I took the GMAT 2 days back and just managed to touch 700, although I thought I could have managed to get a little more if I had performed well in the last hour. Background:
I contribute to the crowd of Indian IT male and I am one among the many IT professionals. I have a busy work schedule and I dint have the luxury of taking off from work. I was good at aptitude and quants during my undergraduation, but just average in verbals before I started my GMAT preparation.Study period:
I started my GMAT preparation on 8th June (08/06) and took the GMAT on 12th Oct. In between these 4 months, I could not study as per my expectations for one month. So, the effective study period for me was almost 3 months. Mock Test Score:
1. 22/06 GMAT Prep 1- 590
): Took it just after I got familiar with the GMAT exam pattern without any preparation.
2. 07/09 Manhattan 1- 600 (Q46 V27): First test after going through all topics once.
3. 08/09 GMAT Prep 1 - 660 (Q49 V31): Took GMAT Prep1 again to make sure that the Manhattan test was not an accurate measure; got one question repeat in quants.
4. 15/09 Manhattan 2- 640 (Q45 V33): Improved 40 points over the last Manhattan test.
5. 22/09 Manhattan 3- 630 (Q44
V32): Last question in Quants was not evaluated even though I had marked the answer, but not confirmed. In actual GMAT, if we mark the response and miss to confirm before timeout, the response is evaluated.
6. 29/09 Manhattan 4- 710
V36): My best performance in quants.
7. 02/10 Manhattan 5 -640 (Q45 V33): Back to the old consistent score of 640
8. 06/10 GMAT Prep 2- 710
( IR5 Q49 V38
): Regained the starting digit "7". My only full length test during my preparation.
Apart from these tests, I also took the diagnostic test on eGMAT
site and scored 93 and 87 percentile respectively in SC and CR.
The Manhattan CATs do not emphasize much on the first 10 questions as the GMAT does. When I scored Q51 in one of the MGMAT CATs, I had two wrong answers in the first ten questions. Moreover, I felt that level of Quants questions in MGMAT CAT was a little difficult than the actual GMAT.Study Materials: OG 13
, Manhattan 5th ed series, Quantitative Review, Verbal review, Aristotle SC Grail, Powerscore CR
, Posts of Bunuel and Karishma on GMAT Club for Quants, Posts of e-GMAT
on GMAT Club for Verbals, e-GMAT
free trial, GMAT Prep Questions
Out of all these, I found the e-GMAT
posts and sessions the most useful. I could not enroll into the full course due to time constraint but it would have been useful if I had done so, more because the free resource itself helped me in improve my Verbal score.
On the same lines, I felt that Quantative Review was a waste of time as it has very easy questions. I felt that Manhattan book was not as good as Powerscore for CR although I may be wrong. General Strategy:
I went through the Manhattan Strategy one by one and then solving the related questions from OG 13
. This took me around 2.5 months, which included half month in which I could not study well. Since I was doing well in Quants, I worked mainly on Verbals thereafter. In the next one month, I went through Aristotle SC and Powerscore CR
and completed the Verbal Review questions. During this time, I solved all PS and DS questions of OG 13
for the second time. (This was the time when I wasted a few days in Quantative Review).
The silver lining came in the last 15 days when I became active on GMAT club. It was at that time that I came to know about e-GMAT
and I almost read all the posts by e-GMAT
representatives. I also enrolled in the free trial and completed all the files there. Due to hectic office schedule, I could not enroll into any of the course. But I must say, my score would have been better, if I had enrolled.
I did not prepare much for AWA and IR. I just went through Essay structure and a few questions of IR before the actual GMAT.Test Day Experience:
I reached the test center on time. After the biometrics, I started my exam. A word of caution here... Pls make sure that the ID proof has the same name as mentioned in the mba.com profile. If there is a slight mismatch, you are not allowed for the exam. I do not have a surname but my passport carries my father's name as the surname, a typical tradition in Chennai. I could have been in trouble if I had not read this post and its first comment:http://gmatclub.com/forum/what-to-do-30-14-7-3-1-days-before-the-test-152506.html
Coming to my exam, my AWA topic discussed about upgrade in hardware and software in a firm to improve employee productivity. I took 3-4 min to analyse and then I completed the essay in next 25 min. After spell check, I submitted my essay.
IR section was easy. I dint strain my mind too much on any question and completed all the question in time.
I took the optional break and was late by 1 min for the Quants. I felt a little nervous in the first question due to that but then I recovered. Questions were comparatively easy and I went smoothly till 25th question. Then i got a series of difficult questions related to geometry where I fumbled and probably got a few wrong. Overall, quants was good and I was happy with my performance.
After the optional break, I started the Verbal section. I got 4 RC passage in total; the passage content was easy to understand but the questions were difficult. CR and SC were comparatively tough than GMAT Prep or other test. I was exhausted after half an hour in the Verbal section. I was losing the stamina to perform well and marked a few questions without following the proper strategy. I felt, my biggest mistake was that I took just one full length test before the actual GMAT
. Somehow, I regained and completed the test.
My score read Q49 V35 IR7, total score 700. I could have done better if I had concentrated a bit more in the last hour. Moreover, I was a little disappointed with my Quants score of 49 as I felt that I did better and could have got Q50.
Please suggest if I should consider a retake or I should go ahead with this score. I may not be applying for 2014 intake due to some personal reasons and would probably apply for 2015 intake.