Just came back from the exam - got an unbelievable 770! Since I spent so much of my prep time on this forum I think I owe a debrief to the group.
I had exactly 40 days to prepare, On the 18th of July, I figured I needed to take/give the GMAT and that I had to finish it before the end of August. I did the usual stuff, Princeton, Kaplan
, Kaplan 800
. My quant scores were consistently better than verbal scores.
Ill mention the things that had a significant impact on my performance. 1st Kaplan
test 590 - doom; this really geared me to study.
To improve RC, I spent time with Kaplan 800
; the passages are monstrous, but if you can get those GMAT passages look simpler.
To improve SC - Manhattan SC was like bible. I won't say I got even 70% of what the book says, but what I got was enough
CR- I practised OG 10
& 11; I like 10th edition better; has more questions
DS - really neglected this - didn't even do OG; did Kaplan 800
PS- did OG; did Kaplan 800
What really made a difference - Kevincan's questions! They are tougher than usual GMAT questions but they really make you 'think'. This helps when you see a 'new' question and you need to solve it in 2 mins.
For verbal, 2 weeks ago I was completely disheartened. I took old GMAT sets (search on the internet and you will find them) and practised verbal.
Remember Verbal on GMAT is very close to GmatPrep; but maths is slightly more challenging! Also in verbal my concepts (is there are any) were so weak that forum discussions did not seem to help; so I choose to do questions where I had explanation readily available. But whenever I got stuck I posted questions @ gmatclub and got correct replies quickly!
Many people want to extrapolate their GMAT score based on test prep providers. I'll give you my scores and the time at which I took those test.
diagnostic - 620 5 weeks before
1 - 590 4 weeks before.. this scared me
Manhattan 2 & 3 - 730 each (don't recal the time but somewhere in between)
Princeton 1 & 4 - 710/ 730 (again don't recall dates)
Gmat Prep 1 - 730 2 weeks before
Gmat Prep 2 - 720 1 week before
As a general rule....
1) don't get scared by Kaplan
; use it only if you can scare yourself into studying
2) manhattan questions are slightly tougher than GMAT; but scoring is skewed; so you can add 30 points to Manhattan score
3) Princeton - I found it easier than GMAT
4)Gmatprep - is the closest to the real thing
**** Just thought I would add a bit about the test day.
Manage your breaks. Its very important or else you could end up loosing concentration. My GMAT was at 12:15 so I had a late breakfast/early lunch before the exam.
The 10 minute breaks at the center seem much shorter than they do at home. Keep 1) energydrink/tea/coffee to drink 2) chocolates/sweets/mnm/energy bar to munch 3) water incase your center dosen't have it 4) a back up sandwich.
Use every minute of your break, I finished AWA and Quant 5 mins ahead of time, but I sat there in front of the screen just to extend my break time. That really helped me stay calm.
Also just remember that GMAT performance really depends on whether it is your day or not. Many a times you prepare well and still something goes wrong. So like everything else in life give it your best shot and leave the rest to the machine
Hope this helps!
Just so relieved I don't need to do this again!
Best of luck to the rest.