Gave my GMAT today and scored a 730(Q:50;V:40)
Just wanted to share my experience. This is not particularly a debrief since I did not have a plan for GMAT as such and just decided to give it sometime back.
So, I bought the OG, verbal review and the quant review sometime last year in anticipation that I would study really hard for a few months and then give the GMAT.
Poor planner that I am, just about finished those books in a few months studying on and off whenever I felt like and whenever I could take time out of work. 2-3 months down the line, there I was finished with those 3 books but didn't really feel that I had 'learned' something. Lazed around for another couple of months and totally forgot about GMAT :D Woke up sometime this Feb and started thinking that it was time I should give the GMAT(even though I am in no hurry to apply to schools). And, so began the last couple of months.
Quant seemed pretty basic and easy, but I was not too confident about verbal even though I could get quite a few questions right. With verbal, I personally felt that even if I get the questions right at the time of practice, I was not too sure of getting many right in the real test. I think the reason being that I didn't actually 'study' the concepts in Verbal and relied more on whatever I already knew and whatever 'sounded right' to the ears.
This is how my last couple of months went. I used to give the below exams on the weekend and then analyse the results and the wrong answers over the next couple of days. Didnt do anything more over the weekdays since I was not planning to go through any of the books again and just wanted to practise more.
1. Started off with GMATPrep and I think I scored 710 and 730 on those two. I thought that was pretty okay with not much of preparation.(remember I was coming back from hibernation of a few months :D)
2. Bought the MGMAT tests and scored between 680 and 730 on 6 of those exams. I think most people agree that they are a little different and a little more tougher than the GMATPrep. I used to run out of time in Quant sections regularly in MGMAT.
3. Gave the GMATPrep tests
again and scored 750 and 760 on them. I think partly because I was following them after MGMAT because of which I had a little improvement in speed (especially for quant) and also because I could remember 3-4 questions in each section from the previous test.
4. Didn't do much preparation for AWA until the very last 2 weeks(although I think should have given it more time). Practised with writing around 3-4 arguments and a similar number of issues. And read a few essays for each apart from that.
Registered around 6-7th April for giving exam on 20thApr. I am not able to plan too long in future and thats why such a short gap between the registration and the exam date. However, i think that registration should be done well in advance with some time gap that you are comfortable with. It does tend to increase the focus as I observed within the last 2 weeks.
1. Reached my centre arnd 1 hour earlier :D (I think a little nervousness) . The lady at the centre was surprised to see me so early. Had to idle around for half hour doing nothing.
2. The argument and the issue topics were pretty okay. I didnt write too well but I think will manage an average score. Although I did panic a little during the issue writing which I always found a little more difficult than argument.
3. In quant the first few questions were okay. Questions did get a little tougher in the middle and I think I lost time there which cost me dearly at the end. I think I had to do the last 7 questions in arnd 10-11 mins. Result - panicked a little, put in some thoughful guesses for 2-3 questions and solved the other questions very hastily. total chaos at the end
4. Started verbal after a 3-4 mins break but was still feeling a little shook up from the marathon run at the end of the quant section :D . Verbal seemed pretty balanced overall. I think I might have been getting wrong answers at regular intervals :D .
5. Feel that I could have done a little better in quant in terms of time management for the middle questions (a very avoidable problem). Would have helped in verbal as well coz I wud have been able to concentrate more had the panic of quant not carried on to verbal.
Satisfied with the Result : 730(Q:50;V:40).
What I feel after having given the GMAT :
1. I think it becomes very difficult for people with full time work commitment to prepare according to a strict schedule. But it is still possible to get a decent enough score with preparation spread over a few months.
2. Preparation strategy also differs from person to person. If you feel yourself to be lacking in basics, spend more time with the books(theoretical concepts as well as practise) initially. Dont be in a hurry to jump to practice tests. On the other hand, if you feel pretty confident with the basics, take the books as a base and try and time even the questions solved from the books.
3. Finally, take as many practice exams as you can (without having a burn out obviously
: My prep strategy described above is a very loose one and not something I would suggest to lot of people.