Just kidding about that title, I'm obviously totally psyched. Unofficial score report was:
Q - 49 (83%)
V - 50 (99%)
Total - 780 (99%)My Strategy
I was thinking in June that I would take a GMAT course at Manhattan GMAT
, but I took one of their practice tests and got a 690 despite not answering a bunch of questions and decided against it. I self-prepped for the SATs and did well, so there really was no reason for me not to do the same on the GMAT. I used the Manhattan GMAT guides
over 2-3 months of admittedly sporadic prep focused entirely on quant, and read the quant part the Official GMAT Review. I was getting 99% on the verbal, so I didn't waste any time on it.Materials Used -
MGMAT 5th Edition Quant Guides (1-5)
Official GMAT Review (I did about 20 practice problems and read over the math review)Score Progression
6/16 - MGMAT 1 - 690 40Q 41V (after about 5 hours of math review and I didn't answer the last 7 questions on quant)
7/22 - MGMAT 2 - 770 50Q 45V (untimed on the quant)
7/29 - MGMAT 3 - 740 47Q 45V (after drinking HEAVILY the night before)
8/11 - GMATPrep 1 - 780 50Q 48V
8/12 - GMATPrep 2 - 760 47Q 48V
8/14 - Real thing - 780 49Q 50VGeneral reactions on my prep experience
I focused on quant since I didn't remember anything about algebra, geometry, or number properties etc. The MGMAT materials are excellent, and the practice tests are generally a good gauge of your skills. The only issues I saw were that the MGMAT math exams are too combinatorial-centric and generally a bit tougher than the actual test. I was really concerned after I failed to finish the quant on time in my first 2 MGMAT practice tests, but that was helpful in making me develop timing strategies.
On the verbal, MGMAT is weird. I got 5,7, and 12 questions wrong on the MGMAT verbal, but 2 wrong on GMATPrep 1 and 1 wrong on GMATPrep 2. And obviously my raw verbal scores were much higher on the real deal and the real practice tests, so don't be alarmed if your verbal doesn't look great. However, I think it's good that MGMAT's practice tests are somewhat tough. I ended up not having much trouble on the real test as a result. Exam Experience:
I was pretty nervous last night and got up at 4AM and couldn't get back to sleep, so suffice it to say I wasn't feeling great, despite being well prepared. I took it at 8AM since I usually get into work around then and I like to be fresh for exams. The exam experience really wasn't bad though. You can warm up with the AWA, which wasn't terribly difficult (and really doesn't matter), and the IR (ditto, or at least I think). I took a break, then started on my make-or-break section, the quant. I was shocked at how easy the first 10 questions were and may have gotten an easy one wrong, but they got tougher into the teens and for the remainder of the test. On the last quant question time expired between me selecting an answer and me hitting the "Next" button, so I was kicking myself for potentially giving away a couple points but aside from that I felt great about that section. That was a HUGE relief. I took a break and then breezed through the verbal. The verbal was pretty tough but I got through it fairly quickly. Then I RACED through the prompts where it asks you about your background/goals etc to get to my score.
The exam program took about 15 seconds to calculate my score and I just stared at it for a minute with a smile on my face. This was the highest score I had seen in my practice tests and I wasn't expecting to match that. It was a great feeling. Advice
Being strong on verbal is clearly an enormous advantage, but I unfortunately don't have much advice on that section as I didn't study for it. I didn't do anything unusual in answering verbal questions, just read the RC passages then answered the questions, and read through all of the SC options and picked my favorite.
On the quant, I highly recommend MGMAT's materials and practice exams. I recognized countless problems on the actual test as a result of having seen a similar one before. For the closest experience to the exam, GMATPrep's tests are clearly the best.
I would also recommend getting some exercise during the days before the exam. It really helped me feel decent today despite not sleeping a lot and I generally feel smarter when I get exercise the day before. I think the research backs this up.
Thanks to prior GMATPrep posters for your valuable insights and good luck to you all! Let me know if you have any questions!