NOT WITHOUT WIZAKO(4GMAT): Relief, delight and incredulity, in that order when I got my unofficial GMAT score report. My test appointment was on Oct 30, 2009 and I scored 740 (97th percentile) Q - 47, V - 45, AWA - 6. Most prospective students tend to read testimonials such as these with skepticism but believe it or not my score wouldn't have been scalable without Wizako outstanding team. In fact, the first call (after telling my parents) after my test apppointment was to Shreyas Ramakrishnan to thank him for getting me past the line in Quant and for being the wonderfully inspiring person that he is.
I joined the 5 week week day batch of Wizako on August 26, 2009 after a little bit of research into the options available and visiting a couple of other test preparation institutes. What set Wizako apart, right from the enrolment process, was the no-frills, focussed, job to do approach at a significant cost differential. As a middle management employee at a leading FMCG company, my erratic schedules were my biggest hurdle to a quality test prep and Shreyas overcame that in a single sweep - kept it simple saying 2 hrs every weekday and 12 hrs over sat and sun for 8 weeks was the magic success formula.
The early morning classroom sessions at Mylapore were intense and engaging, particularly quant and CR. While subhashri ma'am's CR tips didn't quite make sense in the classroom, they proved to be the magic bullets when I was struggling with verbal scores in the last few days before the test. The Wizako quant study material is as comprehensive as it gets and if one masters even 80% of the material, a Q 51 in quant is there for the taking. While the standard test prep material available on the market gives diversity in terms of types of questions, the Wizako material covers the basic concepts comprehensively and this conceptual grasp is the crucial success differentiator. The GMAT verbal section tests basic rules of grammar and command of language learnt at high school. The verbal prep must involve visiting online forums on SC, CR, RC and reading american journals publications like Fortune, Time, Scientific American etc - all of which I ended up doing barely a week before the actual test!
The actual test started off well with two AWA essays that I was very comfortable with. The Quant section was a disaster with 2 questions left and only 10 seconds on the clock. I was nervous during the 8 minute break thinking about whether my verbal scores would carry my aggregate score past the respectable 700 mark. The verbal section by itself was quite easy (or so I thought) and that's saying a lot since I used to get atleast 1/3rd of the questions wrong in all the mock tests that I took.
To sum up, GMAT is not quite the devil in disguise and can be mastered easily with structured prep, quality assistance and the passion to succeed. My advise to test takers is to invest their money wisely in a coaching center that doesn't make tall claims but gives the brute realities of what it takes to ace the test. And yes, one last thing, do not delay your test appointment too much after completing your classroom sessions. Losing touch with the concepts and test taking methods are fatal to getting a 90 percentile +. Wish you all luck and hope you ride high on success :-)