For those who did relatively well on the GMAT, where did you study? Did you use total silence or did places like Starbucks work? Also, how did you stay motivated throughout the course of your study? I am feeling down, because I am struggling in believing in myself. This is mostly due to the fact that I read most people don't score higher on their second or third tries. I just don't believe in myself and can't see myself scoring high on the GMAT. How do I overcome this?
I studied at the library 99% of the time - not only I focused better, but also I got used to the total silence and the pressure of hearing my heartbeat during the practice tests. Maybe it was just me, but it helped me tons, since I wasn't nervous at all during my real test. Most libraries also have interview rooms/study rooms with soundproofed walls etc...better you can simulate the test environment, the better it is for you to prepare for the big day.
I know how you feel - it is easy to be down throughout the course of your study...I've been there. My first GMAT score was 500, which made me really depressed for couple of weeks. However, I picked up myself and studied again consistently and diligently, and got a decent score of 690 on my second try.
I am not sure what your background is, but I come from music school, and this was the first standardized test I ever took in my life. Plus, I haven't done any type of math in 7 years...If someone with that kind of background can increase score, so can you - in fact, I'm pretty sure you can even do a lot better than I did.
Whenever you're down, close books and try to relax a bit - play music, go work out, hang with your friends etc...I know it's hard, but it will work like a charm - Always think positive. Good luck!