I took the GMAT in late December. I have taken the GMAT twice.
GMAT 1: 780
GMAT 2: 800
I'm a 22-year-old engineer. I work in a consulting firm.
My prep. resources-
I think that MGMAT is the best GMAT resource available. I bought all the MGMAT (Verbal and Quant) books.
I eventually made my own notes for SC, CR, & Math.
chineseburned’s excellent template for AWA.Kaplan
& Princeton Review (I didn't use either of the books)
My practice scores over a two-month-period, in order of test taking:
GMATPpep 1: 770
MGMAT 1: 780
Test Code 14: 790
MGMAT 2: 770
Test Code 25: 800
Test Code 31: 800
MGMAT 3: 770
Test Code 37: 780
Test Code 42: 790
MGMAT 4: 780
Test Code 48: 800
MGMAT 5: 780
MGMAT 6: 780
Test Code 52: 800
Test Code 55: 800
Test Code are pen-paper GMAT tests; you can buy them from http://www.mba.com
The math problems in MGMAT are a lot tougher than those of the actual GMAT. I think their algorithm for grading math problems is a bit more lenient than the GMAT’s.
My Study Plan:
I heavily relied on MGMAT's SC
guide: simply awesome. I didn’t really need a book for CR but MGMAT’s book had good questions. The RC book was not of much help. I practiced a lot of CR questions to build my knowledge base. I avoided RC questions; I often found them extremely boring. I sort of looked at RC questions as CR questions… just with lots of data.
My math fundamentals have always been strong… All I had to do is to learn how to choose one of the best approaches to solve questions; how to eliminate answer choices. I rigorously analyzed my test performance; where, why, & how I went wrong and also how I could improve my method.
I also checked Manhattan GMAT
’s forums to look for better answers. Ron Purewal’s solutions are just… amazing; I regularly viewed “Thursdays with Ron” videos. (I WOULD NOT recommend those videos if your Math & Verbal concepts are not strong/clear.)
Don't ever, ever underestimate the GMAT. Being good in Math or English doesn’t guarantee you a great GMAT score. Work on specific skills, knowledge, analyze performance, and practice a lot to get a good score.
Keep a check on time; don’t spend too much time on problem just because you think you can solve it correctly. It’s better to make some mistakes rather than not answer questions. You can always eliminate answer choices if you can’t proceed further. There are always some obviously wrong answer choices… at least the probability of you getting a right answer increases.
It’s okay to accept that you can’t solve a problem; one wrong problem doesn’t make a big difference in your 78-question test.
I ensured that I didn’t try anything new during the week before the test. I tried to keep my routine as regular as possible. DO NOT experiment before the test day.
I took the test in the afternoon. I slept for 10 hours before test day. I comfortably drove to the test center and arrived an hour before the test. I had scored 780 in my first attempt… I didn’t really care about my performance in this test.
I took my time to complete the AWA section, which I finished a few minutes early.
I ate two bars of milk chocolate and drank a glass of orange juice in the break.
I spent ~three minutes on the first five questions, steadily finished the middle section and sped through the last 8-10 questions. Some of the questions were easy… probably experimental questions. I finished such questions fairly quickly.
Again, I ate two bars of milk chocolate and drank a glass of orange juice in the break.
I comfortably solve most Verbal questions… I did have a headache while I solved RC questions. I didn’t spend more than 45 seconds on SC questions. I obviously got tricky questions in SC & CR.
I was ecstatic after seeing a prefect score- 800. I had taken the test with the sole aim to score an 800.
Good luck with your test prep; I hope my experience helps you increase your score.
Hit kudos if my post helps you.
You may send me a PM if you have any doubts about my solution or GMAT problems in general.