I took the GMAT last week and scored 650. This was my second attempt, I scored 600 (V-25 Q-47) on my first attempt in Early Feb-08. I'm disappointed with the scores, as the expectations were high following some good scores on my practice tests. I'm employed full time, but, worked very hard (around 20-25 hours/week) in the last 3-4 months.
After my first attempt, I took a break for couple of months and started studying seriously. My efforts were mainly concentrated in improving SC skills and math timing. However, lately I did spend time in brushing up everything and increasing the endurance.
I was less nervous this time around and did not experience any issues with stamina etc on the exam. I thought AWA went well (still waiting for the score), I followed the templates posted by chineseburned (thanks a ton to him) and found them to be greatly useful. Quant started, I felt that I was in control throughout the section. Quant seemed to be like GMATPrep tests
. I felt that the concepts tested were quite similar to those tested by GMATPRep tests
. I did skip atleast a couple of questions that I could have gotten wrong anyway.
Verbal started with two SC's which tested idiom and parallelism. Then followed by RC passage, some CR's and another RC passage. Till 20 question, I appeared to be cruising along and I was damn sure that I could not have gotten more than 3 wrong in the first 20 questions. From then the dooms started, I got a very tough 4 para science passage with tough questions (understandably so because i was performing well) It had a lot of technical terms and unfamiliar jargon. I spent a lot of time answering the 5 questions and got the feeling that most of the questions could have gone wrong. I moved on, but faced some tough CR's (one was a fill in the blank and some assumptions questions). I had to guess last 3 questions. Overall I had an mixed feeling about verbal, I prayed to get at least 35 so that I could be close to 700 with 49 quant. Did not have to fill up the background questions as everything was pre-filled from the last attempt, Clicked on report scores and was disappointed on seeing that score. Seeing the visible disappointment on my face, the proctor tried comforting me saying that 650 is a good score, better than 80% of test takers.
In hindsight, I feel now that I could have better executed the 2nd half of the verbal section, which did cost me the 700+ score.
Some useful points on my experience.
1. My SC's skills greatly improved after the first attempt. I could not have gotten more than 2-3 SC's wrong. Read the OG explanations closely, not just the questions you gotten wrong. OG SC explanations are gold. Manhattan SC was also helpful in understanding the basics.
2. The explanations posted by instructors in the Manhattan forums were also incredibly useful.
3. The GMATPrep SC document posted by Sondenso was great (Thanks a lot to him).
4. GmatClub math challenges
were helpful in increasing my Quant score. I learned to avoid silly mistakes and better manage time.
5. If your Quant 46-47 and want to improve, OG would be useless. Practice Manhattan Gmat
tests and gmat club challenges
to get used to solving tough questions.
6. Retake GMATPrep multiple times by reinstalling the software and you'll be surprised to encounter the number of new questions you encounter (esp quant).
6. And guys, it is so important to work on your weakness. It is your weakness that will come to haunt you in the exam.
Some details on my practice test scores.
MGMAT- 690 (v-39 and q-45).
MGMAT -730 (q-48 and v-42)
MGMAT -730 (q-50 and v-40)
MGMAT -680 (q-46 and v-36)
MGMAT -750 (q-51 and v-41)
GMATPrep1- 700 (q-49 and V-36)
GMATPrep2-740 (q-49 and v-41)
GMATPrep1-repeat 730 (q-48 and v-42)
GMATPrep2- repeat 750 (q-50 and v-41)
Thats it guys, I don't know when to retake or not. I haven't made any concrete plans of when to start applying. I plan to take a break and build my profile doing some extra curricular activities. Please comment on the score, I plan to apply to good part time programs in California. I belong to the dreaded applicant pool - Indian IT male. I'm aged 26 with 3+ years of good work experience, MS in computer science with good GPA.
Good luck on everyone on GMAT, believe it in yourself and keep practicing. Thanks for all the helpful posts !