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Founder
Affiliations: AS - Gold, HH-Diamond
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 14455
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 3724

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31 Aug 2011, 13:11
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Take practice tests earlier and throughout the GMAT study process. I was discouraged early on with my performance on practice tests and thought the best approach was to spend as much of my time studying and doing OG programs as possible. I waited until a week before test day to take my first real CAT. I was totally rushed, got flustered by the whole process, and did terribly. I took me awhile to adjust to the CAT setting (eg, if you start doing well, your problems become consistently difficult with no respite). I ended up being rushed in both quant and verbal during my first time taking the GMAT and performing below expectations.

My second time through taking the GMAT I made sure to frequently take CATs throughout my study process. It not only improved my timing and test form (ability to withstand difficult problem after difficult problem without fatigue), but the metrics many of the CATs product allowed me to identify weaknesses. It also helped me to realize when I simply had to move on from a problem I didn't know and go to the next -- it was very difficult for me at first to "admit defeat" on a problem, but there is simply not enough time to work through something you don't know. Ultimately, the best way to do practice problems is through a CAT -- its the most realistic and useful type of practice problem one can do. So my best GMAT advice would be to take CATs early and often!
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Senior Manager
Joined: 17 Mar 2011
Posts: 452
Location: United States (DC)
Concentration: General Management, Technology
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.37
WE: Information Technology (Consulting)
Followers: 11

Kudos [?]: 183 [1] , given: 5

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31 Aug 2011, 12:39
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There is no one formula that works for everyone who studies for the GMAT. It is very important to realize this as you scroll through the forums and there are people who studied for two weeks and ended up with a 750 and people who slogged for 4 months and only made a 600. It is important to treat the GMAT as an ever-changing opponent and be prepared, and understand that this can mean very different things for each person. In the end, it is even more important to realize that the GMAT is but one part of your application, and never give up.
VP
Status: Current Student
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 1345
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
WE: Sales (Consumer Products)
Followers: 107

Kudos [?]: 420 [1] , given: 73

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01 Sep 2011, 13:47
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To let go, by knowing How the scoring algorithm works - Especially for the Quant section.

The exam is not like paper tests that we are used to writing.

Being an engineer and being good at math without preparing, I was confident about this section. I was very very good while solving the OG and could solve the GMAT Prep tests without really having to guess!
My strategy in quant was to get EVERY question correct like in a paper based test.

And there I was on the real exam, stuck up on a question for a couple of minutes. Not only did that end up in time management disaster but it also made me nervous. (Mainly because I had not expected this situation to arise )

For the verbal section, one usually works through most of the questions by elimination mehtod. So the strategy is pretty much to select the best one out of the given choices. One never really knows that he does not know the answer So, being stuck on a question is rather rare.

Things go wrong with quant, if one does not know that he or she has to guess or move on.
I think this is very important for one to know, irrespective of what score he targets or his level of preparation, as it comes into play at all score levels, for every test-taker.
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Hope this post helps!
Your kudos will let me know.

Current Student
Joined: 22 May 2010
Posts: 87
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 8 [1] , given: 21

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31 Aug 2011, 15:23
Quite frankly, the one thing I wish I did prior to beginning my prep was to do a real self-assessment and reality check. Coming out of college at the top of my class (for school of management) and breezing through nearly all my courses, I figured the GMAT was going to be a push over to get a 700+ score. Once I took the assessment at the beginning of the OG it was like my world was upside down. I initially had scheduled my exam for 3 weeks prior to concluding I wanted to apply to b-school this year... shortly after, I rescheduled for 3 months later and enrolled in Manhattan GMAT course.
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Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 82
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10

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01 Sep 2011, 04:41
Can I do two?

1) Test center stress is real. I read a lot of threads on how people score 700+ during practices, etc. but can't seem to perform on the real thing. I think most of it has to do with the fact that you're getting fingerprinted, picture taken, signing in/out, etc. It's very unnerving and contributes to nervousness. Don't underestimate the test center environment.

2) Write the AWAs when taking practice exams! The one hour of writing does drain you a bit and you need to have that feeling before going into the real exam.
_________________
Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: Russian Federation
Concentration: Technology, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V0
GMAT 2: 700 Q V
GMAT 3: 740 Q40 V50
GMAT 4: 700 Q48 V38
GMAT 5: 710 Q45 V41
GMAT 6: 680 Q47 V36
GMAT 7: Q42 V44
GMAT 8: Q42 V44
GMAT 9: 740 Q49 V42
GMAT 10: 740 Q V
GMAT 11: 500 Q47 V33
GMAT 12: 670 Q V
WE: Engineering (Manufacturing)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 202 [0], given: 102312

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01 Sep 2011, 09:32
I recently took GMAT score a bad 590(Q41, V29).

While in all MGMAT I never score below 44.
When I started my prep I was scoring around 48 in quant. and Was week in Verbal with 28 points.

I concentrated hard on my verbal part learnt lots of stuff. But still my score was stuck at 28.

