Thanks everyone. The people in this forum have been especially helpful in guiding me through my prep.
Here is the link to the details of my initial strategy:
Here is a briefing of my prep:
1. Kaplan Premier
+ CD (Good refresher. Good quant. The CATs are much harder than the real thing. I would suggest doing both quant and verbal to build up stamina, but disregard the verbal explanations; the Kaplan
CAT verbal is crap!!!. Quant, although hard, is helpful since it drills in key concepts.) --- I did all of it
2. PR Cracking the GMAT
2006 + CD (Again good refresher. Quant is very easy, i would recommend only attempting BIN 4 questions. Verbal is much better than that in Kaplan
. PR CATS: Quant is fairly easy, verbal is decent, although relatively easier as well) --- Did all of this too
3. OG 10th
and 11th - The OG is your GMAT Bible, especially when it comes to Verbal. There's a lot of overlap between the two editions. I bought 11 before 10 and thus, had to go through many of the same questions twice. For someone starting their prep, do OG 10
first, then 11; you will be able to spot repeats and skip them. The OG 11
Diagnostic also has some good math concepts. I did both of these. The verbal you will see on the GMAT will be very very very similar to that in the OGs.
4. Kaplan 800
- Good quant, although definitely not "800 level". I did all of it except for sentence correction. Good practice, i would recommend it.
5. MGMAT SC
- Awesome for SC. Each chapter assigns a set of questions from the OG10
. This is how i went through the OG 10
6. MGMAT Word Translations
- Decent guide, esp. for those who have trouble w/ Rates and Sets. Overall above average.
LSAT - I tried some CRs from this, but they seemed very different from GMAT CR. LSAT RC
was very good practice!!! All the passages are 55-60 liners and have the same question types as the GMAT. I would recommend it for RC but not for CR.
8. GMATclub Challenges
- I took four of them, got around 80-90 percentile each time. Fairly good practice: some very hard q's and some very easy ones. If you are going to take these, make sure you go over the explanations and learn some concepts and shortcuts.
9. Probability, Perm/Comb - Read the GMATclub "course". I believe people on this forum do way too many comb/perm than they need to. Furthermore, one has to realize that ETS is testing logic and intuition, vs. the use of formulas.
10. ETS Paper Tests - I only did the CRs and SCs in a few of the later tests. The rest are repeats from OG.
My test experience:
I was scheduled for a 12 pm test, tried but couldn't sleep the night before. I woke up at 8:30 and went over all my math notes and skimmed through MGMAT SC
guide for a final refresher. I got there early so started the test at 11:20. VERY NERVOUS!!! The essays weren't bad, good warm-up for what was to follow.
Quant: Started panicking as the section started and probably answered some easy questions incorrectly. After a while I thought i had screwed up and decided that a 700+ was now beyond my reach. Looking back, this is probably the best thing I did b/c from then on, I was calm and able to focus completely on the questions. The rest of Quant was fairly straightforward: many word problems (esp. DS), some number props. I got a currency conversion question too, which i think i screwed up (Forgot what i had learned in International Finance
VERBAL: This was a breeze, especially since I thought the test was a lost cause. Basically, I gave it my all, but didn't get panicky or lose focus. Very much like the OG, Powerprep, GMATprep and ETS paper tests.
My Practice test scores (in the order in which I took them):
1. Powerprep 2: 640
Online Diag: 670 Q39 V42
CAT 1: 570 36/33
CAT 2: 620 42/32
CAT 3: 550 34/29
CAT 4: 590 36/34
7. PR CAT 1: 650 44/36
8. PR CAT 2: 640 40/38
9. PR CAT 3: 690 46/40
10. GMATPrep1: 770 49/47 : some, but not much, overlap from the OG
11. PR CAT 4: 750 49/45
: For AWA, I just used something similar to the templates provided in PR. I took none of my practice tests w/ AWA. It doesnâ€™t take much out of you so I personally donâ€™t think it helps build stamina. The stamina building comes from back-to-back quant and verbal sections.
1. SC - Focus only on OG questions, some SCs from other sources may be confusing (and incorrect in terms of Standard written english).
2. Take a CAT every week
3. No need to go crazy over AWA
4. KEEP AN ERROR LOG
: very important, spend your last few days going over it.
Here's my prep. Hope it helps, ask me if you need additional info.
Here's my question for you guys
: I have heard that the good schools like to see a quant score of above 80%ile. If that is true, should I consider taking the test again? (Although I am extremely happy w/ my current score
) Honest opinions please. Thanks
Finally, thanks everyone for the encouragement and advice offered at every step of the way (Paul in particular, for getting me started on the right track)!!
Good luck everyone!!!