Tips From My GMAT Experience
This is the GMAT experience submitted by a GMAT taker. You can read other tips from GMAT experience here.
Today, I wrote the GMAT for the second time in 2 months. Thankfully, I scored well.
I used the following resources to prepare for a few months:
- MGMAT books: Read exhaustively; attempted all practice questions at the back
- Official Guide 13: Needs repeated practice. I covered the book once.
- GMAT Verbal Review and Quantitative review: Needs repeated practice
Score on the first mock test on Kaplan = 530
In the month before the exam, I spent around 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening after work to prepare. I got scores of 610-700 on mock tests at this time.
I wrote a few mock tests a week ahead of the exam. My scores:
GMAT Prep 1 = 750
GMAT Prep 2 = 760
GMAT Prep 1 retake = 740 (some questions were similar)
GMAT Prep retake = 730 (14 hours ahead of actual exam)
I did not take time off work and wrote the test on a Saturday. I was disappointed to receive a score of 630.
I procured additional resources:
- Magoosh Quantitative: Very good questions. Although the book is good, the online platform simulates the timed test experience.
- Magoosh Verbal: The Sentence Correction questions and their video solutions are very good. The answers to the Reading Comprehension questions were arbitrary.
- GMAT Question Pack: Good questions, simulates timed test environment. I attempted 20 Problem Solving and Data Sufficiency questions and 10 Verbal questions every day.
I did not write any mock tests a day before the exam. My previous mock test scores were:
- GMAT Prep 1 = 720 (missed questions due to lack of time)
- GMAT Prep 2 = 730
I took a day off work and wrote the test on a Tuesday. Thus, I could take rest.
I checked out the test venue the day before the test. My test was scheduled at 8 a.m., so I had breakfast at 6 a.m. and left home.
The AWA section was simple. I wrote around 25 lines, with 20 words in each line, for the Analysis of Argument essay.
Integrated Reasoning was more difficult than the last time I took the test.
I took the optional break to have some snacks. When I returned, I was informed that I had overstepped my break time by 40 seconds, which would be taken off the time given for Quant.
It took me 4 minutes to solve the first Quant question, although it was not too difficult. I got stuck at the third question because it required calculations in three areas and some re-drawing. However, I did not panic and I worked through the rest of the section.
I took the second optional break as well, but returned within time.
In the verbal section, the Reading Comprehension passages were complicated and the answer options were closely worded. Critical Reasoning questions were simpler than GMAT Prep tests. However, the Sentence Correction questions covered a wide range of topics like modifiers, verbs, and complete sentence underlines. In the mock tests, I would finish the Verbal section with time to spare. However, here I could not submit my answer to the last question.
I checked my score to see that I had got 760 (Quant = 49, Verbal = 44).
- Clarify concepts by attempting all the questions in the MGMAT books.
- Get adequate practice. One of the questions in the Official Guide appeared in my test with changed variables. In general, the Official Guide questions resemble the Easy and Medium questions in the actual test. Practice questions from Geometry and Probability because you cannot predict what will be tested. I got three probability questions in one of my mock tests.
- Take rest the day before the exam. This contributes to one’s overall score. In my previous attempt, I worked in the office and attempted mock tests just before the exam day. This time, I took a 3-day break before the exam.
- Trust your abilities. Analyze the errors made in practice tests and maintain an error log.
- Learn to manage your time efficiently. Work on strengthening concepts first and then answering correctly within the given time.
- Check the time left after every 5-6 questions. If you feel you cannot solve a question within 3 minutes, take a guess and attempt the next question.