I recently caught up with a former student who I had not seen since my course. He scored a 720 on the first try, so I asked him if he could share his experience with other GMAT takers.
“The first step is do take a course that proposes mini-strategies per section, and breaks each section of the GMAT into manageable bits. Otherwise the amount of information is overwhelming and its easy to lose time. I did a 2-day course and this provided about 15 hours of study time. This was definitely worth it to build some momentum.”
“Then you have to attack your weaknesses. In my case, I am not a native, and I did all the sentence correction exercises in the official guide under time pressure. This increased my accuracy and helped me recognise the typical mistakes.”
“I thought my math would be better than it was, but the course showed me that I was weak in data sufficiency and word problems. I am better in math than in languages, so I did practice problems in the areas where I was weak and learned all the math terms in English.”
“In reading comp, and critical reasoning I felt pretty good. Even though the language is hard, I read hard texts all the time in German, and I found that doing it in English just took a bit of practice. In both RC and CR you have to read for big picture knowledge and know the structure of the argument. This should be doable to non-natives pretty quickly. Nick told me in the course that the highest scorers are Chinese, and this makes sense. They must take a very structured and robotic approach to cope with the language problem.”
“Finally I did the MBA.com practice tests and they went pretty well. To be honest, I scored exactly the same on both tests and on the real GMAT! Overall I invested about 45-50 hours in preparation time, and used the official guide, the GMAT Zurich course, and a huge sentence correction pdf that I found online.”