It is hard to believe that I'm writing this having already taken the exam. As you can probably surmise from the topic, I'm extremely pleased with my score. I don't want to turn this into a multi-paragraph run-on ramble of hardship and perseverance. Instead, I would like to share a few unoriginal nuggets of wisdom. I say "unoriginal" because everything I lay out here has already been mentioned one way or another in this forum. I'm just underscoring the stuff I found most useful/effective.
Tiny bit of the typical background for the very curious:
Study materials: OG11
, OG Verbal
, OG Quant
, PowerScore SC
Bible, Manhattan GMAT number properties
and inequalities books, Kaplan800
, some GMAT Challenges from this site.
Special kudos to Jeff for his Math Bible from gmathacks: http://www.gmathacks.com
Best study materials for math:
Math Bible by Jeff Sackmann (gmathacks.com), hands down.
, OG Quant
GMAT Club challenges
Best study materials for verbal:
SC: PowerScore SC
, Kaplan 800
, The Economist
PowerPrep1: 620 (before study)
MGMAT CAT 1: 700 (1 month before exam)
PowerPrep2: 750 Q48, V44 (2 weeks before exam)
actual GMAT: 770 Q49, V46
1. Assess your abilities and structure your study plan accordingly. Let go of the notion that you are an amazingly brainy creature because of that killer GPA or SAT score. GMAT is a beast like no other, and demands a level of respect that is unmatched by other intellectual challenges you've (likely) faced before. Starting out pretty good in math can be tricky, since it is not readily apparent which areas or specific topics or even sub-topics you must review. A key challenge for those performing "pretty well" but still under 700 from the get-go is to do enough problems to expose the weak areas, note these explicitly, and focus your further training to improve in those aspects of quant or verbal.
2. Keep your physical health and fitness in line with your mental training. Eat healthy, take vitamins, and hit that gym. Doing a good amount of cardio will go a long way to give you clarity of mind, focus, and stamina necessary to score high on this multi-hour exam.
For further reference on #2, read my post here:
3. I wrote a long post on this one, but an important factor in preparation is to attack questions of different levels of difficulty separately and target different "hit rates" in each level. For the coveted 700, you need to be nearly perfect on easy to medium questions and "not too horrible" on the really difficult questions. Your study should flow in the following progression: (1) fundamentals, (2) carelessness, (3) advanced math tricks and techniques.
Full post here:
When taking the test, remember the following five pillars (in order). These helped me a great deal while I was under the pressure of the exam:
1. Don't spend too much time on any one question.
2. Keep your cool: stay relaxed, focused, and don't rush.
3. Write out your work.
4. Double check your calculations.
5. Have fun with it.
Many thanks to those on this forum who offered advice, answered my questions, shared their own experiences, and last, but not least, posted their own questions and challenges giving me the opportunity to share and thereby further solidify my knowledge. Best of luck to all of you!