First, thanks to everyone for the help over the past few months. I didn't post much (I lost my password and couldn't figure it out, so I had to start a new account), but I was on the site a lot looking at answer explanations and study strategy. Second, after my first test I was pretty bummed and I read a lot of stories looking for motivation, which is why I wanted to share my story.
So onto the story..
Before I started studying or knew too much about the GMAT, I took a GMATPrep test to get a baseline and got a 670. My goal was 700+, so I was pretty happy that I was close. I was able to take some time off work after the holidays, so I spent about three weeks studying 5 days a week, about 6-7 hours a day. I took the weekends off to relax and have fun. I started with the Kaplan Premier
book and worked through those questions. I then started working through all of the MGMAT books
. I was pretty comfortable with Verbal, so I spent minimal time on those. I worked through the MGMAT CAT tests, and scored consistently in the 680-720 range. Before the actual test, I scored a 730 and 750 on GMATPrep tests
. I was feeling pretty confident as I went into the test aiming for low 700s.
I thought the test was going decently, but I raced through the verbal section and ended with 25 minutes to spare. When I saw the 690, I was really disappointed. I knew right away I was going to retake it. I felt pretty burned out after studying, so I took a few weeks off from the GMAT to recharge.
My re-study plan was to go over the MGMAT books
again, take a few more tests, and get it done with. I also ran through the Kaplan 800
book to improve my comfort with the tougher questions. I felt pretty good about my level of competency with the GMAT questions in general, I just knew I needed some additional polish. Since I was working again, I tried to study ~1 hour per weekday and ~3 hours per weekend, balancing verbal (mostly SC and Critical Reasoning) and quant (mostly DS questions). I ended up taking 2 practice MGMAT tests (730/750) and one GMAT Prep test (750).
After about a month of light studying, I retook the test. I went into the test feeling really confident, but certainly feeling the pressure. The quant felt really hard, but I noticed I didn't get any combination problems and only one geometry question. The verbal felt pretty good, but again, I finished with about 15-20 minutes to spare (and that was even when I was trying to slow down!). As I clicked to see my score, I couldn't believe that I was seeing a 760- higher than any of my practice tests!
The key takeaway is to be confident when you take the test. If you don't do as well as you want, you can always retake the test and improve!
Now onto the apps.... woohoo!