How does someone beginning their prep from extreme foundations end up achieve an out of the world 770 with a V47 that even the most native speakers fail to crack?
Shloka Vasudeva, aced her GMAT exactly in that situation.
At the beginning of her prep, Shloka felt scared of quant since the last time she had studied any math was back in her 10th grade and verbal was even bigger of a challenge for her right from the get go.
But working on all her shortcomings, she ended up scoring the 99th percentile feat.
She shared what she did in each section, what she struggled with and what she did to get better during preparation and how she went about actually practicing with after building concepts.
For Quant, she said that she had referred to a couple of online materials prior to joining Top One Percent which just did not work out for her. Instead of building foundational clarity, she involuntarily tried to memorize questions, couldn’t see any patterns in her attempts, took the long algebraic approach to solve questions preventing her from finishing a question under two minutes.
After she joined TOP, her levels completely changed, she says. 1. She took the live classes because she wanted to see what thought process was being used rather than techniques themselves. 2. For a couple weeks, she just focused on building concepts upon the pre-work and focused on all the questions individually as every single question holds a different approach and value. 3. Later she also found out that mugging up questions wasn’t helping her as each question was different but building clarity in her concepts is what got her through. 4. One interesting thing she shares is that she used to go back and see the questions from the pre-work every couple of weeks during her preparation so as to freshen up her concepts. 5. After building concepts, she started with the 700-800 level questions material and just practiced and was able to get a firm grasp over the concepts.
The verbal section, Shloka shares, was a bigger burden than the other for which she used to email Sandeep Sir on a daily. 1. For RC, she relied wholly on a thorough application of the OCTAVE technique. She attempted more roughly 60-70 passages while consciously and actively applying OCTAVE post which she resorted to the 700-800 RC practice material. She said that within the first 50 passages, OCTAVE became a part of her subconscious which really helped her. 2. She did still struggle with the long passages of RC for which she started practicing the LSAT passages which are pretty long. 3. CR in totality troubled her a lot, mostly the assumption and weaken questions, she shares. Since there is a lot of subtlety in the assumption questions, it becomes really difficult sometimes to choose between two available options. 4. She started doing all the individual topics with major emphasis on the assumption questions which helped her understand the premise of the argument better which further helped her in all other sections of CR. 5. She also practiced LSAT CR questions and as they are really subtle, practicing them made her ace in CR. 6. In SC, after getting through the concepts she did the 100 most important questions material where she had a decent accuracy of 75-80% post which she started with the 700-800 level PDF. Now midway she started to have problems, really silly ones as well that she kept repeating and her exam was approaching. 7. She sent doubts for every little thing just to wrap her head around leaving no concept untouched. Also maintaining an error log reminded her of where she’s going wrong and right. 8. She also put major emphasis on meaning clarity kind of questions.
For her mocks, she shares that she did 4 official mocks and 17 full length mocks from the TOP portal. Alongside she finished all the sectional quant mocks and gained a lot of insights from the verbal mocks.
In the end, she found nothing surprising in the Quant section but all her RC passages were lengthy.
She leaves a couple of advices for all those who are preparing right now: 1. Make the techniques a part of your subconscious so you can apply them without wasting any time during the exam as clock runs really fast. 2. The performance on the official mocks can be quite different from the portal ones so brace be prepared, accordingly.
Thus, even after beginning at the foundational level, she managed to earn herself a 770, a true 99th percentile mark.
You can too, just start!
Best of luck!