Hi All -
Have been lurking here for the past few months as I have gone through my GMAT preparations and wanted to say thank you to all of you who contribute and to the creators and moderators who work hard to continue its existence. I just got back from taking the GMAT today, and got a 740 (Q50, V50), a score I have mixed feelings about.
Before getting into those mixed feelings, a bit of background.
I started studying 3 months ago in November, getting a 610 (Q30, V42) on my first GMAT prep as a baseline. From there I identified quant as an area of major weakness, and methodically spent two months relearning basic quant before moving onto more advanced strategies and problems. The books I used during the end of Nov to the middle of Jan were:End Nov - Jan 14
MGMAT - Number Properties
MGMAT - Algebra
MGMAT - Word Problems
OG Ed 12 (all quant problems)
These four books contained valuable review materials, and when I felt as if I had mastered the basic concepts I moved onto more advanced topics.Jan 14 - Feb 12
MGMAT - Advanced GMAT quant.
I can't say enough about the quality of this book and how much it helped me. I was stuck around Q42-Q45 for a few weeks at the end of the first four books, but after completion of this book in early Feb I scoredQ48, Q51 and Q49 on the three tests I took. It elevated my thinking from the basics towards the application of those basics on the exams. Coupled with an increased understanding of what the question was likely asking, it enabled me to push my score up into my desired range (Q48-51).
From Jan 14- Feb 12 I also studied verbal mainly by doing as many questions as I could. I felt that my initial score (v42), combined with more familiarity with the question types and structure, would give me a score I was comfortable with. The main book I used was the OG Ed 12, answering most of the verbal questions it contained. I was shooting for V44-V46.
My practice tests were the following:
GMAT Prep 1 (Nov) - 610 (Q31, V42)
MGMAT Test 1 (Jan) - 698 (Q39, V44)
MGMAT Test 2 (Jan) - 680 (Q41, V43)
MGMAT Test 3 (Jan) - 680 (Q44, V39)
After this MGMAT third test, I started studying the Advanced quant guide, and saw my quant scores dramatically improve.
MGMAT Test 4 (Late Jan) - 740 (Q48, V42)GMAT Club Tests
(Feb)- 770 (Q51, V46)
GMAT Prep 2 (Feb) - 760 (Q49, V44)
The last two tests were the weekend before the test, and I felt confident that I was ready.
My experience was not extremely stressful, I didn't know that we were allowed to use a calculator for the IR section, so was handed a nice surprise when I noticed it for the first time. The quant section felt very easy for me, I moved through the questions easily and was confident I got a good many correct. During the break after quant I knew that if I scored just my average for verbal, I was set. Then came verbal, and for some reason it was a collection of the hardest verbal questions I had seen yet. My general technique for verbal when the answer wasn't immediately obvious, was to go through the answers and eliminate those it absolutely could not be. However, when i tried this technique today, I seemed to always be left with two answers that could be correct. I ended up guessing on the majority of these types of questions (a lot)
Given that I scored a 42 on my first practice test, and have been studying verbal since that time, I am disappointed with this score. On the other hand, I got near the high end of my quant range, and retaking the test could actually hurt my overall score (say if I get a Q48 and v42, or even Q48, V44).
I plan on applying to schools this fall, and am targeting schools that rank just below Harvard, Stanford, or Booth. (think Darden, Tuck, Columbia, Stern). I graduated from an ivy league undergrad (not HPY), double major, and was a varsity athlete. GPA was ~3. I was hoping to offset this low GPA with a steller GMAT score, and given my relatively low verbal, am considering a re-take.
Would be very interested to hear any thoughts, and would also be happy to go into further detail on any of the above. Again, thanks to all for the help. When I had any GMAT-related question, this was the first and last place I came.