Q:46, V:40, Total scaled: 700
AWA Update - 6.0
I have been thinking about GMAT for the past year. Millions of MBA related and unrelated concerns plagued my attempts to go ahead and register for the exam, until last month.
Started studying about 6 months ago, but more like 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there, with month long breaks in between.
I was quite consistent for the past month after I registered for the exam. I studied about an hour each evening after work. Gave a practice test every weekend (just one test per weekend), with time constraints and breaks as close to the real thing as possible.
I used the following books:
I breezed through Princeton Review. Found the sentence correction section particularly interesting, with a good breakdown of the sentence types. I used the Princeton review practice test for my weekend testing sessions.
I used Kaplan
mainly for the practice questions and the quick math reference at the back of the book (11 years after leaving school one does feel that the basic math skills are a bit rusty)
Solved as many OG questions as possible. Finished the Math review and Sentence Correction questions.
After a few weeks of practice, I came up to speed with the math questions with the practice test score ranging between 40-45. Verbal was still a challenge. The scores ranged between 28-41. But I realized later that these tests are not adaptive, so it is not an extremely accurate prediction of the final score.
I worked a lot on improving my verbal skills over the last couple of weeks. Gave the OG practice test 2 on the last weekend before the test. Scored 620. My average score on the tests was always in the range of 600-630.
Test was supposed to start at 1300h.
Two days before the test, I did not touch any GMAT related stuff.
Woke up a bit later than my routine, at 0800h. Had a hearty breakfast.
Went through the Math reference at the back of Kaplan
book. Left the house at 1030h. The test center in the Swiss-french region is quite far, and I don't drive. Travelled 1.5 hours to reach the test center. Checked in. Ate some yoghurt to give some support to the tummy. I did not have proper lunch because from the practice test simulation, I knew that I feel sleepy if I have proper lunch.
One thing nobody tells you while preparing you for the test center, is that it takes a lot of time to finish the formalities. There is a form signature, check-in time. Digital signature on a pad. Index finger scan. Photo taken. All this added with a bit of french test center coordinator, who explains all the rules in french and asks you to explain them in English to a German guy, who also wants to take the GMAT and incidentally does not understand French, can take a bit of time.
They gave me a locker and asked me to remove my digital watch and put it in the locker with my mobile phone and the other stuff. I felt technologically naked.
The buzzer system to take breaks after you see your photo, is a bit annoying. Buzz once when you see your photo after you have accepted on screen to take the scheduled break. Buzz twice if you need anything.
The test was in a cubicle. Behind me was another guy giving the test. In the next cubicle was the German guy. The air conditioner was humming away. There was a national highway next to the window and vehicles were relatively quietly making their way to their respective destinations.
And the camera's were watching.
The AWA section went quite well. Analysis of an argument was good. Analysis of an issue was a bit tough.
Finish AWA. Take a break? Yes. Buzz. Get out. 10 minute break. Piss. Half a bar of Snickers. Few sips of Water. And we are back in the small room.
Quantitative was a bit tough. I concentrated on the first 15 questions, as everyone suggested. I guess it paid off, because the last 3 questions, I guessed even without looking at them. Didn't have enough time. At the end of it, I thought a 35 score would be a lot for my effort.
Another break. Finish the snickers bar. Finish the water in the bottle. Back in the room.
Verbal was comparatively good. I finished the verbal section 20 minutes before the end.
Needless to say, pleasantly shocked to see 700 on the screen.
Walked out of the test center a "reasonably" happy man.
Atleast I stand a chance when I apply for the programs that I am interested in.
Then stood on the railway station and sang "Everything I do, I do it for you" (a stupid Bryan Adams song) on a radio competition, so that I could win concert tickets because my wife loves Bryan Adams (?). The things you do in life !!
Ah well. Thats the story. Now the tough part begins!!!
Applications to MBA programs. Financial issues and everything else.
Thanks for reading this far.
Any advice will be welcome, and read without cynicism.