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3 KUDOS received
Intern
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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
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Location: New York
Schools: Darden Class of 2011, Tuck, Duke, McCombs, HBS
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Random GMAT Suggestions [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2008, 19:03
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Having taken the GMAT four times and being a frequent lurker to the forum (but an infrequent poster), i felt it was my duty to post some suggestions on taking the GMAT.

For some background, I took the GMAT the first time a little over a year ago, and after almost fainting when the moderator didn't let me eat a granola bar during a break (i suffer from low blood sugar), i canceled my first set of scores. GMAC allowed me to take the GMAT again for free a couple weeks later and i got a 640. I took a few month break and got a 660 in April. Then took it one last time in May and got a 750 (44v 49q). Ok, on to the advice:

- If you can afford it, take a class with Manhattan GMAT. I loved these courses and found them extremely helpful.
- If you can't afford it, buy the Manhattan GMAT books -- they are really helpful, but for learning more than practicing, so get these books early. I found the SC book especially helpful. the books also include practice problems and exams (worth the cost of the book alone)
- View the Sentence Correction problems like a math problem where you are finding the solution (correct sentence) to the problem at hand (incorrect sentence).
- I agree with many people that you should leave the GMATprep tests to the end of your studying, but leave enough time to take these exams 5-10 times each. Since it's a CAT exam, you get different problems every time and the questions and format are the exact same as on test day. Also, you can get solutions to any incorrect answers to gmatclub's forum and manhattangmat's forum (even if you aren't registered for a class).
- The Official GMAT books should be your bible. Practice each problem again and again -- especially those that you get wrong at first. I liked to mark the problems in 4 different ways: problems I knew the answer to, those I thought I knew the answer and was right, those I wasn't 100% sure on, and those that I was clueless. This gave me an idea of what i needed to focus on and what to go back to.
- Focus, focus, focus. The first time around, i spent way too much time studying very half assed -- meaning i'd study, but not that hard. i found it more helpful to take my last month before i got my high score to study nonstop than taking many months to not study as hard.
- Don't let yourself get burned out (but you will anyway).
- Lastly, during the exam, don't lose confidence! I can't stress this enough. When I got a 750, i knew i did pretty well on the Quant. However, with 12 questions left on the Verbal, i got a bunch of really short SCs and thought I wasn't doing very well. Since this was the final time I was going to take the GMAT, I told myself to just do the best I could and finish up strong. Little did I know that i would get my high score in Verbal. So in short, you never know!

That's all I can think of. Hopefully this will be of some use to at least one person. Good luck!!!
Matt
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Re: Random GMAT Suggestions [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2008, 22:44
Thanks.. Thats really useful.. I stay in the UAE, and there is no Manhattan coaching provided here.. Will need to refer to their books and test.

I have taken the test twice and scored a 660, and 620 . With a 48 Q , and 35 on Verbal.. Working on improving that .. Your tips should be useful..
Senior Manager
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Re: Random GMAT Suggestions [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2008, 00:14
Congrats on the awesome score.
Did you take an online class or a regular class? What did you find most helpful in their curriculum?
Thanks
Intern
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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 28
Location: New York
Schools: Darden Class of 2011, Tuck, Duke, McCombs, HBS
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Re: Random GMAT Suggestions [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2008, 06:58
Thanks. hopefully it'll help offset my awful undergraduate GPA.

I took a regular class as I'm in New York. My teacher was Grace and I thought she was great. I tried a tutor at Manhattan Review (different than Manhattan GMAT) and did not find him as useful and their facilities were not as nice either.

I would say their techniques for SC and CR helped me the most. Honestly, you can probably get most of the strategies from their books as they use the books as a guide in the class. But for me, I found that I needed the structure of an actual class.

The practice exams they provide are good, not great. the tests themselves are great as the software is very good and they provide details answers, but I found the quant problems to be a little too in depth -- meaning they took longer than official GMAT problems. That said, I found the official GMAT book quant questions a little too easy.

My recommendation would be to get the full pack of books from MGMAT and start learning. Take a few of their practice exams to learn your areas of focus. Start doing all problems in the official book. Then take a GMATprep #1 test a bunch of times about a month or two before your test date. Go back to the official book and MGMAT books if you need them. Take GMATprep #1 test a bunch more times (making sure to understand the solutions to what you got wrong every time).

With a couple weeks left take GMATprep test #2 so you have enough time to take it a bunch of times. I think it's more important to take the GMATprep test a bunch of times to ensure you learn every problem than to take it last minute to get the most realistic score. I mean, who cares what your score is on a practice test -- it's a lot more important to try every question on the test that you can, because again, this test is the exact same thing as you'll see on test day.
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Re: Random GMAT Suggestions [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2008, 07:13
Thanks for the detailed response.
Re: Random GMAT Suggestions   [#permalink] 30 Dec 2008, 07:13
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