I took my GMAT today and scored 750 ! I'm soooo relieved to be done with GMAT.
Got my AWA report today... got 5.0GMAT Preparation
I had quite a bit of old 2003 material (CDs) from my friend - Kaplan
, Princeton, ARCO. But, I used Kaplan
(a 2003 version), OG 10
and GMATPREP. I did take 1 test each on MGMAT(free test), ARCO and Princeton Math:
I had some CAT study material (IIM prep material, not computer adaptive ...) from my friend that I used to brush up concepts. I then tried 30% of the problems in OG (more towards the end of the PS & DS sections). Beyond that my main prep material for math was the Challenges. Being an engineer, I have always been comfortable with math and wanted to concentrate on (1) the more difficult types of questions encountered on GMAT (2) making sure that I do not fall into traps and/or make silly mistakes. For both these challenges were perfect. These challenges are amazing and sensitize you to the right stuff .. .things that the GMAT test catches you on ! .... (For Ex: if the question says positive integers ... do not try -1 or 1/2 ... considering special cases like 0, 1, -1 etc ... silly stuff that we kick ourselves about when we review the results). I actually did almost all challenges other than 14 and 23. Verbal
I went through most of OG RCs, CRs and SCs. I used Kaplan
to learn some of the concepts and the strategies. I also did a little bit of the 1000 SCs and The Brutal SCs. I felt that SC is really one area that can be easily improved and concentrated mostly on that.
However, RC was what really scared me. Especially because my % correct was lower than desired on Kaplan
, but when I started doing GMATPREP I felt lot more comfortable with their RCs and I did not worry much about it. OG, Kaplan
(with the right expectation that I wont get all correct) and GMATPREP were really sufficient.
I did not really do much for CR. I seemed to do ok on CRs and so no special prepTest Prep:
I first started with Kaplan
. I went through the diag, then their practice question sets and then took all 4 tests. Here are my scores
Diagnostic: 670 (first month of prep)
Kap1: 600 (first month of prep)
Kap2: 640 (2nd month of prep)
Kap3: 640 (last 3 wks)
Kap4: 620 (last 2wks, before I started the test, the s/w put up a msg saying that there are not enough q's in the pool and that i should use this test as practice only)
ONE IMPORTANT POINT TO NOTE: DO NOT BE DISHEARTENED BY KAPLAN
TEST SCORES !!! These tests are not truly representative of GMAT. They are not only more difficult, their scoring seems to be a little off as well. For the same Q and V score i think Kaplan
give atleast 30 points less on the overall gmat score (this is only my observation).
Princeton: I just took one test and got a 730. I took another test but it had literally the same RC passages ... so I aborted the test. This really lowered my expectations for princeton and I stopped using it for any practice tests. I just tried a few SCs practice exercises in the last week of my prep
I took one test. ARCO really gives a range and not a specific score. This was during the second month of my preparation. This is the range I got for 0 mistakes in math and 11 mistakes in verbal.
MGMAT: 660. Q43, V37 (took on 5th aug)
I took the free test after seeing a post in gmatclub. I was extremely disappointed with my math performance. I took more challenges and brushed up my concepts again following the test. GMAT CLUB CHALLENGES
: These were the most useful for math and my one and only real prep w.r.t math for GMAT. There are many posts that are kinda along the lines of just do the challenges you'll be ok and I could'nt agree more (as long as you brush up your fundamentals prior to starting with the challenges). My scores in challenges were
m01 28 36 78% 119.5278 sec 1250 67%
m02 29 37 78% 104.3412 sec 1250 61%
m03 31 37 84% 121.5260 sec 1250 85%
m04 29 37 78% 120.9915 sec 1250 68%
m05 28 36 78% 121.4850 sec 1250 76%
m06 28 37 76% 121.4144 sec 1250 78%
m07 26 37 70% 121.5160 sec 1250 52%
m08 20 37 54% 121.4284 sec 1250 39%
m09 29 37 78% 100.9768 sec 1250 76%
m10 34 37 92% 119.7262 sec 1250 96%
m11 29 37 78% 114.7740 sec 1250 65%
m12 30 37 81% 115.6222 sec 1250 81%
m13 32 37 86% 108.3051 sec 1250 90%
m14 10 17 59% 181.4161 sec 1250 1% (did'nt really do this one .. just practice a few qs)
m15 22 34 65% 132.1935 sec 1250 37%
m16 28 37 76% 119.6520 sec 1250 70%
m17 27 37 73% 121.6343 sec 1250 47%
m18 30 37 81% 118.5166 sec 1250 73%
m19 32 37 86% 120.4382 sec 1250 79%
m20 28 36 78% 124.9567 sec 1250 34%
m21 25 37 68% 121.5905 sec 1250 49%
m22 32 37 86% 96.9826 sec 1250 77%
m24 31 37 84% 114.3811 sec 1250 79%
m25 33 37 89% 94.9273 sec 1250 93%
GMATPREP: This is by far the MOST RELIABLE indicator of where you stand w.r.t GMAT. I tried both the tests multiple times. I had saved these tests for the last 3 weeks.
Here are the details
Test 1: 720 Q48, V40 (aug 7) ... 14 mistakes in math and 8 mistakes in verbal ...
Test 1-2: 770 Q51, V44 (aug 9) ... 2 mistakes in math and 5 mistakes in verbal ... 3 repeat q's in math and 3 repeat q's in verbal
Test 2: 730 Q51, V37 (aug 13) ... 2 mistakes in math and 9 mistakes in verbal
Test 2-2: 730 Q50, V39 (aug14) ... 8mistakes in math and 11 mistakes in verbal ... many repeats in both math & verbal
Test 1-3: 750 Q50, V41 (aug 14) .... there were some repeats ... interestingly less number of repeats than test 2 first retake.
