I have been visiting this forum on and off for about a month but never really posted anything until today.
I took my GMAT yesterday and got a 770 (Q:50, V:46). Introduction
Just a brief introduction about myself, I have never showed any stellar academic capabilities throughout my student life. In fact I pretty much sucked at ACT
although I did a whole lot better on the SAT
I did not really care much for the GMAT just as I did not care much for any of the previous tests I've taken in my life. In my opinion any exercise that does not help to build long term cognitive or other abilities is a ridiculous waste of time. The GMAC tries to convince people that the GMAT score has a pretty strong correlation to a student's potential academic performance in the first year of a Business Administration program. A lot of my friends seem to think the GMAT Exam is the make or break thing in their lives. Trust me it is not, unless you think you are a mere statistic!.
I did not have any intention of writing the GMAT until I realized that I couldn't get into most of the good MBA programs without writing it. Well, I guess the GMAT has plenty of different stakeholders attached to its value chain, the test writers, Test Prep Guides....ok they all need to make a living. So the GMAT it was...Background
I read through some of the forums and other resources available to get a handle on the material. I soon found out that there were too many experts (at least people who claimed they were experts!) out there.
I bought the Official Guide for Verbal and Quant Sections and the Kaplan
GMAT guide then took a couple of diagnostic tests. The results were all in the 85 percent range. I dug a little deeper to realize that my strengths were in the Number Theory, Discrete Math and Probability areas of the Quant section. In the verbal section I did not see any obvious weaknesses except in a few Sentence Correction questions. I have a natural ability to read different types of material and comprehend them swiftly.Preparation
Basically I decided to prepare for about 6 - 7 weeks from mid January and take the GMAT exam by the end of February. I studied rather sporadically, I was frequently on business trips and client meetings and didn't find a whole lot of time to prep. I did get a few hours in on the weekends but my weekdays were inconsistent(although my friends thought I was onto something strange!).PREP EXAMS
I took a GMATPrep test and got a 730 (Q:50, V42). I reckoned I would be alright if I could keep my concentration for the length of the exam.
I then wrote the remaining exam from the GMATPrep software. I did try some of the other Test maker's software and found most of them were far from the the official test writer's standard. I didn't bother with any of them.
I got the older version of GMATPrep and PowerPrep for 4 more Exams from the official test maker.
I scored pretty well reaching 770 in two of the tests.EXAM DAY
I was glad when it finally arrived so I could get the exam out of the way. I finished the AWA section and took the optional break actually ended by losing 1 minute because I exceeded the break time limit.
The Quant section went pretty well, the questions seemed to get progressively tougher and then came a few Probability and Combination questions. Discrete Math, Probability and Statistics are some of my stronger areas, at this point I was annihilating the GMAT by answering these questions in about 40 secs. I finished the quant section with 7 minutes to spare.
The verbal section was pretty standard although the Sentence Correction questions looked a little strange. I found the passages a drag but went through and completed the Verbal section with 4 minutes to spare.
Saw my score and thought well, I might as well make a trip to Vegas!...
before my luck runs out.Conclusion
The GMAT is but one part of your candidacy, I wouldn't recommend anybody going completely crazy over it.
As with all Standardized Tests the GMAT is all about how you prep for it, it is not really a test of your Quantitative or Verbal skills, in fact far it is far from it. The content and style of testing are the most important parameters, please avoid using dubious prep material. A lot of folks (including ones in this forum
, no offense intended) simply express and sometimes endorse their opinions to questions particularly in the Verbal section often times when they are completely wrong.
I found the Manhattan forums and the instructors real experts on the Subject Matter and they were a great resource.
Figure out a study plan that suits your lifestyle and learning method. Either ways do not go crazy over the GMAT, at the end of the day your performance on this test is but one part of the holistic application package.
Remember you are better off going to a school where you are not seen merely as a Statistic.
Look at the GMAT as an opportunity to acquire certain skills such as Mental Math, Grammar and Sentence construction, fast and accurate reading etc. rather than a test which needs to be aced, you will be surprised how well you perform!.
I will try to stay here for a few more days and answer questions.