At the end of 2018, I spent a couple of months studying for the GMAT. It turned out to be more intense than I originally thought. I bought the

OG bundle and started with the diagnostic, which showed significant quant deficiencies. With that in mind, I turned to the Manhattan Foundation of Math book and worked my way through that. It was a great resource for refreshing math.

I took my first practice CAT and scored a 600 (Q32, V40). I'd really messed up the quant section, particularly the timing. I decided to get some assistance. I did a trial class at Manhattan, which was excellent but out of my price range. I started the trials on a couple of online courses and decided that

EmpowerGMAT was for me. I worked my way through that course over the next couple of months, focussing mainly on Quant but completing the Verbal sections as well.

For anyone looking for a course that combines quant and verbal for an affordable price, I can't recommend

Empower highly enough. It has some great strategies and covers the foundations well, leveraging the

OG as much as possible.

My practice test scores varied - 760 was my highest and 720 was my lowest over that last month. I was pretty nervous heading into the test for the first time because I'd read about lots of people scoring significantly less than they expected on their first shot. In the end, I got a 730, which is a decent score though I believe I could probably score better on a perfect day.

Here are some general tips from my prep/study along the way:

- I tried to eliminate any unknowns. That meant catching the train to the test centre and familiarising myself with the route, the building and the layout of the room. I watched the MBA.com tutorials and made sure I understood the test day procedures. I also purchased the Manhattan Scratch Pad to practice on so I was familiar with the laminated paper and sometimes tricky pens.
- I used an app called Anki for my flash cards. It's fantastic and free. You can tell it whether you got a card right or wrong and it remembers over time, repeating the cards you get wrong until you memorise it properly. This was fantastic for memorising perfect squares, formulas and other important GMAT numbers like pi.
- I found that I maxed out at about 4 hours per day of solid study (i.e. not counting breaks, 4 hours of timed study). After this my error rates increased and I took in less information. I think trying your best to structure your study really helps. You want to get used to concentrating for long periods of time, but you also want to take enough breaks so that your mind can recover. I settled on 2 hours on, 1 hour off, with small breaks after each hour.
- These forums are a great resource for going through questions from your practice exams. I stuck to the official practice exams - 6 is more than enough and some of the other tests I trialled were not quite right (especially on the verbal side).

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any questions!