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So I finally took the GMAT last week after pretty comprehensive preparation for 2 months. Ended up with a meagre 670 (q49 V34). It felt like I really gunned down the quant section but fell short on verbal. I would appreciate some advice on my strategy for retake.
Prep summary As I am a non-native student without quant background I had a mountain to climb when I started to prepare. Did a GMAT Prep test a year ago and got a disastrous 480 (Q28 V28). I realized that I needed to get my basics straight.
I'm not gonna bore you with the whole story but I'll instead focus on a few important points.
How I Improved my quant score from 28 to 49 I dedicate my 'success' in quant solely to these two factors:
1. The basics I started out with the fundamentals book from MGMAT, did all drill sets etc. Then I moved on to MGMATs quant guides. Did one book and then went on the corresponding official problems in OG13. After I had finished all guides and most problems in OG13 I took GMAT Prep #1 (quant only) and scored a q44 and was quite satisfied with my improvement.
I went on to verbal after this for a few weeks before going back to quant again. This time I used resources from GMATClub (Bunuel and Karishma are amazing!) and finished the Advanced MGMAT Quant Book. This book is simply great. I advice everyone that's aiming for Q45+ to get this book. The methods and concepts outlined really helped me step up my game. Get it!
2. Official material After finishing The Advanced MGMAT Quant I took the whole GMAT Prep #1 and got a 710 (q48 V39). Since the quant part was a retake it was probably slightly inflated. To take my quant game to the next level I started with tons of official problems. There are amazing documents here on GMATClub wit compiled questions from GMAT Prep. Download them and do all the questions! Number properties are damn important, make sure you have this area covered.
Takeaway: The MGMAT tests are simply too hard. Good for improving your timing but the problems in the quant section need to much calculations and verbal feels a little off.
Woke up with a sore throat (f*uck) but decided to just ignore it and focus. Bought a couple of bananas, energy drinks etc and went to the test center. I watched the 'This is Sparta' scene from the movie 300on my iPad to get in a good mode a couple of times before I signed in (lol). Let's do this.
AWA started off and I tried to just complete it without burning too much energy and brainpower. Moved on the IR and felt relaxed. It was about the same difficulty as the GMAT Prep tests, maybe even easier.
Took the break, splashed water in my face and pretended I was in Sparta again to focus (:D)
Quant started off, I managed the first questions without any problem and I felt like a KING. It became harder and I got a few manageable probability/combinatorics questions. I think I made 5 - 10 educated guesses throughout the test.
Break again, more water splashing and a couple of chocolate bars. Tried to get into 'Sparta mode' again.
Verbal began with a couple of easy SCs and CRs before the first RC passage. Because the test center used erasable notepads with 'whiteboard' pens it was impossible to take any notes from the passage. This made me uncomfortable and I had to re-read stuff and lost time and focus. This is also when the fever hit me. All in all I think I got like 30 - 40% correct on the RC passages. I got pretty much all RC questions right in my prep tests and had over 90% accuracy in OG13. All in all Verbal never used to be a problem. I knew that I had messed up the RCs but still thought I would get V36 - 37.
Next => Report Scores..
I was alone in the test room and screamed out my disappointment. **** ****!. I needed at least 680 in order to be eligible to apply for the programme I was targeting.
Plan for retake
I plan to retake in late summer or early fall. My strategy is to dedicate about 30 -60 minutes per day to GMAT in order to keep the concepts fresh in memory. I'll try to read more english literature and newspapers. But I really need a new strategy for RC since it's impossible to take notes. What do you guys think?
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...