As I have been reading a lot on this forum on past experiences, I thought I would give mine too.
My story started at the end of the summer last year, I planned my first GMAT test in October 2013, within the next 2 months. From that moment, I bought the Kaplan
GMAT Premier 2014 book and the official GMAT book questions for Quant and Verbal. I started straight with the Diagnostic GMAT test and got a poor 590 Q44 V32. It felt like I was way too far to get a 700 but the material did not seem too complicated.
My plan was to review all the math problematic and master them. Coming from an engineering degree, it was reasonably easy to solve the problem. I studied roughly 2 hours every night 5 days in a week for the first month to learn all about the test. At the beginning, I realized I was making way too many mistakes by poorly reading the questions and not paying close attention to the text. 4 weeks after my diagnostic test, I took another kaplan
GMAT prep and scored 660 Q49 V34 - Big improvement and it gave me hopes for the 700 barrier.
My Quant skills were there so I decided to focus more on my Verbal in the next two weeks. I followed the principles explained in the Kaplan
book and took the Kaplan
prep test 3 and scored 680 V49 V35. Poor progress really so I kept focusing on verbal for the next week.
10 days before my official test, I take Kaplan
prep test 4 and scored 740 Q51 V37! I was over the moon and I got more confident about the real GMAT. I knew my Quants was my strong asset and I needed to keep the trend of my Verbals. I took it easy during the last week. The weekend prior to the GMAT I took the last Kaplan
pret test 5 and scored 700 Q50 V35 which got me worried a bit.
I was really stressed prior to the test and did not sleep well. I managed to get a 680 Q50 V31 - I was so disappointed by my Verbal score!! I was kind of blaming the fact that this test is not fair as English is not my mother tongue. But I took the hit and the reflexion on the next steps. I knew I could do better and friends of mine convinced me to take it again.
I booked in 2 months after my 1st test (December 2013). I did not study for a month and took some distance with it. After a month, I checked my Quant skills and they were pretty much intact so I decided to spend all my time in a new technique as Kaplan
did not seem to work for me in Verbal. I used the tool from The Economist
(just the free part which is 20% of it) and I based my techniques on Manhattan book. Sentence correction and Reading comprehension were my weakest areas. As I used this method, I start feeling stronger and stronger on these aspects.
I went to the test day less stressed, as I knew I already had 680. I was not at my best for the quant part but I thought I did ok. Then moved to the dreadful part : Verbal. I felt I was doing really good when I realized I was taking way too much time to answer! So I rushed through the last 15 questions and thought to myself "well that's it, the 700 will not happen!". Then came the questions: do you want to validate your test? For the price, I was not going to decline it! I clicked and a 700 Q49 V38 appeared on the screen!!! I could not believe it, I was ecstatic!
What I really want to share through my experience is that you should not focus on only one methodology. Try Kaplan
, Manhattan, etc. and pick the one that works for you. And once you master a topic, move from it. I could have worked to get a 51 in Quant but that would not have helped my score as I could improve significantly more my Verbal! So focus on your main weaknesses and work the hard
When I look back at it now, I feel I could get a higher score by practising again but the benefit would be minimal for my MBA profile.
I am now done with the GMAT. My last advice: Study hard but study smart.
Good luck to all of you and if I can help, let me know