Finally, after two tense months of preparation, I got the better of GMAT. The only practice test which came close to the quality of the actual GMAT was, not surprisingly PowerPrep. Kaplan
tests, though more difficult than ETS's tests, do not reflect the true quality of GMAT questions. My opinion is that all the guides, other than the OG try to make questions unnecessarily hard, and some times play cheap to make a question tough.
I took 4 Kaplan
, 5 Manhattan GMAT
, 2 PowePrep,3 Crack GMAT, 3 Princeton and 1 Barron CAT during my preparation. Of all these my rating for the different tests is :
1. PowerPrep -- Nothing beats the original
2. Manhattan GMAT
-- good quality and good explanation
4. Princeton -- Qunatitative is of poor quality, Verbal is alright
5. CRack GMAT -- good and tough Quantitative, Verbal is buggy
6. Barron -- do not waste time on it.
Coming from engineering background, I was too confident about my quantitative skills. I usually finished all the practice test well ahead of the alloted 75 mins and used to score 98-99 percentile. So, I was a bit disheartened by my quatitative percentile today, I should have done better.
The verbal section was of the same quality as the PowerPrep and there were no real surprises.
About the AWA, I would suggest spend the last 1 day of your preparation on reading a few tips ( Kaplan verbal
has some good tips).
For those of you who are working, It might be a good idea to take a day or two off before the exam and rehearse taking the exam at the same time as the actual scheduled exam on those two days. This way you can fine tune yourself to be attentive during your exam hours. Also taking a few days off, will reduce the possibility of some thing distracting you at office jsut before the exam.
As many have mentioned before, OG is the best: make sure you complete it before you take GMAT. This is the closest you can come to actual GMAT without taking it.
Also if possible try to partner up with your friend so that you do not digress in your preparation.
With this, I thank everyone on this borad. This board has made invaluable contribution to my preparation.