To briefly introduce myself, I am not
a native English speaker. I have an undergrad. degree in Engineering from the US.
I took the test last Saturday and scored 700 92% (Q 49 - 89% , V 36 - 80 %).
I took the GMATprep the first time in my GMAT preparation trip and scored 490. By then I realized I needed alot of preparation to get to 700 or so. I registered for Kaplan
's course and spent $1,500. Here is what I think of Kapan's course: it is good only for beginers and those looking for up to 550 - 600. Kaplan
classes are more heavily focused on test strategies and guessing tricks than the underlying knowledge and skills needed to score high on the GMAT.
My 2 cents ? almost all that you can learn from Kaplan
's class in two months can be easily obtained from a Kaplan
book or the MGMAT series
in two weeks time for ALOT less cost.
One major negative side of Kaplan
is that they never mention the Official Guide for the GMAT by mba.com.
As the kaplan course
ended I took the real GMAT and scored 600 (Q 48, V 25). I knew I needed much improvement in Verbal.
Early in 2007 I discovered the GMATclub. I learned alot from this forum and I figured out the existence of the OG.
I am not trying to be nice or something, but I really want to thank GMATClub for taking me to the 7xx club. I couldn't have done it without the help of all active members of GMATClub at the math and verbal forums. Many posts of old members back in 2005 and 2006 were extremely helpful as well. I spent a great deal of my time surfing the GMATclub forum.
I am not going to waste your time with my test day story and my practice scores .. etc. I will start directly with my test prep strategies, hints, and advices. I can summarize my conclusion in ten big HINTS :Hint 1:
The GMAT is getting harder and harder. The GMAT a year ago was alot easier, both quant and verbal sections. Hint 2:
The Official Guide 11
is a MUST have/do. If you take the GMAT test without doing every single problem in the OG 11
, then you're wasting your time and money unless you are really good and already in the 700 level. If you take the GMAT before doing all problems in the OG and taking the GMAT prep 2 tests, then it is entirely your fault and lack of hard work and strong preparation. Hint 3:
Take the GMAT Prep tests each once to examine your level and approximate score. Then, retake the GMAT Prep as many times as you can to get new questions for practice in verbal and math, mainly untill you get almost all questions available in the pool. These questions are very good practice materials and reflect the type of questions you would see on the test. Bare in mind that the GMAT Prep is NOW easier than the actual GMAT test. The hardest questions you'll get on GMAT prep math are not as hard as the upper bin ones you'd see on the real test.Hint 4:
Don't do the big and most common mistake of the following:
I love math, I'm good in math and I have a technical degree (engineer, CS, math .. etc). My English is fluent and I read newspapers in english .. well, at the end I did my degree in an english speaking institute. I can do reading. I know how to write correct english. As long as I'm good in Math I will score good in GMAT. You take the GMAT and boom 560 (Q 48-50, V 15-25). What ?!! This is unfair.. oh I need help !Hint 5:
the GMAT is not an easy test. It is a big challenge for most people. Less than 10% of test takers score higher than 690 on the GMAT. If you want your 720, you must pay alot of time, great amount of effort, and some money
. GMAT is not fun by any means. getting an MBA from a top school is worth the effort you put into preparing for the GMAT.Hint 6:
You have a free amazing tool for the GMAT. Whether you utilize it or not, it is your problem. If you don't believe me, at least I did my part and gave you the advice. USE GMATCLUB
!!!! Be an active member. answer problems, involve in discussion of hard SC questions. Help others and get help. Instead of paying $1000 on GMAT books from every single available test prep company, use the free posts on the GMATclub. It should take months before you can say that you fully utilized and took advantage of the GMATclub. Read posts from even 2004. tons of 7xx scorers have posted their experience in here.Hint 7:
If you're shooting for 48+ on the math/quant part of the GMAT, GET THE CHALLENGES
(now GMAtclub tests
). Those tests are really amazing and teach you alot of advanced concepts. Previously, they used to be much harder than what you may see on the GMAT. Nowdays, many questions from the challenges reflect the hard big questions on the real GMAT
. So these challenges are worth more now than before.Hint 8:
To score high on the GMAT you need three things. You can not score high unless you have mastered these three:
SC structure and grammer, MATH forumals and concepts, Vocabulary for GMAT in RC and CR .. etc
Process of Elimination, reading skills, logical reasoning, ability to extract information data from a math questions, data sufficiency skills .. etc
time management, educated guessing, skipping hard and time consuming questions, stamina strategy .. etcExample:
By strategy and skills only you can never do very well in RC unless you know good vocabulary to understand the passages. The same thing applies if you don't know the main arithmatic equations.Example:
If you master the knowledge and concepts behind the GMAT and have the sufficient skills, you can never do really well if you don't manage your pace throughout the test and end up not finishing the section.Hint 9:
Practice .. Practice .. Practice .. Practice .. Practice .. Practice ..
No score is out of your league. Once you get the knowledge, skills, and strategy, you can keep practicing untill you reach 800 if you want. Hint 10:
I have compiled a list of top qoutes and advices by many top scorers GMATclub members. It is the "Golden Qoutes by GMAT Clubbers !" http://gmatclub.com/forum/1-t43532
What I used to prepare and that I would recommend :
o GMATclub challenges
(5 of them only) - http://gmatclub.com/wiki/tests
o Manhattan Sentence Correction
book and Manhattan number properties
book (Both are a must)
o Official Guide
11th edition and Official Guide Verbal
and Official Guide Quantitative Reviews
o Spidey notes for SC - http://www.gmatclub.com/forum/p572956#p572956
o GMAT Club forums
o Kaplan book
(for basic concepts and introductory strategies to left me from 490 to 600).
o GMAT prep tests
o Peterson AWA book
I may retake the test to score higher because I know I can get any score I want.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post here or PM me
. I will be around in the GMAT club for a long while as I will start preparing my MBA applications (Columbia Jan 09 intake and INSEAD ).
wonderful man, sincere in sharing your thoughts