I've been shy to post in this forum because I haven't really had anything to say or add. But, since I took my first real GMAT a couple of weeks ago, I feel it important to share my experience.
I studied relentlessly for three months with the OG, Kaplan
& Princeton Review
course material, Kaplan
Quiz Bank and online user forums like gmatclub.
Going in for the real thing, my practice test scores were:
PP1 : 43Q 39V 650 (Before I started to study)
800Score: 45Q 44V 700 (Felt the Verbal was too easy and didn't like overall feel of the test, so I stopped using it)
PP2 : 47Q 36V 680 (2 repeat questions)
PP3 : 45Q 41V 700 (4 repeat questions)
PP4 : 49Q 38V 710 (5 repeat questions)
Because I had some repeat questions on the PP tests, I hoped and aimed for a 680 on the real test.
Come test time, I did all the recommended things: relaxed the day before, slept well, ate oatmeal, etc. My AWAs were fine and then came the Quant section.
I freaked out on the first question. It was factor, LCM, GCD questions and I blanked. I saw the clock ticking down and just guessed. I got the second question, and proceed to blaze through the rest of the questions. I felt I was doing fine until a question like, "What is 3x^2 - 2x + 5 when x = -2 ?" came along and I knew that something had gone wrong. I didn't realize how fast I was going until I got to the last question and saw that I had 25 minutes left. My heart sunk. I had always raced to finish the last few questions, so I knew that I was screwed.
I took a break, and got mentally focused for the Verbal. The verbal was completely as I expected (except for the four reading passages). I was struggling at the end, however to keep focused and I felt like my eyes were going to fall out of my head.
I closed my eyes so that the score could load on the screen and I visualized and prayed for a 680. Opening my eyes, I was stunned to see:
41Q 38V 640
The realization set in that my real score was lower than all
of my practice test. Needless to say, I was disappointed that I had wasted $250 and three months of my life studying.
My spirits have returned to normal, and I'm taking the test again next month. I wanted to share my experience to reinforce the importance of remaining calm and pacing yourself, even when the first question throws you for a doozy.