Hi people, took the test 4 days back, scored a 740 (M-50, V-39). I can now say that it was a good decision to postpone the test from 25th July. When in doubt, postpone!
I had been preparing seriously for about a month. My past experience with Indian competitive exams proved to be helpful. Also the resources that I discovered on GMATClub were extremely handy.PREPARATION
Here is the subsection-wise list of resources which I used during my preparation. VERBAL
For Verbal questions, OG10
and GMATPREP verbal questions are the best approximations of GMAT Verbal. These resources are closely followed by 1000SC. But please note that Princeton and Kaplan
, though they have decent theory, do not have the 'GMAT-type' questions. So IMO one should avoid solving questions from Princeton or Kaplan
1. Sentence Correction
: More than 60% of my GMAT prep time was taken up by SC.
a) Manhattan SC Guide 2003: A must-do - at least thrice. Worth its weight in gold.
b) Saahil's Notes (the best among Saahil, Spidey and Rajatnda)NOTE
: I made my own Verbal Notes compiling in one doc all the rules and important points that I came across during my prep. I feel its important to make such notes, especially in case of SC and PS.
: I preferred OG10 over OG11/12 because the former had considerably greater number of questions.
I had 80% accuracy in OG10
SC. I suggest practicing from OG only after one has completed Manhattan SC and Saahil’s Notes.
d) 1000SC: I practiced around 500 questions with an accuracy of 85%. Maintained the error log
too.....this helped me immensely during revision.
e) GMAT Club discussions
f) GMAT Sets: There are 31 full-length practice tests available on the web. No one seems to know the source of these tests and they are referred to as the ‘GMAT SETS’. Amongst these the sets 21 to 31 are supposed to be better for practicing. For solutions to these sets, refer Archangel's Explanations.
2. Critical Reasoning
: I had 85% accuracy in OG10
a) GMAT CR Bible (Powerscore)NOTE
: I rate both OG10
and Powerscore as the most essential for CR-prep
c) GMAT Sets
3. Reading Comprehension
: Frankly I did not do justice to RC. In other words, the brunt of my step-motherly treatment towards non-SC stuff was borne by RC. I must have practiced not more than 6-7 passages! No, I am not good at RC. But my experience with other entrance exams told me that I will not be able to improve my RC skills in the available time and that there are other places like SC and CR where my time would get utilized better. The theory and methodology for RC has been covered well in Manhattan. OG10
is a must-do in case of RC as well. I am not sure from where else one should practice RC as they are more a function of your reading skills than anything else. One might argue that the same is true for SC – well yes - but not as much as it is for RC, because SC is more technical and mechanical as there are grammar RULES to follow; whereas in case of RC all you have are guidelines and tips!QUANT
GMAT quant, though not difficult, can be quite deceptive. It cannot be compared with Common Admission Test Quant, which is mostly difficult and rarely deceptive. For theory I suggest using Manhattan Basic Reference Material. Since I did not prepare a lot for Quant, I am not in a position to suggest the best practice material for quant. But if you had to see the level of quant that appears on GMAT, then remember that GMATPREP Tests
are the closest that anything will ever get, followed by GMATClub Tests
& GMAT Sets, in that order. And please note that OG Quant
is of no use whatsoever. Its beginners’ stuff really.
a) GMATPREP Questions: After you have taken the designated quota of 2 GMATPREP full-length tests, if you still have time then retake Quant section from GMATPREP after reinstalling the software. Retaking Quant sections 5-6 times this way will give you good practice material for Quant. GMATPREP has a really large database of questions in Quant. Though exactly the opposite is true for verbal. The database of verbal questions is too small and has quite a few from OG10
. Somebody on one of the threads, however, mentioned that in verbal if you mark the initial few questions wrongly, you get comparatively greater number of fresh questions! Well, you decide about that.
b) GMATClub Tests
: I only took the free test that is available and I found it to be really good quality practice (slightly tougher than GMAT). I did not purchase the package as Quant never was my problem area. If the rest of the tests are of the same quality then GMATClub Tests
are a must-do.
c) GMAT Sets NOTE
: If you haven't taken GMATPREP yet I suggest you to take one test after studying the basic theory of both Quant and Verbal and preferably before solving OG. This test will not only help you benchmark yourself correctly but also streamline your preparation more efficiently.TESTS
I do not advocate any full-length tests other than GMATPREP. The reason is that all the other tests (including Kaplan
, Princeton) have questions that do not resemble the questions that appear on GMAT (am referring to both the type and difficulty level). So I see no point in these tests. Although if you HAVE TO take these tests, then I feel that MGMAT should be given top priority followed by KAPLAN
. Its common knowledge that whatever you score on GMATPREP, -30 to +30 about that score is your GMAT range.......it turned out to be the correct prediction in my case.
According to me, one must take GMATPREP around 4 times. More so, if you are not satisfied with your initial performances. Here are the ones that I took (in order):
1) PowerPrep 1: 680 (without any prep for GMAT). This is the older version of GMATPREP, i.e. when ETS conducted GMAT. Avoid taking it as its quant is easier.
Higher Score 1: 690
3) Princeton 1: 690
4) Princeton 2: 610 (could not find any explanation for this)
Higher Score 2: 680
6) MGMAT 1: 680
7) GMATPREP 1 (#1): 710 (made mistakes early on in each of the sections)
8) GMATPREP 2 (#1): 710 (same, too many mistakes too early)
9) MGMAT 2: 700
10) GMATPREP 1 (#2): 770 (change of strategy, gave first 15 questions 35 min)
11) MGMAT 3: 690
12) GMATPREP 2 (#2): 780 (one day prior to GMAT)NOTE
: The last two GMATPREP scores were inflated due to repeated verbal questions. If you take GMATPREP more than twice i.e. with reinstallations, then your score is overestimated by 30-40 points because some verbal questions repeat. This actually proves that verbal repository isn’t as extensive.The GMAT Experience
5:30 appointment. I had heard that they allow one to begin early if a slot is available so I reached by 4:30 and was able to start by 4:45.AWA
Guilty of ignoring it till the last day. Paid the price too! QUANT
During the Quant section, I felt everything was under control. I felt the questions were somewhat easier than the ones I had seen in GMATPREP. I had no intentions of finishing the section too early. The reason is that I believe in chance and had read somewhere that the earlier you finish Quant, the higher the difficulty level of initial verbal questions. I could not afford to let my weak-kneed verbal suffer because of quant! So I finished with a min to spare and was confident of a 51. Well that's what I mean by deceptive questions - got a 50!VERBAL
So then - on to verbal. I kept telling myself during the initial stages that this is just a 35 min section, concentrate on the first 15 questions and take it as it comes from there. But in this quest, somehow my time-management went awry and I was left with 15 min for the last 15 questions. I did get a boldface in my first 15 and another in my last 10, though that doesn't mean anything. The level of questions was pretty much the same as that in GMATPREP and OG. One RC was fairly lengthy while the rest of the stuff was rather normal. I felt I got some sitters in SC.
So after having to rush through the last few questions, I clicked END, filled the BIQs and requested that my score be reported! After an agonizing wait of 5 seconds, the score appeared. I must say that my first reaction was one of disappointment - maybe the last 2 GMATPREPs had raised my expectations too much - but the disappointment was short-lived. A 740 is decent after all, I thought!
KUDOS me if I deserve it !!
My GMAT Debrief - 740 (Q50, V39) | My Test-Taking Strategies for GMAT | Sameer's SC Notes