Before I begin describing my experience, please note. Do not use my example to underestimate the time needed to prepare for the GMAT. So basically I took my GMAT test date on 24th October, 2008. I figured I would have two months to prepare f…
Before I begin describing my experience, please note.
Do not use my example to underestimate the time needed to prepare for the GMAT.
So basically I took my GMAT test date on 24th October, 2008. I figured I would have two months to prepare for it as i chose 27th December. Now I am a final year engg. student from India. I took my CAT and other exams in nov. Indian students will know how messed up you are around then. Then took my college exams (most of which got delayed) leaving me with just a week of serious study to prepare for my GMAT starting 20th December. To top it all off, my best friend came back for a week to India on the 21st from London. Although I tried my best, I couldn't study much.
All excuses aside, here is what I did for my GMAT preparation
Bought and studied
Official Guide (11th Ed.)
Official Verbal Review (11th Ed.)
Official Quant Review (11th Ed.)
For practice tests, I took the free MGMAT Test, Gmat Power Prep I and II and retook I after re-installing the program. For AWA, I read the essays on beatthegmat.com and wrote essays each time I took the GMAT Prep tests only. I also took the MGMAT Tests package, but it went to waste as I could take only 2 tests out of the 6 available.
Anyways, I finished my official guide theory and exercises on the night of 25th december. I solved selective questions from the verbal review on th 26th and didn't get enough time to even touch the official quant guide. However, as I am from an engineering background, I had confidence in my quant abilities.
My practice test scores were as follows:
Gmat Prep I 690
Gmat Prep II 660
Gmat Prep I 710
Free MGMAT 710
MGMAT 1 660
MGMAT 2 670
I had to travel 250 kms to delhi for my test, so I reached New Delhi the night before. I was at my center about 30 mins before my appointment time. The proctors were extremely professional and very helpful. It was a full house with about 8-10 students taking the test. I started with my AWA and being an excellent debater, was able to write quite good (in my opinion) essays on both the argument and issue analysis with good examples. I finished the overall AWA section with 5 minutes to spare in total.
I made use of my break and went to the washroom. Had a Snickers
Came back to attempt my quant section. I would like to mention that I thought that the level of questions I faced was really tough. I took a little longer than usual to answer the questions which left me with only 3-4 mins before I ended my section. I knew I was doing good on the section as I kept getting tough questions, but towards the end, either the questions were very tough or I lost my patience and I know of 3-4 questions that definitely went wrong. This hurt my overall score which would have definitely hit 700 otherwise.
Took the 10 min. break again and attempted the verbal section. Found this easier than that in the prep tests. I normally got a scaled score in the range of 32-35 in verbal, so was expecting something in that range only.
Anyways, finished the verbal section with 4 mins to spare. Filled out some of the optional questions and the screen brought up a 690.
Overall 690 Quant 48 Verbal 35
I think those 2-3 quant questions screwed my chances of a 29 in quant, and an overall score of 700
However, with one week's prep, I am quite satisfied with my score. I was a little sad when I came out of center, but later learned from my interaction with other test takers that I scored the highest among all the test takers in that time slot, which made me a little happier.
I don't plan to re take the test as I think 690 is a pretty respectable score and almost as good as 700 which i was targeting in the first place. I am applying as a college senior to HBS and Yale. Maybe stanford, please recommend my chances for these schools. You can get a snapshot of my profile here: Fresher Chances HBS/Yale
My advice for GMAT takers:
1) Prepare well, complete all OG guides
2) I dont know about which books you should study beyond these. Personally, I feel you need more practice after you are through with these books. Read pt.3
3) Take AND retake GMAT prep. It doesn't matter whether you come across 2-3 previous questions. Adjust your score accordingly but take each of the gmat prep tests twice. I would recommend MGMAT's CATs as well. Just keep a buffer of +- 30 points on your actual score.
4) On test day, don't carry notes and books. Go in with a cool mind.
5) Carry something to eat. 4 hours is a lot of time and you need to be fresh and energetic to focus. I even washed my face in each break which I think helped me.
6) On the night before the exam (unlike me) do not try to attempt any new questions. Have a light day, but do read some essays and get your basic answer framework in place.
Any questions/queries are welcome.
All the best to everyone in their quest to beat the gmat.
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