GMAT take1 -
I gave CAT (MBA entrance for Indian B-schools) in 2006 and scored 92% percentile, that meant no calls from Top B-schools (IIM's, MDI), so I decided to give GMAT. I got the preparation material from one of my friends, who was also preparing for GMAT. Then started the preparation. Since i had already given CAT, I was confident enough of cracking GMAT
(as someone said that GMAT test is much easier than CAT). That was the biggest trap I set for myself. This thought made me complacent, thus resulting in slackness in my preparation. I booked the date for the next month and started preparing for the vocabulary section, my nemesis, only (thanks to 99% in DI and 94% in Quant - CAT 06'). This was another blunder that I committed. I did not realize that GMAT quant is quite different from the CAT quant. Worst of all, I managed to score a 720 in the Diagnostic test I took resulting in more complacency.
In the end, I took 3 tests only (GMATPrep) and did not go through the quant material properly.
GMATPrep 1 - 710 (Very happy.... Scored a perfect 51 in Quant)
GMATPrep 2 - 650 (I thought it to be a blip)
GMATPrep 3 - 640 (This is a serious problem!!!!!)
After the 3rd test I realized that GMAT is a tough nut to crack (if you are not well prepared). But it was too late by then. I had only 3 days left for my D-Day. The best I could do now was to pray for the best and study the Quant and Verbal cheat-sheets.
D-Day -- I went with troubled nerves (another omen for the test to go bad) and struggled throughout the test.
Finally the screen blinked 640 (48,29).
I came out of the Test center dejected.... That was when I realized that I have to give another shot at GMAT, but this time with full preparation and taking the learning from my mistakes.GMAT take2 -
One lesson that I had learnt from my 1st attemp was - "Over confidence kills." So with a stronger will and positive mindset I started my preparation. I jotted down my strong (PS, CR) and weak (DS, RC & SC) areas. I prepared an xls in which I used to note down the daily progress. My strategy was to devote more time to DS, RC & SC, but at the same time trying to solve at least few questions daily of PS & CR. As per the advice of my friends and the expert comments on MBA blogs, I referred to the following materials/books -
1. Kaplan 800
(Great book to test your level... recommended for those aiming 700+)
2. OG (Bible)
3. Manhattan SC (The best book among all that i have come across for SC preparation)
4. LSAT CR (Great variety of questions)
5. GMATPrep (A must do... Exact replica of your performance)
tests (If you have time)
7. MBA blogs for a good variety of questions and discussions.
One more thing that I learnt from my previous experience was to simulate the Test center environment before giving the practice test. It helps a lot for you to be prepared and not get bogged down by the 4 hour time duration on the D-Day.
P.S GMAT is only a mental game. It is how well you cope the pressure.
This time I was much better in my preparation. My Prep Test Results, in no particular order -
GMATPrep1 - 730
GMATPrep2 - 700
GMATPrep3 - 720
Kaplan1 - 580
Kaplan1 - 620
Kaplan1 - 670
Kaplan4 - 660
Finally the D-Day arrived an I scored 700 (50,34) in the test though I was expecting around 720, but still was happy to touch the 700 mark.
Hope my experience might prove beneficial for some of the readers.