Just got back from taking the GMAT.
710 it is then.
Quant 49 85
Verbal 37 81
Total 710 92
Just finished my 6th large peg of Black Label (making Patiala pegs)-- detailed de-brief to follow.
Even though my score is very mediocre based on the trend of this forum, I am super duper happy and excited.
Just want to Thank everyone on this forum---you guys can't imagine what you have made this loser (me!) achieve.
Finally, I get to narrate my experience on this forum.
I spent around 16-18 weeks to prepare for this exam. I started preparing really well and spent a lot of quality time studying in the first 8 weeks but somewhere in the middle and closer to the end I was really struggling to stay motivated. A lot of people on this forum have said that GMAT alone can not decide your future (and I agree) but in my case it was almost certain that the next few years of my life would be decided by this very exam. So, I would say it is very important to understand what this exam means to you and what you want to take from it before you start preparing.
Even though, I have not been a very active writer on this Forum, I have been a very vivacious reader. I took everything I could from the successful experiences of the test-takers and I took even more from the people who did not meet their expectations.
My profile to start with:
25 year old Indian male
(not an Engineer, just a random Arts Graduate from India and I also do not have any other academic achievements-if it sounds encouraging- I have also not passed the CFA Level 1 once)
Work Experience- 2 years as an Associate with a leading rating agency and then 3 years (and still going strong!!) of middle office experience in I-banking. (A lot of good international experience)
Why I needed a good score on the GMAT: have been searching for a Front-office role for a very long time now and it seems that having an MBA these days is just a very basic pre-requisite for these roles.
My prep strategy is very typical, so will try my best to keep this part as short as I can.
• MGMAT guides
(used all 8)- If you are studying after a gap of 3-4 years then these are a good way to get things started (and more-).
• GMAT Club Test- Very good questions. Best resource to practice Number properties and Probability (including permutation and combination) questions. My actual GMAT had quite a few ‘Number properties’ questions and only one probability question.
• All 3 official guides. These are priceless. The actual GMAT questions are very close.
I should probably stop here as good use of just these 3 resources with the GMAT Prep docs is probably more than enough to push your score around the 700 mark. But, I also spent some time on the following resources as well:
• Kaplan 800
(only for CR and SC)
• Princeton Review
Guide (started with this book and I can safely say that there is absolutely nothing good that I learnt from this book)
• Probability document on this forum. (good collection of almost all types of questions)
• GMAT Club Flashcards
Unfortunately, the worst part of my whole preparation was that I could not revise my error log
towards the end of my preparation. I am sure if I had gone through all the 300-400 questions that I had marked for revision, I could have easily scores another 20 points.
For AWA, I only went through the template on this forum and ended with a dismal 5. So, I guess you should ideally spend some more time on the AWA section, esp. if you are not a native speaker.
My GMAT prep scores were 710(Q49, V 37) and 690 (Q49, V34) on my first attempt and 720(Q49, V39) and 690(Q50, V32) on my second attempt. I found the GMAT prep 2 slightly tougher than the first one. My MGMAT scores ranged from 660-690.
I was very nervous about my test center as I am a non-mandarin speaker and was writing the exam in Shanghai. But, as always the Chinese proved me wrong - The invigilator was super nice and took extra care by asking me if I was comfortable in every break (can not thank them enough).
The argument was fairly straight-forward but the issue was quite complicated and it was not easy to write 500 words on it. Did not spend any time thinking about how it went in my first break. Just sipped some coffee and had half a muffin and was back on my desk in 3 minutes.
I started quant in the worst possible way- spending 11 minutes on the first two questions but somehow I managed not to panic. I had 5 minutes for the last 5 questions and I just rushed through them- mostly by logical guessing. The difficulty level was very close to GMAT prep but some of the questions were very unique and I had not seen anything like them on the OGs or on the GMAT CLUB tests
. After Quant, while sipping my cold coffee and eating some cake, I was deciding what would be the best time for me to re-take. Somehow, managed to reach my seat with 2 minutes of my break still remaining and I started the verbal section.
There was nothing very unusual on the verbal section. It was very similar to the GMAT prep exams and thankfully, I did not goof up my timing on the verbal section. I had close to 3 minutes for my last two Sentence Correction questions. The RCs were fairly tough but not tougher than the GMAT Prep. They were no SCs with simple idiomatic errors. The CRs were tougher than GMAT prep and I did get two bold faced questions.
I just told myself after the last verbal question (actually maybe even before) that I had spent a lot of time and effort for this exam and I had definitely improved a great deal over the last 4 months or so and I must take my score (even though cancelling was a very tempting choice after the way I messed up the Quant section). I kept skipping thorough the next 10 screens and kept planning when would be the ideal time for me to re-take as I was more than certain that I had scored 670-680 on this first attempt of mine. But, then came the last screen and I could not find my 680 anywhere on the screen. I could only see a whooping 710 with a 92 percentile with it. After a few emotional moments, I was very happy and relieved.
Applying to INSEAD, HKUST, NYU, Columbia to start with----
Will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.