Hello everyone on this forum. Have been a lurker on this forum but I have seen a lot of great quant discussions here...
I am still on cloud nine and thought I will share my experience and things that worked for me while they are still fresh in my mind. This may be a long post so be patient..
I am a non-native with a BBA. I have been working as a financial analyst for one of the top firms in NY. I need an MBA to get into M&As and am targeting Columbia, Yale, Stern. Other than that I am convent educated (a Dipsite to be more precise) and keep really high standards for myself.
From the onset, I set out to score 750+, for nothing less would make me happy. I don’t intend to be arrogant; it’s just that I set my own goals and strive to achieve them. Back in school, when my friends aimed for Engineering and Medicine, I strived to get into one of the best BBA schools. Doing so makes me happy.
Panic in the first attempt (690, Q50, V32):
I started my GMAT preparation in June, did MGMAT SC
, powerscore CR
, finished OG 11
and OG 12
. I did 3 mock tests - 2 from MGMAT and 1 from GMATPrep. I was scoring about 720 in the MGMATs. However, I panicked in my verbal section and this dropped my verbal score down to 32. I was very angry with myself for I should not have attempted the exam till I had scored 750+ in the mock test. I decided to approach the GMAT more methodically the next time.
Second attempt- Creating a strategy:
It was clear that I needed to focus on Verbal. I read somewhere on this forum about a divide and rule strategy suggested by egmat
. It made sense. I registered for their course and attended their live session to understand their approach in more detail. I looked up my previous mock test scores and realized that I needed to improve the most on my SC, and then CR. RC needed some improvement but not as much as CR. I devoted the next 2 weeks to improve SC; read the MGMAT SC
again for the first 5 days and then did the eGMAT
SC course for the remaining. Gave MGMAT mock (#3) and score 36 on verbal (12/15 SC, 8/14 CR, 8/12 RC). Was happy with my progress. Devoted the next 5 days to complete the egmat
SC course. Then spent the next 10 days on CR (Powerscore and eGMAT
) . Gave the mock test on 18th August and scored 39 (12/14 SC, 11/14 CR, 9/12 RC). Was happy to see that I was progressing. Decided to concentrate on RC for the next 10 days. Re-did OG 12
and Verbal review, looked for explanations on questions that I was not sure of. Reviewed my mistakes in the mock test. This time I scored 42, with very few mistakes (5 or 6 incorrect). I still had a couple of weeks before my exam. I revised my mistakes on the mock, the egmat
course, certain sections of the MGMAT SC
guide, and did OG(only the toughest problems) once again. I also spent some time on number properties to further improve my quant.
I did the regular stuff, made sure that I had a good sleep, did an ok breakfast, reached the center in time, and kept a cereal bar. I had a frappe to inject some extra caffeine in me. I also drank plenty of water to keep myself hydrated.
What worked for me
1. Well defined goals
: I had defined byte sized goals for myself and had reasonable expectations of score increase. This helped me in 2 ways. One, it provided feedback that I was going in the right direction and second it incentivized me to do better. Every time I achieved a goal in Mock, I would reward myself either with a new dress or with a fancy dinner. This motivation helped a lot.
2. Defining a schedule
: This is something that I am good at and I can recommend everyone. One take away that I would recommend is that keep 40% buffer while defining a schedule. This would allow time to be devoted for deep dive and same day revisions.
3. Taking vacation
: I had 10 vacation days left. I took a vacation (2 days) every time I started revising a new section. This gave me a jump start and I was able to make a lot of progress early on. Again, this leads to positive reinforcement.
: I recommend that you revise whatever course you do. Revise OG and verbal review twice. I did not study any new material in the last 15 days (other than the last GMATPREP) and I am glad for the same.
I still have my fingers crossed for my AWA although I think that I did pretty well. I will start my application next week and will look to interact with you then.