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I am finally done with my GMAT!. I took the test yesterday and scored a 740. I was really hoping for a 750 but overall I am fairly pleased with my score. You can't always get want to want and certainly in all fairness the test could have gone a whole lot worse.
I started preparing for the test in early october. Based on some of the feedback people reported on this forum, I focussed entirely on the OG(11th edition). I am sure there are a lot of fine study aids for the GMAT but from what I can tell nothing really beats official questions released by the GMAC.
I began preparing by taking the Powerprep and scored a 49 in the quant section and a 40 in the verbal. I made the mistake of taking the quant sections and verbal sections separately on different days which in retrospect was a mistake.
I took PP2 after finishing roughly 2/3 of the material in the OG. This time I scored a 770(I don't remember the exact breakdown).
Confident in my ability to tackle this test, I then focussed entirely on building my endurance by working on questions in 2 hour streches. Now that I am done, I can't stress the importance of bulding test taking stamina. During the real test there were moments when my concentration waned. The questions were all more or less familiar but I was really fighting to stay focussed. Remember more than anything else, the GMAT is an endurance test.
The quant section in the test was fairly standard and quite similar to the powerprep tests. There were a few tricky number theory problems but other than that nothing out of the ordinary. In spite of that I managed to make enough mistakes to end up with a 49. I didn't feel rushed at any point but I made it a point to answer the first 15 questions extra carefully. It is possible I got carried away with this strategy because I had less than a minute to answer the last question which I ended up getting wrong.
The verbal was a nightmare from the start. I got a killer RC at very beginning which left me spinning and disoriented. Again I decided to take the hit and spend a lot of time in the beginning. It is possible this saved me from a truly horrible score because the questions got a little easier certainly towards the end. During the test be prepared to spend a LOT of time on RC questions. I think I managed to make up most of time by answering the SC questions relatively fast. All SC questions have a similar set of structural flaws. Once you're familiar with the type of flaws being tested, you should be able to pick them out in under a minute. That's been my experience...you're mileage will certainly vary.
Although I rarely posted during my preparation, this forum has been an amazing place to hear about techniques, tips and general feedback from other test takers. It also helped me stay motived during the entire prepartion ordeal. I certainly learned lot on this forum and it only seems fair that I return the favor in some small way by posting my thoughts and experiences on the GMAT(which I hope others will find useful).