Tuesday, June 22, 2004
GMAT Excellence observation
In reviewing my GMAT prep material, I came upon some notes I wrote to myself a while back that I think those of you prepping for the GMAT would find interesting.
I found about 19 people who scored 700+ and found quite a few similarities in their study habits and what books they chose to prepare with. Here is a summary of that analysis.
Books used (98% used the following)
1. Kaplan GMAT book
2. Princeton Review book
3. Official Guide for GMAT
4. Power Prep Tests
Book/Resources used (About 4-5 people used the following)
1. Kaplan 800 - Hard GMAT questions - more than a few argued that this had the hardest questions they found.
2. 800-score tests – A good resource for tests.
3. GMAT Plus – A good resource for tests.
4. DeltaCourse-primarily a combination, probability, permutation advanced study guide with plenty of sample questions to practice with.
5. Barron's - All said study guide part sucked, but questions were useful.
6. 800 Score tests – A good resource for tests.
7. Verbal Workout for GMAT -Princeton
Books/Resources all said sucked.
1. Arco Master the GMAT CAT
3. Kaplan's online quick bank-Can be found in OG anyway
4. Kaplan’s in-person GMAT prep course – a few who did it said that it didn’t help.
Study tips that every single 700+ scorer mentioned.
1. Record all mistakes on wrong questions and revisit them no sooner than 5 days. If still getting wrong, then zero on the subset's and go for more help.
2. Always read the explanation in the book to see why you get it wrong and take enough time to really understand the concept.
3. Pick a date and register. Don't study then register. There was a tendency to not take prep time as seriously.
4. Quite a few went through OG questions more than once. Not all questions on the repeat though, Mainly verbal sections and Quant that were areas of weakness.
5. Wrote practice essays at least 20 times under timed conditions.
6. Visit the test center before the day of test. Many did so a week or two before.
7. Time spent by most averaged between 3 and 4 months.
8. All averaged 2-3 hrs per day and no less than 10-12 hrs on the weekends.
9. Took advantage of every break during the GMAT. Take a bathroom break, some washed their face to wake up, got fresh air.
10. Study in blocks. One person mentioned studying in 80 minute blocks without getting up to build stamina.
The Official Guide for GMAT contains questions that are in the 550 to 650 difficulty range.