Joined: 02 Apr 2012
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V41
, given: 0
610 to 710 (2 months of studying) [#permalink]
02 Apr 2012, 16:19
I took the GMAT for the first time in October of 2010 with little preparation (i read a one week pamphlet geared more towards format and general test taking tips). I wasn't happy with my score (610), but I didn't have much time to devote to rigorous study.
Long story short, I signed up for Newton and began the coursework in mid January of this year. Since I planned on targeting top 10 schools, my goal was to score 720 on the actual GMAT. I know this may sound aggressive, but I would rather set my goals too high than too low.
Here are my practice CAT and Official GMAT results:
10/9/2010 ACTUAL GMAT - 44Q/30V 610, 5.5 AW
2/04/2012 Newton 1 - 45Q/28V 600... before I started studying
2/25/2012 Newton 2 - 35Q/40V 600... not sure what happened on Q section
2/26/2012 Newton 3 - 45Q/37V 660
3/10/2012 Newton 4 - 39Q/40V 640
3/11/2012 Newton 5 - 46Q/42V 710
3/20/2012 Newton 6 - 45Q/39V 680 (first time writing essays... tired)
as you can see, my quant scores fluctuated quite a bit, but I wasn't overly concerned. I was more focused on consistent results on the verbal section.
3/18/2012 GMAT PREP 1 48Q/40V 710
3/27/2012 GMAT PREP 2 49Q/42V 750
I was quite confident after my second GMAT PREP CAT. I had spend the previous week drilling my weak spots and mastering the basics in both quant and verbal. If you had asked me to predict my score at that point, I would have said 720-740.
On wednesday (3/28), I started feeling ill and by the end of the day I had a fever just over 102. UGH! Awful timing. I went to the doctor's office that night and was diagnosed with an ear infection. Needless to say, the last few days consisted of lots of rest and no studying (which isn't a bad thing). Life goes on though. Everyone runs into road blocks. You can't let them dictate your life.
I gave it my all this morning. I took every ounce of brain power i had left in me and funneled into the GMAT. However, while my fever was gone by this morning, I still felt out of it, lacked energy, and had a hard time staying focused during the exam. Oh well. You have to make do what with you've got. I tried my best to remain calm and not let my the fact that I felt bad get in the way of me performing.
my timing in quant was very good. I had 25 minutes to finish the last 10 problems. i had a hard time with most of the more difficult CR problems (prob bc my cognitive ability was shot) toward the end of the exam. the SC problems were all straight forward and i didn't encounter an ridiculously difficult RC passages (one was rather convoluted, but thankfully it was short). after i finished the verbal section, I figured I had done reasonably well compared to my other CATs, but I knew I didn't duplicate the performance I had on my last GMAT PREP CAT.
3/31/2012 Unofficial GMAT 2 47Q/41V 710 (92 percentile)
Overall, I am happy with my improvement, but I truly believe I could have scored higher if I had taken the test under better circumstances (i.e., not sick). I am satisfied with my verbal score (wanted 40-42), but my quant score was lower than I expected (was hoping for 48-50).
If it wasn't for the last GMAT PREP score (the 750), I wouldn't even be tempted to sit for the exam again. However, as it stands I find myself wondering if I can hit 740+. I am going to wait until I get my official results from MBA. If my AW score is awful (unlikely), I will consider taking it again. I should probably just spend the extra time relaxing and preparing for applications this upcoming fall.
Anyway, this goes to show that a little bit of hard work (approximately 2 months of consistent study) can go a long way when it comes to the GMAT!
My best advice to those of you looking to improve your scores is to work on the basics. Don't get too caught up in the practice CAT results. instead, focus on identifying where you are consistently making mistakes and developing good timing (and when to give up on a problem). you are going to answer questions incorrectly on every test, but the goal is to limit the number of repetitive mistakes and the amount of time spent finding the right (or wrong) answer!