This Thursday I took my GMAT for the 2nd time and got a 650 Q42 V38. My first GMAT score was 560 because of unexpectedly poor health on test day. Since my target schools are Stanford, Columbia, Haas, Said and INSEAD, I know I'll have to do better on the GMAT in order to maximize my chances. Hopefully, the third time will be a charm.
Anyways, math is obviously my weak area and is what keeps dragging my scores down. I know I can do a lot better on verbal and boost it up to at least 40+ because I scored a 45 in my last MGMAT practice exam (and a 720 total). I used the complete MGMAT and Veritas Prep
collection for math, in addition to the PowerScore SC
and CR bibles for extra verbal workout.
Now, as far as math is concerned, I think my lack of confidence with numbers is the main problem. I keep making silly calculation mistakes, especially when trying to work through questions quickly. This bring me to the second problem: speed. In all the practice and real tests, my pacing was really off and a lot of random guessing in the last third of the portion completely kills my score, because I unconsciously end up wasting a lot of time on 700 level questions. Probability and Permutations/Combination often goes completely over my head as do many of the tougher work/rate problems. Co-ordinate Geo can also be a problem, but only on higher level questions.
Coming to verbal, I can do SC's with ease right now, however, I often end up falling for the trap or shell-game answers in RC and that's where I lose the most points. My performance on CR's can be...inconsistent, but I'm sure it can be addressed with more practice.
I've already scheduled my next test date for 16th December 2010. I will work on my apps/essays and practice for the GMAT simultaneously, and can devote at least
20-25 hours a week for the latter. My study plan at the moment is:
1. Practice, Practice, Practice
This is something I failed to do adequately the last time. Even though I had OG12
as well the official GMAT Math and Verbal books, because of time constraints I wasn't able to do as many practice questions from OG12
as I would have liked, and barely touched the separate Math and Verbal books. I also have the Kaplan 800
and haven't really gone through it yet either.
2. Get 'Total GMAT Math
' by Jeff Sackmann
I heard good things about this book, especially for retakers looking to boost their Quant scores. Plus, a fresh perspective doesn't help either - I learned a lot from using both MGMAT and Veritas Prep
than I would've using either of them alone, because many a times, the way one book explains something can be a lot more intuitive and easier to grasp. There are no GMAT test prep classes available where I live, so all I have to make do with are books.
3. Use the error log
Again, this is something I really wanted to do but couldn't because I had a lot of material to cover and the test dates were fast approaching.
4. GMAT club tests
I've used four of my six MGMAT CAT tests thus far, so the GMAT club tests
will take up the lion's share of my practice tests. I'll also be around the forums more often.
Any further comments/suggestions?