My 2nd go-around with the GMAT today concluded in 720, Q49, V40. I thought I might share my experience for those who:
1) panicked your first attempt as I did during my first
2) are not natural-born standardized test takersBackground:
3.2 engineering at undergrad, 4 yr public university
born in US, 2nd gen minority, working class family
<4 years of F/T work exp
Have not done anything academic since graduation1st attempt Feb 2009, Study Plan:
3 months of studying, started with Kaplan
in the beginning and did one section at a time (big mistake) as many problems as I could. Did this the beginning of my 3 months and wasted problems.
Used MGAMT SC book with only a few weeks to go (big mistake)
Did not focus very much on idioms in MGMAT (big mistake)Kaplan Advanced
wasnt worth the time
took two days off before actual test
Took 4 MGMATs, scoring about 660-690. Official GMATPrep was around 680, 690 before actual exam.
Ended up pulling an all nighter before, because I couldn't sleep (probably the final nail in the coffin).
Scored a 590 on test date, huge disappointment. AWA score in mail was 6.0HUGE CHANGE for my 2nd attempt Nov 2010, Study Plan:
2 months allocated to study.
Reviewed Kaplan 800
book in 1 week.
Reviewed MGMAT SC
in 1 week, this time 'memorizing' and internalizing the rules. Eventually I realized that many SC problems (my weakness) followed a lot of subj/verb agreement, parallelism errors. Idiom memorization is for the extra ammo you need to eliminate 50/50 q's.
Bought the entire MGMAT book
set this time around, but ended up only using SC and NumProps.
10 quant probs + 10 verbal probs a day consistently.
AWA I was confident in, so I worked skipped the AWA during my simulation exams. MGMAT 1/2/3: 710,700,710.
Took one AWA for my last GMATPrep. GMATPrep 1/2: 710,710.
Worked on breathing techniques. *I tend to freak out, so I knew personally I would need to control how I react to the test and unfamiliar questions.
Sleep aid the night before (really nervous). Review about the first 1/3rd of each section in the OG12
, internalizing the answers and methods. *Note: some people perform better by not doing any studying the day before. I need to feel prepared--know yourself and your own learning style to detrmine if you should study the day before or not.
Consistency is key. Problems or some form of studying every day to keep your brain in problem solving/speed mode.
Practice grammar rules from MGMAT SC
from day 1. In fact, that should be one of the first materials you study.
Did not take off days from work to "trick" my brain into feeling like it was a usual self-simulated diagnostic, so that I would not place too much pressure on the actual day of.
Flashcards to memorize the idioms from MGMAT SC
Used 'chineseburned' guide for AWA 6.0.
Felt I had to give back to the GMATClub community. Let me know if you have questions!
It's really hard to turn your brain off "GMAT mode" after you've studied consistently so long, but I'll be forgetting all that once I celebrate tonight
Good luck everyone!