Took GMAT recently - Share your experience here

well i think, this is one thread that we r missing in our forum… i took GMAT y’day… & i ended up with a very bad performance… 630 79% - Q 50 95%, V 25 39% I know this is not at all a score that you would like to have, so i’m pos…

well i think, this is one thread that we r missing in our forum...

i took GMAT y'day... & i ended up with a very bad performance...
630 79% - Q 50 95%, V 25 39%

I know this is not at all a score that you would like to have, so i'm posting the problems faced during the test which dragged down my score to such a horrible level...

Reached the center an hour before the scheduled time... completed the formalities(took about 20 mins)... plugged in the ear plugs (they were a real help) & then went ahead with the test...

AWA went fine...
took a break... went to the bathroom & washed my eyes to relieve them of strain.... actually took 6 mins, however, GMAT did not deduct the xtra min from my Qunats time..

Quants started with medium difficulty Qs... After i had completed 5 Qs, i could feel that the Qs coming up were tougher than usual... & this went on till 20-22nd Q. After that it was all normal... nothing difficult... just ok Qs.. So if ur able to handle these initial 20 Qs, Quants is not a problem... there were 2 permutation probs & 2 probabiltity.. but they were just like... no of ways in which u can select X things out of Y available...
All in all i completed the Maths section in 56 mins... used the next 18 mins to relax ... took the break ... went to the bathroom & washed my eyes again so that i can take on the dreaded verbal section...

Now this is where the trouble started... i knew that my speed is not gud enough & i also knew the importance of first 10 Qs....So i decided to take care of the latter first & increase my speed from 11th Q onwards....
First 5 were CR's & SC's... they were of above avg difficulty level... next came a 4Q RC ... till the time i could complete my RC, i had already spent around 26 mins ... i don't know whether i was doing better or worse but the level of Qs kept on increasing... the SCs were generally of 4-5 lines... i was unable to select the option in one go & had to re-read most of the CRs & SCs again... all this decreased my speed further... finally i was at 31st Q & 6 mins were left... next came an RC & i had no option than to guess for the next 6-7 Qs... & thats it... bad time mgmt & excesive dependence on OG costed me atleast 50 pts ...

To all people who want a 650+, i would say that don't over-depend on OG ... most of the Qs in OG are easy... Its the best available to let u understand the different types of Q that can come but Qs coming in GMAT are way too hard than Qs in OG... & u will spend more time during the real test than u usually do...
Use Kaplan to max.. its the only book to prepare u for the worst... Discuss the difficult Qs that u encounter... Start with Princeton , then OG & Kaplan... 800 score is also a gud one...

Keep postin & update the grp abt the recent trends....

Would be attempting again, as soon as i can improve my reading speed - the only impediment that worsened my score...


Hey Ashish, my commiserations/congratulations, however way you want to take it :)

Though I didn't take it recently (took it in Nov 2002) I have a tale pretty similar to yours.

I thought quant was more difficult than the ones I had done. There were questions in DS (Perm Comb) which I felt were very, very tricky. But I guess I did okay in this. I got some 90+%ile.

The Verbal really did me in. I had a 6.0 on AWA, 293 on TOEFL and have scored in the 99th percentile in CAT verbal section but here I was clueless. Esp SC and ended up botching it up dreadfully. I was so frust by the end that I clicked the last few questions with little thinking (that I didn't have time helped expediate the decision :)). The result : 63%ile !!

I know I am no Shakespeare but I thought my grammar was decent. But I was never able to figure why I did so badly in the actual GMAT.

Would like some inputs on this. When I think of it a decent Verbal score could have given me 700+ with consumate ease. If I am able to fix this problem, my decision to re-take GMAT would be made very, very easy.


PS : BTW I got a 640

am planning to write the GMAT in nov..but the biggest problem is non availablity of decent c.d's/books..!! forced to depend on material from TIME/IMS and barrons. looking for the kaplan book everywher.! mayb u guys can help me locate one..

am planning to write the GMAT in nov..but the biggest problem is non availablity of decent c.d's/books..!! forced to depend on material from TIME/IMS and barrons. looking for the kaplan book everywher.! mayb u guys can help me locate one..

for that u'll have t mention ur location. 😁


Hey Arun,
Thanks pal...

