Thanks for the congrats.
I prepared for the FIRST GMAT test using the Kaplan
Classroom course as well as OG11
. As you can see from my stats above, my GMAT practice test scores increased in overall score and reached around the 700-720 mark the last 4-5 tests. So come test day, you can see why I felt pretty disappointed with a 640. I expected to get around 680 minimum. Very next day I signed up for the test that would take place 5 weeks later.
Seeing my first official score as well as old practice scores, I could tell that my verbal was my weakness. I decided to buy OG Verbal
and did all the probems in that book. This took me about 2 to 2.5 weeks. After that, I went back and did both Q and V problems again in OG11
strategies/concepts for the last 2.5-3 weeks. I took a test every week (sans essays), then took 2 tests the last week (one 3 days before test and one day before test). Since I got a 5.5 AWA on my first test, I decided that this was a cake-walk and decided not to focus on essays.
Come 2nd test day, I was ready to take on this test. I wrote both essays, but didn't focus on them very much. I just did the basic writing since I knew that I could easily get a 4.0 (we'll have to see what the real score is in the mail). Then came the quantitative part - it was very similar to my first test. I felt like I did well on this part and went to break. Then came verbal - first 3 questions were SC (which is my kryptonite). Throughout the test, I felt like I was just doing so-so and sometimes worse than my last test. When the test was over, I felt like I might have done only marginally better than my first test, but instead scored a 710!
I really just think my first test was a fluke. I was tracking in my practice tests to the 700 range and my 2nd test proved that I could definitely reach that score range. There also is some luck to it - what types of problems I received, which problems counted/notcounted towards my test score, etc.
Below is a quick recap on both sections:
All the usual geometry, rate, arithmetic, mean, median etc, etc, problems. I did not encounter any Comb/perm problems. I actually think there was 1 problem that was EXACTLY the same problem as in GMATprep but with numbers switched or tweaked very little.
RC: No physical sciences. They were all based on government/business and social sciences. I'm usualy pretty good at RC so this wasn't an issue for me.
SC: Very similar to OG11
, but I would say a notch tougher on the real test.
CR: I would say OG11
is right on the mark to the real test.