I took my GMAT several days ago, and wanted to thank everyone on this site. I am not willing to get into the details of the test, as I have signed waivers and BB must keep the integrity of this site.
However, I will share two things that really helped me out (lengthy).
The first deals with skills. Know OG. Buy two copies and do it twice if you must. Personally, I went through once and then again using the answer section (by covering up the answers). By doing this and getting comfortable with this, I was well prepared. My best method of improvement was to start a notebook divided into three sections PS, DS and SC. If I got ANY problem wrong, I would put it in there - the whole problem. Before I studied every night, I would review this notebook. After all, these are the things that I would have gotten wrong if I had taken the GMAT without studying. THESE ARE WHAT I NEEDED HELP ON. And by seeing these every night, believe me, when I saw a similar problem, I didn't get it wrong again. That is what improvement is all about.
What good is studying if you get the same thing wrong twice or three times? None. So get a notebook and record your errors, so that you become so familiar with these that you WANT to see them on the real thing. When you see it on the real GMAT, you'll chuckle because its the same problem that you saw every night when you spent 15 mins looking at that notebook of mistakes - and its CAKE TO YOU.
Second, is the mental side. Personally, I get nervous when it comes to big events...a speech, a big test, an interview, what ever it is - I am high strung about it. What I did was about a week before the test I searched the web for motivational quotes - seriously. I put them all in a word document, printed it out, and brought it with me to the test. Before I went in, I read this document, got so pumped that I felt like I could get an 820, and then attacked it with full confidence. They key for me is transforming my nervous, jittery energy into powerful, methodical thinking. I'll paste below the quotes that I found and read, if this works for anyone:
August 20, 2003
" When you're playing against a stacked deck, compete even harder. Show the world how much you'll fight for the winner's circle. If you do, someday the cellophane will crackle off a fresh pack, one that belongs to you, and the cards will be stacked in your favor."
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
- Anatole France
Never, never, never give up.
- Winston Churchill
In order to be walked on, you have to be lying down.
"Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right."
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
-Henry David Thoreau-
"Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."
"This one step -- choosing a goal and sticking to it -- changes everything."
"A will finds a way."
-Orison Swett Marden
August 25, 2003
" You have to know you can win. You have to think you can win. You have to feel you can win."
Sugar Ray Leonard
If you think that kind of thing is stupid, then ignore it. If it helps one person get 10 more points, then it's worth it. Confidence is sometimes worth a million bucks.
The thing is, I am not a genius. I would say that I am above average, but this is a goal that I worked very hard for, and this score or higher is attainable by anyone will a strong desire to train for this test!!!
Please feel free to ask me any questions (that are not particular to actual questions) and I will be glad to help anyone out there.