I've been a silent observer for quite some time and now that I'm done with the GMAT (took the test a couple days ago), I thought I'd give back to this wonderful community. You guys are awesome!My GMAT Prep
I decided in January 2010 to take the GMAT for the first time around May 2010. Well, that didn't happen. I bought all the books, planned for the 3 month studying regimen (as recommended by GMAT club), and actually finished the Quant section. But sometime in between SC, things started to fall apart. I started to lag behind my studying plan and never caught up. Then summer came and it all stopped. I think my biggest downfall was not registering for the test. So in September, I decided to go for it and registered for the test.
I followed the same 3 month plan. Quant first month. Verbal second month. And the last month reviewing and doing tests. The books I used were Kaplan Math workbook
, Manhattan SC
, Powerscore CR
, and OG12
. Notably good was the Manhattan SC
and Powersocre CR. And of course, the OG12
is the best was to practice.
In the first 2 months, I admit that I did not follow an intense study plan by any means. I studies around 2-3 hours a day (and took too many days off). The fact that I had already studied Quant and SC once helped a lot. It gave me a more relaxing schedule, which is good for me. I tend to do better if I don't obsess with something too intensely. If GMAT was the only thing I did for 3 months, I would hate it so much that I would do worse.
In the last month I took my first GMATprep and got 690 Q40 V44. I was really surprised by how well I did in Verbal, but Quant was very disappointing. The good thing was I knew exactly what was wrong. I need to work faster. I didn't finish 10 questions and that was why my score was low. After that, I focused mostly on Quant, redoing the question I got wrong in the OG. I took my second GMATprep one week before the test and got 720 Q49 V40. The last week I spent reviewing both sections. I did some harder 700+ level quant questions from the GMATclub forums, and admit they were very hard. I freaked out a little but there was nothing much I could do with a few days left. I only started reviewing AWA 2 days before the exam using the famous chineseburned AWA guide. I wrote outlines for a couple of essays, but never actually wrote a full one. Oh BTW, when I did my GMATprep I did not do the AWA sections since I had not studied for them.GMAT Day
Surprisingly, I didn't feel very nervous going in. I've read a lot of posts here and I noticed one key factor to GMAT success was to not freak out so I tried not to. I think I did okay in AWA. It's not going to be a 6.0 but hopefully 4.5 or 5.0. I used up every minute of both essays. Then I took a break and just walked around the place a little.
For quant, it's really hard for me to evaluate how well I did because I feel like the GMAT tricks you so much (esp. in DS). So a seemingly easy questions could be 700+ level, and one that looks hard may be really easy. And from my last week of studying the difficult quant questions, I was leaning towards getting a lower score. Again, I used up every second and then took a short break.
For verbal, I thought I did pretty well and was hoping for a 40+.
Then came the moment...
Q49 ...Yes! looking good...
V38 ...What?!? That's my lowest score...
720 ...Wait, a 49 quant and 38 verbal gets you 720. Well, I guess I'm pretty happy then. 720 was my goal so I can't complain.
All in all, I know I can do better. If I had gotten at least a 40 in Verbal, that could've pushed up my score even more. But I am happy about this score. I certainly won't take the test again...LOLFinal Thoughts
- Try not to freak out before and during the test. Do not think about previous sections and how well or bad you did. There is already so much you have to think about, so try not to get distracted. This was one thing I did well compared to my past experiences of standardized testing.
- Find a study plan that works for you, and then follow it. I admit I was not very good at following my study plan. If I had not studied for it before, it would've been a disaster.
I would like to thank GMATclub for all the good advice and informative posts. It is a great community of people here. And to all of you who are taking the test, good luck!!