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31 Aug 2011, 09:46
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If you have taken the GMAT, what is the ONE thing you wish you would have known or done before taking the GMAT or starting your prep?

And the winner is: Moss

This could be information about books, test process, registration, application process, classes, or really anything GMAT related that was a critical/helpful/damaging piece of information you wish you had known from the get go.

Please do reply with more than just a few words as it is really helpful to understand the context.

The replies will be hidden until next week, when the winner is announced. The winner will be the member who provides the best/most insightful/helpful reply. The prize is a $100 Amazon giftcard (not bad for 5 mins of work ). The thread/drawing will officially close on September 7th at Noon Pacific. _________________ Founder of GMAT Club US News Rankings progression - last 10 years in a snapshot - New! Just starting out with GMAT? Start here... Need GMAT Book Recommendations? Best GMAT Books Co-author of the GMAT Club tests Last edited by bb on 07 Sep 2011, 22:50, edited 2 times in total. Update Senior Manager Joined: 17 Mar 2011 Posts: 449 Location: United States (DC) Concentration: General Management, Technology GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45 GPA: 3.37 WE: Information Technology (Consulting) Followers: 11 Kudos [?]: 183 [1] , given: 5 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Aug 2011, 10:16 1 This post received KUDOS I wish I had known at the time, how small the GMAT is as a portion of the MBA application process. The GMAT is your everything, until after you take it. I haven't thought about the GMAT in about three months, and I took the GMAT about three months ago. And sure it's important to do well, but I had it built up as THE barrier between me and a solid business school. It's not, it's a bump along the way. Take your time, prepare adequately, or exceptionally, but then go take it and move on. I missed the first question on the GMAT because I so stressed and anxious that I totally locked up and couldn't think. If I knew then what I know now, I would have been way more relaxed. Ms. Big Fat Panda Status: Three Down. Joined: 09 Jun 2010 Posts: 1919 Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit Followers: 467 Kudos [?]: 2059 [1] , given: 210 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Aug 2011, 13:39 1 This post received KUDOS There is no one formula that works for everyone who studies for the GMAT. It is very important to realize this as you scroll through the forums and there are people who studied for two weeks and ended up with a 750 and people who slogged for 4 months and only made a 600. It is important to treat the GMAT as an ever-changing opponent and be prepared, and understand that this can mean very different things for each person. In the end, it is even more important to realize that the GMAT is but one part of your application, and never give up. Senior Manager Affiliations: CFA Joined: 21 Dec 2008 Posts: 384 Location: United States (NY) Schools: Columbia - Class of 2013 GMAT 1: 710 Q45 V43 GMAT 2: 760 Q49 V45 Followers: 23 Kudos [?]: 120 [2] , given: 64 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Aug 2011, 14:11 2 This post received KUDOS Take practice tests earlier and throughout the GMAT study process. I was discouraged early on with my performance on practice tests and thought the best approach was to spend as much of my time studying and doing OG programs as possible. I waited until a week before test day to take my first real CAT. I was totally rushed, got flustered by the whole process, and did terribly. I took me awhile to adjust to the CAT setting (eg, if you start doing well, your problems become consistently difficult with no respite). I ended up being rushed in both quant and verbal during my first time taking the GMAT and performing below expectations. My second time through taking the GMAT I made sure to frequently take CATs throughout my study process. It not only improved my timing and test form (ability to withstand difficult problem after difficult problem without fatigue), but the metrics many of the CATs product allowed me to identify weaknesses. It also helped me to realize when I simply had to move on from a problem I didn't know and go to the next -- it was very difficult for me at first to "admit defeat" on a problem, but there is simply not enough time to work through something you don't know. Ultimately, the best way to do practice problems is through a CAT -- its the most realistic and useful type of practice problem one can do. So my best GMAT advice would be to take CATs early and often! _________________ VP Status: Current Student Joined: 24 Aug 2010 Posts: 1345 Location: United States GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40 WE: Sales (Consumer Products) Followers: 