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590 on first practice to 730 actual GMAT for less than $200

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User avatar
Joined: 23 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 11

590 on first practice to 730 actual GMAT for less than $200 [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2012, 19:20
I've used this website frequently while preparing for the GMAT, and plan to use it going forward as I apply to MBA programs. Hopefully a reader will find this useful.

Study Material
1) Kaplan GMAT premier
Good introduction, but would've used Manhattan in its entirety if I had had time and and foreknowledge. The CAT tests included are ok, but repeat questions.
2) Manhattan practice tests (and material that comes with them)
These are a godsend. Great questions, no repeats, excellent explanations.
3) Bunuel's math book
GMAT club won't let me post this, but do a search up top and you'll be able to find it. If you haven't read it, then go there right now. Seriously. Stop reading, and review.
4) If you're familiar with standardized tests, then you can get all of this material for less than $200. I'm a CPA, CFE, and sat for the LSAT last year. My experience with standardized tests is, to say the least, extensive. If you're not used to exams, especially computerized tests, consider a tutor or prep program. I used for the CPA, and it impacted my study technique significantly.

Methodology: Quant
1) As I mentioned above, Bunuel is a boss. Good explanations, memorizable formulas. I found that combining the most useful onto one page served me best for memorization purposes.
2) RTFQ (Read the F&*&^%$ question)...
You'd be surprised how far this advice will take you. The acronym is courtesy of an embittered accounting professor I once had, but man...helps a lot.
3) After 2 minutes, guess and move on.
I found that, while I could work through almost any GMAT problem with enough time, those minutes were more useful answering easier questions farther down the road. I scored in the 57th percentile on my first GMAT attempt.

Lessons Learned
After changing strategies to encompass this methodology, I finished in the 83rd percentile. Trust me, I haven't improved my math skills that much. This test is all about game management, and not intellectual talent. Understand the game, and you can win.

Methodology: Verbal
Verbal is my strength, so I don't have as specific advice as I do for Quant (although that sentence may be a little busted).
1) Slow down.
When I first started, I blazed through questions and missed crucial details. Read the question stem first (on CR), then the question, then the answers. Follow the prep material's advice eliminating crappy choices.
2) RTFQ.
Same as above.
3) Read weird stuff.
I'm an avid reader and writer, which probably influenced my score more than anything else. That said, try reading articles from the Scientific American once a day. They'll help you get used to the language in the science-themed reading comprehension questions.
4) Practice RC and CR using LSAT questions.
I took the LSAT as well, and the RC and CR questions are waaaaaaayyyy harder than anything on the GMAT. The practice tests are $8 a few, and get crackin.

Hope this helps. If anyone is interested in the full study timeline, email me and I'll respond. Cheers.
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590 on first practice to 730 actual GMAT for less than $200   [#permalink] 02 Sep 2012, 19:20
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590 on first practice to 730 actual GMAT for less than $200

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