So my GMAT journey is over. Took it saturday and have been drinking ever since (took the day off today to recover). I am little dissapointed in my score a bit as my practice scores were a lot higher especially near the end of my prep but glad i squeaked over 700. Would like to thank the advice of all the people here--really very helpful.
I first took the GMAT in fall of 2003 with minimal prep (a couple practice runs) and scored a 660. At the time my goals were different so I didn'tfeel the need to retake. Anyway, lot of things changed since then and I made the decision I wanted to make a solid puch for a top school--and felt 700 was a realistic goal.
Math section was harder than PP by a good bit, not because of the level of difficulty (which really was not drastically higher) but saw some new types of questions that threw me off a bit. I only saw one combination problem--really basic (i think spending too much time with the intense combinatrics stuff on this site is actually counter productive at least in terms of preparing for this test). one or two probability not too bad either. Main issue was timing which really rattled me a bit and probably cost me 30 pts or so. Cannot stress enough to maintain rapid pace (12 done with 50mins left, 25 done with 25 mins left is ideal).
Verbal level was similar to OG surprised i did not do better than i did in this, but again i ran low on time which was very rare for me in verbal.
I spent three months studying for the test beginning in August bought materials that were recommended here that included:
OG (best source as everyone says esp. for verbal thought processes)
Old Paper tests from a friend
and i had an old copyof the Princeton Cracking from last year.
My approach was to go through OG gradually while incorporating Kaplan
and PR for strategy while taking one to two tests per week. This is imperative if there is anything I can stress is time management even with having taken 15 or so practices i was stressed for time at the end of each section. Be able to work fast and accurately. anyone can kill this test if not for the time limit, be prepared.
My practice scores were as follows:
PP 750, 780
ETS Paper 650-780
PR Online 660-740
In the last month I did not score below a 740 on a practice test so was expecting a bit higher score. I think I became a bit too comfortable.
Biggest things I can say are make sure you get enough sleep, practice as much as possible in timed conditions, and keep your cool. The test will keep you at the boundaries of your capabilities you need to remain calm--if you cant get a question, move on and put it out of mind. try to maintain good timing without letting the clock get to you. good luck!