111 Kudos [?]: 422 [1] , given: 73 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Aug 2011, 14:22 1 This post received KUDOS I wish I would've taken the 2nd GMATPrep practice test. I'd taken the 1st one more than 6 months prior to taking the test and didn't quite remember the types of questions it covered. I found the Verbal section of the actual GMAT to be much more difficult than my practice tests because the questions were asked in ways I hadn't seen. So those two GMATPrep tests are critical, especially as the test date nears. _________________ The Brain Dump - From Low GPA to Top MBA (Updated September 1, 2013) - A Few of My Favorite Things--> http://cheetarah1980.blogspot.com Senior Manager Affiliations: CBS Class of 2014 Joined: 07 May 2011 Posts: 390 Concentration: Finance Schools: CBS '14 (M) Followers: 14 Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 8 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Aug 2011, 16:23 Quite frankly, the one thing I wish I did prior to beginning my prep was to do a real self-assessment and reality check. Coming out of college at the top of my class (for school of management) and breezing through nearly all my courses, I figured the GMAT was going to be a push over to get a 700+ score. Once I took the assessment at the beginning of the OG it was like my world was upside down. I initially had scheduled my exam for 3 weeks prior to concluding I wanted to apply to b-school this year... shortly after, I rescheduled for 3 months later and enrolled in Manhattan GMAT course. _________________ Manager Joined: 26 Oct 2010 Posts: 82 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 10 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 31 Aug 2011, 23:04 The fact that it is all about good preparation, and pattern recognition! Your GMAT score is directly proportional to how well prepared you are, and by that I mean how well you can recognize patterns. It is all about recognizing the patterns of questions they ask, and the answers they expect(even if in some cases you may not agree with them). With sufficient and smart practice, one can get a good handle over the patterns and score well. For example, SC questions are all about which rules they look for. The same holds true for CR - what are the traps, what are the fallacies, what kind of logical connections can you make. You can gain a good understanding of these "patterns" by practising, and more importantly evaluating each an every question you practised, especially from the OG, verbal review and quant review. Analyzing the answer to each question in those 3 books(and GMAT prep of course), and the explanation for why the wrong answers are eliminated, are of paramount importance. Ideally, get done with the other practice material in the initial periods of preparation, to get familiarized with the concepts, and focus on these 3 books in the second half of your prep time. That way, you have a solid understanding of the fundamentals, and are ready to take on the real deal. Keeping a log with key concepts, and mistakes you repeat on tests also helps a lot in improving the score. For the record, I scored a 770. Retired Moderator Joined: 15 Apr 2011 Posts: 78 Followers: 4 Kudos [?]: 20 [0], given: 0 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2011, 05:41 Can I do two? 1) Test center stress is real. I read a lot of threads on how people score 700+ during practices, etc. but can't seem to perform on the real thing. I think most of it has to do with the fact that you're getting fingerprinted, picture taken, signing in/out, etc. It's very unnerving and contributes to nervousness. Don't underestimate the test center environment. 2) Write the AWAs when taking practice exams! The one hour of writing does drain you a bit and you need to have that feeling before going into the real exam. _________________ Joined: 31 Dec 1969 Location: Russian Federation Concentration: Entrepreneurship, International Business GMAT 3: 740 Q40 V50 GMAT 4: 700 Q48 V38 GMAT 5: 710 Q45 V41 GMAT 6: 680 Q47 V36 GMAT 9: 740 Q49 V42 GMAT 11: 500 Q47 V33 GMAT 14: 760 Q49 V44 WE: Supply Chain Management (Energy and Utilities) Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 233 [0], given: 104601 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2011, 09:08 First off, check out my debrief for my more comprehensive list of lessons learned. http://gmatclub.com/forum/from-590-to-730-gmat-is-done-119764.html While 730 is not a "great" score in comparison to the scores I'm used to seeing on this forum (and my quant is a bit low for finance Q48), I'm pretty satisfied with the results, and therefore fortunate I can stop worrying about GMAT. (In other words, a retake is out of the question!!!) Here are a few of the lessons learned which I wish I would have known BEFORE I started preparing: • Do NOT wait until a week before the actual test date to take GMAT Prep 1 (even if you are taking other CAT exams - there is a difference between tests). • Do NOT spend three full days learning and digesting combinatrics (unless you can already solve ALL the quant questions in ALL the OG's). • Do NOT memorize thousands of idioms (there are about ten you need to memorize or know, for the rest you should solve by substituting X and Y in the sentence as the OG's do in their explanations - this is assuming English is your native language). • Do NOT underestimate the amount of time it takes to prepare - I thought one month full time would be enough, I was wrong, and felt unprepared going into the exam, but fortunately I believe "Luck" was on my side on test day. • Do NOT waste your time on ANY "advanced material" until AFTER you go through the OG's, THEN move onto the difficult stuff (I'm starting to feel a bit redundant) • Lastly, I wish I would have discovered this forum much earlier in my course of study The debriefs were invaluable. Manager Status: GMAT in 4 weeks Joined: 28 Mar 2010 Posts: 181 GPA: 3.89 Followers: 2 Kudos [?]: 153 [0], given: 25 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2011, 10:32 I recently took GMAT score a bad 590(Q41, V29). While in all MGMAT I never score below 44. When I started my prep I was scoring around 48 in quant. and Was week in Verbal with 28 points. I concentrated hard on my verbal part learnt lots of stuff. But still my score was stuck at 28. It would be great you know 3thing before I took my GMAT. 1) How to ensure that your min score, below which it will not fall on actual exam. 2) What was it that made my verbal score stagnant. 3) If you are getting simple Qs contiguous in quant that means you have screwed the section. _________________ If you liked my post, please consider a Kudos for me. Thanks! Last edited by hussi9 on 01 Sep 2011, 11:14, edited 1 time in total. Intern Joined: 10 Jan 2010 Posts: 23 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 4 [0], given: 42 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2011, 11:01 Before my first attempt at the GMAT, I took a brief evening brush-up course that lasted seven sessions and that used the OG(11th) for the course material at the University where I received my two BS degrees. Then I went an took the test--I did not pass with a respectable score. So, I waited awhile, maybe six months, to take the test again. Meanwhile, I would study the OG again on my own to see if I could score higher. To my dismay, I scored 40 points lower than my first score. These two failures put on path really study the material in earnest. So the search began. The first tool I found was GMATclub.com. I had know idea that this forum existed, but I am glad it does. I began reading many of the threads on this forum and found that most of the participants here have great conceptual knowledge on variety of topics. I could see how much conceptual knowledge I really am lacking. Next, I ordered the complete Manhattan book set for the 12th OG. As I work through this material, I can see how failure was all but assured in my first two attempt on the test. This being said, I would liked to have known how conceptual the test was before I took it the first time. I guess business schools use the test to gage how well a candidate will be able to rationalize and solve todays modern problems. Current Student Joined: 08 Jul 2011 Posts: 94 Concentration: Technology, General Management GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40 GPA: 3.7 WE: Analyst (Consulting) Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 12 [0], given: 8 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2011, 11:19 I wish I had written the essays on my practice GMAT exams for a couple of reasons-- First, on the real GMAT, I ended up not finishing my essays (I took too much time planning and making them sound good) and ended up losing point on the AWA. Second, I didn't end up having the full-on "simulated GMAT" feel until the day of the test. As a result, I ended up not being prepared for the onset of the mental fatigue during my verbal section, so I scored my lowest ever on that. You really have no idea how the GMAT really feels and how mentally exhausting it can be until you actually DO the AWA section. I know a lot of people skip it in practice, just like I did, but it was a big mistake. Manager Joined: 23 Mar 2010 Posts: 59 Concentration: Finance, Leadership GMAT 1: 760 Q49 V45 GPA: 3.3 Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 10 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2011, 11:37 I wish I knew how much it pays to drill and drill your weak areas. Senior Manager Status: Happy to join ROSS! Joined: 29 Sep 2010 Posts: 276 Concentration: General Management, Strategy Schools: Ross '14 (M) Followers: 20 Kudos [?]: 127 [0], given: 48 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2011, 12:06 I should have took a piece of paper and answer three "simple" questions: - why mba? - why now? - what's next? After spending 