I just took the GMAT today. It was quite nerve wrecking because it is my first attempt
Question: I got my scores for quant and verbal immediately after taking the exam. Do my GMAT total score and quant/verbal sub-scores in the unofficial score report ever deviate from the official score? I am assuming that the unofficial score will be equal to the official score minus the AWA scores, correct?
As for my scores:
730 (Q: 48 V: 42)
I thought I did not maximize my strengths on the quantitative section - got too nervous due to my first attempt. I was quite surprised that my quant score was so high. I knew I did fine on the verbal so the corresponding score and percentile were not as surprising.
I hope to keep the score - not complaining!
As for study guides:
I spent around 1.5 month preparing for the GMAT.
1) 4-5 weeks before the exam, I studied the latest Kaplan
strategy book. I used Kaplain because it is the best in terms of educating beginners unfamiliar with GMAT.
2) 3-4 weeks before the exam, I started 1-2 practice exams each weekend to simulate test day environment and practice stamina. However, I found that the Kaplan
practice tests do not accurately reflect actual scores. I found the official GMATPrep software to be a far more accurate indicator of test day performance. 1st GMATPrep test - 670, 2nd GMATPrep test - 730. Would recommend saving the 2nd GMATPrep test for the week right before the actual examination.
3) 2 weeks before the exam: I purchased the Manhattan online practice questions. I found Manhattan better than Kaplan
in terms of prepping those who are now familiar with the GMAT. The Manhattan 700+ quant question practice helped.
4) 1 week before the exam: Strategy I found helpful is doing non-stop GMAT Review 12 Edition questions the week before the exam. I usually work on quantitative problem sets of 15 each, timed for 30 minutes, CR problem sets of 10 each, timed for 20 minutes, and sentence completion sets of 20 each, timed for 30 minutes. It helps: 1) stamina on test day 2) familiarization on question types that will appear on the real GMAT.
One thing I found helpful is doing practice questions when my mind is not at the optimal, but always doing practice tests in the morning, when my mind is at the optimal. Doing practice question sets at less than optimal conditions is similar to running with sandbags - in real life one's mind is not guaranteed to be always operating at optimal conditions, even on test day. Doing practice exams under optimal mind conditions - especially in the morning - helps one gain confidence.