39 year old male from Austin, Texas - yes, even an old guy can beat the GMAT:)
Founded and operated multiple small businesses, from restaurants to financial service companies.
To begin, I give thanks and praise to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. He is sufficient for all things.
My debrief is direct, listing the materials I leveraged for prep. I have a new baby and am, thus, short on sleep. So, I will not be logging into gmatclub very often but will periodically check for PMs in case anyone has a question.Sentence Correction
Doing Grammar by Max Morenberg - I spent two straight weeks reading and studying this book. The author presents a logical and effective strategy for understanding/ analyzing sentence structure. I recommend completing each of the chapter exercises. Morenberg breaks sentences into constituents - that clauses, wh- clauses, absolute prhases, infinitive phrases, etc. - a thorough knowledge of these structures enabled me to answer SC questions in 55-65 seconds on average over time with ~94% accuracy. Essentially, the author teaches you to recognize patterns that occur in grammatically correct sentences. The ability to recognize such patterns will dramatically reduce the time you spend on SC questions.MGMAT SC
3rd ed - the new edition encapsulates much of what you will learn in the Doing Grammar book cited in the previous paragraph, but should not be treated as a substitute for Doing Grammar. Rather, use the MGMAT guide to strengthen the skills acquired from Doing Grammar. In addition, this book is the source for idioms. OG 11
and OG Verbal
- once you master the Doing Grammar book and the MGMAT SC
guide do the first half of SC questions in these books untimed. Review each question carefully irrespective of whether you answered it correctly in order to identify what/ how the test writers structure SC questions.CR and RC
Blueprint LSAT prep materials - I suggest reviewing the MGMAT CR
question type descriptions and then finding the LSAT question types that mirror or track the GMAT question types in the BP materials. Blueprint provides excellent frameworks for CR. I averaged ~94% accuracy on LSAT CR at an average of 90 seconds. LSAT CR are harder than GMAT CR even at the 99th percentile level, although there are subtle differences in the question structures.
Do not trust or use CR/ RC/SC questions from any source other than LSAT or GMAT paper tests/ OG/ GMAT Prep, especially MGMAT. Third party questions are riddled with unintended nuance.
The Blueprint RC materials provide a solid method of reading passages for structure. The GMAT passages are shorter and tend to contain fewer paragraphs than the LSAT passages but the structures are similar - you should read the GMAT passages with an eye for structure, that is distinct structures which may be melded in a single paragraph. If you can average 0 mistakes at 10 minutes per passage on the LSAT passages you will dominate the GMAT RC.Quantitative
MGMAT - all guides are strong and you should master the content in these guides before moving onto questions. Once content knowledge is robust do all OG 11
and OG Quant
timed. Review mistakes carefully. Then move onto GMAT Focus. GMAT Focus is expensive but worth every cent. Buy three tests.
Once GMAT Focus exhausted progress to GMAT Prep. I suggest taking a GMAT Prep every 4 days over the 16 days before your GMAT. After you complete each GMAT Focus and GMAT Prep ctrl print screen each question and create a book of quant questions to review - you will learn to identify the way in which the test writers package questions.
Ian Stewart, founder of GMATix - producing proprietary materials for Q - find this guy and lever him if you can afford to hire him - rates are reasonable and he is the best there is on Quant IMO - short, elegant solutions.
Avoid all CATs not GMAC. The official questions are distinct and I recommend practicing only with real, retired questions.
I did not prepare for AWA. I scored 5.5 but shut down my second essay after only 15 minutes because I did not want to feel any time pressure before starting the Quant section.
Press on. Persevere. Hard work and determination will get you there.Schools I am applying to