It would be great you know 3thing before I took my GMAT.
1) How to ensure that your min score, below which it will not fall on actual exam.
2) What was it that made my verbal score stagnant.
3) If you are getting simple Qs contiguous in quant that means you have screwed the section.
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Last edited by hussi9 on 01 Sep 2011, 10:14, edited 1 time in total.
Intern
Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 25
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 42

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01 Sep 2011, 10:19
I wish I had written the essays on my practice GMAT exams for a couple of reasons-- First, on the real GMAT, I ended up not finishing my essays (I took too much time planning and making them sound good) and ended up losing point on the AWA. Second, I didn't end up having the full-on "simulated GMAT" feel until the day of the test. As a result, I ended up not being prepared for the onset of the mental fatigue during my verbal section, so I scored my lowest ever on that. You really have no idea how the GMAT really feels and how mentally exhausting it can be until you actually DO the AWA section. I know a lot of people skip it in practice, just like I did, but it was a big mistake.
Manager
Joined: 23 Mar 2010
Posts: 59
Concentration: Finance, Leadership
GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45
GPA: 3.3
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 10

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01 Sep 2011, 11:06
I should have took a piece of paper and answer three "simple" questions:
- why mba?
- why now?
- what's next?
After spending 2-4-6 months answering these questions, I would have superior motivation to study GMAT and write essays.
Senior Manager
Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 282
Concentration: Strategy, General Management
GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34
GMAT 2: 730 Q49 V41
GPA: 4
WE: Consulting (Other)
Followers: 9

Kudos [?]: 46 [0], given: 23

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02 Sep 2011, 01:12
I did this , found it useful , today i even guide many people who come to me with queries on Gmat !

As with everyone, I too was blank when I started with my Gmat Prep. I had major concerns over :

1. Best prep course based on ex-student reviews instead of those on the company homepage
2. If i go for self study , do i get adequate help ? Are the free resources available solid enough to motivate me to take the self study path ?
3. Books books and books ! which one should I buy ? Am really confused
4. I just started off with OG Practice ? what are the recommended ways to use it to squeeze the maximum benefit out of this official Material !
5.I want to test my Concepts with problems of different prep companies ! It gives me confidence if i can solve as many different questions as possible of various sources. Raises my self confidence about my conceptual level of tackling a specific section of Gmat
6. I need advanced practice as i am done with OG .
7. Above all I look for an affordable yet the most unbeatable and consolidated solution that matches my specific requirements

Solution :

Before you even start your prep ! take couple of weeks to zero in on books, tests, advanced practice and one good forum that helps you in almost all possible ways ( such as Gmat Club ). Do some research on whats best for you ! Spend you bucks wisely on the most innovative and generally recommended material and courses. Gather all your resources , Identify a target date for your Gmat, make a study Plan and then .. oh yes start studying !

Pre-Study weeks :

Spend a week or two doing some R & D work for above basic requirements. Once you are satisfied , that you have all enough resources & help , start your Gmat Journey ! This helps in preventing hiccups in middle of journey owing to some parameters like bad or non Gmat specific material , bad experiences with non recognized prep courses and most importantly it saves your hard earned money ! Only once this is done , Sit for study , keep a timeline for your preparation ( say , 2 or 3 months from now ). This will avoid precious time during your prep weeks which may other wise you might end up spending on book , material & prep reviews ! I will list my answers to above questions out of my experience . I ended up spending my precious xxxx hours in middle of prep journey. Only if i had known this earlier !

So all my above questions were answered while i did some pre-study work for weeks together ! I am posting my answers to the above questions below (not necessarily in a sequence ) :

a. I always knew whatever test prep companies claim on their home pages need not be completely true. I relied primarily on gmatclub and beatthe gmat for reviews ! So after a few weeks of R&D, upon searching through various threads i came to know :

b. Mgmat SC and its other guides most recommended for concepts. Kaplan verbal and math workbook comes the next. Yes bb's reviews on various books on gmat club and amazon help me the msot to decide !

c. Gmat scoring ! We have a seperate thread for it altogether on gmat club forums. This was enlightening and helped me to set my target scores from time to time during my various phases of Gmat study.

d. Mgmat and Gmatprep tests comes to close while mimicking the actual test ! Gmatclub math tests takes you to 50 plus level on quant section.

e. Knewton has some good concept videos !

f. Need of an error Log ! pre-made error logs for OG12 AND GMAT tIMER TOOL. The importance of re-doing the problems I marked in error log !

g. Gmat Club topic wise forums ! choose the 700 Plus tag in a specific section ( such as SC ), to get advanced practice.

h. Choose a source tag ( such as knewton / kaplan ) in a specific section (such as PS / DS / SC ) . Answer the
question in this thread. Gamt club made a nice intuitive interface where is hides the Original Answer and has a
inbuilt timer. Make Use of this to one's full advantage. You get to practice difference test prep company's questions ,
under timed conditions and reinforce your concepts learned by applying them to numerous questions from variety of
sources. this ceratinly boosts your cofidence

i. I personally liked various verbal and quant articles on GMAT Club forums. They are invaluable.

j. Motivation / Inspiration threads with respect to Gmat success stories on gmatclub forums kept me going ,
especially during those strenous and low times.

k. Gmat club resources ! gmatclub grammar book + Mgmat Sc refined my SC skills. Gmat club math tests are the most
sought over to pump up your quant scores.

At least this is a way of saying thanking you,on the pretext of parcticipating in the contest.This gives me an
opportunity to share my experinces with Gmat Club Forums
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Intern
Joined: 16 Jan 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Hyderabad
Schools: Great Lakes Chennai
WE 1: Business Analyst for Oracle Technologies at Mahindra Satyam
WE 2: Quality Analyst at Mahindra Satyam
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 9

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03 Sep 2011, 05:15
I wish I knew how the new integrated reasoning section will be weighted in terms of it's significance compared to AWA and Q/V.
Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] 03 Sep 2011, 05:15 Go to page 1 2 Next [ 27 posts ] Similar topics Replies Last post Similar Topics: 4 things you should do immediately after your GMAT 0 19 Aug 2015, 02:32 23 GMAT Club Essay Review 4: Duke's 25 Things About You 4 27 Jul 2015, 07:08 Applying in 3-4 years.. what did you wish you knew? 2 30 Jun 2014, 12:39 3 Take MBA Trivia Test and you could win Veritas GMAT Course 52 03 Feb 2010, 12:06 3 5 Things you may not know about Top Business Schools 11 27 Oct 2009, 00:24 Display posts from previous: Sort by # The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$

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