Today I took the GMAT at their NYC test center and got a 740. Stern,IMD,Darden and Stanford are the only schools I can apply to because I've missed the deadlines of a couple of other schools on my target. Although I am on a tight schedule as the deadlines of these schools is quite close but now after getting done with the GMAT successfully, I think that I'll be able to manage the applications also.My profile :
Male with Finance Majors from University of Texas,Austin with 4 years of experience working on the East coast in financial consulting. Want to move to a hedge fund and MBA is almost a pre requisite for making this transition happen.Prep Timeline:
I kicked off my prep quite late(mid October to be precise) and had taken a Dec 20th appointment within a few days of starting my prep. Come December first week and I realized that I'm not prepared for 20th Dec. I thought that I'd take a risk and give it a go but some friends at business schools suggested otherwise. They said that screwing my test meant that I'd have to wait for one more month,by when the R2 deadlines of all schools would be closed.
So it's better that I be a bit late than be sorry for 1 year so rescheduled the test for 5th Jan. Though that did mean that I'd not be able to apply to a couple of schools I wanted to but still would be left with some schools.
My job involves a lot of traveling and it wasn't possible for me to enroll in a prep program so I had to manage my prep on my own. The GMAT forums proved very instrumental in helping me ride solo. Read a lot of success stories and followed the advices of the experts. Based on the advices here, used the following resources
Quant-Manhattan Strategy Guides
Verbal-Aristotle Grail series.
Although since i had a focus on accounting during my undergrad, still I had gotten quite rusty and ManhattanGMAT books came in handy for helping my sharpen my math skills.
My advice to the native speakers is to not take Verbal lightly. True we do have an advantage but still you still need to put those hours in Verbal. It'd become an easy ride if you are able to identify question types and errors easily and the next time you see them being tested on a question, you'd tackle the questions much confidently thinking"ahh! there it goes..". I loved the Aristotle Verbal books especially their SC Grail 3rd edition. Due to paucity of time, could only go through half of the RC Grail but the book is great tooPractice test scores :
I relied only on MGMAT and GMATPREP practice tests. I have heard good things about Kaplan
's 8 practice tests but didn't have time to go through them.
These were my practice test scores:
GMATPREP#1 : 710-1 month before the test
MGMAT #1 : 680- 3 weeks before the test
MGMAT 2 : 720 - 2 weeks before the test
In the fortnight leading to the test, I took a break from work and took 7 tests in all-1 each day.
I think what you gain from doing a lot of tests is that you develop that patience to sit for 4 hours straight which is quite difficult. My iphone has made me all the more restless person as checking it every 10 minutes has become a habit(that I need to get rid of) so sitting for 4 hours taking the test was indeed testing the limit of your patience.Test Day Experience:
I reached the test center well on time. The center staff was courteous.
Started with AWA and could easily spot 2-3 flaws in the prompt.IR went smoothly too. Faced a bit of trouble on Quant around 24-28th questions. There were a couple of inequalities DS questions. I hadn't touched Permutations and combinations during my prep so when I got two of these questions,
I just read the question quickly(to decide whether they are solvable or not) and then took a few seconds making an educated guess and moved on.
The ride in Verbal was a bit bumpy too mostly because I was running behind time. Contrary to what I had thought, the CR on the GMAT was quite manageable and I thankfully didn't get stuck deciding between the last two options after having eliminated 3 choices.
SC questions were like islands of pleasure after the tiring RCs. I think that SC Grail had prepared me quite well so I was actually looking forward to them during the test.
After finishing the verbal section, my heart was literally about to jump out in anxiety while waiting for the score to flash on the screen. I almost jumped out of seat seeing the score. Thanked Jesus for letting me finish the battle in the first go itself.
I've now a very tough task ahead of myself as the deadline of Darden is just 4 days away so I better spend the next few days sleepless. Thank you very much for having these great GMAT forums which have the most helpful people in the world!