Just came back from the testing center with 720 Q49V40. 28/12/2011 UPDATE: 5.0 AWA
clueless how I got this :D
This forum gave me a lot of insight, so I'll try give back to this community though sharing my experience and mistakes.
22 year-old male
Spent a year in U.S. (this probably helped me most with idioms)
Targeted a >700 score
1. The Path
My path to GMAT goes way back to February, when a friend suggested I should pursue a Master's degree, rather than work at a local Big4 audit firm, as I was planning back in the days.
I started simply by Google-ing 'gmat prepartion' and stumbled upon GMATClub. I went fast through the Best Recommended Books list and decided to purchase the Kaplan
2011 book as my initial guide.I also took a GMATprep test and got a merely 530 (Q35V28). It was a surprising score, especially Quant, since I had a 710 in SAT Math and I expected a similar performance on GMAT. Although, I received the book in March, I didn't take a look at it, until April-May. I must admit - procrastination is the worst enemy
one can have. I had a goal to study during the summer, but it never happened. My hectic schedule wasn't adapted to a GMAT schedule. Although I was going through the Kaplan
guide (10 pages a day
), looking back, it was just a waste of time.
So I started all over in September. Initially, I was planning to take the test in November, but again - I couldn't fit well GMAT in my unsystematic schedule. Thus December was the latest when I could take the test to meet the deadlines.
2. Books & Practice
I have used the following materials:
GMATClub - Question of the Day is great!
Manhattan 8 Guides + 6 tests
Manhattan Foundations of GMAT Math
Manhattan Advanced QuantOfficial Guide 12thQuant Official Guide
2ndVerbal Official Guide
video-course & their 750+ Seminars Question Database - found online
Thursday with Ron (Manhattan GMAT
PowerScore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
3. Test scores
GMATPrep 1: April-May 2011 530 Q35V28
MGMAT 1: 10/10/2011 - 650 Q45V34
MGMAT 2: 10/17/2011 - 650 Q44V35
MGMAT 3: 11/1/2011 - 430 Q47 (didn't do the Verbal part)
MGMAT 4: 11/15/2011 - 670 Q45V36
MGMAT 5: 12/11/2011 - 680 Q47V35
MGMAT 6: messed up an ruined the test half-way
GMATprep1: 12/13/2011 - 690 Q45V40
After I Reset
MGMAT 2A: 12/16/2011 - 700 Q46V40
MGMAT 3A: 12/18/2011 - 720 Q48V40
MGMAT 4A: 12/19/2011 - 720 Q48V40
GMATprep2: 12/19/2011 11:20PM - 720 Q49V40 (exactly the same score I got on the actual GMAT - again, GMATprep = best predictor
along the way - only Quant
4. GMAT Day
AWA started pretty bad. I never even looked through AWA prep until 12 hours before the actual exam. Shame on me, I know
But I still hope it will be a 4.5
Quant was usual. Timing was almost good - 1min45seconds for the 37 question. Questions seemed easy, so when I had the break, I felt that I'd fail my goal of >700
Verbal was better. RC passages easy. 3 shorts ones and a long one; CR a lil bit confusing, but OK; SC was doable. The weird thing happened when I was at question 31 - only 15 minutes left and I was just about to start reading the long passage.
30 seconds before the test ended, I submitted the answer.
In the end, the sweet 720 popped out
5. Takeways#0: Organize yourself & Enjoy it
This may seem obvious to someone, but now I realize that because I didn't plan my learning for the months to come, I ended up taking practice tests and doing Official Guides excessively late. The later weeks of prep were actually fun(although sometimes stressful)! I took GMAT as a personal challenge and it is rewarding to see myself succeed. I also used incentives -> a beer, a night-out, a movie, or any other made-up reason to cheer for improving results #1: Mix Official GMAT problems with regular preparation from guidebooks
(in my case - Manhattan)
I didn't solve any Official GMAT problems until December 11 (I wanted to leave them for the last, so to better assess my performance), just 9 days before the exam. Nevertheless, I managed to solve 1375 items in these 9 days, from the 3 Official Guides, or roughly 91% of all problems.#2: GMATClub tests = High Quant
I did 16 of the 25 available Quant tests. In my opinion, GMATClub tests
boosted my Quant from 45 to 49. #3: Manhattan GMAT materials - good to great
The Quant and SC guides were useful. RC and CR - not that muchManhattan GMAT Advanced Quant
is the deal! Along with GMATClub tests
a tool for having a good quant score. Thursday with Ron
gave me useful insights on the test techniques.
The Paid Manhattan GMAT
Archer is a great tool to analyze performance on Official Guides and target specific weaknesses#4: Practice makes perfect
If I would do it again, I would definitively set myself a goal - 1 practice test a week (even though you would reset them eventually). Take one GMATprep three weeks to a month before the test and the 2nd one - a week or two before the exam.
At the same time, don't just use any type of practice tests. I took the Quant parts from Kaplan
and Grockit, but it seemed a lil bit out-of-focus, compared to the real GMAT (less Kaplan
, just several questions IMHO)
With better planning, I could've managed much more practice => a better score#5: Useful resources http://www.gmatquantum.com/
- video explanation to all Official Guide and Quant Guide problems; it was much better than reading the explanations in the guides.
GMATClub - Thank you!
additional thanks to bb
- you know why (or if not, it's in the message history)
Hopefully, Stockholm School of Economics will accept me on their Master's program and I will have time to start on another test - CFA. Otherwise, I'll aim for 99th percentile next year Update: March 22nd 2012Admitted to Bocconi University MSc in Finance & Stockholm School of Economics MSc in Finance and Accounting / Corporate Finance
PS! the 'Good Luck on the GMAT Tomorrow!' message I received last night before the exam from GMATClub was a really nice thing