The worst pre-gmat night possible?Round 1:
My story begins when I first took the gmat in January and scored many points below my gmat prep average. I had insane neighbors in the apartment above me and they decided to blast the TV starting at about 12:30 at night. To make a long story short, my total sleep time was nil and my level of frustration was through the roof. The following morning, because of my bloodshot eyes and deranged appearance, my girlfriend was seriously considering taking me to the hospital instead of the VUE test center.
So of course I bombed. Well, actually, it was not that terrible, but it was far enough below my potential to make me want to scream. I was so upset with the score that I scheduled a retake right away, for mid Feb. Additionally, the building owner agreed to evict the people upstairs. Round 2:
The people upstairs were asked (many times) to be quiet on the night before test #2. I personally appealed to their sense of compassion and decency, while the landlord threatened that the police would be called. Were they quiet? Of course not.
So I turned to plan B: Nyquil. It’s supposed to make you sleepy, right? Did you know that if you drink enough of it, it makes you feel like you are drunk? To make a long story short, I still got no sleep, but now I was also somewhat Nyquil buzzed and Nyquil hung-over. I felt like shooting myself.AWA:
The screen was swaying and the words were jumping around. It’s only because I write so often that I was able to squeeze out a 5.0. By the break, a mere 5 minutes later, I wasn’t able to recall what I wrote about. Quant:
The quant always scares the hell out of me. Doing a timed gmat quant feels like having my brains drawn out of my head through a tiny hole, beat to a pulp by a professional boxer, then forcibly stuffed back into my skull, all within 75 minutes. The initial questions were hard and got harder quickly, a most excellent sign. However, I dwelled too long in the beginning and rushed a little through the end. The questions were -difficult- and I never felt sure of myself during the entire section. I felt like I got a 38 - 40. I never feel good after a quant. Verbal:
Something happened here. Maybe the Nyquil wore off or maybe I was just happy not to be doing quant, but I became a verbal ninja for 75 minutes. The poor gmat didn’t stand a chance against me. By question 39 I was thinking that maybe, just maybe I would crack 700, and that made me giddy. Then I remembered that I probably blew the quant and my score could just as easily be 620.Reporting the scores:
So I click ‘report my scores
The room was empty. The only person around was the proctor, who was reading a book, behind the glass wall. For 5 nervous, very quiet minutes I was staring at the screen, expecting with dread something like a 640. All of the sudden the screen said - 750 -. Holy crap. In a heartbeat my freakin gmat saga was over... Practice methods and tools:
It’s been said before, and it’s worth repeating: OG is your best friend. Have you ever seen full metal jacket? Do you remember when they pray to their rifles? Pray to your OG. “This is my OG. There are many like it, but this one is mine…”
Secondly, GMAT prep is your next best friend. It’s exactly like the GMAT. The scoring is very close to the GMAT. Live it, love it (but don’t waste it).
I used the Kaplan 800
book to understand some of the harder concepts in SC and quant. I loved it, but others hate it. For me, I could follow Kaplan
's explanations well.
I hated the MGMAT sentence correction
book… until after I had tons of exposure to gmat SCs, then I felt the MGMAT SC
book was the best.
MGMAT quant CATs are great practice. They ask the most convoluted questions, and their scoring is ridiculous, but they really do prepare you for 75 minutes of math torture. Don’t study them though. Use MGMAT cat's to get a feel of your weaknesses, but study the OG.
MGMAT verbal CATs are awful. I’d avoid them entirely. Their questions miss the –feel- of the gmat by a lot. Getting better at these will not make you better at the high level gmat questions, in my opinion.
Tip to scoring over 700: After you do 10,000 gmat questions, you start to realize that they are testing a very specific reasoning ability in every question, regardless of the question type. The goal of studying is to know the core concepts of each question type cold, so you can free yourself to excel in the reasoning / problem solving underneath.
My final tip? If your neighbors are noisy, shoot them before the exam.(Sorry for waiting 2+ months to post this... I was busy with apps!)