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Senior Manager
Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 257

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Schools: UC Berkley, UCLA

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10 Dec 2010, 10:00
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Hi everyone , I'm preparing to take the test two months later and I was hoping to receive some great advice from you in how I can prepare and find practice material for the sections in the GMAT. I have taken the GMAT three times. I know what went wrong in the first exam that I took and the second. But in the third I studied well I used the strategies and finished the test on-time (but I think that what is responsible for my failure is that I didn't use enough practice material)http://gmatclub.com/forum/posting.php?mode=smilies&f=8#. If anyone has any opinion on how I can improve my scores please feel free to give me your valuable opinions.
The posts that you put on this page will help so many other GMATters so lets help each other to get to the next level. Thanks in advance!

Mari
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"It always seems impossible until its done."
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Affiliations: HEC
Joined: 28 Sep 2009
Posts: 1635

Kudos [?]: 688 [1], given: 432

Concentration: Economics, Finance
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V44

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10 Dec 2010, 13:02
1
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Hi, mariyea.

I would like to share some ideas, but could you please elaborate on your first three experiences? That would allow members to provide you with a better answer. What books did you use? What do you think went wrong, and what went well? The more information that you provide, the better!

In terms of practice questions outside of the OG, though, I like:

1. QUANT - GMATClub Tests (advanced), Jeff Sackmann's math sets (beginner to advanced)
2. VERBAL - LSAT SuperPrep

The GMATClub forums, of course, provide many practice questions, explanations, and discussions. Make sure to take advantage of those too!
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10 Dec 2010, 14:38
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In addition to giving us more information, you would probably need to let us know what your scores are for us to better gauge at where you're at. If your goal is a 650, it'll be different from a 700 in terms of the strategy you utilize.
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Kudos [?]: 398 [1], given: 37

Senior Manager
Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 257

Kudos [?]: 119 [0], given: 66

Schools: UC Berkley, UCLA

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13 Dec 2010, 09:38
Thank you guys for your support! And thank you bmillan for your valuable post!

First test
: I had no idea what I was up against because I was not well informed (something that I take full responsibility for). I had two books: the Kaplan 2009 Comprehensive Program and the Princeton Review. I studied well with the two books; however, I really underestimated the actual test and didn’t prepare well for it. I knew how much I needed to score to be considered for acceptance but I didn’t know how much I needed to prepare for it.

Six days from D day I took the GMATprep and realized that I was in no way ready to take the test. Hence, I failed.

Second test: I was shook up from the terrible score that I got from my first GMAT. But I got back to studying some months later.

This time I browsed the internet looking for some information on the test and I found this forum where I was able to find some great information on the exam written by awesome GMATters who did well in the exam and wanted to share their experiences. All of them recommended the OG books and most recommended the Manhattan books but they did also say that practicing for the test would be great. The place where I was living didn’t (and probably still doesn’t) have fast and reliable internet connection. So pushed aside practicing and I believed that I would do well just by using the OG books and I asked a friend of my family to send me a book and I got the OG 11 edition. I studied it so well and believed that I was ready to take the test, which I was to take a week later. Six days from D day I took the GMATprep and received a score way below my expectations. And so once more, I got an awful score.

Third test: I was crushed but I knew that I had to try again because if I don’t try then I would be the only thing standing in my way. So I dusted myself off and began to study a month later.

There was no way I was going to do badly this time I told myself. I buckled down and looked for practice material that I might be able to use. But, unfortunately the computer that I was using had a lot of important documents that my family members saved on it and it had very small space on it so I couldn’t download paper tests from the websites I had found.

Luckily enough for me, a close relative let me borrow his laptop every now and then and I was able to get my tests and save them on a flash drive. I registered to take the test three months later and planned to study the basics for a month and practice for the rest of the time I had. And I studied for a month and two weeks and practiced till D day. The best score I received from the paper tests was 670. But the paper tests being the way they are (software wise) did not give me an accurate range of what my score would be like on the actual test. I took one of the GMATpreps a day before test day and I got a 570 . From then on I wasn’t able to control my nerves.

I went to the movies with some friends to help calm my nerves but I wasn’t able to even fully watch the movie. I went to bed early that night but I couldn’t sleep.

When I woke up the next morning it felt as though something was on my face trying very hard to pull my eyelids over my eyes. I wanted to sleep but that was not an option. I needed a cup of coffee and I had one before I got in to take my test.

I timed myself well for the essays and thought I did a good performance. Next was math, I tried hard to calm my nerves but when I started on the section I became extremely nervous. I read the first question and tried so hard to answer it. I was so nervous that at times I forgot what the question was asking. I wasted so much time trying to answer the questions at the beginning that I had to guess the last fifteen qs. When the quant sec was over I was so angry at myself for not being able to focus my attention on the question being asked, it cost me the rest of the test. I was so disappointed in myself and I told myself that what’s done is done and that what’s coming up next is all that mattered.

The next section, I was confident about. I used a grid, used POE and timed myself pretty well. But after all that I received 530, a score that was even worse from the second exam . I didn’t understand it.

I was so disappointed in myself that I didn’t think I would take the test again until only recently when I was able to come to the US, where I can get reliable and fast internet access. And, since I’m not working for a while, I could study for the upcoming test, fully.
I would love to hear your opinions on what I must do and what I did wrong? Thanks again.

To answer your q bakfed, I want to get 750+, I know that it seems pretty high but I also know that it's not impossible.
_________________

Thank you for your kudoses Everyone!!!

