3RD attempt at GMAT... N finally I get the guts to ask for Help on the forum!!
I have been fighting the GMAT since some time now. I am an Engineer working in the construction sector and a non native English speaker.First Prep: GMAT Score (520 Q41 V21) – April 2009
I attended a 2 week coaching class with Princeton Review
(the only available GMAT coaching available at my place). I was on a full time job but it got over at 4 pm. So I was free to attend evening classes. This was my first time on a standardized test. So, the classes gave an idea about how to traverse through the test. Also, I got some basic concepts on quantitative, verbal and timing sense. Then I spent time going through OG 11
and PR materials for the next weeks of prep. I made some flashcards. I gave both GMAT prep test. After GMAT main test, I realized I have a long way to go.Mistakes learned:
1. I had gone through very few materials and thought it was sufficient to get through the test. I thought if I finished the material at hand I can score well. (Adaptive test concept hit me rightly only after the test!)
2. I took long time with less material and didn’t evaluate the problems I did.Second Prep: GMAT Score (560 Q44 V23) – November 2010
I realized that I need better preparation, better material and quality preparation to beat this test. I couldn’t prepare for it again soon though. I changed my job to a more demanding one and with worse timings. My work got over at 5.30pm and reached home by 6.30pm. I had only 1 day off. At a time when the work was a little slow, I decided on giving GMAT a try again. This time around I wanted to do it the right way. I went through online forums, articles, suggestions, posts, advices, materials, etc. Material Used:
2. Kaplan Math Workbook
3. Manhattan SC
4. Powerscore CRMethods used:
1. Made Flashcards throughout the prep for important points or error I made
2. Maintained error log
for all questions practiced and evaluated the problems.
• I used ‘GMAT club error log
by spoilt’ for all SC questions from OG12
and made notes on all. Also, I used the planner provided to keep track of my progress and plans.
• I used another error log
(GMAT study grid- HOC) to track other OG12
3. Timed all practice questions from Kaplan Math workbook
and Powerscore CR
(using GMAT timer
4. During work hours, maintained reading habits of articles and working out few problems in between.
On August ’10, I started prep. I started with reviewing the previous materials and flashcards.
Then on 19/8/10, I gave Manhattan diagnostic test: 530 (Q33 V31)
Next 2 to 3 weeks, I concentrated on Kaplan Math workbook
. (Meanwhile, I went through my verbal flashcards as well so that I don’t loose touch.). I thoroughly went through each session and evaluated my errors as well.
Then on 12/9/2010, I gave GMAT Prep 1: 640(Q47 V31)
I was happy that my quantitative improved. Now, I thought I need to focus on my verbal which was my main weak point. So, I started going through Manhattan SC thoroughly and did the OG questions on SC while maintaining an error log
. Then, I went on to cover Powerscore CR
. So, these 4 to 5 weeks went on improving my verbal.
Then on 22/10/2010, I gave a Kaplan test : 550(Q38 V26)
I was disappointed
with the score. So did both math and verbal question for a week from OG12
and gave another test on 29/10/2010, I gave GMAT Prep 2 : 590(Q45 V26)
Then I had only a week more left for my test date. I took the week off. I practiced on OG12
questions. I reviewed through my flashcards and notes. I went through AWA templates. I gave GMAT prep tests again for practice(there were repeat questions).On 2/11/2010, I gave GMAT Prep 1 : 680(Q47 V35)
On 5/11/2010, I gave GMAT Prep 2 : 670Test Experience:
As I started with my essays, I realized the SHIFT key and Caps Lock key functions on the keyboard were interchanged. This made me slow on the essays and made me a bit irritated and sad. After break, I reoriented myself and went through with math part. After the next break, I returned few minutes late and I tensed out a bit. But, I calmed and thought will make up for it through the test. But I couldn’t finish last 2 or 3 questions and I don’t remember now whether I guessed and marked those.
Finally, on 9TH November, I scored 560 (Q44 V23)
on the GMAT.
I was thoroughly disappointed
and couldn’t even think of giving GMAT again. Then, my work also started getting very hectic and demanding. Third Prep: (Aiming to touch 700)Mistakes learned from previous try:
1. On evaluating and learning, I may have slowed down my speed. So, after learning I should have spent more time on practice and timing.
2. I found the RC passage too long on the test. Need to practice with longer passages. Again, more practice needed.
Now, I have resigned from my job and I want to give a shot at GMAT again. After all, I had worked so hard then and wanted to give myself one more chance. I will be doing some part time work from home. So, deducting that time(maximum 1 day per week), I will be able to spent the remaining time on the prepNew Materials available:
GMAT Quantitative review
GMAT Verbal review Kaplan GMAT premier program
2009 with CD
Old GMAT paper testsIssues:
1. I haven’t booked a test date yet. I wanted to get some evaluation on my previous prep before that and how to rectify it and do a better plan this time. Please suggest how long should I spend for prep this time?
2. Before making a detailed plan I wanted to get some advices or suggestions.
3. How many hours of effective study (daily) should I go for without stressing myself out?
4. How would you suggest I divide my daily prep?
5. What material should I concentrate on now?
6. Should I practice area wise or mix it?
7. At what frequency should I take tests and how many adaptive tests?