First off, I wanted to thank everyone that posted their experiences on GMATclub. I used this forum as my motivation and knowledge base; there is no way I could have reached this score without the forum.
So now a little about myself:
American born Indian (typical
23 years old
2years of Work Experience in large cellphone provider
Purdue Univ. BS Mech Engineering
I started studying for the GMAT on January 1st, my new year's resolution was to score well on the GMAT and I did it with half the year to go. I tried to study atleast 4 hours during the week and 10hours on weekends, this increased the closer I got to the test. I was always shooting for a 710 and never in my wildest dreams did I expect a 770. I hope this helps some schools look past the small amount of work experience.
I ended up going to China for work a month before my test, this really screwed with my studying because it was hard to find time out there to study. Plus, when I came back my SC was shot to all hell and I had 2 weeks before I took the test. I took my test on a Wednesday and took the Mon (study) and Tues (rest) off that week in order to get myself it the right mindset. If you can afford to take PTO, I highly recommend it.
Below are the books I used in order that I went through them.
Good for basic concepts, but it doesn't tell you anything groundbreaking. I would recommend using the PR book for the introduction and completely skip the Kaplan
PR Cracking the GMAT
I thought this book provided a good introduction to most topics. I will be recommending this as a starting block for all of my friends that ask about GMAT preparation. They do a good job of touching on most topics, but do not provide enough detail.
Manhattan GMAT (All 7 books)
This is BY FAR the best series of book IMO. Not only do the books provide you with a lot of good information, I found the CATs and online material to be priceless. Everyone here raves about the SC book, but I really think that all of these books were instrumental in helping me achieve my score.
What else can be said? A ton of good practice problems here. I honestly don't remember too much except for the fact it took me forever to complete
provides you with a good set of tough questions to go through. I do not think the concepts they present are useful at all, but I put a lot of weight in practice questions, and this book has them.
I ended up doing quite a few CATs in order to prepare for the test. I thought I would get nervous on the day of the test, but my familiarity with the CATs kept me calm throughout the test. I actually got a little worried that I wasn't worrying, haha.
The GMATPrep CATs are great but I did not take more than 2, I wanted to avoid repeating questions as much as possible. This is where the Manhattan series really came in handy, it comes with 6 online CATs that I thought be just as good as GMATPrep. The quant section in MGMAT is harder than the real thing which I LOVED, I was ready for anything by the time I took the real test. I found the verbal section to be a little easier, but not by much. The predicted scores were also accurate even though there were differences in difficulty from the real GMAT.
was horrible at predicting your score, but it provided a lot of good practice. The only reason I would recommend buying the Kaplan
book is for more CAT practice tests. Don't pay attention to the score, I was given a 650 one time (Q50 V36) that should actually be a 710 going by the scores posted here, messed up.
Below is a list of my practice tests in chronological order
MGMAT 1 780 -> should be corrected down to ~730 per MGMAT's score corrections (old CATS slightly inflated scores)
PowerPrep 1 710
MGMAT 2 720
MGMAT 3 750 ->started to get real excited, closing in on test date and scoring well.
MGMAT 4 780 ->getting really excited but starting to doubt MGMAT's scoring validity.
MGMAT 5 730
GMATPrep2 760 -> I'm ready!!!
Tips & Tricks
I have some suggestions for a few things I learned along the way.
A combination of understanding MGMAT's SC
book and a lot of practice really helps out.
No real tips here, I don't think you can improve upon CR much.
Try 2 different methods. (1)Read the whole passage, take small notes, and then answer the questions. (2) Skim the passage, create a passage map highlighting important details, answer the questions.
I ended up doing #1 b/c I was finishing verbal with 20mins to go and did horrible with option#2. When I switched to #1, I remembered most details and had a better understanding of the authors intent and general tone. Try out both and pick whichever works for you. This was a quick way for me to increase my score.
Pay attention to all of the details in the questions. For word problems, translate 1 phrase into an equation at a time. I thought the Manhattan series was very good for math also. I did not use the GMATclub challenges
so I can not comment on them.
Look at the initial statement, what do you need in addition to that in order to answer the question??? That is the biggest thing I worked on and it helped me greatly.
Also, write down the details that they give you. If it is a positive integer, I would write that down and that helped keep the details in my head. Pay attention to all the details, they can make or break you.
I hope this helps some people prepare for the GMAT, I know that the "Share your GMAT experience" section was the most helpful for me. Now on to the applications!!!
***Edit: I just realized I had my quant and verbal scores switched, Q51 V44***