moderate to difficult questions, so if you are looking for practice in this range, check them out.

So, there's so much material on GMAT, with so many forums, so why BTG practice questions? Quality questions in a timed enviroment with a record of how you're faring. The best thing is that the questions you've worked on, are not repeated. There are text and video explanations to all questions, which can help you improve your strategy to approaching a problem.

Also, BTG practice questions has a good review option. You can filter by section, subject or question number and check out your performance over a day, a week, two weeks or see how you've fared on all questions.

To check it out, click here!

Progress in day 16 - OG Set 8

PS - 9/15 - 60% mistakes: 121, 123, 124, 129, 130, 133
DS - 6/15 - 40% - mistakes: 121, 122, 123, 124, 128, 129, 132, 133, 135

Knewton CAT 2 - 670 (42Q, 41V)

Quant still needs a LOT of work! Took this test right after giving the GMAT Prep, since I wanted to check where I stand on a fresh test.

GMAT Prep I - 740 (46Q, 46V)

This score must be skewed, since I'm taking this for the 3rd time.

Friday, October 22, 2010

OG-12 - 240 questions later

I've completed 240 questions on PS and DS from the OG-12. So far, I've made 26 mistakes on PS and 38 mistakes on DS. My percentages:

PS: 94/120 - 76%
DS: 82/120 - 68%

Progress in days 21, 20 and 19 - OG Sets 5, 6 & 7

Day 21
PS - 12/15 - 80% mistakes: 81, 82, 83
DS - 8/15 - 53% - mistakes: 76, 83, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90

Day 20
PS - 12/15 - 80% mistakes: 97, 98, 102
DS - 10/15 - 66% - mistakes: 94, 97, 98, 101, 105

Day 19
PS - 12/15 - 80% mistakes:106, 113, 116
DS - 9/15 - 60% - mistakes: 106, 107, 108, 110, 111, 120

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knewton CAT 1 - 640 (38Q, 42V)

I took the Knewton CAT 1 today. 640 is an improvment over the 590 a few weeks back. On reviewing, I saw that I had made a lot of silly mistakes and also there were a few problems for which the approach was wrong. I made 7 mistakes in DS and 5 mistakes in PS. On two questions, I didn't even read the question properly and made mistakes in DS. Should be careful next time. Verbal was a breeze, in contrast with the passages of Kaplan. On the whole, Knewton was not a stressful experience. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not reviewing the verbal mistakes, but focusing only on quant.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Kaplan CAT 1 - 570 (36Q, 32V)

I took the first Kaplan CAT from the CD. Did a really bad job on verbal, since I took it too lightly and only later did I realize that I hadn't being paying attention to timing. Had to guess on a whole RC passage and 2 other questions.

Progress in days 25 and 24 - OG Set 4

Did 60 problems in two days. Scores dropping. Must be because I'm working on 600-700 range problems now.  My scores for OG-12 set 4:
PS - 20/30 - 66% mistakes: 48, 49, 50, 56, 60, 63, 66, 67, 69, 73
DS- 20/30 - 66% - mistakes: 48, 49, 56, 61, 62, 64, 65, 70, 72, 73

Friday, October 15, 2010

Progress in days 27 and 26 - OG Set 3

Could only complete the 50 problems in two days. Still in the red zone. Would really like to get over 85% in both, to consider myself in the safe zone.  My scores for OG-12 set 3:
PS - 20/25 - mistakes: 27, 28, 38, 39, 41 - 80%
DS- 20/25 - mistakes: 24, 27, 32, 37, 41 - 80%

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Progress in day 28 - OG Set 2

PS - 10/10 - 100%
DS -  7/10 - mistakes: 11, 14, 18 - 70%
CR - 10/10 - 100%
SC - 9/10 - mistakes: 14 - 90%
RC - 14/14 - 100%

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Change in Strategy - Over to Quant

I was thinking about my GMAT performance and the fact that I hadn't taken a single practice test the whole of last week, when I realized that I haven't being paying attention to the area I was weak in: Quant. I like verbal, especially SC and CR and I keep working on them when I have free time. This isn't going to get me anywhere. When I see people with 47Q thinking about a re-take since their quant score isn't above 80%, where would I be, with a quant score in the higher 30s or lower 40s? So I will work on 25 PS and 25 DS on the OG-12 and then, only after I've covered the entire quant sections in the OG-12 and the entire OG Math Review, will I go back to verbal. Right now, I'm not worried about my timing on verbal. I manage to complete the verbal section with about 30 minutes to go. Though I'm not as accurate as I would like to be, I can live with it for now. Here is my percentage in the Manhattan GMAT CAT 1 and 2 that inspired this decision.


Kaplan Section Tests

I have the following section tests to be done:

SC - 1 test
CR - 2 tests
RC - 2 tests
PS - 5 tests
DS - 3 tests

Kaplan Section Tests - Set 2

Started off with the Kaplan Section Test 2 on SC. What's with me? Not getting the level of perfection yet. Of course, Kaplan gave me a tip on where I was making those mistakes.All the in same area! Ugh! Also, another nice feature about the Kaplan tests is that it also gives you an indication of whether you did a switch of the answers, and the answer choice that you switched from. I think that's cool because I can go back and review the questions on which I had to choose between two answer choices (which must have both sounded right).

SC - 19/22 - 86%

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Kaplan Section Tests - Set I

Took four section tests from the Kaplan CD and here are the results:

SC: 19/22 – 86%
CR: 14/16 – 87%
RC: 13/18 – 72%
PS: 14/16 – 87%

Progress in Day 29 - OG-12 Set 1

Wow! I've wasted 3 days. 32, 31 and 30. Guests at home. Reminds me of the quote "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans". Anyways, I did the first 50 questions on OG-12, 10 from each section. These were so much easier when compared to the diagnostic, since they were from the easy bin.

PS - 8/10 - mistakes: 8, 9 - 80%
DS -  8/10 - mistakes: 1, 3 - 80%
CR - 10/10 - 100%
SC - 9/10 - mistakes: 4 - 90%
RC - 10/11 - mistakes: 5 - 90%

Saturday, October 9, 2010

OG Diagnostic Percentages

Problem Solving - 14/24 - 58%
Data Sufficiency - 13/24 - 54%
Critical Reasoning - 8/17 - 47%
Sentence Correction - 13/18 - 72%
Reading Comprehension - 13/17 - 76%

Progress in day 33

Completed the remaining Diagnostic problems on the OG-12.

PS: 14 Qns: mistakes - D11, D12, D13, D14, D19, D20, D21, D24
DS: 14 Qns: mistakes - D36, D38, D41, D43, D44, D45, D47
RC: 6 Qns: mistakes - D14
CR: 6 Qns: mistakes - D29, D30, D31, D32, D34
SC: 7 Qns: mistakes - D46, D49, D50

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Progress in day 34

Couldn't do anything on day 35. Had a ton of office work and was dead tired by the end of the day.

