After four months of balancing act among work, family and GMAT, I am finally done with GMAT! I thank GMATClub and the members who participate and contribute lot of useful material. The material provided motivation, direction and strength to prepare well for the GMAT, and I thank you all for your help.
I have documented my study material as well as my practice test scores in the post below. My GMAT Journey
Before you read this, please note that test center experience may be different at your test center and my experience may give you only hints about what to expect.1) Test center experience
Since my test was at 8:00 in the morning, I reached at 7:15 AM to make sure I can deal with surprises if I encounter any. I was asked to go through some rules and then wait for my turn. They had some kind of palm scanner which scanned palm for both left and right hands. They also had webcam to take picture. I am non-us citizen, so I had to present my passport. They put my passport in plastic zip-lock bag to make sure I do not open my passport during the exam. (It seems some people misuse the opportunity to bring notes on passport!) Then I was taken to locker area, and asked to empty all pockets, watch, cellphone and any accessories (such as wrist band) and put it in locker. I was given key to my locker which I could keep near the computer. They do not allow any liquid or snacks with you, so I put it in the locker. I was allowed to take them during break, but instructed not to touch cell phone or any other electronic device (mainly to avoid using Internet and to avoid talking to anyone during exam).
Inside the test room, they kept sound reducing ear covers (looked like headphones with large piece covering ear but no wire attached). This was nice, because I felt as if there is no one around me.
The computer tables were divided so I could not see what my neighbor is doing. I did not even notice when my neighbor changed (he started little earlier than me).
2) Suggestions for break between sections
I wanted to write separately about break, because the 8 minutes between sections covers not only the break, but also the check-out/check-in process. So, once I completed my section, I raised my hand to call them near me. They locked my workstation, took me outside the testing room, and completed check-out procedure wherein they checked my passport, made sure I was the same person as the original picture, and verified if my new palm reading matched original one! Once I went through this, I realized this would happen again when I come back so I rushed to restroom, came back quickly, opened locker quickly, drank some juice, and stood in front of them again for verification. I wanted to make sure I do not lose any time from my test. I did the same for second break, but as you can imagine, I did not have any feeling of break!
3) Erasable notepad experience
The notepad were very nice. Paper was laminated, yellow in color, and divided with black lines to make small squares. The pen was sharp point, which I did not expect or imagine, and made my life easy during the exam.AWA Update
- Official score received one week after the test! - Received 5 out of 6. I am satisfied because I did not prepare until last two days before test. I went through official guide to understand the structure of what they ask, and some strategy from GMATClub articles on AWA. I did not write anything during practice, but I write a lot of emails every day, so it was only a matter of adapting the format. It appears that a lot of people receive 5 and above, and I feel a score of 6 is achievable with little practice, but there was simply no time for that.Good luck to all those who are still working hard to achieve a wonderful GMAT score...
Some other posts by me...
My GMAT Journey
Timer Tool for Google spreadsheet
Quant Flash Cards/Pages
700 (Q:49 V:35) - Thanks GMATClub - Test Center experience