Thank you, GMATClub's been great help. Prep
Started a week before Christmas, so tried to utilise the Christmas break to the utmost. Read from the main Kaplan
GMAT book and GMAT verbal workbook (based on the post http://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-books-77703.html
). Not the best but came to learn a little late. Having computer science/finance background, my math was fine so I focused on verbal more. Btw the questions in Kaplan verbal workbook
are all repeated in the practice sets that you get with the main Kaplan
GMAT book so that was my money wasted. After completing the verbal workbook, I read up on the specific verbal strategies discussed on this forum. The comprehensive bang bang CR guide (http://gmatclub.com/forum/cr-guide-100473.html
) and Gin's RC strategy (http://gmatclub.com/forum/download/file.php?id=9403
) were probably more useful than Kaplan
. For math I read up tid bits (is that a word?) from different threads on this forum. The permutation, combinations and probability thread was particularly helpful.Practice exams that I rememberKaplan
Practice Exam 1: 640Kaplan
Practice Exams 2-4: 580ish
GMATPrep Exam 1: 720
GMATPrep Exam 2: 710
GMATPrep Exam 1 reset: 730Exam
It was today at 1:15 in Sutton Coldfield, UK. Train got late and I didn't shit myself. First sign that it wasn't really that bad. Managed to reach exam centre 45 mins before. For some reason the palm scan machine was playing up and I had to give 3 scans. Good it didn't know I'm a Muslim otherwise, through sheer will power, it'd have transformed itself into Terminator and squashed me. Then the GMAT software shared the limelight by not working for 15 mins. I had some nuts and a bit of water in the meanwhile.
AWA proved to be a bit more than distraction as I ended up using all the time allotted for it. That precious time which could have been spent in the loo, eating nuts or checking out the fit birds in waiting lounge was wasted typing some arguments about an issue I personally won't even give a second thought to. Such is life.
Took break, took a leak, ate nuts, drank half of red bull and checked out fit birds (they always seemed to be around for some reason).
Quants went alright. Start was not as fast as I'd have liked but I knew that you pick up pace as you go along. about 10 questions down the line, I had to guess one. Then carried on and again one more guess. I always had about 2 mins per question left. Then there was a real tough question third time and I gotta bolt this one down. It was geometry question and spent extra time to solve that. a little later GMAT sent another bad boy and I solved that too (I think...). Had to hurry with last 5 questions and finished on time. Was expecting 50 in quant (I got quant 50 in GMAT Prep 2 and GMAT Prep 1 reset practice exams).
Repeated the same hit formula for break as the first one.
Verbal started with a SC question I wasn't too sure of. Don't know why but I felt more comfortable with CR. First RC wasn't too long. Only two paragraphs. On average I was running at about 1 1/2 mins per question left in verbal. Towards the end it got very tiring. You really need the passion of a rabid Rocky Balboa on steroids to power your way through the final 10 verbal questions (no offence, all the Balboas reading this). Unfortunately in my case the last RC passage was the longest. 3 paragraphs. But from the RC before the last one I had started using my emergency strategy: not to write down anything, read the whole passage and register the structure etc in short term memory. Did it work? I don't know. Score of 38 wasn't the best I had scored in practice exams. But hey, English is not my first language. Not even my second language, or third (if you include C# in the list).Lessons learned
First, stamina is very critical. Many people are able to solve a lot of difficult GMAT questions when given one at a time, but a bigger challenge lies in solving them after having solved dozens of them. Under real exam conditions this can be even more difficult. One approach that helped me was taking two practice exams in a day. I did this on three days (so 6 practice exams).
Second lesson goes against the generally held perception. On exam day and the day before, if I wasn't studying, I got stressed. So contrary to what most people advise, I had to keep revising till the last minute to avoid stress. Also talking to other people at exam centre helps easing the nerves. Main idea was to remove as many obstacles (psychological as well as real) as possible before taking the exam, so I could give my best shot.
Third, choose the exam time carefully if you've got a choice. 1:15 pm wasn't best suited to me. Like most candidates, I am more comfortable with morning hours. But due to location of exam centre I had to go for afternoon time.
This forum, specially moderators, has been great help and I haven't contributed much. So anyone got any questions feel free to ask.