Finally!!!!!! GMAT is over !!!!! - 730
I gave my GMAT on April 13, 2012 - Friday at 1:00 PM in Bangalore and scored 730 (49Q, 41V). My earlier plan was to give it on April 14 but by the time I decided to book my appointment, there was no vacancy on April 14. Finally, had to settle down for Friday the 13th. Initially thought a lot about whether to give it on 13th FRIDAY or not. But later just thought of going for it as it has never caused me any problem. Background.
Engineer in Computer Science with almost 8 years of exp.
Edit: Here is some background info. As I have already mentioned, I am from engineering background and from India. So, Quants was not a problem for me. But w.r.t verbal, it was totally opposite. I have studied upto X standard in a local medium where English was second language as a single subject. I did not converse properly with confidence in English with others till I finished by study and joined a company. Because, there was never a need for it. I could always talk to friends in local language.
And my writing skills in English were limited to only technical things which were needed in Engineering.
I have lived in US for three years and in europe for 3 months on assignments as part of my job.
I gave my background info just to prove that you can score reasonably well in verbal without having good english background and being a non native speaker
I will not focus much on my background and other details. My main intention of writing this debrief is to share my experience with a hope that it might be helpful for others. I am benefited by many of the debriefs here and if at least one can get benefit from my debrief, i will be happy that I have written this debrief.Study materials used:
MGMAT - Number Properties - A must have for quants.
MGMAT - Word Translations - A must have for quants.
MGMAT - Geometry - Good book but not great(A must have if you are not strong in Maths)
MGMAT - Fractions and .. - Good book but not great. (A must have if you are not strong in Maths)
Gmat Club quant book - This is needed if you want to score above 45 in quants. Quite a few tricks are present here which you will not find in MGMAT books
. This is a must for getting high scores.
MGMAT – SC – A must have. Without this, its impossible for non natives to score well in SC.Power Score CR Bible
– A very good book. Its bulky but you can finish it sooner than you think. A must have if you want high score in verbal
Gmat Club Ultimate Grammar – Part 1 - This is very good if you are a non native speaker and want to understand the basic structure of sentences. Better to use it before MGMAT SCOfficial Guide 12th
Ed – No need to write on this book for GMAT test takers. This is the bible for GMAT!!!. Quant questions are very easy compared to actual GMAT. Verbal is on par with actual GMAT.
I was good in quants from beginning. My least score in quant was 50 in all the GMAT Prep tests. But on the test day, some how I ended up scoring 49. I am confident that If I give again, I can get more than 49 in quant. But, I am not confident of repeating verbal score Study Plan:
My interest in GMAT started sometime in early october 2011 and was thinking of preparing for it from November 2011. But my preparaton was only limited to solving questions on gmat club forum. Towards the end of november, I realized that I am wasting my time and should start with real study and not lurking around the forums. Because of few family functions, I could not start my study till late december 2011. Could only finish MGMAT NP book in december and gave MGMAT test towards end of december. I scored 600 (43Q, 30V). I was OK with my score.
In January 2012, I started with verbal preparation. Completed MGMAT SC
, GMAT Club Ultimate Grammar, Power Score CR
. I was only studying these books and was not active on forums. My main intention was to get my basics strong before jumping into solving problems. I gave another MGMAT test and my score was 680( 49Q , 34V) I was happy that I was able to do better and also I knew I had 2.5 more months left to improve.
In February, I could not study much because of other unplanned commitments. But I was able to revise every book I had studied in Dec and Jan. Did not do lot of questions till then. Also, I did not want to come across GMAT Prep questions before my actual GMAT prep test 1. So, I did not do OG also till I took GMAT Prep test 1. Beginning of March, I took GMAT Prep test 1. I scored 730 (50Q and 38V) I was very happy as I had one more month to prepare for my exam.
After my GMAT prep test 1, I started with OG. I felt quant in OG is too easy. At least 60% of the problems I could do without pen and paper and also within 1 minute. I found CR good, SC was a challenge for me. Found RC questions towards the end very difficult in OG.
After OG, I took GMAT Prep Test 2 and score was 750 – 50Q and 40V. Was happy with my improvement in verbal. After, this I had finished all the official questions of GMAT. So, I was redoing GMAT Prep test just to find any new questions in high difficulty level. Did not find anything new much as most of the questions were repeating.
Towards the end of march, I thought of booking my test date. But was surprised to see that April 14 was not available and after few days of deliberation, I booked for April 13 at 1:00 PM.
Awa preparation: I used Chinese Burned guide for AWA. This is the best guide I have seen till date on AWA. Very precise. I do not know how much I have scored in AWA as score is yet to come. But whatever I get, I owe it to Chinese Burned and GmatClub.com.
