Hello everyone. Although this is my first post, I’ve been reading these forums all throughout my GMAT preparation. I was debating on whether to post this because I didn’t actually prepare much for the test since I had to take it on short notice. Still, perhaps my descriptions of the real exam may help someone out.
I finally got my official GMAT score report today. Actually, I got two copies, probably because I ordered an additional score report shortly after taking it. First the result:
: 6.0 (96%)
: 50 (95%)
: 44 (97%)
: 770 (99%)
Needless to say, I am very happy about my performance. Oddly enough, the percentages show my best and worst sections as Verbal and Math, respectively. Traditionally, I have always been strongest at math and weakest at Verbal. Anyhow, I will try to give my experiences with the test.
I took the real exam on August 12, a Saturday. Two weeks before that, I did all the GMAT Prep practice questions and read some tips online on how to answer all sorts of questions. I took my first practice GMAT Prep test and scored 740 (Q50, V40). My weakest sections were Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning. As with all standardized tests, I decided not to prepare for the math (or AWA) other than taking practice exams. This was also partly because my test date was so near.
1 week before the exam, I obtain the Official Guide 10th edition and start doing SC and CR problems that Sunday. I finish them by Wed, and take the second GMAT Prep test. The result is a 770 (Q50, V46). This time, several verbal questions were familiar because I had seen them on the Official Guide the days prior. It seems the GMAT Prep exam is indeed a very accurate predictor of the real exam score.
The day finally arrived. My exam was at 1:15, so I arrived at the test center 1 hour early. They said that they were full, so I waited until 12:30 for a seat to open. I was ushered into the testing room after securing my belongings and taking my fingerprint. I also received the erasable board and marker, which I tested out briefly before starting the test. It didn’t seem as bad as some people say, and I only ended up using 2 sides (1 sheet) of it, probably because I only use it for calculations during the quantitative section.
Starting these, I wrote my usual intro, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Based on my results, I guess this worked pretty well. I didn’t memorize any templates, but did read some tips from Manhattan GMAT
that I found somewhere. After the essays, I took my break, but returned after only 3 minutes.
I thought the quantitative section was pretty hard. There were several questions that I could not definitively answer without spending too much time. There was also one question I absolutely did not even understand; it might have been experimental. However, since math has always been my strong point, I worked through all the questions as best I could. The result was the same as all the practice tests.
For some reason, I think GMAT math is harder than any other standardized test I’ve taken, including the GRE. SAT I math is simple but tricky, SAT II and GRE math is difficult, but straightforward. GMAT math seems to be both difficult AND tricky. I scored 800 on SAT I, SAT IIC, and GRE math, but I could not manage a 51 on GMAT Quantitative on either of the practice tests or the real thing. Just an interesting observation.
After this section, I took another 3 minute break and prepared myself for the last stretch.
I don’t really remember anything outstanding about this section. I am much more relaxed during Verbal than Quantitative for some reason. The problems were very similar to the practice tests for the most part. Of course, since there were no questions I had already seen before, it was more difficult than the second practice I took. After the section was up, I clicked through the remaining screens quickly in eager anticipation of my score.
After selecting to keep my scores (rather than cancel them) and hitting next, I had what was perhaps the scariest moment of the entire test. The computer seemed to freeze, and nothing happened for 10 seconds. The score calculation algorithm must be pretty intense. I was ecstatic when I saw the result, and the mood carried on to make it one heck of a great day.