GMAT Journey: From 550 to 740
To be honest, I almost gave up numerous times after 4 tests… but the reason I never stopped was because I wanted to give myself a chance to do better. The moment you stop… you’re throwing it away.
So how the hell did I get from 550 to 740?
Persistence and Strategic practices.
GMAT is a mental and physical exam. So you better be ready to discipline yourself. At the same time, you must be ready to suffer from getting questions wrong. Not everyone gets questions right the first time unless you’re super smart. I’m not, but I did my dues.
Analyze your errors:
This is the key that allowed me to break the 700 wall in 2 weeks. You need to know why you are making the same stupid mistakes every time. GMAT penalizes you for being stupid so understand your stupidity and fix it.
- Write your errors down. I used an excel sheet.
- Write why you made them.
- Write an explanation on how you can fix them.
- Redo those questions 1–2 times until you feel like you will never make the same errors again.
- Redo the questions again and find faster and more precise approaches.
This is a preventative measure against traps in in the GMAT. Sometimes it’s not because being silly made you choose the wrong choices, but it’s because the GMAT is designed in such a way to mess with your head. Also, ONLY ANALYZE OFFICIAL QUESTIONS!!
- Categorize questions. Some books certainly do it for you, but my suggestion is to come up with your very own category. This helps you remember better.
- Identify answer choice patterns. After doing questions for a while you’ll realize there’s a pattern to the layout of answers in GMAT for each type of question category. This will help shape your mindset to spot answers much more accurately.
- Identify why answer choices are RIGHT and are WRONG. This helped me save a lot of time. In the exam room I was telling myself ‘oh wow look at that answer, it’s definitely wrong. Goodbye dick head.’
Practice Mock Exams
This is self-explanatory. mba.com offers 6 mocks that you can do and manhattan prep offers 6 when you buy their book. economist gmat offers 1 for free.
Join a GMAT community
I joined the GMATclub.com and used all the resources which ARE FREEEEEEEEEEE and available on the website. I participated in discussions AND did the website’s quizzes. I read other GMAT test taker’s explanation. This allowed me to gather so much information… or maybe too much who knows?
Funfact: You do not even need to get 100% of the questions correct to score 700+ in GMAT. According to enhanced score reports and many online test prep, getting 75% of the questions correct and getting the easy/medium questions correct will lead you to a 700+. This means you can guess 3–4 ridiculously hard questions per section!! But do not guess consecutively!
- DO NOT STUDY ONE DAY BEFORE THE EXAM. I REPEAT. DO NOT.
- However you can review your mistakes. Go over your mistakes. Do it.
- Bring ear plus. There will always be that asshole in the exam room who sighs really loudly. To that person, I hate you.
- Bring snacks. Stay energize!
- Be there 30 minutes early! (The exam place is at BB building ลง BTS/MRT asoke!)
- Stay in the present, there’s no use mulling over past questions or future ones.
- Finish the exam, do not leave questions unanswered. You will be penalized.
Motivation for test takers
Don’t quit your war until your last battle is fought.
I want to reiterated that THE MOMENT YOU GIVE UP is the moment you stop giving yourself a chance for what you want. I know it’s VERY scary to face that tiny computer screen glaring a 650 at you after scoring a 660. I’ve been there. It hurts like a bitch to feel like all the effort and money you’ve wasted… went to nothing. However, it didn’t go to nothing… it went to your dreams. And your dream is not nothing. It’s something.
I don’t even have safety schools for when I’m applying to MBA programs. I was READY to not go in the year 2017 because I cannot handle myself going to schools I’m just feel okay with. Some people are reluctant to face failure… me too. But I realized that the EXPENSE of accepting less than I could go for was way more painful than seeing low scores OVER and OVER.
A little background about me. I call myself the one who sucked at math. I skipped ALL high school math. I scored only 640/800 for SAT. My calculus grades were C and C+. By the end of 2 years of work I do not know how to do simple addition and long division… luckily my multiplications are on point.
So If I can go up from a 550… so can you.
Materials I’ve used throughout 5 months
- GMAT Prep Software (from mba.com — free!)
- GMAT Prep Exam 1 & Exam 2 & Question Bank 1 (from mba.com)
- Official guide 2010, 2013, 2016
- Official Quantitative and Verbal Review (old version and new version)
- Mathrevolution.com (Oh my god you can totally reach Q50 with this)
- Manhattan Review Quantitative Question Bank
- Manhattan Prep Full set
- E-gmat course for verbal (includes SC/CR/ but bad for RC)
- Powerscore CR/SC/RC
- The Economist GMAT App (Don’t use it if you’re lazy.)
- Kaplan 800 (Only good for math practice)
- McGraw Hill 500 Verbal Questions (Good for SC and CR only)
- McGraw Hill 500 Quantitative Questions
PS. I’m very open to questions. Just shoot me a message and I’ll try my best to help you out.
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