I just took the GMAT for the second time today and I got 690 (Q 47, V 39). My first try was last Nov 2005 and I got 640 (Q 41, V 35).
Here's what I did differently this time around:
I prepared by using only the OG 10th
ed, and the GMAT Prep, Power Prep software from Pearson and ETS, respectively.
I used all the 7 workbooks of Manhattan GMAT
to give me a good grasp of the basics. The Sentence Correction guide is very useful, but the Math guides are also good if you need to brush up on quant.
Here are my practice scores (before my second crack at the GMAT):
PP 1 - 720 (Q 49, V 38)
PP 2 - 700 (Q 47, V 39)
GMAT Prep 1 - 700 (Q 48, V 38)
GMAT Prep 2 - 680 (Q 42, V 41) - I made a lot of careless mistakes and I guessed on several problems in the end since I ran out of time (for Quant only).
On the actual GMAT, I got a perm/combo question, several stat (mean and median) and geometry questions. The level of difficulty in quant was similar to GMAT Prep.
I had to guess blindly on some questions in quant because they were too time consuming and I didn't know how to solve them. However, I still got 47 in quant so you don't need to get all the questions correct to get a relatively good score in quant.
The level of difficulty for verbal was similar to OG 10th
Good luck to those taking the GMAT and I hope that my post will inspire people who did not get the score they want on their previous attempts.
The GMAT can be conquered. For me, it took a change in approach (I did not use OG 10th
ed exclusively before and I hired a private instructor from Manhattan GMAT
for a few hours) and some practice with actual GMAT questions (PP and GMAT Prep) to help me get the score I want.
I'm not going after 700 anymore because I heard that some of the top schools are only looking for scores above 80% for both quant and verbal, not necessarily 700+.