Yesterday, I worked on 53 Diagnostic problems on the OG-12. This is time consuming. However, these results indicate that I need more work on DS and CR. MGMAT and OG results are quite consistent.

PS: 10 Qns: mistakes - D4, D10
DS: 10 Qns: mistakes - D26, D29, D31, D34
RC: 11 Qns: mistakes - D6, D9, D10
CR: 11 Qns: mistakes - D22, D24, D25, D26
SC: 11 Qns: mistakes - D39

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mistake Level - MGMAT Free Test and CAT 1

Though the count of the mistakes in both tests is fairly the same, in the MGMAT CAT 1, I noticed that I'm making more mistakes in the 700-800 range, except for DS and CR where I'm still making mistakes in the 600-700 range. This is one of the best features of the MGMAT tests, where they give a detailed analysis in the score report, so you know exactly where you stand.

MGMAT Free Test       MGMAT CAT1

PS: Mistakes in 300-500      
PS: Mistakes in 500-600:
0/2 - 0%
1/6 - 16%
0/2 - 0 %
PS: Mistakes in 600-700:  5/12- 41% 3/9 - 33%
PS: Mistakes in 700-800:  2/2 - 100% 8/11 - 72%

DS: Mistakes in 500-600:  2/5 - 40% 1/1 - 100%
DS: Mistakes in 600-700:  7/8 - 87% 4/6 - 66%
DS: Mistakes in 700-800: 2/2 - 100% 5/8 - 62%

SC: Mistakes in 500-600: - 0/4 - 0%
SC: Mistakes in 600-700: 3/9 - 33% 0/3 - 0%
SC: Mistakes in 700-800:  2/6 - 33% 4/8 - 50%

CR: Mistakes in 300-500: 
CR: Mistakes in 500-600: 
1/3 - 33%
0/1 - 0%
0/1 - 0%
CR: Mistakes in 600-700: 2/5 - 40% 4/5 - 80%
CR: Mistakes in 700-800:  3/6 - 50% 2/7 - 28%

RC: Mistakes in 300-500: 2/4 - 50% 0/2 - 0%
RC: Mistakes in 600-700:  1/2 - 50% 2/6 - 33%
RC: Mistakes in 700-800:  5/6 - 83% 3/4 - 75%

Monday, October 4, 2010

GMAT Study Update

I'm done with Kaplan Verbal Workbook and I'm in the last chapter of Kaplan Math Workbook. In the Kaplan Premier and Kaplan 800 books, I have the word translations and data sufficiency chapters. Doing those at a time is too disheartening for me. I try not to get upset when I get questions in a row wrong, even while practicing, but this is pretty much what happens when I do Data Sufficiency and Word Translations. I will probably do a few problems a day from both the chapters and cover those chapters during the month.

So after working on the final chapter in the Kaplan Math Workbook, I'm going to start with OG-12 tomorrow. There are roughly 1500 problems (Quant and Verbal) in the OG-12, OG Math Workbook and OG Verbal Workbook. This is going to be my to-do list for the month.

1. OG - 10 PS, 10 DS, 10 SC, 10 CR and 10 RC
2. Grockit - 20 Quant, 20 Verbal
3. Knewton - 45 mins class
4. Manhattan GMAT - Revision. One book per week
5. Kaplan - Few problems from remaining chapters
6. One section test
7. Blog progress daily

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kaplan Material - Verbal Mistake Category

Kaplan Material - Quant Mistake Category

Link to Error Log

Here is the error log, I've been maintaining over the weekend. I still need to enter the specific category for a lot of verbal questions, but I'm uploading it for the benefit of anyone who might be interested. If you need to update the Quant and Verbal chart, just change the information in the table and refresh the pivot table to the right of the table.

Powerprep CAT I - 680 (45Q, 38V)

Nothing has changed between last week and this week, except that I have been working on my verbal. So I'm not sure how much I can rely on these scores. Anyways, today's score was not a letdown.

On the study front, I'm done working on verbal on all the Kaplan books (Kaplan Premier, Kaplan Verbal Workbook and Kaplan 800). Kaplan 800 is really tough. I found myself getting all the questions in the RC passage wrong, and a string of questions in SC wrong. Now, for the coming week, I have to work on word problems and data sufficiency from Kaplan Premier, Kaplan Math Workbook and Kaplan 800. After that, I will get to taking the dreaded Kaplan tests. I'm looking forward to working on OG. After working on Kaplan, revising Manhattan books and working on OG should be easy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Data from the Error Log

Quant - Total Questions - 272 - Total Mistakes - 68 - Percentage - 75%
PS - Total Questions Attempted - 272 - Total Mistakes - 68 - Percentage - 75%

Verbal - Total Questions - 585 - Total Mistakes - 168 - Percentage- 71%
SC - Total Questions Attempted - 258 - Total Mistakes - 73 - Percentage - 71%
CR - Total Questions Attempted - 164 - Total Mistakes - 43 - Percentage - 73%
RC - Total Questions Attempted - 163 - Total Mistakes - 52 - Percentage - 68%

Total Questions to Review - 236

Friday, September 24, 2010

Started keeping an error log

Yesterday, I took time to make a note of all the mistakes I made on the Kaplan material. I set apart two books, one for quant and the other for verbal. Though I'm not done studying all the books (Kaplan Premier, Kaplan 800, Kaplan Verbal WB and Kaplan Math WB), I hope to complete them by the end of this month. With growing anxiety, I found that I had made over 70 mistakes in Quant, so far. I am yet to take stock of the errors on verbal (have 2 to 3 chapters left). 

As Richard suggested, I've decided not to worry so much about practice tests, but instead focus on the material (where I went wrong) and analyze my mistakes. Also, MGMAT Instructor Stacey Koprince has a good post on how to analyze practice problems. Take a look!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beat the GMAT Practice Questions

I attempted 43 questions in all (verbal + quant) with 20 incorrect :-(

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Knewton Diagnostic Test - 590 (37Q, 36V)

I took the Knewton Diagnostic Test and here's my score. This translates to an overall 67%. Definitely bad news!

Quant Total : 37 Qns - 27 correct, 10 wrong, 0 unanswered - 49%
Verbal Total: 41 Qns -  31 correct, 10 wrong, 0 unanswered - 78%

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A pleasant surprise!

Grockit is offering 5 practice CATs to those who purchased the standard membership and beyond! For more details visit this link! I'm thrilled!

Today's Progress

Feeling so sleepy even before reviewing all the 17 mistakes in Quant. I'm searching for the solutions in the forums and categorizing the mistakes. So far I've managed only 10. Rest for tomorrow morning.

On the study front, I've marked this month for Kaplan. 
  • Kaplan Verbal Workbook
  • Kaplan Math Workbook
  • Kaplan 800
  • Kaplan Premier Program

Regardless of whether I follow the plan or not, I'm crazy about making plans. I made a note of all the chapters in a diary and am checking the chapters as and when I complete them.  Gives me a feeling of being in control!

