So, my stomach was crying out loud when I was taking the verbal session. The person next to me started typing loudly when I was on question #20? Concentrate, I told myself. Tip of the pen was getting dry every time I was on a new question. I almost panicked. Just got get through this. 1 minute and 47 seconds left and I was on question #39. When I clicked on the button to accept my score, my hands were shaking and my eyes were closed.
I was so nervous on the math session that I had no idea what I was reading at one point. You might too.
I did a lot of preparation for this test. I figure most of the people reading this are feeling what I was feeling a few weeks ago when I was reading someone else' tips. I will keep it simple.
1.OG OG OG (11 and 12) Know the whys for the questions you did wrong - I know sometimes the explanations given by OG are vague and not very convincing - Google the questions, sometimes people in different forums will offer better explanations.
2. Manhattan GMAT books
+ practice exams. Best by far - hands down. The tests are known to be hard on the quants. I did all 6 of them and stopped after the 7th one because the questions started to repeat. ( my scores were 650, 700, 680, 720, 760, 700 and 730)
3. GMATclub was really helpful on the math preparation. I did about 7 sets during the last two weeks before the test. Also downloaded various documents (study notes) in the Verbal session.
4. I did some misc books but they can be dangerous and misleading. I did not benefit much from Kaplan
(too expensive and not very helpful) or Princeton review
1)Use a log file to track your progress and review to make sure you understand why you did them wrong. If you cannot figure out, google it or join discussion in a forum.
2) Quality over quantity.
3) Mocking tests are crucial towards the end of your preparation. I did the two prep tests from GMAC one (710) at a month and a half before and the other one (730) at a week before the test.
4) Practice on your essay writings early on. I started two weeks before the test and freaked out - it seemed that I tended to go over time on the argument one ( I fixed it by writing the opening paragraph and conclusion first before filling out the supporting ideas on the test). Use the template offered on this forum by the Chineseburned.
1) Go to the test center a few days before the real test. Make sure you know where the test center is located in the building so you park close to the entrance. ( at least have an idea - you can still choose to park far and walk a bit to calm yourself)
2) Eat plain food the night before the test.
3) Take a nyquil if you really cannot sleep the night before and make sure you sleep enough.
4) Bring a banana or two to eat during the test. No tea or coffee to make your hands shake or go to the bathroom all the time
5)Take 5 -6 minutes during the break - they need to scan your palm vain to let you in. I was late for the first break and lost 2 minutes for math. =(
6) Breathe and believe in yourself.
Make sure you have moral support from your friends, who are understanding that you have to take a break from them to prepare for the test. And they will encourage you along the way.
I studied for 4 months and worked full time.
Again, best luck to all of you who are studying for the exam.
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