Perhaps it's too early to post this since I haven't received my official score yet, but what the heck...
Two saturdays ago I was scheduled for my GMAT exam at 8:00 a.m. I had been thinking of doing the GMAT and applying to B-schools since early summer, and I had acquired the GMAT material since then, but I only got serious about it a month prior to the exam.
So how did I do it? The only thing I studied were the 8 Manhattan GMAT guides
, and that's it. Nothing else. Occasionally I did some CR questions on this forum, but that's about it. I usually get obsessed with plans and structures and how everyone else is doing it, but this time I told myself to stay away from GMAT forums on purpose for fear of getting confused and lost. The only advices I picked from this website was to do a gmat prep exam before studying the material and to not waste the rest of the official prep exams until I'm done with my studies.
Manhattan's quant books, I thought, were amazing. I was less impressed with the three verbal books. In fact, the last Manhattan guide, Sentence Correction, was probably a valuable source, but it was just a 200-page book full of grammatical rules that had to be memorized. I actually almost entirely skipped studying and practicing sentence correction because it would've taken too much time. Critical reasoning was not that bad and I found it helpful, but Manhattan's reading comprehension was not that great (in my humble opinion). It had helpful tips and strategies, of course, but I thought it was geared towards people who have a lot of trouble with RC and their strategies (of writing down notes) took too much time.
On my very first prep exam, taken in June, I scored 570. After I went through the Manhattan guides, I scored 610, 730, 710, 690. One problem I had with all my prep exams is that I always ran out of time in the quant section, and that's because I generally have a hard time moving on from a question which is taking too long. I always feel if I think I can do the question, then I'm not going to give up, even if that means spending 5 minutes on it. So without exception, the quant section always ended with me having to rush through the last 10-15 questions in 60-90 seconds, and every single time I left 2-5 questions unanswered.
The day before my exam I stopped studying at 2pm. I cooked, hit the gym, watched some news, relaxed, and prepared to go to bed 8 hours before I had to wake up. Plenty of time. But even though I thought I'm not that nervous, my body/mind felt different about it. The whole night I was up with random thoughts rushing through and out of my head at such speed that I wasn't even sure what the hell I was thinking about. I managed to sleep for about 45 minutes out of the 8 hours, and with each passing hour that I stayed up I got more and more nervous as I knew a good night's sleep would be essential to doing well on the exam.
Anyways, 6:30am finally came by and I got out of bed feeling defeated. I was at the exam center half an hour before my exam time, 7:30. I'm not sure how I did on the IR section... not too well, I'm guessing. I'm sure I did fine on the AWA. Quant? Same problem as before. I got stuck on a few questions and had to rush through the last 10, and I left one or two questions unanswered. I know--bad. Verbal I finished just on time. The result? 44 on quant, 41 on verbal, and a total of 700. I'm sure if I wasn't such an arrogant idiot and finished the quant on time I would've scored even higher. Needless to say, coming to the exam with only 45-minutes of sleep didn't help either.
I was thinking of doing the exam again, but I've talked to a few schools and all of them have told me not to bother. So I guess that's it for me. Now to figure out how to apply to B-schools