Finally took the GMAT with a 730 (Q49, V40), I knew I would retake a 710, knew I would be happy with a 750 (I'm a wannabe 99er) so I don't know what to do with a 730 but will probably not retake unless weak AWA/IR.
Books & materials used
> OG + MGMAT SC
+ GMAT Club's forum
Prep1: 530 - candid take (I was busy with other things at the same time and didn't answer many questions)
Prep2: 710 - Q49, V38
Prep2 bis: 720 - Q49, V39
MGMAT CAT1: 700 - Q47, V38
Prep1 bis: 760 - Q49, V45, IR7
approx 10 days between each take
Non-native-english engineer, working in an english environment though
Length of study
Took around 6 weeks, approximately 2hr a day on average unevenly distributed
Finally, your test experience
Prepared the test day thanks to all the feedback got on gmatclub, including all the classics: big breakfast, banana, a gallon of gatorade, and a ton of chocolate for the breaks.
Things started really nice at AWA (that was good because I really didn't prepare it seriously except for having a look at chineseburn's outline) got one question that I was looking at randomly in the list of AWA questions! It actually didn't help much for the answer, but that was great for the mental. Hope I will score decently.
Than comes IR, seemed really easy, I went though most questions in a blink. One was overly tricky (simple material but I really didn't get the point after a while). My advice for IR is to avoid waisting time reading everything. Just look at the charts and at the question then read the text if you feel you need to.
That saves a lot of time, especially since they put lengthy explanations for any chart, even the simplest ones, that wastes precious seconds and heats your brain for nothing. Still had like 4min on the counter when finished, hope the score will be ok.
At this moment I had a great mental, took a short break (don't maximize it, just go out, chill, drink some gatorade, and come back, people who tried to use all their 8minutes here all seemed to have problems)
Couldn't wait to kill the quant
First question of quant: tough!!! Not extra tough but I was used to get no-brainer questions to start with, took 2minutes to answer, and then it was like a paradise of easy questions. Went through the first 20questions in no time, great mental buidling up, some tricky some overly simple. Got like 15minutes ahead of schedule by then, and then started to get worried by the easiness of the questions and took more time answering - that's the drawback of preparing with tough sets of questions! Sticking to the OG may be better!!
I can think of only 2 long questions, and 1 very hard (DS multiple sets, my favorite...) that blew me. Finished just on time (maybe a minute ahead of time)
Good mental, then I started thinking too much about the result which wasted a bit my verbal.
Verbal seemed tough to me, I almost systematically hesitated between several answers (which was what I worried about the most) and as I went though, my mental started to worsen, and had that feeling of wanting to finish the test asap -> avoid this by all means!
Then I did the mistake that you don't want to happen, misread the question! The question went like "which word describes blablabla the least", chose the one that described it the MOST only saw that word least after confirming! Very stupid as I had plenty of time, I finished verbal with 8minutes still on. One question in verbal easily costs you a point on your score (while in Quant it may have no effect) so my final advice is focus on the pace, don't rush unless you are late!
That's it for me, time to focus on the essays now, good luck to you all, and may the force be with you!