Here is my feedback on how I prepared the GMAT. Hope it will be helpful for some of you.
1 - Kaplan
24 hours GMAT prep course : okay, most people here say it is crap. And you know what ? It kind of is. But, even if you have a technical background, their strategies are not that bad, and I found many of them useful on test day. The biggest issue that I had as an engineer was thinking about taking certain shortcuts (picking numbers, backsolving,...) instead of trying to figure out a literal solution (maybe because we are not used to multiple choices here in France). The course is a bit on the expensive side, but worth it for the online resources.
2 - Kaplan
Online Resources : After a month without sudying due to personal circumstances, I got back on track and started using the Kaplan
online resources. These resources are great, and in my opinion cover most of the topics in the GMAT questions. I studied on those for 3 weeks about 2-3 hours a day on weekdays, and about 5-6 hours in the weekends.
3 - GMAT Prep Software and Kaplan
CATs : I started practicing on real GMAT software about 2 weeks before the test. My scores were :
- 640 Kaplan
diagnosis CAT (did not finish the Math section, and was told by the Kaplan
lady it would have been around 710 had I completed it) (Test days - 90)
- 670 Kaplan
CAT (at the Pearson Vue Center) (Test Day - 10)
- 770 Kaplan
CAT (Test day -8)
- 620 Kaplan
CAT (so excited about the 770 that I took this one straight after... ouch) (Test day - 8)
- 720 GMAT Prep 1 (Test Day - 2)
- 700 GMAT Prep 2 (Test Day - 1)
I wish I had practiced a bit more as I still had timing issues. But I wonder whether I was not just bored of taking tests that did not count, and therefore was less attentive). Also, I bought the OG and Kaplan 800
, but to be honest I never opened them... I would have if I had the time, but I needed to be done with the GMAT to start the applications.
4 - Test day : got sick the day before, probably as a consequence of stress. Did not sleep very well but since my test was in the afternoon, I managed to get some rest in the morning. I was pretty relaxed when I got to the test center but still had some timing issues on the AWA. Otherwise, no real issue except that I may have been overconfident on the verbal part, because I had a feeling that I did well on the math part.
5 - Final Score : 720 Q48 V41 AWA 5.0
My advice to those of you about to take the test :
- Time yourself when practicing
- Get used to wearing earplugs when you pratice
- GMAT Club is gold in terms of advice
- Get some sleep and rest the day before
- Have fun with it !
Good luck to all !
(Edited for pathetic grammar)