Firstly, thanks to the gmat club founders and members. This is a great place to learn all the practical factors of the GMAT.
(1) MGMAT Prep strategy guides (only quant)
(2) OG 12
(3) MGMAT CATs (I recommend this to anyone who needs to get the feel of the exam)
(4) Princeton Review Verbal
Guide ( Not sure of its rank, but I used it)
(5) MGMAT Adv Quant.Preparation Details:
Took a date (April 18) in December itself. Started prepping in February. Quant was never an issue for me(I obtained 93% in CAT without any preparation, so no issues with quant).
Total hours with the 5 MGMAT Strategy guides: 25 - 30 hours (Excluding the time for OG problems)
Critical Reasoning and Reading comprehension didnt need preparation. Spent a day learning SC principles and started solving OG verbal
Completed the syllabus and OG12
two weeks before the test, signed up for MGMAT CATs and relaxed my preparation. I spent one week with MGMAT Advanced quant and the week before the exam just taking one CAT a day.
My MGMAT CAT Scores:
MGMAT CAT 1 - 690
MGMAT CAT 2 - 750
MGMAT CAT 3 - 680
MGMAT CAT 4 - 720
MGMAT CAT 5 - 680
MGMAT CAT 6 - Had to end the test quickly, got 51 in quant.
My average score was 706 which is pretty close to my final 710.
Didnt take GMAT Prep ( I know, I know.. Who does that?, If you knew me, you wouldnt be surprised)Exam Day - 1 (Yes, there were two though I had one attempt)
Name order didnt match passport. GUYS THIS IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE !
US organizations recognize name parts as first, middle and last names. Indian passports recognize it as Family and Given names. So, while registering you ll find the family name and given name prompts in brackets for Indian passport holders. But you shouldnt just copy the name as in the passport. Call their cust care and they ll tell you how to convert it to US splitting. Though you might have an indian middle name, you might not have it as per their rules. My Family name was "X" and given name as "Y Z". After conversion, my first name was "Z Y" (Notice the change in the order) and last name "X" and the middle name feild was empty.
So, NOT Allowed for the exam. They sent a scan of my passport to their program coordinator and he/she updated my name in 24 hrs. Of course, I lost my 250$. ("forfeit" in cust care exec's words. for some of us, its a months salary!)Exam Day - 2 (Two days after Day 1)
Before I begin, kudos to Pearson Vue Hyderabad. Its not an easy task to create an examination favouring environment to such extent in Hyderabad. I actually had better concentration than at home. (No, I dont live under a metro station)
So, checked in, palm vein, lockers, rules etc etc. You know the drill. Plus, I saw another guy with the same name problem not allowed for the exam.
They notified us that effective 2009, the breaks have been reduced from 15 mins to 8 mins (Wonder why I didnt come across that).
Did my essays and went for quant. As expected, questions got super tough at the end. It was cool but I was pressed exactly against time(10 mins, 5 ques left, 8 mins 4 ques left and so on).
Took a break and went for verbal. RC was surprisingly easy. And heres the lucky part - The one boring RC essay passage that every candidate has to face was easy. Why? IT WAS AN ANALYSIS OF MY DAY-TO-DAY WORK ! Took two minutes for the passage plus the three questions(Felt like GMAC took the passage from ma mind). 10 ques later, Head started to ache.. so cudnt do my best on verbal. Probably because I didnt get enough sleep the previous night (I know.. I know... Who does that? )
GMAT survey.. clicks... types... And the score.
710 - Q50 , V36
The test adminstrator looked surprised (Probably didnt expect 700+ from a guy who got his name wrong)
Anyhow, Final recommendations
(1) Take MGMAT CATs. They ll get you used to the mind sucking exam (feel free to substitute the letter "s" in "sucking" with any letter of your choice).
(2) MGMAT Quant guides .. Buy them.. (They ll take you from "What are numbers" to "Substraction of 4 digit no.s with unknown digits")
(3) If you are an Indian passport holder, before you register at mba.com for a GMAT appointment, call the cust care to confirm how your name must be split into their feilds, Apparently, this happens a lot.
Anyhow, I am pretty satisfied with ma score and am not planning to take GMAT again.