First of all, many many thanks from all my heart goes to BB and all of his tremendous work here. I don't know if this is the best site for getting help with the GMAT because I used only this, but for sure one can learn how to score 700+ using this resource. And this is awesome.
Here is my experience. I will focus more on my experience and I will just enumerate the materials used.
- master gmat - I made a 3 months subscription, went through all the verbal and quant, felt prepared
. In November 2012 took a simulation test with included in the package, scored 690, felt a little bit disappointed, but ok. Luckily I decided to take another simulation in GMATPrep soft and bang... scored 610 and felt like a punch in my stomach. Breath in breath out... take one hour to reconsider my plan. Do a lot of research for best GMAT resources and came to MGMAT. Conclusion - it is ok for an introduction, but I don't think somebody can score more that 650 using that software. I might be wrong, but this is how I feel.
- MGMAT - full package + advanced quant. Worked like a charm for me, especially for SC and RC.
- PowerScore - CR bible - the best, in my view.
- GMATClub tests
- very good, force you to think deeply. I am good at math, but get around 50% wrong in my first tests.
- GMATClub Grammar Book - very very good.
- MGMAT CAT - very good, but a little too much work for each problem. In the real GMAT the I had far less calculations to make.
And now here are my personal suggestions, that contribute the most to my success:
1 - timing - I had some check points after every 5 questions. For math it was easy, just subtract 10 min for every set of 5. For verbal I made a uniform distribution and memorize all the checkpoints. In the real exam I was a little bit in advance in both sections and I kind of relaxed.
2 - know your exam site - even if seems not a big deal, for me it was. I tried to visit it the day before and went at the address that I knew. And... big surprise... the site doesn't administrate GMAT. Look again on the internet and find out that I got the wrong site. Mine was 15km away directly through the city. It took me one hour to drive there, for sure I would have missed my exam if I didn't check it one day before. Went there, verified my appointment for the next day. Relaxed.
3 - In the week before the test I simulate 5 CATs in 5 different days, exactly like I would have the exam. At the exam hour, eating exactly what I did in the G day (I eat a dark chocolate (85% cocoa) tablet - 100g - divided in 4 - two portions half an hour before the exam, and one in each break). In each break washed my face with cool water, forced myself to use the bathroom. In this way I knew exactly how my body would react in the test day. It is very important to know yourself very well and how do you perform.
4 - After my first CAT I tried to focus on the first 10Q and tried to get them all correct. Never succeeded, but I knew it was very important. Decided to spend an extra 5 minutes on the first 10Q in the real exam if needed. Thanks again to BB and this forum to the various simulations in the GMATPrep.
5 - Two nights before the exam I slept very little, just to be tired in the night before the exam. At 21:00 in the night before I went to a massage (it relaxes me very much), and I fall asleep at 23:00. Slept until 6:45 and felt really good.
6 - In the exam day I used my motivational tactic, which is best summarized in the presentation from TED - amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are . It really helps me to just tell myself what it will happen. And believe it. All that morning, even if while I was driving, I imagine myself after the test seeing 750 on the screen.
7 - I arrived one hour before the exam, just to make sure I will be in time. Again, this is a time when you don't need any surprise. You just have to be a ticking mechanism, with a very precise goal.
Went ok through AWA and IR (I don't know my score there). For AWA I had my own template, based on the one provided by chineseburned - great template man. Didn't practice a lot (just wrote 5 essays two days before the exam), hope I will score ok. For the IR I guessed on a very long question but solve the others. First break, eat my chocolate, wash my face, got back into the exam.
For the Quant I noticed that the problems didn't require a lot of calculations, but logic. I had time to play the "devil's advocate" role for most of the questions and fix two answers in this way. Great technique if you have time. One Q didn't knew how to solve it, one Q went through deep calculations and got them wrong. Guessed at both of them, more or less educated
. I think I got both wrong.
Break - eat - wash - went back.
In the verbal part I got stuck with one CR from the first 10 for which I spent around 4 minutes. And I think I got it wrong. A little panic, but I still follow my plan. After the first 10Q I was 2 minutes behind. Told myself it was ok, move on and try every question. After 20Q I was still 1 minute behind the schedule, decided to still not guess. After 30 minutes I was on the schedule and relaxed. Finished this part 2 minutes before the time.
Move through all the questions after the exam that had default values, didn't pay attention to any of that, unfortunately. Suddenly the screen with a red text appears. Read 3 times the text, choose to report scores. After 30 seconds I see my 740 (Q50, V41) - perfect for me.
This was my experience and if I would choose only one thing that made the greatest difference I choose the practice in the exact exam condition.
Hope this will be helpful to someone and wish you all good luck.