At the outset, I would like to acknowledge the help rendered by all Gmatclub members and moderators, especially Bunuel, GurpreetSingh, and bb. This is a wonderful forum and being a part of it truly boosted my preparations. Bravo Gmatclub!!!Preparation:
I started my preparations early in the year. I used the following materials:
1. Manhattan Gmat
strategy series (for SC and Quant)
2. OG 12
, and OG Verbal
-1st and 2nd editions
3. Gmatclub Quant and Verbal forums
4. Powerscore CR
book (for practice)
6. Various CATs
7. Gmatclub tests
(excellent for Quant)
Early on in my preparations, I was very weak in SCs, CRs, and RCs. I used to get almost 50 % incorrect on SC, CR, and RC questions from the Kaplan 800
book. My Quant was good to begin with, or so I thought
. But the reality check came in when I tried solving 700 level Quant questions posted on Gmatclub; I had an accuracy of 50% or lower. I realized that I had a lot to do before even dreaming of a >700 score. Further assurance of my limited ability to use my inherently strong quant skills toward solving Gmat-like questions came when I attempted the free MGMAT exam. I then bought the MGMAT strategy series and shelved the Kaplan800
book because I was clearly not ready for the book. I strengthened my SC and Quant skills using the MGMAT strategy guides. I also used the Quant notes written by Bunuel to brush up my Math. In the meantime, I regularly solved questions posted on Gmatclub. My CR and RC skills improved through regular practice on Gmatclub. Confident with my preparations until then, I gave the first MGMAT CAT in April. Alas, I did not see any improvement in my Quant score. Frustrated, I gave 3 MGMAT CATs in 2 weeks, only to be super frustrated to such an extent that I did not even give the verbal sections in any of those tests. In retrospective, I realize that the fault did not lie in the MGMAT CATs, but that my mind had only begun to get used to the process of applying skills learnt to difficult questions. For the next two months, I did the MGMAT question banks and solved questions posted on Gmatclub. I then gave a GmatPrep and it showed me that either I had made much improvement since April or GmatPrep CATs are much easier than MGMAT CATs. In any case, my confidence sky-rocketed and I began solving questions from OG with gusto. In May, I studied the PowerScore CR
book. The book is terrific. In June, I gave the free Princeton exam, the free Veritas
CAT, the free Knewton CAT, and the free Kaplan
CAT and got very good scores. From July to the 3rd week of October, I solved questions from Gmatclub, took 2 Arco tests, and took some Gmatclub tests
. Finally, in the 3rd week of October, I took 3 GmatPrep CATs, and solved the last 30 questions from each section of OG 12
, OG Verbal
-1st and 2nd editions. I gave the Gmat on 30 October 2010, and did wonderfully.Practice exams:
1. MGMAT free CAT-590 (Q36, V35)
2. MGMAT CAT1-Q35 (took only the Quant section)
3. MGMAT CAT2-Q44 (took only the Quant section)
4. MGMAT CAT3-Q45 (took only the Quant section)
5. MGMAT CAT4-Q45 (took only the Quant section)
6. GmatPrep CAT1 (no AWA/AIA)- 710 (Q49, V38)
7. Princeton Review free CAT (no AWA/AIA)-690 (Q47, V36)
8. Veritas Prep
free CAT (with AWA/AIA)-740 (Q47, V44)
9. Knewton free CAT (with AWA/AIA)-780 (Q50, V48)
10. MGMAT CAT5-700 (Q47, V39)
11. MGMAT CAT6-680 (Q47, V36)
12. Arco CAT1 (no AWA/AIA)-710 (Q51, V35)
13. Arco CAT1 (no AWA/AIA)-710 (Q50, V36)
14. GmatPrep CAT1 (with AWA/AIA)-730 (Q49, V41)
15. GmatPrep CAT2 (with AWA/AIA)-710 (Q49, V38)
16. GmatPrep CAT1 (with AWA/AIA)-780 (Q50, V48) (after re-installing, about 8-10 repeats in each section; score was definitely inflated)
I consistently scored in the 50-80 percentile on GmatClub Quant tests. I took 3 Gmatclub verbal tests and scored in the 50-80 percentile on those as well.GMAT-730 (Q49, V41); AWA 6.0 Evening prior to the test day:
I was having dinner with my wife and watching Family Guy when I heard the phone ring. It was my friend. His car's battery had lost charge and he requested me to drive over to jump start his car's battery. Wow! Great! A mini event before 12 hours before my GMAT. Anyway, I found the whole thing really funny and wanted to share it with all.Test Day
My test was scheduled at 8:00 am and the center was about 4 miles from my place. I had a good night's sleep, ate a sandwich and drank tea for breakfast, and stopped by a place of worship before heading to the center. The center was excellent, the staff was very courteous, and there were around 5 other GMAT takers.
AWA: The AWAs went OK. Hopefully, I will score between 4 and 6.
Break 1: Splashed cold water on my face. Used the restroom. Drank a mix of lime water and honey, and gobbled half a banana.
Quant: Started off very well. Finished the first 10 questions in 12 minutes. 2 out of the 10 questions were tricky, but I nailed them. Thereafter, things got very interesting. The test threw some very tricky problems at me; I made 4 educated guesses in the next 10 questions, and took 40 minutes to complete questions 11-20. The rest of section went OK until question 34, which I guessed blindly because I did not have the time to invest to understand the question, let alone solve it. It may have been easy, but bygone is bygone. I finished the section with 1 minute to spare. Holistically, I had a good feeling about the Quant section, and was expecting anywhere between 47-50.
Break 2: Splashed water on my face. Used the restroom. Drank a mix of lime water and honey.
Verbal: It was very intense; not difficult, only intense. However, I can bet any money that I got all the SC questions correct. The SC questions may have been difficult, but I did not feel so. There were a few of tricky CR questions, in which I had to select between 2 very close options. The RCs were easy to comprehend, but the questions were tricky; again, not difficult, only tricky. I finished the section with 3 minutes to spare. Although, I was more confident than scared because I had nailed the SCs, I did have mixed feelings about the section because of some CR and RC questions.One more thing, the only bold face sentences that I have encountered in the last 24 hours are the ones that I have typed in this debrief.
I breezed through the questionnaire at the speed of light
( did not fill in anything extra than that I had already done on MBA.com). When the most important screen popped up, I clicked 'Next' even without selecting either of the options-Report Score, Cancel Score. The computer very politely let me know that I have to tell it what my intentions are. I duly obliged and the computer reported my unofficial scores.
I was delighted to see 730. Took my printouts, called my near and dear, and celebrated with my wife on a lunch date at Applebee's.
If you have read through the preparation section of the debrief, you would realize that Gmatclub was the single most important component of my preparations. I owe this score to Gmatclub.
Also, please do not do what I did on 4 MGMAT CATs-not attempt the verbal section because of being peeved at the Quant section. There is a reason why those tests are difficult. They prepare you for the main exam. If you have paid for 6 CATs, take the 6 CATs with diligence. BEST OF LUCK TO EVERYONE!!! I whole-heartedly hope that every aspirant gets his or her desired GMAT score.