[Summary at bottom]
I work full time so I set aside 3 months to prepare for the GMAT. I studied for an average of 2-3 hours a day during the week, and 3-4 hours during the weekends.
Study material used:
OG study guide 2016
Manhattan Prep Study Books (The Number properties book was especially helpful)
GMAT club (hardest 150 math questions list)
Veritas Prep Practice tests
All the GMAC practice tests
I did all the questions in the OG study guide and found Magoosh to offer the best foundation for math and verbal. Their questions and review videos really broke it down for me. At the end of it, I was able to do some of the hardest math questions listed on the GMAT club website. As for practice tests, the GMAC practice tests are essential and a good predictor of my actual score. These were my practice test scores:
GMAT Prep 1 (before any major studying): 690
GMAT Prep 2: 700
GMAT Prep 3: 710
GMAT Prep 4: 760 (the questions felt a little easier then usual)
GMAT Prep 5: 710
GMAT Prep 6 (2 days before the actual test): 730
The Veritas Prep exams felt more difficult but nonetheless I was scoring around 710-730. The key to breaking the 700 mark is to get at least a few of the hardest questions right, which I felt Veritas Prep and GMAT club helped prepare me immensely.
Score increase: 690 (GMATPrep) to 740 (official)
Time spent: 3 months, 324 hours
Materials used: Official Guide (OG) 2016, Manhattan Prep, Magoosh, GMAT Club, GMATPrep tests, Veritas Prep tests
Key takeaways: get a good foundation for math and verbal, practice the most difficult math questions
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