Moreover, I end up feeling really low when my scores dip. So I need to be prepared before taking those brutal Kaplan CATs. That's the reason I'm trying to finish up Kaplan. I think Manhattan GMAT and Knewton CATs may not be all that bad. So those are reserved for the month of October. I'll be out of town this weekend, so can't take another CAT during the weekend. Maybe I can fit in a PowerPrep CAT just before leaving.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

GMAT Prep I - 640 (41Q, 36V)

As I mentioned in my previous post, I lost the test data because of a system re-install. So I took the GMAT Prep I again and here's my score. Will review the incorrect questions tomorrow.

Quant Total : 37 Q - 20 correct, 17 wrong, 0 unanswered - 54%
Verbal Total: 41 Q -  30 correct, 11 wrong, 0 unanswered - 73%

Friday, September 3, 2010

GMAT Test Analysis

Finally, I've done a consolidated analysis of the practice CATs that I've taken so far. One mistake I made was that I waited too long to log those mistakes into an excel sheet, which resulted in me spending the last two days fretting, putting all this stuff (4 Practice CATS) into an excel sheet and getting the pivot table generated  I couldn't include the Veritas Prep CAT (since it didn't give me a category of the mistakes) and my GMAT Prep data (lost this information because of a system re-install). Anyways, I'm thankful to Princeton Review and Manhattan GMAT for giving a nice breakup of the mistake categories, which made it easy to enter into the excel sheet and get the graph generated. If you might find this useful, here's the link!

All Practice Tests - Verbal Mistake Categories

All Practice Tests - Quant Mistake Categories

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Princeton Review - CAT 2 - 580 (36Q, 34V)

Scored 580 (36Q, 34V) in the Princeton Review CAT 2. 

Quant Total: 37 Q - 26 correct, 11 wrong, 0 unanswered - 70%
8/22 mistakes in PS - 64%
Problem Areas: Geometry, Averages/Rates/Statistics, Plugging in
3/15 mistakes in DS - 80%
Problem Areas: Geometry, Puzzle pieces

Verbal Total: 41 Q - 31 correct, 10 wrong, 0 unanswered - 76%
This time it was CR, where I made most of my mistakes. Was especially careful with RC, making notes and found the passages to be quite easy.
3/15 mistakes in SC- 80%
4/12 mistakes in CR- 67%
3/14 mistakes in RC - 79%

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Princeton Review - CAT I - 620 (37Q, 39V)

I took the Princeton Review Practice CAT I today. Scored 620 (37Q, 39V). I was happy with the slight improvement in scores. Made a total of 8 mistakes on quant and 9 mistakes on verbal.

Quant Total: 37 Q - 29 correct, 8 wrong, 0 unanswered - 78%
One thing I'm happy to say is that I've eliminated the timing problem altogether. I finished on time and there was not a single question where I had to guess. So these mistakes are sure to be careless ones.

Verbal Total: 41 Q - 32 correct, 9 wrong, 0 unanswered - 78%
On verbal, I finished ahead of time as usual.

Got to get back to analysis now. I will take a short break of 2-3 hours and work on this. I'm sure that I can take my score to the 700+ level, provided I continue at the same pace of preparation.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Knewton Free Course!

I'm a big fan of Knewton and think that they have enthusiastic, lively, knowledgeable and entertaining instructors.

Knewton is giving away a free GMAT prep course in their Back-to-School Facebook Giveaway sweepstakes. If you are interested, visit http://knewt.ly/fbgiveaway. The contest ends September 10, 2010.

Here's a little more background on what winning their course would mean:
  •    Live and interactive web-based classes
  •    One-on-one attention from world-class GMAT instructors
  •    5 full-length CATs created by the architects of the actual GMAT
  •    Live office hours and 24/7 academic support from GMAT experts
  •    Hundreds of concept videos
  •    Flexible 1-year membership
  •    Guaranteed 50-point score increase

Change in Plans!

Adekku and other fellow bloggers and friends, thanks for enquiring about my disappearance :-). I'm not dead studying, though there have been changes in plans.

I've decided to apply in Round 2 and rescheduled my GMAT date to the second week of November. I was getting too stressed about the unfinished chapters in GMAT, work deadlines and dismal test performances that I figured that it is better to reschedule. I'm taking Knewton classes too and find that they're fun! My time these days is mostly spent on Grockit. I've completed the easier questions on PS and DS in all areas in Quant and I'm moving on to the moderate section. Grockit has Quant and Verbal challenges (10 questions in each) which give you the percentile ranking based on your recent performance, performance in the challenges and the performance of other GMAT students. Each challenge is unlocked when you solve 20 group questions. I find that the challenges are a pretty good indicator of my performance so far. Since my Veritas prep test, I haven't taken any other test in a couple of  weeks. Was out of town last week and back after a refreshing vacation time with family. I will get  to the Princeton review test this weekend.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Veritas Prep Free Test (580, 36Q, 33V)

In this test, I didn't have any issues with timing. Made a couple of guesses on quant, especially in probability and mixture problems. In both quant and verbal, I made 13 mistakes. In quant, I got a bunch of questions wrong, in a row. Noticed that a lot of questions were similar to OG, only they had been slightly re-worded. Will analyze the mistakes tomorrow. Off to bed now.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

GMAT Study Status

There seem to be a million things to be done.

  • Kaplan - Math Work Book - 4 Chapters 
  • Kaplan - Verbal Work Book - 4 Chapters
  • Kaplan Premier Program - 6 Chapters
  • Kaplan 800 - 13 Chapters
  • Manhattan Advanced Chapters - 22 Chapters
    1. Equations, Inequalities Guide 3 - Chapters 8 through 14 - 7 chapters
    2. Manhattan Word Translations Guide 4 - Chapters 9 through 13 - 5 chapters
    3. Manhattan Geometry Guide 5 - Chapters 6 through 9 - 4 chapters
    4. Manhattan Sentence Correction Guide 8 - Chapters 9 through 14 - 6 Chapters
  • OG - 12 - 10 Chapters
  • OG - Math Work Book - 7 Chapters
  • OG - Verbal Work Book - 7 Chapters
  • Powerscore CR Bible - 14 Chapters
  • Peterson ARCO - 14 Chapters
Total -  102 chapters

Friday, August 6, 2010

The easiest way to blog?

I love stuff that inspires. Sometimes, I find a quote that is so inspiring, funny or downright true, that I'm compelled to note it down. I've made a note of these in my mini blog. Check it out!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Progress in week 5

I haven't been keeping well and progress had slowed down last week. I couldn't muster enough energy to give a full length test, so decided to focus on error analysis instead.

Looking back at the consistent, dismal performance over the last three tests I've decided to spend more time on reviewing the basics. I've entered all the incorrect answer choices, answer choices that were correct but consumed too much time into an error log and am revising the error log. Back to the basics!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A deal at Knewton!

Hey everyone! I got this information from a blogger friend Shilpa. Thanks, Shilpa! 