"It always seems impossible until its done."
-Nelson Mandela

Kudos [?]: 119 [0], given: 66

Manager
Joined: 04 Nov 2010
Posts: 230

Kudos [?]: 95 [0], given: 21

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13 Dec 2010, 09:56
Hi,

Thank you for your (long and accurate) experience sharing

As people asked you before, it is important for us to know your score with more accuracy (not only the 530, but also the verb and quant). This would help us to indentify your weaknesses.

I assume your internet connection problem will not allow you to have access to online content (which is unfortunate), so I'll talk only about books:
Verbal: to work on strategies, and to build up your skills, I would recommend MGMAT collection (all of them). It is a good tool for you. For practice, I would suggest OG Verbal, maybe Kaplan books which I consider to be good as far as your current score is concerned.
If you are done with that, hhave a look at Aristotle SC Grail, RC 99. This is good also.

For Quant:
for me , Kaplan are the best: Kaplan premier, and kaplan 800 are good. It gives you strategy and practice...

Let me know if this was helpful.
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Manager
Joined: 04 Nov 2010
Posts: 230

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13 Dec 2010, 09:57
One last thing:
stamina is one of the most important things on d-day, so try to practice with long sets of question, with no distraction and no frequent pause.
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Senior Manager
Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 257

Kudos [?]: 119 [0], given: 66

Schools: UC Berkley, UCLA

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13 Dec 2010, 10:04
drisss wrote:
Hi,

Thank you for your (long and accurate) experience sharing

As people asked you before, it is important for us to know your score with more accuracy (not only the 530, but also the verb and quant). This would help us to indentify your weaknesses.

I assume your internet connection problem will not allow you to have access to online content (which is unfortunate), so I'll talk only about books:
Verbal: to work on strategies, and to build up your skills, I would recommend MGMAT collection (all of them). It is a good tool for you. For practice, I would suggest OG Verbal, maybe Kaplan books which I consider to be good as far as your current score is concerned.
If you are done with that, hhave a look at Aristotle SC Grail, RC 99. This is good also.

For Quant:
for me , Kaplan are the best: Kaplan premier, and kaplan 800 are good. It gives you strategy and practice...

Let me know if this was helpful.

I now have two other books CR and SC Powerscore books. What do you think of them? MOst people usually recommend the CR book especially.

Btw, I'm actually in the US where I can get good access. So if there is material online that you believe would be useful to me please tell me and Thank you!
_________________

Thank you for your kudoses Everyone!!!

"It always seems impossible until its done."
-Nelson Mandela

Kudos [?]: 119 [0], given: 66

Manager
Joined: 04 Nov 2010
Posts: 230

Kudos [?]: 95 [1], given: 21

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13 Dec 2010, 10:53
1
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those two books are very good, and I saw quite good reviews, especially on the CR. So it is not a waste of time to work on that.

for online content, there are plenty of stuffs, including free tests, such as:

http://www.800score.com
http://www.gmatscore.com
http://www.educationindex.net
http://www.testmagic.com
http://www.manhattangmat.com
http://www.collegejournal.com
http://www.gmatbuster.org
http://www.columbusdirect.com
http://www.onestopmba.com
http://www.mba.com
http://www.english-test.net
http://www.freegmatcourse.com
http://www.urch.com
http://www.psu.edu
http://www.degree.com
http://www.kaptest.co.uk
http://www.uiaa.org
http://www.dialcampus.com

Some are not very good, but the others are useful (given the price

One last thing:I think you should also think about joining a GMAT prep course: they are very helpful in helping you find your weaknesses, and improve them. Some of them have a "we guarantee you x points increase or we refund you"... so might be good. Kaplan, MGMAT, Princeton, Veritas, Knewton are the good names I heard of, but there are others.

I hope those were good explanations
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If you find the post useful, don't be shy and Kudo me

Kudos [?]: 95 [1], given: 21

Senior Manager
Joined: 30 Nov 2010
Posts: 257

Kudos [?]: 119 [0], given: 66

Schools: UC Berkley, UCLA

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14 Dec 2010, 07:51
drisss wrote:
those two books are very good, and I saw quite good reviews, especially on the CR. So it is not a waste of time to work on that.

for online content, there are plenty of stuffs, including free tests, such as:

http://www.800score.com
http://www.gmatscore.com
http://www.educationindex.net
http://www.testmagic.com
http://www.manhattangmat.com
http://www.collegejournal.com
http://www.gmatbuster.org
http://www.columbusdirect.com
http://www.onestopmba.com
http://www.mba.com
http://www.english-test.net
http://www.freegmatcourse.com
http://www.urch.com
http://www.psu.edu
http://www.degree.com
http://www.kaptest.co.uk
http://www.uiaa.org
http://www.dialcampus.com

Some are not very good, but the others are useful (given the price

One last thing:I think you should also think about joining a GMAT prep course: they are very helpful in helping you find your weaknesses, and improve them. Some of them have a "we guarantee you x points increase or we refund you"... so might be good. Kaplan, MGMAT, Princeton, Veritas, Knewton are the good names I heard of, but there are others.

I hope those were good explanations

Thank you Driss!
_________________

Thank you for your kudoses Everyone!!!

"It always seems impossible until its done."
-Nelson Mandela

Kudos [?]: 119 [0], given: 66

Manager
Joined: 04 Nov 2010
Posts: 230

Kudos [?]: 95 [0], given: 21

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14 Dec 2010, 08:11
you are welcome: keep us posted of your progress, and let us know if you need further help.
Cheers
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