After a good month on this forum, I'm writing my first post! Probably because I was consumer of all the great thoughts on this forum and had none to contribute. but i thought the least i could do was to share my GMAT experience!
After years of debating whether to pursue an MBA, i decided to give GMAT a shot before i make the final call. Started casually perusing kaplan
workbooks about 4 months ago. With a full time job and a kid, GMAT was not exactly on priority list. 2 months ago, i decided to register for the exam. With a concrete date, suddenly things started becoming a little serious. i went through teh Kaplan
math and verbal workbooks first to get a sense of what this exam was about. I had taken the GRE a decade ago, and that was till now my only idea of a standardized test in the US.
After practicing the problems in these books, upon a friend's advice, i decided to take a diagnostic test to see where i stand initially and to gauge what i need to do in the 2 months. I first went to the library and got the Princeton Review
and Petersons latest editions. my first test was timed paper based test from Princeton Review
. I got 540. I was actually happy beacuse i had expected a lot worse. Then got cracking on both these books. I realized permutation/combination and some number theory areas were my weaknesses in Quants and sentence correction in Verbal. I'm not a native english speaker but i was pretty confident of doing good in Verbal. Then reality stung. I apparently had no idea about 'proper business english'! I then got the Manhattan SC book for improving that section. I joined the GMATClub forum and started attacking the 700 level problems. I have always felt that when i get a little comfortable with the tough questions , my thought process becomes sharper and thus i would be able to ace the easy ones. 2 weeks to the day. I started with GMAT Prep. I got 690 & 700. Great, now I have an idea of what i REALLY am capable of. Took the Veritas
test. 600 with poor verbal score. Dissapointed , but from the discussions here, i thought that was accurate. Took the petersons tests. 680, 690 & 770 (WTF!
)! Got my confidence back. Attempted the Kaplan
test without reading the review here. 620!
! I felt better after reading review. but by this time i had decided i was 650-680 candidate! Did some more intense work on my weak areas! Just the first 2 chapters in Manhattan SC helped me a lot. Thats all i got to read actually! Went for the Manhattan test. 660! My prediction was correct. Then the last 2 days before the exam, attempted the GMAT Prep software again. 700 & 710!
))! Greta but still did not quite convince me that i can score 700+ in the actual exam.
Day of the exam: I had watched 'TRON' and 'DUE DATE' movies back to back the day earlier!
! I've had the experience before, that if i study too hard, my brain empties out quicker! anyway, on exam day i regained my focus. went to the center for my 12.30 appt. AWA! I made it a habit to note pros and cons of the essay topic before i start. That helped me a lot. 8-10 mins for making notes and 20 for actually writing it. I'm awaiting my scores but my guess is i wouldn;t have done too bad. I stuck to the tested intro-progressive points-conclusion format. didnt take a break and dove into quants. It was a great feeling when i solved the first question quickly. At the about 4th Q mark, i started hitting some hard problems especially timewise. A brief wave of panic was soon quelled by the thought ' the sooner you start seeing the hard problems the higher you'll score'! settled in for a session of deep concentrated. maybe too much concentration that i lost track of the clock. I was left with a minute and a half for the last 3 questions. wild totally uneducated guesses! Then i did take a break. went to the restroom and washed my face, did a few stretching exercises. back to the seat for verbal. I dont like eating anything during the break, kind of throws my focus off. just water! Years of 'no getting up' 3 hour exams back in India helped me. I spent most time on sentence corrections but luckily was able to get through RC pretty quick. CR was also smooth. finished the section, sped through the info screens only to find myself in the experimental integrated resoning section. decided to give it a decent shot. 12 questions in 30 mins. it was tough for me actually.The tough part being that i can't imagine doing this instead of an essay before the quants section. This new section does drain your brain out a bit. final submit and voila - 710 (Q48, V39)! Relief! My first thought was, boy GMATPrep is very very accurate. Walked out smiling. and all this without even a peek into the ofcial GMAT guide.
! not that i would recommend that!
PS: I'm sure this post will not score high on the AWA. I just spilt my thoughts out!
OK, onto application esays now! :D!