I took the GMAT for the first and last time on Monday, February 25. Even though I am a new member to the community, I have been “lurking” for the past couple months. The main reason I didn’t contribute to the math and verbal discussions before is that I didn’t want to accidentally see any potential questions before I had worked both GMAT Prep tests. My story is similar to a lot that I have read, but hopefully some will find it helpful. I am planning to be more of a contributor now that the GMAT is out of the way.
My official score:
700 (92%), Q: 48 (85%), V: 38 (84%), AWA: 5.5 (83%)
My goal was 700, but I had decided that I wouldn't retake if I got a 680 or higher and close to 80% on both Q and V. I am very happy with my score and do not plan to take it again. I did notice someone on this forum scored a 710 with the same Q and V as me, which was somewhat disappointing...
GMAT Prep 1: 650 (Q: 42, V: 38)
MGMAT 2: 700 (Q: 46, V: 39)
PR 1: 690 (Q: 50, V: 36)
GMAT Prep 2: 680 (Q: 44, V: 38)
I also worked other sections of MGMAT 1 and 3 and reworked GMAT Prep Quant 1 for practice. However, I did not include the results because they weren’t under test conditions (i.e. taking the full test).
- Kaplan Premier
- Princeton Review Cracking the GMAT
- Official Guide to the GMAT (OG11
- MGMAT Sentence Correction
- GMAT Prep
I had taken the GRE, so I was familiar with computer adaptive tests (CATs). I began studying for the GMAT in September and studied diligently for about 2 months. Then I lost focus during the holidays. I picked it back up after New Years and studied diligently until test day. I would say I had 3.5-4 months total prep but could have done it with less if I didn't quit during the holidays.
Preparation Advice (assuming you have 2-3 months to prepare):
1. Work the entire Princeton Review
book before tackling any OG11
problems. This will get you familiar with the test format and also give you some tips/tricks.
2. Work a couple OG11
problems to get used to “real” problems.
3. Work GMAT Prep #1 under testing conditions. As you work the CAT’s, always go through the essays and pretend it is a real test. This helps because a big part of being successful on the GMAT is endurance. The real test will seem like just like the practice ones if you follow this advice. This will be your baseline score and you should learn from the mistakes you made…especially in pacing.
4. Continue working through OG11
. Also, work a CAT periodically, but save the other GMAT Prep for the week before the real test.
5. If you need additional help in Sentence Correction, the Manhattan book is good. Use it in conjunction with the OG11
6. One week before the test, take GMAT Prep 2.
7. Throughout the next week, work problems that you missed and that are your problem areas.
8. The night before the test, relax and get a good nights sleep (this wasn’t possible for me, I was too anxious!).
9. The morning of the test, wake up with plenty of time before the test. Eat breakfast, drink coffee. Work 5 PS and 5 DS problems from the middle section of OG11
. That way you will get them right (confidence) and your brain will start working. Also, read a news article to get your mind ready to read from a computer.
10. Listen to "Tool" on the way to the test center to get pumped. Take some snacks and a drink to the test.
Some notes: I thought MGMAT math was harder than the real test, but it is good practice. I thought the math on the PR CAT was easier than the real GMAT. Both GMAT Prep math and verbal are very similar to the real test. I think I did poorly on GMAT Prep tests because I wasn’t as thorough as I was on the real test. Make sure you get the first 7-10 questions right on the real test. This has a HUGE effect on your score. However, do not let yourself get too behind. If you have to guess at the end, it is no big deal. Do NOT leave any questions blank. Please let me know if you have any questions.