Today I did the GMAT! Since I’ve learned a lot from the collective wisdom of this forum’s participants, but have contributed very little, I thought I’d do a write-up of my GMAT experience. I had been preparing for 3 months and my pre-study (diagnostic?) GMATprep score was 660. I figured that I should be able to crack the 700 barrier with a few months of study. However, as I progressed through the weeks, my MGMAT CAT scores just wouldn’t budge, and in some cases they went backwards; they ranged from 640-670. Even just 4 days ago, when I took my 5th and final MGMAT CAT, I scored 650 despite having covered all the material and having a good grasp on most topics.
That night I realised that I had never finished reading the GMAT Roadmap
(I had gotten about 2/3 of the way through before moving on). So I picked the book up again and soon discovered what not to do: do not put yourself in the position of having to rush or guess the last few questions of a section.
“Duh!” is what many of you are probably thinking and that’s fair enough. So many people have mentioned the importance of timing, but for me it just didn’t hit home.
Anyway, the next day I decided to apply the “guess and move on!” strategy, and not let myself run out of time at the end of a section. I took the 2nd GMATprep CAT (3 days before the official exam!) and scored 720. I couldn’t believe it. Either GMATprep is substantially easier than MGMAT, or I had just discovered the importance of timing.
Skip ahead to game-day/today (I only did a little revision and a few timed sets in the 2 days before test day). I get a good 8-8.5 hour sleep and wake up at 5.45 am (exam is at 9). I head to my office where I change and go for a quick run and do some pullups/dips – whatever gets the blood flowing. I shower, eat a small 2nd breakfast and stroll over to the exam centre.
The AWA was pretty straightforward and I estimate that I wrote about 400 or so words and finished with 5 minutes to go. I hadn’t really prepared for the AWA but I think I understood what was required and how to structure the essay. Next, the IR pops up and I’m already busting (stupid bladder!). The questions were easier than MGMAT IR and I didn’t have to use the calculator even once, BUT I still had to guess on the last question. Overall, I don’t think I did very well on IR, but hopefully it wasn’t a disaster.
I found Quant to be quite tough and wasn’t very sure of many of my answers. Two or three times I had to guess-and-move-on
just to stay on schedule. Anyway, at the end of the section my bladder was once again about to explode so I just moved on and got Quant out of my mind. Verbal felt good. Some questions were tough but I had been brushing up on sentence correction because that was my main weakness. I forced a guess on one question to stay ahead. I moved quickly through the remaining questions and had a couple of minutes remaining at the end (but I don’t regret guessing – it was part of the strategy).
The score came up on the screen: 730 (Q46, V45). I was ecstatic. Four days ago I couldn’t crack 650 on MGMAT CAT, and now I’ve scored in the 96th percentile!
So for those of you who have the exam coming up: I’m sure you’ve heard that timing is important, but are you aware of just how important it is? Read the MGMAT Roadmap