Ladies and Gents,
There is a short story how I scored miserable 690 yesterday rather than decent 730+ because of my greediness for knowledge. I'm Russian, 28 years old, managerial. The story of my studying is not unlike to those of most of you and yet it is. Hopefully, a short debrief will be helpful to some of you. First of all, doing CATs and paper tests, I focused on understanding the concepts and not on the speed. And I bet that the approach is good because the quality begets quality and not vise versa. I stopped stop-watches every time I encountered a difficult question and resumed the test after digesting the challenge. This approach helped me to improve my speed very much and will help you.Materials I used:MGMAT SC
LSAT1000RC - I strongly suggest that you do ALL 1000 questions and do them with a timer.
LSAT1000CR - I found the questions too difficult and do not think that GMAT’s answers are dug so deeply.CATs I used and what I think about them:
PowerPrep - Pretty representative Math and very easy Verbal compared to the actual test.
MGMAT 1-6 – good but convoluted math, decent verbal.Knewton
- Very easy verbal compared to the actual test. Moreover, the scoring algoritm is weird.
Princeton - Oversimplified questions in both sections. Do not be complacent if you score well in Princeton, try representative tests.
Mc Graw - The same story as with Princeton.GMAT Club Tests
- yet to try.Kaplan
- yet to try.One day to my Test Day.
Three days beforу the exam I felt that I could solve almost every Math question except for some ultra-difficult ones and made my first mistake: I did not decrease the amount of time I had been spending in front of the computer because I wanted to go through all interesting questions I had solved before - I just wanted to refresh the approaches. After refreshing the Math I could not stop and went on with OG_12's SCs, then I practised with AWA. Just one day before the Test I sat at 2 p.m. and did one real CAT - just to accustom myself to the conditions and to the time-slot. After the CAT I came back to SCs. As you can see, I foolishly overloaded my eyes.Test Day.
I felt so-so after the night, took breakfast, went for a walk, did some stuff and headed to the test-center. In front of the test-center I noticed that my energy was below the normal level, but I believed that my strong determination for success and my favorite energetic that I drink would boost my energy. Quite the opposite was going to happen.AWA.
After registration I received very convenient writing pads and markers and, noticing that my eyes felt uncomfortable, I started the deal. There came the first trouble - I felt such a discomfort in my eyes that I had to reread the statements a couple of times - I simply did not feel comfortable with the screen. Considering both essays my failure because I did not show the best game I could, I calmed myself with the thoughts that adcoms would not bother themselves to look at my bad AWA result after seeing my soaring Math and Verbal scores; than I took a break. After washing the face and drinking a small amount of sugar water (we remember that the bladder is a vulnerability on our Test Day), I pressed the button.Math.
The first 8 or ten questions were solved in seconds with minimum writing and then the eye fatigue came with mental block. The questions were of a moderate difficulty, but I could not concentrate on them, especially, on translating word problems into human language. Every question was very easy but I had to spend up to 3 minutes on each due to eye fatigue and mental block. In the middle of the Math my mental abilities evaporated, I understood that I had failed the test and, having been extremely angry, I steered all my emotions at one word question of a type I had not seen before and decided to crack it at any cost – I eagered revenge. I cracked it and enormous excitement revived me! I forgot about 250 dollars a had paid for the Test, I forgot about my admission being at stake (what admission are we talking about with such a mediocre performance?), I just wanted to annihilate, completely destroy those questions. There were only me and them. Yes, time was pressuring me and I, wanting to sell my life as expensive as possible, skipping long and convoluted questions, was carefully selecting my next victims. To my regret, in 10 seconds toward the end of the test, I saw a convoluted question, which simply asked to find a distance between a line and and a point (one of my favorite operations). After a quick glance on the timer and noticing only a a handful of seconds left, I ruled out two options and made a guess.Verbal.
I washed the face, drunk my sugar water and dived into verbal, which welcomed me with ultra-difficult SCs. After wasting about 6 minutes on 3 SCs I mentioned growing eye and mental fatigue. Looking back, I must say that all SCs were brutal, CRs were very straightforward and RC were pretty enjoyable, but I had to reread the questions multiple times because I was completely exhausted. Needless to say that I run out of time and had to guess the last 9 questions. When it came to choose whether to cancel the test or to look at the results, I thought that I was strong enough to learn that I had scored below 550 and pressed “Yes” button. But 690 appeared on the screen.
Definitely, I did not perfomed on such a score. I think the only explanation of such an overrated result is that, due to a crazy coincidence, all the questions I skipped or did wrongly were among experimental questions. Because I’m not among those who think that GMAT can grant you 690 for almost 50% wrong questions. And definitely, my mediocre result is attributable to my low energy level on the Test Day.What are the main takeaways from my experience?1).
Math is compared to that presented in OG. Yes, if you score well, you will face some more tough questions, but all of them will have straightforward shortcuts. I’ve spend much time preparing for math and must admit that Bunuel
offers very good explanations and I advise you to look at what he says – he is Guru
and his explanations are always fit the bills and are much better that those in MGMAT’s CATS.2).
Do not even hope to save some time on SC questions in favor of RC passages because SCs are made to prevent such attempts.3).
Do not be greedy for knowledge and make sure your eyes are ready to stare at a low quality monitor for four hours – this is a challenge. The quality of monitor matters. 4).
Writing pads and markers and great and convenient.5).
The test is commanding, but easy if you are ready.6).
Wash you face every break.7).
And the thing of the utmost importance: Do nothing except for one CAT a day prior to the Test Day. Only relax and visualize your 750+ results.Epilogue.
I took hard the result of the Test into which I’ve invested a substantial amount of time, energy, and money and will come back in a month. Freshed, relaxed and concentrated at the same time. By the way, I need several kudos to gain access to GMATClub Tests
and would greatly appreciate if you, friends, could help me to acquire them. Thank you.