Here is how I prepared for it:
First, a little bit more about me. I work as a software architect for a fortune 500 company in the States. I have been thinking about getting into the business side for quite some time. Part time MBA program in my local university, however, is not that great. A full time program only make sense financially if I get into a top 15 business school. So getting a 700+ is almost a must. The tough part is that I have family and kids, and my work requires international travel. Basically I can only afford a couple of months of preparation time, and not every day.
I started preparing in late September. I used the following books in addition to PowerPrep and GMATPrep: Kaplan
2005, Kaplan 800
, and OG11
. I also acquired OG10
and the Princeton Review
book, but never got around to use them. I chose the Kaplan
books specifically because their difficulty. I wanted to be able to handle the most difficult questions possible.
I took the Kaplan
diagnostic test first and got a 570 (Q38, V32). I was quite disappointed, partly because the score is so low, partly because I used to thought I had no problem with quant questions. I felt much better after I used the wonderful but now broken score estimator on GMAT Club because a Kaplan
570 usually maps to actual GMAT score of 650+. Hope somebody here can fix the estimator.
Once I knew where I standed, I worked through everything on the Kaplan
CD. I highly recommend both the math and verbal reviews. I didn't read the paper book. After that I worked through every question on the Kaplan 800
. Below are my CAT scores during this period:
CAT1: 640 (V35, Q46)
Paper: 650 (v38, Q48)
* PowerPrep 1: 730 (V??, Q??)
CAT2: 650 (V36, Q50)
CAT3: 630 (V32, Q50)
CAT4: 670 (V37, Q48) - Some duplicates and a few gliches
After the Kaplan
books, I went though the OG11
book and again worked through every question. The questions in OG11
are much more closer to the actual test, but quite different from the Kaplan
books. Then I took the other PowerPrep test and the 2 GMATPrep tests
* GMATPrep 1: 750 (V42, Q50) - after RC and CR.
* PowerPrep 2: 750 (V40, Q50)
* GMATPrep 2: 720 (V40, Q49)
As I found out, the 2 PowerPrep tests share many questions with OG11
. However the GMATPrep tests
almost have no duplicates with OG11
. For me, the difficulty for the GMATPrep tests
is slight higher than the actual test for quantative and almost the same for verbal. The experience for GMATPrep tests
is almost the same as the actual test.
In addition to the books, I highly recommend the following resource: http://home.comcast.net/~dave.kim/GMAT_ ... rategy.htm
. I have read thought it a couple of times.
For AWA, in addition to writing every one during practice tests, I spent a couple of days to thought though all the AWA topic in OG11
. I normally spent 5 to 10 minutes on each topic and mentially wrote the essays. This has certainly boosted my confidence during the actual test. I am still waiting what score I can get.
Basically this was how I prepared for the test. It worked for me but it may not work for everyone. My suggestion is that everybody needs to formulate a test preparation strategy. Reading forum topics on GMAT Club and other sites like ScoreTop and TestMagic helps a lot. You can also download a file that contains hundreds(?) of test experiences (many old) from Dave's site.
Hope this is helpful.