Starting with GMAT preparation requires atleast a week’s analysis into where you stand, and what you need to do to succeed in getting a great GMAT score.
I have been analyzing my skills here and there, and I feel all I need is more confidence and practice and regularity. Of course, certain areas in GMAT are relatively deeper than certain other Indian entrance exams. I am planning to take my GMAT only after I completely have the confidence to crack it, probably around the month of July or August, 2011.
I have the following copies with me:
1. Official Guide for GMAT Review, 12th Edition
2. Kaplan 800
3. Manhattan GMAT Sentence Correction Strategy Guide, 4th Edition
4. Manhattan GMAT Critical Reasoning Strategy Guide, 4th Edition
5. Manhattan GMAT Word Translations Strategy Guide, 4th Edition
I frequently refer to the following websites.
www.gmatclub.com ( I ll refer this as GC)
www.beatthegmat.com (Referred as BTG)
As I read from the forums on GC and BTG, I have the following review/idea about books.
OG 12th edition – Should be kept for the final practice after one is clear with all the concepts involved in GMAT.
Kaplan 800 – Contains higher level GMAT questions for those targeting 700+ in GMAT. This is to be done, if additional practice of tougher questions is required.
Manhattan GMAT Strategy Guides - By far the best comprehensive guide for anything and everything you need to learn for GMAT. I have only a few of these guides, which I considered essential for my level. For example, I am not so good at Probability and Combinatorics, so I have the Word Translations guide from MGMAT to guide me through. Same holds true for SC and CR guides as well.
People discuss that is there no best RC guide, but MGMAT RC is definitely good for people who are poor in RC. Reading books will lessen half the burden, and yes reading books should happen over a long period.
Reading books and newspapers is very important going forward.
Some of the books I consider reading during the course of my preparation, and of course it is a suggestion for you as well.
1. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
2. The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand
3. Future Shock by Alvin Toffler
4. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
5. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
6. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
7. Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
These are books that hit my mind as I write this. I will add more to this post, as and when I come across better and compelling ones.
I have been a constant observer of forums for quite a while now, and I feel participating in the forums and sharing your ideas and clarifying your doubts/ others’ doubts will itself make a great deal of improvement. For people like me, who work, during office hours, whenever we get a small break, it will be beneficial to go through these forums, and interact.
The one area which I am really not sure of till date is Analytical Writing Assessment section. I am yet to research on it. When I am done with one, I will come back with a quick brief on AWA section. And yes, as the majority suggest, this section is as important as the other sections and deserves attention and practice.
Using an error log, probably an excel sheet, will be a good aid to our preparation if we update it regularly. I have been suggested this idea, right from school for Math area. It is definitely a good tool, because I have seen it work. All you need is the patience to fill it up and maintain the record, and also review it.
That’s it for now. Will keep the post updated as and when I gather data.