After preparing for 2months, I took the GMAT and scored 750.
750 was my goal to begin with, and I am very happy with the result. I'd been happier if Q was 50, which would have put me in 99 percentile. I was scoring 50 and 51 on last 5 practice exams, but whatever... 750 is good enough!!
As there are already many detailed debriefs, I will keep mine short and focus on giving tips and advices.
I spent a majority of my time studying verbal as I'm not a native speaker. (funny how my verbal percentile is higher than math) Sentence Correction (Materials used: MGMAT SC, OG12th, OG Verbal2nd, and forums)
Mastering SC is crucial as you will allow yourself more time to solve RC and CR. I focused heavily on SC as I felt that I wouldn't be able to improve my reading skill much in 2months. I had trouble finishing verbal section on time before I improved on SC.
1. Go through MGMAT SC
more than once. Read it once then read it again after finishing OG12
and OG V2nd. My 2nd reading through helped me solidify concepts.
2. Make an error log
and revisit the questions until you have mastered it.
3. Participating in forum discussion will help you tremendously if you do it the right way. Don't just write an answer A, B, C. Think of yourself as a GMAT tutor and explain why answer choices are right and wrong. Who cares if you get it wrong anyways. I rather embarrass myself than not learn anything from a question.
4. Always time yourself when solving SC questions as your ultimate goal is to solve each SC questions within a minute. You don't necessarily have to limit yourself to a minute at first. I gave myself 90 seconds at first and worked my way down to 60 seconds. There will be questions on which you will spend more than a minute no matter what. I find questions with several answer choices that are grammatically correct but slightly different in meanings especially hard. Such questions may not be an issue for native speakers.
5. Go through as many SC questions as you can, but always analyze right and wrong answers. Make notes, error-logs and forum posts. At times, I felt that I wasn't making any progress or even felt that I was getting worse, but being persistent eventually paid off.
6. I personally think SC1000 is a waste of time. It contains questions from different OGs in the past, but some of the questions are simply not worth your time. Unless, you have absolutely no more SC questions to practice on, I'd just stay away.
7. Make your own list of idioms. Simply printing out a list someone-else made is not gonna help you much. Reading Comprehension (Materials used: MGMAT RC, OG12th OGV2nd, and Economist)
I tried many method: skimming, diagramming, reading first and last paragraphs throughly but skimming others and blah blah blah.. I eventually ended up with reading thoroughly the first time with very little notes.
1. Try many different methods. It is important that you find the way you feel most comfortable with.
2. I found doing OG questions more than adequate. Try reading other materials such as the Economist
but don't bother if you don't have much time to study.
3. At first I was trying to reduce the time spent on RC, but I couldn't without sacrificing the accuracy. I decided to master SC and CR instead to allow myself more time for RC.
4. As you will find most answers in the passage, it shouldn't be a problem if you read the passage thoroughly.
5. Figure out what the main idea is in your own words before you read the actual answer choices. You are more likely to fall for a trap if you jump into the answer choices right away. Critical Reasoning(Materials used: MGMAT CR, OG12th OG2nd)
Critical reasoning was actually the easiest part at first, but it became the hardest at 700+ level.
1. I didn't spend as much time mastering CR. By the time I realized that 700+ CR questions are very challenging, I only had little more than a week left.
2. You should familiarize yourself with different types of CR questions (inference, strengthen, weaken, assumptions, bold face and etc) and typical right and wrong answer choices(out of scope, cause and effect relationship and its reversal and etc) associated with them. Being able to effectively eliminate wrong choices will often prevent you from stepping into a trap. Data Sufficiency (Materials used: All MGMAT math books, OG12th and OG Q2nd, GMAT club tests)
I didn't have much trouble with problem solving so I mostly focused on DS.
I was scoring 50 and 51 on practice exams, but I ended up with 49 on the real test. I remember that there were a couple of very hard geometry questions. I had to guess and move on after spending over 3minutes on each.. ouch!!
1. Going through all MGMAT math books is necessary unless you have forgotten all the highschool math. I simply skimmed through them.
2. If you get stuck on a question, look for an explanation by Bunuel on math forum
. Unless you do not find an explanation by Bunuel, you shouldn't bother reading others' posts. Sorry, but Bunuel's explanations are just that good!! Thank you Bunuel You are the man!!
3. Bunuel has also compiled sets of questions and lessons on different topics. You can check them out if you wish. I went through some but not all.
3. There are 24 math exams in gmatclub tests
, and they will certainly prepare you for 700+ level questions. I highly recommend you either make 200 posts, get 50 Kudos, make 100posts & get 25 Kudos, or simply just pay to get the tests. I made 200 posts, mostly on SC forum. (Make sure 200 posts are actually meaningful posts!! Not "A IMO"!!)
4. Make an error log
and revisit the tough questions. You will be surprised how easy they eventually become. General Tips
1. Take as many practice exams as you can. If you can, try to replicate the real exam as much as you can, writing full essays and taking 8 minutes breaks.
2. Familiarize yourself with using laminated scrap books. I took every practice exams with this. You can easily recycle it after each use. Well worth the moneyhttp://www.amazon.com/Manhattan-GMAT-Si ... 451&sr=8-1
3. Make a study plan consisting of short and long term goals. You got to make a thorough study plan and keep up with it, especially for people without much time to study.
4. I bought the guided self study program with recorded online lessons from MGMAT. To be honest, books alone are sufficient. Online lessons just go over the books and a few sample questions.
5. I didn't purchase the question sets from Beat the GMAT, but if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to knewton or MGMAT, I think that beat the gmat question set may be worth looking into.
I meant to keep my debrief short, but I rambled on.
Not gonna bother proofreading my post for now (too tired ...), so please excuse my poor writing.
I will be more than happy to answer any questions regarding my experience, so feel free to reply to my debrief.
Thank you everyone who helped me on the forum.
Now... I gotta start writing applications
Consider KUDOS if my post was helpful.
My Debrief: http://gmatclub.com/forum/750-q49v42-105591.html#p825487