I would like to contribute to this site by posting my own experience with the GMAT.
Please forgive my mistakes, as I am a non-native speaker.1) What I have donePreparation
Materials usedGeneral books :OG 12th
|1st Diag GMATPrep||Real GMAT after 5 months prep||Real GMAT after 11 months of prep|
|Time spent for prep in hours||0||150||400|
edition: The Bible
GMAT Premier Live Online
: Not essential, but worth the money because 1) it gives useful tips and strategies, 2) it gives access to 6 tests.QUANTKaplan Math Workbook
: Many exercises to gain speed, but not very challenging. I do not recommend.
Samples from GMAT Club: So hard, so cool. Sometimes far from the real GMAT questions, but you develop such an efficiency that you don’t care. I always timed there, I never finished, and I always got very discouraging scores (less than 40). But when I switched to other materials, I could see I had improved my skills.VERBAL
SC was my weak point, so I trained hard:
1000 Sc: Very useful thanks to the explanations given on several forums. Caution, several answers are false.
Brutal Sc: Totally useless, questions will never appear on the GMATMGMAT Sc
guide: This guide is a good grammar book, but too detailed. More than half of what it is about never appears in GMAT, or so scarcely. I recommend to get it, but not to work the advanced sections.
Idiom List: Very useful for a non-native speaker such as me.OG Verbal
Review: The book is useless for SC as the sets are in 1000sc. OK for CR and RC.
Nothing specific except for an error log
, which was not very useful.
Nothing specificPractice Tests :
GMAT prep2) What I advice you to do to get 760
Keep in mind that the following is highly subjective, so please take it with a grain of salt.“You can do everything you set your mind to.”
Many times I have read messages saying that retaking the test would probably not lead to a better score. Implied is the idea of glass ceiling.
I completely disagree with this opinion.
Brain is a muscle and the more you work, the higher you score.
For some people, it takes 1 week to achieve top percentile, for other it takes many months, but I am deeply convinced that anyone can get the desired result by allowing the right amount of time and by working very hard.“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” Cassius Clay
“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” Sun Tzu
If you were to play the Fifa World Cup 2010 final, would you think that experience doesn’t matter? Would you be happy to have played hundred of matches with such stakes?
GMAT follows the same rule.
Practice, practice, practice…in real conditions (AWA excepted -I advise you to incorporate AWA in your 2 or 3 last rehearsals, to build up endurance and confidence).
Integrate the timing so that you can feel whether your pace is good without looking at the clock every minute.
Sense the pressure and use it to be sharper.
Be confident. If you score consistently above 720 with such tests as Kaplan
and MGMAT, there is absolutely no reason to get less than 700 in real test. Your goal is to get 760, but you KNOW for sure that you will get at least 700 (no stress, you are in the game).For more details on this chapter, refer to § It is at night that it is beautiful to believe in the light.Where intention goes, energy flows
Visualization and affirmation constitute the cement of confidence that you have built through rehearsal.
The GMAT is a big game; you surely want to be mentally prepared.
Be ready to face very hard questions, but to maintain pace and to stay focused on the question on the screen (trying to evaluate the difficulty of the questions is complicated* and disturbing).
Visualize yourself taking the GMAT, and visualize the score you want (sorry, the score you WILL have Der Teufel steckt nicht im Detail. The devil is not in the details.
GMAT is an exercise of Time management. Whatever your level, you will not have the time to answer quietly every question. You will buy yourself some time by rushing or guessing. It is absolutely normal and this will not prevent you to get the top percentile.
In the same logic, don't focus on extremely tough (brutal tests) or out of the ordinary questions when reviewing. Nevertheless, these challenging questions could be good in maths to train the brain, but do not try to remember the solutions.“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” Sun Tzu
Know your weaknesses and build an action plan.
Only 2 things are essential to everyone:
1) OG book. Know it by heart.
2) Access to tests. GMAT prep, Kaplan
** and MGMAT*** tests (I guess you don’t need to take all of them if your practice scores are always better than the score you want)
The other things are specific to each one :
You need more general speed? GMAT Premier Live Online
gives useful tips and strategies
You need more Maths master? Samples from GMAT Club. So hard, so cool.
You need more grammar master? MGMAT SC
You need more Sc samples? 1000Sc. Keep in mind that with enough practice you’ll be solving SC questions in less than a minute’s time, and doing that you will maximise your chances to be good in CR and RC.
You need a better score in CR and in RC? OG Verbal
is good for questions that can be duplicated: Quant and SC. However, it is very time consuming.
You will have to arbitrate between doing more exercises and reviewing your error log
. No victor believes in chance. Nietzsche.
The days before the test are important. You are supposed to arrive in perfect mental and physical shape. Go out, see some friends, make some sport, or do whatever can relax you.
Visualize yourself taking the test.
Visualize the score you want.
Prepare energy drinks, food, and earplugs for the test day.It is at night that it is beautiful to believe in the light. Edmond Rostand
My first contact with the GMAT ended with a 590.
I worked the OG until I could do EACH question right (Yes, I knew them by heart) and felt ready.
Real GMAT, ready for the show, come on everybody I will show you what I can do. You bet. After 2 minutes I knew that the test was screwed up. What happened basically is a total lose of control, I was focused on anything except the questions and was not even sure of the result of 2+2. Moreover I was trying to evaluate the difficulty of questions to see whether I was on the right path or not. In fact I lacked experience of CAT.
At the break I was considering going back home. I don’t know why but I stayed, and that was an excellent decision. Maybe because I had nothing to lose, maybe because anything else, but I was as focused and in control as EVER.
660 only, but with 42 in verbal.
From this point, I knew that I did not want to target 700, which I would have been so glad to get at the first attempt, but 760.
The GMAT had won the battle, but not the war.
* For example, when I got 50 in Quant I wasn’t asked any probability question.
**Access comes with your purchasing of the book GMAT Premier Live Online
***Access comes with your purchasing of any of the MGMAT book Feel free to ask any questions as I didn't want to detail my feedback too much to keep it short.Appendix
Tests scores.xls [16 KiB]
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GMAT Prep planning.xls [27.5 KiB]
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The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt