[Summary at bottom]
In October 2006, (10 years later), I took the GMAT again, obtaining a very VERY dissapointing score 420 (29Q 20V)
I knew my preparation for the test was not optimal, but a 420 was just too low. For my preparation I used the OG and my old Kaplan books. I was consistenly scoring above 550 in sample tests, so I was expecting a low 600. I will never forget that day, it was the worst day of my life. I went back home thinking I was never going to get into a decent MBA program. Out of my dissapointment, I found strength to look for help. So searching the web, I found this amazing site. I posted my experience, and I got encouraging words from some of the member. At this point I saw light at the end of the tunnel.
My second try:
I became determined to at least break the 500 level. I read many posts regarding preparation materials, and strategies. So I gave myself 3 months to retake the exam. Looking back, it was a mistake because I was working 60+ hours, and under a lot of preassure to deliver a project by the end of January. I went ahead anyway because I wanted my “revenge”.
My preparation consisted on reviewing the same OG and Kaplan materials that I used before. I also started to solve some of the problems in the GMATClub. I studied on and off during the first 2 1/2 months, and started to put 2 hours during the weekdays and 8 hours during the weekend.
I got a 510 (36Q 20V?) this time. Believe it or not, I was happy that I improved my Quantitative score. 😀
Eventhough, I improved my score, I knew I had to improve. I was not near the 650 I need to even dream about applying to a top MBA. Then I decided to make it happen. I made a decision to score a 700. I was no longer going to be complacent with myself. So I started to make changes in every single aspect of my preparation.
1. I committed myself to put the time and effort.
2. I gave myself a realistic timetable to take the test.
3. I totally changed my study approach:
a) I decided to cover the basics.
b) I started to use an error log.
c) I always tried to solve a question on my own, I did not seek help until I knew I could not solve it on my own.
d) I never jumped to solve a question before spending a few seconds thinking about the quickest way to solve it.
e) I decided to learn from the GMAT questions.
f) I took care of myself: There is a very good post about improving your score by exercising and eating better. I cannot say for sure If it really help me, but I believe it did not hurt.
Score increase: 420 (official) to 700 (official)
Time spent: 11 months, 660 hours
Materials used: OG materials, Kaplan materials, GMATPrep, LSAT sample tests, GMAXonline
Key takeaways: see above.
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