Sunday, June 7, 2009

GMAT Prep: What went wrong?

As many of you following my blog would know that on May 06, 2009, I decided to take my GMAT again. The first question that came to my mind was, what went wrong? I wanted to make sure that I knew exactly what went wrong and that I needed to fix it. I just cannot go and take the exam again. I knew it would not work. Here are the main points of my analysis.

I feel that I did not show GMAT the respect it deserves. This may not apply to some of you but it does apply to me. Since I had a perfect score in Quants, 800, in my GRE and only my Verbal was lacking, 480, I thought that with sufficient preparation, I should be all set. Unfortunately for me, the list of books mentioned in the previous blog did not constitute sufficient preparation. The books have been listed once again.

The Princeton Review
Kaplan Premier 2009
Kaplan 800
The Official Guide 11th Edition - Review
The Official Guide 11th - Verbal Review

The books are a great start but the preparation does not end here. Especially, The Princeton Review is a good book to get a good idea about the GMAT exam. The Kaplan books, Premier and 800, would challenge you further. The Official Guide gives you a taste of what the actual GMAT questions are going to look like. These books along with the GMAT Prep exams are sufficient for some people to score a 700+, but for the rest of us like me, we need to go beyond this.

There are only a selected few topics that the GMAT tests. I realized that I need to master these topics, if I need to score high. When I say that I need to master these topics, I mean that I need to be perfect. There is no margin for error. We need to be perfect at these topics because GMAT tries to trick you. Your perfection would minimize the chance of falling for their trick.

I realized that I need to take notes while preparing for my GMAT. I then need to use these notes on a daily basis to make sure I remember them very well. By not taking notes, your preparation will lack the focus it needs. I lot of you may already be doing this. You can either take your on notes, or you can use the notes prepared by others and posted on the web. I will be providing the notes I got of the web as well as the notes prepared by me. These notes form the summary and highlight of your preparation.

The last topic is practice. By practice, I do not mean the usual practice. The usual practice is good. I solved a lot of questions from all the books above. I also went through the 1000 SC and 1000 CR on the web. But you also need a lot of timed practice. You need to make sure that you have accuracy under speed. I will let you know in more detail in the following blogs.

To summarize, we need the following three things, notes, basics and practice to improve our focus. We will go through each one of them in the next blogs. Please stay tuned and thanks for visiting.

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