Well, I don't how much value this will be any of you but I wanted to thank the GMAT Club community for aggregating all the information I ever needed to attain my goal for this test. I wanted to break 600 but scored 600 instead. Fine. The non-target schools I am applying to have GMAT averages of less than 550 and my program isn't an MBA.
Anyhow, I noticed on several occasions that people would ask if they should take the exam again or question whether they thought they had the intellectual faculties to do well on this exam thus not even considering a second attempt. Well I can honestly say that if this was an argument analysis question, I would have volumes of information to contribute, however, I'll make it short.
I for one managed to increase my score by 120 (480 to 600) points in little over a month and I owe much of it to this site for providing all the information on the materials I would need to accomplish this feat. It was a grueling task for me since I suffered all through out my life of serious ADHD (received extended testing time on tests while in college). Many of you may not recognize this as an actual disorder, but trust me, it most certainly is - at least for me it is. None the less, if you let a sub 500 score dictate your life, you are wrong. It can be beaten. The question is how bad do you want that target score (I don't mean to sound like one of those MMA guys peddling fitness equipment, but the cliche fits). If you know your weaknesses, then you know what must be done to overcome you deficiencies.
At any rate, I found that the absolute best self test preparation has been Manhattan GMAT
. The books seem pricey at first, but trust me, anything beats having to drag your ass on over to the testing center for a second round of Pearson Vue's bullsh**. While in college I had taken a lot of upper division math courses and I think I let this get to my head. Do every exercise in the MGMAT series
- don't skim anything - do everything. For people like me, I needed hundreds of hours of practice to get to where I was able to break each question down like field stripping a rifle.
I also used 800score - they are good for SC, RC and CR. The quant portion was no where as elaborate MGMAT. Their counting and permutation chapter was not bad but as a whole, given how hard their practice CAT tests are in quant. it does not prepare you well enough. But hey, for 39.99 its not bad for a decent foundation. Cracking the GMAT
with TPR - way too easy. Things only get interesting when you are tackling questions in their 700-800 question bank. However, the verbal section did emulate the real GMAT well. The GMAT verbal I took this afternoon was tough. TPR is also good for AWA templates which are very helpful.
Although I am content, I will confront this demon one more time in August with another three or four months of casual study to see if I can achieve the ranks of the elite 700+ crowd. If I were to part a final work of advice: TAKE THE TEST WHEN YOU ARE READY (ex: apply to a program, then take exam. Horrible idea.)