I took the GMAT about the month ago and got a 750. My "I'm not retaking" score was anything above a 720, and I got it. I went to undergrad finance at a top school, and worked at an investment bank for a while, but I wouldn't consider myself overly good at math, and I'm just above average at verbal. What I am, though, is confident, a master of efficiency, and I know myself. I only studied for about 2 months in my spare time (~5 hours a week) and didn't spend any money on expensive prep classes, only borrowed Manhattan GMAT books
. I did this by giving up.
What I mean by this, is that I conceded the fact that I wasn't going to get an 800. I wasn't going to get a 790, and probably with years of studying, still couldn't get a 780 or even 770. Doing this I really think cut my preparation time in about half. I basically realized what complex math problems I wouldn't be able to learn without hours of studying, and completely ignored them. The remaining 90 of problems I didn't learn the answer, or how the book says to solve the problem, I learned how I
could solve it and problems like it. Each person does different things well, and you just have to learn how to use what you know well to solve each problem, and if you learn how to do it quickly, you'll score well. Thursday's with Ron really taught me how to do this efficiently.
Don't get caught up on a certain really hard problem, because the math section is so broad that chances are you wouldn't come across one just like it if you took 10 tests. Just learn what the writers of the test are trying to test, and move on. For the verbal, I don't really have any advice except that: parallels. Every sentence correction that came up, I immediately tried to make every verb, every adjective, every tense, and every pronoun line up. Chances are, that's what they're testing. Other than that, just go with what sounds the most natural.
My 3 pieces of advice:
1. Be confident in yourself during the test. You have to be 100% confident in your abilities or you'll waste time, and your mind will be so cluttered you'll make a lot more dumb mistakes that will cost you.
2. Watch your time. I only took a few practice tests, but when I did, I consistently had 15 or so minutes left in each section. I work quick. During the actual exam though, I tried to be so thorough and double check hard questions, I almost ran out of time, and did run out of time on the IR section, but whatever it's the IR section.
3. Van Halen. My test was around noon, and my test day strategy consisted of sleeping in, working out (I box and did some light weight lifting to get blood/endorphins going), did about 15 practice questions from each math and verbal to warm up about an hour before (I suggest you warm up as well, really helped me studying too), and listened to Van Halen. Plenty of Van Halen. Although you need to remain calm during the test, it definitely helps to be pumped up and in a good mood.
Oh, also, my studying regimen was to first take a day or two to review the major formulas, triangle angles, circles, tons of stuff like that, and to learn some basic verbal questions. After that, 90% of the time was a book by I believe Princeton Review that was "700+ questions, the advanced student's guide" or something like that. It really helped me narrow down what I knew and didn't know.
Anyway, this is my first and probably last post on here, but feel free to msg me with any questions, or if you want to buy my books haha.