I just got back from my second attempt at the GMAT with a score of 710 (Q:50, V:36). These are my thoughts :D
My first attempt at the GMAT was in March 2010. Back then, I have already enlisted the help a GMAT prep course to attempt to hit my target score of 700+. In the end I only managed a score of 660 (Q:47 V:33). Prior to this I only used GMAT OG 12th
edition as my reference text and the educational supplies that were granted by my prep course (they sucked).
I would like to say that I also bought GMAT 2009 (McGraw Hill) and Math Workout for the GMAT (The princeton Review). IMO these 2 are among the worst books on GMAT ever!
Then fast-forward to December 2010 when I decided I should go for a second attempt. That was when I chanced upon this fantastic forum GMATCLUB
. I cannot stress just how helpful this site has been in providing much needed information and also how inspirational the forum has been in providing a look at other people's struggle with the GMAT. Although I didnt follow most of the recommended study guides, I did pick up a couple of useful pointers
1) I believe most of us here are better at quantitative than verbal questions. So it is absolutely critical to get a good foundation in verbal. In particular, sentence correction is a must to do relatively well in. Through this forum, I learned how important it is to get Sentence Correction from the Manhattan GMAT series
. If, you could only afford ONE book (in addition to OG 12th
), i would highly recommend that this be the one. Prior to finding this forum, I didn't know of the existence of the Manhattan series!
2) After buying at least one Manhattan GMAT
book, attempt to do a few of the CATs provided by the book. My only gripe with the CAT offered by GMAT is that the Quantitative portion is actually harder than the actual GMAT. HOWEVER, this is a good thing! Because after attempting a few MGMAT CATs, you would find yourself much better prepared psychologically for the quantitative section of the actual GMAT.
3) While attempting the GMAT, if you find yourself lagging behind in time (which is less likely happen if you paced yourself well) and stuck at a particular question (especially in the quantitative section), just GUESS and move on! Your GMAT score won't drastically drop by 50 points just because you answered one question wrongly. On the other hand, if you couldn't finish a section in time, IMO you will get penalized HEAVILY. I guessed 3-4 questions during my second attempt at the GMAT (literally just clicking on a random option and then click next) and I got a quantitative score of 50.
Having said this, my only regret was that perhaps I have not spent enough time on practicing critical reasoning or listening comprehension. My score is 710 due to a high quantitative score of 50 and an average verbal score of 36. Despite this, I did improve upon my verbal score (which was 33 on my 1st attempt) and I believe I couldn't have done so without this Forum or MGMAT guides
Perhaps for those who are good at quantitative, my experience would show that with a high Quantitative score, a moderate increase in verbal can actually propel you above 700+
Anyway thanks for reading and good luck for the rest of you preparing for the test!
As Paulo Coelho says: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” (If you want it badly enough I think