2-4-6 months answering these questions, I would have superior motivation to study GMAT and write essays. Manager Status: Mission GMAT Joined: 20 Apr 2011 Posts: 88 Followers: 3 Kudos [?]: 76 [1] , given: 39 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 01 Sep 2011, 14:47 1 This post received KUDOS To let go, by knowing How the scoring algorithm works - Especially for the Quant section. The exam is not like paper tests that we are used to writing. Being an engineer and being good at math without preparing, I was confident about this section. I was very very good while solving the OG and could solve the GMAT Prep tests without really having to guess! My strategy in quant was to get EVERY question correct like in a paper based test. And there I was on the real exam, stuck up on a question for a couple of minutes. Not only did that end up in time management disaster but it also made me nervous. (Mainly because I had not expected this situation to arise ) For the verbal section, one usually works through most of the questions by elimination mehtod. So the strategy is pretty much to select the best one out of the given choices. One never really knows that he does not know the answer So, being stuck on a question is rather rare. Things go wrong with quant, if one does not know that he or she has to guess or move on. I think this is very important for one to know, irrespective of what score he targets or his level of preparation, as it comes into play at all score levels, for every test-taker. _________________ Hope this post helps! Your kudos will let me know. Senior Manager Joined: 12 Dec 2010 Posts: 279 Concentration: Strategy, General Management GMAT 1: 680 Q49 V34 GMAT 2: 730 Q49 V41 GPA: 4 WE: Consulting (Other) Followers: 9 Kudos [?]: 50 [0], given: 23 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 02 Sep 2011, 00:31 A basic rule for Verbals (especially to Non-natives!)- Practice hard, give yourself good amount of time (if you are not too comfortable then it would be good to start from basics to advanced gradually) and try to learn even from the questions you answered correctly. This is imporatnt as more often than not we are stuck with questions when none of the options really make sense! A basic rule for Quants- You must use pen and paper. Do not try to solve each and every thing in your mind even if you can do so, because of many reasons- Test is too long, keep some energy for the later part of the test , and chances of missing a DS questions is high in some cases. _________________ My GMAT Journey 540->680->730! ~ When the going gets tough, the Tough gets going! Manager Status: Head Turner ! am I ? Affiliations: RHCE , CCNA, MCSE and Now GMAT ;) Joined: 29 Jul 2011 Posts: 138 Location: India WE: Operations (Computer Hardware) Followers: 12 Kudos [?]: 187 [0], given: 28 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 02 Sep 2011, 02:12 I did this , found it useful , today i even guide many people who come to me with queries on Gmat ! As with everyone, I too was blank when I started with my Gmat Prep. I had major concerns over : 1. Best prep course based on ex-student reviews instead of those on the company homepage 2. If i go for self study , do i get adequate help ? Are the free resources available solid enough to motivate me to take the self study path ? 3. Books books and books ! which one should I buy ? Am really confused 4. I just started off with OG Practice ? what are the recommended ways to use it to squeeze the maximum benefit out of this official Material ! 5.I want to test my Concepts with problems of different prep companies ! It gives me confidence if i can solve as many different questions as possible of various sources. Raises my self confidence about my conceptual level of tackling a specific section of Gmat 6. I need advanced practice as i am done with OG . 7. Above all I look for an affordable yet the most unbeatable and consolidated solution that matches my specific requirements Solution : Before you even start your prep ! take couple of weeks to zero in on books, tests, advanced practice and one good forum that helps you in almost all possible ways ( such as Gmat Club ). Do some research on whats best for you ! Spend you bucks wisely on the most innovative and generally recommended material and courses. Gather all your resources , Identify a target date for your Gmat, make a study Plan and then .. oh yes start studying ! Pre-Study weeks : Spend a week or two doing some R & D work for above basic requirements. Once you are satisfied , that you have all enough resources & help , start your Gmat Journey ! This helps in preventing hiccups in middle of journey owing to some parameters like bad or non Gmat specific material , bad experiences with non recognized prep courses and most importantly it saves your hard earned money ! Only once this is done , Sit for study , keep a timeline for your preparation ( say , 2 or 3 months from now ). This will