I've been monitoring this forum for a couple of months. I haven't had alot of time on my hands to spend online. I took the GMAT in November and scored a 580 64%, 40Q 61%, 30V 59%, 5.0AWA. I was disappointed. The essays were easy topics and things started off well. Then the nervousness started. The math questions were too easy. I kept telling myself that I must have missed a few at the beginning. The absolute values questions were tough. I took the five minute break to settle my nerves. It didn't help. I had three RC in a row! Two of the three were on women civil rights. I noticed that everyone on the forums said that the test seems hard and not to worry about the score. So I closed my eyes and clicked the option to report the score.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY
I didn't do any major studying between Nov and today. I mainly studied on my day off, focusing on Kaplan 800
material. I did a few practice essays and logged on to this site to see solutions to tough math problems. I purchased the sample problems from this site last night to help with combinations and absolute value problems (well worth the $9.95). I set my goal at 620. I wasn't seeking a perfect score. I went to bed around 8:30 last night. I wanted to get a really good night of sleep. I layed in bed until 1:00AM. I couldn't sleep. I couldn't calm my nerves. When I woke up in the morning my wife made me breakfast and insisted that I drink a blueberry smoothie. I told her no, but the more she asked the more nervous I became. I arrived at the test center early and went right in. I told myself not to waste too much energy on the AWA. I didn't want to strain my brain too early. The topics were easy and I couldn't help myself. I wrote five paragraph essays on both topics. Then came an entirely new beast. This math section was very different from the one I encountered in November. I had hard absolute value problems, combination problems (easy), and several prob. problems. Every problem was difficult (like the ones on this site). My time went fast! I usually don't run behind. This was a very hard math section. I guessed on the last two math questions. I felt better at the break this time. The verbal section started off fine. No real problem here. At last I was finished with the exam. I proceeded to see the score and was pleasantly suprised w/ a 650 84%, 44Q 73%, 34V 72%. I know that this doesn't compare to a 700+, but it was a very good score considering my goals.