Q 50 - 95%
Q 40 - 90%
740 - 98%
Let me begin by thanking fellow members at GMAT club. GMAT club has been my hang-out for the last 3 months and I have learned a lot from you all.
THANK YOU! You are the best!
When I blew off steam during my inital post, there were a few who wondered why I was so disappointed. Well, just have a look at my practice scores and you'll know that I did well under par in verbal.
11/29/06 - Power Prep 1 - 690 - Q45,V40 - With virtually no preparation.
12/17/06 - Power Prep 2 - 760 - Q49,V45
01/02/07 - GMAT Prep 1 - 750 - Q49,V44
01/13/07 - MGMAT CAT 1 - 780 - Q48,V51
01/20/07 - MGMAT CAT 2 - 780 - Q49,V51
02/06/07 - MGMAT CAT 3 - 800 - Q51,V51
02/10/07 - GMAT Prep 2 - 760 - Q49,V45
02/16/07 - Repeat GMAT Prep - 780 - Q51,V47
While I am disappointed with my verbal, I also know that my overall score is competitive for most programs. As much as I would like to take the test again, I am planning NOT to do so. I think my time will be better spent in putting together a solid application for next year. I will apply with this score for Fall 2008 and will not take the GMAT again unless the ad-coms give me a reason to do so.
Enough said! OK, I will shut up now.
On to the de-brief...
Some random thoughts on the GMAT
GMAT Study Materials - Must Have List
Quantitative - OG 11th edition, OG Quantitative review
Sentence Correction - Manhattan GMAT
Prep, Strunk and White - Elements of style
Critical Reasoning Strategy - LSAT super prep
Reading Comprehension Strategy - LSAT super prep
I have heard good things about the Manhattan book on word problems. But I personally did not use them and so I cannot comment.
I did not buy any other books for Q. Fig and Hobbit do an awesome job on the math forum
and you dont need a book with those two around. Do NOT fret too much about probability and combinatorics. I have seen a lot of people who worry too much about these 2 areas of math and thus, waste valuable time which could be spent much more productively on other areas.Hobbit hit the nail in the head when he said this...
the most common prep mistake (in my view...) that people do:
- concentrating on advanced concepts and hard questions. the ROI of this kind of prep is small (it would be higher if you were to advance for 48-49 to 51).
One other thing. Do not spend too much analyzing the difficulty level of the questions during the real exam. I have heard my friends say that if you are doing well, you will get more probability and combinatorics questions. It's not true.On the real GMAT test, I got ZERO probability questions. I got exactly 1 tough combinatorics question. I still ended up with a 50. Work on improving weak areas, but do not spend too much time working on a couple of question types. Make sure that you practice the routine questions again and again. Ultimately, these questions will decide whether you have a good test day or not.
Strategy to get into the GMAT mode of problem solving
The GMAT tests very basic mathematical concepts. All the questions can be solved using simple math formulae and common sense. You can prepare for the GMAT math by regularly doing this simple, yet fun, exercise.
Pick a couple of your friends who are preparing for GMAT.
Use simple math forumulae create try creating twisted GMAT-type questions.
Each of you can create a list of questions in this manner and challenge the others to solve it.
By doing this exercise enough, you will begin to think like the test makers and your brain is better trained to spot the traps.
Also, everybody knows that asking questions is a lot more easier than answering them
The problems in the real test are slightly more complex than the ones in GMAT prep. For example, I got one real twister in the math section.
The question had 2 linear inequalities with variables x and y. The answer choices were 5 graphs and I had to pick the choice that graphically represented the solutions to the inequalities. The question threw me off, and I ended up spending 5 mins on this one.
The point is, no matter how much you are prepared, GMAT will throw you off the wheels with a twister. When you encounter a twister, just take a deep breath, give it a shot for 1 or 2 mins and if you still cannot solve it, guess and move on. Dont dwell too much on 1 question and lose valuable time. Because I got the above question close to the end of the math section(35th I think), knowing that I had 10 mins for the last three questions, I could afford to spend more time on it.
The LSAT super prep book is excellent for understanding CR and RC strategies. Believe me, you can improve as much in CR and RC as you can in SC.
For CR, check out HongHu's stickies on If X Then Y logic and Logical fallacies. They are hard to understand, but keep at it and spend some time studying and digesting them. It's well worth the effort.
I will hang around the verbal forum
and will try to participate as much as possible. If you have questions on CR, PM me. I will be happy to help you, as much as I can.
This club is the best online support group for GMAT preparation. Apart from the awesome materials available on this site, there are some extremely smart and helpful folks around. If you are a new club member,you should be happy that you have made the right decision by registering at GMAT club.
If you are a newbie to GMAT preparation, you will probably be intimidated by the quality of discussions at gmat club. I have some good news for you. Most of us felt intimidated at one time, but there is a simple and effective method to get over it.
And when you post answers,do not just say 'A' or 'B'. Be detailed when you post your answers. It makes for a very fruitful discussion. Now, I know what you are thinking.
I have a 12-hour work day and I have my wife and kids. I cannot post detailed answers:-(
Well, that's understandable. But remember, you can manage your time by choosing quality over quantity. If you can post only 1 quality post in a day, then so be it. The forum will be better for it and believe me, you will be too.
If you are wondering, 'What's in it for me?'
I request you to adopt this practice for another reason. To track your progress and to measure exam readiness accurately, you should verify that you not only select the correct answer, but that you also choose it for the right reason. Such introspection is especially important for the verbal section of the test and for the data sufficiency portion of the math section. Whenever you take a practice test, review the answers and categorize your correct answers as as 'truly correct' or 'false postive'.
One of the key decisions that will significantly affect your final score is your exam schedule. You should take your exam when you are in 'the zone', when everything seems to click.
The key question then is 'How do I determine exam readiness'?
For every CAT that I took, I rescored my practice test to account for 'false positives'. You do not need to have a really complicated rescoring method. One easy method that I used and recommend is to dock 0.5 point from your raw score for each false positive and finally round off your score to the lowest whole number.
For example, lets say you get Q49 and V45 with 5 false positives in each section. Rescore your test result using the above method. Your score becomes Q47, V42. This exercise can be little demoralizing in the beginning. But if you work diligently on identifying and correcting your weak areas as much as possible and reinforcing your strong areas, you will soon observe a downward trend in false positives.
I recommend that you take your GMAT only if your re-scored raw score combination consistently exceeds your target score by 20 points. (Obviously, this wont work if your target score is 800
And, take care of your health. I had severe sinus headache and fever on the day before the exam. In hindsight, I believe I was not in the best shape on exam day and I suspect my endurance during the test was lower than normal. This probably played a part in the final outcome.
Again, the point is, put yourself in the best possible position to succeed and being in good health is the first step towards putting yourself in the best position. Take care of your health and my best wishes for your success, GMAT and beyond!