First of all, I thank all the members of this club for having shared their knowledge, advice and much more. I gave my GMAT last Monday (August 9). I made 740 (q50, v40) - a 30-point jump from my earlier attempt. I guess I'm very satisfied, keeping in mind the target schools and the stringent timelines I had for my preparation.
I had given GMAT for the first time in November 2008 and had scored 710 (Q50, V36). Back then, I missed to take help from this site. This was just about the average score at my school of interest and had applied in R2, but was rejected, GMAT being one of the reasons. I have worked upon the last two years to improve my profile and decided to give the GMAT again.
Mine was a short preparation - I wrote a diagnostic test to assess my level in the 1st week of July and based on that , decided to concentrate on specific areas of weaknesses, essentially most of the verbal section. I used Manhattan GMAT SC
guide and skimmed through the CR bible. I just worked out questions from Kaplan
, Official Guide etc., clocking about a couple of hours on weekdays and 4-5 hours on weekends. The iPhone apps of GMAT club, MGMAT, Veritas prep
also came in handy. I also packed in quite a few full length tests as part of the prep - 2 GMATPrep versions (from 2008 & 2010), Manhattan GMAT
and Knewton diagnostic tests. I was consistently scoring in the 700+ range in most tests, the highest being 760 (penultimate test before my exam) and the lowest being 680 (MGMAT diagnostic). From my post-test analyses, I found that there was no specific pattern to my verbal weak areas. Often, I went wrong on questions that I would get right on a non-test situation. I had to really work hard to give undivided attention to the test. Part of the reason was also that I started some of my initial tests past 10 PM (my work/home life keeps me busy until ten) and was exhausted by the time I got to verbal. A sincere piece of advice - please avoid such late night tests. Take the test in a relaxed state and in a non-disruptive environment.
On the test day - I had scheduled for an 8 AM appointment and reached the center on time. Took both the breaks, ended up losing about 40 seconds in the 2nd break. Make sure that you keep track of your time - this can be really difficult since they asked me to deposit my watch in the locker. They give you 8 minutes, but the check-in/checkout process almost takes a couple of mins, or maybe even 3, if you are unlucky.
I don't have anything more to add, feel free to get in touch if you have specific questions.