Well, it's finally done! My first (and probably only) attempt at GMAT was this morning. After what felt like a mediocre performance (the quant actually was), I was pleasantly surprised to see 740 pop up on the screen. Just to give you an idea, 690 is the current batch's average at the school I'm shooting for [ IIM-B ], and I'd have been happy with a 720! Celebrated (Read: doused growling tummy) with a hot sandwich & a cuppa tea and 45 min later I was home
IR - 6 (67%)
Q - 49 (81%)
V - 41 (93%)
Total - 740 (97%)
The goof up - and here's where I seek some assurance from you guys
So the AWA was a pretty simple topic, (without giving too much away) a comparison involving two separate strategies - one implemented in February, the other in June. I think I wrote it decently well, but for some unfathomable reason, in my response, I typed "MAY" instead of "JUNE" throughout the whole essay!! I had four minutes to review, and read through the whole thing twice, but of course I realized this mistake only in the last 10 seconds. I was only able to replace May with June in the conclusion… Murphy's Law totally kicked butt. How much trouble am I in??Meat of the Debrief
Books & Material Used - Only book I used was the OG 13th
edition. Rest of the material was thanks to the almighty gmatclub - this forum truly rocks
Time - I started studying exactly 2 months ago. Though I must confess I'm currently unemployed, so I had plenty of time on hand. Even so, I don't think I averaged more than 4 hrs per day, except for the last few days.
General Strategy - Nothing exclusive here - I first completed the OG, and realized that my math was not as good as I thought it should have been. So the last 3 weeks before the exam, I focused heavily on math. I revisited all of the problems I had gotten wrong the first time around, and attempted them over & over again at various intervals till I got it right. Same thing with the problems I attempted here on the forum [The Workbook feature is highly awesome!]
I was also struggling with IR, but initially that was because I had ignored the fact that a calculator was provided! Once I overcame that brain fart, I was slightly better off, but still not > 50 percentile consistently. It turns out, just as some had said on this forum, the IR questions on the GMAT are easier than the practice Qs they provide online.
For AWA, I just decided to monkey the template that 'chineseburned' had provided. It is really really good. I guess 933 Kudos for that post says it all ( I couldn't post the link coz I have <5 posts! )
Mock Tests (All taken in the last 2 weeks)
Manhattan #1 680 (Q45 V37)Kaplan
720 (Q48 V41)
Gmat Prep #1 750 (Q49 V44)
Gmat Prep #2 680 (Q47 V36) --> This one really put me off since I took it the day before the exam!
I guess my main complaint is with the test centre (Bangalore). They have 23' monitors, but make you sit so that your face is barely a feet away from the screen. You have to fully turn your head to read the entire question - like when you're in the first row of a movie theatre trying to figure out who is shooting whom!
And the keyboard was a piece of junk. The alphabets 'T' and 'A' were sticky… quite a pain in the neck while typing out the AWA response. I would rather the sticky keys were 'Q' or '~' or something
My 2 cents:
I guess stay calm would be my no.1 advice. Panicking never helps
On the quant questions, specially the PS, It helps to race thru the question at the end once you've selected your answer - that way you won't mess up questions that ask "how much MORE" instead of "how much"
Don't sweat over IR - it's not bad at all
Take those breaks! - I utilized all three breaks, and I think it definitely helped. If you take a break, you tend to forget about the previous section regardless of whether you think you did good or bad