Hey all, novice here in need of your expert advice. Warning, long-ish post ahead.
Took one of the two practice tests offered by the GMAC. Scored a 760. Should note that prior to this, I did take the diagnostic test from the Official Guide book, as I wanted to first familiarize myself with the types of questions on the GMAT, so that I wasn't facing the "real" computer-adaptive diagnostic test stone-cold and thus wasting a test.
I realize at this point, most people would exclaim that 760 is good, but I confess I would really like to aim for higher. (Perfect would be nice, but I realize the odds are stacked against me.) Rest assured, I'm not trying to be anal. It's just that I had a shitty GPA in college (does it count a little less against me if my school is infamous for its grade deflation policy? No? Bummer), and I see the GMAT as my only chance to keep admissions committees from immediately tossing my application in the trash bin. I'm aiming/hoping for a top 10 business school (but not applying for another year at least).
Breakdown of my score: Weirdly, got more math questions wrong than verbal (7 versus 4, if I recall correctly), even though math has always been my strong suit. Those were mostly concentrated in data sufficiency, and I rushed through the hardest ones as I almost ran out of time on the section. Also weirdly, most of my incorrect verbal questions were in sentence correction - even though I consider that my strong suit in verbal. I'm actually most terrified of critical reasoning and reading comprehension, in that order. And yet I breezed through verbal with 20 minutes to spare, but almost had a panic attack on math.
After a somewhat careful review of the most popular GMAT prep books, I've decided to go with:
- Kaplan 800
- Manhattan GMAT Series
- 3 Official Guides (Original, Verbal, Quantitative)
What I really, really want, though, is completely thorough practice on, well, everything, but particularly the toughest questions, and I'm not sure my 3 chosen books/sets fulfill that need. My score breakdown really threw me for a loop, as I thought I would have to spend most of my time on CR and RC, yet my score would seem to indicate I should be focusing on SC and DS instead. So I think I now have to do everything equally instead.
I realize the best GMAT books (particularly for me) may not be (often are not?) the most popular GMAT books, or even specifically about the GMAT. Hence why I'm here, to cull your expert opinions, as most of the GMAT advice I've found elsewhere, unfortunately, hasn't been hugely helpful to advanced scorers like me, for whom it's going to be vertical climbing all the way up.
I'm also looking for a good/the best analysis of an issue/argument essay book(s) you can recommend. Yeah, they don't count towards my score, but I still didn't do too great on them on the diagnostic.
And now I'm going to be a wee bit anal: Is it actually possible to get 13 questions wrong on the GMAT and still get a 760? Mind you, last standardized test I took was the SAT (years ago), and as I recall, a single question wrong there docked you 10 points. It's probably also why I'm still having difficulty adjusting my brain to think that 700+ on the GMAT is a decent score - still got the SAT mindset firmly wrapped on.