First of all a quick intro. I have been a mute spectator of this forum. Due to scarcity of time, I couldn't devote much time to participate in the discussions. None the less, I was a frequent visitor to the "verbal questions" section, looking for a new concept on GMAT English usage or new posts with challenging problems.
I took my gmat a few hours ago and unofficial scores are:
Q 50 95%
V 42 93%
Overall 750 98%
I hadn't practiced much for AWA. So I was a bit nervous before the exam thinking that I may blank out after looking at the topic, mainly on the analysis of an issue. However, essay topics that appeared for me were quite reasonable. I was able to come up with many good ideas within a few minutes.
Quant and verbal were like a roller coaster ride. Both started off slow. Quant was much slower than any of my practice sessions. As a result, I tried to rush off in the begining and must have gotten a few wrong then. This was not a wise decision. Ended up with Quant 5 minutes before the end time. In other words, I wasted 5 minutes.
Verbal was similar. Slow in the begining. This used to be case in my practice tests also. Often, I used to make up the lost time in RCs by reading the passage carefully once (may take notes) and selecting the answer to most questions without looking at the passage again. I retored to same approach in the exam. The approach worked out okay. I finished a few seconds before the timer ran out.
Overall, I am not too impressed with my score. Primarily, because it is on the lower side of my recent practice scores. And I know that I should not have wasted those 5 minutes in quant. That could have easily cost me 10 points (and pushed me down to 98%). Having said that, it is a pretty decent score and I do not plan to take the exam again.
Started about six weeks back. Looked at the following books in cronological order:
1. Princeton Cracking
2. Kaplan verbal
3. Kaplan Premier
4. OG 11
5. Manhatten SC
6. OG 11
7. Kaplan 800
(SC section only)
8. ARCO answers to the real essay questions
I realized that I was most weak at SC, so focused on that early on. Then started focusing on RC and CR.
Study time: It began with about an hour on weekdays and a couple of hours on weekends. Friday was a no study day. However, by the fourth week and after a few miserable attempts at PRonline CAT, I had to increase my study time to about 2 hours on weekdays and 4-5 on weekends. This was the most I could spare between my full-time job and personal commitments.
Last few days were quite overwhelming. There were too many things left for the last minute and too little time to do them. I would have postponed the exam had it not been for a pending three week trip which begins tomorrow.
A sincere advise: If you are not a very disciplined person, try to finish your preparation atleast three days before the actual exam. This time cushion is very important to keep yourself cool towards the end.
Scores from practice tests :
9/17 PR online 1: 620
9/23 PR online 2: 640
9/28 PR online 3: 730
10/6 GMAT Prep 1: 760
CAT 1: 640
CAT 2: 630 (now I gave up on Kaplan
10/12 PowerPrep 1: 770
10/13 PowerPrep 2: 760
10/14 GMAT Prep 2: 770
I had planned to take the last Princeton CAT on 10/15, but never got around to it.
was insame. I gave up on Kaplan
after two tests because I was always attempting the last 15 questions in 15 mintues. And, Kaplan
scores were demoralizing too.
What I should have done better:
1. Taken more tests besides Kaplan
, PowerPrep and GMATPrep that contains difficult problems in quantitative too. PR online were much easier than real GMAT. Powerprep and GMATPrep do not help much because one has already looked that most of the questions in OG.
2. Should have started early on AWA preparation early (say one hour a week from the begining). One of my major worry towards the end was AWA.
3. Kept more time for preparation. Gone through DS and PS in kaplan 800
That is all for step 1. Step 2, namely apping, begins three weeks from now.
In the end, I would like to thank one of my colleagues for advising me during the prepartion and for pointing me to this forum. And many thanks to all the active members of the forum for posting interesting problems and discussing them in detail.
Long day. Time to hit the bed!