I have benefited a lot from GMATClub but I rarely post, so I feel obligated to at least share my experience as a token of appreciation.
My post may be a little different than others because I am not going to focus on strategies but on attitude.
A little background.
I initially planned to spend last July/Aug to do some hardcore studying and take the GMAT in Sept. Like everything else in life, it didn't work out that way. I got a promotion last summer into middle management, the whole thing was so new to me that it totally stressed me out. I merely survived the new position itself and I didn't touch GMAT at all. Things became a little better as I slowly begin to adopt my new role but I didn't officially start studying GMAT until last Christmas.
Then came Jan, in which my sister got married and I had to fly to the other side of the earth to help out (which was a great but very stressful event); I came back and my girl friend had a car accident in Feb and we had to shop around for a new car; all of a sudden my boss decided to send me to a week long business trip in early March; the 3 projects that I am working on all have the same deadline landing on the same week as I have booked my GMAT exam
So with all these interruptions, I could only manage to study at most 2-3 times a week (~1 hr sessions, cause I am so tired from other things I can't manage to do more). The final 2 weeks have been crazy due to work -- my GMAT was booked on Monday and I worked overtime on the previous Friday till 4 am and worked on Sat. Literally I only studied twice in the last 2 weeks.
I can only afford one shot because my MBA application deadline is June 1, 2008. I did 2 rounds of the official GMATPrep tests
: the 1st one 630 (1.5 months before real exam) and the 2nd one 650 (2 wks before real exam) . As most of you know people say you need to minus 30 points to have an accurate prediction of your real GMAT score. I wanted at least a 660 and needless to say I was very nervous and had many sleepless nights worrying.
I understand that it may not be appropriate to outline the details here, since this is religious related. However I am a Christian and due to a few events during the week before my GMAT, I came to the realization that GMAT is but an exam. I have already done all I could due to the circumstances, and in the worst case I will just need to postpone my MBA application for a year. It is not a matter of life and death.
With this attitude change I felt my heart lifted. I did some light weight final reviews on Sat/Sun/Mon, and made sure that I had enough rest to recover as much as possible from the overworking from the previous week.
When doing the Quants I encountered a series of easy questions in the middle. I should have worried that I screwed up but due to my attitude change I ignored the negative thought, enjoyed the easy questions and time saving, and moved on. Same case for Verbal. My new attitude really helped me not to dwell on the questions but constantly moving forward and give my best guess whenever one is needed.
To be honest when I was completed the exam I did not think I did well, but I did not hesitated to click the "submit my score" option. You must be able to imagine my thankfulness when I same the final scores.
The one single message I wanted to deliver in this post is just that, while taking GMAT/MBA is a very important decision, it is not THE decision.
- Development your own strategies. I borrowed the 2 Manhattan for Verbal and they are very very helpful. For RC thanks to their guide I get very good results during practice. However, I cannot apply everything in the Sims because Manhattan suggests to write very detailed skeleton and in doing so it takes me 3 min on avg for each RC question! So I tailored the strategy heavily. Same thing for SC and CR. There is only one strategy that will work for each person -- develop it yourself!