I started thinking about giving the GMAT in the beginning of September and I decided to squeeze in my applications by December, so that gave me about 2 months to study for the exam. I started by spending quite a few hours online trying to search for methodology and material and past experience to help structure my prep. Thats when I came across the gmatclub.
Materials I used:
I started by leafing through the Official Guide. I gave the diagnostic exam and found that I was doing fairly well. The sections giving me trouble were SC, CR and Data Sufficiency.
My degree was in Electrical Engineering, so I was fairly confident with Math, so I proceeded to solve every single problem in the Official Guide for both Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency. For Verbal, I started out with Kaplan800
and my SC and CR were very average. Thats when I realized I needed to buy the Manhattan SC book. I read through this book several times, solved all the OG questions, made notes and tried to make sure I understood all my mistakes.
I had no real strategy as such. Just solve as many problems and practice as much verbal as I could. After finishing all the questions in the OG, (Except for RC) I gave GMATPrep #1 and scored a 730 (V48 Q42). This was a good score, but I was aiming for the 99 percentile and knew that I needed to push beyond 750. Additionally on analyzing my mistakes, 9 out the 10 incorrect in verbal were SC and most of the quant mistakes were in DS.
So I signed up for the Challenges, proceeded to re-read the Manhattan book, worked through the OG Verbal
and Quant guides. As I went through October I started giving more CATs both the PowerPrep and ManhattanGMAT Series.
Finally by the 3rd week of October, about 7-8 weeks after I started my preparation, I was done with all my materials. I had given 4 ManhattanGMAT Quants and solved about 10 challenges. I was saving the GMATPrep #2 for a few days before the actual exam in the hope that a good score would boost my confidence.
I started preparing for the AWAs just three days before the actual exam. I read the sample essays in the OG and went through the methodology outlined by 800score.com and their sample essays. I never actually wrote an entire essay, just made a few outlines.
GMATPrep # 1 : 760 Q48 V42
ManhattanGMAT 1 : 680 Q42 V38
ManhattanGMAT 2 : 690 Q44 V38
MahhattanGMAT 3 : 710 Q46 V38
PowerPrep 1 : 760 Q50 V46
PowerPrep 2 : 760 Q51 V46
GMATPrep # 2 : 760 Q48 V46
The Actual Exam:
It was quite cold on the 3rd of November. I took a taxi down to the center. Signed in at the lobby and took the elevator up. As I entered the PearsonVue center I was quite surprised at the number of people there. There were about 30 people. After having my picture taken, I was led into the room, seated at a computer and I started the exam.
The first essay was Analysis of an Argument, and I was surprised that off the 4 essays I had seen at 800score, this was one of them. I thought I wrote it fairly well, and the Analysis of an Issue went off allright too. Nothing extraordinary, but I was satisfied.
Then the Quant section started. Most of the questions were easy enough, but there were 1 or 2 in the middle that got fairly difficult. Additionally, there were a few DS that I thought I had the right answer, but I wasn't 100% sure. As I reached the end, I realized I had 5 questions left and 5 mins to go. I panicked, guessed the 5th last one and proceeded to solve the last 4 in a record time of 3 mins. As I reached the last one, I realized I had over 2 mins and cursed myself for not solving through the 5th last one. Ah well.. finished the Quant section and disappointed I took my break.
I went to the restroom, looked at myself and swore that I needed to crack the Verbal section. Focussed and determined I sat through the verbal section, which actually went pretty well. Answered everything and I was fairly satisfied when I was through. I thought I had compensated for my possibly poor Quant with a good Verbal.
The seconds it took for the score to pop up were so long. I was nervous and when the score actually popped up I was surprised, happy and slightly disappointed all at once.
I had a 760 with a 50 in Quant and a 42 in Verbal.
I was happy with my 760 and surprised with my 50 in Quant. This was my best Quant score and especially how it went I was surprised with it, and equally disappointed with my Verbal. I had spent quite a few weeks working on verbal. I was pretty sure I could get a 44 or a 46. But at the end of the day I was satisfied with my 760. It's a good solid score and my 7-8 weeks of preparation paid off.
My official scores were emailed to me just 5 days after the exam and I got a 5.5 in my essays.
I'd like to thank all the other posts to help me structure my prep. Given that I only had 2 months, it was an invaluable resource.