Thank you all for your warm words. GMATclub has been a tremendous gathering place for many of us, MBA aspirants. The incredible intellectual energy that can be channeled to this site is phenomenal. For all new members, I suggest you to try to get the most out of this community but also try to give back as much as you can: it is the spirit of this place and it is how this community has helped me and will help you in your own quest.
Many people have asked me how come I did not schedule the test after 3500+ posts and how can you "know that you're ready"? It is your own gutts feeling, it is by believing in yourself that you can tame the beast. It is after relentlessly pounding on your weak areas and facing them that you will perfect yourself. If you are weak in RC, as it is for many of us, practice it. Face your problem or else, it will catch up to you during the exam. RC, being many people's weakness, will make it hard to score 700+ without a good RC skillset. As for math, practice, practice and practice. Learn fundamentals. Go through the math archives and ask questions. Remember that the dumbest questions are the ones that are never asked. Join the math challenges
and make the best use of them. Remember that there is no merit in scoring a perfect score in those challenges if you don't know how to explain the answers. The challenges are not about a competition about how to get the highest score but they are there to help you achieve a goal: To improve your math skills. Hence, for those of you who do not necessarily get high scores on those purposely difficult challenges, use them to your advantage. Go through every question and try to understand the explanations, the logic and fundamentals behind those questions. I scored from 66 percentile to 99 percentile on those challenges but got Q49(90%) on the actual test. I was not deterred by the lower scores because I analyzed those questions in great detail and tried to find ways to understand and apply that knowledge to further math questions. Do not worry if some problems of this forum are ridiculously hard, it can happen. But remember that harder problems will force you to go beyond your own limit and not just to give up when facing "oddball" questions on the exam.
One year back, I doubted that I could ever achieve those top school averages and ever get in to say INSEAD or any other top schools. I desperately was in the search of a forum with people having the same goals as me, the same aspirations as me and I found this place through a yahoo search. I have been blessed. I found this site quite daunting at first as I saw so many posters with phenomenal quant skills and was even intimidated (especially by Akhamai but who is not intimidated by him
) to a certain extent. Nonetheless, I learned how this site worked and how one can get the best out of a community such as this one. I grew to be more comfortable and became almost addicted to this community
: Gmatclub is a wealth of resource and has so much to offer, remember that.
Finally, unlike many of you, I will not be applying before the next few years and I am doing my GMAT now just to get it out of the way. There are just so many things to say but I'm afraid to be just rambling on for too much here. I will now talk about my test experience.
I don't think I did too well this time on AWA. Perhaps 4.5 or so. I just had nothing to say on the issue analysis but I'm sure I rocked the argument part. Make sure that you take the breaks after this as it will give you the final breath before the "real" thing starts. I wasn't happy with how the issue part unfolded but never looked back or even had any thought about that in the following sections. I would recommend you to stick to a combination of PR/OG templates as it works with just any situation. Last time I stuck with those I got 5.5. I think that as long as you got 4+ and a good GMAT score, AWA should not be a major concern. Don't sweat it.
It started with first 2 questions relatively smooth. Third question was an "easy" probability question with like given x persons, in how many ways can you form a committe. I can't be more precise here because of copyright issues. However, provided that you practiced those kind of questions, and there are many of this type in this forum, you should be fine with those probability questions. The questions really got tougher and I think I got my toughest question at # 22 or so. It must have been one of those word questions. I must have guessed on 2-3 questions whereby I told myself that it was not worth spending 5 minutes on a question and perhaps get it wrong anyways. Time management is crucial
and DO guess on tough questions that you cannot do within 3-4 minutes. If you practiced on enough math problems and have done challenges in this forum, along with Kaplan800
math workout, you should be fine. I finished this section with just enough time. Take the break
It started with a short but very difficult SC. I really hesitated b/w 2 choices and spent 3 or 3.5 minutes on that SC alone! I almost lost my composure telling myself what would happen to my score if I missed the first one outright! I'm not even sure I got it right in the end but had to move on. Perhaps that's why I got a lower verbal score... I think I then got 2 RC back to back around the 5th questions. I think the ETS has found a way to really make you freak out in the test by putting them back to back. Hence, since RC appear relatively early, you better get them right otherwise your verbal score will suffer. Those 2 RCs were about social science and each about 30-35 lines. They were relatively easy to understand but again, provided that you practiced it. Many SC and CR following. I found all the other SC fairly easy and I got 1 BF CR at around question 37 or so. There were 2 more RC passages. One was about a business passage, about 45 lines long, and the last one really threw me off. It was a science passage of 60 lines but a really tough one. I had to guess some of the answer choices which made the most sense to me. I finished verbal section with 1 minute spare. Clicked on the questions at the end and my hands have never been that moist from nervousness on a mouse. Such was my relief to see 710! I almost cried of joy.
In the last 2 months prior to my GMAT, I went through the whole OG SC, CR, and RC. Analyzed EVERY question and learned the fundas behind them. See what each question is testing and DO NOT move on until you fully understood the given questions. I also did the whole of Kaplan800
. As many of you might have noticed, I felt like I practiced way too much verbal and in the last 2 weeks, I joined every challenge and worked on the toughest DS from the OG. Do not worry if you fail 8-9 in a row in the last 60 DS questions in OG as they are purposely tough, even tougher than the ones I encountered on the exam. However, do try to understand what is being tested and how you can avoid stumbling on the same question types in the future.
The first time I took the GMAT, I got 620 and did not even know you could not bring a calculator until the day prior to the exam
I was really underprepared and got hammered by the exam. I was happy to have been above 620 though but was always curious in knowing whether it was possible for me to reach those 7XX averages posted by top Bschools. In hindsight, I would say YES. Just believe in yourself and put in the commensurate effort and you will get what you want. Nothing is impossible in life!
So many words, I think I will stop here
I will definitely stick around and try to help out other members. I will even answer some questions from the math/verbal forum
but this time, without having the pressure of the exam looming in the horizon
. I owe so much to this site and its members and this is just my small contribution to this great place. Kudos.