I took the GMAT again on May 27th and scored an overall 740 - Q 50, V 40, IR 7 and AWA 6. I had taken the GMAT on April 24 and scored 680 (Q44, V40, IR2 and AWA 5.5) and the main reasons for my retake were the dismal IR score (got mixed responses on its relevance) and a desire to jump across the coveted 700 fence.Preparation - books and materials (First attempt)
I started my preparations with the MGMAT book
series 1 thru 8.Quant:
The MGMAT math books are the best value for your money for revising and brushing up. I did not refer to any other books and just started practicing timed sets from OG once I finished reading the books. I also used the GMATClUB topic specific question sets and found them to be incredibly useful in improving specific areas.Verbal SC:
I was stuck on SC forever. I had read the MGMAT SC
book very thoroughly but found myself getting confused when it came to applying the concepts. I ended up joining the e-GMAT
SC course and I do not regret the decision at all. The simple manner in which the topics are explained, segregated and the practice questions in application files were the best ROI for the money they charge for that single course. I would suggest anyone struggling with SC to try their trial courses. The course and another round of MGMAT revision made SC my strength eventually.Verbal CR:
Having read reviews on GC club for the MGMAT CR
book, I was wary of even reading the same. I therefore purchased Powerprep CR Bible and this was the sole source that I referred thru my preparations. I guess I would have read this book more than once.
RC: I have been an avid reader always, although that has slowed down of late. However, I honestly did not struggle much with this section through my preparations and the only passages I did were from Official Guide and the Verbal Review books. Practice Tests:
I stuck to MGMAT CATs and GMATPREP tests
and below are the results. I found the MGMAT test Quant to be incredibly harder than the actual GMAT tests both times around. Not just trickier but they needed more steps to solve invariably. My IR scores were a hit and miss, but I was too hung up on the Quant and Verbal to have paid enough attention. In addition, since the scores were all over the place, I was just hoping to get lucky with IR
1 GMAT PREP1 March 27 Skipped IR 680 Q49 V33
2 MGMAT 1 April 1 IR = 0 640 Q43 V35
3 GMATPREP2 April 5 Ir = 8 650 Q46 V34
4 MGMAT2 April 10 IR = 4.43 690 Q45 V39
5 GMATPREP3 April 14 IR = 8 730 Q50 V39
6 MGMAT3 April 18 IR = 3.75 640 Q42 V35
7 MGMAT4 April 21 IR = 1.75 650 Q41 V38Timing strategies:
I always ran out of time in the MGMAT tests but not on the GMATPREP tests
. I checked time every 15 mins vs the question number (the approach suggested in one of the MGMAT books
). I also remember reading a blog by Veritas Prep
Karishma on intentionally missing a question if you fear you are running/or going to run out of time so that you can miss a question that belongs to your area of weakness. I used this strategy and this helped me on the actual D-day.My first GMAT experience:
I found the actual GMAT very comparable to the GMAT prep tests. However, I was prone to making many silly mistakes and bombed the IR. I did not run out of time and felt that the 6-7 practice tests were good for the timing practice.
I was also not very satisfied with my Quant score (Indian- Engineering background female who loved Math in school ) so I decided on a retake in a months time.Retake Preps and Practice Tests:
1. I realized that ignoring IR was not really a good strategy and went about the MGMAT IR prep and tests (which were way way harder than the actual ones) and the actual GMAT IR questions.
2. I also started giving one gmatclub test every alternate day for quant. These are very good source if you want to improve your quant score but due to lack of time I never went over these in my first attempt.
3. The days I was not giving the tests, I practiced from either “Bunuel Signature Collection - The Next Generation by Carcass” or “Quant700-800” both of these are available as downloads on Gmatclubs.
4. In order to retain my Verbal score, I continued practicing all questions from GMATPREP COMPREHENSIVE SC, CR 700 to 800 club Solutions and GMAT Prep CR (available in downloads but pls save this for last since these are actual prep questions)
Prep Test wise I was scoring in the 710-720 range in MGMAT tests 5 and 6. I also purchased the two additional tests by GMAC (Exam Pack 1) since I had run out of material to practice tests and the previous tests were too fresh in my mind.
I would suggest anyone thinking of a retake to give it as early as possible since I do not think I would have got this score if I had taken a break.
I guess that is already too long, Hope it helps someone.