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1 week focused prep to 740

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1 week focused prep to 740 [#permalink] New post 31 Aug 2012, 01:58
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Hey all,

I'm usually a shadow visitor on the forums, but I thought I would like to share my GMAT experience, and also to say a big thank you to all the forum members/contributors who have been instrumental in helping me out during the GMAT journey...

Overall
I'm not suggesting that everyone should take a risk and cram for their GMAT... nor suggesting that GMAT exams are easy and can be taken lightly. I chose to take 1 entire week of leave to study for GMAT as I'm not a very disciplined person. I usually procrastinate, and can never bring myself to study after work as I'm usually quite tired after working long hours, and weekends are really my personal/family time. I actually cancelled/postponed my GMAT exam 5 (!!!) times before I decided that I will just sit down and study, and get through it. Although it is only 1 week of studying, I probably spent close to 70-80 hours in the entire process?

Resources used
GMATPrep software (the 2 timed practice exams are priceless!)
GMATclub forums
Acro Master the GMAT 2007 (A little dated but the file is free and can be found online :))
Kaplan Verbal

Overall process
I did a brief review of the math concepts and verbal concepts before I took my first GMAT prep exam (probably half a day's worth of work). I did not want to depress myself too much in the first practice, and also wanted a relatively accurate assessment of my key areas of weakness and then focus my studying on those areas in the following days. My greatest weakness was quant, so I spent a good 60-70% of my time practising/studying quant...

On the last 2-3 days, I started to focus on doing the Acro practice exams, and doing 1-2 a day (again, timed). I also took the Kaplan CAT 2 days before the actual GMAT exam, but I must admit the score was pretty depressing. Every time I had doubts on any questions, I always googled the questions, and that usually brings me back to GMATClub. A million thanks to Bunuel for his EXCELLENT explanations for the quant questions! They were a great resource!

Throughout the process, I made sure that I always timed myself when doing any practice questions to get a good grasp of pacing/timing...

Actual exam day
Just be calm and do be prepared that sometimes the exam environment is less than ideal. For example, I took the test in the room with some 4 other people (1 who's also taking GMAT at the same time as me; others who were working on other exams) and sometimes there might be some distraction when people walk in and out of the exam room... One way to prepare for that is that when you do your practice exams and studying, you do not always need a perfectly quiet place... sometimes learning how to study/work in an environment that is not perfect helps on the actual day...

I also remember that I did not click 'submit' after writing my AWA essay and was brought to the next screen after that. I was so nervous throughout the IR section because I kept wondering if the essay would be submitted automatically, or if I would get a zero in the section... Fortunately I checked with the exam center manager and she assured me that it'll be okay... *phew*

Practice exams
GMAT Prep exam 1 - 710
Acro Practice exams - 1 to 6 (it's paper based, so no scoring there)
Kaplan CAT - 640
GMAT Prep exam 2 - 700
Actual GMAT - 740 (49Q 41V); AWA 5; IR 6 (AWA and IR not great, but I don't intend to re-take the exam again... it's too much pain!)

Hope this helps!
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1 week focused prep to 740   [#permalink] 31 Aug 2012, 01:58
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