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Took my GMAT today morning and ended up with a score of 740. Surprising considering the fact that I had never scored that high in any of my practice tests.
Power prep: 640, 700 (700 was tainted, knew some questions)
Princeton Diagnostic: 700,700,700,690
Kaplan: 550, 640, 590
Came across this site a month and half ago (silent reader), and its been immensely helpful. Got some practice and insights as to the nature of the test.
Will again reinforce what others advise in terms of prep. Best prep guide is OG. PR and Kaplan starts you off, but would not rely on them fully. A complete coverage of all OG material is an absolute must.
Bit of a background. Am a chemical engineer. 5 years work ex. Non native english speaker. Undergrad and grad GPAs 3.4ish.
I was planning to get into a part time MBA program in a 25th ranked school, and had set my sights for a 650. Todays score is making me rethink my strategy. Suggestions welcome.
ssk, the questions vary based on the difficulty level at which you are answering. For the quant section, I found few questions to be as easy as compared to 75% of the OG material. OG does have some tricky questions interspersed throughout the quant section (in addition to the last 25 questions). Recommend that you trace them, nail them down and get a feel for the type of questions they are. For the verbal, I found OG material to be adequate and maybe slightly tougher than on GMAT (I have heard differing opinions from other test takers on this)
In the quant section, I could clearly sense that the questions kept getting tougher. At a point they were tougher than any OG material I have seen.
Its like you are mentally bench pressing a heavier load with each rep.
I personally just clicked through a couple of questions. I had no idea how to approach them.
I tried to be very accuate during the first half of the section and that slowed me down. I had to accelerate quite a bit in the second half (didn't randomly guess though, except for a couple). Finished both sections with half a minute to spare in each. Don't know if that strategy helped my score.
I highly recommend sticking to OG, because I could sense a difference in the "feel" of the questions I got from OG as compared to PR or Kaplan during my practice sessions. PR was too easy, while Kaplan quants on the CD were totally not representative. Used Kaplan Verbal Review and PR Verbal Review for Sentence correction though and that helped. One member of this forum rightly commented when he said "OG is the bible for GMAT". Mistakes in the OG can be quite revealing. At the very least, I would recommend solving all of OG.
My opinion is that practice does help your score though it is an aptitude test. So, keep hitting away till the end and hope for the best.
Thanks for posting your experience and good luck. I have also noticed that the quant section in the OG contains relatively simple problems in most cases, however a really nasty one seems to pop up now and then.
I am just trying to gauge where I stand in quant. Although I had a tough time with 20-25 questions on the OG, Problem solving section.
The following questions were particularly tough for me. I could solve these, but after repeated attempts and taking much more than 2-3 minutes. All other questions one has to apply known concepts(HCF, LCM,factors, etc), but for these one can't pinpoint a concept. Are these the kind of aptitute questions you saw on the real test..
Q 394 ( No. of triangles that can be formed in a given area )
Q 404 ( Tile inlay )
Q 434 ( Frequency / Series )
In all of these questions I was going in the right direction, conceptually, but short on time. I was taking time in putting all the disparate pieces in place while solving the problems.
Were you able to solve these questions 1st time around and within 2-3 minutes? Also, do you also agree that these were one of the toughest questions in the OG. If you could be kind enough to list top 5-10 questins that you found tricky, it will be of great help.
I did find those questions you had listed to be tough (except for the exponential frequency problem, was familiar with that concept).
The idea is that each of the listed questions become manageable if you pinpoint the 'method' of solving the problem.
I did find a few of this difficultly level (not same concepts). Attempted a few, randomized a couple.
I don't want to open my GMAT notes again atleast for the next five years (and hopefully never again in my life time), so pardon me for not listing the top ten.
But, you seem to be doing what I did methodology wise, and it seemed to have worked for me, so all the best.
I have come to the same conclusion. So if you do not know the methodology or the technique does not strike you within a few seconds the problem may seem tougher than it is. So, even after spending few minutes there is a high likelihood of getting such problems wrong.