Its been quite a journey. First and foremost thanks to every single meber in this club who has either directly or indirectly helped with my score. Praetorian, BB and others thanks for this wonderful forum. My personal opinion, we dont need a coaching class if we work hard on this forum! Paul, you were a great inspiration, I took the liberty to call on you every now then when I was in trouble with some concepts. Qhoc, you dont know how much you have helped me not only with your posts but also with your miracle tool - the practice grid!! Your practice grid was perfect, you should be charging money for that thing
Praveen and Saurabh thanks to all your heated debates and discussions, they were very helpful! Doggita, I found your CR questtions very challenging and helped me get in to GMAT mode. Pragati and Vasudha thanks to you girls for all the moral support. Actually, thanks to every member who has been active in this forum.
I will try to structure this post as shown below that way you dont have to read the whole post.
4. Test Day
5. Things I would do different were I to take the test again!
Indian, female, 27 and name Gayathri, if you had not guessed by now! I have a MS in EE and 3 yrs work experience in product marketing and product management. Had decided in my mind that I wanted to do an MBA in 2001 but never really got around to it until two months ago due to lack of time. Most recently I was working for a start up working 12- 13 hr days only to find out a year later that the company was unable to secure any funding and so I was back in the job market again
After taking a good weeklong vacation, I figured this might be the best time to take care of my MBA dream by attacking the first hurdle in the admission process - GMAT
2. Preparation & Material
Overall prep time approximately two months not including the two one week breaks in between. I started thinking seriously about GMAT the last week of october and went about procuring all the materials for the same.
I wanted to set out a schedule but unfortunately that never materialized the way I was hoping it would. I realized that job hunting can be a full time process by itself and some of my other commitments did not let me follow a fixed scheduule. My rough schedule was about 3-4 hrs during the week and almost none during the weekends. The only constant whether I picked up and studied or not was my involvement at GMAT club. I made it a regimen to work on most of the problems posted on the club. I felt that going over all the posts gave me practice in every type of problem: ratios, number theory, inequalities, probability etc. Also looking at the different variations of CR's gave me a general idea of the way the questions are framed and what kind of answer choices to expect. Another important thing I realized thanks to GMAT club again was explaining my answers reinforced my thinking
. As a side note to everyone on the forum, when you post your answer PLEASE try to explain your answer choices
not only does it benefit other people who are trying to understand the problem, but it also helps clear your own thinking when you write it down. Infact I have changed my answer several times as I tried to explain my choice, because I would realize that I had missed a step or made a silly mistake when trying to calculate in my head. I also tackled the math challenges
in this forum. They were quite tough but helped me a lot with some of the basics, which tend to get rusty over time.
I registered for the GMAT only on Dec 26th. Since I was not planning on applying to schools this year, I decided I did not want to rush myself! Biggest mistake I made
Having no solid deadline did nothing but hinder my preparation. When I first started to think about the GMAT I decided to take the test in late nov or early dec, but not having registered, I kept pushing it off and that did not help structure my preparation. In december after the urging of one of our club member Pragati (Ruhi) I started thinking about registering for the exam. I finally registered for the exam on dec 26th and the next day took off went on a week long vacation.
First of the year I was back and, I gradually started stepping up my preparation. Two weeks ago I decided to postpone my job search and get down and dirty with GMAT. I put in almost 7 hrs every day this past two weeks. I identified that my two main weak areas in the exam were SC's and DS. I have never been good at grammar rules, so I decided not to thrust difficult grammar lexicon down my stubborn brain but focus on the basic rules tested by GMAT which are expounded in every single prep book! Besides the actual exam my other biggest problem area was focus. I hate reading on the computer screen and my attention span becomes very limited if I try to read dense material or information that I am not familiar with on the screen, my mind starts to drift. So everynight before going to bed, I would try to focus only on my breathing and try to ignore other thoughts that came to my head. Personally, I found this to be quite useful, I dont know if it was the increased oxygen or wishful thinking. I also tried it everytime before doing RC's and I noticed that in the paper tests I did quite well on RC's with only one or two mistakes.
My Practice Scores:
Unfortunately last week the hard drive in my laptop died and I lost all my data. I lost most of my OG error logs, several of my GMAT links and other files such as the ETS paper tests.
Fortunately, since I dont enjoy reading on the computer, I had printed out all of the paper tests before hand. I also lost access to my Kaplan
scores as I had to reinstall the CD on another computer. So, the Kaplan
scores listed below are from my vague recollection.
Diagnostic : 600
PR online test 1: 650 (Q:47, V:33)
PR online test 2: 570 (Q: 40, V: 28)
PR online test 3: 640 (Q: 39, V: 40)
***All the above tests were taken in November. ***
I took the remaining three Kaplan
tests in December and scored in 550-590 range.
I took a fluury of paper tests the past two weeks, as you may have noticed from my post.
Paper Test 14: 690 (Q: 49, V: 42)
Paper Test 28: 700 (Q: 51, V: 41)
Paper Test 31: 690 (Q: 47, V: 41)
Paper Test 42: 680 (Q: 49, V: 38)
Paper Test 48: 700 (Q: 47, V: 43)
Paper Test 55: 700 (Q: 50, V: 36)
PP2 (took that yesterday): 770 (Q: 50, V: 47)
So, as you can see from the scores above, they are not a real indicator of the performance in the actual exam. So, dont you use these scores to gauge your capability. Use it primarily as a guide to strengthen your stamina and timing. Btw, the last PowerPrep was the only one in which I actually wrote the AWA essays.
I had started of most of my prep with Kaplan
and PR and got to the OG later.
Official Guide (Absolute must)
PR 2005 Cracking the GMAT
(the non-cd version with access to online tests)
2005 (Good for math, RC's either made me sleepy or gave me a headache
Math Power (I found this book in the local library, it was useful to brush up basic math concepts)
(purchased it last week)
ETS Paper Tests
The handbook of good english by Edward D Johnson (At one time I wanted to write short stories as a hobby and purchased this book for reference! Was very happy to see it come handy in the prep)
Other online resources
I found useful...
- Some LSAT questions.
I had some more links in my laptop. I will post them if I find them again.
Whew! This has turned out to be one long post. I will post Part 2 of this post later tonight. My fingers are hurting from all the typing...
Please dont check for grammatical correctness in this post.