hello All, I made it a point to read the GMAT experience from gmat-clubers as it had helped me a lot. I hope my experience will also help fellow friends preparing for the D-Day. So its time .. Got 720 (50-M; 37-V) and I was really relieved.
here it is............
prep time: 2 months; last month was real crazy and i am glad it paid SC: Manhattan SC
is a must. It is not only important to read it once but also to revise, revise and revise
see explanations in Manhattan Gmat
site and Gmat club.: Great discussions...
Once theory from Manhattan is done, OG must be done. SC used to be my weak area, though after practice from Manhattan and OG I became really confident. It is good to solve a couple of SC questions daily.
For my studies I followed the following approach:(by Ron) This is important especially at the start of the preparation when it is difficult to figure out why an option was wrong.
for EVERY verbal problem:
* you should be able to give SPECIFIC reasons why EVERY wrong answer is wrong, and why EVERY right answer is right. ("i just know that it's wrong/right" is NEVER acceptable -- you need to think carefully about the problem until you have discerned a specific reason.)
* you should GENERALIZE these lessons in ways that could conceivably apply to future problems (e.g., "on this problem type, any answer choice more general than the passage = wrong").
for EVERY SC problem, in addition to the above:
* you should be able to go through the CORRECT sentence -- including the non-underlined part -- and justify EVERY construction in that sentence.
-- if there's a modifier, you should be able to explain exactly what it modifies, and exactly why that modification makes sense.
-- if there's a pronoun, you should be able to explain exactly what it stands for, and exactly why that makes sense.
-- if there's a verb, you should be able to find its subject. you should also be able to justify the tense in which the verb is used, and/or the tense sequence of multiple verbs.
-- you should be able to explain the exact meaning of the sentence.
-- if there are parallel structures, you should be able to explain (a) the grammatical parallelism AND (b) the parallelism in meaning.CR:
This was a tricky bit. During course of my studies, at times I was able to do all the questions correctly. At other times I was really confused.
I started with CR bible, however I realized what it says is more of a common sense stuff. If some one wants to start from real scratch I would recommend CR bible. It explains what the CR is all about.
BUT My issue was: I know what it means to find a premise, or the conclusion. How to get the right answer?PRINCETON REVIEW
gives a short approach (casual, stats, analog) that helped me kick start finding right answers. Once the sub 700 questions were done, and I switched to tougher problems (in various tests), Kaplan800
was handy. Kaplan 800
shows the subtle changes that GMAT authors make. Once I was able to identify these subtle changes, it was even easier to identify the premise and conclusion in tougher problems.
OG for practiceRC
RC is all about understanding the intent and it is at times difficult to understand the same. I will not state much about RC as this was not my best area till the end. One thing I did learn was how to read/ scan passage quickly.
Again, I followed the KAPLAN
structure of making a quick passage road map with key words. However my idea was just to know where to find the context in case the question pops up.
The best way not to answer a RC question incorrectly is to look back at the passage once you mark the answer. It does prevent to make silly errors that are very common in case the answer comes from sheer memory of the passage.
OG for practicePS AND DS
Coming from engineering background I was able to solve almost all PS and DS questions. Only mistakes were when I reinvented the maths by making 2+3= 6 or something silly. AND GMAT is full of such questions where there is a lot of scope of silly errors.
Did not like OG, though the GMAT questions were of similar toughness as in OG. Hence it is worthwhile to go through OG atleast once.
GMAT CLUB : very important to atleast not become complacent. Some of the questions are real tough but I enjoyed working out these problems. The questions are a good mix of tough questions and tricky questions.TEST scores:
Manhattan : 730, 690, 700,710
Princeton: 690, 690, 730,700
GMAT PREP: 740, 700Manhattan:
real tough maths. always got 50-51 in maths. However the questions were too tough for GMAT. verbal questions : good Princeton:
Maths questions were not tough but tricky., Verbal questions : goodGMAT prep:
made most of the silly errors here. So was very careful in GMAT exam and was double checking all the questions. Generally, i used to complete maths section with 20 min to spare, however in final paper I had just 2 min to spare. & I was happy... It was good that I saved these two test for the last couple of weeks. I knew the areas where I needed to be careful in actual paper.
Must haves:Error log: verbal + maths
How did it help: It helped me to know and remember why did I make a particular mistake for the first time. On subsequent revisions, I repeated the question and checked if I am solving the question correctly or not. Self notes: Verbal + Maths
How did it help: The various test I took, i came across many rules, idioms, exceptions
, that were simply not available in any text book. Once they are noted at a single location, it was much easier to revise them. Whenever I felt too bored to pick up a pen and pencil, i used to glance these notes. I would stress that there is no dearth of practice materials and if you think so just search GMAT club.
finally: PRACTICE... PRACTICE.... and PRACTICE
why it is important:
1. you stop getting bored from doing questions: it may sound silly but it is true. or else after 1 hour of exam you will really get bored
2. it reminds your strengths and weaknesses: you know which specific area you need to stress and where you are confidentD-DAY
Some suggestions though very cliched but helped me a lot.......
- DO not panic
- reach center before time.
- Go to the loo and wash your face with cool water before each part.
My schedule during prep time was 9 hours of office work before comp, rest couple of hours again before comp, and during the test days my eyes were really burning. Something that was the savior :washing eyes with cold water.
- have a juice, water, or any drink that you like and that refreshes you.
- a banana or some fruits..
I must add that GMAT club is a really good site to follow. Though I have not posted a lot on the sites but I can remember solving hundreds of problems here.
Hope this helps!!!!!
PS: I can see some grammar mistakes in my post but I assume you will spare me