After my test, i was searching for an explanation... (bcoz i had never received such a low verbal score even in any of the kaplan tests ) ...
Then i came to know how the scoring algol works....
ETS divides its verbal section in 3 parts... The first 3rd is used to decide your verbal level & ur score fluctuates too much during this section... once ETS has decided ur level (say u lie between 40-50 scaled score range), the 2nd third will test ur consistency at the level u have achieved & will fine tune ur score ... the third test is to further fine tune ur score... however, this last part is equally imp ... bcoz eventhough ur score won't differ much if u get a Q or two wrong in this section, a series of worng attempts in a row will seriously affect ur score (& this is wht happened with me when i guessed 6-7 Qs)...
This way ETS makes sure that anyone who has artificially inflated his/her score by spending more time on initial Qs gets penalized. Also, ETS knows that most of the people will try to guess the last 6-8 Qs, it seldom gives an experimental score in this last 1/3rd set of Qs.

This logic is no ball park & is directly from horse's mouth (one of the person who worked with ETS )... I think both u & me are victims of this logic.

hope this helps...

However, the problem with me rite now is that i had already worked upon most of verbal material available on net (including & i want new material to practice...
If u have something, share it across (put it in GMAT goodies)...

Search at google yaar... ebay is another one... Also, i request everyone not to make this thread a "Where to get material" ... There r already many threads in this forum where the same has been discussed. Lets make it a place where we will discuss only GMAT strategies & experinces...


hey ashish....saw just now that you got 630....actually i'm logging in after a very long time..dont worry ashish, screwing up verbal on the d-day is a common thing....lots of them have the same experience...

so you are taking it again??!! when??!! keep me informed abt that if its not until another 3-4 years, coz i might be taking it again then too!!! bye!


I took GMAT in September and ended up with 710 (verbal 35; quant 50). The score is of no purpose to me as I was sure of doing 750+. Anyways I am retaking the test in December.

My advice for future takers goes as below:


1/ Its a high deviation exam, in that a small mistake on your part can play havoc. So, whatever strategy you adopt while practising, stick to it on your D-day. Get used to ear plugs as there is a lot of noise in the room ( keyboard sound kat kat sucks ). So, buddies better get used to it, otherwise you will be in for the shock of your life. My verbal was screwed due to this, as I was not at all able to concentrate and ended up making blind guesses.

2/ Be serious but don't panic. It is one exam in which you may feel while taking the test that your score is crashing but end up with a surprise

The Test:-

1/ Essay: I scored perfect 6 in essay. Will write in detail about essays after I am done with the CAT on 21st November.

2/ Quant: Numbers, Geometry, Basic Algebra and you will get 50 ( though ETS claims that sectional score can go up to 60, these days 50 is the max you can get, even if you do all questions correctly, BELIEVE ME!!). The question arises, from where do I do this? Coaching? they are just there to make bucks books...yes!! online resourses....yes!! but which book?? The answer depends on your level. I never did anything in math..cause it was a cake walk for me. Take the two ETS tests without preparation and then note down scaled score in quant. Now follow the step which is applicable to you:

(a) if Score
(b) if 30
(c) Score > 42; Only fine tuning is needed, take tests and be alert to absorb any new concept from where ever you can get.

3/ Verbal: If your reading speed (with good perception) is less than 400 words per min, read like dog to improve it to 400+ levels. Once this is done make it a habit to read good articles online. Some suggested readings:

I am running out of time...will cont this in my next post in a day or two....

The below lines are the continuation ...

Continuation of My Expirience.......(How do I get a decent score of 710+)

First of all I am sorry, I didn't know the thread was already there.

Verbal Section-

Reasons we screw our verbal:-

1/ The subject matter is not very familiar to us Indians. We have Panchayat Raj where as the cool dudes of US have Ferral gov, and yes it matters, the gmat RC and CR is full of Fedral Gov., Senator and stuff. So, its a good idea to be well acquainted with the issues in US.