If you're looking for more quality GMAT practice, Knewton has a great offer. This offer is for Indian Residents only and Indian students can get a three month access to Knewton for just $300. As you may have known, their online classroom with one year access is $690. Here's the link to this offer.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Manhattan GMAT - Free Test (600, 39Q, 34V)

I took my Manhattan GMAT practice test yesterday and here's my score. There's no improvement over last week and something seems to be seriously wrong. Any suggestions to improve my score?

Verbal Total: 41 Q - 22 correct, 19 wrong, 0 unanswered - 53%
I made so many mistakes in RC, and in CR, even in the 600-700 range. RC was my worst performance. I scored only 33% in RC, 57% in CR and 67% in SC.

Quant Total: 37 Q - 18 correct, 19 wrong, 0 unanswered - 48%
 In  Quant, I performed the worst on Number Properties. I scored only 17% in Number Properties, 40% in Word Translations, 50% in Fractions, Decimals and Percentages, 60% in Geometry and 75% in Algebra.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Progress in week 6

Well, well, well. I'm still buried under Kaplan 800. Great book. I'm hoping to complete it this weekend. Also, I'll be giving the Knewton and Manhattan free tests this week, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Some disturbing statistics

A week ago, Adekku sent me this link on Evaluating Practice Tests. Thanks Adekku!
I found some disturbing statistics from my last test.
  1. Correct plus timing within the expected timeframe (otherwise known as strengths) - 16 Qns
  2. Wrong plus timing in the expected timeframe (possible weaknesses) - 0 Qns
  3. Wrong plus timing way too fast (an average more than 30 seconds faster than it should be) - 3 Qns
  4. Correct plus timing way too slow (an average more than 30 seconds slower than it should be) - 7 Qns
  5. Wrong plus timing way too slow (an average more than 30 seconds slower than it should be) - 6 Qns
  6. Unanswered questions
My analysis is as follows:
  • Category 1 - On 16 Qns, I spent a total of 21 minutes - 28% of my time on 43% Qns
  • Category 2 - no questions that fall in this category
  • Category 3 - On 3 Qns, I spent a total of 3 minutes 40 secs - About 5% of my time on 8% Qns
  • Category 4 - On 7 Qns, I spent a total of 27 minutes 10 secs - About 36% of my time on 19% Qns
  • Category 5 - On 6 Qns, I spent a total of  23 minutes 27 secs - About 30% of my time on 16% Qns
  • Category 6 - 4 Questions unattempted - 10% unattempted.

Princeton Review - Free Test (600, 36Q, 37V)

I took the Princeton Review free practice test today. Scored only 600 (36Q, 37V). I completed verbal 30 minutes ahead of time. Speed doesn't pay, does it? Unfortunately, I made 7 mistakes on verbal. Didn't help that I was taking the test at 1:00 am in the morning. Here's the break-up for verbal:

Verbal Total: 41 Q - 34 correct, 7 wrong, 0 unanswered - 83%

As for Quant, I ran out of time, as usual. This time, by 4 questions. I also made a couple of guesses on questions that I had no clue about.

Quant Total: 37 Q - 23 correct, 10 wrong, 4 unanswered - 64%

 If you're wondering how I completed the verbal section 30 minutes ahead of time, I've been practicing like mad on Grockit Verbal games. I've decided to put in that effort towards Quant. Though I'm disappointed with 600, it sure looks like an improvement over last week's 590.

Progress in week 7

Completed the Kaplan Premier Program, except for the test. I've also taken a standard membership for Grockit, which is fun! Well spent eighty dollars!

I have to start with Kaplan 800 from tomorrow. I've also put all the topics and the number of questions Grockit has in an excel sheet and plan to systematically work out on every area. Those who are interested, can download from this link

Break-up of Grockit Topics

Grouped the questions by topics and divided them into:
Easy, Easy Completed, Mistake Level
Moderate, Moderate Completed, Mistake Level
Difficult, Difficult Completed, Mistake Level.
Total, Total Completed, Mistake Level, Percentage and Total Remaining

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who has time for this?

Dear readers and fellow bloggers who are bored to death by reading mundane details of my GMAT preparation, read on for entertainment...

Phone Call From the Census

Relax, people, it's Friday!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hooked on Grockit !

I'm kicking myself for not having visited this site earlier. It has really improved my timing problem with questions and I'm truly motivated when I'm working with others. Currently, I'm slow at Quant, but I have no doubt that I will improve in a week or two. I find that people are helpful in explaining something I didn't get. Also, you get points awarded for the right answer or points deducted for the wrong answer. You also get points for helping others out. 

It's exactly the kind of study environment needed for people like me (who are unable to stay in one place and study without getting distracted). While using Grockit, you have no other go except to concentrate, or you get the answer wrong and lose points.

I think it has something to do with the name. The name Grockit never really appealed to me. To quote from pbs.org that explains what the name is about in a cute way,

First, let’s talk about that name of theirs. For those of you who are assuming that they chose the name simply because domain names are becoming scarce, fret not. Grockit is a play on the hacker word “grok,” a verb coined by sci-fi writer Robert Heinlein in 1961 that means “to understand so thoroughly that the observer becomes a part of the observed.” The word has become so commonplace in Internet slang that the Oxford English Dictionary even has an entry for it, defining it as “to understand intuitively or by empathy; to establish rapport with” and “to empathize or communicate sympathetically (with); also, to experience enjoyment.” In other words, when you say “I grok it,” it’s like saying you really, really get it - that you’ve learned a concept in a way that you’ve completely absorbed and made an instinctive part of your core knowledge.
I'm in awe of the founder Farbood Nivi and immensely grateful to him for creating such a novel and unique site, which I'm sure will help thousands of students get into their dream schools. You rock!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


People, check out http://grockit.com/gmat. A live test enviroment with study groups.

1000 SC, CR and RC - Mistake Level

I've completed 300 questions from the 1000 series so far, and here is my mistake level for SC, CR and RC. I'm going to do further exercises from OG-10, as I'm not finding sufficient explanations for the mistakes I've made on the 1000 series.

1000 SC - 5M, CR - 5M, RC - 8M - Set 1 
1000 SC - 4M, CR - 6M, RC - 2M - Set 2
1000 SC - 9M, CR - 7M, RC - 3M - Set 3
1000 SC - 6M, CR - 5M, RC - 1M- Set 4
1000 SC - 5M, CR - 7M, RC - 2M- Set 5
1000 SC - 7M, CR - 7M, RC - 1M- Set 6

Mistake Level
SC - 36 mistakes which translates to 64%
CR -  37 mistakes which translates to 63%
RC -  17 mistakes which translates to 83%

Monday, July 12, 2010

Plan for the coming 7 weeks

Week 1 - Kaplan Premier Program (Maths) + Manhattan GMAT Advanced
Week 2 - Kaplan 800 + Peterson's ARCO
Week 3 - Kapan Verbal Work Book + Kaplan Math Work Book
Week 4 - OG - 12 - Revision
Week 5 - OG Quant Review + OG Verbal Review - Revision
Week 6 - Princeton Review + 4GMAT - Revision
Week 7 - Error Logs + Manhattan GMAT Review + OG Review

I would be taking 3 practice tests every week.

