Had my exam on saturday 1 Oct. Can share some feedback and useful tips))
- non-native speaker;
- 2 months of preparation (1-2 hours per day), last 3 weeks before the test day were very intensive (5-8 hours per day);
- materials used: GMATPrep, MGMAT SC
and CR books, MGMAT CAT exams and question banks, Kaplan 800
and GMATClub&MGMAT forums. Last 3 days I was doing only GMATPrep tests
- nothing else - think it was every useful.
My approach: after reading some articles about scoring used in GMAT i realized that time is crucial during the test and I must to stick to very strict limits of 2 min or less per question. Then I decided to make three checkpoints during each section: after 10th, 20th and 30th questions. It looked like that:
11/37 - 55
21/37 - 35
31/37 - 15
11/41 - 57
21/41 - 39
31/41 - 21
It means that when I start doing 21st question in Verbal section I have to have 39 minutes left. So I can understand whether I'm behind or ahead my schedule. So I was really focused on time - while practising on several times I had experience of rushing through last questions in verbal and wuant sections - and the results were always depressing... So time management during the exam was the first priority for me.
If time matters, then you have to everything possible to save that time, so I think I did my best.
- To crack the DS questions I used diagram
St1 is enough?
St2 is enough? St2 is enough?
don't remember where have i seen it first time - but very helpful one. So I had to draw it on the notepad before the exam.
- For Verbal section I used ABCDE template - just five letters written in a row (then while doing the test you just cross out letters of wrong answers), and for 41 questions I needed 41 such row - so I also had to prepare such templates.
I don't know if it is true about all test centers but before the exam i was given two erasable notepads. Then I took my seat and the exam started - but before AWA section I had about 4 minutes to choose schools, agree with NDA etc. So I spent one minute on that stuff and then started to prepare the notepads:
I divided the notepads - one for Q section, another one for V section.
On the one for V section on the first page I draw the diagram for DS questions and my time plan - checkpoint for Q section.
On the notepad for Q section I put time plan with checkpoints for Q section on the first page.
Such approach allows you to queekly check your time without turning the pages and searching through the notepads. Just put one notepad aside but so, that you easily can look at it when it is needed.
After that I stil had a minute left - so I started to write down ABCDE templates in a notepad for V section - wrote about 15 templates when AWA started.
After you master CR questions, this kind of essay - is obvious))) So I spent only 22 minutes on the essay, and CONTINUED to prepare my ABCDE templates for verbal section))
Was little bit tougher - but just write down your own opinion in a right structure - again only 22 minutes, and I can finish preparing my ABCDE templates!!)))
General tip - learn to type fast)))
First break - my notepads were perfectly prepared so I decided to take a break - bananas, chocolate water.
Was very similar to GMATPrep questions. But I was too relaxed during first questions - spent too much time - I realized that on my first checkpoint - I was 2 minutes behind my schedule - that was confusing because usually math doesn't take too much time from me. So I decided to accelerate - and did it successfuuly - when I finished my last question I had 9 minutes left))) But I think it was the reason I couldn't score 51 in math - I won't cry about that)))
One thing want to mention - one question was funny - it didn't make any sense (by the way - I'm mathematician, so believe me))) - you just don't know what to do but you have to choose the answer. So it took about 6 seconds from me to understand that was a kind of experimental question and choose randomly an option))) So 2 minutes were granted - thanks!))
Second break - again banana, chocolate, water, WC))
I knew that this was the toughest. So just closed my eyes - remembered the Nike ("Just do it") and started the test. Was surprised with the complexity of questions - many test-takers wrote that the real test is more difficult than the practice questions - nothing like that. The real questions are very-very close to ones in GMATPrep.
First several questions were pretty easy and first RC text was good - short and clear) After 10 questions I was little bit behind the schedule but it was OK.
On the second RC text I understood that I was doing really good - the passae was infinite and even in the first sentence I coudn't get the gist))) Remeber my priority - time management, so i decided to sacrifice this questions for some extra time for the last questions. What I did - I read the passage diagonally - if you know what i mean - just 25 seconds for the whole text. Then questions - I had 4 questions - one was easy - with the rest I fet as playing Quake III at Nightmare level - sorry, I'm amateur))) I was able to rule out on or two options in each questoin, but the rest was just my luck, anyway.
Time was saved - and I had some extra time. The rest questions were ok, but the last questions were difficult - so I knew I was doing well. But thanx to the second RC text - I had about 7 minutes for last two questions - so I was very comfortable and surely did them right!
About SC - most of you heard about changes to SC (I mean reducing the amount of idioms) - that's true I didn't find any idioms in my questions - even if they had, there was always another way - parallelism and logic - most of the toughest questions were based on the logical structure of the sentence!!!
Then I saw my score - enough for me, so GMAT for me is over)))
Good luck to everyone!