Thanks guys! Ok, here's just some of my experience which I hope can provide some insight on how to slaugther the GMAT beast.
By the way, will the scores change when the official result slip is send to your house??
I'm still in the "i cannot believe it' stage.
I started thinking about doing my GMAT in End October, but with my business trips, I couldn't really study properly. In fact, I study >60% of my materials while cruising 35,000 fts above ground level since I do not sleep well on planes. And in between, I can go without any studying for more than 3 weeks. So I think I really started to study seriously in Mid-Dec.
For the past 10 days (since 13th Jan evening) I was on annual leave. I switched off my business mobile-phone and concentrate 101% on study.
I approach my study very analytically. Perhaps that helps...
Quant - PS and DS
I had pretty good foundations in Quant. I estimate my raw score to be at 45. I knew that my weakness is in Verbal.
Therefore, with a target of 7xx in mind, I figure out that I should not spend too much time on Quant. To get 7xx, time should be better spend on Verbal. But I do need it to push the Quant up to a region of 48. So I practice on the weak areas like DS (testing with nos) and some bits of probability. Once I am comfortable with Quant, I did not practise too much anymore, except during those practise CAT tests questions.
With more practise, I believe 50 or 51 in Quant is achieveable. But with the constraints in time and GMAT being only one part of the MBA application process, I didn't went all out. I was happy with 48 or 49.
I started GMAT using Arco Gold. This HORRIBLE book confused me and led me to all kinds of wrong concepts about CR.
And in one of those many horrible questions, I search the internet for answers and stumble upon GMAT CLUB
. And it changes my approach towards GMAT completely.
I realise that this ARCO is very much condem and many answers are wrong. I start to understand better what exactly GMAT requires.
Thank you GMAT CLUB!!
Subsequently, I bought myself Kaplan 800
and since then, I have 90%-100% of CR correct. But I tend to read slowly to understand the question stem clearly.
I never had major problems with RC. Being an impatient guy, I am used to skimming through reports or novels at fast speed just to get enough understanding of the story. When I analyse the mistakes in RC, I realise that I commit mistakes normally because, i was careless to miss out some small details. So i simply remind myself to double check my answers against the passage. I have hit rate of 80%-100%.
This is my biggest problem. I started with hit rate of 60%, purely by using my ears. So I bought the famous Mahatten SC book and understand the concepts of SC much better. However, my hit rate drop dramatically to 30%. And this isn't a one-off incident, I had consistently hit only 30% since I got the Manhatten book. You can see my post a week ago about SC (help me!!!). I seriously could not understand WHY I become worse and worse in SC despite understanding better the tricks of SC? And 6 days before today, I had 13 mistakes in gmatprep2 and 10 of them are from SC!
I was disappointed and do not believe I can hit 7xx. My wife came and tried to encourage me. She sat down with me and went through the SC. To my surprise, without any gmat experience, she got most of the questions right! Considering I was all along stronger in the English Language than she is, I am surprise to see this. This incident woke me up. Having learn the skills of the SC, I assumed that I can read sentences and pick up those parallel errors or modifier errors, BUT I neglect the one most important skill that I used to posses. My ears!
So I change my strategy for SC. Instead of micro-analysing the the sentences, I will approach it at a MACRO level. By reading out the sentences and trusting my ears. With that, I eliminate at least half of the choices and use the micro skills to differential between the remaining choices which I failed to pick up the errors simply by reading.
I believe this action push me towards 7xx... considering I have never hit 7xx in any practise CAT test.
Practise CAT test
In the chronologial order of the time I took the test
Arco 1: 640
Arco 2: 690
Arco 3: 620
Gmatprep2:700 (6 days ago; but 8-9 questions overlap OG)
- pls DO NOT BUY!!!
But if you already own it and insist to study it. Try to make use of GMATCLUB so that you know which are the wrong answers. And pls ignore the CR completely!!
- good for Quant
Good - Quant is harder and and many CAT tests to practise your endurance
Bad - Verbal is not 100% reflective of GMAT
Good - excellent for CR.
Bad - All other sections are not 800 or even 700 standard. SC is not reflective of the real GMAT questions.
Good - clear explanation of the theory and skills for GMAT SC.
Bad - expensive and no examples to practise (except for those which it refers to OG11
Good - reflective of all that you will see in GMAT. The only real book that I used to pratise SC.
Bad - Quant explanations are one sided. Do not explain those faster methods like back solving or nos testing.
But seriously, be firm, know where you stand. Don't get imtimidated by the many gurus here. Instead learn from them.
Ok, still have some other stuff to share with you guys, but my wife wants me out of the house to celebrate with her over a nice dinner.
I try to answer any questions tomorrow.