I scored a 750 today on the GMAT! What a relief! Here is my preparation strategy ... I have to admit, the order of material that I used is not what many others have used. But it worked for me ...
1. Princeton Review (Cracking the GMAT
, Verbal Workout for the GMAT, Math Workout for the GMAT)
I found the Princeton Review to be a good introduction to the strategies of the GMAT. The questions are not that challenging, but the strategies are good, especially the templates for AWA.
2. Kaplan GMAT 800
The questions in this book are very challenging. I went through the whole book, and went back to revisit my mistakes closer to the GMAT test.
3. Official Guide
I went through the entire book and tried all the questions! This was very good practice.
I only briefly flipped through this and tried some questions.
5. GMATclub Challenges
The questions on the challenges are really challenging! They were very good preparation material.
6. ETS Tests
I completed the 9 ETS tests available on MBA.com.
7. CAT tests
During the couple weeks before my test date, I did full-length CAT tests from the Princeton Review, Kaplan
and Powerprep. These were very useful because I got used to the timing.
1. The night before the test
I worked out at the gym, had a nice dinner, talked with my boyfriend on the phone for two hours and had a full 8 hours of sleep.
2. Day of the test
My test was in the afternoon at 1 pm. I woke up early and did one AWA (Analysis of an Argument) to get my mind working. Then I went for a nice brunch, and arrived at the test centre at 11:30 am. This gave me time to check out the test centre, review some notes and just sit around.
3. Test centre
The test centre I went to did not follow their own instructions. We were specifically instructed not to enter the test centre until administration came out to the food court to get us. I waited around until 12:45 pm and still no one came out. I went inside without being called.
4. Before the test
I had to fill out a form and copy out a sentence saying that I wasn't supposed to share specifics of the test with anyone else. The copying part actually helped calm me down a bit.
5. During the test
I was only allowed to bring my earplugs, ID and locker key. The room was very small with many people typing, getting up, opening and closing the door etc. My earplugs were very useful because I almost heard nothing. (I was wearing my mom's industrial-strength earplugs)
I found the 5 minute breaks between sections to be too short. I only had enough time to sign out, get a drink of water and do some stretches.
6. The Test
The AWA sections were quite easy because I had a pre-made template that I learnt from the Princeton Review. The analysis of an issue was simple for me because it was about science and technology, and I have an engineering background.
The math section was alot simpler than Kaplan
, Princeton or GMAT Club challenge questions. I found them even easier than the Official Guide. There were one or two questions that were exact questions found in the Official Guide. The last two questions were quite difficult, and I had to guess because I was running out of time.
The verbal section was harder than I anticipated. I found myself rushing and guessing at some questions. I just had enough time to complete the verbal section. The reading comprehension section was much simpler than many of the passages in the Official Guide. I was anticipating a lot of comparison questions in SC, but I was given a lot of convoluted SC questions, with many that were all underlined. CR questions were more difficult than the Official Guide. I found that I had to re-read the questions several times - I never had to do that during my practice CAT tests.
7. The End
At the end of the test, I had to answer a survey, which I found to be quite frustrating because I only wanted to see my score, but there were question after question .....
When my final score showed up, I had a big smile on my face. All that effort paid off ...
If anyone has any questions or want more details on my preparation strategy, feel free to leave me a message.
CAT TEST RESULTS
(1) Free online test: 700
(1) 670 (diagnostic test)
website free test: 800
(1) Test code 25: 730
750 (Q49 V42)