Disclaimer --> Never was a active member on this site, more of a leecher ( sorry
), but got to this site pretty late in my
prep. Time to Pay back.
So here we go...My Story... I request everyone to take this story with a pinch of salt
, because what worked for me, might not
work for others. What i used to do when I used to read briefings is just grasp the good suggestions that somebody gave and dont worry about the small things here and there.
B.E ( Comp. Engg. ) from a top University in India
Employed in IBM for 5 years, have been in US for last 3 1/2 years.
Decision to take GMAT
Just happened one fine day, when I got bored of work and thought , what am I trying to achieve in my life after all this ?
Made up my mind, that I was gonna join one of the top B Schools and the first thing I did - Blocked a GMAT Date ( Most important, you can never motivate yourself without a set target in mind, those who haven't done, go rush to MBA.com and do it ( Notice the improper use of "it"
) ) My aim was to apply for top 10, preferrably top 5 B Schools in US , so I knew I had to get 700+ in GMAT. I have a good background in Academics being a topper in my college and a good work ex with me. Toughest part for me was to balance GMAT, Work, Gym( Recently become Gymrat ), Diet ( Any bodybuilding fans, they know what I am talking about ? )
Started on Dec 15th '05 , Gave GMAT on Feb 28th '06 - may be around 2.5 months.
I had the following preparation material with me :
1. OG - 10th Edition
3. SC, CR and RC 1000 document
4. And on top of that, GMATClub
Just goes to show that you dont need tons of books to ace the GMAT, once you get the fundamentals nailed down, its just a matter of removing the careless mistakes and learning time management.
I started by first reading the kaplan
books, good for basics. I then went through the Kaplan
CD , tests are not reflective of actual GMAT entirely, but are good for building stamina. Dont look too much into the scores, just remember to keep improving on your personal performance. Then I gave the first Powerprep 1 test without going through the OG, and found out that in
Maths , I make silly mistakes and in verbal SC was my nemesis in start. So made a structured plan, my maths was pretty strong, just needed to avoid silly mistakes but SC was where I needed to strengthen upon fundamentals.
Bible for GMAT, OG is just priceless, especially for SC, I did that book twice completely. I maintained a error log
and visited it frequently for
SC. For SC, the tip is understand the concepts , there are some 20 odd concepts that GMAT tests most often , if you are good at those , you will get 90% right in SC. My hit rates in OG first attempt were - 99% PS , 97% DS, 80% SC, 90% RC, 90% CR.
After understanding the mistakes, OG SC hit rate reached 95 %.
I used to take atleast one sample test every week, just to keep my stamina going.
Next I picked the CR and RC 1000 document - did some 200 odd from both. People here say to go for LSAT type CR and RC, but I think best is to stick with GMAT pattern, because LSAT CR is of different pattern than GMAT.
Then Picked SC 1000 doc, very good document, started doing 100 questions per day and hit rate overall was 90%, and whenever I got a question wrong, understood why I got it wrong. Now I am gonna tell you a trick which will be a life saver for u guys.
Just kiddin. Whenever u get a SC Question wrong, instead of putting that question in Forum for discussion. Do
this : Go to google, search "Question first few words" GMAT ( With Search in Quotes you will find a exact match ), The Search results will point to these sources mostly - Our Gmatclub, SentenceCorrection, Testmagic, Scoretop, UrchForms . In GMATClub -
Paul is the eternal SC King, Praetorian is great too, In SC.com and Testmagic - Admin ERIN is great..also would mention Hong-Hu for Maths. I always looked for these guys explanation. Its very easy to get confused by the explanations made by some of the other members.
That way, I got all the fundamental concepts of SC covered and was all set.
For Maths, Since I was good at it from start ( little overconfident, my 49 explains that
I just focussed on some of the tough questions posted on this forum and brushed with some of the Maths Concepts.
One thing worth noting, since English is not my first language, I basically memorized a 500 Idioms list , hows that for commitment.. he he he
This was basically my prep.
Sample test Scores( in chronological order )
Back of Book - 690
Diag - 690
CD1 - 680
Powerprep1 - 740 ( Before OG )
CD2 - 720
CD3 - 700
CD4 - 710
Online Test1 - 700 ( Eye Opener, was getting little overconfident
Online Test2 - 750
Online Test2 - 750
GMAT Prep1 - 750
GMAT Prep2 - 770 ( Day Before D Day )
Real thing - 770
Well, I am not gonna brag about every small thing I did during my test ( no offense to other guys pls
1. Started with AWA, already had a template , so that was a breeze.
2. Took the break, always take breaks, helps you to reorganize..take my word for it..
3. Quant was pretty cool for first 15 - 20 questions, in middle, got one Geometry question and I just couldn't find a way to
solve it, even now, I think that question was incomplete, some info was missing. I might be wrong, but thats what I feel.
Made a silly mistake, marked the wrong answer and realized after saying confirm, but I still am puzzled at a 49, i was
expecting atleast 1 50. In all the 10 odd test I gave, my lowest Maths score was 50, so lil dissapointed, but no regrets. And
Would like to add, Some questions in quant are definately tougher than OG and Kaplan
4. Verbal's experience was of indifference, got one Bold faced CR, 1 RC was super tough, had to read it 3 times to make head
or tail. Verbal is one of those where its very difficult to guage how you did, so wasn't sure as to how much will I get.
5. Elated to see a 770, but very dissapointed to miss 51 on Quant.
1. Make a structured approach, GMAT is one test that demands structured study approach.
2. Error Log
3. Get into online reading habit, I used to read lot of online articles, books are also good, but online reading makes up that stamina of reading on a computer screen.
1. Worry about when you see some decline in your scores, just try to gauge your performance in long run. are you making same
2. Keep doing endless questions , nail your fundamentals , far more important than all this.
I would thank all members of this forum and will always be open to any questions, you guys have for me.
On a Ending note, GMAT is not invincible, but most important thing is to balance things in life. In Lifting & Pumping Iron Terms we say " Eat like a Pig, Lift like a Demon & Sleep like Dead"... basically, stay focussed, but never be overwhelmed by it.
Stay cool and enjoy what you do. Its a learning experience, so what if you don't get a good score, you learnt from it...
Ok Guys..I'll pen down now.