Congats on the 640. Thats what I got when I took the real exam. I'm now studying for an April 19th date, trying to push my score higher. Took a practice powerprep yesterday and nearly !(*@# my pants when 720 popped up. It was all verbal improvement.
A few things I noticed:
1) It's faaar to easy to get a problem wrong, flip to the back, and say "Aaah, ok I see what I did wrong." and move on. If its somthing stupid like you divided 6 by 2 and wrote and wrote 2 down instead of 3, because you were moving fast, then its just carelessness and, unfortunately, a certain of that is bound to happen. If its because you just couldnt figure out how to solve it...
So I realized that there were a few areas I was "scared of" : Exponents, fractions and decimals and some of those chemical mixture problems as well as some of those digit problems (What is the greatest prime factor of 4^17 - 2^19 kind of problems - still not sure how to solve those).
I'm now just forcing myself to go back through these questions and do them, no matter how painful they are to do, no matter how long it takes.
1) Tell me where you got hte damn powerprep software. I've been looking for it for weeks.
2) If you are having problems with specific kinds of questions, consider getting the Manhattan books
on those subjects. I find them extremely helpful and light years better than Kaplan
3) If you don't know what kinds of problems you are having trouble with - find out. It's usually pretty easy. What makes you want to vomit when you see it? I dont vomit at rate problems, I smile. I dont' vomit at venn diagram problems. If you get scared when you see a problem, thats where your focus should be.
4) Keep an error log
. It's a pain in the ass, but do it.
5) GO BACK OVER THAT LOG! This is where I was foolishly hurting myself - I'd keep a log of every question, how long each question took me, and everything in an excel sheet, but I rarely, if ever, went back. I'd say "Well I got 90% right, I'm pretty good at these." Not good enough.
6) Try and figure out where your scores vary - is there a place where you are just inconsistent - my practice exams:
test 1: 44 - 45 / 40 - 46
test 2: 43 - 44 / 38 - 39
test 3: 46 - 48 / 36 - 37
test 4: 44 - 45 / 38 - 39
test 5: 44 - 45 / 38 - 39
As you can see, my math was pretty consistent 44-45 three times with a total range of 43-48. But my verbal range was all over the board 36-46? Thats a HUGE range. Whats going on?
On the real exam, sure enough, I got a 35 on verbal and 43 on math. This told me that I'd unperformed on verbal compared to what I should, or could get. Needless to say, a 46 on verbal combined witha 43 on math would have yielded a MUCH different total score.
So I decided to focus on the verbal for a week.
Took a gmat powerprep last week, 46 quant, 44 verbal. 720 overall.
Now to repeat that on April 19th.
As for the intimidation factor,
Yes, I agree with you. It's pretty frustrating to see people with a 700 saying "Do I try again!!?" or "I studied for a week and got a 720, do I try again?". The key I think to keeping your spirits up is to remember this:
A GMAT is one piece of the application. I know people at Kellogg who got in with a 720. I know one who got a 610. Hell, I even know one who got a 550 (granted he had to reapply again). I know someone with a 760 who didn't get in.
Figure out what problems make you scared. When you see one, take note of what kind it is. Focus on those. Determine if you are all over the board on one of hte areas, and hone in on that piece. (For me, the cause was mostly SC as the problem).