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GMAT 770 – test experience

December 15, 2007

My GMAT score (taken on 6th Dec 07) – 770 (99%)

Verbal – 44/ 97%
Quantitative – 50 / 95%
AWA – 5.5

The test is scheduled for 8:15 AM. Its a thursday (thursdays have always been insignificant, nothing really lucky about a thursday so far). Though 6th is special. For various reasons.

Switzerland. In winter. Its not as cold as you expect. Temperature threatening to go down with the strong and chilling wind, but still on the better side of zero.

I am the only person taking the exam. At least at 8:15 AM.

All systems at the center have a french keyboard. Will have to do with them. No other choice.

I blindly click through the instructions, and the essays begin. I struggle to replace z with y and frantically search for an apostrophe on the french keyboard. I try to put in as many key words as possible. Some are repeated. Never mind, I am still happy with the length of both the essays.

I don’t take a break, move quickly to quantitative. General impression – questions are more standard than those in the OG. Or maybe they appear so as I see them on the screen instead of on the OG pages. Take my time for the first 5 questions. Then move a bit faster. General rate – less than 2 min per question. By this time , 3 seats away, another guy begins his essays. Sounds of hitting the keyboard. I have another 10 or so questions left with 20 minutes. I feel its going well. Still try not to get complacent. Not to lose focus. Last 5 questions. 9 minutes. Last 2. 3 minutes. The last but one takes long. 40 seconds left for the last question. This is the only question I do not solve. Cannot solve, no time. Its a question about simple interest on a sum being equal to compound interest on another sum compounded semi-annually. I click on the third answer. Then change to second. Time’s up.

Need a break. Visit the loo and eat some chocolate. Back.

On to verbal. GMAT english. In all the mocks and guides, I have come to understand that in GMAT english, the right answer is not always what you think is right. I test this hypothesis in mocks, and it turns out to be true. My maxim – when in real doubt, select the second best answer according to you. Should be right according to GMAT english principles.

I surprise myself by deciding not to follow the above as the test begins. Will select the answers according to what I feel is correct. My feeling should be good enough for GMAT english. Or so I reckon. With the above maxim sent to the bulls, I start answering. On to the third question. CR. Is the difficulty increasing ? I think not; but am still confident. The first RC is quite small. Seat beside me gets occupied. Very soon, she begins her essays. Sound of hitting the keyboard. Noise. I plug my ears with my fingers. Still 31 questions to go.

In one verbal question I use the writing pad. Its more of an analytical question. Am impressed. It is definitely getting tougher. 30 more minutes. Its easy to hasten now. And make a mistake. Still I am faster than the quantitative section. only 12 questions left. The last RC. I want to rush, but instead concentrate. 8 questions. Over 20 minutes. Last 2. Over 10 minutes left. I take my time. End it with 5 minutes to go.

The ordeal doesn’t end. It asks me all sorts of weird questions, I am the least interested in them now. Finally, report the score or cancel the score ? Click on report, my heart misses a beat while its processing, I pray for an eternity in those few seconds. And there. It says 770. I check again. Yes. Its not 670. Yes ! 770 ! End exam. Sign out, take the printout, take my stuff. Au revoir , Merci ! Leave the center.

Check the report again. Call my wife. Asked to guess, she says 700. 730. My day is made. I’ve made her happy. She tries to ensure I am not joking. I am too happy to do so. All my ill feelings against my manager vanish. I am on my way for bigger things. Better things.

Will be happy to give you any tips or suggestions. Ask and ye shall get.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Nirav permalink
    September 23, 2008 2:31 am


    First of all congrats to your score. I would like to get some suggestion from you regarding the verbal part. I am a non native English speaker came from India. My quant section is pretty good as I get around 48 to 49 in those section which my strength. But as soon as I come to English, it drops down to 15-20. I am never able to make my score better than 550. Can you help me to answer English question, so I can pull a higher score.

    Thank you

  2. ahembeea permalink*
    September 24, 2008 8:13 am

    Nirav – What tests have you been giving? Do you score the same in the 2 tests provided by GMAT Prep? I hope you are following the OG. Please analyze the questions that you are getting wrong, and then try to find a pattern. Go back to the OG to understand such questions carefully. This should definitely work.

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