GMAT Takeaways

Posted: October 22, 2010 in gmat, mba
Tags: ,

You might want to read about my GMAT experience here

Here are a few points I would like to share with a larger audience wrt GMAT. I’ll club the points in three sections – AWA/Quant/Verbal.

PS: The details below are as per my experience.

AWA – Don’t stress too hard on this area. Btw, I got a 6.0 in AWA 🙂

The Adcom might consider your AWA scores when they find some mismatches in your profile and the admission essays you’ve written.  This can happen when you get somebody else to write essays for you. Needless to say, never do this.

Anyway, back to AWA – prepare a template ;you’ll find lots on the web but I’ll suggest you to take an idea and prepare your own template.  You don’t want to copy the same template from the web which 100 other guys might  be using. Moreover, this isin’t much of a trouble.

Please let me know if you want to know anything specific here.

Quant – Being an Indian candidate who has prepared for CAT (entrance exam for IIMs), I am good at quant. Got a 50 here.

– Avoid silly mistakes especially in DS.  This is very important. You’ll never know when a couple of silly mistakes will fetch you a 49 in Maths when you ought to get 50.

– Timing is another important factor here. When you perform well in the starting 10-15 question, you’ll tend to get a few very hard questions in the 15-20 range. This is the point where you will need to act smartly and devote not too much time on any particular question. Always remember that “Moving on….” is one of the most important things in GMAT.

Work out such problems and make an intelligent guess (if need be). Even if you get a question wrong here – you can still land up with a 50. On the other hand, if you get stuck in this trap, chances are high that you’ll lose your timing and might need to guess certain questions in the 30+ range.

– Be thorough with the basics and that should be enough (eg. understand the main concept of median/mode/mean etc)

– GMAT Maths is a bit tougher than OG Maths. Hence, don’t reply completely on OG. Manhattan is good for practise, but that may be a bit tougher than actual GMAT Maths 🙂

Verbal – Okay! I know I didn’t score too well on this section despite my high expectations (got 31) – hence any advice coming on this front may raise eyebrows 🙂 … time to be silent!

Tests – Practice Tests are an important indicator of your progress – hence write practice tests very sincerely.

Here are some of the tests (some paid (P) , some free (F))  in order of importance (comments embedded within the points)

  1. GMAT Prep (F) said to be the best and real indicator of your actual GMAT performance
  2. PowerPrep (F) – second best – these were in existence when ETS used to conduct the GMAT
  3. Manhattan GMAT (1 F, 6 P) – Maths is usually tough than GMAT Maths. Good VA

Caution:  People may agree that GMAT Prep is the best indicator of your potential in the actual GMAT. But don’t take this at verbatim. For this this doesn’t work – I scored a 770 (50/44 – Q/V) in GMAT Prep 2 – 2 days before the exam but ended up with a 680 (50/31 – Q/V).

Hence, find out – what works for you!

Then there are a whole lot of tests available – find their names below in no significant order:

  1. Kalpan (4P) – Algo not very reliable
  2. Knewton (1F, rest P) – okay
  3. Princeton
  4. Veritas Prep (1P, 6P) – okay
  5. Platinum GMAT (1 F I think)
  6. – This is a nice site to attempt questions with user defined difficulty levels with a bunch of other GMAT aspirants in real time.  Definitely some fun! Visit the site to know more. (You might find many variants of OG questions with changed names here)

I’ll stop typing now 🙂

If you have any specific queries, feel free to comment.



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