My final score:
Overall: 690(88 %ile)
Verbal: 38 (83 %ile)
Quant: 47 (77 %ile)
I took the GMAT the first time in April 2010, scored a 560
(42Q, 25V) and was very disappointed. I started off feeling that I have a analytical background and will do well just with 3 months prep, but with a switching jobs at the same time and spend long hours at work, 3 months was not enough time to prepare.
Overall, it turned out to be a bad experience and I got a wake up call, that the GMAT is not going to be a piece of cake.
After the summer months I got back to studying in November. Things I did differently this time were :
--I took the Kaplan
GMAT Advantage course.
--Completed online CATS, as well as on site Kaplan
CATS, (this helped me get over the exam room fear I had, where as soon as I enter the center, I would get nervous
and that reflected poorly on my scores)
--Studied Manahattan GMAT strategy guides for "GMAT specific rules"
--Completed 6 Manhattan GMAT
CAT's, which are helpful in improving speed and accuracy.
--Memorized the idiom list, this helped me big time on SC's
--Completed a few of the tests from MisterEko's collection posted on this website. (Doing these practice set helped me gain confidence in verbal section skills)
--Used my timing strategy. (Described below)
--Spent last few days before the exam focusing only on 700 level questions. (courtesy: MisterEko's collection)
--Focused more on the problems I hated (
absolute values and inequalities, CR's)
I was really bad in time management, at the outset. During the first exam, as I came across tougher problems, I ended up spending way to much time on them, and as a result did not have sufficient time towards the end, so I had to 'click through' problems to complete the test in time. My advice: DON'T DO THIS!! It's not advisable,as your score will exponentially increase in the WRONG direction on the real test. Although, on test prep matericlas, including the GMATPrep, this helps to boost your score. When you get tougher questions, stick to the time limit recommendations (2 mins Q, 1.2 CR, 1 SC, 6mins Short RC, 8~9 mins long RC). Key to timing improvement :
What I started doing is in the timed test mode, before I attempted a problem, I wrote down the time on the clock on my scratch pad. So wen I attempted the next question, I could monitor my progress actively, without losing sight of the clock, while I was busy pondering on tough problems. Making strategic guesses and moving on, although may sound cliched, it does help you to catch up. Hope this strategy helps others too.
Although, additional 10 points would have definitely made me look better, I think I can put in more effort in the apps to boost my overall profile. (My friend got into Yale with a 660 score! so... ) Reading GMAT Club posts, definitely puts you in the mood to be more aggressive towards your preps, and you want to be better than the best to get admitted to your dream school. Thanks to everyone on GMAT Club. This website does make a huge difference to the world of aspiring students.
Good Luck to those who are preparing for the GMAT.