Preparing for D-day ( 1st Feb 2006 )
I spent a total of approx 30 days for the preparation. I started with Kaplan
and did miserably in their first 2 tests without any preparation - 610,640 ( Data suff and sentence correction - results were miserable - 60% success rate on the SC and about 80% on data suff and my math is really good
). I did not like Kaplan
that much to start with as it just did not seem to have questions like the questions I had seen on the powerprep practice sections.
A friend of mine who had taken the tests earlier and scored a 730 refered me to the official guide 10th ed. That kind of made sense so I switched to preparing from that. I also ordered the 11th ed. while doing the 10th ed. I had only been able to manage about 1hr to 2hrsfor the last 3 weeks so was kind of nervous that I wasn't prepared well enough. I finished the OG 10th
ed about a week ago. Took the 2 powerprep tests and scored 710,730. I was getting somewhere. The OG 11th edition was untouched and I had a week to go, so I had to go through a 1 day high speed session on DS and another 1 day high speed session on SC's with some practice for CR,RC,PS every now and then.
Stats - Highest I ever got on pactice sessions - Q(51), V(46) not the same test though. Don't know if this is of any relevence.
Most helpful test prep materials
a) OG's are a must.
b) Download GMATPrep
, Find if someone has the old PowerPrep - That gives you 4 full length tests and some good practice questions.
b) The manhattan GMAT sentence correction
guide was really really useful. I was down to 10% error rate on my SC's after going through their entire book.
c) I had an old peterson's and I did the grammer review on that - again quite helpful but not quite as good as manhattans's verbal guide.
d) I would recommend gmatclub. Unfortunately I found about it recently and did not use it for prep. I just took one archived challenge for the quant section. That was a good practice test and got 1 wrong.
Countdown to D-Day
D-Day - 3 - took the first GMAT prep - 750
D-Day - 2 - took the second GMAT prep - 760
D-Day - 36hrs - prepared some templates for AWA. Praticed brainstorming on about 15-20 analysis of issue+analysis of argument questions. Did some practice AWA's from GMATPrep and PowerPrep.
D-Day - 18hr's - Stopped everything GMAT related. Went out for a nice quiet dinner with my wife and came home and slept at about 9:30 p.m.
D-Day - Woke up at 7:30. Damn, India had lost the final test match to Pakistan. Ok Ignore. Had some food and got ready and was out by 9:00 a.m. for the exam. Reached the center by 10:00 a.m for the exam.
Test Center Experience
1) AWA went well. Took the first break.
2) Started quant - I MADE THE MISTAKE OF NOT TAKING MY COAT WITH ME. I had left it outside. It was a tad bit cold for me and my back had started to go cold by about the 25th question and was hurting quite a lot by the time I was at the 30th. I think I made some mistakes around this so quant could have been better. Took the second break.
3) Started Verbal- I was armed with my coat this time. It felt more comfortable. Verbal went quite well.
4) Finished my test. Was a little apprehensive because I though quant did not go as well as I would have liked it to, but was quite happy to see the final score.
5) Currently waiting for my AWA scores.
1) Do prepare from the OG.
2) Do take all the breaks during the exam. It helps you relax a bit and you can take some time to calm yourself if the previous section did not go very well.
3) Be confident and don't worry too much. Its just an exam and not a "do well or die" event for your career aspirations.
4) Make Sure you have reasonably warm clothing. If you have a coat, do take it with you to the test room. If you don't need it you could always open it and hang it on your chair.
Cheers and good luck to all.