Now for the good stuff.
1. Kaplan Live
2010 with Internet access- great for strategy if you have never taken an American standardized test before. Content was ok, but nothing spectacular.
Math book- Good for review of fundamentals
3. Kaplan 800
- worthless worthless worthless
4. Manhattan SC- The best book I bought- worth every penny. Access to Manhattan online CATs made this book even more amazing.
5. OG Guide 12 Edition, OG Math OG
Verbal- second editions- make this the first purchase. Cant beat real Qs. Unless you are a GENIUS you can use the practice.
6. Read through a friends CR Bible by Powerscore- good strategies if you are poor at CR, my hit rate after OG was around 94% so I didnt use their strategies too much. Worth the $ if you need the help.
General Prep Strategy: I can't do anything without knowing everything about it beforehand (internet generation i suppose). After some searching came across this board as well as Testmagic. Use both. I prefer the format here, but both have invaluable information. If it was not for previous forum members posting how they got to their score I would never have gotten this far. A million thanks to all the GMATclub folks. My suggestion: spend time scouring the boards for tips, find which ones fit your goals, and apply them. I can barely think right now and I am writing this post because I feel like I owe one to this board.
Make a plan, put it onto a calendar, and stick to it. Sounds simple, but when your buddies come around on Fri and Sat night looking to go drinking, its hard.
Started out really weak on prob/perm/comb questions. I worked to make it one of my strengths. Even though I didnt get any Qs on it, I am glad I can now tell you the probability of it raining exactly 2 days out of 7 if the probability of it raining on any given day is 0.4.
Make an error log
like everyone else here advises. My one note about error logs: if it takes you more than 1 min 45 sec to do a problem, add it to your error log
, get on this board and find the faster way of doing it. GMAT is about time management first and foremost.
Flashcards!: Make flashcards of relevant equations from the GMATClub mathbook (invaluable resource) and memorize them. By test day, they should come second nature to you.
RC: Didnt do much to "study" here as I did this nonstop for 4 years in college. I suggest getting a subscription to a periodical of your choice (I have been an avid Economist
reader for some time now) and read articles that you have no interest in. I got a few science RCs and a race passage. Nothing too difficult, but again this was my strength.
CR: Usually I read the question and use my judgement. I suggest reading through the CR Bible and pick out what works for you. Focus on breaking down arguments into evidence, conclusion, and other info. This makes the strengthen/weaken questions much easier. I got one Boldface Q, nothing too difficult.
SC: I thought this would be my strength before I started as I was an editor in HS for the paper. The GMAT seems to have their own warped sense of rules, but they are easy to learn. Get the Manhattan SC book, make flashcards of EVERYTHING, and slowly start to memorize the rules. This book is especially helpful for non-native speakers as it has a great idiom section.
Using OG intelligently:
My suggestion is to not use the OG until you have studied and are ready to see how you are doing. My suggestion is to wait at least one month after you start studying. These questions are great, use them wisely.
Practice Test Scores (because you really want to know how you are doing)Kaplan
Diagnostic (when i first started)- 600
Kap 1- 650
Kap 2- 660
Kap 3- 640
Kap 4- 590 (eeeek!)
Kap 5- 630
Kap 6- 670
Kap 1- retake after studying for 2 months- 740
GPrep1- 4 weeks out- 720
Gprep2- 3 Weeks out- 730
Gprep1- 2 weeks out- retake 760
Gprep2- 1 week out- retake- 780
Manhattan Tests (4 weeks-1 week out)
My brain is turning off. Ill update more when I can think of it. All in all, im glad I am done. Next step is to get my apps finished. Plan to apply to Columbia, Booth, Stern, Kellogg, Stanford for R2. If you have any Qs, please ask.
"Any school that meets you and still lets you in is not a good enough school to go to" - my mom upon hearing i got in