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skip kaplan, everyone hates em and they don't introduce anything new.
For CAT's (practice exam), you will have two GMATpreps, 4 PR CATs and a couple Manahattan, this is more than enough.
Your study should begin with reviewing all test related concepts/formats/etc. Learn the format of the test inside and out. Then learn all of the concepts that are tested. This should take no more than a month. After that, do regular practice exercises and at least a CAT, once per week. The OG is your bible for practice and the GMATPrep is your God for experiencing the GMAT, before the real GMAT.
Read other people's experiences and structure your own plan of study. It will inevitably be altered as you go along depending on your pace.
Ideally, a 3 month plan is pretty good. But with a 1430, you will probably need less time.
However, I have reviewed materials from two Kaplan sources extensively:
(1) Lessons from Kaplan GMAT CD-ROM: Note that this is not the CD-ROM from the Premier program book. Kaplan sells a software suite consists of 4 CD-ROMs: GMAT, LSAT, GRE and SAT all in one package. The GMAT CD-ROM has computer video lessons on each type of GMAT questions, review materials, exercises and 4 CAT exams. Personally I found the video lessons useful as it is like a having a teacher teaching skills in a class.
(2) Strategies from Kaplan Premier 2007 book.
Both are good materials and the strategies covered are pretty much the same.
However, the CD-ROM has some drills kind of like in-class exercises.
Which one is better depends on personal preference.
Now for Veritas: In general, there are a set of strategies everybody cover. For example, for CR-type questions read question stem first; for RC understand the gist of the passageâ€¦etc. There are some stuff I learned from Veritas though: like SWIMMER, advanced math and logicâ€¦etc. I believe some other programs also talk about SWIMMER (Manhattan?).
The most I appreciate on Veritas is that they hire only instructors at 99-percentile. Some had commented that good test takers do not necessarily be good teachers, which I totally agree. However, I would argue I donâ€™t need to pay if I am just learning the fundamentals â€“ all these were covered in good materials like Kaplan. I got my money worth for observing these instructors tackling advanced problems â€“ these are techniques not covered in any books. For example, they use shortcuts to get to answer quicker, techniques to spot tricks by GMAT test writers, methods/their gut feels to eliminate incorrect answersâ€¦etc.
Note that I am already very familiar with the techniques and type of questions before taking Veritas. Veritas do cover every one of them. Personally, I found the advanced techniques are the most useful to me.
By the way, many people here also recommend Manhattan GMAT prep. I â€œthinkâ€
Since you scored well on the SAT, and learn well on your own, chances are you'd be fine with self-prep. I would at least start that way and see how you do as you practice.
The Kaplan 2003 book is too old to be that useful, really. Get the latest materials. I would recommend Princeton Review (Cracking the GMAT) over Kaplan, though. The tests are far better and are very similar to the official GMATPrep tests. IMHO PR and GMATPrep are the best tests to use. The Official Guide is a must for practice questions.
And definitely check out the forums here for help and more practice questions.
I agree that for you, self-prep is probably enough. It depends on your learning style though.
I graduated from Rensselaer (a tech school as well!) and had a 1510 on my SATs. But I ended up taking a course anyway (with Manhattan Review). It was mostly because though I knew I could do well on my own, the instructors and a structured studying regime is very useful to me. It motivates me more, and since I've already put in the money for it, I study harder to make sure that I get the most out of the money. It's mostly a motivational tactic for me though.
In addition to the suggestions above, I'd recommend Manhattan Review books. Like I said, I took my course with them, so those helped me a bunch. I've also heard things about Kaplan, good and bad, so I'm not sure what to believe on that. Though from my experience, they are more useful if you need to brush up on your fundamentals as opposed to fine tuning your score. Either way, take a diagnostic test and evaluate your studying habits. I'm sure you'll do fine though as long as you are committed. Good luck!