Week 1 - Princeton Review + Kaplan + Manhattan GMAT Free Tests
Week 2 - Princeton Review Test 1 + Kaplan Test 1 + Manhattan GMAT Test 1
Week 3 - Princeton Review Test 2 + Kaplan Test 2 + Manhattan GMAT Test 2
Week 4 - PowerPrep Test 1 + Kaplan Test 3 + Manhattan GMAT Test 3
Week 5 - PowerPrep Test 2 + Kaplan Test 4 + Manhattan GMAT Test 4
Week 6 - GMAT Prep Test 2 + Kaplan Test 5 + Manhattan GMAT Test 5
Week 7 - Knewton Free Test + Kaplan Test 6 + Manhattan GMAT Test 6

Total Tests - 21

Progress in week 8

I had this plan last week.
1. 3 chapters in the Sentence Correction Guide.
2. 3 chapters in the Word Translations Guide.
3. 3 chapters in the Equations, Inequalities Guide.
4. 8 chapters in the Critical Reasoning Guide.
5. 7 chapters in the Geometry Guide.
Total - 24 chapters

This is what I actually completed.
1. 3 chapters in the SC Guide.
2. 1 chapter in the Word Translations Guide.
3. 1 chapter in the Equations, Inequalities Guide.
4. 5 chapters in the Geometry Guide.
Total - 10 chapters

My plan for this week: Complete all the pending chapters in the Manhattan Guides and the Maths portion of Kaplan Premier Program.

GMAT Prep - I (590, 39Q, 33V)

After a lot of hesitation and endless preparation, I took my first GMAT Prep today. As promised, here's my score. 

GMAT Prep I (590, 39Q, 33V)

When I started with the Analysis of Argument, I had no idea what the argument was about. It sounded as vague as ever, and only after the passing of a good 15 minutes, did it all begin to make sense. Anyway, I did both the analysis of argument and analysis of issue and moved on to quant.

I made a total of 11 mistakes on quant out of 30. I didn't complete the quant section. My timing was poor and I ran out of time at the 30th question. So that makes 7 questions unattempted plus 11 questions incorrect. 18 mistakes in all.

Quant Total : 37 Q - 19 correct, 11 wrong, 7 unanswered - 51%

Then I went on verbal. Verbal always has this relaxing effect on me (regardless of my score). However, I seemed to have made 15 mistakes in the verbal section. The distribution of mistakes was 5 in SC, 4 in CR and 6 in RC.

Verbal Total: 41 Q - 26 correct, 15 wrong, 0 unanswered - 63%

On looking back, I've made ALL of my mistakes on data sufficiency. Need improvement there. And timing is another thing. On sentence correction, I made a lot of silly mistakes. RC and CR, I genuinely need work on those. On the whole, I'm ok with this score for a start. Atleast, I know where I stand and what needs to be done.

Comments, advice and suggestions are welcome.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

1000 SC, CR, RC - Set 6

SC - Score - 13/20 - Mistakes - 82, 83, 85, 90, 95, 99, 100 - 65%  
CR - Test I - Score - 13/20 - Mistakes -  83, 84, 85, 87, 88, 91, 98 - 65%
RC - P11 - Score - 6/7 - Mistakes - 1 - 85%

Total Completed: 300 - SC - 100, CR - 100, RC -100
Total Remaining: 2700

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

1000 SC, CR, RC - Set 5

I started doing this in sets of 20 each for SC, CR and RC.

SC - Score - 15/20 - Mistakes - 78, 74, 72, 68, 63 - 75%  
CR - Test D - Score - 13/20 - Mistakes - 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18 - 65%
RC - P9 - Score - 8/9 - Mistakes - 1 P10 - Score - 8/9 - 88%

Total Completed: 253 - SC - 80, CR - 80, RC - 93
Total Remaining: 2747

Monday, July 5, 2010

Progress over the weekend

Worked on MGMAT SC guide. Completed up to 7 chapters in this guide and 3  chapters from the Word Translations Guide. This is what I'm planning to do this week before taking the practice test the coming weekend.

1. Need to do 3 more chapters in the Sentence Correction guide.
2. Need to complete 3 more chapters in the Word Translations Guide.
3. Need to complete 3 more chapters in the Equations, Inequalities Guide.
4. Need to complete 8 chapters in the Critical Reasoning Guide.
5. Need to complete 7 chapters in the Geometry Guide.

Total - 24 chapters

1000 SC, CR, RC - Set 4

SC - Score - 9/15 - Mistakes - 46, 54, 55, 56, 58, 60 - 60%  
CR - Test C - Score 10/15 - Mistakes - 18, 16, 14, 12, 9 - 66%  
RC - P7 - Score 6/7 - Mistakes - 4 P8 - 9/9 - No Mistakes!!! - 93%

Total Completed: 186 - SC - 60, CR - 60, RC - 66
Total Remaining: 2814

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Progress in week 9

I'm glad I started doing the 1000 SC, CR and RC. My score is steadily decreasing, as you can see from my earlier posts and this means I will have to put in effort on the verbal as well. Ok, it seems that there is nothing that I'm naturally gifted at and will have to work hard on every area. I knew I sucked at maths, but my performance in SC and CR was news to me. 

Anyways, I'm NOT giving up! I did the 6 chapters in MGMAT guide 3 (Equations, Inequalities and VICs) and I'm doing guide 4 now (Word Translations). I left out the advanced chapters in guide 3 for next week. At the same time, I'm working on MGMAT Sentence Correction (completed 4 chapters so far) and Powerscore Critical Reasoning.

Monday, June 28, 2010

1000 SC, CR, RC - Set 3

SC - Score - 6/15 - Mistakes - 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 40, 45 - 40%
CR - TC - Score 8/15 - Mistakes - 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 15 - Score - 8/15 - 53%
RC - P5 - Score 6/9 - Mistakes - 5, 7, 8
        P6 - Score 7/9 - Mistakes - 3, 8 - Score - 15/18 - 72%

Total Completed: 140 - SC - 45, CR - 45, RC -50
Total Remaining: 2860

1000 SC, CR, RC - Set 2

SC - Score - 11/15 - Mistakes - 16, 21, 25, 30 - 73%  
CR - TA- Score 2/5 - Mistakes - 16, 18
        TB - Score 6/10 - Mistakes 1, 5, 6, 7 - Score 9/15 - 60%  
RC - P3 - Score 7/8 - Mistakes - 3 
        P4 - Score 6/7 - Mistakes - 7 - Score - 13/15 - 86%

Total Completed: 92 - SC - 30, CR - 30, RC - 32
Total Remaining: 2908

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Manhattan GMAT - Reading Comprehension

Completed the 7 passages (4 short passages and 3 long ones) given in the Manhattan GMAT RC guide . Each passage has five questions. RC needs improvement. I'm making at least 2 mistakes in each of those passages.

