Let me start of by thanking this wonderful forum without which I wouldn't have crossed the barrier within a month.
I was shell shocked after my first GMAT. I'd scored a miserable 500(Q38, V21). My practice test scores back then would range from the 530s to 590s. My last GMAT prep score 2 days prior to my GMAT was a 620.So the least i was expecting was a 580 score come test day. Boy! You could just imagine how I might've taken 500(35th percentile) as my final score. I'd slogged 4 whole months till test day and was completely shattered. I had a feeling that my hard work had yielded absolutely no rewards and slowly started believing that the GMAT was only for the born-smart people and no matter how hard I slog I'm not going to do any better.Mistakes prior to my first GMAT
1) Focused only on my strengths rather than addressing my weaknesses. (HUGE & BIGGEST MISTAKE
2) Studied the day before the test day. (Second huge mistake)
3) Shit scared on the morning of test day. ( To a point of almost considering not to appear for it owing to the fear and pressure)
4) Pressure & fear hit me so hard amidst the test, that I had to take an unscheduled break amidst the quant and verbal section each. That killed my timing.
Future Test-takers must certainly not repeat the foolish mistakes I'd mentioned above. The moment you get scared of the GMAT - YOU ARE DOOMED
. Always, always carry the attitude - I'M GONNA TAME THE GMAT COME WHAT MAY
! Materials Used for my first GMAT:OG12Kaplan Premier
Program 2010Manhattan SC
( Only for CRs)Kaplan Math WorkbookManhattan SC guide
- a truly must have. I improved SC in a month owing to this book. I read this book atleast 4-5 times.The Princeton Review
(only for CRs) - made me underestimate CRs. I found their explanations too easy and hence, led me to believe that CRs would be a cakewalk. Not recommended if CR is your Achilles heel.Kaplan Math Workbook
- Good for Math basics and skills refresher.OG 12
- Fairly easy quant. Very few tough problems.Kaplan Premier Program
- Good book. Enjoyed solving their problems - 50 each section. Second Attempt
- 640(q46, v31)::Materials UsedOG 10Powerscore CR
Bible.Manhattan Number PropertiesManhattan SC
- I can't stress the importance of this book highly enough. The big Kahuna for your GMAT Prep. It's a shame that i didn't refer to it prior to my first attempt. I solved each and every quant and SC question from this book. I noted down all problems that I'd got wrong. I would go over the same problems every day atleast once until I was confident that i could solve any type of problem related to that specific topic. This hugely boosted my confidence.PowerScore CR Bible
: A complete must have for test takers struggling with CRs. Read the rules mentioned time and again and you'll be good with the CRs.Manhattan Number Properties
: Number properties questions were my weakness. This book cleared every single doubt i had about number properties. Highly recommended for ones struggling with number properties.
Before my Second go at the GMAT, majority of my study pattern surrounded around the OG 10
. If you're well-versed with every single concept and problem tested in the OG 10
, you're certainly guaranteed a 650+, considering you're good with time management.TEST DAY
Be calm. Don't try to mug up things at the last moment. Rather, I'd suggest stressing on your strengths on test day.Gives you a hell lot of confidence. Have a light breakfast. Not too much of fluids - you wouldn't want to give your bladder the opportunity to mess up your one shot at the GMAT. Just keep saying this to yourself all along on the way to the test center - "I'm going to TAME THE DAMN GMAT. I'm NOT GOING TO LET THE GMAT RULE OVER ME." Abuse the test if it helps. Time Management
Time management is probably the most crucial part of your GMAT. Before my first GMAT i would usually struggle to complete the quant section on time in my practice tests. After churning through OG10
, my speed had improved so much that I would complete the quant section with more that 8-9 mins remaining. So, timing yourself is really crucial.The FIRST TEN-QUESTIONS SAGA
On my first attempt, I didn't pay much heed to the first ten questions and treated all the questions equally. That's probably what molested my score in the first attempt.
As majority of the people here have mentioned time and again, the first ten questions are absolutely crucial, I would just like to emphasize that further.
Spend a bit of extra time on the first ten questions and try not to mess up more that 1 question in the first 10 questions in either section if you're looking for a score of atleast 650+.
I also can't thank GMAT Club enough. Some of the debriefs here are simply phenomenal and highly motivating. I'd also subscribed to the GMAT Question Of The Day. Really useful stuff that! PRACTICE TESTS
Practice tests are a crucial part of your preparation process. I would take a practice test every week and sometimes even twice a week. I would address all the questions i would get wrong for at least 2 days after the test and make sure I wouldn't repeat those mistakes ever again.
My Practice Test Scores prior to my second attempt :
GMAT Prep 1: 620(q47, v28)Kaplan
2006 CAT 1 : 540(q36, v24)
PowerPrep 1: 550(q46, v20)
Princeton 2004 CAT 1: 640(q43, v35)
PowerPrep 2: 580(q47, v21)
Princeton 2004 CAT 2: 610(q44, v29)
GMAT Prep 2: 580(q44, v 25) - two days prior to test day.
As you can see my last practice test score was 580 and i improved my actual score by 60points on test day. Therefore, it is possible to improve your score on test day and you shouldn't let your practice test scores affect your morale on test day.
That's my experience. All de-motivated test takers can take heart from my performance and improve their performances by miles, even if it's in a month. I'm highly pleased with my final score. It's glad to learn that my hard work finally paid off. Practice Practice Practice... that's the only aspect that stands between you and your dream GMAT Score.
Best of Luck!
My GMAT JOURNEY : 500 to 640 in a Month!! ---- > http://gmatclub.com/forum/finally-done-gmat-1-500-to-gmat-2-640-in-a-month-89600.html#p678289