I gave my GMAT on the morning of 26 July and came out not so disappointed. Scored 750, Q 50 and V 41.
Missed the 99 percentile and had to settle for a 98.
Am I happy? Well I would have taken 750 on any day but I thought the test was way too easy and hence I should have scored more than 750.
Quantitative was way too easy and I actually recollect that I had solved 5-6 of them earlier during my practice sessions.
DS were good, just some of them were tricky but not that difficult really. Should have cracked a 51. But alas!
Verbal was good and RCs were sort of ok, not very tricky. SCs and CRs were very pretty much standard. No surprises in any of the sections for me.
My test was scheduled for 9 am.
I arrived at the test center at 8:20, waited till 8:30 to be called inside. I started my test 15 minutes later.
Before the test I ate 2 bananas.The test begins:
The admin completed the formalities and then gave me two sketch pens and one writing pad. I also took the ear plugs and used them during the tests.
I think the ear plugs are a good tool. I recollect that when I gave my GRE 10 years back, the test center did not provide any ear plugs and it was a real pain concentrating
while others were typing at full speed.AWA:
Both the argument and issue were easy (or at least I thought thay way). To be frank, I never actually wrote the answers to any of these during my practice tests.
At the most, I would stare at the screen for 5 minutes before summarizing how I would respond in the actual test and then move on.
Believe me you, in the final test I actually thought AWA helped to get adjusted to the surroundings. Those 60 minutes were very useful and I never felt that they strained me too much anyways.
Break 1 - Ate 1 banana and a chocolate bar.QA:
I got nervous in the first 3 questions of the test and I think I got couple of them wrong probably. But still managed to score 50.
I also managed to finished the section with 10 mins left after the initial hiccups. I think I was able to pace myself really well and I completed the first 20 questions
within 35 minutes.
I waited at the last question so that I could take a break stretching myself on the seat and realized that I actually have included the even
multiples of 5 (the question asked me about odd multiple of 5 only and the Odd
Finally corrected my answer otherwise my score could have dropped to 49 maybe.
I don't recollect if I ever finished the QA section that fast during any of my practice tests. The adrenaline maybe helped me to perform well and perform fast!!
Break 2 - Ate 1 banana and gulped 1 Red Bull.VA:
Was able to pace myself well with almost 2 minutes per question left after I answered the initial 5 questions in a rapid fire mode.
I was able to strike down 3 wrong choices almost for all the questions, so that made things easier. Again finished early with 4 minutes left on the clock.
SCs were a bit tough with last 2 choices being pretty close. So all your knowledge gets tested here I think. Again the score of 41 indicates I could have got at least 5-6 wrong in this section.
Finally during the experimental section, I thought I seriously needed to use the rest room. But the admin at the center told me that I cannot under any circumstances be allowed to leave till I am done with the complete test.
Made me wonder why on earth such a stupid rule and that too for experimental?
Anyways I just clicked on whatever I liked at those 12 questions and in the end came the screen that asked me whether I wanted to score the reports. I said YES.
I don't think it took more than 20 seconds for the screen to throw up the score and I wasn't not surprised to see a 750 on the screen.
In hindsight, I thought a 760-770 was not very far.
Qs: Did I took the immediate week off to prepare?
Ans: NO. I was working at my normal official working hours. Just took one day off on the week preceding the test so that I could book the correct date
and take a practice test. I took just one practice test during the last 10 days before the exam.
Qs: Did I get good enough sleep?
Ans: NO - I could barely sleep between 12:30 am and 6 am. How did I prepare:
My preparation for the GMAT started using practice material which I procured from 'Experts Global'. This is a GMAT/Admission consultancy started by a Boston alumni.
I would recommend the material to people who can work on their own and just require the material and some guidance as to what to practice and how much.
They would create a plan for you and you have to follow the plan. Ideally 2 hrs everyday and 4-5 hours on weekends would be enough.
You can have few off days and it really depends on how fast you are in finishing the practice material.
I started working on the practice material sometimes in late April/early May.
I practiced using Kaplan
, Princeton and MGMAT tests. Kaplan
- I could never score beyond 620. My scores ranged from 600-620 in all the Kaplan
tests. (I gave them during the first month of my preparation)Princeton -
Scores ranged from 710-770 on the tests. I think Maths is easier in these tests and Verbal is very close to official Gmat stuff.
Good for practice to build up your confidence.MGMAT -
Gave 5 of these tests. My scored range from 720 to 770 in these 5 tests. Maths is way too complicated. I recollect that I used to have at least 3-4 modulus based questions
in these tests while on the exam day I did not get any modulus at all. Verbal is good on these tests. Its a good practice material as it helps you find which all areas you are weak in and so you can concentrate on them.
Last came the Official GMAT tests:Official GMATprep 1 - 730 (49/38) - 1 month before the test
Official GMATprep 2 - 740 (50/41) - 3 weeks before the test
Retake GMATPrep1 - 760 (50/42) - 2 weeks before the test
Retake GMATPrep2 - 740 (50/41) - 3 days before the test
As you can notice, the GMATPrep tests
are a real indication of where you really stand. If you get a low score in these tests then you got to improve before going for the test.
I just gave a couple of GMATClub tests
sometimes in between my preparation (which were free) and found them tough.
Use your own judgement on using them as it may demoralize some people.
Finally my advice to all of people trying to tame the GMAT is to practice a lot using the official material. It would give you a real indicator of where you stand.
Take good amount of full length tests. And contrary to what people say, I found writing AWA on the practice tests pretty boring.
I never ever gave 1 hour to them in any practice tests.
Better to solve some practice questions for 30 minutes and then attempt the full length tests so that you can mimic some fatigue that you may feel after the AWA.
In the last month of preparation I worked only on the Official GMAT stuff, the sectional paper based tests.
I found that improving on the RCs is not that difficult. If you get a hang of reading the passages and understanding them well,
then you could hit accuracy of 90% easily. But this is my perspective.
I booked my test date just 7 days prior. I found that it would be better to book the date whenever I felt confident about my preparation and it worked well for me.
Finally, you got to believe in yourself. This test is not a game changer in your life. You just need to cross this hurdle, so never put too
much pressure on yourself. Otherwise, it could even work against you.
Again, as someone said what works for X may not work for Y. So beware before emulating anyone on the forum.
All the best to everyone.