I just finished taking the GMAT this evening with a score of 690 47Q/37V. While my goal was 700+, 690 is bitter sweet and I think it's time for me to move on and begin my applications.
The first time I took the GMAT was in November 2010 where I scored a 580 42Q/28V. After this score I was pretty depressed and needed some time to take a break.
Here is the breakdown of all of my practice tests taken approximately 1 week apart prior to the second exam date:
GMAT Prep1: 690 47Q/36V
GMAT Prep2: 700 48Q/38V
GMAT Prep1 (after reinstall): 710 47Q/41VManhattan GMAT
: 530 31Q/34V
GMAT Prep2 (after reinstall): 700 47Q/39V
As you can probably guess, the 530 manhattan GMAT
had me extremely worried. This was to be the first test I actually did the essays so I went ahead and tried one of those 5 hour energy drinks before hand. All I have to say is DO NOT DO THIS! I was wired during the practice test, couldn't concentrate, and felt nauseous about half way through the exam. Fortunately I got that terrible idea out of the way before the actual test date. Also, I feel the Manhattan GMAT
exams do not represent the quantitative or verbal experience very well. The quant problems are too long and challenging while the verbal problems and scoring algorithm are too easy.
To discuss my second round GMAT experience, I have to say I thought I did horribly on the quantitative section. I had to guess on probably 5 questions due to the difficulty and I got hit with a level 300-500 question on about question 32. This had me worried that I did horribly. Scoring a 47Q here was a blessing for me based on my expectations of the exam questions. Unfortunately my 37V was a bit below where I feel my abilities are. During the exam I felt the SC questions were all very straight forward and only a couple of the CR questions were very challenging. The RC questions were as I expected. I guess I felt I was doing better than I actually did based on my score.
For prep materials, I used the typical books:OG12
+ Verbal and QuantManhattan GMAT
all five math books, and SCPowerScore CR
I feel I had plenty of room for improvement with the quantitative section. Unfortunately I work a pretty demanding full time job and my family also takes up a lot of my additional free time. This left very little time during the week and only 2-3 hours each weekend day. The Manhattan GMAT
course while good, I feel it only covers the basic stuff which is good enough to get you into the 600s. If you want to score 700+, you'll need to really spend the additional time doing all of the OG problems and mastering the verbal sections. My weakness was that even with the walkthroughs for the quant problems, I still couldn't master all of the topics as the range of knowledge is so broad.
The best advice I can give for the SC is that you not only need to learn the grammar rules, you also need to choose the answer that has the best meaning. If you follow grammar only rules you'll probably miss half of the SC questions. Well, this is all I can think of for now, I'll probably post more information later including what I did differently to bump my score from 580 to 690.