I took the GMAT yesterday (1/17/2013) and I thought it went pretty well, especially considering how I performed on my practice tests (yikes). Before I list my scores, I will outline my preparation from the beginning.
I started my preparation on October 15th, two days after I got back from vacationing in China and Thailand. I didn’t really know what I was doing so I bought the Kaplan
Strategies, Practice and Review book. I went through that in about a week and then moved on to the Kaplan 800
book. Right after finishing Kaplan 800
I discovered gmatclub. When I was studying for the CFA exams, I spent a lot of my company’s time on a website called analystforum.com and it was there that I first heard about gmatclub.
As a result of my web-based enlightenment, I purchased The Official Guide 12
, the entire MGMAT 5th Edition except for Advanced GMAT Quant
, Official Guide Quant 2nd Edition, and Official Guide Verbal 2nd Edition. I blazed through all of these books (except for Quant 2nd edition; not enough time) and took 9 practice tests in the span of about 9 weeks. Here are the scores of my practice tests which were taken weekly.Kaplan
CAT Exam: 600
GMAT Prep Test 1: 600
MGMAT Practice Test 1: 630
MGMAT Practice Test 2: 690 (nice improvement)
MGMAT Practice Test 3: 630
MGMAT Practice Test 4: 660
MGMAT Practice Test 5: 610 (you gotta be kidding me!)
MGMAT Practice Test 6: 640
GMAT Prep Test 2: 640 (6 days before my exam)
The real thing: 720 Q49 V40
I wish that I would have purchased the Manhattan books
from the start because I learned a lot more using those than any other resource. I loved using Kaplan
for my CFA prep but I think they have a lot of work to do in the GMAT field.
My Test Experience:
It is extremely important to have confidence going into this exam. Don’t worry about how you score on practice tests because it doesn’t matter at all. I never passed a practice exam for Level 2 of the CFA but I ended up killing the actual exam because I was confident. I started visualizing a 720 or 730 score about 2 days before the actual GMAT exam. I constantly told myself that I was going to dominate the test and that I was a game-day performer.
I am a morning person. I wake up at 6:00am every morning and I typically do my best work around 9:00am so, naturally, I scheduled my test for 8:00am. I had to drive about an hour north to the testing center, so I drove up the night before and booked a room in a nice hotel. I highly recommend this. I like to turn my tests into business trips because it puts me in a different mindset. (I took all three levels of the CFA in a city that was 6 hours away even though I could have taken them in the city where I grew up which is just 2 hours away). I drove to the testing center the night before so that I wasn’t panicking in the morning. When I booked my hotel I made sure that it offered a good breakfast (eggs and bacon) that would be available at 6:00am. The check-in for the exam was very smooth. I wasn’t stressed at all; I was calm, and ready to log an actual score in the books. My breaks went well; I ate a cliff bar during each break and drank some organic tea that my girlfriend bought me. She said it would help my cognition; I didn’t ask any questions.
The essay was easy for me. My brain was working great and I think I typed about 600 words in 5 full length paragraphs. IR was much easier than Manhattan IR. The quant section wasn’t as calculation intensive as Manhattan so my timing was spot on. I actually had 3 minutes left for the final question which was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Verbal was going pretty well until the final RC passage which was so convoluted that I couldn’t even wrap my head around it. I was very excited to see the final score: 720 Q49 V40.
I am happy with my score and I don’t think I will attempt a re-take. I could probably increase my score if I went through the Manhattan Advanced Quant and some Power Score Bibles. I don’t think I have a strong enough profile to attempt a Round 3 admission so I will probably wait until the fall.
Thanks for all of the help gmatclub!