Just got back from my second GMAT attempt. I got a 710 and got the 80/80 split that I wanted!! I am officially done with the GMAT!
It feels good to be done with this test. I still have a few years before I plan to apply to grad schools, so I will start to research programs and try to enhance my profile.
Ok here goes my debrief:Background
I am not a big fan of standardized testing, but I will say I was quite obsessed with the GMAT. I started to really prep for the GMAT in October of 2008. I decided to buy a few books because I knew little about the GMAT. Without doing any research I walked into Barnes and Noble and bought Princeton’s Cracking the GMAT
, GMAT for Dummies, and the OG guide 11. I went through the GMAT for Dummies book and the Cracking the GMAT
book. They both gave a good overview of the GMAT, but didn’t get into the detail I needed for my prep. It was about this time that I found beathegmat and GMAT Club. These two forums changed my whole perspective of the GMAT. After doing some thorough research, I decided to purchase all of the Manhattan GMAT books
except for the critical reasoning and reading comprehension books. Also, I decided to get the PowerScore critical reasoning bible
. After reading all of the success stories on the forums, I set a target score of 700 for myself.Early Prep (Quant)
I went through all of the Manhattan GMAT books
. These books are very thorough and I felt they helped significantly. However, I didn’t go through these books like I should of. I didn’t take my time with them and didn’t do all of the problems from the OG after finishing a section. If you are using these books for your prep, I recommend you take your time going through them and ensure you understand all of the concepts. So after my first run through of the MGMAT books
I decided to take my first practice test to see where I stood. The results were:
I was really disappointed after this test. I felt like I put in a lot of time studying quant and still wasn’t close to my target score. However, I soon realized that I wasn’t studying the right way. My pace was too fast to retain all of the concepts. Also, my early prep was too focused on quant (I literally did no verbal prior to the practice test).Mid Prep (Quant/Verbal)
At this point, I decided I would start to do quant one day and verbal the next. This is probably the best way to prep because you give yourself a little break from a subject but keep topics fresh in your mind. The first book I focused on for verbal was the MGMAT sentence correction
book. As I read this the first time, I was COMPLETELY overwhelmed. I felt there were just too many topics to grasp each concept. If you feel like this after reading the book the first time, I recommend reading it a second time. The second time I read it, I tried to apply all of the concepts I was learning to questions in the OG. This really helped me grasp the concepts. Next, I started to go through the CR bible. The book breaks every question type down and tells you how to attack each question. This book was essential to improving my verbal. If you are studying from this book, I recommend reading the strengthening, weakening, and assumption chapters twice. These are the question types that I saw most frequently on the actual GMAT. Using my every other day strategy I went through some of the MGMAT quant books again. At this point, I decided to take another practice test.
This really improved my confidence and I thought I was almost ready for the GMAT. (this was in April)Late Prep
So for the last 2 months prior to taking the GMAT, I went through the entire OG 11
. Along with this, I spent a lot of time on the forums practicing questions. I also took the GMAT Prep tests. My scores were as follows:
GMAT Prep 1
GMAT Prep 2
GMAT Prep 1 (Repeat)
After these tests, I felt like I was ready for the actual test. I set the date for June 26th.Test Day (First attempt)
I didn’t sleep well the night before. I was too nervous to get a good night sleep. I woke up around 5 AM and my test wasn’t scheduled till 12. This k!IIed me that I had to sit around all morning thinking about the test. I was very anxious to get to the testing center and try to get this test out of the way. I arrived at the testing center around 11 and they let me take the test right away. I didn’t spend too much time studying for essays, but they weren’t too bad and I felt good after finishing them. However, once the quant section started I was very nervous/anxious and made a lot of silly mistakes that I realized after submitting my answer. Which leads me to my next point, DON’T THINK ABOUT A QUESTION AFTER YOU SUBMIT YOUR ANSWER. I think this really hurt me because I kept thinking about the question before and didn’t focus enough on the question at hand. By the end of the section I calmed down and felt like I still would score in the 46 to 48 range. I took my break and went and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then made my way back into the testing room. I was very relaxed for the verbal section. I felt very good about this section. The reading comprehension passages weren’t bad and I felt like I got all of those questions correct. CR was pretty easy for me as well. Sentence correction was kind of tough. I am sure that I missed the majority of my questions in this section. In the end though, I was pretty confident with my performance. In the end my score ended up being:
I was VERY disappointed with my quant score. I really wanted to be at a 47 or higher. At first, I thought I was done with the test, but ultimately I couldn’t settle with a 690 when I was SO close to my target score.
MORE TO COME…
Here is the link to my thread for my first attempt:690-q44-v41-80212.html