Hello all, I have been lurking for a bit and decided to sign up and post my results.
I started studying first week of February 2010, so I studied for about 2 months.
Here was my strat:OG11OG Quant
Re did all above OG problems I got wrong
Last 40 problems of OG12
for both PS and DS
SC Manhattan Guide
1.5 weeks ago, I started doing the practice exams, pretty much 1 per day until the exam day today.
Gmat Prep 1: 600
MGMAT CAT 1: 580 Q35 V34
MGMAT CAT 2: 670 Q46 V35
MGMAT CAT 3: 660 Q46 V34
MGMAT CAT 4: 660 Q45 V35
MGMAT CAT 5: 690 Q46 V38
MGMAT CAT 6: 670 Q45 V36
GMAT Prep 2: 680
GMAT Prep Reinstall Q48 (only did Quant section)
And actual official score today: 530 Q36 V27
I was shocked when I saw this score on my screen, I really thought I was going to get a minimum of 650. My target score is 700. Need major help!!
I feel like I wasted a lot of time (a month) doing those OG problem sets, they are way too easy compared to the real thing.
First and foremost, the MGMAT CAT is not that great. The verbal section of MGMAT CAT somewhat diverges from the actual GMAT (ie. there are MGMAT CAT verbal questions that involve calculations - you will never get a verbal question on the GMAT that involves any calculation at all
).Secondly, the MGMAT CAT SC questions almost all allow splicing in their answers
. I noticed that in the real GMAT, there are certain SC questions where you cannot splice.
Third and most important, you will get a range of scores if you write the GMAT, even if you enter the GMAT each time in the exact same condition
. My range on the GMAT was from 530 to 620 - even though my preparation/condition entering each one was similar. I got lucky and hit my upper range the last time I took it. Don't be discouraged if you got a low score - you may have to write it multiple times to get something in your upper range. I got rocked by an astronomy RC passage with my 530 score where I was guessing blindly - when I got my 620 score, the RC passages were much more easier for me to comprehend (trust me, my RC skills did not improve between the 530 and 620 score).
Luck is also a factor in other ways. Roughly 1/3 of the GMAT questions are "experimental" questions that don't count towards your score. What if you happen to guess on more of the experimental questions and spend time working on some of the questions that do count towards your score? If you take the GMAT a large number of times, luck becomes less of a factor but if you take it very few times, luck plays more of a factor with very few samples (ie. just like gambling in the short run vs long run).
Fourth, concentrate on the latter OG questions and time yourself
. Usually, the last 30 OG questions for each section are the harder ones.
Fifth, for my 620 score, I stopped preparing off of MGMAT's CAT, and reused GMATPrep instead, even though I had written the GMATPrep tests
more than once. If you have written the GMATPrep test more than once, set a lower time limit to finish the second or third time around (because you have seen some of the questions). For instance, set yourself at 65 minutes for the Quantitative section the second time around taking GMATPrep test 1, and 60 minutes the third time taking GMATPrep test 1. There is no better CAT to prepare for the verbal section of the actual GMAT than GMATPrep. FYI, I found Kaplan
's CAT questions also different from the actual GMAT and GMATPrep. I did one Kaplan
CAT and never touched it again.
Finally, I have posted some timing tips that I found helpful in boosting my score. Please take a look:http://gmatclub.com/forum/my-gmat-timingstrategies-tactics-that-got-me-from-530-to-91929.html