Just wanted to write down my experience, for what's it worth, before I forget all about it.
Took the test yesterday morning. Got 740 - Q48/V42.
Used the following resources:
OG - 10th Edition
2003 - Book + CD
Princeton Review - Book + CD
Started looking at the GMAT around 3 months ago but serious prep started only 8 weeks back. Key is to identify your weak areas. Do 30 questions from the OG for each of the 5 sections and see how many you got right and which you felt comfortable with. Then do the Kaplan
Diagnostic test and analyse the test. Both of these will help you know which sections need more work than the others. I was comfortable with Verbal but thought I could do much better in Quant and so 60% of my efforts were in Quant and the rest on verbal. Started taking Full tests from 3 weeks before D-day. Following were the scores that I got :
1 = 590
2 = 630
3 = 640
PR1 = 740
PP1 = 690
PP2 = 740
I would suggest not to look too much into these scores but use them to identify your speed , your weak areas and your stamina levels. Also try to do the AWA section for as many as you can. I know most people skip that section while doing these mock tests but I wrote the essays for 3 of the 6 tests and it helped me deal with the brain over-heating on the test day.
Had a relaxed last 2 days before the test and just studied for around 2 hours in all. Reviewed all the quant formulae from the Kaplan
book, found that useful. Went out with friends on Sunday evening and we discussed how we all hated standardised tests and how they don't measure anything of value ; - )
Had a big chocolate (DoubleDecker with nuts, just in case anyone's interested) before entering the center. That always does the trick for me ; - ) I do sometimes wonder if I am still 4 years old.
Panicked in the AWA section as I had prepared a template and could remember nothing at all from that template. Decided to forget trying to remember the template and just did my own thing in the end. Not too happy with my essays , but we will know soon. I am expecting 4.5+
Made use of all the 3 breaks but its a wonder how those 5 minutes are the
quickest you will ever see in your life. By the time you raise your hand , sign out , drink a glass of water , sign in and sit down back , its more than 5 mins.
Quant was definitely much tougher than OG. But doing all OG and Kaplan
quant questions will help you get a good picture and you wont be surprised by 80% of the questions. The rest 20% required a lot of applications of various fundamentals but I assumed that at least some of these were the experimental ones - Damn , I hate to be used as a guinea pig- ETS shouldn't do experiments on us when our brains are already fried. Got no SD questions but there were 2 or 3 Median/Mean questions , and 2 or 3 Probability/Permutation/Combination questions. I browsed the archives of this group and the tutorials to get a feel of these sections. It might also have helped that I had Probability and P/C as a minor in University ; - ) Would like to give one bit of advice, if I may - If you come to any problem which you think will take more than 3-4 minutes or which you have no clue about, take an intelligent guess and move on instead of trying to solve it ad infinitum - It might be that they are the experimental questions and it will just waste your time , make you feel frustrated and increase your panic.Dont guess in the first 10-15 questions , though. In the end, I had to do 6 questions in the last 10 minutes and guessed 2 which I was sure wud take more time than I had.
Verbal was cool though when by the time I had reached Question Number 15 and still hadn't got any CR question - which was my strong area, there was a mini-panic . Was I doing something wrong? Have they changed the format ? Do they hate me cos I had a DoubleDecker and they didn't ? But then I received 3 or 4 in a row and I was back to my happy state. 4 RCs - and was I glad none of them had to do with astronomy. But the test designers did know that I hated Biology(Botany,to be specific) in school and so they gave me a very boring one on that. SCs were of OG standard and if you know all the rules from Kaplan
or Princeton, you should be fine. I did get a lot of SCs , though. CRs were a bit tougher than OG but nothing to be worried about. Finished with 10 minutes remaining and wished I had done the ones in the middle a bit slowly.
Was pleasantly surprised to see 740 on the screen. I was expecting 700-720 after the test and 700 before the test. So that's that.
I will hang around on this board for a couple of weeks. Feel free to write to me if I can be of any help.