I'm a 30-year old from Argentina, with a social science background and experience in the Human Resources field. It's been really tough for me to prepare quant, I had to go back to basics in maths (square roots, number properties, greatest common factor, etc)
I studied in a GMAT academy in Buenos Aires (started in january), 3 times a week for 2 hours, and then practiced at home 12 hours a week. Started on each different topic (motion problems, geometry, coordinate geometry) and then combinated exercises in 100-exercise guides. The same for Verbal (sentence correction: parallelism, tenses, etc)
Exercises were taken mostly from the official guide.
In mid-march I started taking complete verbal and quant sections (37 and 41 exercises), using a stopwatch to get used to time constraints. I did almost 20 exams for each part. Ranging from 8-17 errors in quant and 4-10 errors in verbal part. I also started to navigate gmat club and see different strategies to solve problems, trying to use the most suitable for me.
The last week prior to the exam I did Gmat prep computer exams. Those are, in my opinion, the most accurate meters for the actual exam. Took it twice and got 760 (fresh in the morning) and 690 (late in the afternoon, after a big lunch with wine).
The last day before the exam I just worked from home (i have that possibility because I own my business) in a passive way, answering e-mails, handling simple tasks, and went to bed early.
I sat for the exam on Saturday morning. I got up and was really nervous, very anxious about the place, how would it be, how many people, etc etc. Fortunately no one else was taking the exam so I was by myself there. There were four computers in isolated boxes, there were cameras all over the place, and there was a guy that had to sit there and watch me and check everything was OK with GMAT compliance. I was very impressed by security setup (hand scanner, cameras, etc).
The exam for me was hell. I hated it so much. My head was 200mph, thinking "oh, no, this exercise is easier than the one before, i'm doing awful!!!", "oh, no this is too easy! damn!", all the time. Specially in the quant part, my weakest one. I was really tight with time, and clock went off before i could check the final answer so I got penalty on that.
Verbal was much more easy for me, i finished it 30 minutes ahead, and got 44 which is 97 percentile.
- gmat club for doubts and resources.
- make a lot of exercises. thousands.
- use effective hours (fresh mind, early in the morning is the best for me)
- rest the day before the exam.
- gmat prep computer exams (they are just like the real one)
- be clever using your time in the exam (do not look at the watch in the first 15 exercises, then take a look and calculate minutes left per exercise)
Hope it helps.