Here's what happened in my first GMAT: what-the-hell-just-happened-144242.html
It was a shock and I knew I could do much better. At the time I gave my first GMAT, I had only read Princeton Review and then done Kaplan
practice tests. Both of these were actually awful and I would recommend people to only use Manhattan GMAT
materials even though the tests are much harder than the real GMAT. What I did over the 1 month:
- Read MGMAT sentence correction
- Did 4-5 MGMAT CATs and also the official test
I don't think I improved that dramatically in that 1 month except for Sentence correction, where MGMAT had a whole different strategy which was much more useful. So I think it is a lot about luck - besides I knew I could hit 700+, the first test was just a freak performance.
What I think did not help too much: OG questions: I found these too easy! I would only get 1/10 wrong even in the hardest parts. Can't explain this because most people seem to think this is the best practice.
My general advice:
- Use OG archer (MGMAT) for OG questions. Time them and do it under pressure.
- Do all the MGMAT CATs and go through the explanation for each of the ones you get wrong / guess on. The tests are really hard and depressing, but it really helps to do this I think.
- Read the MGMAT guides
for weak areas.
- Take caffeine in any form before test!!
Let me elaborate a bit more on the last point. I was OBSESSED about controlling my state of mind and the way I feel for the exam. In my initial experiments, it seemed that I would score much better without caffeine than with caffeine, but I would always be sure to have slept 8+ hours. But for some reason, for the first time in my life I had exam anxiety on both the tests and could not sleep properly at all both the times! The first time I took a tiny bit of caffeine (40mg, I take caffeine pills) but tried to avoid it. Second time I was fully loaded on caffeine (around 100mg). I think that had a lot to do with my performance. So: experiment a bit with caffeine; if you don't sleep well before the exam take some caffeine for sure. But never overdose, that will make you crazy.
Anyway, hope I helped! Questions/comments welcome.