...just wanted to share my story with all of you. I actually didn't discover this forum until AFTER I took my test last week.
I am a mid-career executive (early 40's) looking to apply to a few Ph.D. programs specific to my business-related industry. The programs I am looking at do not require really great test scores (550-600 would be considered a pretty good score) and I was fairly lazy about studying for the GMAT, particularly since I have an MBA from a top 15 school with a 3.8 GPA.
Anyway, I had a lot of confidence in my verbal skills but little in my math skills. I had very poor math training in high school and despite a successful career in a fairly quantitative area, I don't have a really great grounding in algebra and never really understood geometry. When I took the GMAT for the first time about 18 years ago, I scored in the low 600's.
I did not want to invest in a GMAT review course due to application timing issues so I picked up the Kaplan GMAT Math Workbook
and worked through it, not particularly gaining an understanding of the concepts and not scoring particularly well on their questions.
I took the two GMATPrep CAT exams and scored a 35Q 38V 600 on the first one and a 36Q 37V 610 on the second one. I felt pretty assured that I would score between 590 and 620 on the actual exam.
I can't explain what happened on test day, but I was pretty comfortable during the test and the questions seemed quite a bit easier than what I had experienced on the GMATPrep exams. Lo and behold, I scored a 44Q 42V 710 on the exam which was confirmed in my final score today along with a 6.0 AWA.
I'm obviously please and hope that my experience helps highlight for some of you that you can excel at this.
Best of luck to all.