I've been dreaming about the day I could write a post in this forum since January when my GMAT journey began. As an Ivy League graduate and management consultant at a top firm I headed into this process with my eye set on a 700 range score that would allow me to apply to the top 10 MBA programs. On January 2nd I sat down to take my first GMAT practice exam cold. I was devastated when a 480 popped up as my final score. I realized I had a long up hill journey ahead of me. I started by going through all of MGMATs foundations of math materials. After a month of review I took another practice exam and scored a 560. I wasn't sure how to continue my studies, so I hired a tutor, Stefan Maisnier, through MyGuru. Stefan was incredible and held all my prep sessions with me via skype since I was traveling for work. From March through July we covered all the strategic approaches to each question type, and I slowly but surely improved. I sat for my first official exam July 7th and scored a 660. Not bad, but far from where I wanted to be. I continued to study for another month this time changing my approach to certain question types. I sat for my second official exam on August 7th and scored a 560. I was shocked and totally confused by the 100 point drop. I took a week off, went on vacation and signed up for my third attempt. I went back to basics and used a Kaplan book to reinforce the concepts I had learned with Stefan. I only studied about 1 hour/ day. I took a Kaplan practice test on August 27th and scored a 660. Knowing Kaplans verbal section is quite a bit harder than the actual GMAT I felt fairly confident. I sat for the exam this morning after doing zero studying the day before and pulled off a 710 (44 Q 42 V). I couldn't be happier with my end result. This was a long, arduous journey, but I truly never gave up, and I hope this can serve as inspiration for others struggling to reach their end goal.
There were a few things I finally nailed that I think contributed to my final result:
1) I took the verbal section first on my last attempt. Verbal had been my weaker section due to fatigue, and making this change made all the difference
2) On my third attempt I didn't study AT ALL the day before. I didn't even crack my notes. I slept in, watched tv, went for a run and fell asleep by 11
3) I found my optimal testing time. Noon was the perfect time for me to start a test, I had tried to take my second exam at 8am, and I felt tired the entire time
Hope this inspires others! Best of luck.
480 to 710 - Never give up
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