Hey everyone, this was the first time I took the GMAT officially and my results are
750 (Quant: 49/89%, Verbal: 44/97%, AWA: 6).
I used the following books:
(The GMAT "bible"): This book is good on math, AWA, and the reading comprehension. I wouldn't depend on it for sentence correction, it is VERY lacking.
Barron's: DO NOT do the diagnostic exams, they are useless and full of mistakes. But, it is surprisingly good at AWA and sentence correction.
: Good book for the hardest problems.
Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction
: I'd call this book the sentence correction "bible". I have not run across anything better for SC.
Manhattan GMAT Reading Comprehension
: Similar to the Kaplan
approach, except a bit more detailed. Pretty good resource.
Official GMAT software: The two practice tests are real exams and very valuable.
I'm an engineer and I was surprised to see that I didn't get a higher quantitative score, but I think that was because I completely stopped studying for the math portion to get my verbal portion up. As you guys may have seen, its very easy to get a high score on the quantitative but unless your verbal score is high, its hard to get above a 700 on the GMAT.
I studied for about 2 months pretty seriously. I'd say I averaged about 1-2 hrs a day for 2 months. My initial score on the Kaplan
practice exam was 640.
I didn't practice for the AWA until literally the night before the exam. I read the AWA sections on Kaplan
and Barron books and wrote 2 essays from an actual GMAT exam. If you follow the approach in these books, you should get a good score. I've always been a fairly good writer, but I'm by no means extraordinary. I was expecting a 5 or so, but I got a 6 For each essay, be sure to give 3 reasons which support your position.
My exam had a few tricky math problems and I almost ran out of time, which is something that had NEVER happened to me before. Its important to know when to just give up on a problem and how to keep calm.
For the verbal portion, I suggest practicing a lot. You can read every single critical reasoning and reading comprehension sections of every prepetory book, but without adequate practice you won't do so well. I've solved so many questions that after a while I've started noticing patterns in almost every verbal question. It became automatic, I didn't have to necessarily understand the passage or the argument. For example, I could just look at the passage and notice the assumption and point out its flaws. I never overthought it, if you find yourself thinking "well what if," stop, and go with your first instinct. If you didnt think it would help answer the question the first time, then it is probably wrong.
This was the highest score I've received, even on practice exams. I really suggest keeping away from Princeton Review tests because from what I hear they tend to be fairly easy. If you want above a 700, get the Kaplan
books and the manhattan GMAT SC