[Summary at bottom]
This sub has always given me motivation so I just wanted to give a debrief to gives others hope so to speak. My target from the beginning has always been 700 so I’m pretty happy I hit spot on.
- Week 2: Diag Test (~570 scaled)
- Week 4: MGMAT CMAT#1 (660)
- Week 6: GMAT Prep #1 (640)
- Week 7: Veritas #1 and #2 (620 and 610)
- Week 8: GMAT Prep #2 (710)
- Exam day: 700 (Q48 V38)
- OG GMAT 2015
- OG GMAT Verbal Review 2015
- OG GMAT Quant Review 2015
- Manhattan Strategy Guides
Overall strategy: I did some research on the rough number of hours required link to get 700+ which was about 121. I kept a spreadsheet table to track my planned vs actual hours studied to keep me accountable. As I work full time, time was my biggest constraint.
Week 1/2: As you can see, I fucked around and it didn’t help that this was our xmas break. I did <10hrs study over 2 weeks pretty much doing the sample questions in the GMAT Prep software to get an idea of what the questions were like. Afterwards I did the paper diagnostic test from the OG and worked out my scaled mark using the table from this link
Week3/4: Realising that I had 1.5months left to study that was my oh shit moment. So I brute forced my way through this week doing 5-6h a day as I took an extra week of leave over the xmas/ny office shutdown period. I pretty much did all the OG questions, checking answer explanations, learning from my mistakes
Week5/6: Kicked off this week with an MGMAT score of 660. Not bad for 2 week’s worth of effort. Still a lot more work to hit 700. I started working on the MGMAT strategy books and working through them all. They were all excellent in helping with Quant and Verbal (esp the SC book). My main focus was on PS, DS and SC. Those were the key areas that I struggled with whereas CR/RC I felt like I could naturally excel at those. Nonetheless I still briefly skim read the MGMAT strategy books on them
Work also started again this week so my study pace dropped considerably. I tried to squeeze in 1-2h before work in the morning waking up at 5-6am and maybe doing another hours in the evening. I found that studying in the evening was so hard as my brain was fried from work all day. If I had to do it again, I would’ve done all my study in the morning, go to work, then only go to gym in the evening and sleep early.
Week 7: I did the first GMAT Prep exam and got a 640. I was devastated….After 2 weeks of study I did worse!? I was so frustrated that I did another 2 exams from Veritas in anger a few days later which were each worse than the previous (620,610). Didn’t help. One week to go, to get up to 700… great. After doing my test analysis, I found that I could solve the questions outside of timed conditions quite comfortably. The thing holding me back was timing which leads to the next week.
I also did a couple of AWA as practice. There’s a template online somewhere that you can follow that works.
Week 8: Final week, I ignored the marks I had got in the previous weekend and just tried to focus on timing. I opened up the OG GMAT quant and verbal review books and did all PS, DS and SC questions under timed conditions in 30min blocks of ~15questions. One thing I read somewhere was to have a timer go beep every minute. If you hear the first beep and you are no way near the answer, start trying a different method (elimination, guess, whatever). This helped me internalise the 1min clock so that my timing would improve. By the 2nd beep you should be done. At the end of this week I did the GMAT Prep exam 2 and got a 710! Thank fuck.. the 2 days before the exam I did no study. Just tried to relax, sleep and exercise.
Exam day: had about 5-6hours sleep due to commitments the night before that I couldn’t get out of but it involved exercise which was good. Kept my mind off the GMAT. Woke up about an hour early. Read my flash cards which I kept as a pseudo error log and did the 2 easiest questions from each section from the OG just to warm up.
Good luck to everyone yet to do their GMAT!
Score increase: 570 (diagnostic test) to 700 (official)
Study time: 2 months, 121 hours
Materials: Official Guide (OG) 2015, OG Verbal Supplement, OG Quant Supplement, Manhattan Guides
Key takeaways: figure out an effective time to study, use timing to guide your problem solving
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