The Roller Coaster ride finally ended on Thursday with a 710. (Q49, V38). It was a good score considering that I rescheduled the paper from the 29th (as I had score 690 on my first Gmat Prep). So I think the delay worked in breaking the psychological barrier of 700.
The result is even more satisfying because when I first gave a CAT (the Princeton one) I had scored a 560. This was in March last year. I couldn’t believe it, as I knew that I wasn’t at that level, couldn’t be. Well, you could call it arrogance but I decided that I would make a case for myself by crossing 700. Unfortunately, because of work I couldn’t give the Gmat any attention, until October end when I took a sabbatical from work for this.
Before, I go ahead with a debrief, I want to thank everyone out here. I seldom posted, but used a lot of stuff that people recommended here. Someone mailed me some prep material, am very thankful to him; my verbal score is due to you.
The following is my way of trying to give back something to all of you guys. Hope the debrief helps. Even if it helps one.. (the beauty contest speech…
The following are the sources I referred to, with my two cents on each – (in order of preference)1. Official GMAC stuff – a. OG 11 –(9/10)
BhagvadGita/Bible/ Koran/et-al all rolled into one (wrt the GMAT). As the questions are from real GMATs, one cant question its assessment.
Caveat - my suggestion; don’t start your prep with OG. Use other study references to build your base/ knowledge/ skill level. And then attack the OG. b. Gmat Prep – (10/10; w/ +/- 30% SD )
- its SD is supposed to be +/- 30. I’m glad that’s the case. Inspite of the 690 on it a couple of days prior to the exam, I used this data point to pep myself up.
Caveat – None (except the SD) well, you cant question it. Some CATS can be too tough, some too easy; but GMAT prep, wys-i-wyg; what you see is what you get. 2. Kaplan – a. Kaplan Premier 2009 (9/10)
– The best place to learn quant if you want to ace it. (who doesn’t, I nearly did). Nearly all topics are covered in here; with a good workout on the different levels of problems. The fact that its quant is tough actually works in favor of someone who wants to do well in the final exam.
The content on CD – Takes tough to a different level. The first RC set I did; I completed less that 70% questions in time. By the end of the 4th set, I was back to my best in RC. Cant thank Kaplan
guys enough.b. Kaplan 800 – (7/10)
– This book was recommended to me if I wanted to do really well. I am sorry, it did little for me. The verbal was especially disappointing. Very little was introduced which was covered in the other Kaplan
It cant stand alone as a prep material because it doesn’t really cover the concepts. And as a very high difficulty level source, it has limited content. 3. Manhattan
I only used a couple of selective material published by Manhattan. Here’s the lowdown on them– a. Sentence Correction guide (12/10)
– I have no idea how I could have got any sort of hold over the GMAT SC if it weren’t for this book. It explains SC just perfectly. Everyone praises it, I have nothing new to add. I just wish I had time enough to use the other study material that Manhattan publishes.b. Online content (8.5/10)
– I bought the quant challenges. Boy are they tough. I’d recommend this over Kaplan 800
I also used their CATs; I think they do a very good job. Especially with the analysis and explanations. Though I couldn’t use them completely as I got a little paranoid, in hindsight I should have. 4. Princeton Cracking the GMAT (5/10)
– If Cracking 500 is your goal then this book will be of help. If you aim higher, stay away. For me, the best use of the book were the CATs; that too for building up stamina.
Well that’s the stuff I used.
Will add some stuff later on how I approached the GMAT in the light of the fact that I had only a couple of months to start my prep from scratch. Till then heres how I scored on various CATs I gave.