I'm not going to even try to touch the excellent debriefs on TM by arjmen, tictak, twinn and others I'm sure you've read. If you haven't, go read them.
What I will do is a list a few things from my experience, and maybe help someone like the people on this forum helped me.
* The Pricenton Review Sucks
. Their Quant sucks and is not representative, especially the hard bin. Their Verbal basics are ok, but there is better practice material elsewhere, see 1000SC+CR, and really, don't bother with the tests or their scores. This book is written for people struggling to reach 600+. Their main strategy is to identify the answers an average test taker would choose, and not pick them... huh?
is OK for math review, but the questions are not representative. The book is good for learning how to pick numbers, backsolve, etc, but the Verbal material on the CD tests is something else, I doubt anyone at Kaplan
actually read these RCs..Don't bother.. The only thing the Kaplan
tests are good for is time pratice.. Their scoring is way off, everyone knows it, and Kaplan
still ships the same crap CD every year! Kaplan 800
is better written, that along with the helpful workshops is all you need from Kaplan
* The OG! The real GMAT is very, very close to the OG. The hard bin quant on the GMAT is very, very close the OG hard bin. Forget the horror stories.
Use the book to work on your weak areas, and understand
all the explanations and the concepts
behind them. ETS has some great writers, and it shows in the verbal section in this book and on the GMAT. All you need for pratice is the OG.
* Do the PowerPrep tests before the OG.
Do the GMATPreps after. Do Kaplan
in between. Use Princeton as toilet paper and ask for your money back.
* Chill out, it's easier than you think. Relax. Don't do vodka shots the night before.
* Try to know where the test center is before the test. I ran a couple of miles that morning.
* You walk in, copy down a confidentiality pledge in your own writing, wait for a few minutes..... and go!
I read a post that said if you can write, you don't need to prepare. I completely agree. I only read the questions on the practice tests. Just make sure you can get your thoughts together and an essay typed in 30 mins and hope you get something interesting to write about.. I had to write an AOA essay about real vs. plastic flowers.
If you take advice from a Q48 in a forum of Q51s, really. I ran through GMATPrep a couple of times after the first to put a ceiling on the difficulty and get a feel for how the test ramps. The real GMAT started off with a really basic question, made me think by question 4 and stop to rethink by question 9. I think I made two mistakes in a row and felt the difficulty level drop noticeably. The rest of quant was very close to mid-level OG questions, easy. I was confident in almost all my answers, but I was frustrated because the difficulty never went back to where it was. I got bounded by ETS..
It's OK to get one wrong, but it really hurts when you get them wrong in a row.. watch out.
Started easy with one CR, one SC, and one 40 line RC. I was sure of all my answers and got another killer 60+ RC a few questions after the first. I only got two BoldFace questions, both in the second half of the test; I really think these are still "experimental" as people are getting them at random spots in the test. I wanted to pay ETS back for quant, and I am confident I could not have made more than 3 mistakes on verbal, none in the first 15. GMATPrep gave me a 42 with only 4 answers wrong before, only the first of which was in the first 12 questions. Killed by ETS! Watch how you use the time
, the pattern is the same, 2 RCs early, 1 RC towards the very end. Make sure you have enough time.
I said wtf and clicked Proceed expecting a Q4x and V50, but I'll take this
Be glad to help.. I'll stick around for a bit..
KAP1 -- 590
KAP2 -- 640
PPrep1- 740, before the OG.
KAP3 -- 640
PPrep2- 710, before the OG.
GPrep1- 700, GMATPrep repeats a few OG questions.
REAL GMAT : 740 -- 98%