On my very first diagnostic exam, I scored 530. So I couldn't be happier with 700.
I started my journey in mid-July and after one month of consistent studying, I wasn't even hitting the 600 mark. I completed Manhattan SC + OG Verbal
, and went over basic math skills for about a month. (2hrs weekdays, 3-4hrs weeknights) and I scored 580 in August.
I completed every single problem in OG11
, read all the explanations (both to correct and incorrect questions) and I just took practice exams. I found random exams online (ManhattanGMAT, Crack-GMAT.com, MBA.com... etc). I found over 12 real paper-based exams on Scribd.com and I found these very useful for my preparation. (No longer available from Scribd.com, I don't know why) I also found notes compiled by random people that helped me tremendously.
Overall, I'd recommend solving practice problems. The questions do not recycle, but if you familiarize yourself with the questions, you'll know how to approach the questions on the real exam. I actually looked up almost every question online to see how people solved the question. It's helpful to see how people tackle each question; it gives you every insight on how many other ways each question can be answered.
I solved all SC1000 and CR1000 questions- they're all helpful. If you get a question wrong, check this forum for explanations and make helpful notes regarding idioms and rules... I did 100 SC, 100 CR + few math problems a day. Although some people recommend tackling each topic (whether it be SC, CR, RC, DS, PS) one at a time, I recommend mixing them up so you don't forget concepts and rules.
SC: I referred to ManhattanGMAT SC and solve all the recommended questions. I made note cards and I was mindful of my mistakes. Solved SC1000. (http://thousandsc.blogspot.com/2006/04/qn-1.html
) Solve them online so you get used to reading the questions on the computer as opposed to a printed material. I did, however print the questions out so I can solve them on my way to/from work. (30-40min bus/train ride) oh, and definitely solve BRUTAL SC questions compiled by someone. These questions are tricky ones and test you on your readiness.
CR: I printed all 1000 questions. (downloaded from either this forum or Beatthegmat.com) I solved the questions by making notes. Even when the statements were easy, when I made notes, I made fewer errors. I incurred similar CR questions on the real exam.
RC: Initially approached this section by just reading the passages and answering the question accordingly. Then I tried skimming but that didn't work. The best method was to spend 6-7 minutes on each passage, taking careful notes. I literally summarized the essay in my own words. This did consume much of my time, but this was the only way that insured my understanding of the passage.
DS: The actual exam questions were not much different in terms of difficulty than the ones in OG11
. Practice really makes perfect. It's all about understanding the questions and not making silly mistakes or overlooking something that's blatantly obvious.
PS: Know your basic math concepts. Know the difference between permutation and combination. Know how to measure arcs of a circle. Just know the OG11
book inside and out.
The week before the exam, I went over ALL of the questions I got wrong. I studied my notes and reviewed the idioms. The day of the exam, I went to a nearby bookstore and read up on AWA writing hints and tips. I know I should have practiced writing a few of the essays... I wasn't happy with my essays yesterday, but I can't cry over spilled milk.
Good luck everyone!!!
Let me know if you have any other questions. I definitely got a lot out of this forum. So let me return the favor the best way I can!
530 (GMAT powerprep)
580 (Manhattan GMAT
650 (Manhattan GMAT
630 (GMAT powerprep)
Completed 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th real paper based exams- I did not score these since they are paper exams.
740 (GMAT powerprep)- inflated score because of recycled questions
630 (Manhattan GMAT
OFFICIAL GMAT SCORE 700!
So it has been a long journey from 530 to 700, but I'm glad I suffered through this and can proudly say that I got 700!