Well. I had my exam today and thought i would share my GMAT experience.
Please pardon my spelling / grammar mistakes long day...
Length of study: ~4 months
Materials used: Kaplan Premier
, OG, OG Math supplement, Full MGMAT series
, Kaplan 800
I started my introduction to the GMAT through the Kaplan Premier
book. It was a fairly decent intro to the test but i found that the kaplan
math questions tend to be a little simpler then the real thing. Cover to cover it took me a few weeks to go through the entire book. I used the online materials such as the weekly quizzes to acclimate myself to answering questions on the computer.
I decided to follow the advice of the GMAT Club community and use MGMAT series
for the main body of my study plan.
After my initial intro to the GMAT through KAPLAN
i decided to test myself against the first MGMAT CAT.
First score was: 670 (Q44/V37)
I clearly needed to do a lot of work.
I walked through the MGMAT books
one by one. During the week ( after work ) i would go through the body of a book and then take a practice exam on saturday. I purposely left some OG questions untouched so i can revisit the topics later on in my study plan.
My MGMAT scores:
CAT 2: 700 (Q43/V42)
CAT 3: 700 (Q47/V38)
CAT 4: 750 (Q48/V45)
CAT 5: 730 (Q48/V42)
CAT 6: 780 (Q51/V45)
Not really sure why that last one went so well. My theory is that the MGMAT folks try to boost your confidence on the last exam by giving you an easier question mix... but thats just a theory.
I firmly believe that the MGMAT math sections tend to be tougher then the real thing. This has been said on other posts before. There are just so many back to back, tough, time consuming calculations. I was fairly strapped for time on almost every MGMAT math section. if you are having issues on the MGMAT math then dont worry. i believe that the company over prepares you for the math.
After going through all of the books I decided to start the cycle over again just to refresh my memory on the earlier topics. I completed all of the unfinished OG questions. it is a fairly good strategy especially if your study plan is fairly long like mine was. Sad to say i had to relearn a few tricks specifically out of the number properties book since that was the first book that i covered.
Now as exam time neared i decided to use the two official exams given out by GMAC for my last two saturday practice runs and the KAPLAN 800
book for weekday material.
My GMAT practice test results:
CAT 1: 770 (Q50/V forgot )
CAT 2: 780 (Q50/V forgot )
These tests went fairly well for me, perhaps too well. I felt that a large portion of my test prep material was built around these tests so it is very likely that my scores were artificially inflated. For example a few sentence correction questions reminded me a lot of questions i saw in the MGMAT material.
The Kaplan 800
book was largely a waste of 24$. Once again the advice offered on GMAT Club was right on the money ( no pun intended ). Again this has been said in other posts. The books difficulty is nowhere near the level advertised. One can basically sleepwalk through the math section. While this may be good for self confidence i feel that the book does not deliver what you need at the late stage of your study plan.
My final performance was fairly decent relative to what i got on the practice exams:
Actual GMAT: 770 (Q51/V44)
Verbal could have gone better. Not really sure what happened there but it probably has something to do with sentence correction. Sad but what can you do..
Well thank you all for all of the useful information.
I intend to apply to school in about 2 years. Hopefully my scores will be good until then but well see. I intend to use the B-School part of GMAT Club and this time i will be asking plenty of questions.
Dream school: Booth
Again thanks for the info everyone. Let me know if you have any questions.