Because it helped me a lot during my preparation process to read other people's experiences, I decided to share my own experience here. I'd also like to ask you a question regarding my AWA (essay). I would appreciate it if you could kindly respond.
I will organize my post in chronological order:
1) Actually, I decided to take the GMAT 1.5 months ago. My goal was to get anything above 700. To see where I stood, I took GMAT Prep #1.
Here's my score.
GMAT Prep #1: 660 (Q47, V34)
I did take the test within the given amount of time (75 minutes for each section) but was unable to take the exam in one sitting. I had to stop the exam to take a phone call and attend an hour-long meeting. So I was not sure how realistic this score was. For the Verbal section, I missed a total of 11 questions, and 10 of them were from SC. For Quant, I ran out of time. My strategy at this point was to focus on SC.
2) For the next two weeks, the only thing I did was I casually spent about an hour each day reading Manhattan's SC book while sipping my tea. After all, I was not so worried about getting a 700+ score. Then, the reality hit me when I took the first Manhattan CAT test (29 days ago).
Here's my score:MGMAT #1: 590 (Q34, V36)
. I was devastated. And this is when I REALLY started preparing for the GMAT mentally, emotionally, and physically.
3) For the next 7 days, I spent about 3 hours every day reading Manhattan GMAT
Roadmap, reviewing Manhattan SC (second time), working on RC, and going over Quant (I went over Manhattan Word problems and Number Properties). Reading GMAT Roadmap
, I realized that my primary problem was in time management.
I took another mock test after this 7-day period. My score was:
MGMAT #2: 690 (Q44, V39).
But I needed to consume two cans of red bulls while I was taking the test. And I lost 1.5 minutes during the Verbal section because I had to run to the bathroom (most likely because of the excessive amount of caffeine I took). Here, I realized that I needed to learn how to stay alert without having to consume caffeine during the entire exam. And this is when I signed up for the GMAT, exactly 22 days from this date.
4) So for the next 8 days, I had to train myself not to consume caffeine and still stay alert. And I continued to spend about 3 hours each day working on SC (about 70mins each day), RC/CR (70mins each day, alternating), and Quant (on avg 40 mins each day). At the end of this 8-day period, I took another mock exam. My score was:
MGMAT #3: 700 (Q46, V40).
I was happy to see my score improve in both sections.
5) And for the next 8 days, I started looking into OG problems. I continued to spend about 3 hours each day -- about 1 hr on SC, 1hr on RC/CR (alternating days), and 1hr on Quant. At the end of this 8 day period, I took another mock exam. Shockingly, my score went down and I was only 6 days away from the actual GMAT !!!
My score was
MGMAT #4: 660 (Q45, V35).
I was devastated again. I did not understand why my verbal score dropped so much. I never struggled in CR and RC before but on this particular exam, I did terribly on CR and RC. I thought about postponing my GMAT. But after reading posts about other people's experiences, I realized that MGMAT exams are not always representative of the real GMAT exam.
6) After 2 days (4 days before GMAT), I took another MGMAT.
And my score went down even more this time.
MGMAT #5: 650 (Q45, V34). I did NOT understand why my verbal score was falling. Again, I missed a bunch of questions in CR and RC. I kept on thinking about postponing my GMAT. I started spending more time on CR.
7) 2 days later (2 days before GMAT), I took GMAT Prep #2. I was told earlier that GMAT Prep is more representative of the real GMAT, so I had saved GMAT Prep #2. By this time, I had a routine: I had a small meal about an hour before the exam, a banana with 2 sips of Gatorade after the AWA/IR section, and an energy bar with 2 sips of Gatorade right after Quant section. I was relieved to see my GMAT Prep #2 score:
GMAT Prep #2: 730 (Q48, V42).
I did not struggle in CR and RC on this exam. So perhaps the Verbal (and Quant) section of MGMAT #4 and MGMAT #5 might not be very representative of the real exam -- at least from my experience.
8) And finally, I took the GMAT today. I had my routine down by this time, and I just executed it.
GMAT: 730 (Q50, V38).
I thought the SC problems from the real GMAT were much more difficult than those from the mock exams. Other than the SC problems, I thought the real GMAT was more similar to the GMAT Prep exams than the MGMAT CAT exams. I was hoping I would get at least 40 in the Verbal section but I am pretty content with my score. And it might sound a bit strange but the ups and downs that I experienced during the past 29 days reminded me of the importance of my spiritual journey.
Here's my question for you. For the essay section, I only had a total of 4 paragraphs. The basic structure of my essay looks like this:
Intro: 2 sentences. The 2nd sentence was a thesis sentence: "the argument is weak because of reason A and reason B."
Body#1: About 4 sentences dedicated to reason A
Body #2: About 4 sentences dedicated to reason B
Conclusion: 2 sentences.
My Question: can you get a score of 5.5+ if you only had 4 paragraphs (with 2 main reasons)?