Guys, I'm done! I'm exhausted, but happy. My score is:
700 (Q48, V38)
This is definitely enough to get me to any master's programme in Europe, so I couldn't ask for more. I'll post the detailed review of my experience soon. I'm leaving to Riga, Latvia tomorrow, but hopefully I'll find internet connection there.
Thanks to everyone! You are stars!
Iâ€™m 21, studying International Business in Prague, Czech Republic. English is not my native language and I have never lived in an English speaking country. My aim is to get a Master degree from one of TOP5 European business schools. My choice number one has always been Universitaet St. Gallen, Switzerland, and I knew I had to score 680 in order to get there.
I started my preparation in February. I was studying approximately 3 days per week for 2.5 months. After this period I had to take a break for 1 month because of university exams and then return for the most intense part of the preparation in June and in the beginning of July. I used these books in the following order:
2006 Premier (My rating: ***) â€“ Useful for introduction, has some nice techniques, but most questions are very different from the real test.
â€¢ Princeton Review 2006 (My rating: *) â€“ This book was practically useless for my preparation, elementary level of math, useless techniques.
â€¢ Kaplan 800
(My rating: ***) â€“ This book has some really tough questions, but I found it also very different from the real test, I would suggest using it only for Quant, because Kaplan
â€™s verbal is a different world.
â€¢ Official Guidebook 11th Edition (My rating: *****) â€“ OG is absolutely essential for GMAT preparation, it is the only book that uses real test questions and gives you a great overview about what you can expect in the real test
â€¢ Manhattan GMAT
(My rating: ****) â€“ Iâ€™ve been using 4 out of 7 MGMAT books
(Number properties, Word translations, RC+CR, SC) and I found them very useful, especially Number properties and SC can really boost your score and give you the necessary confidence.
My practice tests:
Diagnostic â€“ 590
GMAT PowerPrep 1 â€“ 690 (Q50, V33)
GMAT Prep 1 â€“ 680 (Q46, V33)
GMAT Prep 2 â€“ 680 (Q48, V35)
CAT1 â€“ 620 (Q39, V36)
CAT3 â€“ 740 (Q48, V43)
GMAT Powerprep 2 â€“ 730 (Q48, V42)
GMAT Prep 1 (reinstall) â€“ 720 (Q48, V41)
GMAT Prep 2 (reinstall) â€“ 770 (Q50, V44)
GMAT Prep 1 (reinstall) â€“ 780 (Q51, V49)
GMAT â€“ 700 (Q48, V38) + AWA 5.0
Concerning practice tests, itâ€™s important to keep in mind:
1) Not all tests are representative â€“ the most representative is definitely GMAT Prep
2) Take at least three full tests with AWA and proper breaks
3) Even when you reinstall GMAT Prep, you will still see many brand new questions (especially sets of SC and PS questions are huge)
4) Donâ€™t get too excited when you score high in a practice test! Itâ€™s just a practice test!
Before the test:
People always ask what they should focus on during the last days of their preparation. I think itâ€™s very simple â€“ Forget about GMAT! Relax, go to cinema, spend some time with your friends or family, but donâ€™t let GMAT ruin your mental health. It is also important to be in a familiar environment, sleep in your bed on the day before the exam and always stay positive. GMAT makers try to make you believe that GMAT is the most important thing in your life â€“ we all know itâ€™s not!
I spent literally days and months just by trying to learn how to stay calm and relaxed during the whole test. I knew it is the key to success. AWA was not important for my application and both questions were easier than I expected (actually, I was quite surprised, because I saw one of these questions in OG before!). I felt very energetic and ready to beat the Quant section. However, I totally freaked out during the first minutes of Quant. I had to guess on the first three questions and I wasnâ€™t in fact far from quitting the test. Actually, questions in quant were not harder than those in GMAT Prep, but all the concepts were very different. I thought I totally bombed this section and was expecting a score around 42. On the other hand, I felt really confident in Verbal. I was absolutely sure with my answer in most questions, because all concepts were exactly the same as in GMAT Prep. However, I scored only 38. Therefore, my advice would be â€“ never try to predict your score, you will be just wasting your time!
It can be done!
During your GMAT preparation, youâ€™ll experience several ups and downs, youâ€™ll be asking yourself â€œwhy am I doing this?â€