Chronology of Preparation:
I began studying about a month before the exam. I purchased the Kaplan
study guide and Gmat 800
. I signed GMAT for dummies out of the library.
I did a few of the powerprep practice questions as well as reading through the Kaplan
study guide to get a feel for what the questions might be like. At this point I identified my weakness to be grammar. I then signed a couple grammar books out of the library to supplement what was in the study guides. I generally used these books as reference when I had difficulty determining the proper tense or which was the subject etc. The study guides tell you to learn these things but do not go into a great detail as to how to do so.
I thought I would do one of the CAT tests on the powerprep software to see if I had to bother studying any more. I got hammered. I don't recall what I got but it was really low relative to my final score.
Realizing I had to study, I began going through the study guides and making a summary of each relevant chapter. I included the question strategies and the information I needed to learn in each summary. I also began doing more practice questions. Completing 3/4 of the Powerprep practice sessions and the practice tests in the study guides. I also began using the Higher Score CD from Kaplan
. Doing the assessment test (scored 650) and began doing all the segments of the CD.
Focused on the Higher score CD. Working my way through the information and tests in the CD.
End of Week 3 and Week 4
I focused on doing timed tests, I began with paper tests and then I took the CAT tests on Kaplan
and then Powerprep.
Sunday before Monday exam. Studied a bit in the morning. Relaxed and packed for myclimbing trip to Yosemite which was starting the following Friday. Went to see Shrek 2.
Monday wrote the exam.
750 V46 Q47 AWA 4.5
Hindsight Analysis is that I focused very hard on the verbal portion of the test and that is reflected in my mark. I didn't do very many math practice questions outside of the ones from the HS CD. I am generally subject to silly errors when rushed and that accounted for likely some of the math mistakes. I also did not properly study probability and combinations which accounted for at least a couple questions. I found that my tendency was to derive a complete solution for every question and this led to time constraints when the appropriate solution was to backsolve. I tended to just go head down ass up and start solving the question (not on DS questions, I was able to avoid that tendency there).
I only wrote 1 practice essay before the exam and that was reflected in my AWA. Given the opportunity to do it again (which is unlikely unless I find that there are questions about my Q mark or AWA). I take longer to study and focus more on the Q section. I would also go through the process of sending in an essay to be graded and at least do 4 essays and review what I wrote.