I've joined this forum not so long ago and I found an inspiring and contributing community. I would like to share with you my GMAT experience so far - my studies, my test and score and finally my next steps. This is sort of a mesh-up between a debrief and a "GMAT experience" thread.
I would really like to hear your thoughts as I'm considering how to prepare for the next time, and I'm really not sure about it.Background Information
I'm an engineer (MS.c) from Israel, graduated about a year ago. Always been great with math and quite good in my English skills. I'm working at my field of studies and have a total of 6-7 years of experience (worked both during and before my bachelor degree). I'm aiming at getting into an MBA in the US, at one of the top-10 universities (MIT, Berkeley, Stanford, Wharton...).Materials Used
As I began thinking about taking the GMAT, I immediately got to the conclusion that I should avoid a normal "in class" courses. Usually this classes (when relating to teaching a class toward and exam like the GMAT or SAT) hold many kinds of students, some of them are weaker and some are stronger. I usually find myself at the top of the class, getting bored pretty quick, and with the feeling that I'm wasting my time sitting and hearing explanations about things I already understand. For this reason I've decided to take an online course which will allow me to advance on my own tempo, and really put emphasis on the things I find more difficult to me. I've searched several courses and decided to go with MasterGMAT. You can read my detailed review of the course here
During the lkast two weeks I ran out of tests, so I purchased the kindle version of Manhattan GMAT
"Word Problems" ($11) and got 6 of their tests with it. Didn't actually used the book.Duration
I studied for 4 months in total. usually had 4-5 hours during weekdays, and 4-5 hours on weekends. General Strategy
The Master GMAT course pretty layout for me the advancement, based on my success or failures on exercises I answered. I felt that it was nice and fit. The only topic in which I felt weak was combinations and permutations, and so I've searched the forums here, and sat to solve about 30-40 questions on this topic alone until I got it going well.Tests
The first thing I did was to take a test of GMATPrep, to see where I'm standing before I even started the learning. I scored 660 (Q47, V34).
the rest of the tests I took on the last two weeks before the tests. Please note that Master GMAT tests give you a range of scores, not a specific number.
Here are the rest of the scores.:MG (Master GMAT) test 1
- 690-730, (Q48-50, V38-41)MG test 2
- 690-720, (Q47-49, V39-41)MG test 3
- 710-750, (Q49-50, V40-44)CATPrep 1
- 620, Q51, V24 - I felt that the verbal was extremely difficult, way beyond my scope.CATPrep 2
- 680, Q50, V33 - Same as above.Manhattan 1
- 720, Q47, V41GMATPrep 1
-720, Q50, V41GMATPrep 1
-690, Q49, V35 - Again, felt that the SC were more complicated that what I got used to.Manhattan 2
- 720, Q45, V42Manhattan 3
- 680, Q47, V35 - Took it one day before the exam. Big mistake.
My quant' was strong all the way through (around 48-49) , even on MGMAT (which are known to have tough questions).
My verbal felt nice (39-40), but after taking the CATPrep and the GMATPrep, I have started wondering whether my results on MasterGMAT were not real.My Test Experience
I've reached the test center at 8AM, after waking up around 5:30AM. I did some easy exercises on the way, just to get the wheels running. I also repeated my essays template so I could easily use it afterwards. I admit of being a bit nervous, more than the usual. Tests do not seem to stress me , though. I began the test around 8:30AM. AWA
- this section went quite well, even better than I have expected. The topics were not so hard to deal with, and I felt confident about what I write down. I scored 6.0.Quant
- Midway through the section, I've noticed that I'm exactly on the timings. I was used to finishing this section about 5 minutes ahead of time, and it surprised me to find out I'm not doing it on the actual test. Few of the questions took me longer than what I've expected, and I even guessed 2-3 of them.
Eventually I scored 47.Verbal
- I felt that the SC were more challenging than what I got used to. Some of them dealt with idioms I didn't meet before or wasn't sure on how to use them. 2 reading comprehensions (out of 4) were also more complicated that the usual. I scored 34, about 4-6 points lower than my usual score.
My final score is 660, which is really disappointing. IT IS THE SAME SCORE I had before I've even started learning to the GMAT!!
I expected something around 710-730, and would have never guessed that my verbal will be that low (or that I will score 6.0 on the AWA).
I'm not sure how to tackle this and what should I do different next time. I'm thinking about getting one of the recommended SC books.
If you have any advice, I'll be glad to hear it.