I thought about writing this story after I finished studying for this "not easy test"
I ended up the journey with 690 (q45,v39) ....(even if I am still thinking on retaking it since I was scoring consistently 48 in Q on the mock tests..anyway..)
I would like to spend few words on my story,
First of ALL...NEVER GIVE UP!!
and FIGHT NEVER DIE!!!
(From Rice University Motto)
TIP: Gmat is not easy and the more you go up on the score the more efforts you want to pay to COVER FUNDAMENTALS ..Weakness on fundamentals might be one of the reasons that keep your score down...
My Gmat attempts....
My first attempt: 05-28-2008 (510, Q29, V32)
I tried the first time with a lame 510. I really did not prepare as I should.
I am Italian, graduated with a Master in Business in Palermo, Sicily and studied for a semester in Ireland. However, I was not familiar with Cat tests. So I fell badly on a 510 but back then I needed only 610-630 and It was enough to apply to few schools here in Texas. My day job kept me always busy. At that time, I was promoted to a new position in the company and I decided to hold on the "Gmat project". I said I am still 29 I can wait another year and then I can have more savings to cover schools expenses and prepare better to tame the "Gmat".
Second attempt:09-14-2010 (580, Q35, V35)
This time I started again studying more seriously around May 2010. I wanted to do a Kaplan course
but then in the end I decided I can work my way up. My Aim was now 630-650. A friend of mine recommended Grockit website. It was a cool website. It helped me to increase the verbal and math. However, I "bombed" the math part. I did not cover some good topic as series, combinations and permutations, and some geometry rules. I failed it. MY Fault. Again, Defeated by the Gmat. This time I realized that my biggest mistake was not Covering the fundamentals.
It is right in this moment, some friends that I met online (on grockit) introduced me to Gmat club. I started reading stories of other peers in similar situations and I started seeing my weaknesses. I needed to cover math Fundamentals.
Working and Studying is not an easy task. However, if other people are able to do it why I can't (why Can't YOU?).
It just needs dedication, time, sacrifices and "puff" (here you are) Gmat score.
Third attempt: 09-10-2011 (690, Q45, V39)
It was a jump of 110 points from my last attempt. It took me an year. After seeing my score increasing in the mock tests, I started postponing the exam every month. It was not very smart to pay 50$ every time. Some of my friends used to mock me all the time since I was always postponing this exam. However, this strategy of "Raising the bar" paid me for this balance score. It took me an year and a girlfriend to achieve it
. I am confident it will pay.
I decided to dedicate all summer to this lady Gmat. No weekends, no parties, just studying and working. It will pay off (I was telling me). I was also Djing on the week end. Djing was my side hobby/week end job ( I will need money to pay for my school and leave my day job). I started refusing gigs.
You need time to prepare. I was more productive studying every single day a little bit than taking two days break and studying for a full day later. You need perseverance and results will come. (Be confident!)
key tools I used for My Preparation:
1) Gmat Club application for my Ipad and my iphone. I also bought the two interactive books (OG Companion and SC from Mgmath).
1A) The error logs kept me organized for all OG problems. I used to go back to recheck it to see what were my common mistakes. Very Very helpful. I did not have to create a separate spread sheet in Excel since I have everything there in my Ipad.
1B) Og Companion interactive book. I loved the fact to keep record of what I got wrong and have the possibility to review the solution from mgmath instructor instead of OG explanation. Most of the time those OG explanations just confuse more than anything else. I like the idea of paying attention on the "Horacio List". Those problems on the OG were very challenging and helped me to understand more where my weakness were.
1C) Access to all the gmat club questions. Awesome resources. and the possibility to bookmark those questions. The explanations same times require you to have a good background in math/verbal in order to follow them. However,IMO, If you combine this application with a course that covers fundamentals, you are well positioned to get a good score on the Gmat.
In conclusion, There are many features that I used on this application and it will take a long page just to write about them. OG tracker, access to gmat club questions, (math and verbal), the math book (awesome), the possibility to bookmarks your questions so you know what you get wrong. THIS APP IS A MUST HAVE if you have an Iphone or/and Ipad. For 25$ it helped me a lot and THANK you BB, Walker and Sergey. This application is really solid!
2) I found in a local book store the full course of VERITAS PREP
. Those books really made the difference. Part of my score is also due to Veritas
. I started reading them as my test day was approaching (and btw I decided to post poned of other 4 weeks just to have more time to cover those books). It was easy to study from them and those books helped me to cover my math weakness and show me shortcuts to arrive to the solutions, saving few more critical seconds to spend on difficult questions. I got access to the five tests online and I was scoring consistently around 700.
My Feedback for the Veritas Prep
QUANTITATIVE PART on the Ver prep tests looks easier than the real deal.. (maybe when you start hitting the 700 level question the Gmat just changes face and on the ver prep exams there are not many questions on that level)..Moreover, I was scoring consistently around 48 and I hit 51 twice on the mock tests. A Must have is their combinatorics book. It helped me to cover topics as Combinations and Permutations. Very very Useful.
VERBAL on Ver prep is like the real deal...their tests are very very close to the real deal and they helped me so much that I was able to increase my score of 4 points (last verbal was 35). RC and CR strategies are clear an helped me big time when I was in front of those not easy questions.
Overall Veritas Prep
helped me a lot on practicing on real gmat questions. Thanks again! IMO, I would strongly recommended the book course. I did not attend any live class but I am positive they can only be good. On the other side, you might find some typos in the math solutions but those books are gold if you have to cover the fundamentals and start aiming to 650+ scores.
: I found out about this course reading other suggestions on the books on this forum. Those Egmat
guys made a great job. SC looks like doing math. The way they break down the grammar rules tested on the gmat helped me to assimilate them in an easier and faster way. I would strongly recommended the SC course and for 50$ it is real deal. If I knew it before I would have save some time. Classes are short and the way they analyze your preparation helps you to focus on your SC weakness way better than any other course for SC. GIVE IT a TRY..Sure you will not be disappointed. Btw I am Italian and English is my second language.
4) a friend of mine show me knewton online classes. When I was tired I used to watch Ron and Jen (two knewton instructors) classes. This is another course that can help you to achieve a very good score. It is pleasant to watch. Those classes helped me on RC. I really enjoy the mental math class. Doing mental math can save you few seconds on calculations. As I said before, every second is a treasure when you are facing the gmat. It is not only about finding the right solutions but It is also how you manage your time. Not knowing how to manage my time was probably another of my worst mistake. I learnt it the hard way......
....Even if I might think to retake it jut to gain those 20-30 points lost in the math section.....I was scoring 48 on both gmatprep taken one week before the exam.
It is time to apply and time is tight. A balanced 690 might be on the avg of some good schools.
Will it be smart to retake it?
I wrote this post to say GRAZIE MILLE (Thanks a Million) to BB and all Gmat Club Community. My score is dedicated to You!
Walt Disney said, "If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was
started by a mouse."....
Hope this Story can help other members to achieve their dream score!!
All the BEST,