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Student Post: Taking the GMAT for the Second Time

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This week, Hussam tells us about his experience with the GMAT (he took it twice!). He also offers some great advice for other GMAT re-takers. Thanks, Hassam! 🙂

About Me: I’m originally from Amman, Jordan, but grew up in Iowa City, IA. I got my BA in Political Science from the University of Iowa in 2010 and then my JD from the University of San Diego in 2013. Since graduating law school last year, I’ve been working on the project finance team at a top regional firm in Amman. I’m hoping to go to business school next year (i.e., Class of 2017) in order to facilitate a career transition from law to finance. I enjoy watching sports, hanging out with friends, hiking, and reading (especially behavioral economics books).

Biggest challenge: Quant overall was tough for me because it’d been about seven years since I had even looked at a math problem. Specifically, I would say that work-rate problems, complex proportions, and translating words into nice equations were the most difficult for me. In terms of “how to improve”, I practiced those types of problems, watched the Magoosh video explanations for such problems to try and gain more insight, and asked the Magoosh support team for help whenever I was still confused.

What I’d change about my prep if I could do it over: To clarify, I took the GMAT twice. The first time, I used another prep company and a 3 month plan. I then used Magoosh 3 month study plan “B” (the one that focuses on math) for my retake. Looking back, I would’ve been better off doing it in one, drawn-out, and patient 6 month period instead of 2 semi-rushed 3 month periods.

Helpful tips for other students: Start early. Start with the fundamentals and drill them until they become second nature, then work your way up to the 700-800 level questions. Don’t be tempted to skip right ahead to the difficult stuff, there are no shortcuts.

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