avoid precious time during your prep weeks which may other wise you might end up spending on book , material & prep reviews ! I will list my answers to above questions out of my experience . I ended up spending my precious xxxx hours in middle of prep journey. Only if i had known this earlier ! So all my above questions were answered while i did some pre-study work for weeks together ! I am posting my answers to the above questions below (not necessarily in a sequence ) : a. I always knew whatever test prep companies claim on their home pages need not be completely true. I relied primarily on gmatclub and beatthe gmat for reviews ! So after a few weeks of R&D, upon searching through various threads i came to know : b. Mgmat SC and its other guides most recommended for concepts. Kaplan verbal and math workbook comes the next. Yes bb's reviews on various books on gmat club and amazon help me the msot to decide ! c. Gmat scoring ! We have a seperate thread for it altogether on gmat club forums. This was enlightening and helped me to set my target scores from time to time during my various phases of Gmat study. d. Mgmat and Gmatprep tests comes to close while mimicking the actual test ! Gmatclub math tests takes you to 50 plus level on quant section. e. Knewton has some good concept videos ! f. Need of an error Log ! pre-made error logs for OG12 AND GMAT tIMER TOOL. The importance of re-doing the problems I marked in error log ! g. Gmat Club topic wise forums ! choose the 700 Plus tag in a specific section ( such as SC ), to get advanced practice. h. Choose a source tag ( such as knewton / kaplan ) in a specific section (such as PS / DS / SC ) . Answer the question in this thread. Gamt club made a nice intuitive interface where is hides the Original Answer and has a inbuilt timer. Make Use of this to one's full advantage. You get to practice difference test prep company's questions , under timed conditions and reinforce your concepts learned by applying them to numerous questions from variety of sources. this ceratinly boosts your cofidence i. I personally liked various verbal and quant articles on GMAT Club forums. They are invaluable. j. Motivation / Inspiration threads with respect to Gmat success stories on gmatclub forums kept me going , especially during those strenous and low times. k. Gmat club resources ! gmatclub grammar book + Mgmat Sc refined my SC skills. Gmat club math tests are the most sought over to pump up your quant scores. At least this is a way of saying thanking you,on the pretext of parcticipating in the contest.This gives me an opportunity to share my experinces with Gmat Club Forums _________________ _______________________________________________ Am i worth a Kudo ? Life's around GMAT for the Moment Intern Joined: 16 Jan 2011 Posts: 12 Location: Hyderabad Schools: Great Lakes Chennai WE 1: Business Analyst for Oracle Technologies at Mahindra Satyam WE 2: Quality Analyst at Mahindra Satyam Followers: 0 Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 9 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 03 Sep 2011, 02:53 Endurance to sit for a four hour test is as important as knowledge required for GMAT. Senior Manager Joined: 26 Mar 2011 Posts: 284 Concentration: Finance Schools: UCLA (Anderson) - Class of 2014 Followers: 21 Kudos [?]: 87 [0], given: 12 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] ### Show Tags 03 Sep 2011, 06:15 I wish I knew how the new integrated reasoning section will be weighted in terms of it's significance compared to AWA and Q/V. Retired Moderator Status: Go crazy and use every bit of potential. Affiliations: Many NGOs! Joined: 07 Nov 2010 Posts: 189 Concentration: Social Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneurship WE: Operations (Manufacturing) Followers: 19 Kudos [?]: 18 [0], given: 56 Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win $$[#permalink] ### Show Tags 07 Sep 2011, 08:07 I wish I wouldn't have taken the test before completing all the MGMAT tests, before going through all the official books and I wish I would have not stressed out a night before. _________________ GMAT ToolKit For Android Phones https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nkoventuresllc.gmattoolkit&fl=events Re: The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$$ [#permalink] 07 Sep 2011, 08:07 Go to page 1 2 Next [ 27 posts ] Similar topics Replies Last post Similar Topics: 4 things you should do immediately after your GMAT 0 19 Aug 2015, 03:32 23 GMAT Club Essay Review 4: Duke's 25 Things About You 8 05 Feb 2017, 08:50 Applying in 3-4 years.. what did you wish you knew? 2 01 Jul 2014, 11:01 3 Take MBA Trivia Test and you could win Veritas GMAT Course 52 27 Oct 2010, 12:28 3 5 Things you may not know about Top Business Schools 11 08 May 2011, 06:54 Display posts from previous: Sort by # The One Thing You Wish You Knew About GMAT - Win$\$

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