I've been an observer of this forum for some time now, but this is my first post. I've always found it very helpful to read others' GMAT stories, so I figured I'd post mine and solicit some advice since I've had some frustrations and haven't reached my goal of 700+ yet. I started prepping back in January with the Kaplan Premier
book and the OGs. My first ever GMAT Prep was a 600 in early January. I set a date, studied for 2-3 hours a night on weeknights and about 6-7 hours total on weekends for two months and took the exam in early March. Two weeks before the exam, I re-took the first GMAT Prep exam and got a 690 (42Q, 42V). I prepared a bit more in the two weeks leading up to the exam and took the second GMAT Prep (which I had never taken before) two days before test day and got a 730 (46Q, 44V under simulated conditions with AWA beforehand). I was confident that I was where I needed to be and I relaxed for the next couple of days then took the exam. I got a very disappointing 660 (47Q, 34V, 6.0 AWA), so it was back to the drawing board.
I took a couple of weeks off and re-scheduled the exam for April 22nd (today), confident that the first score was a fluke. I had heard really good things about the Manhattan guides, so I bought the sentence correction and critical reasoning books with hopes of improving my verbal score. The guides were useful, particularly the sentence correction, but I really found the Manhattan CATs to be the most useful. I went through the answers in detail after each test and found that the strategies/explanations were really good. I took one test every Wednesday and Saturday the three weeks leading up to the test. Anyway, to frame my situation a bit more, the results of my Manhattan CATs are as follows:
MGMAT CAT 1: 630 (36Q, 40V) - don't put a lot of weight into this one b/c there were a lot of distractions during the quant section
MGMAT CAT 2: 700 (46Q, 39V)
MGMAT CAT 3: 690 (45Q, 39V)
MGMAT CAT 4: 680 (42Q, 40V)
MGMAT CAT 5: 700 (44Q, 41V)
MGMAT CAT 6: 730 (45Q, 44V)
Took the test this afternoon and got another disappointing 660 (42Q, 40V). Anyway, I can't figure out what the issue is. I think I'm going to look into a class, but am wondering what you guys would recommend. A friend said the Knewton class is effective and they offer the 50 point guarantee. I'd ideally like to have the GMAT out of the way by the summer so I can apply in the fall, but I need a 700+ score in order to do that. Is the real GMAT just right in this case? Is a 660 my real score? Pretty discouraged at the moment so I'm trying to take everything into consideration. Appreciate any advice you guys can offer.