Hi everyone. This is Abhitej from Mumbai. Gave my GMAT on 28-04-2010 and got 770 ( q:51;v:44) AWA:6. I did not join any coaching class and studied on my own using material available on the internet. I sincerely and consistently studied every weekend for 6 months for GMAT and believe that I got this score more due to my hardwork than intelligence.
On structure of GMAT:
1. Structure of gmat is such that you are not going to be asked questions beyond a certain difficulty level. So intelligence does not matter beyond a certain level. Accuracy matters. So people who get good GMAT scores are not the ones who can solve the most difficult problems on this planet, but ones who do not make mistake solving average or above average difficulty level problems.
2. Giving an exam for 3.5 hrs is a very exhausting experience. So be prepared in advance. Give all your GMAT CATS without skipping the AWA section even if you feel that the score of this section is not important. People lose about 30 to 50 points on GMAT because they get exhausted by the time they reach the end of verbal section.
3. I personally believe that it does not matter whether you make mistakes at the start of exam or in the end. What matters is the number of mistakes you make and the distribution of these mistakes (successive mistakes penalizes you heavily). Also I believe that the algorithm of GMAT is far more adaptive than that of most practice tests because after getting the first 3 to 5 questions right, you start getting questions of the most difficult level.
4. Actual GMAT is more difficult and creative as compared to GMATPrep and MGMAT. The breadth of questions in actual GMAT is far more than MGMAT or any other material. Comparing PowerPrep, GMAT Prep and actual GMAT, I feel that GMAT is getting more difficult year on year.
I spend first 3 months on fundamentals and the next 3 on practice. I was naturally good at maths so did not spend much time on it. I studied maths from IMS GMAT material. For quant, 800 score and MGMAT have good question bank. My accuracy level in maths was mostly more than 90%.
Verbal section was my weakness. Within verbal section, sentence correction was the weakest with accuracy levels of about 60% when I started. After solving a few RC & CR problems, I realized that I was not as bad in them as I initially thought with accuracy levels of 80%. Most of my study time was spent in learning grammar. I started with Wren & Martin for basics of grammar & Introduction to English Grammar by Sidney Greenbaum for ESL grammar. Kaplan Verbal
Foundation is a good book for GMAT grammar. Powerscore CR
Bible is good for CR. Improved my accuracy in SC to about 80% and CR & RC to 90%.
For analytical writing I created my own structure after refining various structures available on net. Initially I tried to be creative with my essays. But this used to take more than hour to complete an essay. So I dropped plans of being creative and instead concentrated on being logical with reasons and examples. My essay length was between 400 to 500 words.
Solved all 1000 questions set for SC, CR & RC.
Solved the first 10 sets of LSAT with accuracy levels of about 85%. LSAT is far more difficult as compared to GMAT. LSAT CRs are more subjective than GMAT CRs and LSAT RCs are 2 to 3 times longer than GMAT. Practicing for LSAT improves your concentration level and accuracy. Also LSAT is far more exhausting than GMAT since you need to concentrate more for solving LSAT problems.
Cambridge review: Good for verbal.
800 score: Good for quant.
ARCO, Princeton Review: Average for verbal & quant.Kaplan
: Worst test for GMAT. No correlation with the actual GMAT.
MGMAT: Best test for GMAT. Very GMAT like. 6 MGMAT tests a must for any GMAT aspirant.
GMATPrep: Easier than the real GMAT.
GMAT Prep 1: 770
GMAT Prep 2: 780
If anyone needs any help with your studies you can write a mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I will be more than glad to help you.