Edit: Got my AWA score its 5.5
I took two days off from office for my G day. April 12 and April 13. Did a little bit of study on April 12 by going through my SC and quant notes. On 13th, I went to test center at 12 and everything went smoothly. Previous night, I had received a good luck email from gmat club with few posts related to G Day. Was helpful to know that Watches, pen.. etc were not allowed. So, I made sure I read the guidelines carefully. Test experience
Started with AWA. Both argument and issue were similar to all the topics present in OG. So, AWA section went smoothly.
Took a break. Only 8 minutes break. Fortunately had a Digital Clock outside the testing room. So, I made sure that I noted the time when I came out and went in after 5 minutes. Even though, I took only 6 minutes break, I wanted to make sure that I don’t hit the panic button by seeing my time from Quant and Verbal section are reduced because of taking longer breaks. Taking one minute less during break is better than loosing 1 minute in your test time.
Quant started off easily. But then I made one mistake in one DS question and I knew as soon as I confirmed my answer!!!. But then, you cant go back in GMAT. But I did not let it impact me. As exam progressed, I felt that problems were more calculation intensive unlike OG or GMAT prep. Questions were more similar to MGMAT tests and GMAT club tests
in which you need to spend time in calculation. Towards the end of the exam when 10 questions were pending, I knew that I have to press the accelerator. But questions were becoming more and more Difficult and calculation intensive. So, I guessed few answers and moved forward. I finished the quant section in time but I knew, I have guessed few questions. And actual GMAT was more difficult than GMAT prep.
Before my verbal, I again took a calculated 6 minutes break. Couple of Biscuits and a flavored drink with lots of sugar. I had a feeling that my Quant has gone bad compared to my all practice exams, so, lets see what verbal brings. Verbal, I went on doing questions without worrying much on whether answers are 100% correct or not. I did it more more like I am doing OG questions. Verbal questions were inline with expectations. And also, I had not studied idioms because GMAC had announced that idioms are phased out. But just before the G Day, I read that GMAC has clarified and only US Centric Idioms are phased out!!!. So, you can imagine my situation. Cant hope for more without studying what is required. But I knew that I have taken GMAT prep test without studying Idioms and got 40, so, if I can do the same, results might not be that bad.
After verbal, filled in my background info. Basically everything that you have filled in your profile on mba.com will be prepopulated. You have to verify and click next.
When I saw my score, I was satisfied that I don’t have to write GMAT again for applying to schools but I was not happy with my quant score. It was the least score in all preps. Came out of the testing room and received my unofficial report.Few tips:
- Do problems only from trusted source. Best source is OG, GMAT prep tests and collection of GMAT prep questions. Do these only after you have taken the GMAT prep test. Otherwise, you will be wasting two precious exam as you see questions which you already know.
- Last minute study wont help you much in this exam
- If you have answered one-two questions wrongly, GMAT has a trick to judge your ability well. You will get score what you deserve. Don't worry about those wrong answers
- If you have sufficient time, you can improve your typing speed by using some typing training softwares. It will be very useful while writing AWA.
- Do not check reasoning provided by many in forums to validate your reasoning. Especially on verbal. Manhattangmat forums are great to get answers for your verbal doubts. You will find answers for all GMAT prep questions there. If you take others word for granted in forums, you will confuse yourself and learn wrong things. Instead go by what tutors/instructors/experts say on these forums.
- Be flexible with your study plan. Try to have at least one day to relax in a week. Its very important!!!. It will help your mind to gather everything you have learned or understood and turn into knowledge that you can apply. Remember GMAT does not test how much you remember or know, It tests how well you can apply your knowledge.
- Do not over load yourself in last week before the exam. There is more chance of you forgetting concepts because of stress than you get to learn what you have not learnt till then.
- As many have said, do visit your test center once before your exam. Find good parking places around your test center. Do not keep anything for luck on your GDay.
- Your stress in real exam is different from your practice test. I have always felt at ease during my practice tests. I was always fresh even after giving 4 hours practice test. But I was exhausted after my actual test. So, dont be overconfident if you at ease during your practice tests
- I always had at least 6 minutes to spare in Quant section during my practice tests. I thought situation will be same during actual test. So, I took few extra minutes on questions and struggled to keep up the pace during exam in quants. Do not repeat my mistakes. If you are good in quants and can do fast. No need to slow down in actual exam. Go with your actual speeed.
Thanks to BB for this wonderful site. Without this site, 730 would not have been possible.
I will be happy to take any questions.
- Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts