I just took my GMAT again and scored 780. I am very happy with the results. I want to thank all the people who posted advice on how to increase scores already in the 700's (HongHu, artshep, ashaker, pelihu, etc.)
I am not going to do a lengthy post simply because everything I have to say has already been said by one of the above mentioned members. Those are simply get the right study materials- OG11
, Green, Purple, GMATPrep, Manhattan SC, some extra math practice (either Gmatclub challenges
or Manhattan CATs will do; however, they are harder than the actual GMAT, and in the case of Manhattan math problems, much much harder), dedicate time everyday, don't ever lose hope, and get good rest (I couldn't sleep well a couple of days before the test, and I think, albeit a little greediy, that I may have had a shot at 790 if I slept well.).
My only useful additions (things people have not stressed that much) are a couple of DONT's:
1) Don't waste your time trying to get too many resources and over complicating things. Spend your time on the materials guaranteed to help you on the GMAT. I see a lot of posts from people trying to get every single possible practice set. One extremely funny, or sad, example involved a person sending the other a Korean practice set, and neither was Korean. There's some debate among various people whether the SC1000's and other 1000's are indeed real. I don't know. I didn't practice with them because I didn't like some, actually many, of the answer choices, as compared to the OG, where all the answer choices were clearly correct. If you want to use them, make sure you read advice (3). I never finished my Princeton Review
CATs or 800score ones b/c I thought they did not represent actual harder bin questions well.
2) Don't do odd SC's; make sure they are official GMAT ones. The awkward and odd SC's and their explanations are worse than not doing them at all. There are so many crappy SC practice out there that will hurt your SC skills rather than help them. Manhattan SC is good b/c its main work problems are from directly from OG. In other words, you need to have OG to go through the Manhattan SC lessons.
3) Don't worry too much about one single problem in practice if you're stressed for time. In math, if you do a lot if problems, sooner or later you will understand it when you come back to it. Again, this is truer for SC. English has so many rules and exceptions on top of those rules. You don't have to know the exact reason for a sentence being "awkward" (OG's favorite reason for wrong answer choices); just do more practice to learn patterns. This is only for people who have a limited time for studying. I know that many people study close to a year. I studied one month, so I didn't get a chance to post questions on this forum regarding any specific problems. I mainly studied directly from the books I mentioned above, doing 70-100 problems per day (the only exception being the 3 days I went through Manhattan SC and those that I took practice CATs).
4) Don't practice with just pen and paper. I actually bought testdayscratch's pad for $25. It was a little pricey, but well worth it for me. If you don't want to buy it, that's fine too. At least experience the pad or something similar before you take the test. To me it was a huge difference.
5) Don't despair. Know that GMAT doesn't have a brick wall. Any studying, using the right resources, gets you closer to your goal.
I hope that helps, even if only a bit. This will most likely be my final post. I just wanted to give a little back to this site, which has given me a lot of good direction. If anything in this post helps a future Gmat-taker get a few more points or even one point, this post would have fulfilled its purpose. Good luck everyone!
Update (3/14/07): I am SELLING
almost all my Gmat study materials. I don't think that I will be needing them anymore =). Hopefully they will be of good use to the next person. I want to let them go for relatively low prices, preferably all together
so I don't have to make multiple mailings. Please note that they all have writings and answers in them, mainly the hard problems, but they are in excellent condition and still helpful as a starting point. Please PM me if you are interested.
1. Official Gmat Review
- 11th Ed. Orange
2. Official Gmat Quantitative Review
- (latest ed.) Green
3. Official Gmat Verbal Review
- (latest ed.) Purple
4. Kaplan Gmat Course Book (w/ Practice CD)
- My starting book; got it from the actual Kaplan
Gmat course. Great for concept learning for people scoring under 700.
5. Princeton Review - Cracking the Gmat 2007 (w/ 2 online CATs; I never use these 2 CATs)
- A great starting book. Some nifty tricks for scores under 700.
6. Replica Gmat eraseable notepad from Testdayscratch
- this one is mint condition. I can easily sell this one separately.
7. In case you were wondering, I am keeping: Manhattan SC, Strunk and White's Elements of Style.
Again, PM me if you are interested, especially in all the books together. Good luck!