Mohit11, that was a great debrief. Thanks for taking the time to really layout your approach and thought process. I have taken the Manhattan Gmat
course, and I do feel that it significantly helped
in the verbal and math section; however, I am trying to find other material that can really help me prepare for the GMAT. I did well in the GMAT Prep and MGMAT practice exams, but I struggled on the actual exam.
I felt the actual exam was far more difficult than the gmat prep tests. Did you feel the same way? Is there a way to obtain the Knewton SC problems without taking the exam? At this point, I feel that I have exhausted the OG and MGAT problems, and I am looking for another source (possibly Knewton) that are
close to the actual GMAT.
Apologies for not replying sooner. Firstly, you need to understand that regardless of the number of practice tests you take, the real test will always be more difficult than any practice tests that you might have taken.
Most of the test prep companies - Knewton, MGMAT, Kaplan
etc - have a question pool that is not as large as that of GMAT. Moreover, most of the questions in these practice tests are based on patterns and tricks that the question writers from these companies have identified. Therefore, the question pool for these companies addresses anywhere between 75-90 percent of the questions asked on the GMAT. So the good news is that most of the reputed companies cover 75-90 percent of concepts and tricks tested on GMAT. The remaining 15-25 percent is the tricky part and where most of us err.
When you are hit with a question that may seem ambiguous because you have not come across such a question in your practice material, you can react in two possible ways
a) You may feel that the test is much more difficult than you could have anticipated and hence you may end up spending approximately 3-4 minutes on 2-3 difficult SC questions of this nature. Therefore, you may end up having much less time to answer familiar questions - This mismanagement of time leads you rush through questions and hence the number of errors in a test increases. Therefore, you not only get those 2-3 difficult/ambiguous questions wrong but also a number of familiar questions wrong. ----> A huge drop in the score
b) When you are hit with a question that you feel is ambiguous, you may think to yourself that - Hey, this is one of those difficult questions, I should use POE to reach 2 possible correct answer choices and then quickly make a choice and move on - This strategy may help you in 1) Saving time for solving familiar questions 2) No alarming loss in accuracy.
I did come across such questions on test day on my second attempt i reacted in a way described in a) and in my third and final attempt i reacted in a way described in b)
If you're not trying to pay for the actual course(Knewton), you can find someone who has taken the course and is satisfied with their GMAT score and utilize their profile. Knewton gives you access to their resources for up to a year after the course.
I would advise against this strategy because
1) Its unethical. Knewton is currently offering a 50 percent discount and a 50 point guarantee - Just buy the course.
2) You can't redo the practice tests; Exercises can be redone but not the practice tests; Practice tests,when taken under timed conditions, really help you in ironing out possible flaws in your strategy.
Knewton does a reasonable job in mimicking patterns and tricks in official material, if you're interested that you should go ahead and get Knewton.
My GMAT story: 730 Debrief