During my preparation, I went through these forums and have been inspired by those who share their great stories. Since I just got my 700+ club ticket, will try to share my experience, hoping that it would be of help.
After 2-3 weeks preparation, I thought I was ready to take GMAT as I couldn't put huge efforts to any exams during my all life. That decision was made with the self-confidence of the ignorant. Anyway, I took the exam without even bothering to take 2 Gmatprep practice tests, which -as everyone in these forums rightfully point out- are the best proxies for the real GMAT challenge. With a strong quant background, I was lucky to beat every question in the OG. However, in the real GMAT I got stucked with a challenging one and I couldn't just make a guess and move forward. I solved it though with a cost of 13 Quant questions unanswered in the end. The result was Q44 V35 T660 which means I also performed quite bad in the verbal section. Then, I decided to go for another one soon enough before I forgot the stuff I learned, but late enough to give me the much-needed time to get prepared well (at least to make me feel comfortable).
First I booked it 1 month later but realising that it is not realistic (given I got busier at work) postponed for another month. My study methodology (which is not a brand new one but an appreciation of many shared their wisdom in these forums) was as follows :
“Work on your mistakes, thus identify your weak points” For instance:
Verbal: I believe if one has enough time and a decent reasoning capability (english knowledge etc. The list goes on
), he/she can answer any question in CR and RC. Consequently, what needs to be done IMO is to save as much time as possible in SC questions, hence increase the odds in CR and RC, sections in which practicing will certainly improve your skills but it all comes down to how much time available to you for reading a passage and answering a (some) question(s).
Bottom line: Practice SC as much as you can. I believe this is where one can make the best use of his/her time (particularly if it’s limited like mine)
Quant: I think careless mistakes are what kill most of us in this section (As long as we know the basics). After reviewing each practice test, I took small notes some of which are as follows:
• In DS questions, if asked positive or negative? Always check 0 (neither negative nor positive)
• In DS questions, particularly inequalities always check whether it says “integers”
• In number/Set questions, always check if it says “Different” integers
Bottom line: After taking a number of practice tests and noticing that you always make similar types of careless mistakes while checking your notes, this check list settles somewhere in your subconscious (or where it is supposed to!) and you find yourself checking these items even without thinking about it.
D-Day notes :
• Be careful with your optional breaks (I lost 2 minutes on verbal because of this)
• Find yourself an old keyboard and practice AWA using it (assuming you are used to laptop keyboard like me) otherwise the old keyboard makes you so slow that you have to rush even to complete the basic intro/first/second/conclusion structure (which was my case actually) And check your keyboard beforehand and change it if there is any problem with it (yes, it happened to me but didn’t change)
• If you has more than 2 min for your last question then you must have done something wrong. I don’t believe there is a severe penalty for not finishing the section on time (I missed 3 quant Qs and 1 verbal Q at the end of each section). And don’t be a stupid like me as I had 2 min for the last verbal -SC- Q and was trying to use the most time to make sure my answer is accurate, I just couldn’t click on “confirm” at the last second
Hope this is useful ! It is true that bad luck and wrong strategies can make you suffer badly in this exam, but if you have seen enough CAT practice exams and got lucky on the D-Day, then you can outperform anyone even yourself !