As you can see, I took both test 1 and 2 at least twice. I also just skipped the quant section and just tried the SCs & CRs (RCs repeated the passages) in verbal section of GMATPREP tests
during the last 2 days ... this helped see the different varieties of these questions and I found it useful. I strongly recommend that you milk this cow as much as possible ... it is well worth it .... one deterrent might be that the explanations are not there but whenever I had doubts about why the OA is correct, I just googled the first scentence of the question and I was almost always able to find the answer. There are multiple forums discussing these questions. Test day
I was looking for details in other members posts last night and felt that the detailed posts were very valuable. So I'm actually going to be a verbose here.
I had my test at 11am ... but i went to the test center early ... i was there at 10:15 ... the receptionist asked me to go through some rules etc for GMAT ... then she took a photograph of me (i carried a light jacket since i felt the a/c was cranked up a bit when i check out the center a week back and she was quite particular about taking my photograph in the exact dress i was going to wear ... i told her that i was not planing to use the jacket since it is not too cold today .. but she still let me take the jacket in). She then took a palm vein picture ... and then I went to the area near the test room. There was another lady who thoroughly checked all pockets of my jacket. She then took another palm vein picture (she actually took a picture every time I entered and left the room, during breaks). She then logged me in and I was able to start my test at 10:30 !
The AWA was pretty cool first one was an Analysis of Argument where the argument was similar to one I had practiced so it was easy to come up with similar examples. I had'nt practiced essays much ... i had tried writing 2 AA and 2 AI essays before ... and had an issue completing the essays on time ... but I was able to complete the the AA essay well on time. With about 7 mins to spare ... I completed the essay ... checked the flow etc and made minor corrections ... I then submitted the essay with a couple of mins to spare.
The Analysis of Issue essay was ok as well ... topic was similar to the ones in OG ... i was deliberating a little bit before I took a stand ... cos it depended on the strength of the examples for both sides of the issue ... i was finally able to write an essay (i thought it turned out ok ) and finish with 2 mins to spare ... the rest of the 1 min 45 secs went in doing a quick check and I clicked on submit ... Overall I was satisfied with the essays ...
I then took the break ... raised my hand and the lady signaled me to come out ... I went to my locker ... got some water and used the restroom ... I then came back right away and completed my palm vein picture so I could get in ... i had used up only 3.5 mins and asked if I could use up remaining minutes while waiting in front of the computer ( i just wanted to relax a bit and remind myself of the common mistakes I had done while taking practice tests ... read the question properly .. positive integer does nto include zero etc) ... but the lady mentioned that they are not allowed let anyone in the test room while the test is not running so she logged in and the timed screen started ... I jumped into quant right away ... it was easy intially and about q9 or 11 i got a difficult geometry problem ... that I had no clue about how to proceed even after spending 1.5 mins ... i just guessed and went on ... there were a few difficult questions which were manageable ... I remember getting a difficult question on surds that I did not know how to solve ... i kinda did some approximations and some brutal arithmetic and picked an answer ... towards the end the questions seemed a bit easier ... but overall math was certainly more difficult than what I was used to from GMATPREP. Towards the end I had like 11 minutes and about 7 questions ... in the last few GMATPREP takes I was always able to finish with some time to spare ... so I felt a bit under pressure ... but fortunately the DS questions I got subsequently did not involve many calculations and I was able to finish on dot ... with 30 secs to spare ...
I took the next break ... same routine ... but I had my frappucino and waited outside a lil bit to cool down from the math session .. i came in with 2 mins left in my break and started the verbal section
My GMATPREP verbal sections usually had a pattern .... they start with a couple of SCs then CRs then 1 short RC ... CRs & SCs ... 1 short RC ... CRs and SCs .. 1 long RC ... then CRs and SCs ... 1 short RC after Q30 ... and always ended with the last before question being a CR and the last question being an SC ... my GMAT test followed the same pattern so it was good that the flow that I was used to was maintained ... I remember that there were a few difficult SCs (4 or so) ... really none of the options were optimal ... but I had to pick really the least ugly ... i went on ... my timing on verbal was quite alright .. since i did not get any of those nebulous passages with extremely long scentences that takes some time to figure out what it really means ... i had 4 mins for my last SC ... so I finished with about 3 mins to spare ...
then finished the background check thing etc ... then reported score ... and waited for THE SCORE ... praying 750 or above ... and there it was ... 750 - 98%, 50-93%, 42-95% ... i was a lil disappointed with quant cos I usually got 51 in GMATPREP ... but verbal was better than I usually did ... so overall HAPPY !
oh and one more thing ... the sharpie (this is as sharp as a pencil tip) and the laminated work sheets they gave were not too bad at all ... i practiced with paper an pen throughout and had no problems with the sharpie and laminated sheets ... i did'nt even use up all the sheets they gave me ...GMAT CLUB
I actually joined the gmat club in 2006 when I initially started preparing for GMAT ( i kinda lost momentum and took a break for about 2 yrs ... i just picked it up this june or so). This club has been sooo useful for me just to keep myself motivated to just prepare for this test. Looking at those long RCs is not really the thing that I most enjoy after a stressful day at work. But, seeing the other members go through the same on a regular basis helped me take this journey along with every one. I know that many forums exist for GMAT preparation, but this forum is by far the best. This forum is very well moderated. The answers to questions are both prompt and well informed. Also, there are many super smart and ambitious people with the right attitude here in this forum. It just feels great to be a part of this club !
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions ...