Gave my GMAT today and got a 710, did well in Quant 51, and not so well in Verbal 34.
I am happy as my target score was 700+, looking to get into a part time course in the Chicago area (Hopefully Booth or Kellogg).
Yeah I managed to peak at 55 in quant Kaplan
, and 40 in verbal in GMAT prep. However test day matters the most, and I managed not to screw up. I could have scored higher but I want to get rid of the test perspective and move on to the admissions perspective. I am pretty confident that my score would meet the requirements of my target schools.
Detailed debrief later, however I would like to thank everyone on the GMAT Club, especially chineseburned or whoever for the awesome AWA strategy. Hopefully my AWA scores come out well and sort of compensate for my verbal scores.
Background - Indian Male IT working for a large Financial Company. I have a typical 9-5 Job and my usual prep time was a 7:30-9 on weekdays and practice tests on the weekends. 2 months back
Started off with Quant since I knew I didn't have much to learn there. I started with Kaplan Premier
, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Despite the bad reviews on Amazon, I went ahead and purchased the book since it was highly recommended by this Forum (BTW I didn't find any glaring mistakes in this book). Then moved on to OG - decent book to work on, but if I had to pick one book to prepare for the GMAT I would have used Kaplan
. The last book I used was Princeton, I like this book not because it's comprehensive but because you can take away some neat tips and tricks from it (Took me 2-3 weeks to do all this, yeah it was a stampede).
Then came my biggest challenge - Verbal. I started of with Manhattan GMAT SC
, learned the strategies and principles. Moved on to Kaplan
and OG SC. Did fairly well there, did the same for CR & RC.
Meanwhile I was giving Practice tests, I scored a 690 on my diagnostic test (Used one of the GMAT prep for it).
Gave a few individual tests on Kaplan
when I was preparing for Math. Scored in the 50s range. Took a few verbal ones and scored in the 30's. I took comfort in the fact that Kaplan
tests are waaaay tougher that the real thing and you can safely add +50 to you score. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact I found the Kaplan
math tests simpler than the real thing
takes you on a smooth journey as you keep answering questions right. However the real GMAT (Even the 2 sample tests) literally shoot up in difficulty after you get the first 4-5 right. They def don't want you to get a 60/60. I could manage to score a 55 in Quant on Kaplan
LOL. I never crossed 51 on GMAT prep. Overall in my practice tests I scored in the (690-740) range.2 weeks ago
My final leg of preparation was GMAT 800
, the quant was a cake walk, I didn't even find 1 tough question there. BTW If you want to work on tough Quant questions make this website your homepage. When I moved on to verbal, that's when I knew how weak I was in my verbal skills specifically SC, I can smash CR since logic is my thing, and can manage RC. I could answer simple questions which involved 1 concept such as verb tense or subject verb agreement, however the tougher ones involve more than 1 concept since the answer choices correct the original mistake and introduce new ones. This is something that was beyond me and I needed a more fundamental, thorough Verbal evaluation. I decided that I would be fine as long as I do well in Quant 50+ and manage not to screw up verbal 30+. I didn't want to screw up my prep aiming to perfect verbal because I realized scoring a 700+ was still plausible with my current plan.1 day before
Took it easy, never ever give practice tests the day before the exam. Use a few hours to revise and revisit your weak areas, that's it. My test was at noon the following day so I spoke to my girlfriend till 1 in the night and went to bed peaceful and happy
. Managed to get 7 hours of sleep. Test Day
Woke up slightly uneasy in the tummy (due to the test day, not a bad slice of pizza). Tried to keep my cool but trust me it's never going to be like any other Saturday, you would be a little freaked. Arrived at the test center 1 hr early as I wanted to be done by 3 PM, it worked and they let me in. BTW as far as the test center staff is concerned, let's just say she is lucky that she is HOTTT!! else I would have abused her all the way to her grave. Well maybe it's just me, expecting corporate finesse from academic jokers.
Coming back to the point, AWA went exactly as planned since I blindly followed chineseburned's strategy. It works, saves you time and makes you confident enough for the coming carnage. Took a break, I used about two pages of my scratch book, however I wanted a clean one for my Quant. Let's just say what happ afterward was ugly. I came back after having a banana, some Gatorade, used the restroom, stretched a little and with the same dirty booklet. Quant was going fairly well, while I knew I didn't get every answer right, I was just glad I finished on time and didn't waste time trying to get everything right. Took another break, this time I just had 1 blank sheet left in my booklet but didn't dare ask for a replacement. Had a snickers bar, some more Gatorade and the whole nine yards. Next was verbal, had no clue about the first question (believe me, you don't want to be in this position). Yeah it did involve multiple errors, I went through the verbal, pretty much battering some questions and getting battered on most. However I kept my calm and kept telling myself - "You are doing everything you possibly and humanly can". I finished on time, maybe a few seconds under. I was not too happy about my verbal performance, and I knew it was not one of my best shots. It was followed by some half assed survey questions, I am glad I filled them up when I registered for the GMAT, since most of them were pre populated. Sadly they didn't ask me about the test center, I would have done some maa behen there. Finally I got to the accept/ deny screen, I just prayed for a 700+ and hit accept...
To conclude, giving GMAT was an exasperating experience. Spent countless hours on it, learned so much and finally got those brain cells in good shape. I signoff wishing good luck to all GMAT aspirants, and many thanks to the GMATClub team.
P.S. If anyone in the Chicago area is looking for GMAT books, please PM me.