Hey guys, took the GMAT today and am absolutely ecstatic on getting a 750(Q-50,V-44).
The success is all the more sweet because this was my first attempt and I am relieved that I wouldn't have to pick up the books again. I have almost got fed up of studying.
I joined this forum in August, started my preparation in the week of October with full gusto. It all went pretty good for the initial two weeks when I started losing motivation to study. Finally started the preparation seriously in December first week by booking the GMAT appointment. So in all studied for around 3.5 months.
Here's a brief lowdown of how I studied:Quant
: I didn't have much trouble with Maths. Got the complete set of MGMAT Math strategy Guides .I especially loved MGMAT Number properties
book . I had heard great reviews about Veritas
Combinatorics and Probability book,so ordered that also which was pretty good. Did the official Guide Maths questions ,but found most of them to be too easy. Only the last 50-60 questions were good. Used gmatclub Maths tests for practising maths questions.Sentence Correction
: I started Sentence correction with Aristotle SC Grail
and then moved on MGMAT SC
Guide. The SC Grail really helped me understand the SC in an easy way. I finished it within a week and then moved on to Manhattan SC
Guide. After having practised the questions in the SC Grail
questionbank, I moved on to OG12
and as suggested by the members here. I ensured that I was focusing on reading the explanations instead of plainly practising questions. I probably read all the explanations to questions and since I already had a good grasp of the grammatical concepts and the error types tested, I could understand the explanations(which otherwise sounded cryptic) easily.By reading the explanations, I think I think that I could train myself how to recognize errors easily. Critical Reasnoning
: Initially, I'd attempt all the CR question with no particular strategy as I thought that CR is all about logic. Although the accuracy rate was not bad,but then also I knew that there would definitely be some concrete strategies for tackling CR. Did some research on the internet and came across a couple of videos by Ron Purewal and then used MGMAT CR
Guide. What I learnt was that each question type in CR has to be tackled in a particular way and using a generalized approach for all types of questions though may work in lower difficulty level questions, but it will not be effective in higher difficulty ones. I learnt these strategies inside out, and was confident.Reading Comprehension
: I have been quite a voracious reader so I thought that I do not need to prepare for RCs which to some extent was true. However, as I practised RCs ,I realized that a lot of times I was not able to comprehend passages properly because I had big time problem maintaining my concentration while reading the passages . Secondly, in difficult passages ,I couldn't remember what I had read in the previous paragraphs. So as the experts suggest here, I started taking notes and contrary to what I had thought, the method worked. I started with the passages in the official guide and then moved on to RC99
. I did almost all the passages in OG12
. I skipped all the low difficulty passages in RC99
and straightway jumped to the 33 medium difficulty level passages. Finished around 15 high difficulty level passages when I realized that I am stressing myself more than I should and I should take a break for some days and then start taking practice tests.Practice Tests
MGMAT CAT 1 # 680, CAT 2 # 700 , CAT 3# 720 , CAT 4# 680 ,CAT 5 # 690 , CAT 6 #700
GMAT PREP 1 # 710 , GMAT PREP 2 # 720
Actual GMAT # 750 (50,44)
As you can see ,my scores hovered between 680-720 in most of the CATs ,and I was expecting something in a similar range but it was a surprise how I landed up with a 750. I am seriously clueless as to how I scored a 750 and can't think of explanations except for the fact that luck was on side. Though I had prepared well for Verbal, but a score of 44 is ridiculously high for me(not that I am complaining now! :D)
Here are my thoughts on the GMAT
1. It's a lot about the D-day
: After seeing my score,I think that the GMAT is a lot about your performance on the actual exam. I was basically not aiming for a very high score and would have been happy even with a 700 but seems like the Gods were smiling on me during the test and fortunately I landed up with a much score higher than I would have anticipated.
2. Remaining motivated
: I guess this was the biggest problem I had faced in the initial stage of my preparation. Although I had time but I had difficulty remaining motivated as studying at the age of 28 would be the last thing you would like to do. So I booked my date in November itself and as the countdown began, I could feel that the GMAT was slowly moving from the periphery to the center of my life.
3. Do not study extremely difficult material
: I know we all have the urge to study the most difficult of the material simply because we feel that that would give us a reassurance of the fact that we are tackling the hardest material out there. I believe that that is an illusion. There's no point in wasting time doing unreasonably difficult questions as doing that is ,firstly, not helpful and secondly, it will give you a false estimate about the kind of questions you're likely to see on the GMAT . I had done a couple of questions from the "Brutal SC document" and i had gotten almost all questions wrong. Even after going through the explanations, I knew that I'm not learning anything from these questions and even on the worse day, the GMAT is not gonna throw that brutal questions-in fact, the questions in the brutal SC document are not even GMAT type in the way they test the errors.
4. You can get a good score even without getting all questions correct
t: I had gotten a couple of question in Quant on the GMAT which looked difficult to me. I admit that I did plain(or maybe educated) guesswork on 4-5 questions on Quant . Though I panicked for sometime thinking that I am doomed ,but in the end a score of 49 on the Quant indicates that I did not do badly on Quant. I think the biggest lesson I learnt from this is that managing time-not wasting an inordinate amount of time-is as important as getting a question correct.
Am ecstatic about getting a 750 and I think this was the greatest surprise I have been given in life so far. Now with this score, I think I'll look at better schools. Thanks for reading this post and thanks to all the members here. The moral of the story is "EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY"