Not an English native, apologies for mistakesBackground and story:
I am a computer science engineer and I am working in Risk management in a Big4 firm as a Manager. I started working in Africa, which is my continent. I am French and Shumum Native.
I decided to do an MBA in 2010 after 2 years of experience but finally I postponed my decision to reinforce my experience. Indeed, I sent an email to HEC with my Profile for an evaluation and they recommend me to wait for additional experience.
Then I came back in 2013 and I decided to pass the GMAT. I saw Quant question and I told to myself “Yeah, I am in the road of 800”. However, when I saw and tried the verbal…I understood that the road will be long…very long.
I first took the GMAT in April 2013, I got 600(Q45, V29, AWA 4, IR:8).poor time management, with 10 verbal questions remaining at 8 minutes from the end. I did not studied the Quant part and for verbal I knew some basics rules of SC (30h of study). I was disappointed..I red many stories like mine and I said OK, It will be fine for the next time.
Second attempt, August 2013:610(Q48, V29, AWA 4, IR:8)..Nothing had changed. Disappointed again and my wife tried to encourage me, telling me that the next time it will be better. I decided to take the GRE, but when I saw vocabulary question from the GRE I ran in the same way I came to the GRE.
I leave that GMAT for months and I decided to take It again in June 2014.
I bought Manhattan SC and I believe that their book is VERY USEFUL. As a non native, SC is where I struggled a lot! RC and CR is a matter of reading and thinking. When I am able to understand what it stated in a passage, I can answer most of the questions. But in SC this is not the case, since I could understand all, but without a thorough analysis of grammar rules involved in SC, my accuracy was completely compromise.
I started early May to give me sufficient amount of time to study. I also decided to study Quant for at least 8 hours in total. My shortcoming in Quant was indeed concentration.
Another thing I have done, which is for me the most useful thing which helped me to reach my score, was to download resources from the GMAT club. I would like to thanks all peoples who were involved in making these resources available. CR 700-800 Level questions , SC 700-800 Level questions and AWA samples helped me to definitively grasp concepts. After one week I took MGMAT and I got 570. Then I took GMATprep1 and scored 700. Second MGMAT was 590 and GMATPrep 3 was 680. I decided to stop MGMAT, not because it is not a good resource, but I lacked time. Third week, GMATprep 2 680 and last Saturday(31/05/2014) GMAPPrep4 690(with V39!!!!).
The day of the test, I found the AWA very good but IR was bad. In Quant, GMAT tried to confuse me but this time it did not worked. In verbal, I felt more comfortable after my studies but I was a little bit scared because RC took me a lot of time. Finally, I received my 700 score (Q50, V35, IR:3) and while being happy for the overall score, I was disappointed about IR. I took it twice and I always scored 8.Study Timeline:
Started studying: Early-May 2014
Test Date: June 03, 2014 9:30AMGeneral Study Method:
I took in Average 45 minutes or 1h per day to study the GMAT. I did not have the time to work for more time because I am married and I am a Manager in a firm that asks a lot to its consultants. Books used:
The Official Guide for GMAT Review, 13th Edition
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review, 2nd EditionUsed it in August 2013 but not in 2014Manhattan GMAT SC
Guide, Fifth Edition
Princeton Review Used it in April 2013 but not in 2014Kaplan GMAT 800
, 9th Edition Used it in 2013 but not in 2014
GMATPrep software with extra questions and examsManhattan GMAT
Online Practice CAT Exams & Question Banks
Ressources from GMATClub
GMATClub Mobile Application(for idioms)Magoosh
Mobile Application (for idioms)
4 papers tests of GMAT
June. 03 - Real GMAT - 700 Q50/V35 IR3Final Notes/Tips:
- OG, MGMAT and GMAT Club are very great resources
- Even if you feel comfortable in the Quantitative, practice just to recall math principles. BECAREFUL in Quant, easy questions are the ones that you will miss. Read all words in the question and put all in your scratch paper. DO NOT RESOLVE QUESTIONS WITH EYES. Those are the ones which contain traps.
- For non native, verbal is quite difficult but never give up, even though you English level is not so good. For idioms, you have to try to remember them, infortunately..GMATCLub mobile app and Magoosh
mobile app are good for idioms.
- Practice a lot
- If you have time, you have to study a lot, know your areas of weakness, and work to improve these areas.
- GMAT Club has A LOT of AMAZING RESOURCES. When reading discussions, you will note that somebody already faced the issues that you have. Many GMAT killers and instructors are here and you will have a good explanation for your issue. Just understand and remember the rule behind each explanation.
- if you are busy working, try to read 2 or 3 things between 2 meetings . if you are married, try to convey your wife (or husband) to be interested in the GMAT. It will avoid you some problems.
Hope this will help