Hello all, I just got back from the test center and I am extremely tired. Let me check my score again. Okay it is indeed:
And here is my road to the 700 club. I never scored well on any standardized test, since I am not an native english speaker. So I never dreamed of making this score on GMAT, my aim was 720+ when I started. I started my prep road by doing kaplan
gmat. My first test score is 640 on a paper. And that's when I discovered gmatclub, a google search landed me here. After reading all the heart warming stories of successful predecessors, I decided to give it my best shot. I finished kaplan
book, meaningwhile I purchased the MGMAT sc
guide. Let me say this book is god-sent, I went over it at least 4 times. After reading it, SC started to make sense to me, before the book my SC correction rate is about 30-40%.
I took the Kaplan
paper test and score 690, a nice improvement. But I had felt that I acquired all the tools that I need to get a good score, the rest is just practice. My next phase is about 3 month of on-and-off study/practice. I want to give special thanks to Walker.
As I continued my prep for GMAT, my work has gotten busier everyday, I barely had enough time to study after work. I took MGMAT a few times, the highest I've ever gotten was 710. So I signed up for the kaplan class
, part of the reason is so that I can have dedicated time blocks to study for GMAT. There are a few tricks I learned from Kaplan
that actually helped me speed up the thinking process, it was quite helpful. But after I take the practice exam, I still averaged only arond 690-720.
My real break came only couple of weeks before I take the actual GMAT. Knowing my time is running out, I took GMATprep and scored a somewhat unsatisfying 730. I felt quite disappointed. That's when I started really buckled down and started to hit the practice problems. I did on average at least 100 problems a day, mostly SC1000 and CR1000. I took GMATprep again shortly after and score 770. That's when I started to believe that I can actually score higher than 750. I practiced and practiced, even when I was "taking care of business". I practiced nothing but GMATprep since then, I took it for 5-6 times, scores ranging from 750 to 770.
I think the last two weeks of my prep is where my real improvements come from. After all the hardwork, I was so excited to take the test, I barely slept last night. I woke up around 4 after 3 hrs of sleep and could never fall into sleep again. So I went to the test center and took it earlier than my scheduled time. Before I know it, I am done with a 770 score!
I want thank everybody who had helped along the way, I am very tired, but happy at last. Thank you all!
And best of luck to everyone.Prep Tips
I am going to share some tips with fellow test takers. I think the first step is to identify your weakness. For me, I categorized each mistake I made and calculated the % I missed on each category. In the beginning, I did well on Quant, but I had to improve on speed and go over some basic concepts. I missed about 60-70% SC, and 30-40% on CR. So I know these are the areas I need to work on. I decided to not spent too much time on RC. For two reasons: RC has a comparatively low portion on the verbal section, also it is the hardest to improve on. I also did not spend much time on AWA, I originally planned to, but running out of time and I decided it will look much better to have a GMAT score rather than the AWA score.SC
SC is my biggest gain in points come from. I would like to credit it to the methodology learned from MGMAT SC
review and practices I did with SC1000. I really had no idea what was going on when I first started doing SC. It was atrocious, especially since I am not a native speaker. MGMAT SC
review really opened my eyes, it broke down each problem to a sub category. My experience is, if you see a problem and you don't know which category it belong, then you are probably in trouble. Many problems belong to two or more categories, but you should have no problem identify them. Once you learned necessary skill set to tackle this problem, the next part is to hit the practice problems. I think the volume of the practice you do will help you tremendously. There is really no easy way. And I want to thank Walker again for writing the SC1000 software. I used it to practice at least 50 problems a day. I also have it loaded on my phone so I can practice wherever I go. I started out getting about 60% correct, and the week before I take GMAT I was able to get somewhere between 85%-90%. The best part of the SC1000 software is that they have links on some problems that will bring you to the thread on GMATclub forum, where you can see what others explanation of the problems are. It really helped me a lot.CR
The most important thing about CR is to read critically. By the time you finish reading the questions, you should somewhat expect what kind of answer you will be looking for. I see several good books where they break down CR questions into sub categories. It is helpful knowing what the question is looking for. And the rest is just practice, I practice about 50 problems a day. It's not neccessary to have dedicated time block to do this problem. Practice wherever you can, on the train, in the meeting (pretending you are checking your email, WARNING! this is not recommended, but sometimes you have to, like when you only have two weeks to go!), car trip, lunch time, before you to go bed every night. RC/AWA
RC is the hardest part to improve. I figured my return/investment ratio isn't too great in this portion. There are only around 10 RC problems on the test, where CR and SC has about 15-17. And it's hard to improve RC scores. My recommendation is to read critically and read newspapers/magazines(not those with a lot of pictures
) whenever you have time. The general rule of thumb is there are 3 category: summary, inference and fact. Summary is the general idea, inference is what author is suggesting, and fact is basically what is explicitly stated in the paragraph. For AWA, I used chineseburned guide, it should be in the verbal section of this forum. It's helpful, I went over it 3 times and one more before the exam. I really did not have enough time to prepare for it.QUANT
I didn't prepare much for quant portion. I did about 10 GMATCLUB math tests. It is much harder than the real quant of course. Even GMATprep is slightly harder than the real GMAT. I hope this will give you idea on how to prepare for it.TEST DAY
Visit the test center, bring foot/drink, but don't drink too much. I made a mistake where I drink too much tea trying to stay awake and by the end of the verbal session (10 problems left or so), my bladder was about to explode. I seriously contemplated the idea of taking an extra un-timed break. It's really distracting. Get a good night of sleep.