Let me first say that this is not my first attempt at the GMAT. I first took a crack at it back in 2005 when I was applying to a Masters program in Accounting. Took the test three times prior to applying and got scores of 550, 570, and 580. I was fortunate in that I managed to get into my top choice with a 580. I thought I would never have to deal with the GMAT again but come five years later I decide that I want to make a career switch.
I took the Manhattan GMAT
9 week in person course. Compared to the materials I used in my previous attempt, I have to say Manhattan GMAT
's materials were clearly superior. Unfortunately I took the in person course at a very busy time in my work schedule. After the course ended I probably studied on and off for about 5 months. Found it hard to maintain a consistent study schedule due to traveling for work and other things going on. I finally decided after my busy period time at work was over that I had to give the GMAT the attention it needed if I wanted to improve in comparison to my last performance. So I ended up using alot of vacation days and tried taking on a lighter workload when possible so that I could spend the time going thru the strategy guides and homework problems.
MGMAT CAT #1 580 (Q40, V 31) - Took this during the middle of my 9 week course
MGMAT CAT #2 570 (Q34, V 34) - Took this after I finally finished going thru all the strategy guides and homework. Not pleased.
MGMAT CAT #3 590 (Q39, V 33) - Took one week before my exam.
GMAT Prep #1 600 (Q40, V 32) - Took 2 days before actual exam.
Actual Test: 660 (V47, Q35) - Pleasantly surprised as I had expected to get somewhere in high 500s to lows 600s based on my practice tests. I was aiming for at least a 680, but I am personally satisifed that I had improved.
At this point I am contemplating a retake after I do a Post-Assessment Analysis with a Manhattan GMAT
instructor. My score is on the lower end of the 80% range at the schools I am looking at. I am also thinking that even if I were to get into one of my targets I would limit my employment opportunities with a 660.
- Like many have said unless you are one of those few people I know who can get a 700 with minimal studying it is going to take alot of hard work.
- Need to have a consistent study schedule and stick to it as much as you can. For me it was a challenge as I was traveling out of town regularly for work in this time frame and had regular on going community service activities.
- Don't underestimate the importance of timing. I think this is what bumped my Quant score up on the actual test as I had done very poorly on my pacing on my practice tests in the Quant section. I would find myself having to rush towards the end to finish answering the questions. As I'm sure many know answering several questions incorrectly in a row hurts your score more than if you had wrong questions spread out on the test.