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There are many benefits to timing your practice, including:
Like Rhyme who is probably the first to recommand it, I observed a huge difference between tests with AWA and tests without AWA. I can testify that it's important to be ready to stay focussed all time during the 4 hours of the real GMAT.
My first test attempted with AWA shows me that 1 hour of work in plus before the math section demands much more energy and perceverance. In addition, I observed a kind of 'crash' at the middle of the Verbal section, a hard obstacle that I feel to overcome better after several practices of tests with AWA.