I just found this website at the end of last week and I'm so glad I did because I got some great advice in the last few days before the test. I wrote yesterday and was fortunate enough to score 700...so I don't have to go through it again. The highest I had scored on the practice tests was 640 so don't let those get you down (especially the Kaplans...more on that later).
Two key posts that I found on here really helped me on my most troubling subjects. The data sufficiency/quantitative post by necromonger was great. I was able to make some educated guesses that I probably would not have previously made without those strategies. There was also a file on verbal entitled things_to_remember_for_sc_145 that I saved with some great sentence correction tips. I'm really sorry but I don't remember who wrote it and I can't seem to find it now. Whoever it was pointed out some of the exact issues that I was having trouble with and couldn't find easily in the books.
As for the study guides, I used PR, Kaplan
, and 800score.com. PR was very helpful as a first guide to go over what the gmat is like and give you some tips that you can use when writing, but the questions were minimal. You have to buy the OG because it is the only place to get real questions (and lots of them). I really think that no tricks are successful without putting in the practice questions. As for Kaplan
...I'm glad I borrowed it. I don't mean to really slag it because some might find it useful but it was not good enough for me. I didn't find it as good as PR for tips and explanations, and it definitely does not match up with OG for practice questions. Maybe the worst part was the practice GMAT CAT tests on the CD. All they did was shake my confidence as I didn't score higher than 540 on any of them. I studied for a little over a month and I don't think my ability jumped from 540-700 in five days.
I swear that I have no affiliation with the website but 800score was the best resource that I found for explanations. I actually hadn't seen it until reading something about it on here and purchased it three days before the test. THis site offered better explanations than any other guides and I wish that I had found it when I first started studying. Since it was so close to the actual test I didn't want to stress doing practice tests all weekend so I didn't try them but you get four or five with the online guide for $30. I highly recommend it.
As for the actual test, a few observations....
- I seemed to get a lot of sentence correction questions. It seemed like more than half but maybe just seemed worse because i had at least five or six in my first ten questions (slightly worrisome since this is my worst verbal aspect....I'm sure many of you are correcting this post right now...C'mon admit it...)
- I had three RC passages and only one required me to scroll down. The questions were a bit tricky but I didn't have to waste as much time reading as I thought I would. So if you've been practicing skimming because one of the guides said to, I would suggest practicing reading some of the shorter passages right through the first time.
- Math was math. Lots of picking numbers (checking if it specifies integer or not)...I did have one question about creating an octogon within a circle, that was a "close your eyes, click the mouse and move on...
Anyways, this is just one guys opinion but after reading these for a few days I realized that you can pick up something here and there and every point counts.