I had been active at ST forums before my GMAT, and also had been glancing at TestMagic a bit. Found GMATClub before my GMAT, but since I couldn't actively spend time at so many forums at once, I decided to be active at ST only.
Anyhow, I joined GMATClub forums today, mainly to interact in the MBA Admissions forums.
I had posted the following debrief on the same day after my GMAT (29th July
) to other forums I have been participating in (ST, TestMagic, Pagalguy). I am posting it here too; hopefully the post helps someone else in his/her GMAT preparation.
: couple of months of erratic prep schedule. Final score: 730 (Q49, V41)
Update (5th Aug 2006): AWA score: 6.0
Prep CD - guide + practice exams
Manhattan Sentence Correction
guide + Online questions + Practice Exams
ST + TestMagic Forum discussions
Sample Essays (available on the net)
Reading GMAT experiences on Scoretop, TestMagic, and Pagalguy forums
Started off with OG
- attempted each and every question
- analyzed the incorrect ones
- analyzed the interesting ones (or ones where I thought my method was too lengthy)
- first Practice Test - score 630
- second Practice Test (3 weeks before GMAT) - score 680
Started participating in ST forum discussions
- practiced other questions posted in the forums
- glanced at TestMagic forums from time to time
Picked up Kaplan
- went through CD guide and practice questions
- first Practice Test - score 550
Started Reading sample Essays
- Mainly concentrated on 'Analysis of an Argument' essays
Bought Manhattan SC guide
- attempted all OG SC questions once again, categorized by Manhattan chapters
- analyzed the incorrect ones
- attempted Practice questions on Manhattan's site (1 day before GMAT)
- first Practice Test (1 day before GMAT) - score 630
Last 2 days
- went through July JJs once
- went through explanations of questions where my answers didn't match the OA
- revised Manhattan SC guide once again, and attempted online questions + 1 practice test
- went through the list of 'Analysis of an Issue' Essay Topics and tried to imagine what I would write in that essay
Before the exam
Had planned the following:
If I score less than 700, I'll retake the test after a month.
If between 700-720, I'll consider retaking the test.
If above 720, I'll not retake it.
Anything above 720 would be bonus.
- First was Analysis of an argument. Wrote pretty well (in my opinion). I'd rate my essay a 6.0.
- Second was Analysis of an Issue. Spent too much trying to figure out examples, etc. I'd rate my essay a 4.0 here.
- Quantitative: Questions went progressively harder. I think I put in the first incorrect answer for the 7th or 8th question. After that it was a fluctuating difficulty level throughout the quantitiative. Saw 2-3 JJs. Completed with 2-3 minutes to spare.
- Verbal: Questions went progressively harder again. But I think I entered the first incorrect one too soon - probably for the 4th or 5th question. Completed with 1 minute to spare.
In the middle of the verbal section, I had started hoping for a 700+ score. Didn't know whether it would be 710, 720 or what. Thought about 730 or 740 a couple of times.Final Score
Update (5th Aug 2006): AWA score: 6.0Finer Details
What I suggest
- Had not practiced writing a single essay before the GMAT
- Had not practiced most Quantiative questions on paper. I just did mental calculations for most of them and got the answer.
- Practice test (Manhattan) on the last day actually helped. It helped me to spot places where I tended to overlook the problem statement.
- Start early. The earlier you get a date for your GMAT, the better. I wasn't serious at all until I got the date.
- Plan a retake if you're not confident enough. I wanted my final GMAT score before September. So I planned on the GMAT date at the end of July. In case I wanted to reakte the test, I would have taken it at the end of August.
- Practice AWAs. I didn't, but that doesn't mean everybody else shouldn't.
- Participate in forum discussions wherever you have a constructive input. That will help everybody, including you.
- Don't hestitate to ask (in the forums) clarifications on questions / answers you don't understand.
- The earlier you procure your study material, the better. I waited too long to order Manhattan SC Guide directly from Amazon.
- Practice a few questions everyday in the last 2-3 weeks of your prep. If you're working (I sometimes work late hours in office), do set aside a couple of hours for practice each day - no matter how tired you are.