'Morning Brett. I guess I don't need to tell you that strategy is crucial in these things. I agree with the others that you can indeed bring your score up, certainly to the 700 level if you want it enough.
Now, every person is different, but I think I have spotted several specific mistakes you can learn from before your next try. And because of your age and ability, I certainly agree that another go, expensive and difficult though it is, is worth your while.
OK, to begin. The math timing did not hurt you as bad as you think. This is evident from the fact that you appear to have only had to rush the last one or two questions. It is also evident from the low Verbal component to your score. Also, I got the sense that maybe the last 2 days before the test you were cramming? If so, all that did was fry your nerves when you needed rest the most. Also, I did not see any evidence in your words that you created and used an error log
. So, there's room to set a better course.
I should stop here and mention that
A - I am going on 46 years old, so I understand the age thing.
B - I got a 730 (48 Q, 42 V, 6.0 AWA) on my GMAT in March
just so you know where I am coming from.
Now then, to simplify the matter you need to start with focus on your target: Getting into the best possible school for your MBA. If the schools ask for a "minimum" of 580, then honestly you want a 650+ to get their attention. It's always a good idea to give more than a required minimum.
Next, you want to set a schedule. If you have that much time before your application deadlines, give yourself about two or three months at least before your next test. While I understand the desire to run right out and slam that score where you want it, you need to be sure it's ready; while some schools will accept the highest or most recent score for their admissions consideration, do not forget that they will be told your last three scores (if you had that many), so if the first was not all you want, then the second should be significantly better. The '580' is still considered above-average, so it's not going to be a bad thing as long as you are ready for the rematch.
As you will have noticed, the GMAT is rough on those of us who have been out of school for a while. I mean, Geometry? I took that back in 8th Grade
, and have had little call for it since then. And as for Verbal, it should be no surprise, sadly, that extensive use of American idioms and vernacular severely corrodes the grammatical knowledge we collected in school. So there's no choice but to go back and repair that knowledge, and to do in a methodical manner.
I mentioned the error log
. That can be your very best friend in GMAT prep. It will track what you are missing, and help you focus on where you can improve the most. That translates directly into points.
And last but not least, the night before the test, relax and enjoy yourself, and make sure you get a good night's sleep. You need to be rested and calm when you take the GMAT.