Ok, here goes a dump of my preparation....It is not very organized but I couldn't plan for a very organized preparation study with all my other commitments.
I first started thinking of taking GMAT last april. Ofcourse, I did consider GMAT after college but never really did anything about it until last year because I was doing well in my career. On a saturday morning in June '05, after a late night, I took a practice test on some internet site. I don't remember the name of the site but I think I had a score of about 560. I was not paying much attention during the test and wanted to just gauge the level of difficulty. I know I could have done better if I had breakfast before the test and if I had anything to lose.
The score I had in april gave me enough confidence to shoot for 750 whenever I made up my mind to take the GMAT. In November, I finally bought kaplan
from a book store and read through it. I didn't take any practice tests but did solve many of the questions in the book. I felt I needed a bit more practice so I researched online and came across may recommendations for OG and Princeton review. One recommendation on Amazon was very clear in prescribing the order
- Princeton review
I followed the above order. Princeton review was great in explaining SC and AWA concepts. Before PR, I was going by my instinctive sense of the sentence and never understood the gramatical concepts in SC questions. I always felt that RC and CR were more of mind teasers than something you can practice. So, when I started on OG, I mainly did the last 100-150 questions in PS, DS, SC.
This took me to 28th december. I attempted one of the GMATPrep tests
and got a 690. I was concerned at SC, PS and DS. Although I missed a few RC and CR, I never thought I could do much in terms of preparation for these questions. These questions are all about concentration and I knew I would be more alert in the actual exam.
To help with my Quant and SC, I started doing the very difficult math questions on this forum and ordered SC guide from GMAT prep. I went through these over the last 3 weeks after work and during weekends when I was not watching football. I focused on areas like inequality, probability, data sufficiency etc. I was a bit worried about faltering on the actual GMAT so I postponed my test by 4 days and quit going to the gym for 3 weeks.
Every 5 days, I took a practice tests and consistently had scores or 690 to 750. I honestly never completed the whole test at the same level of concentration. I had practice tests where I scored 50 in quant but did absolutely horrid in verbal- never could put it together in a single test. I was however confident that the actual test would make me be a bit more focused.
Last three days
- Took PP test and scored 730 on Wed
- Read GMATPrep SC guide cover to cover on wed eve
- Didn't do much on thursday because of a long day at work
- Took friday off and read PR AWA and SC again, read about Subject-Verb Agreement and Verb-Tense strategies online
- I spent friday evening going through OG questions.
I have to say that subject-verb agreement and verb-tense reviews made SC questions much simpler. I could clearly see the reasons behind choices and sliminate a few of them. Also, the very difficult math questions from this forum helped speed up my quant solutions.
If I were to advise... go through a couple of books (Kaplan
and PR), take a test or two and figure out areas you need improvement in. You should do this atleast 3 weeks before the exam assuming you have enough background on these topics. Someone who doesn't have much of a quant background may need more time. Once you figure out your problem areas, focus on them for the next three weeks through multiple resources. It won't take long before you get better at these areas.
Then its just a matter of concentrating and putting it together.