Hi, folks -
Long time lurker but first time poster here. Hope to contribute more now that I have a better sense of what I can (and cannot) accomplish as far as b-school applications are concerned.
As far as test prep was concerned, I took a live 9-week class at Manhattan GMAT
in New York. Thought the experience was worthwhile, but I wasn't able to do much in terms of homework since I was pulling 65-hour weeks at work! Accordingly, I kept 6 weeks between the conclusion of the MGMAT class
and the actual GMAT test date so I could review everything I'd fallen behind on.
Nevertheless, used all the MGMAT strategy guides, the OG11
and the GMAT 'green' and 'purple' study guides. Made sure I did all questions in each of those books at least once. I also bought Kaplan 800
, but did not even get a chance to open it! That's about all I had time for.
One point about the MGMAT CAT's that several others have also made in the past. These are way more difficult than the actual GMAT. For instance here's how I did in each of the CAT's that I did finish, each taken with 1-3 weeks interval:
MGMAT CAT1: 620 (2 months to actual test date)
MGMAT CAT2: 640
MGMAT CAT3: 650
GMATPrep 1: 700
MGMAT CAT4: 690 (2 weeks before actual test date)
GMATPrep 2: 730 (1 week before actual test date)
As you can see, GMATPrep is still far more accurate about predicting your final score. The highest verbal scaled score I ever got in the MGMAT CAT's was 38, whereas the highest quant scaled score I got was 45. I gave up on doing any more MGMAT CAT's after the fourth CAT. As you can see I was able to do significantly better on the actual GMAT.
So to reiterate, the OG, the 'green' and 'purple' guides, and some MGMAT material is more than enough to do well on the test. However, to be very honest some MGMAT strategy guides are honestly of questionable help. I was required to purchase all 9 since I was taking a class, but nonetheless, I didn't really find the books on Fractions, Decimals and Percentages and Reading Comprehension to be as useful as the others. I also found the strategy described in the MGMAT Critical Reasoning Strategy Guide to be too time-consuming, however the guide does contain some excellent practice questions.
I was able to get a lot more from the actual MGMAT class
sessions because the MGMAT instructors often told us to ignore the strategy guides' suggested methods and use (more effective) ways they showed us in class to tackle various questions. So in this regard, in my opinion at least, the premium for a live MGMAT class
over the virtual one is worth it; I did take a virtual MGMAT class
session before signing up for the live class.
I took the test at the Fifth Ave. location in New York City, and had no problems whatsoever. Very helpful and friendly staff and virtually no street noise to bother you.
So, after that LONG first post, now a question for you folks out there. I've heard a lot about this "minimum 80th percentile" thing that several b-schools suggest candidates have on both the verbal and quant. sections of the GMAT. My q47 score is 81st p.c. according to the unofficial score report.
Need I be concerned about it falling to 80th p.c. or (yikes!) 79th p.c.? I am obviously looking at top schools, but not H/S/W. Hmm?
I know some posters have mentioned before that some minor changes in score percentiles DO happen.
Will be happy to answer any further questions!