What better way to say Hi! to this community than by sharing my experience with the whole GMAT odyssey
I will try be brief and hopefully this post could be of use to someone. Background info
24/M/English not 1st languageMaterials used
1. Manhattan guides
2. OG 12
3. Quant review 2nd edition
4. Verbal review 2nd editionStudying process
roughly 5 hours per day/ 7 days a week for 9 weeksThe story
I took a free test back then to see where I stood. I scored 620. As I now go back to this score I'm doubtful about its precision due to the fact that I did not even know what the GMAT format was, let alone any strategies for tackling data sufficiency or verbal. So probably these 620 points were an overestimation.
I decided to take my preparation seriously. I quit work as I was working for 60 hours per week and honestly I did not find the motivation and energy to prepare well during the weekends. So that's how I afforded those 5 hours per day. What exactly did I do? I started off by reading all Manhattan guides and solving all the problems in them, BUT without the official GMAT questions. After I finished the guides, I went through them once again. Thus, 6 weeks into studying I have read all the guides twice and solved all the problems in them twice. The second time I was going through the guides, however, I summarized the juice of every topic in a notebook. I have found that to be an effective way for me to study, make connections between topics and think in deep about the material. This provided me with the foundations and confidence to tackle the real GMAT questions. That is exactly what I did next - solve all the questions in the OG 12
and the verbal and quant review 2nd editions. This must have taken me about a week to do. When I was finished I was pressed for time. Nonetheless, I decided not to take any GMAT test simulations. Not yet. I read all the stuff I have jotted down in my notebooks from the Manhattan guides and solved all GMAT OG 12
, quant and verbal reviews questions again. Another week. The final week of my preparation I did 4 GMAT tests on which I scored as follows:
GMAT - 760
2. GMAT Pill - 600
3. GMATPrep 1st test - 710
4. GmatPrep 2nd test - 740
Why the huge range you may ask. I don't know. I did not take any of the tests in the time frame I have scheduled my real test in. Actually both my highest and lowest score were on the tests that I completed late in the night. Moral of the story - do not sweat over it.
I found plenty of useful material in this forum and I read topics on combinatorics as this is my weakest area. Despite that, I did not had the time to do the problems that I have saved on my computer. I strongly recommend you do so if time permits. Key points
1. GMATPrep is the closest thing to the real experience. The only difference between GMATPrep and the official exam, at least for me, is the pressure you put on yourself. Get that under control and you are good to go!
2. Realize that you can't master every single detail to perfection. That is the whole beauty of the GMAT (OMG, it had a beauty?) - everything is put into a time frame. You can score above 700 even if you are not a master in combinatorics (my case in point).
3. Always, always stay positive and optimistic! I cannot stress enough how important that is, IMO. At the end of the day the GMAT is just another exam. Important, yes, but just an exam. The day before the exam I did not touch a single thing related to the GMAT. I did not think about it either. So, what I am trying to say is that if you manage to stay calm you will, ultimately, be satisfied.
I would like to thank this community as well as its creators. The work you do is appreciated! Keep going!
One final thing - my actual results:
IR - 8
AWA - waiting for the result
Quant - 49
Verbal - 41