Just wanted to say thanks to people in this forum... although I hadn't participated here before, I read your posts and, more than anything, they gave me inspiration to study and do better.
I took my GMAT today and got 750 (99th, q49 and v42). This is my first official GMAT test and i guess i won't be needing another one. I am a little scared about AWA but i'll just cross my fingers and hope for the best.
The test taking experience was fine. I took it in Waltham (near Boston) and the test center staff was very professional and extremely helpful. I got there early and ended up getting a separate room just to myself.
Regarding study aids, i read PR and Kaplan
books, and did their tests. I also attempted OG questions and 800score tests, as well as official GmatPrep. Here are my scores on the practice runs (more or less chronologically):
PR CAT 1: 710
CAT1 redo: 590
PR CAT2: 670
PR CAT3: 650
I was definitely discouraged by Kaplan
and 800 score results but my point is these tests are not terribly accurate predictors, so to those who haven't taken the test yet, my piece of advice is to not get discouraged and keep working hard.
I studied for maybe 8-10 weekends over a 4 month stretch, 6-7 hours per weekend. Kaplan
book was a little helpful, but nothing will substitute pure practice. I spent one weekend reading the books and the rest 10 weekends just doing tests and nothing else. I reviewed my mistakes and tried to learn from them. I found 800score tests least useful since they contained a lot of vague and poorly written questions. Kaplan
tests were downright difficult and their scoring conservative.
Good luck to all who are still in the process of preparing for GMAT. Once again, thanks to people in this forum for providing much needed motivation.