Hello all. At first, let me thank everybody on this forum. The plethora of resources available enhanced significantly my performance. Since I didn’t actively participate in the forums throughout my study, I would like to make a small contribution to the community by citing things that worked and did not work in my case.
1.First and foremost, don’t exhaust yourself the last two days before the exam. I did that mistake the first time. GMAT is a marathon. Your batteries should be fully charged at the time the exam starts.
2.Take a lot of FULL LENGTH practice tests, otherwise you will suffer on test day. I didn’t have the time to take practice tests, so I didn’t build up stamina for the test. The whole verbal section, both times, was very difficult.
Now for each section:
Ok, if you have a deep mathematical background and you have taken a lot of advanced math courses in your life, ranging from solving insane differential equations to computing multiple integrals as I have, DO NOT underestimate the test. Yes I know many questions may look silly, but soon you will realize that the difficulty relies not on the complexity of the problems but on factors such as time management, and making quick computations (oh lord). Do a lot of practice questions. Materials I used:
- Manhattan guides
- 1000 PS and 1000 DS
- Official guides
Important note: MAKE SURE you have mastered the difficult questions of the OG guides. And once again become confident in making quick computations.
As a non native speaker, I found verbal difficult. Except for RC which was very easy (actually in any standardized test I have taken RC tends to be the easiest part – plus you get to learn something interesting every time!!!). I did practice this part however using the 3000 RC questions. The first time I took the test I did both LSAT and GMAT difficulty questions. In the end I found out that doing LSAT passages was a waste of time, not because they are difficult, but primarily because the underlying logic of the questions is different (this applies to CR as well). Try to find an effective strategy that works for YOU and do not trust what the others say that worked for them, and stick with it on the exam day.
SC. Ok, I hate SC. Not because it’s so difficult but because my English grammar skills need improvement. If you don’t have significant gaps in English grammar and you need only work on the GMAT Grammar requirements, I suggest that you use the Manhattan Guide. Now some points to take into consideration:
-Do not rely on material different than the official guide / GMAT Prep. The first time I used the 1000SC. That didn’t help me. The second time I studied every single official question I could find. I started writing down syntax patterns that GMAT likes and doesn't like. This strategy probably was better for me.
-If you feel you have gaps in understanding concepts of the English Grammar, use a textbook dedicated toward this end. I used "A Practical English Grammar". Do not review the entire english grammar but focus only on specific topics (i.e. usage of 'might').
CR. Ok, I have mixed emotions about CR. The first time I took the exam, CR was easy. Questions seemed straightforward. The second time CR was very difficult. I don’t have any specific recommendations on CR. Material I used:
bible (please do purchase the book. It deserves it)
-1000 CR (only the first tests that are GMAT type. LSAT questions are not useful)
-All questions from Official guides / Gmat prep)
Best of luck to everybody.