I have not taken the test yet, and don't have a stellar score to back up my advice, but I think most people will agree with what I'm saying here...
Before I start...the OG is your bible, as is the GMATPrep. Its a good idea to go through the OG completely, and to do each of the GMATPrep exams twice.
1. If you took your GMATPrep without studying (or with very little studying), don't worry about the score. I took my first MGMAT test without studying at all and scored below the 600 level
Now that I look back it was a waste of good testing material. People say its good to get an idea of your raw level without studying. I agree, but would rather use some other 'dispensable' diagnostic test at an early stage.
I'd use the PR only initially, if at all. It gives you a false sense of security, because the math is on the easier side. In addition the scores are messed up. I got one answer wrong on math (PR CAT1), and got a 48.
At the beginning, focus on mastering each area in terms of the concepts you need to know and apply. This applies especially for math. Though I have not used it personally, purplemath.com seems to be a good online resource. Don't skimp on the OG math, easy at it may seem. 'Cover to cover' is the key. One more thing, understanding the solutions to each and every problem is more important than getting them right, initially. You will not hit a high math score with POE alone.
If there is one single resource which is a must have for a good math score, it is the set of math challenges
on this site. I will re-iterate what a high performer on this site said...(can't remember who)..."if you can get 30 or more on the challenges consistently, 51 is yours to lose on the GMAT". I would scale that down to 50
You are bound to see a score improvement if you spend time understanding each question type on the challenges.
I found the MGMAT math books to be average, but others seem to have thought them good. Depends on what your true baseline performance really is.
Another good resource is 4gmat e-book. Some nice tips and tricks on NP, on which there is a heavy focus.
1. SC: This forum; see the verbal section. Participate. Explain your answers. Read the stickies. Argue, disagree and fume, till you've got the basic patterns down. This can be frustrating if, like me, you walk in here thinking you speak perfect English. You may, but its unlikely that you speak GMAT-perfect english
Run through the SC1000 list in addition to the OG which must be given 1st priority always. The explanations are excellent, and so learning is the main focus.
Other good resources for SC are:
- Grammar Smart - Princeton Review
( I thought this excellent, but not GMAT-centric)
- MGMAT SC
guide (again, I found this a little over-rated, but almost everyone in the forum will recommend it, so have put it here)
2. CR: There are different resources out there, but none that I've found good enough. One of the highly rated books, is the CR bible by Killoran. I have mixed feelings about this. Its good to get some idea of the different question types, but not so good in terms of strategy. May help initially.
I think that with CR, practice helps a lot. I sucked at CR 4 months ago when I started. I've gained a lot through forum interaction, CR 1000, and the LSAT material. I'd recommend the same.
3. RC: Different methods advocated here. I'd say do a search on RC tips and see what works for you. I'll summarize the main methods here:-
a. Active reading: Get involved with the passage. Initially, don't worry about timing. Try to get into the author's shoes and understand the purpope of the passage, the structure, tone etc...this approach takes time, but I truly believe that its the only fail-safe one.
b. rhyme/MGMAT method: I tried this for a while, and it was very tempting. However, I think this does not always work for mere mortals like me. I strongly believe that rhyme's success with this method stems largely from his superhuman ability to comprehend, and not from any huge advantages from this method. (rhyme, i know you're going to come at me with a gun for saying this
In terms of material, I'd recommend LSAT RC
once you're done with OG.
Lastly, get prepared for a marathon. If you're short of inspiration, read about other's experiences, and drive yourself to do better.
A note: If you're Indian, which I'm pretty sure you are if your username is your real name, you'd typically be stronger in math than in verbal. If this is the case, then its very likely that you will need to bank on a very good to stellar math performance to get to your target.