Hi guys! I took GMAT on 18 June '13 and scored 720/Q49/V39. My preparation for the exam was highly unconventional. I was shortlisted for the 2nd stage of ISB YLP on 30th April. I started preparing for GMAT in the 2nd week of May. Finding it difficult to juggle summer internship and exam preparation, i bunked the entire internship
I started with the diagnostic test given in GMAT Official Guide
. I was in the "excellent" bracket(did not time the paper which was a big mistake) in PS,DS,RC and CR. I got 50% of SC wrong. Next, i attacked the CR and RC books from Manhattan. I read all the chapters carefully and solved all the problems given in the books. It is important not to skip any chapter or problems given at the end of each chapter.
I solved a few DS and PS problems given in GMAT Official Guide
and found them to be woefully easy. Lured into a false sense of confidence i stopped practising quant,a mistake i would come to regret later. I worked really really hard on CR and RC and soon had an accuracy close to 100%. It was late in may and i had totally avoided SC, it scared me somehow. I went through the Manhattan SC book but did not solve the problems given at the end of each chapter. When i started solving the OG SC questions, my accuracy was not more than 60%. Worried i did not know what to do or whom to turn to.
I took the 1st 'Official' GMAT computer adaptive diagnostic test in the 1st week of June. I scored 680/Q47/V35. On reviewing my mistakes i was shocked to find that i had 13 incorrect Q problems. I had finished the Q section with 10 min to spare and was hoping for a perfect 60 score. I realised that i had made some extremely silly calculation errors, misread questions and did not properly analyze DS problems. The verbal section was a complete disaster. I must have got almost all SC questions wrong. To my satisfaction, got all RC and CR right. I had only about 10 days left before my exam and felt my preparation seemed like in complete disarray.
I spent a couple of sleepless nights after the test. I went straight down to the basics and worked on Q religiously for the next 7 days. My main focus was DS. Solving the OG problems made me fine tune my problem solving strategy. While solving PS problems i made sure i did not skip any step so much so that i started calculating 120+280 on paper. This helped me eliminate all the silly mistakes during GMAT. I solved all the SC OG and OG verbal
review questions twice in the last 7 days. This helped me to recognize the category of Sc questions as soon as i saw them. My accuracy improved to about 85%. I did not spend much time on AWA. I was able to make a 'template' for this section. I just breezed past the sample IR questions provided by pearson.
The test center in Lucknow was air conditioned and had new hardware.To my dismay i was not allowed to keep Gatorade in the exam room.
I saved a ot of time because of the template that i had made for AWA. I started typing as soon as i had understood the passage. I feel it would have been better had i jotted down all the points on the laminated pad provided as i got slightly confused midway through this section. I finished this section with 2 min remaining.
The IR questions were easy, similar to the sample questions provided by pearson. Multi resource questions were slightly more time consuming. Managed to finish this section with 5 min remaining. Loud bhajans started playing widway through the quant section.I was reasonably satisfied with this section.Managed to finish this section with 10 min remaining. I feel i should have given more time to a couple of questions that were slightly more time consuming instead of taking an intelligent guess. The verbal section started with some easy questions. I must have done pretty well in the 1st 20 questions. Then i looked at the clock which showed that only 35 min were remaining. I went into a panick attack and started answering CR and SC questions without thinking properly. I got a nasty RC that could have consumed a lot of time. I breezed past it. Luckily it .had only 3 questions. i somehow managed to finish the verbal section with 20 sec remaining.
In the end i feel i could have got a much better score had i taken more practise tests and had more time to prepare. Bhajans blaring on loudspeakers did not do much good. And yes, Gatorade is a must have during exam breaks.Fingers crossed for 2nd stage of ISB YLP