Okay so I have hardly posted on this site, but I did browse through it on more than one occasion to just get some insight on anything and everything.
I took my GMAT this morning and I thought the least I could do is provide you guys with a de-brief of what went down. I am just going to use the template and provide some basic information and then close out with what my thoughts were both about my test and overall.
My Background: I have a degree in Computer Science and other stuff, I am pretty bad at math despite being Indian and I tend to do fairly average on standardized tests, so if you are using this to gauge yourself, put me in the average bucket or slightly above average at best. I studied every weekend for about 2 months, and studied the best I could over the week (not more than 1 hour as I was just too tired from work)
Books & materials used:
1. OG - Great book, did it cover to cover, to be honest didn't have the patience or energy to do it more than once, but if it helps you go through it again.
2. Manhattan SC book - Great book, it actually had a direct impact on my scores as I did understand things better and the tricks of the trade do help.
3. Powerscore CR
book - Honestly I thought this book was crap and a waste of money, didn't really help me in anyway or maybe I just didn't read this book well enough.
4. Verbal and Quant Additional Problems - Good source of problems to solve and are in line with OG
Practice Test scores: I did take the OG diagnostic, but I didn't get any rating out of it, so here is my breakdown of tests, I don't remember the individual break ups but I am too lazy to look
1. MGMAT I - 610 - Missed a few questions in math, first real test (DNF)
2. MGMAT II- 640 - Missed a few questions in English, was chasing for time in math (DNF)
3. Powerprep I- 730
4. Powerprep II- 740
5. MGMAT III - 710
6. MGMAT IV - 720
7. MGMAT V - 710
8. MGMAT VI - 770 (no repeats or anything, I was shocked by this one, I would call this a statistical anomaly)
9. Powerprep I (repeat) : 710 - I have no idea how I had a 710, but I had probably 70% repeats in English, again thought this was wasted effort, but oh well.
Real Deal : 700 (48q, 37v)
My overall impressions about my own test:
My test went horrible, I was struggling with the second AWA itself, so I didn't really go off to flier, couple that with spending 6 minutes on the first question in math, I was pretty much screwed from the get go. I never had timing problems in the last 7 practice tests I took, but I had problems with my GMAT Quant section lol. The questions varied between insanely stupidly simple to wtf (stuff that you thought you knew, but apparently can't do in a test). Verbal didn't surprise me, but I was also jaded after my first half and frankly had the resigned to my fate attitude going. I went into the test expecting a low end of 680-700 to a high end of 750, I definitely came out on the low end.
Section specific advice stuff:
AWA - General advice, practice essays, and do practice some essays where you agree with an issue, I had never written an essay where I agreed with the statement and in my GMAT I decided to write one of those, was NOT fun.
Quant - DO NOT TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW GOOD OR BAD YOUR TEST IS GOING. Some of my math questions were just for a lack of a better term, dumb, stuff which probably won't make to anyone's easy problem list. I obviously thought about oh shit I am screwed, but don't think so much about it, go with the flow. To be honest with you folk, during the entire time, I did not think I would make it past 45 based on how horrible my questions looked, because I felt they were too easy or too hard.
Also 1 permutation question, and it was probably a 400 level.
Verbal: RCs - Not a single RC I took on a test was even close to the lovely pieces of work I saw on the test, if any of you test trainers are watching this, make your RC's much longer. I will add they weren't hard, they were just way longer than you are used to and it throws you off, don't get psyched but they just look different.
SC and CR - Nothing earth shattering, were pretty vanilla, nothing of note. No boldface questions in case you get freaked out by that.
I will caveat that I had a pretty average score so its not like I saw uber questions.
And finally, I say this in hindsight, RELAX, don't think about the final score (this is hard to do). Take the breaks, even if all you do is go out into the room and just stand and hover. It's just a test.
That's all folks. I am happy to talk specifics or answer any questions, but thought I would get this out to you folk as you guys deserve it.