Finally, I have a chance to post in this forum now. I will de-brief my GMAT preparation in short. Just drop a question in any aspect you want me to elaborate more. Summary: 600 (Kaplan test) to 700 (1st attempt) to 730 (2nd attempt) Background
I'm an engineer with all As in university maths. Quant should not be a problem for me; however, I still spend some time on it just to make sure that I will get 51. The reason I really obsessed with the difference between 50 and 51 is that it may be easier for me to take this extra 10 point from here rather than from Verbal. And this was a case for my first attempt which I managed to got 700. Personally, 700 is quite different from 690.
Background for English is that I learned it since primary school, but I did not live in a English-spoken country. Asian. Need to improve a lot. Material
- OG13 : Must read item. Quant section is too easy for me. Verbal is OK but with some negative comments, which will be described later.
- IR in OG13 : I personally was not happy with it. I thought that IR from MGMAT CAT was better even though the MGMAT was one-step more difficult than the real one.
- Question Pack 1 : This is what represented the real GMAT most, in my view.
- PowerScore CR
: Must read item.
- MGMAT SC
: Too much detail. Some chapters are rarely tested in real GMAT.
- MGMAT CR
: Not finished reading it yet, since PowerScore should be enough.
- MGMAT RC
: seemed to be too generic. Not dedicated approach presented here.
- MGMAT AWA/IR : overview picture, not much details.
- Official Verbal 2nd Edition: bought it after first test. Slightly more difficult than OG13. Same patterns with OG13.
- SC Grail : Not much different from MGMAT SC
- RC 99 : good at improve your stamina.
- GMATPrep question banks - Good sources if you have spare time to work on.
- GMATClub ultimate grammar - Good for grammar review in first few weeks.Test Score
- MGMAT 1 07-28-12 740/50/38 (I got this high because I did not time the test!! I just want to know the extent of my knowledge)
- MGMAT 2 08-10-12 710/44/43 (This test seemed to have weird Quant questions and logic)
- MGMAT 3 08-18-12 730/50/39
- GMATPrep1 08-22-12 750/50/41
- MGMAT 4 08-31-12 710/50/36
- GMATPrep2 09-01-12 730/50/38
- MGMAT 5 09-05-12 730/51/39
- MGMAT 6 09-08-12 690/48/36 (Not finished Quant in time)
Between my first and second attempt, I tried some reset MGMAT. I did not post my score here, however, since I got several repeated questions which directly impact to my final score. It is not a good representative.
The reason why I decide to retake the GMAT is these test records. I just believed that I can do better than 700. GMAT Day
- Overall, my second test went smoother, since I was more familiar with the real experience.
- On my first test (09-11-12),
o AWA - Followed the template. Finished in time.
o IR - Completed the test in time. Easier than the ones come with OG. Quite straightforward.
o Quant - Little easier than GMATPrep. Far easier than MGMAT CAT. I seemed to be ahead of time after 15-20 questions, but more difficult questions came out. As I had a lot of time in pocket, I double-checked some questions just to keep myselft calm. Managed to finish with 1-2 minutes left.
o Verbal - Confusing. The difficulty of questions was quite equivalent to that of GMATPrep or MGMAT CAT; however, my gut feeling told me that the “pattern” or the “style” of those questions did not match with what I practiced. I had to re-read several questions because I did not familiar with the pattern. I never saw that pattern in OG13 or GMATPrep.
o Score 700 (90%), Q51 (98%), V33 (67%), AWA5.5 (77%), IR8 (92%)
- On my second attempt (10-15-12),
o AWA - Followed the template. Finished in time.
o IR - Got some tricky on first two questions. Even though they were easy, I had to spend around 6 minutes to translate what the questions mean. Not comfortable throughout the section since I can determine only 2 out of 3 in the Yes/No questions. Not finish the last one.
o Quant - Same story again. This time I got very easy question around Q#15-20. Finished with 3 minutes left.
o Verbal - CR and SC seemed to be, in my opnion again, not what I saw in OG13, Verbal 2nd Ed. and MGMAT. However, I managed to improve my RC this time since I adapted the technique of taking note - stop at the end of every sentence to draw relationship with the former one. It helped me a lot prevent myself from getting lost. I believed that this point was where I got extra 30 score from.
o Score 730 (96%), Q51 (98%), V37 (81%), AWA (), IR ()
Last words: Find the technique that match with your style. The evidence is shown in every debrief here. There is no silver bullet for the GMAT - you have to develop your own approach. What helps most is practice.
Now, it’s time for me to start my essays for second round. Not much time left.
Best wishes to all of the GMATers.