Hi everyone, I've been a long time lurker at multiple sections of GMATClub. I've contributed both in question-posting and in question-answering. I'd like to just post what I've done so far in preparation for my upcoming GMAT test (not sure if anyone cares).
Though most people recommend preppers to buckle down for a couple of months then write the GMAT, I took the unusual route. My studying began last year, right around the May/June section (I started at that timeframe for no apparent reason). I quickly discovered GMATClub and have been with it ever since.
What GMATclub taught me in the beginning:
As a newbie in GMAT, I learned what books to purchase and what online softwares I should use through GMATClub. This, in itself, is a great help indeed. I ended up purchasing MGMAT SC
, PowerScore Verbal Bible
, and OG12
(in addition to the individual quant and verbal section). I've also found some of the past questions of paper GMAT exams. A note about the paper exams is that not all the answers are correct, though most of them are. Some rules/concepts are outdated and may not apply to the current GMAT standard.
What I did so far:
I took my first free practice exam with Princeton Review
and scored a 560. I was disappointed, but I knew that I can improve a lot. My weak point has always been the verbal section. Believe it or not, I was so disappointed that I even re-took the test but scored a mere 580 (both times Q was >46 but V was <30). I know that I have much to do to start my journey and at that point, I began hitting the book. Since I didn't like "buckling down" for a couple of months for studying, I've decided to just take my time and study while I go. This route seems to have worked for me; however, it definitely took a toll on my energy as I'm constantly thinking about GMAT. I started my studying off with MGMAT SC
and I just have to agree with most people here that MGMAT SC
book really nails down what I need to know for SC. After going through the book religiously, I see a huge improvement in what I can do with SC in the OG book. After MGMAT SC
, I looked through the PowerScore bible and found it up to my standard. I was never too weak in critical reasoning and PowerScore bible definitely solidified this point. Once I finished these two, I tackled the OG and finished the practice books. All of these were done between the months of May and October/November of last year (obviously, I took my sweet time). After all the book materials, I began using the old questions from past exams. Though some of these questions were a bit ambiguous in terms of the concept, I found most of these to be helpful, especially when I have to Google a question and understand the concept behind it. Before I realized it, a lot of the verbal concepts have been engrained in me. I finished pretty much all the materials that I have pretty since end of February and now I'm just going back to old questions and OG. Throughout all these times, I've been religiously following GMATClub and its content. Even just by coming on here on a daily basis helped tremendously. All I have to do is do a couple of quant and a couple of verbal questions posted here and I feel like I've just learned something extra.
The tests I've taken so far:
Besides the very first Princeton Review
test, I took another test (this time it was first GMATPrep test) in September and scored a 630. I was happy to see this improvement as I didn't cross that 6xx threshold the first time with Princeton Review
(much of the score is boosted in my SC, which boosted my verbal). My quant stayed pretty much the same. With MGMAT, I got 6 extra tests that I can work with. I took the first MGMAT test on 11/3/2009 and scored 660 (45Q/35V). I loved my increase in verbal but the decrease in quant made me a little scared. I kept on practicing and dedicating most of my time in verbal and took the second MGMAT test on 12/8/2009, scoring 690 (Q43, V40). I realized that my verbal has been creeping upward from lower the 30 up to 40, but my quant score has been dropping from a high of Q49 to Q43. Seeing this, I then decided to switch gear and start my practice with quant. I took my third MGMAT test on 2/27/2010, and scored Q48 and V35. At this point, I've made it pretty clear to myself that math-wise, I should be fine. Beginning of March, 2010, I took the second GMATPrep and scored a 710 (If I remember correctly it was Q48, V40). I haven't done any additional testing yet.
I registered for the GMAT for April 17th. Knowing this date is approaching fast, I have got to take three additional tests from MGMAT. My plan for these three is 3/28, 4/4, and 4/11, respectively. I took a week off from work between 4/12 and 4/16 so I can relax and do more practice/test should I need to.
Admittedly, it has been one of the longest preparation I've done on a standardized test throughout my life. I wanted to give it my best effort and I wanted to let everyone here at GMATClub know that how incredible GMATClub has been. I can't expect any other forum better than what we have here. If you're just beginning to prep, get on GMATClub and start practicing. As I mentioned before, most of us are here to boost our score. My experience with GMAT so far is to practice, practice, and practice. When you think you're done with practice, you're not done yet. You are only done when you finish writing that GMAT and are happy with that score. Unless you take the GMAT and decided not to ever take it again, you're never done with the practicing part.
I'm not sure why I even started writing this excerpt, because I really don't think anyone cares. But I just wanted to share my experience thus far into my journey. I will update on this post when I do take my real GMAT exam with my score. In the meantime, I'll be lurking around the many sections this forum provides. If you have any questions about GMAT preparation and how I do things, feel free to reply to this thread or shoot me a PM. I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.