I am done with gmat yesterday, scored 700 ( q50 , v34) .I know that it is not a great score but I am happy with the score , considering the roller coaster ride I had during preparation.When I started the preparation my scores were around 660 , after some serious preparation scores came down to 620s and finally by the exam time scores were around 700. I learnt a lot during this preparation and let me share my experience ,hoping that it will be useful to atleast some of you.
I started my preparation in December 2009. Covered SC,CR and RC from Manhattan and OG.I did this very slowly taking around 2 and half months.I booked my date in April and it was on June23rd.
This is when I really started preparing and I also realized that all the study I did from December to April was just waste of time( 4 months ) .During which I had neither done any serious study nor utilized my time for other activities. So the First advise I would like to share is , don’t prepare without any clear plan of when you are going to write the test. Do not wait for your preparation to be done to book your GMAT date,which according to me may never happen.
I did one more round of SC,CR and RC from Manhattan and OG and then started writing the tests every week.
Manhattan 1 — 650 ( q46 , v34 ) , GMAT Prep 1 — 660 , MGMAT 2 — 620 ( q47 , v29 ) , MGMAT 3 — 610 ( q47 , v 28 ) , MGMAT 4 — 600 ( q43 , v31 ) , GMAT prep2 — 680 ( q50 , v31) , MGMAT 5 — 690 ( q48 , v36 ) , Kaplan 1 — 680 ( q52 , v28 ) , Kaplan 2 — 670 ( q51 , v26 ) , GMAT Prep 1 — 720 ( q50 , v38 )
I was very disappointed after my MGMAT score of 600 .Even though I was studying hard , my scores were badly going down. I took a 1 week break from study, I realized that I was concentrating too much on verbal and ignored the quant which was my best area. I realized that if I can manage with mid 30’s in my verbal and score 50 in quant , then I can end up with a good score. That was my strategy going forward. And it was evident in the tests after that where my scores were around 680.
Coming to individual areas , I would say Manhattan SC is awesome. Just go through it and then do the OG SC ( I did this 4 times ).Make a not of your mistakes and go over them multiple times.After this , I would say just go over the mistakes you are making in the practice tests.
For CR , I went over the Manhattan and then did the OG couple of times.What I realized in CR that I was mostly making mistakes only in couple of types of questions like weakening the conclusion and analyzing the structure. So the tip I can offer is , find out if you are repeating the mistakes in any particular question type.
RC was tough for me.I did the RC from Manhattan and OG. But to be frank the Manhattan methodology is tough to follow in exam conditions with time ticking away. I did some research online and read lots of articles showcasing different strategies like the skimming or taking notes. After some couple of tests , I figured out that none of those strategies work for me. In my opinion it is always important to understand the passage,without that it would be impossible to answer the questions correctly.So my aim was to understand the passage irrespective of how tough it is and the strategy I used was
Easy RC — don’t take notes , just go over it , but understand the flow and main point of the RC .
Tough RC — To stay focused and to understand the passage well I used to take notes and crack some jokes on the RC while reading it .
I went half n hour earlier to the test center , tried to be very calm. Utilized the two 8 min breaks fully,had some biscuits and chocolates.During the test , I kept saying myself that I should not think of the whole test and what the score might be.But instead should tackle each question as it comes ,irrespective of whether its a tough or easy question.
I think that hard work is not the real key to getting a great score .But instead you need to be smart in analyzing your performance and need to concentrate in right areas.