My score - 22/35.  - 62 %

A few must dos during the months of GMAT prep

It is absolutely essential during the months of preparation for GMAT to not let external circumstances disturb your inner state of mind. Stay away from negative people! And DO NOT let anyone make you lose your cool. For God's sake do not get into arguments with others. Save it for another day (next day after GMAT). Cultivate a harmonious environment and avoid noise altogether. I know this can be difficult, but you need to find a quiet place for your study. If you have noisy room-mates or family members stay out of their way (at least till the GMAT is over). Talk little, eat well, exercise and sleep well (apart from the usual grind of studying). Focus on the GMAT. And people, do not think that you can do studying with the TV on. Trust me, I've tried. I couldn't do even the easiest of SC or RC with the TV on, without making a bunch of careless mistakes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

1000 SC, CR, RC - Set 1 score

SC: Score 10/15 - Mistakes: 2, 8, 10, 12 and 13 - 66%
CR: TA - Score 10/15 - Mistakes:  7, 8, 10, 11 and 12 - 66%
RC: P1 - Score 6/8 - Mistakes: 6, 8
       P2 - Score 3/9. Mistakes: 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9 - Score - 9/17 - 52%

Total Completed: 47 - SC - 15, CR - 15, RC - 17
Total Remaining: 2953

Thousand SC, CR and RC

Divided thousand SC, CR and RC into 45 sets comprising 15 questions each from SC, CR and RC. Will be doing one set every day from today.

Started with Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible

A few months back, I had started with Powerscore CR Bible and didn’t make any progress with it after doing the first two chapters. Today, after reading Adekku’s post, I’m determined to complete it. Thanks Adekku!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Progress in week 10

I worked on the Manhattan GMAT reading comprehension and completed the first 6 chapters. Also did the first four chapters in Manhattan GMAT guide 3 (Equations, Inequalities and VICs). Manhattan RC seems to have some strategies to improve RC. However, I can vouch for it only after I see a significant improvement in my RC score. Chapter 7 in the RC guide has 7 passages. I will complete them by tomorrow. Also, I have to complete Manhattan GMAT guide 3 by this week end. Next week is allotted for Manhattan GMAT guide 4 (word translations) and guide 5 (Geometry). Though I haven't completed the SC and CR guides, I'm quite confident in those areas.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Starting with Manhattan GMAT guide 3 - Equations, Inequalities and VICs

I reviewed the mistakes that I got wrong from OG and OG Quant Review and I'm moving on to guide 3 (Equations, Inequalities and VICs). I was feeling rather sick (seeing my DS score), but life has to move on, right? I will start with some sentence correction to cheer me up :-)

Manhattan GMAT - Fractions, Decimals, Percentages - Score

Score of the OG-12 and OG - Quant Review problems in the Manhattan GMAT guide 2 - Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

Problem Solving - 83/113 - 30 wrong - 73%
Data Sufficiency - 15/44 - 29 wrong - 34%
Total - 98/157 - 59 wrong - 62%

With this hopeless score in data sufficiency, I'm truly at a loss. Any ideas to improve data sufficiency? Please suggest.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Progress in week 11

Stress is the difference between where you are and where you want to be. Right now, stress is what I'm feeling. I was to complete all the problems listed in guide 2 (Source: Official Guide – 12 and Official Guide Quant Review) by today and start with guide 3, but I still haven't completed the data sufficiency section in OG-12. Also, my score in data sufficiency from the Official Guide Review was devastating. Nevertheless, I'll post the scores tomorrow after completing the data sufficiency section from OG-12 today. 

Last week, I completed guide 2 and my weekend was spent solving questions from the OG-12 and OG-review. Have only 70 days left and I need to speed up. I haven't been doing any verbal. Quant is taking up all my time. I will start with guide 3 (Equations, Inequalities and VICs) tomorrow.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Manhattan GMAT - Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

I worked on the first three chapters of the Manhattan GMAT guide 2 (Fractions, decimals and percentages). My only advice to people reading this (from experience) is: Take notes as you go along!

I'm going to work on RC now, for a pleasant change from quant.

Learning from mistakes - MGMAT Number Properties

I'm learning from my mistakes, by keeping track of the problems I got wrong and doing them as many times as possible. As you've seen from my previous post, I attempted around 120 problems on Number Properties getting around 34 wrong. Now, I suffer from memory loss and I'm pretty sure that if I were to do the same 120 problems a week later, my mistakes would be from the same 34 problems (even though I've gone through the solutions). To get around this, I've circled those questions (not on the OG), but on the Manhattan GMAT Number Properties book, so that I can quickly revise them just before the practice test.

Manhattan GMAT Number Properties - Score

Score of the OG-12 and OG - Quant Review problems in the Manhattan Number Properties Guide.

Problem Solving - 50/67 - 17 wrong - 74%
Data Sufficiency - 37/54 - 17 wrong - 68%
Total - 87/121 - 34 wrong - 71%

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Progress in week 12

I had a few hospital visits to make over the weekend for my family and was only able to complete the OG problems related to Number Properties listed in the Manhattan GMAT Number Properties guide. I'm happy to say that I'm done with Manhattan Number Properties (the whole of it, not one single problem left out)! I postponed the practice test yet again. Will take it end of June, when I'm done with the revision of the Manhattan GMAT guides. I'm working with Fractions, Decimals and Percentages (Book 2) of the Manhattan guides.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Kaplan Premier Program - RC

I got the worst score in RC today. 32/50. 64%??!!!  Well, what can I say? Serves me right for not paying enough attention to RC.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

MGMAT - Number Properties

I worked on all the chapters in Manhattan GMAT Number Properties except for the chapters that reference to Official Guide questions. I'm going to start with that now. I came across something I didn't know. If you do all the Manhattan Guide questions that reference to OG, Manhattan GMAT says that you will end up doing all the questions in the OG. That would be one way of identifying the areas that need work.

I have a very short attention span, and I find that too much of anything makes me yawn. I've decided to make a small change in my plans and work on quant in the morning (when I'm alert and wide awake) and verbal in the evenings (when I'm tired and half asleep). Also, I mustn't do reading comprehension just before bed. It would be a good idea to start with Reading Comprehension in the evenings, I find it so hard to concentrate on the long and dull passages. CR and SC are better, because they are short passages/lines and make for easy reading. So my suggestion, from my experience, is start with RC, continue with CR and end with SC.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Kaplan Premier Program - CR and SC done

I'm through with SC and CR on Kaplan Premier Program. I scored 42/50 in SC, the same as I had on CR. I went through the answer choices (ALL the answer choices and why each choice other than the correct one was wrong). Honestly, I didn't like this at all. I mean, if I got it right, what's the point? Anyways, I trusted the better judgement of Kaplan, which insisted that all the choices should be evaluated (who knows if you got it right by fluke?) and went on with it. I figure that it might not have been such a boring task if I had reviewed the answers in batches of 10. I'll do it this way for RC.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Started with Kaplan Premier Program

As I mentioned earlier, Manhattan GMAT books are compact. Not that the material is trivial, but I find them quite handy to carry around unlike the OG-12 or the Kaplan Premier Program book. My plan is to work on the Manhattan GMAT books in the mornings and work on the Kaplan followed by the OG books in the evenings. I started with Kaplan and went all the way upto critical reasoning. Now, I'm working on the sentence correction section. I did the 50 problems in the CR section, scoring 42/50. 8 wrong. Then I gave those 8 another shot. I went wrong in 4 of the 8, which means these were not careless mistakes, but concept errors. Need to review the errors and move on to another 50 in SC and the RC passages.

