Since the GMATClub and its members were a big part of my prep, I feel it's necessary for me to give my tips and advice. Prep
I started prepping for the GMAT around mid December, so altogether I probably prepped 8-9 weeks. I knew at the beginning that prepping for this thing would take a considerable amount of time and determination. Below are the books/materials I used, in order:
1. Kaplan GMAT Premier Program
(good starting book, explains the test nicely, some decent strategies)
2. Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook
(great refresher for Quant concepts)
3. OG Verbal
Supplement (just SC)
4. Some OG 11
5. MGMAT Number Properties
Book (great book, although I didn't consciously use the things I learned with this book on the real test)
6. Rest of the last half of the OG 11
Quant questions (decided to do only the last half of the questions since they are the hardest)
Throughout my prep I did countless questions on the forums. This is a must. To see how each person explains a problem is immensely helpful.Quant
As you can see above, most of my studying was dedicated to Quant. I never thought I would do as well as a 48 on the real test though (see my practice CAT scores below). The more questions you do, the more you will see that there is a limited number of types of Quant questions. Looking back, I should have scheduled in the GMATClub Tests
into my study schedule. Verbal
I did about 200 or so SC questions from the OG guides. The only prep I did for CR was on the CR forum. I did absolutely no prep for RC (the only prep came from the practice CATs I guess). In hindsight I should have prepped more for this section but being a native English speaker, I was confident I could score above the 80th percentile. Practice CATs
GMAT Prep 1: 630 (Q38 V38) -At the start of my prep (as you can see, should have prepped for Verbal more)
MGMAT 1: 660 (Q44 V36) -MGMAT Quant and Verbal are both very hard and time consuming
MGMAT 2: 650 (Q43 V36)
MGMAT 3: ??? (Q41 ???) -Took just the Quant (no more MGMAT after this, too discouraging)
GMAT Prep 1: 650 (Q42 V38) -Riddled with stupid mistakes
GMAT Prep 2: 680 (Q44 V38)
As you can see, I never scored close to the Q48 I got on the real test. Nor did I ever reach 700 on any of my practice CATs.Real GMAT
Logged a good 8 hours of sleep the night before. Since I'm a coffee drinker, I only had 2 cups the day before so I would sleep that night. My test was at noon today about 25 minutes from where I live. I packed some food and gatorade and made sure I had my ID. Got to the test center at about 11am. They checked me in right away and I started my test a few minutes later. Luckily there was only 1 other person testing in the center when I started. AWA essays went pretty well. Wrote as much as I could in the allotted 30 min. Expecting a 4.5+. Then took my 8 min break and started the Quant. Believe it or not the first Quant question stumped me! I was so pissed. No idea if I got it right or not. The rest of the Quant went smoothly for the most part. The questions were pretty tough though (a good sign I guess?). Finished Quant with about a min left, took my break, and started Verbal. Once again, the first Verbal question stumped me too! It was a tough SC. The rest of the section went smoothly. 4 RC sets. The CR were relatively easy. Finished Verbal with about 6 minutes left. I'm a fast reader and the RCs were fairly straightforward so I made good time with those. Then I answered the painful 8 or so pages of background questions and clicked next. Then I saw my score pop up:
Quant Q48 (83rd percentile)
Verbal V38 (83rd percentile)
Total 700 (90th percentile)
[Update: AWA: 5.5]
I gave a huge fistpump (yes, I'm from New Jersey) and left the test center relieved and elated.Tips/Advice
1. The GMAT should not be taken lightly. You need to put in the effort to get the results. This test is NO JOKE.
2. Error logs during prep are vital to your success. Identify your weaknesses and attack them head on.
3. Eat well and exercise throughout your entire prep all the way up to the real test (only a light exercise the night before though).
4. Take the practice CAT scores with a grain of salt. As you can see, I never score a 700 or a Q48 in my practice CATs. Use them to identify weaknesses, not so much to gauge your probable score.
5. During your prep, take a few days off here and there! Don't be a drill sergeant. Lay out a schedule and stick to it but make sure you give yourself off a day or two frequently. Your mind needs to rest.
6. Surround yourself with people who support you! This is probably an overlooked aspect but I can tell you with almost certainty that if it were not for my girlfriend, friends, and family supporting me the entire time, I would never have joined the illustrious 700 club.
7. Study hard and be confident. Go kill the GMAT!
Thanks to each and every member of the GMATClub. You guys were a big help. Feel free to ask me any questions. I'm more than willing to help.
But for now, time to get my drink on.