Just gave the Gmat today. Happy to share the news that I scored a 710/92 Percentile (Quant – 50 /93 percentile , Verbal -37/80 percentile) . Here is a quick debrief:Exam Day:
The test was scheduled at 2:00 PM. I reached the centre an hour before the scheduled time. The centre didn’t have many takers and they asked me if I wanted to start early. I agreed and they began my exam on 1:30 instead.
AWA was ok. I just followed whatever was told in this link for AWA preps how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html
And I think that it’s the best material available to study. I finished both the essays well before time and took the optional 8 minutes break.
I felt that the first question that I received was tough. It was on number system and took me 4 minutes to solve. I began to panic, but then took a deep breath and held my nerves. First few questions were mostly from number system/geometry/. Didn’t get any questions on Standard deviations/Work/Speed. I think I could not solve atleast 4 questions and had to guess and move on. I never spent more then 2 minutes on any of the remaining questions and finished the section with 3 minutes to spare.
I took the second optional break. Went to the washroom and splashed some water on my face . Just used five minutes of the optional break and started off with the verbal section. The first 8 questions were SC and CR. Two of the RCs in the section were big enough that I had to scroll up and down. None of the RC was on science. But the questions were tricky I felt. I guessed on atleast 12-14 questions in the entire section. I ended the section with 5 minutes in hand.
Couldn’t wait to see my scores and skipped the questionnaire and other stuff on the screen. Kept on clicking Next.. Next.. Next.. And Voila !!!!! a 710 !!! :D Thanked God and rushed outside. Took the printed scorecard and ran away from the centre. Realized that I brought the locker keys along with me !!! Went back and gave them the keys back !!! Embarrassing !!! The Preps:
I am a computer science engineer. But since the last seven years, I have been taking care of my family business and was thus completely out of touch with studies. I started my preparations around three months ago. I spent the first month on concept building and the later ones on sharpening my skills. I studied for about 3 hours per day for the first two months and as much as 7 hours per day during the last month. Here is a quick look at my strategies on each section:Quant:
1. I studied Kaplan
initially to understand what to expect in the exam. Had heard that Kaplan
courses are one of the better ones around and their cats the toughest. But I must admit that they are not. If you are targeting a score of around 600-630, then Kaplan
is sufficient. But it cannot take you any further. The Cats which were once famous for their toughness have lost their sting. Especially the maths is pedestrian to say the least. I scored over 750 in most of their cats with 20 minutes to spare in each section. Kaplan 800
series is decent but they don’t have many questions to practice.
2. I finished OG 12
for quant and then relied heavily on sectional tests to improve my scores. I feel that if you are from a maths background then you don’t have much to study as far as understanding of concepts goes. But its very very important to understand where does the gmat trick you. And this I feel can be learnt only by giving mocks.Word of Advice for Quant :
Give as many sectional tests on maths as you can. And review all the questions after you are done with the test. Note down all wrong questions in a notebook and solve them once every week. After a few weeks you will realize what all mistakes you regularly commit in the test and how to avoid them. You need to close all the points from where you leak your marks. And its possible only by practice. I improved from 40 to 50 during the course of my preparation this way.
800score has a nice collection of Quant sectional test and are worth trying. Quant of manhattan tests are also upto the mark with what one can expect in the real test. GMAT Club tests
are a must ! They were the closest thing to the real Gmat cat after the GmatPrep. ( I used the memorial day open access to the club tests and just loved them ) . Thanks BB !!!
Finally , search for the hardest problems around and attack them. There are plenty of them in this forum. Difficult questions will tear open the hidden cracks inside your concepts and force you to look into your mistakes. Attempting 5 difficult questions that you think you cannot solve is better than solving 15 simpler questions in which you feel comfortable. And more importantly practice them again and again till you reach the state when you cannot stop yourself from exclaiming , “oh man, These were easy ! Why couldn’t I solve them earlier !!!English :
My English is poor and that’s why I shouldn’t say much about my preps for this section !
SC from Manhattan is a must have. It has all that is asked in the real Gmat. OG is an absolute must as well !
My scores in the Mocks were as follows:
GmatPrep1.0 (1): 570 ( I hadn’t started preparing that time)
GMAt Prep1.0 (2) : 640 (After 1 month of preparation)
Gmat Prep 1.1 (1) 670 ( After 1.5 months of preparation)
Gmat Prep 1.1 (2) 660 ( After 2 months of preparation)
Gmat Prep 1.0 Retake : 710/720 ( A week before the exam. Very few repeated questions.)
Gmat Prep 1.1 Retakes : 710/730 ( A week before the exam. Very few repeated questions.)
Knewton Free Test : 600 ( A week before the exam
Princeton Tests : 640-680 ( Verbal is decent. Quant is easy.)
Manhattan Tests: 660 – 680. (Quant questions are good. CR is wayward.)Kaplan
Tests : 750 – 780 ( Don’t waste your time )
The Gmat Preps are the best Cats to gauge your real scores. Even a retake of these Cats is not bad, because it has a large database and doesn’t repeat questions often. Please dont take your mock scores seriously. They dont matter much. Its the real test that matters the most. They are a good pointer your current preparedness for the exam. But there toughness will vary from one test to other. A 650 in manhattan is not a 650 in PR or veritas
Its important to understand that apart from the GMATprep , all others arent close to the real thing.
Remember that your approach on the test day is what matters the most. If you have a positive attitude and a relaxed mind, you can score more than what you would have did in your mocks. On the other hand, if you are under pressure and tense, chances are that you will ruin you test !Mental Grooming:
I think it’s the most important aspect of one’s preparation. You need to understand, that GMAT can be conquered with practice !
Food for Thought to all aspirants Meditation:
5 minutes of meditation every day helps ! After you wake up or just before you begin to study, is the best time to meditate. Just sit in a comfortable position. Take some deep breaths, and close your eyes. Try to keep your mind uncluttered of thoughts and notice your breath as your breathe in and out ! When you feel that you are relaxed, then gently remind yourself the goals that you want to achieve. Open your eyes and begin your studies. It hardly takes 5 minutes and relaxes your mind. Always Remember that a relaxed mind works better !
It is important to keep your cool on the test day too. Don’t get discouraged if you solve a few of the questions incorrectly. It is bound to happen. The Gmat is adaptive and will give you a chance to bounce back.
Finally, a big thank you to Gmat Forum. The tests and questions over here are amazing !!!!! So too are the members :D