I have always been a reader here with no posts. I am finally done with my GMAT and to be frank the final scores have surprised me as well. I wrote the GMAT in early June 2011
Total Final score : 770
Quant : 51
Verbal : 42
AWA : 5.5/6
Official Guide 2011
ETS test papers
Kaplan study software
Wren & Martin - for basic grammar
Schedule & Time lines:
I took a long 4-5 months to prepare. My job was very travel oriented and didn't allow me to be regular with GMAT prep. I took the date only after I was consistently scoring more than 720/730 on the mocks.
Jan - OG verbal all questions(verbal)
Feb - no prep
March - ETS test papers old for practice
April - Mocks tests for verbal only - once a week
May - AWA practice and full length tests
June - first week GMAT
Kaplan mocks - 720; 610; 590 (gave up after I saw a 500s score)
Veritas free test - 720
MGMAT 1 - 740
MGMAT 2 - 740
MGMAT 3 - 770
MGMAT 4 - 780
MGMAT 5 - 750
MGMAT 6 - 770
GMAT prep 1- 770
GMAT prep 2 - 730
GMAT prep 3 - 750 (reset just to gain confidence)
Right from the beginning I was pretty clear where I needed to start the prep from. My quant was pretty good, in fact so good that I really never bothered to practice till the final mocks.
Verbal was a big big problem especially the sentence correction part. I had already appeared for GRE and hence RC was okay for me. Critical reasoning came naturally (at least the OG stuff)
One thing that I had learnt the hard way was that one must not take up a date early (I rescheduled GRE like twice). So for GMAT I took the date only after I was absolutely sure that I could score something like 740+
Over last few weeks i just relied on the MGMAT tests and the GMAT prep software, and I must say that both of them are very accurate predictors of the actual GMAT
I could not get enough sleep the night before because of all the anxiety and consequently the next morning was a disaster for me.
I bought three cans of red bull and drank one in every break and just before the exam. Maybe that made me feel at ease during the whole GMAT thing.
Red bull 1
AWA came as surprise and somehow I could not conclude as well as I had thought on both the essays. Overall a hurried finishing
Red bull 2
Quant was easy as usual and I cruised through it with 8-10 minutes to spare
Red bull 3
Next up was verbal and my weakest section. first 2-3 questions were CRs and were pretty easy. Next few questions were all SCs and I was unsure on a lot of them. None of the RCs that came to me were scientific (I am pretty good with the science RCs being an Engineer). Finally the screen came where you had to list all schools and stuff... and then the final report scores.
Was out of the world to see a 770 on screen. Though was a little surprised to see V-42 + Q-51 giving 770.
Overall a dream come true.