For someone who has prepared rigorously for other aptitude tests in the past (pretty difficult ones) how long would it take to prepare for GMAT?
Honestly I think you'll find quite a few varying answers to this question, based on things like test taking ability, study style and frequency, and even a little bit of luck.
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I studied intensely every day after work and on weekends for more than 4 months, which is likely a lot more than anyone really needs to. But I scored a 780 which to me was worth it. While a score like that is definately a lot of luck, I got myself to the point where I was confident i could score mid-700s, based on my practice tests.
Probably your best bet is to take a practice test, study for a while, and then take another. You'll likely get a good idea where you stand, and what you need to put in to hit your target score
What materials did you use?
Op · 3y
Thank you. Would sticking to the GMAT OG be enough? Is there any additional prep material that I would need?
As I mentioned in my post, I've sort of prepared rigorously for other aptitude tests in the past. While solving the questions in the OG I'm not facing too much a hassle except for a few tricky questions in Verbal and Critical Reasoning.
My exam is on the 27th of October.
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Remember not everybody can hit 770 with 3 mo. of studying. The median for the test is 580 which means there's plenty of people who hit under that. So don't get discouraged if your score falls short of these 99% percentile scores.
Also keep in mind that people who score higher are more likely to talk about their performance so there'll be a bias in reporting on doyourpartparks.org. Not a lot of people will proudly report they have scored 540 after 2 years of studying.
First of all let me say that the GMAT is a blatant scam foisted upon potential MBA candidates-- most of what's tested is impractical especially given that all candidates hold (or are close to earning) an undergraduate degree and the GMAC, which is pathetically operated, takes advantage of every opportunity to charge students for services that cost almost nothing. It's really a poor investment and the real test should be whether one has the good sense not to engage in such a scam but alas, there's probably some kickback to the schools who insist upon using it as a measure for applicants and so we don't really have much choice.
I just feel like that's something to be aware of. Now:
I spent 3 months casually studying in between work and stepped it up to every day during the last month. Took four practice tests (all free) with two taken in the three weeks before the test. I spent a majority of my time focusing on quant because the math is simple but the problems are tricky and with a chem degree background, that kind of stuff was tripping me up (who would have thought I would need to remember geometry or permutations after so many years?). Both the quant and verbal sections are fairly easy and don't test anything beyond high School level math or English but time management is key... As in, that's the number one thing to work on. This is particularly important for the IR section which is probably the most practical and difficult part of the testmbecause you only get 30 minutes and there is no partial credit for multi-answer questions.
I got a 710 overall (90%) with a 47Q and 41V and I got a perfect 8/8 on the IR and a 5.5/6 on AWA (which is bullshit but I'm not about to pay to have my essay reevaluated... Yes, you can do that. I told you, the GMAC is so shiesty)
Somehow a 41/51 on the verbal sections translates to 93% and a 47/51 on the quant translates to a 61%... I suspect a lot of azn students do perfect on the math section and then suck a dick on the verbal section which works to your advantage if you're a native English speaker with a good grasp of sentence and argument structure.
The test center I went to was humid and smelled like a gym... Stale and sweaty. It was unpleasant and though I know I could do better (I had scored higher on the official practice tests) I'm not eager to sign up again and waste another $250 and a Saturday on a stupid test. The GMAT is only a piece of your b-school application so I don't think it's worth worrying too much if you're within 20 pts of your goal (which is like getting one or two more questions right).
I think the Kaplan books do the best job in terms of test-taking strategy and Kaplan has some very good practice tests but I thought their tests were a little harder than the official practice tests and the official test itself so I recommend starting with their practice test and then using the two free official practice tests near the end of your study to build a little confidence and be familiar with the official test screens.
The best way to study (IMO) is to take a bunch of practice tests, train yourself on the timing and carefully review and rework any problems you get wrong. I also recommend checking out GMAT club (https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-114/) and working through problems using the built in timer there, shooting for under 2 mins and working your way up from the 600 level problems to the 700 level problems.
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Good luck and don't sweat it! Business schools are desperate for your tuition. You're the customer here.