2/ Need for Speed: People who took GMAT earlier please discount, but the latest trend is very tough and lengthy verbal. Dont get misguided by OG and PP, they are very simple, and real GMAT is very far away. So two points:-

(a) Good reading speed (speed has no meaning if you loose perception by even 1%, remember speed should boost your perception)

(b) Qualifying (a) not only on paper but also on screen.

3/ We try to figure out the best answer: Life will be difficult if you try to figure out the best answer, rather try to eliminate the ones which are wrong for sure. Then after eliminating the obvious wrong ones, use your best judgement and mark boldly.

How to prepare:-

1/ CR- I thought CRs will be be easiest for me, cause I was cracking them like nuts in the practise tests. But in the real GMAT, I read only 3 CRs properly. Remaining 10 CRs I didn't read. They were very very long. I just resorted to blind marking in CRs cause I knew the Game is over, although I was surprised I still got 35 in verbal.

So, pratise them. Dont go through OG CRs They will mislead you to believe that they are easy to crack. Rather do as many CRs as you can. Tougher the material, better it is for your final score.

2/ SC- They are the best!! Practise and mastery of common error helps. Even if your grammar is nil you can crack them. Around 60 hours of concentrated effort is needed to hammer all of them on the D-Day.


(a) Start digging grammar from a comprehensive book like Wren and Martin and the likes

(b) never panic, always be cool while doing SC, they are not at all tough


(a) Learn common errors and mug them up. You can do this from various GMAT guides or I will post my own notes sometime.

(b) If you are running out of time or are unsure, go for the shortest answer. In 35% of the cases shortest choice is the answer.

RC/ In my next post.

This is continuaion of my posts (710+)


In GMAT sometimes it so happens that you go through all the passage with ease only to realize (when you see the first question) that you haven't read the passage. The reason is that you are not well acquainted with the subject matter. Many people have misconcepion that reading speed along with decent vocab alone should get you sail, but they miss one important thing...the subject matter...yes it is important to have diverse knowledge.

1/ Reading Speed: The best book is "How to read better and Faster" by Normal Lewis. After doing this book take any book (say 200 odd pages) and finish it in one sitting. And then incorparate the new reading style in your daily Life. Even if you are reading a greeting try to fixate the eyes.

2/ Subject matter:

(a) Virginia Woolf: Feminist Destinations by Rachel Bowdly
(b) SHERMAN. ALLAN - The Rape of the A.P.E.
(c) Then online reading on various subjects such as Communism, Socialism, Induatrial Revolution, Slave Trade, American Civil War, Berlin Walll etc.

3/ Words: If you know 8 of the 10 words below you don't need to worry about vocab, but otherwise you better start doing important words, or else they willl be serious impedients.

blasphemy, capricious, cerebral, elusive, iconoclast, indignant, pedantic, vanguard, arcane, imbibe!!

Finally list of good verbal books:-

1/ The Kaplan Verbal Workbook
2/ OG

hey ynnihs,

Really sorry I dont know your name. I just wanted to say that your post was a very good one. Its definitely going to be of a great help for me. By the way what is your email id update it in your profile.

Youve said that OG and books of the like dont really address the questions that actually turn up in the present GMAT. So what books or material for that matter of fact do we beginners need to invest in ?? It would be really great if you could help me out there because from what I understand over the years the GMAT has gotten progressively tougher.

Waitin for your reply.


ps : My email id is **
It would be great if u could send me a mail..
Take Care!

Use PM pls - simba

I ended up with a 700 score..75th percentile in Quant and a 91st percentile in Verbal.

All I want to say about the exam is that no practice book or test (incl Powerprep) does justice to the Quant section of the GMAT. It's a killer if you're as weak in Quant as I am.

Thats not a bad score by a long shot! Plus the verbal percentile of 91?? What was the scaled score ? I have seen very few verbal percentiles in that range.. !

Best of luck in apping!

Thanks! 😃

The scaled score was 41 in verbal.