Just wanted to share my success story after receiving a 720 (Q48V41) today!
Last month I took the GMAT and screwed up pretty badly. Ended up getting a 640 (Q36V41) after a little more than two months of studying. A week before the test, I had taken GMATPrep #2 and pulled a 750 (Q48V45)...to be fair, I think there may have been a few OG repeats. Nonetheless, to go from a 750 on the supposed most accurate practice test to a 640 on the real thing was really disheartening, especially because I'm considering a PhD where the GMAT holds verry significant weight in an application.
---In regards to this past test, I was happy with verbal because that's pretty much in the range of where I was testing at, but my quant score was lower than I'd ever received before. The real quant test just felt a lot different from what I'd been practicing, and I paced myself pretty poorly.
That said, I didn't let the low score pull me down and continued to study strictly quant up until today. Fortunately, it paid off with the 720. I was actually shocked to see the score when I had finished, because the quant today felt a lot like the quant last month. My heart was in my throat pretty much the whole time, and I only had around 4 minutes to answer the last 5 questions because of poor timing. I felt a little depressed going into the verbal thinking that I had wasted my time and money by trying again.
Unfortunately, I can't exactly attribute anything to what caused the major quant improvement this time around. Perhaps it was the fact that I just continued to pound the quant concepts (esp. MGMAT word translations
) into my head.
However, I will suggest to those who are looking to improve verbal scores to just keep practicing. I was able to improve from regularly scoring between 36-38 on pracice tests to scoring a consistent 41+ just by practicing until everything just started to become a lot easier and make a lot more sense. I am a native English speaker, so this did make things easier, but the practice clearly helped nonetheless.
Here is what I studied from the beginning:
-All MGMAT math books (w/the exception of fractions, decimals, and percents). Geometry and equations were pretty basic, but I hadn't had those courses in a while and needed them as a refresher. Number properties was an easy read that really helped. Out of all of them, word translations was probably the best because it was a) the most challenging and b) very relevant
-MGMAT Sentence Correction
- actually read this book first and ended up forgetting most of it by the time I took the test. It may have helped me a lot, it may have been minimal. Sometimes I think I may read things and benefit from them despite not even directly realizing it. All I know is that when I first started studying for the GMAT, SC seemed far more difficult than it does now. I can see how this book would help a LOT for non native English speakers.
: Did all math problems and most verbal. The practice in this book was the practice that I believe really helped with my verbal score.
-GMAT Practice Tests: I took MGMAT #1-6, Kaplan
#1, Princeton Review #1, and GMATPrep #1 and #2. GMATPreps, as others have stated, were the best. I took GMATPrep #2 for the second time last night and scored a 740 (Q46V47), so my score today was actually pretty close to that figure, unlike last time. I wouldn't say MGMAT was harder than the real thing (as many others have), but was a bit different. Kaplan
and Princeton were both too easy quantitatively and had poor scoring algorithms.
-GMAT Focus: Wouldn't really recommend this. I took three tests, and the first time they said my score range would be 47-51, second time 39-47, and third time 43-49. Huge variances. As far as I recall, the questions weren't even that great. $65 for three 25 question quant-only tests is kinda pricey.
So there's my debrief. I must say, it's pretty awesome to go from having relatively few options to tons of options for next year with the improved score.