I have decided to write a few lines about my gmat experience, in the hope that it will help future gmat takers.
I apologize in advance for my bad english, I hope you will be able to understand everything.
I'm italian and I recently pursued my bachelor's degree in Finance, so I am going to apply to a Msc in Finance as well. I started my gmat preparation 2,5 months ago, right after my graduation.
I've figured out pretty soon that the verbal part was my weakness.
At the beginning of my preparation I used Cracking the gmat
); I suggest using it, since it gives a good overview of the test and a basic understanding of it. However, I don't think it would be enough if you are aiming to get a 700+ score.
After that, I moved to the Kaplan
book, but I found it to be really useless and very disheartening (questions are too much difficult in my opinion).
Another book I used was the official guide; it's really important to get an idea of real gmat questions, so I did it twice.
I also used other material such as: gmatclub forum/books, Mahattan reading comprehension, mock tests from princeton review
I have never got a good score in my mocks actually; in the first ones I scored 560/610/640 with a very unbalanced score (quant 42-48; verbal 27-31). I couldn't fix my problem with the verbal part until 10 days before the exam! In fact I decided to take the course offered by e-gmat
(the course for no-natives); I thought that the best way to increase my verbal score quickly was to focus on SC, so I bought the SC course for 68$ from e-gmat
, and it has been one of the best choices of my life!!! I did that course in 4 days, and than I decided to take another mock 1 week before the official test: 560 (verbal 27). I couldn't believe it! I tried to convince myself that there were other factors which have affected my score, and that it didn't necessary mean that I was going to score 27 on the real exam. I continued with my plan, I bought the CR course of e-gmat
(but I didn't have time to complete it) and 3 days before the exam I followed one of their webminars (it was about strategy). I had never thought before how important are the first 15 questions of each section and how much your score could be affected by missing one of those questions. That webminar made me clear how to behave in each part of the verbal section, when to guess, when to spend more time on the questions, etc.
At the end I did the official test and I got 710 (Q 46, V 42).
What I have learnt from the gmat is:
1. never give up and never cancel your score; during the test I thought that it was a mess, and I was going to score 550, but it didn't happen.
2. mocks cannot predict your real score; they are useful just to train your stamina and to check wrong answers but do not get depressed if you don't score 700 on mocks.
3. you will be repaid for all the efforts you put in your preparation, probably not on the first attempt but at the end if you study well you win!
is the best way to improve your verbal, in particular for no native speakers. They made me improve from V34 to V42 in 10 days.
I hope you understood everything.