I have visited this site often, but have contributed very little. I hope that posting my experience might be helpful to others. My first shot at the test was in October. I had prepared for about one month using Princeton Review
, PowerPrep, and 800-Score. Although the advice on this site was to practice weaknesses and not concentrate completely on practice tests, I did not listen! I took many practice tests and obviously did not learn enough. My first attempt was a 570.
I immediately ordered the OG. Today I scored 660. I am not applying to a top ten, have a strong UG GPA, have a CPA license, and have 11 years experience. I think that I will stop with the 660. The odd thing is that I have always done well in math. The GMAT is an exception. My breakdown was 57% Quant and 94% Verbal.
I do want to point out my strategies over the last few weeks that helped to raise my score. Maybe it can help some of the others that have been surprised by low first time scores.
I worked OG. If I answered a problem incorrectly, I read the solution and worked the problem again. Just reading the solution is not enough. I also circled those questions. If a problem took too long, I studied the OG approach to determine if there was a better approach. I also circled these problems. After completing all problems, I started over with the circled ones and continued this procedure until I understood all the problems. Please do not make the mistake of reading the solution and moving on. I learned from experience that things do not stick if you do not work through them.
I also reviewed problems on this site. The strategies that I learned from others were very helpful. Learn from this site and contribute. I am very pleased with the helpful attitude that everyone has.
I think that my major problem with the Quant section is nerves and timing. The concepts on the exam were not very different from OG. I just seem to panic when the clock is running. Although I know that it is not easy, attempt to relax. It will make a difference. I think I could have hit 700 if I had relaxed.
There were no surprises in the verbal section. I have been very good at CR from the beginning and did not review that section of OG. RC requires practice. Always read the solutions in OG so that you get familiar with GMAT THINKING. SC has always been my verbal weakness, but the questions today did not seem that difficult. I worked OG and read all of the solutions. I think that is the best way to understand the types of errors that you will see on the test.
I hope that raising my score 90 points can give some encouragement to others that have been disappointed. Thank you to everyone on this site. You have made a difference. If I can answer any questions, I will be happy to try.
Good luck to everyone