I know I've been putting off taking the practice tests and the waiting could last forever, if I wanted to prepare myself fully before I take the test, but I've decided that I would be taking it on 11th June, 2010 (coming Friday), and face the music.

The weekend is almost over and the climate is awesome in Chennai(a rarity), but I'm stuck with reviewing the errors in CR and going through all the CR questions and the answers again. Can anyone think of a worse way to spend the weekend? I'm waiting to get the GMAT over with so that I can get on with life and go for swimming, learn Spanish and Italian, work on my French, do yoga without cribbing about how much time it takes, sign up for treks, take up volunteering, cook better food instead of watching the clock and travel lots!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Progress in week 13

Working on Manhattan GMAT Number Properties. Done with the first 5 chapters  in this book. Also, I got two notebooks, to take down important notes from the Manhattan GMAT books. People, it's not interesting to take down notes after you are done with all the chapters. I should have taken down notes as and when I completed the chapters, instead of waiting all the way till the end. My goal for the weekend is to complete the Number Properties book. I've already gone through all the Manhattan GMAT books till the advanced sections. So this should not be too difficult.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Progress in week 14

I managed to go through the inequalities chapter in Manhattan GMAT as Anagha suggested and completed it. It always bothers me when I leave stuff unfinished. There's a nagging feeling in my mind. I'm revising the Manhattan GMAT guides now. The thing I liked about these guides is that, it is easy to go through one chapter at a time in small time slices, say half an hour. So I find it worth doing just before I start for work or during lunch or when I'm really tired, but want to study something that's not too loaded with information. My strategy is to do the revision of the MGMAT guides in the mornings and work on OG in the evenings. When I read the experiences of so many others who have given the GMAT, the two takeaways were
  1. Study the MGMAT guides thoroughly (at least thrice).
  2. Start with the OG after this and do the problems in the OG (at least thrice)
There are people who have done the revision of the Manhattan GMAT guides and OG for 7 or 8 times. With only 90 days to go, I don't have that kind of time and I believe that the above strategy is good enough.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Inequalities – Help!

Yesterday, I was going through the chapter on inequalities, to refresh my memory and it turns out that I promptly fell asleep! Without having read a full page. So people, if anyone out there is reading this, please suggest some interesting material to master this one.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Progress in week 15

I managed to accomplish very little this weekend. Completed the SC, CR, RC and AWA on Princeton Review and moved on to the warm up test. This has 20 questions in Maths and 20 questions in verbal and each section has to be completed within 30 minutes. I scored only 10/20 in Maths and 15/20 in verbal. On reviewing the Maths again, found that 5 out the 10 wrong were careless errors. What was I thinking? On the other hand, verbal was quite accurate. When I repeated the questions I got wrong, I found that I got them wrong again, which indicates concept error. Atleast, here's something I can work on.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Progress in week 16

I completed the Kaplan Math Foundations book this week. Working on Princeton Review, Cracking the GMAT. Completed the first 12 chapters in Princeton Review. It's light and fun reading, exactly the kind of book that would give you a feel for what the test is about. Since I'm done with the Maths part in the Princeton Review book, I'm going in for verbal now. I've heard good reviews about the verbal strategies in this book, so it should be easy to get the verbal part done.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Done with Geometry

Finally! I've covered Geometry and Co-ordinate Geometry and am working on Algebra now. This is something that I'm good at, so expecting to complete the two chapters in a day. Then, I will have to write down all the formulas for the chapters covered so far, and revise the chapters again, so that I get a decent score on my first practice test. 

The thing about practice tests, or any tests for that matter is that I get quite depressed when I score badly. So I keep putting off taking the test infinitely. One of the reasons I started blogging is to give myself a slight nudge in the direction of these tests.

Stumbling on Happiness

Happiness! That one feeling towards which all our actions are directed...Dan Gilbert, ceaselessly entertaining, explains in his book, why we could be sadly mistaken in our predictions of our happiness. Imagine that! You might be dead wrong in what you think could make you happy. On the brighter side, what you think could break you, might not be so bad after all :-)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Progress in week 17

Last week, I started with Geometry and as I followed my study guide, I was swamped with all the formulas from Geometry and decided to work on a book that would explain things better. I am almost done with Geometry chapter on the Kaplan Math Foundation book now and find that I'm actually enjoying it! However, because of this, the rest of my study plan has taken a hit. There's no point in rushing if things are not clear. I'm doing Co-ordinate Geometry from the same book and a few chapters in Algebra are remaining.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Study Timings

I'm definitely not a morning person, and early morning means something around 8:00 am for me. I've scheduled my study time from 11:00 pm to 1:00 am or 2:00 am every day and also, the time I get after work (which varies, depending on the meetings scheduled for the late evenings. I don't want to comment on this, I guess it is pretty much understandable). I usually reach home around 9:30 to 10:00 pm and then laze around for a bit, catching up on the news and then deciding what to do for dinner. By the time I've settled down to study it's 11:00 pm! I must also try and get some time during the lunch breaks. In the mornings, I usually work on verbal, because there are a lot of distractions around me and I can do CR and SC with distractions around, but not RC. Speaking of  RC, I haven't touched RC in a long while now.

Progress in week 18

I have the preparatory course material and I managed to cover the Time, Speed and Distance, Races, Pipes and Cisterns and Work and Time problems this week. My plan for today is to do the AP, GP chapter. I have this weekend for Geometry. I need to complete the review of all the chapters in the preparatory material by the 13th of May. I have to give a practice test that day and two more on the weekend and then continue with 3 practice tests a week, till the exam. Also, it's time for me to start taking notes. Whatever I study seems to evaporate into thin air!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Week 18

God, how time flies! I have 18 weeks left and I'm not even confident with the fundamentals. I went through the ARCO guide and it looks like there is NO other way to do quant effortlessly than bury myself in books on the basics. I have given myself 4 more weeks for the basics, which would include the 4GMAT books and a revision of the Manhattan Guides (including the advanced chapters). So I should be ready to go with the ARCO, Kaplan and OG by the start of week 14.

