- Books & materials used: Manhattan GMAT 9 Session Study Course, 111 x 700-Level Question Bank in GMAT Club iPhone App
- Test Scores:
- MGMAT Diagnostic (1/7): 700 (43Q 41V) Took 85 Min to finish Quant section.
- MGMAT Cat 2 (1/29): 680 (47Q 35V)
- MGMAT Cat 3 (2/5): 730 (50Q 40V)
- MGMAT Cat 4 (2/19): 730 (48Q 42V)
- MGMAT Cat 5 (2/26): 720 (48Q 40V)
- Class officially ends (3/3)
- MGMAT Cat 6 (3/10): 750 (48Q 44V) Verbal score inflated as I exhausted the MGMAT CAT pool of 700+ level questions.
- GMATPrep 1 (3/13): 710 (47Q 41V)
- GMATPrep 2 (3/14): 730 (50Q 38V)
- Test Day (3/16): 710 (49Q 37V)
- Background: Native English speaker, bachelor degree (3.5) at top-25 school, currently work as a research analyst at a mutual fund
- Length of Study: From 1/3 to 3/15. Finished all materials from course syllabus on 3/9, 2 days were reserved for the GMATPrep exams, so I had 4 days of independent study.
- General Strategy: Do not fall behind (timewise) in quant! In my practice exams I would spend 4-5 mins on a hard question and rush through Questions 30-37.
- Additional notes created: None
- Any interesting blogs or materials that I found online: GMAT Formula sheet: http://www.gmatmathformulas.com/
- Words of Advice:
- Things I wish I knew: 8 minute break starts immediately after the last question is finished! I had my hand raised for the proctor for a while, which took up most of my break. When I sat back down in my chair, I lost 1 minute in my verbal section
- Things I have learned: Cell phones / ipods are allowed in the testing center but they must be turned off.
- Things I wasted my time on: Nothing
- Finally, my test experience: Below
I basically used the MGMAT materials for the entire length of my study, with the exception of the day before test day (3/15). On 3/15, I powered through the 111 x 700-Level Question Bank in the GMAT Club iPhone app. In reality, I was alternating between doing some questions, and watching NCAA basketball. The MGMAT class
itself was great, although I'll save these details for a course review.
My test experience was ok. Usually I would listen to music on the way there, but I was told that if I had a cell phone or ipod with me, the testing center may not let me in. That turned out to be an incorrect assumption. I got to the test center about 45 mins before my scheduled time, and the proctors let me start early. As I stated above, my main problem was the timing on the Quant section. I have heard that many of the 700+ level MGMAT questions are notoriously difficult, which is why I took so long on some of them in my CAT exams. However, on test day, I was finished with Question 35 with about 8 minutes left to go. I spent about 5 minutes on Question 36, and about 3 on Question 37. Later I found out that how to answer Question 36 wasn't even covered in the MGMAT materials
...but I'll know it when I take the exam again!
Verbal: Again, as stated above, I started out 1 minute late in this section, but I actually finished 5 minutes early.
I thought that this section was somewhat easy, but I was shocked (and not in a good way) to see that my raw score on this section was only a 37. One of the short RC passages only had 2 questions.
Also to note: As I walked into the testing center, there was someone there who had just finished his exam and was holding his score report. His score was a 370! (46Q 6V)....yes that is a 6, so yeah, draw your own conclusion.
Note #2: The MGMAT course is A LOT of work. I found myself routinely doing HW until 2-3 AM in order to keep up with the study organizer that they have. (My work hours are 8a-6p).
Most of the study materials were great. However, the Manhattan GMAT
CAT exams really need to be improved.
1. At the higher levels (700+), the quant portion of these exams will give you 3-4 probability / combinatorics questions. In reality you may see 1-2 of these problems on exam day.
2. The verbal portion of the MGMAT CAT exams will front-load the RC and CR questions, and you will usually finish all of the RC questions at around question 25-30. In reality it is more spread out. I learned this when I took my GMATPrep practice exams. This is important for timing. You may find yourself finishing early on the MGMAT CAT exams because the last 5-6 questions are SC questions, but on test day you may not have enough time if your verbal section ends with 4-5 RC or CR questions.
3. If you are a high scorer (700+), the later CAT exams will give you more 600-700 level questions, since you would have exhausted all of the 700 level questions in MGMAT's question bank. For example, I scored 700+ in my 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th CAT exams. In my 6th CAT exam, the last 13 questions in my verbal section were of 600-700 level. As you can see, this artificially raised my score. In reality, the questions will be about 700+ level difficulty if you are scoring this high.
Due to my extremely low verbal score (as compared with my CAT exams), I will definitely retake this exam. However, I'm debating between Knewton and Magoosh
due to their score guarantees. I'm not sure which one has a stronger curriculum for verbal. (I'm aiming for 42+). If anyone has any suggestions, please share.