Here is my story and how I expect to improve. If you have any idea, let me know!
I am a french engineer and work in Germany on project management issues. I have 6 years work experience.
I started to think about an MBA in Feb06. Then I decided that I would apply only to INSEAD. The application deadline was today. I passed the TOEFL 3 weeks ago, but don't know yet the result( > 105/120 is required). I decided to pass the gmat yesterday, to let me enough time for preparation. The application is complete(without TOEFL result), essays written etc. Finaly, I decided not to apply when I saw my score...
So yesterday, I took the test and scored a miserable 590(Q44, V26). It was a great deception because I felt quite confident both in Q and V. I was just slightly stressed, but not more than when I take the gmatprep CATs. Moreover, I found the V part equivalent to the one of GMATprep with easier RC.
Needless to say, with this confidence, that I was reaaaaaaly disapointed, especially because I never scored so low in V. May be the software was bugged?
Following are my scores since I started to study End of February.
date TEST V Q total
14.03.6 test14 22 38 510
27.03.6 gmatprep1 27 44 590
9.04.6 kaplanCD 1 25 29 520
21.04.6 ETS 1 38 47 690
7.05.6 kaplanCD 2 31 38 570
28.05.6 PR3 34 41 610
5.06.6 PR2 35 43 640
12.06.6 score800 44 37 640
14.06.6 score801 39 38 610
18.06.6 kaplanCD 3 33 36 560
24.06.6 PR4 44 45 710
24.06.6 score802 37 47 680
28.6.6 gmatprep2 37 44 650
29.6.6 score803 38 39 610
01.7.6 score804 32 47 630
02.7.6 gmatprep1 35 49 690(reinstallation)
03.7.6 REAL 26 44 590
Here are my preparation materials:
CD (course + 4 CATs)
RC, SC, CR 1000
4 PR CATs
I studied 4 month, near my job, and put a lot of efforts in the preparation. During the last 2 months, every evening I worked, also on week ends, reduced the visits with my girlfriend to the minimum on WE, and the last two WE, we didn't see at all. I worked the full sat&sunday, from early in the morning till late in the evening. I've done all the 1000SC, almost all the CATs, hundreds of RC questions, hundreds of CR, all the OG 10
&11. I had also a log which I used only to measure my answer time and to track my answers, with comments. The rate of correct answer was about 70% to about 80% in limited time conditions for every set of 20 questions.
Last WE, I reviewed the log to make only the questions I had wrong. I saw that I was much better and did much less careless mistakes(maths).
The WE before this one, I did the second gmatprep CAT to see where I stood. I was unhappy since I scored lower in verbal than I expected. Reviewing my mistakes, I realised that I had mainly SC and RC wrong. Though I kept practicing maths since I feared the math section.
This WE, I reinstalled gmat prep and took both test, on sat and on sunday. I made again mistakes in SC. Then I realised that the 1000SC did'nt help me much, and that the sentences were much different. No obvious questions with 3-2 pattern, Like-Unlike etc. I had really to understand the meaning and the structure. So the evening preceding the exam, I went on Gmatclub and searched all "gmatprep SC" questions. I had more than few erroneous.
However I felt confident for the next day, because I tought it wouldn't be harder, may be even easier. That I wasn't that stupid, that I worked a lot so I could reach my target(>680).
Then came the 590.
Since then, I consider to do it again, perhaps in 1-2 months. Anyway, I've missed the last INSEAD intake for January07, and will have to apply for the sept 07 intake, with first rounds in Sept/Oct I think.
I will have to seat and think about how I could improve my score in verbal.
I considered to buy the MGMAT SC
book, since I read here that it was the best book about SC.
In RC and CR, I see no other possibility to practice more and finish the LSAT CRs & RCs. Like many here, I have trouble to understand texts when they are very conceptual(I prefer science or history or easy eco texts). Sometimes in PR RCs, I dont have the slightest idea what the author wants to say or prove.
Can you confirm that buying MGMAT SC
book is the best I can do and if I should buy others that are not in my list but could be helpful. Or should I start from the beginning, doing every question again. I also tried to learn more about diagramming for CR, but didn't find anything explaining thread in this forum.
So now I will focus on the verbal part the next weeks(or months), but will not work so hard as I did till now. I have to learn cleaverly, or at least try.
And of course thanks GMATClub. It is an amazing site!