I haven't posted much here but I wanted to share my experiences nonetheless.
I took the Manhattan GMAT
course in Santa Monica, CA with Pete Eisen. This was a very helpful course in that it provided a good foundation for building one's GMAT skills. Also, the Study Organizer and OG Tracker are phenomenal tools in utilizing all of their resources. Also, I found their practice CATS to be good preparation for the real thing.
That said, I don't think the MGMAT guides
+ OGs are sufficient to break the 700 barrier. I utilized other online resources such as the tests to break through. I felt like I needed more questions to practice to gain overall comfort. As I stated below, I utilized these tests on a daily basis for endurance and silly error catching mistakes. I would get about 27 of 37 right on average.
All in all, I would recommend taking a course, if one has the means. It is a small investment to make when considering the overall cost of bschool. But no one should think a course by itself is sufficient.
I prepped from April till August, though I had a very tough project in late June that minimized my studying to about 8 hours (working 15 hour days). Until this time I used MGMAT materials pretty much exclusively. I had originally intended to take the test July 28th. After I got the 650 on the GMAT Prep 1, I panicked and delayed my test to August 25th and scoured the internet for more resources. Once that project ended, I didn't have to travel for a few weeks and I got a good 25 hours a week in. This is when I discovered GMAT Club and did 1 quant test a day. The last week, I didn't do much except review my problem areas, idioms, and keep my mind sharp by repeating tough OG problems.
I had gone to sleep by 11 the night before and woke up around 715 for my 10AM test. I made some breakfast and watched some mindless TV until about 815 when I left to get to the center (45 min away). I had done this drive the Saturday before to ensure I knew where it was. Once I got there, I got some coffee from the Starbucks across the street and came over and signed in. I got to start as soon as I signed in (about 40 min earlier than my time). Took my full breaks, sipping my ice coffee and eating my sandwich during them.
AWAs were fine. I'll update once I receive word, but I feel pretty good about them. I couldn't think of examples for my issue essay and switched 5 minutes in, but i think it turned out decently. I was really nervous/anxious during the first few questions of the math section, then I managed to calm down. I tried not to analyze how I *think* I did because it really didn't matter at that point. Also, I got anxious again at the end of the verbal because I knew my score was around the corner.
Those last few minutes of selecting demographic information were torture! After I finally saw my score, I was awash with relief, with one caveat: Q47 = 79% percentile. I've always heard that top schools want a 80/80 split, so I am a wee bit considered about that. But considering I have a BS in Computer Science and my job is very quantitative, I hope its OK.
If I can help anyone in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me.
MGMAT course + books - rec
OG Guides - obviously rec - cant go wrong with the real Qskaplan
's premier program - not recommended (used for 2 days and discarded because not enough questions and I already covered theory)gmat club tests
- recommended - if you make silly mistakes, these will help you catch those on a regular basis
MGMAT CAT 1 - 600 (Q42 V32)
MGMAT CAT 2 - 670 (Q40 V41)
GMAT Prep 1 - 650 (don't remember split)
MGMAT CAT 3 - 670 (Q42 V39)
MGMAT CAT 4 - 710 (Q47 V40)
GMAT Prep 2 - 720 (Q47 V42 - saw some repeats of OG in Verbal)
MGMAT CAT 4 - 680 (Q47 V36)
Real GMAT - 710 (Q47 V41)