I took the diagnostic exam from the Official Guide for the GMAT, a book written by the GMAC with actual questions from the test. In terms of GMAT preparation, this book is often cited as the bible for practice questions and referred to as “OG 12” in forums. (12 referring to the 12th edition of this book)
Overall, I did pretty well, scoring in the “Excellent” category in each section. I’m not ready to celebrate yet because I showed a number of personal flaws during this test.
1. The Diagnostic Exam is not timed. I am almost certain that I would have done horribly if this test was timed. I did the 100 questions or so in 6 different sittings, simply because I currently don’t have the endurance to sit through a 4 hour exam yet. While I was okay speed wise in the Verbal section, there were a few Math problems that stopped me dead in my tracks. I definitely have room for improvement there.
2. I guessed on a few Math questions and got them right. Some were educated guesses I made after eliminating answers; others were just dumb luck. I really need to get to the point where I don’t have to guess on any of the questions if I want a 90th percentile score.
3. The Diagnostic Exam was not computerized. I sat down with pen and paper to complete this exam. I’ve been told that the computer version takes a bit to get used to and I want as few surprises as possible during the test. I’ll definitely have to start taking online versions of this exam soon.
4. I haven’t done an Analytical Writing Assessment, or AWA, yet. While AWA scores are generally not regarded as important in the admissions process, it does contribute to the endurance factor during the test. I should start practicing these with all my exams so I’ll know how to deal with it on test day. Blogging should help with this too.