I just want to say a big THANK YOU to the people of this forum. Especially the makers of the two sets of flashcards. Those were tight.
My test scores looked like this:
MGMAT: 650 ~2.5months ago
Grockit: 680 ~1.5 months ago
GMATPrep: 760 ~3wks ago
GMATPrep: 730 ~2wks ago
Final unofficial: 48Q 51V 770
I'm native born to USA and my Dad is a writer / copy-editor so I definitely had advantages on verbal. That said, my public school education never really went into the mechanics of the grammar. I knew I had it in me. I'm not going to lie, there was some luck involved as well. Also hard work, in that I did educate myself about the verbal rules and did maybe 150 verbal problems. The most important thing was outlining the reading sections. On the last passage, I didn't have time to outline, and I did the last few very quickly, hence the luck aspect. Other than that, when I started outlining and had a bit of practice timing, I knew I had a shot at 51.
I'm an engineer, one of the "softer" specialties so generally don't get much respect, but historically I've been pretty good with quant material. Top school. Of course, this is 9th grade material. I had a little bonus in that I once tutored a 9th grader in a lot of this stuff, geometry for example. Still, I definitely had a lot to review just to get to 48 but I knew I had that in me too. I did all of OG quant
with some videos on khanacademy. Never actually bought the book
I paid for Grockit and did a lot of problems on there, maybe 400+ quant. Read GMAT for Dummies twice, I like those books, helped me to get the framework. Lots of looking problems up on forums and blogs.
After the 730, it was two weeks to my test. To be honest, I just could not bring myself to do another practice test. I was scared I would score low and throw off my energy. I was just hoping for a 730. I already knew the timing: too short. Work as hard as you possibly can and you will still come up short just be smart about it. Do as many perfectly as you can until you have just enough time left to put something reasonable down for the last few. If you really don't know it on Quant, make a guess and move on. I took the week off from work planning to study my ass off but mostly I played videogames, slept a ton and just relaxed. I was still anxious but I think I had it managed. I did pick up the two decks of flashcards at this point and there was a LOT in there the helped me. Besides that, just reviewing errors in previous questions and more blog and forum posts.
Sometimes Grockit questions seem a bit off… it will say it's a 16pt question but the answer key even comments that it's a super hard question. Plenty of them are impossible to do in the 2:30 time limit. Even if you have done them before and know exactly how to tackle it. I think it's still a good tool but take every answer with a grain of salt and check the comments. It's not perfect. GMATPrep is the gold standard. Save the two tests until you are really ready.
Study smart and hard no matter who you are. I had a 33 on the ACT. First practice test 650 was a slap in the face. This is not purely an IQ test. Anyone can master the material, and then at that point, differentiating between all the people who actually learned the material 100%, maybe natural abilities factor in.
I always eat peachy gummies before every standardized test, since I was in middle school. I had my peach gummies today. I was also well rested, caffeinated, had a light lunch, and drank plenty of water. This was a huge surprise. I wasn't sure I still had it in me. I'm super-happy.
"A warrior who is prepared to fight must also be prepared to die" - Sun Tzu
Leave it all on the battlefield, everything you've got.
One last thing: GMAT is a multiplayer video game. You go up against all other competitors in a challenge arena. You can learn how to play to win and master it, but then you must perform in the game when it counts. I really think being a gamer helped me, and if you're a gamer I think you've got a good shot. The key is to treat it like just another game.