Sorry for the delay, but I was almost drowned in work since my test was over.
My profile: Mechanical engineer, originally from India, currently working full time in Michigan.
Total study hours: abt 1.5 hrs everyday on weekdays and 5/6 hours on weekends.
Practice test scores:
PP1 (without OG): 680
PP2: did not take!
These scores mean zilch!! ETS questions are a type of their own, so only use these tests for practising your timing. In fact actual test is a totally different animal. If you can keep your nerves throughout those testing 4 hours, you will get not just good but stellar (>750) scores.
Very very thorough study of the OG. In fact I did not solve PP2 because I knew my scores would be not true indicators of my scoring range since I'd remember answer to most of the questions. I highly recommend solving BOTH PP1 and PP2 before even touching OG.
My preparation was in the form of 'mini tests' which I used to prepare for myself, mostly for the verbal section, by taking about 15 questions
from SC, 12 from RC and 14 from CR and solving them under timed conditions. Also, in last 2/3 weeks I solved about 2/3 RC passages daily, again under timed conditions! I was very good in SC and RC but had to work real hard for CR. I would highly recommend the LSAT CR problems for practice. They are basically ETS questions so they are more 'authentic'. Believe me; PR and Kaplan
donâ€™t come anywhere as close!
This forum was a great resource too. People like ruhi, gayathri, artabro, NEWKID, qhocoo10, Paul, saurbhmalpani, dookie, venksune, Dan helped me a lot during my preparation directly or indirectly.
I was also very motivated by Aspire2005â€™ s posts and after he answered some of my specific questions about RC and CR, I knew I was on the right track and above 40 in verbal was not unreachable if I kept my cool.
Overall, I thought my preparation for verbal was excellent and I began to expect about 41-42 for verbal.
Math was always my strong point (or so I thought ). I took the GMAT challenge 11 almost half asleep and still got a good percentile there. So I decided to take Challenge 12 more seriously and did reasonably well. My goal for Math was 51, but I thought I had a good chance of getting a 50.
The AWA topics were not so friendly, but I managed to write decent essays. Then started the real test. The math section started with 2 medium difficulty questions. Then the difficulty started increasing. One problem was a word problem that was very complex and almost unsolvable in 2 minutes. I wasted good 4 or 5 min there but did not find the ans that I calculated in the ans. choices!
I lost my tempo there. And thatâ€™s where I thought the GMAT got me. I began double checking myself for each and every calculation from there on. Even simple concepts started raising doubts in my mind. I knew I had lost it. But I decided to carry on because I wanted to know my scores at any cost. Plus I thought (!) I was very well prepared for the verbal section and would make up with 41-42 in verbal.
I barely finished my math section in time, took a break and continued with the verbal. First few questions, I was right on time. But I lost my timing again somewhere around question nos. 13 to 20. I saw that I had only 30 minutes left and I had 22 questions to tackle. I lost my cool.
I started rushing through the questions. Till this point I had done very well. I was confident that I must have got almost all questions right so far including the RC. But after question 21, came an RC which was fairly complex. I cracked it too, but lost some time there too. And then came the 2 bold faced questions. They could not have come at a worse time. I decided to guess totally randomly. Not that they were difficult but I simple thought they were not worth my time. I had very few minutes left, was on a tight race with time, and I knew I was better off spending my time on SC which was my forte. So I guessed randomly for next 3/4 CR questions. At the end of the section, I thought I had lost the battle because I guessed on 3 RC questions, about 3 CR questions and abt 2 SC questions.
I think thatâ€™s why I got a much lower verbal score than expected.
After I completed the test, I was almost thinking abt cancelling my scores because I had blown up both V and Q. But I knew that I had nothing to lose by knowing the scores. MBA admissions are not just about your GMAT score. Also, how many times you took the test is relatively immaterial. These were my thoughts when I was completing the ETS survey.
After completing the survey, I hit the 'show scores' button almost without any feelings. And 710 popped up on my screen. I was very surprised at both my verbal and quant scores. I thought I would end up at abt 640, even lower than my PP1. I was expecting about 45-47 in Q and 33-35 in V.
So you can imagine how happy I must have been to see a 710.
But this happiness lasted only a few moments. I began to feel that if I had managed my verbal timing properly, I'd be close to 41-42 in verbal and that'd take me to 750. But I think I have to forget about it now and focus on overall applications.
Overall, the test was nothing short of stormy. I would reiterate that keeping your cool is the key.
Please feel free to throw in any questions that you might have. I'll be happy to be of some help to this forum in whatever least way
Good luck on your test!!