Hi all- I just returned from the testing center and scored a 730 (Q48, V42). This was after my previous attempt about 7 weeks ago of 660 (Q46, V34). I was ecstatic since I'm applying to phd programs and needed at least the 'magic 700.' I've jotted down some thoughts on my journey to get here. It's a little lengthy (it's been a long journey).
The first time around, I did all self prep for about 2 months. I started with the usual Manhattan books
(Word Translations, Number Properties and Sentence Correction). I also went through the OG 12
, OG Verbal
, and OG Quant
guides. I took the Manhattan CAT's twice (all 6) and scored between 670 and 720 on most. Maybe an outlier or 2 below 670. A few weeks before my original test, I took the 2 Official CAT's from the mba.com website and scored 710 and 740 (I think the breakouts were around 48/49 Q and 40/42 V). I felt prepared and was sure I'd get at least a 700.
On test day #1, I felt fine during the AWA, but was floored by how difficult the quant section was. This caused me to be extremely rushed and basically freaking out during the test. On the verbal section, I felt unfocused (as was obviously reflected in my score).
My takeaway from this was that I spent too much time doing as many problems as possible instead of really understanding why questions were right and why I would always get certain questions wrong. I signed up for the Knewton class the day after my first test (it was the cheapest option + 50 pt guarantee) and scheduled my next GMAT for today.
Knewton's classes helped me with a lot of my strategy issues and my struggles with verbal. The quant section I wasn't as concerned about since I knew I'd need to make the biggest strides in verbal. The instructor I had for verbal was awesome and really helped me understand where I was going wrong with my reasoning on a lot of questions. Also, the discussion of common wrong answer choices helped me spot them today. I think it also helped having a regimented study program. There are pre-assessments, hw, extra practice hw and CAT's to keep you busy and moving forward. I think it's important to keep up with the hw and do the CAT's when scheduled since it helps you not fall behind. Overall, I would recommend this class.
The only cons I had were the scoring algorithm on the Knewton CAT and the speed of the class was sometimes too slow for me. For example, on all 4 Knewton CAT's (not including the diagnostic), I scored either a 700 or 710 when only getting 4-7 questions wrong per section. I know other people have brought this up so they must still be working on it. Also, I redid all the OG verbal
questions to supplement the Knewton course. I don't think anyone can write questions as similar to the OG so I wanted to make sure I was familiar.
Today's test went much better. I felt only somewhat rushed, but in control, during the quant section. The verbal section was somewhat harder but I was able to focus and pace myself. I think the main difference between this test and my first one was my ability to move on if I was unsure. After about 2 minutes, if I was unsure of a question or had it down to 2, I just went with my gut and moved on.
If anyone has specific questions, feel free to PM me.
Also, I've included my 'refer a friend' link below because it'll save you $100 if you sign up (and gives me $50 back). http://knewton.tellapal.com/a/clk/ywvVd