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After spending waay tooo much time on this site reading the same things time and time again, now I am ready to contribute. Today I sat for IT and pulled out a 610(V35/Q37), which for me is fine as I will not be applying to any top 10 schools and I have my own business for 7 years. My story may be a little different and a little more helpful to those who only need to get a score like this rather than a 700+.
I started preparing for this about 4 months ago and when I started I did not have a clue that a radical was that symbol which we all know all too well (or at least I did not remember the name). I trudged through and studied and studied and accomplished not much, but instead of really worrying too much about learning all of math, I did the best that I could to give myself some kind of "number sense". I mean trying to get an idea of how numbers react (aka Math ) so that if I did not have any clue about a question I might be able to wing it. For me this was all I could do because I do not have much math background and have been out of Uni for 10 years. Plus, it is imperative to practice the basics such as mult, division, decimals. Do not get too cought up in the glam questions at first, because after a while they will be much more approchable. As for the verbal I thought that I was set, wrong, it turned out to be a real bitch. The way I pulled myself with in range was to simple practice everything that I could get my hands on( I mean all the companies).
Now for the kicker, I took the PPI about 6 weeks ago and got a 550 so I knew the range that I was in, or so I thought. Then 3 weeks ago I got a 450 on PPII and I freaked. But from that point I worked every single question in the OG and laid siege to this website. I did not think I was even going to get a 500 for three weeks.
What I recommend for people going through this torture: 1) Get the OG and study the hell out of it, because many of the questions on the test, at this level anyways, were very similar. 2) When you take the powerprep take it seriously. Do it at the same time and day of the week that you will be taking the test. 3) To get inside the head of the CAT, keep running the questions to see the different scores and combinations. This gave me an idea of the way the questions might progress for the different stages of the exam. 4) Build your mental stamina!! I read a lot of really heavy history subjects that I found a little boring and practiced spotting modifiers, relative clauses, and the way points were made. Mental stamina is important!!! 5) Get a plan and stick to it. 6) Read everything about this site.
Hope this helps out others. Take care and good-luck in business school.
Chris, I like your perspective and honesty. GMAT is not an absolute for everyone and with the great experience you have, you can definitely apply to some great schools, albeit not top 10. Your words can be good comfort to many people and let them know that GMAT is not the end of the world
I think you have a decent score and since you are an enterpreanuer, some top BS are always on the outlook for such wizkids who have the capability to take business risks to widen the class experience .
My hats off to you for being so honest and clear.It is more important being satisfied with your efforts than scores.Anyway scores are just numbers for academic interest ,in the real world only the street smart survive.
The books that I used were: The OG, Arco GMAT and Kaplan 800. By far the best was the OG, but the problem with this is that it is not a good intro to the GMAT because when you work out the answers it will contaminate your PowerPrep score because they are the same questions. I started off with Arco and because I did not know any better I thought that it was OK and all in all it was BUT one thing that was much different was their approach to the CR questions. The Arco CR questions are kinda like the logic games found in the LSAT, which is fine because any practice is better than no practice at all, but they are different. Plus, be forewarned that the Arco CAT test questions are included in the book so you would run into the same contamination problem as with the OG/ PP. I took the last Arco CAT 2 days before the GMAT and got a 580-600, so it turned out to be a pretty good indicator of my overall preformance. As far as the Kaplan 800 I did not feel it was worth the money. The posts on this site helped me get into the head of the CAT better than any book (period)
From what I could tell about some of the Kaplan questions was that they are very similar to the actual GMAT questions, the ones in the OG at least (sometime very, very similar). The only reason why I did not think that it was worth the money for the 800 version is that the explanations are no more in depth, in my opinion, than the other books that I saw. But I do recommend doing your absolute best to not expose yourself to any of the questions that you might run across in your practice CATs, so it seems as though you have the right strategy. Good luck!!!