Here is the GMAT debrief I had posted when I took my GMAT (I didn't know GMATClub back then
). Some people asked me to post it on here so here goes :
I took my GMAT two days ago, and am thrilled with my score : 780 (50Q 49V)
My prep took around a month and a half, but first a bit of background, I am an engineer, only 1.5y out of school, so math is still pretty fresh in my mind. My main fear starting out was the English part, especially SC.
About a month and a half ago, I started fooling around with questions I found on here, I did a couple of questions of each section from the OG and the questions on GmatPrep, the idea was to know what the types of questions were, and be able to take a meaningful GmatPrep test to see what was my starting point.
I took my first GmatPrep about a month ago, score 720, 48Q 41V.
As soon as I had this done, I hashed out a training program. I am lucky not to work long hours so I was able to study about 2H every day after coming home from work, and 5H on each weekend day. My main goal was to complete every single question on the official guide. I bought the MGMAT books
for the verbal questions as I was confident in my math skills. My program looked something like this :
Day 1 : PS, questions 1-30
Day 2 : PS, questions 31-60
Day i : PS, (5 questions), DS 1 - 30
Day i+1 : PS, (5 questions), DS 31-60
Day j : PS (5 questions), DS (5 questions), CR 1 - 30...
The idea was to have one main subject that you are currently studying, and while you are on that subject, do about 20-30 questions of that subject every day, as well as 5 questions of any previously studied subject. (This program becomes more and more intense towards the end, because you study a bit of every subject, the idea for this program comes from a post on here, I did not invent this and I thank the author, this training program is great!).
During the 2-3 days before starting a new question type, for the English questions (as this was my weakness) I would read through the MGMAT book
corresponding to the question type. The most useful by far was the SC, I do not know if this was because this was my greatest weakness, or if this is the best book, but it really helped. I would use the time I spent in public transport for reading the MGMAT books
and save my evenings for the questions.
My method for doing the OG questions was :
1. Always use a timer, so that you get the feel of the timing you will have to use
2. When you look at the answers, read the explanation for every wrong answer, and make it clear on your page that you got that answer wrong so you can come back to it later. Keep all your answers.
I aimed to finish the OG questions about 5 days before the GMAT, 5 days before the GMAT I did the second GmatPREP test : 770 q50 v44. A great confidence boost.
I then spent the last couple of days before the GMAT reading over the questions I had done wrong, as well as reading the answers of the last 20 questions of each question type to keep all of the methods fresh in my head. I did nothing GMAT related on the day before the GMAT, I went out with some friends for a drink, and had a good long night's sleep.
On the day for the GMAT (9:30AM for me) got up early, had a nice breakfast, and took the test.
Question strategy :
The main thing I learned for math was to slow down. When doing the practice questions, most errors were not from lack of knowledge, but from misreading the question, or assuming something I should not have. Sometimes I would also try and read the question quickly, and end up misunderstanding the question, get started with the calculations, and figure out that I was wrong when my result was not among the answer choices.
Therefore I read every question twice, and this was what helped me most on math.
The most helpful tips are to use Venn Diagrams every time you have this kind of question, and when you have "rate/work" type questions, the first thing you should do it get the "rate/speed" for each of the elements as the solution often comes by adding the speeds.
SC : Using splits is very useful on some questions, but only when the splits are easily visible. On some questions, the order of the elements in the sentence is different for every choice, and finding the splits is hard and long. For these questions my strategy was :
-Write down A B C D E
-Look for mistakes in each choice
-If I found a big mistake, which I was sure about, I would write an X next to the letter
-If I found a small mistake, for example if it was wordy, or felt wrong, I would write a dash next to the letter
At the end, if I had a clear choice I would take it, if not, (for example, 3 Xs and 2 dashes) I would go back and read the "dashes" to try and get the best one.
For the other verbal questions, I did not have any particular strategy.
Good luck for all of your GMAT and admissions!