[Summary at bottom]
Bit of background on me: 25 years old. Currently work in the corporate development department of a well-known Internet company. Prior to that, worked as an investment banking analyst.
Anyhow, here is a breakdown of my study strategy:
Manhattan GMAT. Enrolled in the live class. Overall it was pretty useful but not so much because of the class as because of the materials and resources.
Pros: Quant strategy guides are really good. SC guide is really good. Extremely detailed spreadsheets for answer/timing tracking on OG problems. Extremely detailed and focused study plan.
Cons: Unfortunately, because they need maximize their addressable market, class room lecture plans aren’t really targeted to the students who are looking to get mid-high 700’s.
1. MGMAT Guides – Quant and SC are great. Tried the note taking strategies for both CR and RC and found they only slowed me down.
2. OG 12, Q and V books
– DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID AND ASSUME THAT THEY WILL NOTIFY YOU WHEN YOUR 8-MINUTE BREAK IS UP
– SC: Exhaust all of the OG problems and make sure you read the official explanations for EVERY QUESTION, EVEN THE ONES YOU GET RIGHT.
– CR/RC: you should approach studying for these the same way as you approach SC although you probably don’t need the same level of meticulousness. After a while it’s just pattern recognition.
– Quant: Do problems and own the problems. I went from a Q30 to a consistent Q50 by doing somewhere around 800-1,000 quant problems.
– Study hard and consistently.
– GMAT club is a great resource but try and filter out the noise (this applies to any other GMAT forum, including MGMAT’s) .
– Don’t use any CATs until you’ve done a decent portion of the OG problems in timed conditions.
– MGMAT CATs are 10-20% harder than the real exam.
– In my personal experience, the real GMAT was a bit harder than GMAT Prep.
– If you’re a native English speaker and you’re in the mid-to-high 30’s in verbal, you can probably get away with not taking any notes in CR and RC.
– Embrace the AWA! I’m actually really glad they make you do this first. It really helps you to ease into the test and overcome any initial anxiety you might have.
Score increase: 570 (MGMAT) to 760 (official)
Time spent: 3 months, 260 hours
Materials used: Manhattan Prep materials, Official Guide (OG) and supplements
Takeaways: ManhattanPrep classes are good for fundamentals, but not beyond. Also, see above for more takeaways.
If you’re looking for high-quality, effective GMAT tutoring, check out Trevor Klee, Tutor. 750 GMAT score, 5 star ratings on Google and Yelp. Tutoring can be done online or in Boston.