So finally, after 2 and a half months of study, I took my GMATs today. Was quite disappointed in my Verbal grade, but happy with my quantitative grade, still really feel I could have done alot better. Before I start really want to say a big thanks to gmatclub for all the help. I never posted anything on here - mainly because I felt that I was quite an amateur compared to the many many more knowledgeable people who are on this forum - but the gmatclub tests
and explanations were priceless in helping me along the way.
Apologies if this is a lot of unstructured blabber - took the exam today and wanted to post this before I forgot to and before I got caught up at work.First month
Decided that I was going to apply to business school on September 15th - and immediately booked my exam for the 15th of November, giving me 2 months to study from scratch. This was quite ambitious but at the time I thought I'd be able to handle it.
Until October I studied off the Kaplan Premier
program book, decent enough book and thought the material was fairly straightforward. On the first of weekend of October I did a GMAT prep test, to see how I was doing, and got 700 (cant remember scores individually, but maths was the weakest area with verbal being quite strong - but overall thought that the 700 was also a consequence of some luck in guessing.Second month
Since I felt sentence correction and maths were my weakest area I did a quick search for gmat related topics on google. This is where I came across gmatclub. Took the m25 and scored poorly (m25 28/37). Also started looking at some of the advice relating to the books to use and saw that the MGMAT SC
was highly regarded and gave access to 6 free, and good, tests - so immediately purchased it. At this stage I didnt have the official guide 12
, nor did I have an error log
so I took gmatclub's advice here as well.
Started doing the gmatclub maths tests regularly and realised my maths was quite sub-par, and when the MGMAT book
arrived (30th of October cause of French strike.. so frustrating) I took a practice full length exam and got:
640: Q 39 V 38
Freaked out, since I now had two weeks of study time left, so delayed the exam until the 29th of November.
Unfortunately at this time work had kicked in big time and I was barely able to study for the GMATs even on weekends, so I asked for a week off before the exam and also started arriving in work earlier so that I could study before I start work every day (but was never that productive since I was always exhausted)
Used the MGMAT SC
book, doing it from cover to cover with the OG12
, and GMATClub and OG 12
for the maths, including the wiki which really has great explanations for all the areas. Once in a while, when I wanted a measure of how I was doing, I took an MGMAT examWEEK BEFORE EXAM
By this stage I was fed up with the GMATs and found it incredibly tough to study. Took a couple of days off before really immersing myself back in the GMATs on the Monday.
Went through all the questions that I found hard according to my error log
, and with the wiki / the forum was able to see explanations for the several different problems I had encountered. Wherever I had difficulty I did the gmatclub test specific for that section (This is why when I realised that this was a collection of the latter set, I started doing the ones from 1). Confidence rose quite a bit, but still was only getting 700 in the MGMAT exams. On the Friday before the exam I did the second GMAT Prep exam and scored 770 (Q 50, V49), whcih really boosted my confidence.
Day before exam I read and re read chineseburner's guide to the AWA - very usefulON THE DAY
Couldnt sleep, in fact although I was in bed at 11pm I fell asleep at 2, and woke up at 6 since I was quite nervous. Took some acai and green tea juice (acai is a brazilian energiser - really good) and some nuts to have during the breaks - really helped.
AWA went well, didnt expect problems there anyway since I am a native english speaker (if there are mistakes here I apologise, but really not in the sharpest state of mind). Took the break and rested for a bit before getting my thoughts focused on the Q part. Quantitative also went well and I was quite confident going into the Verbal part.. which then went terribly. Not sure why but SC seemed fine and RC and CR just werent clicking. Ended up with 720 (Q:49, V:39)BOOKS USED (in order of quality)
- MGMAT SC
book - DEFINITELY recommended, had a look around and widely considered (justly) the best one
- OG 12
- a must have as well
- GMAT CLUB wiki - really recommend people have a read of these, ended up being the main element in my studies for the maths section.
- Chineseburner's guide to AWA, including it here as its a resource I used and helpful with AWAs
- Nova GMAT - used this only for the prob and comb part
- Kaplan 800
- used this for a week only as practice questions, didnt find it to be difficult either, even though many people say its the hardest one out there
- Kaplan premier
program - really didnt like the sections explaining the concepts in maths or how to tackle questions, felt it was very basic and didnt go into enough details. The questions are also on the easy side I felt.TESTS DONE
tried to keep it in order:
1st Oct : GMAT PREP - 700 (badly in Q, did well in V)
m25 (28/37) 76% Percentile
m13 24 37 26%
m14 30 37 80%
m15 21 37 31%
m16 24 37 38%
30th Oct: MGMAT - 640 (Q39;V38)
31st Oct: MGMAT - 660 (Q44:V36)
m01 30 37 74%
m02 26 37 31%
m03 31 37 84%
m04 31 37 78%
6th Nov: MGMAT - 700 (Q46;V39)
m05 29 37 80%
m06 29 37 79%
13th Nov: MGMAT - 710 (Q46;V41)
23rd Nov: MGMAT - 700 (Q47;V38)
26th Nov; GMAT PREP - 770 (Q50:V49)
FINAL GMAT - 720 (Q49 V39)ADVICE/WHAT I WISH I HAD DONE/ETC
Much of this is a repeat of what others have already said.. but it just shows how true it all is:
- I wasnt familiar with the best books to buy and where to study different things from. From what Ive seen the whole MGMAT set is actually pretty amazing, and in hindsight I probably would have just used them from day 1 and complemented them with the gmatclub tests
. At the end of the day starting with Kaplan
was really a waste of time where I could have been doing more of these tests
- Start early, I was quite ambitious in planning for 2 months of study, and when worked picked up it messed up all my plans. Starting early doesnt mean killing yourself from early on, just so that you get used to it and can do more practice questions
-keep the error log
. You wont realise how useful it is until the last week, as you go through questions that you got wrong yet you can now easily solve (or if you cant you can see which spots you are weakest in)
-Dont get scared or demotivated by the results on the gmatclub tests
. They are much harder than the real thing, and your persistence with them will show in the end. Also found that the MGMAT tests are harder than the real thing, even though in the end my score didnt reflect. ALWAYS go through all the explanations for the answers, even if you got the answers right. This holds for every type of question.
- Try to take a week off before the test. Alot of the test is about getting in the right mentality, and being able to focus entirely on it is key going into the exam
- Whatever time the exam is at, get used to thinking at this time. In the week off I studied mainly in the evening and at night, waking up at midday.. this really did not help as I had to wake up at 7 to be at the exam centre on time
Any questions let me know. Im sure I've missed quite a few key things