I am new to this site and have been reading multiple posts of different experiences. I just gave my GMAT last week and thought I'd post my own experience. My Background:
I have been working in the supply chain software consulting field for 6+ years now. I also have a masters degree from the US. My industry is very specialized and competition is fairly high (think of it as less people moving in or out of the company). So seniority wins and I found that moving up the ladder was not easy. I have friends who are from a similar background, but switched careers after doing their MBA. That got me thinking. And after some research, I set my goals:
>> Give the GMAT . Score a 700+
>> apply to schools concentrating in Strategy or Finance
>> Get accepted
I registered for my GMAT a month before my test date. However, I only started preparing 2 weeks later. First step was to do a diagnostic test, from GMAT Prep: My score was 630. Needless to say, I was disappointed and I knew a huge challenge lay ahead. I had already ordered my MGMAT strategy guides. So I got to work. I went through the 8 MGMAT books
and about half of OG 12
over the next couple of weeks. Through different practice tests, I was able to raise my score to a 670. I took my last test 2 days prior to my actual test.Practice test experience
: I found each test mentally draining. However, in the process I also discovered what works best for me. I started to eat healthy, drink healthy (Say NO to beer !!), and some exercise. I personally believe all of these help. I didnt take a practice test the day before the exam; I wanted to keep myself stress free and get some rest.Test day
: I had scheduled my test for 4pm so I could get enough prep / relaxation during the day. I arrived a hour early. I checked out the test center facilities: bathrooms, the test room (distant peek), and was allowed to take the exam about 30mins before my scheduled time.
Bad experience: During the exam, I ran out of space on the scratch pad. I signaled to the test admin for a replacement. She said she could give a replacement only after I turned in my first pad. I had to agree since I badly needed a scratch pad. Since I was in the middle of the Quant Section, I had to wait for the lady to walk back to her desk, find a clean pad from the pile, and walk back to my test station. In between, she ran into another test taker and began chatting up. All this time I was waiting for my scratch pad and ended up wasting precious couple of minutes and had to rush through last 2 questions in this section.
I was able to complete the test on time. Towards the end of the Verbal section, I couldn't stop thinking of my final scores. I think the excitement or anxiety (whichever dominates) gets to you after 3 hours. My final scores
: Quant: 44 Verbal: 37 Total: 680
I was aiming for 700+ and was disappointed. I scored a 790 on GRE Quant a few years ago; I thought GMAT Quant would be a piece of cake. But it really isnt.
I am preparing for another shot at the GMAT. I think I can score a 720+ if I can focus and prepare for another month or so. That should give me a decent shot at my application process.