Hello there! I am another of those annoying people who do not contribute to this valuable forum until it is all over. Having taken so much and given so little here is a synopsis of my experience should it be of any use!
Preparation: I used the following: score800.com, Kaplan 800
GMAT 2006 and GMATPrep. To be honest, my studying was pretty much confined to the 3 weeks before the actual test date - without a sense of urgency and relative panic I cannot bring myself to study much. Working 60 hour weeks doesn't help. Kaplan
was great introduction, and I can really recommend the 800 book if you are fairly happy with your mental maths and verbal skills. It gives the tips and tricks to look out for.
Anyway, the real key for me is doing as many tests as you can to get a feeling of time pressure. score800, even if the questions are not the best and the scoring engine is a bit erratic, provides this - 5 tests for $30. The 4 Kaplan
CAT's I did gave me low results (in the 550-570 range) but reading this forum made me feel a bit happier.
Breakdown of practice test scrore:
CAT 1 (3 weeks before test): 550
CAT 2 (3 weeks before test): 570
CAT 3 (2 weeks before test): 560
CAT 4 (2 weeks before test): 560
GMAT Prep 1 (1st time) 630
GMAT Prep 2 (1st time) 660
GMAT Prep 1 (2nd time - 3 days before test) 730
GMAT Prep 2 (2nd time - 2 days before test) 700
CAT 1 (2nd time, day before test) 690
tests are great because they tell you which areas you are weak in - so I focussed on them.
I had been getting Q46-48 in the GMATPrep tests
so don't know what happened today. For some reason my brain told me that, with 62 minutes left, I had used 23 minutes of time
and I was only on question 5. Relative panic set in and I rushed 3 in a row, half guessing, then chilled out a bit but was so annoyed with myself that I couldn't do questions I should have done (excuses, excuses!). As such I really levelled out for the Verbal and seems to go into another gear - all the rules I had read came into my mind and I finished it with 20 minutes to go. I am shocked.
My 74% in quant is much lower than I expected, but the 99% in verbal is a lot higher than I expected, so I guess what goes around comes around in some strange way. I am really annoyed about the quant... but only "need" 600 to go where I want to go (has to be within 20 minutes of my work for this MBA thing to be practical) so can't grumble.
Anyway, if I can contribute anything at all I would urge everyone to just do as many times practice tests as you can get your hands on.
all the best with your efforts