I just finished taking the GMAT for the second time last night. I took it once back in June on the last day you could take it before the new gen came out. Had studied intensively for about 2 months prior, and scored a 660. Took a 2 week break and went back to studying, but not as efficiently as I had before. I kind of took my time this time around, taking it 4 months after the first attempt.
So the FIRST time around, I basically studied all the Manhattan books
and as a result did all the questions in the Official Guide (12th ed). I would study during my lunch break and after I got home from work which was around 730pm. As I was running out of time, I started staying up ALL night on weekends and sometimes weekdays... by the time exam day rolled around, I was pretty cracked out, eye bags and all. I scored a 660 (Q41, V40) which was utterly astounding because I thought my quant would be significantly higher than my verbal. I had only taken 1 of the GMATPrep CATS before and scored a 640 (Q49, V29). But I guess that's what happens when you literally study the Manhattan books
in the order assigned. I focused on verbal last, right before my exam, and ended up freezing on the quant section, running out of time, and guessing on the last 10 questions.
2 Weeks after that, I started to study again. I started off by revisiting all the Manhattan books
and took down notes and flash cards (again), simply because that's how I learn best. I also redid all the official guide questions, and started an error log
. And I signed up for Knewton because they guaranteed a 50 pt increase in your score or your money back.
- Manhattan Foundations of GMAT Verbal
- Manhattan Foundations of GMAT Quant
- Manhattan Strategy Guides 1-8 (4th ed)
- Official Guide 12th
Ed & 13th Ed
- Official Guide for Quant Review
- Official Guide for Verbal Review
- Powerscore Critical Reasoning
For the Official Guide 13th
ed, I ONLY did the new problems.
I pretty much took my time with studying. I didn't have a consistent schedule.. some days I would just do Knewton, some days I took off just because I was too tired (recently moved back home... commute was 1 1/2 hrs now), and others I would do problems from the official Guide. I really took my time with it this time around.
I have a love had relationship with Knewton, just because I didn't think they taught me anything new and their CAT scoring was a little weird. But they did keep me doing their problem sets which kept things fresh in my mind- which I think was the ultimate benefit of singing up for the package.
Knewton CAT 1 (5/21): 650 (Q45, V35)
Knewton CAT 2 (6/10): 640 (Q44, V33)
MGMAT CAT 1 (7/4): 670 (Q47, V34)
MGMAT CAT 2 (8/26): 700 (Q44, V40)
MGMAT CAT 3 (8/29): 640 (Q43, V34)
Knewton CAT 3 (9/22): 640 (Q48, V28)
Knewton CAT 4 (9/25): 650 (Q42, V38)
Knewton CAT 5 (9/29): 690 (Q48, V35)
Knewton CAT 6 (10/2): 680 (Q46, V37)
GMAT Prep 2 (10/4): 710 (Q49,V39)
As you can see, I didn't do well at all in the Knewton CATs. And this actually played a major role in making me seriously doubt myself. A week before my test date, I was already looking up what tutors to hire because I thought I would do WORSE than my first try! I was REALLY bummed that all the hard work I put in wasn't paying off. It wasn't until I took the official prep that I had some strand of hope....
My test was scheduled for 6PM. I took that day off of work, went to bed the evening before at around 1AM. Got up at 9AM, had breakfast, reviewed some concepts in verbal, did a few math problems, and then relaxed. Started watching some movies, and took an hour nap after finishing the Notebook. Got up at 4, ate, and left the house at 4:45. I'm glad I did- because it was a Friday, there was a LOT of traffic. I arrived at the test center at 5:50PM =.= Drank a 5-hr Energy, and started my exam.
My AWA question was the same one I got last time.. which was unexpected. So I may have written the same exact essay LOL... but anywho, the rest of the exam was a blur. I went into it feeling like I might of guessed on every single answer. On my breaks I would eat some chocolate/nuts, drink some water, and go to the loo. After it was all over with, I put my hands over my face and peaked through them to see the score- scared-.. and saw a 720.
I mean, I don't feel like I did my best, just because during the exam I was in this weird daze, but I'm not complaining with this score. This is HOPEFULLY the last time I will be taking it-- depending on what I get on my IR. I'll update when I get my official report.