My road to a 700 on the GMAT

My experience with the GMAT was humbling. I told myself I would try and give back to help those that are tackling this beast.


So you're thinking about taking the GMAT, eh? Thinking business school might be a good option to boost your career, eh? Well you're about to take one humdinger of a test, the GMAT.


I'm smart. But I'll be the first one to tell you that I am harder working than I am smart. I'll list some

ACT: 31
Highschool GPA: 4.3 / 4.0 (nerd!)
Favorite Subject: Math
Undergrad: Villanova
Major: Finance
Minor: Accounting & Marketing
API credits: 18 (calculus, physics, history, english)

First Job: Investment Banking Analyst
Current Job: Software Developer

OK. Now, I list this above not to brag, but to make a point. The very first time I took the GMAT was when I was 25 years old and had read through the intro section of a GMAT book I bought off Amazon. I scored a 590. A 590! I was fucking pissed! I had 700+ in my eyes. I thought this was going to be easy! Highschool math? Critical reasoning? - pssh, that's for chumps. I couldn't have been more wrong.

For some of you, the above might perfectly describe your current situation.

GMAT 1 - 650
GMAT 2 - 620 (anxiety attack)
GMAT 3 - 680 (wat?)
GMAT 4 - 660 (snap back to reality)
GMAT 5 - 700 (thank you sweet baby Fesus)

My greatest points of advice:
+ Take a class from the get-go.
+ Take it as many times as you can until you get the score you want - don't put the next test off.
+ study your worst section everyday for an hour

How To Study

The Math Section

Here's a process (I would follow this religiously)
+ Read the question (what kind of question? Venn Diagram? Mixture? Divisibility? Rate problem? What are you asking me??)
+ Read the answers (for clues - are they in fractions? decimals? Can I easily plug these in?)
+ Can I square something here?
+ Can I simplify the stimulus?

Some specifics:

"Which of the following" - this language sometimes means the easiest way to solve the problem is to plug in the answers

The Englsh Section