I have been following this forum for a long time but have not had anything useful to add thus far. I would like to share my GMAT experience, and hopefully some of you will find this useful.
My first GMAT attempt was back in September 2009. I had set the date in the summer of that year. However, work got busy in the month leading up to the test. The day before the test, I got a 780 on GMAT Prep, so I was very surprised when I got a 730 on the exam. I was sure that I could do better, so after much deliberation, I decided to retake the test. One key reason for this is that my GPA (Top US Public School - Engineering UG) is low (3.0), so I felt that I needed a really strong GMAT to offset the low GPA.
One key point is that when "preparing" for this first attempt, I didn't have a very good strategy, or focus. For example (and I think these are mistakes others should avoid):
1. I used Kaplan
, Princeton, and MGMAT - these courses all differ when it comes to key content and solving strategies. I think overall this results in confusion. I would suggest using MGMAT only. Princeton is too basic, and so is Kaplan
. I think Princeton and Kaplan
are fine for a 600-700 level score, but not much good for higher scores.
2. I used my own methods. I think others with high scores have mentioned this (especially Slingfox - his notes are great by the way, I used them for my final day review). Especially on Rate and Mixture questions, I often used the longer methods I had learned in school. This often resulted in my getting wrong answers, and requiring more than 2 minutes to solve them.
My scores were as follows:
GMATPrep - 720
MGMAT 1 - 630
MGMAT 2 - 650
MGMAT 3 - 680
MGMAT 4 - 690
MGMAT 5 - 710
MGMAT 6 - 730
GMAT Prep - 780GMAT- 9/22 - 730
One very important point. You will notice that my MGMAT scores improved steadily. There is a reason for this. After every test, I created a frequency table of topics (MGMAT assigns every test question to a topic, which is very helpful). I bucketed all my mistakes according to MGMAT books and after every test, I studied the book relating to the most mistakes. This was very helpful. I strongly recommend doing this.SECOND ATTEMPT
I started earnestly studying for the GMAT again in May 2010. This time around, I used only MGMAT. I went through every Quant MGMAT book
again, did every problem, and tried to really understand the content. These were my scores:
5/15/2010 GMAT Official Prep 750 49 44
5/22/2010 MGMAT Test 1 700 44 41
5/31/2010 MGMAT Test 2 730 48 42
6/27/2010 800 Score 690 45 39
7/4/2010 800 Score 760 46 48
7/5/2010 MGMAT Test 3 750 48 44
Due to a job/ city change, I didn't study for a while, but I restarted my prep later in the year. These were my scores:
10/31/2010 800 Score 740 49 41
11/21/2010 MGMAT Test 4 740 47 45
11/27/2010 GMAT Official Prep 760 49 45
1/9/2011 GMAT Official Prep 770 50 44
1/15/2011 MGMAT Test 5 750 51 41
1/16/2011 MGMAT Test 6 770 50 45
1/18/2011 ACTUAL 770 50 46
1. I started using MGMAT methodologies
2. I did every problem in all 11TH and 12TH ED books - it really is all about practice.
3. I did ALL my tests timed.
1. MGMAT really is the best course out there. 9/10. I take one point off because of a lack of practice content. The tests are great.
2. 800Score is worth it – especially for the price. And with the MGMAT discount it is a must-have. I didn’t always agree with some of the verbal questions, but great practice nonetheless.
3. Practice as many problems as you can, and practice them all timed. Efficiency can be the difference between a high score and a not-so-high score. Beyond a certain point it has nothing to do with intelligence or ability or anything else. Just practice.
Best of luck to all of you,