Almost 4 months of study to that d@mm test were over today, when I finally took the test for the first time.
I reported about most of my preparations, confusion and some insights in http://gmatclub.com/forum/8-t66659
. I will discribe the test itself here.
A quick remark before I do that - I live in Israel and apply to Israeli universities - they do not consider AWA at all and most either don't consider the verbal section as well or give it very small weight. So the Q part was the one crucial elemant in the GMAT for me.
I let myself have 8 hours of sleep yesterday. Ate a very light breakfast as I usually do and drove to the test center which is 2 hours from my home.
I got there early, went through the check-in process quickly and was allowed to start earlier than scheduled. I left the AWA blank. However, just to get "warm" I made up and solved a couple of very trivial exponent/probability problems, just to get into the rhytm of things before proceeding to the Q part. I practiced using the marker with that plastic notebook, to see if they cause any difficulties. Actually I found them fairly comfortable.
I was stressed, but here it was, the dreaded Quantitative GMAT section. I went through the questions, skipped (guessed) those that seemed to take too long, found some too easy (oh my good I am blowing this test!!!) and panicked in a few for which I could not find the solution quick enough altough they seemed simple. I was very stressed, that is for sure. The time past SO quickly and I knew I must get my timing right. In the middle of the section the person next to me started to type like crazy and my brain froze then and there, I sat there for what seemed like eternity listening to the "click click click click click" of his keyboard, unable to concentrate. I figured out ear plugs can help (they offered some before I entered the exam but I declined, I thought they will make me feel uncomfortable). I raised my hand, more than 2 minutes passed before the supervisor arrived (she was busy with someone that just entered the exam!) while I try to draw her attention without saying anything and trying to solve that damm question at the same time. Talk about frustration. I finally got the ear plugs, and the blessed silence helped me proceed. TIP: TAKE THE EAR PLUGS!
I managed to get to the last question without guessing too many, but my overall feeling was not very good, I felt did better in some of the practice exams. I took my 10 minutes break, ate a snack, drank some water and back I was in the vebal section.
As I explained, this section is less important for me, but still it accounts for 5% of the score in Tel Aviv University, my first choice (Q sections account for 55%, BA/BSC average accounts for 40%). So I practically made myself go through the questions, telling myself again and again to concentrate, make this last effort, read all those RC passages, correct all those sentences, reasonably critic all those paragraph and claims, strengthen, support, undermine, etc etc. I managed to finish all questions and had about 3 minutes to go. That was it.
I answered some of the personal info questions but didn't have the patience to go through all of them, I wanted to see my score. And here it was:
Quantitative 47 (79 percentile)
Verbal 38 (83 percentile)
Total 690 (88 percentile)
That surprised me a bit, I thought I'd get about 43-44 in Q. I hoped for 48+, but 47 is good enough. It gives me very good chances to get accepted to Tel Aviv University, and excellent chances to get accepted to anywhere else in Israel.
I want to thank this forum which helped me tremendously, both in inspiring me that good GMAT grades are possible and by helping with any question, often minutes after it was posted. THANK YOU!