This morning I sat for the third time to take the GMAT and got an overall score of 680 (Q49, V34). The 700 proved once again to be more elusive than what we (at least I) normally think.
I had high hopes for this attempt. I have been studying non-stop for a while and while the 680 is a pretty respectable score, I was expecting a 700+. I guess I'll have to settle for 86 percentile. Not that I'm not happy -- I got a 530 on my first take 9 months ago--, but I'm sure many of you share the same feeling: What if..?
What gets me the most is the fluctuation between my scores. The first time I took the test I got 530 (Q42, V24, or something like that: I'm too lazy to get up and find my report card), the second time around I got a 610 (Q35, V39) and this one, while I managed to raise my overall score by 150 points total, I'm a bit disappointed with my performance in the Verbal section.
I'm not a native speaker, but I don't think that had anything to do on this one. My guess is that I was doing quite well on the Verbal and started seeing extremely hard questions and thus, mismanaging my time. I run out of time to answer properly my last 7-8 questions. I also thought I had bombed Quant and while I psyched myself into the test again during the break, it probably hurt my performance at least for a few questions at the beginning.
Before this test, my math skills consisted on being able to look at the time and figure out how much time I had left to finish my work. That said, I started with the very basics (see one of my very first posts: http://gmatclub.com/forum/7-p382629?t=53922#p382629
After taking my first test, I decided to get the help of an mgmat tutor for a few weeks, and although it didn't really show on my second attempt, it really helped. I believe that math skills, just like SC, need to soak in for a while before you start improving and this is what happened that one time. I think my math is now at a decent level and I believe my tutor had a lot to do with this.
For this attempt, I signed up for the Kaplan Advanced
class. While some people think Kaplan
is the worst you could do, I don't think this to be the case. After working with an mgmat tutor, I was confident I had gotten the most out of that company, so I decided to try another one to see what I could learn from them. Also, and probably the biggest reason, I needed to have a syllabus of some sort that would help me review all the content, in order to avoid overlooking something for my third and final retake.
I found the class helpful. It helped me further develop my math skills and gave some foundation on Verbal. Opposite to contrary belief, Kaplan
is not all based on guessing. While they provide you with techniques of this sort, they only cover this in the first session; the rest are devoted to understanding the concepts behind the questions and stuff like that. I think this is where I got better at DS.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Kaplan
is all you need for a great score, I'm just saying that it's good enough to help you prepare for the test. Obviously, there's a ton more of things to do if you want a high score.
Other than that, I went over the normal stuff: Princeton Review
(started with this one), OG (all three guides), MGMAT guides
, and Kaplan course
GMATprep: 690, 740Kaplan
: 610, 690, 670, 650, 660, 700
MGMAT: 640, 630, 640, 430 (I mostly did this one for Q. I answer Verbal in less that an hour in all my attempts and didn't even bothered in my last one.)GMAT Club challenges
(1 through 10): 51%, 37%, 45%, 96%, 63%, 86%, 57%, 73%, 48%, 40%
Many thanks to all of you. I'm sure that without this community, achieveing a good score would be harder than what it already is. (There's a bunch of people out there who deserve special recognition, but I'm not sure how good I would be at including them all, so this will have to do
Always here to help:
I guess that's it, but if there's anything in there that you think can help your preparation, don't hesitate to ask.