Took my GMAT on 17th Dec 2012 and got 700. (Q49,V37)
Awaiting AWA & IR Results.
First of all thankyou everyone on GMAT club who have posted questions or solutions. I have been using GMATclub throughout my preparation and now its time to return something back to the forum through debrief.
Previous GMAT score:
Date: 21st May 2012 (640 - Q49,V27) - I got more on actual GMAT in Quant. In mocks my Quant score varied between 45-47. Verbal score varied from 33 -35 in mocks.
With the above score I was sure that I will definitely make 2nd attempt.
For the next one week I was in complete shock particularly on account of my verbal score. Thereafter I did almost nothing after my 1st attempt till almost mid of Sept (studies were only occasional - hardly 1 or 2 hours a week till mid Sept). I also got enrolled in e-GMAT
course though I used it much later.Materials used and My Strategy:
It was clear that to reach 700 or 700+ mark you must have a reasonable verbal score. Even with an exceptional quant score you cannot reach 700 if your verbal score is average.
As mentioned earlier in verbal I was consistently getting 33-35 score. The following material helped me in boosting my score from 33-35 to 37-39.SC:
course - The strategy to break sentence into parts and solve was superb. (Though I didn't use their standard approach to solve SC as it was too time consuming and didn't work out for me).
2. Manhattan SC Guide
3. SC 700-800 level questions pdf on GMAT club. The solutions to first few questions nicely explains some advanced concepts.CR:
2. 700-800 Level CR. (pdf available at GMATclub)
People also say that the Powerscore bible is excellent. The book is much more detailed. It didn't work for me at all. So select the material that works best for you. The main strategy I used was to identify the conclusion and then solve the question based on the stem.RC:
1. Did lot of reading from 117 RC doc availbale on GMAT club.
2. I took lot of time to read the passage & had to re-read the passage many times. So practiced reading the passages from 117-RC.
2. GMAT Prep & Question pack
3. Almost all the time I relied on solutions posted by Bunuel - He is simply awesome.
4. GMAT club Math book
Spent very less time on Quant to boost my score from 45-47 to 48+ consistently. Once I started getting 49 consistently I just practiced few questions occassionaly. I believed it was better to spend time on verbal than on quant to improve your score by 1 or 2 points.Tests used:
1. Manhattan GMAT
The IR section in Manhattan Tests was super tough compared to IR section in actual TestGeneral Tips:
There are lot of excellent tips covered in many debriefs. I will mention some tips that are not covered or covered only in very few debriefs.
1. Take lots of mocks eventhough you are not fully prepared (You should be atleast 70-80% prepared). There was a time when I used to take mock every alternate day. The purpose of taking mocks was not to predict actual GMAT score but to prevent careless mistakes because of endurance. Some of the you may not agree with the above point. So plan out what works best for you.
2. RC Passages - I was having a lot of problems with passages related to socialogy or economics. I solved many RCs from 117 RCs. Didn't worry about the accuracy intially as the purpose was not to get a mental shock on seeing such passages on actual exam and finally started getting reasonable accuracy.
3. In Quant double check that you are answering what is asked.
4. GMATPrep Tests
- While Re-Taking try to finish both sections atleast 10 minutes before time. Reasons for doing so:
a) Quant: You will take very less time to understand questions and in many questions you would already know in which direction to proceed to solve. This will not happen in actual test.
b) Verbal: You will take less time to understand CR and RC than you will take to understand them on actual test.
5. Once you get very familiar with GMATPrep stop taking these tests. Use other tests like Manhattan. (Though the quant score in Manhttan tests will be less than that in GMATprep test). By taking GMATPrep you will only see inflated scores. I have scored 770 in one of the GMATprep repeat test but I was damn sure that I will never score 770 on actual GMAT.
6. Avoid using Official CRs pdf collection available on GMAT club earlier else you will see many repeat questions when you take the gmatprep test.
If you follow points 4, 5 & 6 your mock scores and actual score should not vary by more than 30.Test Day:
1. During last 2 days before the test, study normally i.e. don't make extra efforts that you are making since a week. Your mind should not get tired heavily.
2. Study Minimum on the test day. This is essential for the mind to relax. I studied for less than 30 mins.
3. Try not to be nervous on the test day. This is better said than done. (Just use google to get some tips on this)
To be very honest I was targetting 40+ in verbal but couldn't achieve it (even in most of the mocks I scored 37-39). I also scored around 710-730 overall score in GMATPrep mocks. But I am ok with this much variation between mock & actual score.
Once again, Thankyou very much GMATclub.
Hope this debrief helps & pl. feel free to ask any questions.
I will be applying for MBA in some top B-schools of India next year for 2014 intake. I am Indian IT Engineer (Male) so not sure whether this score will suffice.
Press Kudos if you find my post helpful.