Just got back from the test centre in Holborn, London, after my first (and hopefully last) crack at the GMAT. Overall I'm pretty happy with the score, considering how inconsistent my results were throughout the prep period. First, some background information: I'm a 22 y/o language student, and currently in my final year of study. I realised about 3 months ago that I had to sit the GMAT in order to apply for my chosen Masters programme, so I set about gathering all the information I needed about the test and buying resources. Needless to say, it was an arduous journey, but one that was ultimately worth the hassle!
So, what material did I use? I started by reading through the MGMAT books
and taking notes on just about everything I read. I should mention at this point that my quant skills were absolutely WOEFUL at the beginning - I couldn't even complete the diagnostic test in the OG, let alone tell you the difference between a quadratic and linear equation. See, the thing was, I hadn't actually done any maths really for about 6 years and I hated the subject during my school years. Therefore, as you can imagine, quant was just about my worst nightmare. The only reason this is worth mentioning is because ANYONE can improve their quant score, as long as they're willing to put in the hours. Try not to get discouraged, keep revising and keep pushing yourself. Anyway, back to the topic in hand. After my tussle with the MGMAT books
, I purchased Jeff Sackmann's questions; these are probably the best purchase I made for quant, as his concise, well presented explanations allow you to really engage with the topics you're revising. I did roughly 1700 of them and kept a pretty detailed error log
, which I revisited as often as I could.
With regards to the verbal section, I really didn't do that much prep. I was pretty comfortable with both the SC and CR sections, but struggled a bit with the RC. For this reason, I decided to purchase Zeke Lee's Verbal Pill - another brilliant purchase. I listened to his videos at night before I went to bed and took notes on the relevant info, particularly his SC and RC Pills. I couldn't recommend them highly enough, and you should purchase them if you want an efficient way to improve your verbal skills.
On the subject of practice test, my results were unbelievably inconsistent (as I've already mentioned). I sat 4 GMAT Preps in total, and had scores ranging from Q49 to Q44, and V39 to V29. On that basis, I bombed the maths part quite hard in the real test, but picked it up in the verbal. Still, don't let that discourage (there's that word again!) from using Sackmann's sets - I had a bit of a nightmare with some of the DS questions on the actual test, and that certainly hurt my score.
Right, the test itself. I arrived early and just sat in a cafe, read through my notes and skimmed over my error log
. I figured that if I didn't know something by now, I was probably never going to get it! I completed the AWA section in about 45 minutes, then took my first break. Quant time! I can't remember the precise questions I got, but there were a few horrible exponent questions and some DS questions that, in retrospect, I really must have screwed up. Still, it all passed without too much of a problem and I finished with roughly 4 minutes on the clock. Verbal time! As I've said, I wasn't too worried about this section of the exam and it wasn't too hard, although I did have an absolutely disgusting, 4-paragraph-long, RC about wine and its storage. That upset me quite a bit, but I moved on, none the wiser as to whether I had messed it up. In the end, I finished with roughly 20 minutes left and filled out the final section about my personal background... clicked next... and... BOOM! Up came my score. At first I wasn't that happy with my quant, but I'm not going to dwell on it too much.
Finally, some advice: YOU CAN DO THIS. It may take you a while and it may temporarily break you, but you need to keep plugging away. If you ever need a question answered, don't hesitate to get in touch; I'll always try my hardest to help you out.