In addition to the habits I published before, this post outlines more preparation-specific points.
I have to make a couple of notes here, so you can better understand where I come from.
- I had very strong prior quant background and scored 710 on my first GMAT Prep practice test. I didn’t score below 690 on any practice tests except Kaplan
- I am not a native speaker but speak only English at work1. Books
a. Official guide 12
+ Verbal & Quant guides
b. MGMAT - 8 guides + advanced quant2. Knowledge is the king
a. Prepare well, make sure you understand the basics. Make sure you know how you are going to solve the question a few seconds after you read it or even mid-way
b. Don’t waste time on questions you can’t solve. Solve them afterwards.
c. Intelligent guessing in Quant section might work for some but it didn’t work for me at all. On 700+ level with a lot of stress I couldn’t spot any obvious patterns and guessed randomly. I noticed this lack of my ability early and focused on understanding every single concept instead of learning the tricks.3. Think and live GMAT
a. Try to calculate equations in your mind. I would just make up random numbers and try to sum and multiply them, e.g. 14x12, 37 + 54, etc.
b. Use an app such as "Зарядка для мозгов". It’s in Russian but you don’t need to know the language to practice basic quant skills - math operations with 2 digit numbers, memorising of long sequences of numbers, etc.http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/zaradka- ... 32773?mt=8
c. Write emails without errors.
d. Write effective emails compliant with AWA requirements.
e. Spot errors in texts you read and speech you hear. Force yourself to speak without errors.3. Timing
I could solve most questions but spent a lot of time on some.
a. Applying some of MGMAT’s templates aided a lot because it helped to structure the process.
b. Do timed tests - I did all free tests + MGMAT’s tests + a few GmatClub’s tests.
c. GmatClub’s iPad app to track the time is a great aid4. Scratch pad is your friend
a. Especially if you are not a native speaker, make sure you use the notepad. In a stress environment, it is easy to ignore something or read 8 instead of 6 and come up with a ridiculous answer. The scratch pad really helps to structure your thoughts. Especially on RC
b. Get yourself one from MGMAT. At this point this might sound as if I over-promote MGMAT
c. Don’t worry about the size of your scribbles - you will be given a new scratch pad if you need. I used up 4 in total.
d. I drew 5 vertical lines on each page, each line representing an answer choice. I crossed out the ones I eliminated when I was using elimination technique. Drawing lines across the page helps to save time compared to writing A B C D E.Question types hints1. PS
a. Solve them. That’s the bottom line.2. DS
a. Make sure you don’t over-solve but if the answer is too obvious make sure you solve it to the end. There are a lot of tricky questions that seem to have obvious answers but those are traps.
b. Eliminate wrong answers3. RC
a. Take your time for reading the text properly and take notes
b. Eliminate wrong answers
c. Try not to return to the text or even to the notes! Notes just help you engage in active reading and memorise the text.4. CR
a. Eliminate wrong answers
b. Negate the answer choices if in doubt
c. Guess and move on when in doubt5. SC
a. Know the rules! I have gone through MGMAT SC
Guide 4 times on my bus rides. Idioms were the most difficult part because as a non-native speaker I had to memorise those that I didn’t use.
b. Look for obvious errors and eliminate6. AWA
a. Make sure you prepare - it's not that easy as it might seem.
b. I bought the official AWA rater and received a devastating 3.5 while I thought I was a great writer. It helped me realise that I didn’t write the way they wanted.
c. There are specific patters they look for. Apply them and you are done. Use this post to prepare how-to-get-6-0-awa-my-guide-64327.html
d. Once you pass the test, make sure you forget these aggressive criticising habits! They won’t serve you well in essays.
Hope this helps!