Friday, April 23, 2010

On to Peterson's ARCO

Well, I've decided to move on to ARCO and focus on the Quant there. I read in the gmatclub forum that focusing on OG at an early point in preparation is a waste of Official questions. Might as well listen to those who have experience. My focus will be to work on ARCO, Kaplan for Quant and then work on ARCO and Kaplan again for Verbal and then finally move on to OG and the Manhattan Advanced topics (plus revise the chapters already done in the Manhattan guides). In addition, I also have the 4GMAT material to go through when I have extra time.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The first 100 questions in OG-12

My scores for the first hundred questions:

SC: 19/20

I did this over a couple of days. Doing 20 questions at a time on verbal tires me out. Maybe I should try doing 10 of each?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan

Here, at last, some refreshing books by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Sick of all the know it alls whom I've met, I'm really glad to be reading someone who is cautious and is not ashamed to say "I don't know". This man's writing style s simply awesome. Read it to believe it. 

I got this book (the combined volume of both books) at a bookshop near work today. I was rationalizing with myself not to buy it, since I had already read the pdf versions of the book, and I didn't understand why I had to have the book (Taleb has an explanation why), but I simply couldn't resist buying it. One thing, it is not light reading. It is the kind of book that has to be digested. I'm reading it in bits and pieces and feeling rather amused at Taleb's observations. Someone who knows what he's talking about. I feel nothing less than affection for him and I'm an enthusiastic promoter of his books now. I've already convinced a couple of my friends to buy the books and I can be quite convincing when I try :-)

Progress on OG-12

There are roughly about 800 questions on OG-12, which means if I need to complete OG-12 in 10 day's time, I need to be doing at least 80 questions a day. I would alternate between DS and PS, since DS is a primitive form of PS. I'm planning to do 20 questions of DS/PS, 20 SC, 20 CR and 20 RC per day.

Feeling low today...

Due to various happenings in my personal life, I'm at an all time low today. I did login to gmatclub and try to answer some of the questions, but I simply don't have the energy to think up explanations. Sometimes, I just don't know what to do with myself. I'm just exasperated that something external could cause such internal turmoil and ruin the day for me. Anyway, is that just me or does everyone else feel the same?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Started with OG-12

Done with the arithmetic, algebra, geometry and word translations on OG-12. Is this all there is to it? I feel like I'm missing something.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Verbal Diagnostic on OG 12

Well, I don't have good news here either. I only managed to score 13/17 on RC and 10/17 on SC. I'm off to do CR and then DS. This plainly puts me in the average range. My inspirational quote of the day is "I can and I will, watch me".

My CR score is 11/17. This falls in the above average category. I've put off taking the DS test till my day's study is done, because I end up feeling worthless and depressed after a low score. If I do it at the end of the day, usually I'm happy to go to sleep and forget about all this and have pleasant dreams.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Quant Diagnostic on OG-12

I took the quant diagnostic on OG-12 and found that I got only 10 out of 24 right. Am I nuts? The rest of the answers, I wasn't sure, were plain wrong or I was clueless about them. My weak areas according to the diagnostic were Permutations and Combinations, Probability (no surprises there), Geometry, Rate problems and Set Theory. Note to myself: I better put in some hard work on these areas to avoid any more surprises in the future.

I was so dumbfounded that I didn't progress to data sufficiency and the rest of the verbal. I'll take those today.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Progress so far...

I'm almost done with all the MGMAT guides upto the data sufficiency chapters. I have about 4 chapters to go in MGMAT Word Translations guide and am midway through the Reading Comprehension guide. Reading comprehension is something I'll have to work on. I saw that from my TOEFL score. Reading comprehension was my lowest (24/30). Working on Reading Comprehension just before bed is one sure way to fall asleep. After this, my plan is to start with the Official Guide 12 and then come back to the Advanced Topics in the MGMAT guides, since a lot of MGMAT guides refer back to OG 12. I was sad after my last test performance. Though it was not a full length test, I saw how badly I performed and how much work was needed on concepts. After completing MGMAT Word Translations and MGMAT RC, I'll give a shot at the GMAT Prep this week.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

1000 SC, CR and RC

Downloaded the 1000 SCs, CRs and RCs. With about 5 months to go, I need to be doing 10 a day in each section, to score well.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Peterson's online test

I took another online test today from www.petersons.com. I took their free GMAT practice test. The scores are pathetic.

Total: 37 Correct:15 Incorrect:12 Not Answered: 10

Total: 41 Correct: 16 Incorrect:23 Not Answered:2

Total: 78 Correct: 31 Incorrect:35 Not Answered:12 Percentage: 40%

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Online Test - 50 Questions

Took an online test with 31 Math and 21 Verbal. Scored 76.92% overall. Got 7/31 wrong in Math and 5/21 wrong in verbal.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Powerscore CR Bible Chapters and Status

Chapter 1: Introduction - Complete
Chapter 2: The Basics of Critical Reasoning - Complete
Chapter 3: The Question Stem and Answer Choices
Chapter 4: Must be True Questions
Chapter 5: Main Point Questions
Chapter 6: Weaken Questions
Chapter 7: Cause and Effect Reasoning
Chapter 8: Strengthen and Assumption Questions
Chapter 9: Resolve the Paradox Questions
Chapter 10: Method of Reasoning and Flaw in the Reasoning Questions
Chapter 11: Parallel Reasoning Questions
Chapter 12: Numbers and Percentages
Chapter 13: Evaluate the Argument Questions
Chapter 14: Test Readiness

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mid Level Plan

Here are the weeks that I would be spending on each of the GMAT study books.
  1. Princeton Review - 1 week
  2. 4GMAT Course Material - 5 weeks
  3. Manhattan GMAT Number Properties Guide - 2 weeks
  4. Manhattan GMAT Fractions, Decimals, and Percents Guide - 1 week
  5. Manhattan GMAT Equations Inequalities and Vics Guide - 2 weeks
  6. Manhattan GMAT Word Translations Guide - 2 weeks
  7. Manhattan GMAT Geometry Guide - 1 week
  8. Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction Guide - 2 weeks
  9. Manhattan GMAT Critical Reasoning Guide - 1 week
  10. Manhattan GMAT Reading Comprehension Guide - 1 week
  11. Kaplan GMAT Premier Program - 2 weeks
  12. Kaplan GMAT 800 - 1 week
  13. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook - 1 week
  14. Kaplan GMAT Verbal Workbook - 1 week
  15. Official Guide 12th edition - 2 weeks
  16. Official Guide - Quantitative Review - 1 week
  17. Official Guide - Verbal Review - 1 week
  18. Powerscore Critical Reasoning Bible
Total: 27 weeks

High Level Plan

After working sporadically on the GMAT for almost 2 months, I've decided to change plans and re-schedule the GMAT to August 1st week. I've not been doing enough and I know it. Also, I was just hitting in the dark without a clear cut plan and with loads of books.

High level plan
Princeton Review - 1 week
4GMAT - 5 weeks
MGMAT - 12 weeks
Kaplan - 5 weeks
OG - 4 weeks

Total : 27 weeks required