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This is my first post in this forum. I took GMAT yesterday on Aug 11th and scored a 740. Well to be frank I am disappointed and not satisfied with my score as I was targeting for a score 760+. I am not here to rant about my low score or use this site to dump my frustations but rather give all the prospective GMAT takers here a gist of things which you should be aware of that can pull down your scores drastically as they did to mine.
1.) Energy -> Trust me sitting before a computer in controlled environment for 4 hrs is a daunting task. You will need to keep your energy levels above a threshold throughout the exam duration. So plan your food accordingly or you might end up exhausted when you see an tough RC at 35th question in your verbal as it happened to me in my case.
2.) Time management -> Manage your time in verbal effectively. This reduces a lot of anxiety.
3.) Exam timings -> My exam slot was at 5.30 pm evening!!! For me this was the worst time of the day to take GMAT(I had no option though!). Keeping yourself from worrying or from straining yourself, throughout the day, can be difficult. So find out which time of the day suits you best.
Resources: I used online resources for test prep. 99% are available online.
Effort: Customized to each person. Have to plan according to your comfort levels. As for me , I gave myself 2 weeks for preparation(2 hrs each day) hand in hand with my office work(10-11 hrs per day).
Hope you guys find my observations useful and use them as your stepping stones to good GMAT score. Good luck mates!
Are you aware of the fact that the Standard Error of Measurement for GMAT is 29 points? This means that your score could have been 770 easily. Your score band, as LSAC calls it, is 710-770.
You might also want to know that the admission committees are very well aware of this and if you get dinged at a school of your choice, it is almost impossible that you got dinged because of a 740 score and the school wanted a 760+. After all, you scored in the 97th percentile and out of the approximate 260K test takers, only approximately 5000 scored better than you.
Thanks for the words of comfort. I was extremely disappointed because in most of the prep tests especially official GMATprep I scored in 780 - 800 range and I was desperate to see a score somewhere near that range. Anyways I got over it now.
Some of you requested more information about resources. Here is what I followed.
Verbal -> OG 11th edition(SC+CR+RC), 1000 SC blog (This is by far the best best resource for sentence correction), Manhattan sentence correction guide(great fundamentals for SC), snippets of information in www urch dot com and of course in gmatclub dot com about SCs and CRs(try attempting all the questions CRs + SCs posted on that forum on a daily basis and you will find yourself improving in leaps and bounds.).
Note-1: Donot throw yourself on every available resource online or offline but rather select a few good resources and master them thoroughly.
Note-2: Lot of people find themselves stuck between 2 options in CRs. I developed a methodology which might help them as well - Suppose you attempted 30 CRs say in OG and say 5 went wrong. Write down those 5 CRs and analyze why the other option was right and what made you think at that time that your option was right. Try to find out a pattern in your mistakes i.e. what type of thinking prompted you to do those mistakes. Again try attempting the next 30 questions and do the same analysis. By this time there is high probability that you will get a hang of things and you will automatically start eliminating similar choices which you would have previously thought correct.