I just recently took my GMAT and I thought I would share my experience with you all.
I prepared using first a Kaplan
2006 Premiere Book. Interestingly, I bought this book for $2 at a used book sale and it's what got me to start thinking about an MBA! It was very helpful and I used all the practice tests on the CD, although they were very low scoring compared to my final.
Once I got serious (joined gmatclub, etc) I went ahead and got the OGs, and Kaplan
's Math Workbook and went through every problem. The final week before my exam I canceled most of my appointments and hunkered down as much as possible to squeeze out about 40 hours of study time after work. I took a number of free online practice tests, all ranging about 570-690.
The day of the exam I was running late due to traffic, then I had trouble finding the building because it wasn't marked and in the midst of tons of other similar buildings. I barely got into the test center on time and got to breathe for just a minute before starting.
Half way through, during one of my 5 minute breaks, I asked if I could step out of the building for just a minute to get a breath of fresh air (I was getting light headed from being closed up, and not having had time for breakfast or lunch or coffee!) GET THIS - He asks, "do you need to smoke?" "No" "Then no you can't" "You mean if I smoked I could?!!!" "Yes" "but I can't just get 'fresh' air?" Nope.
I fumed back into the test room and started the English exam. As I sat down, I noticed a giant lump in my pocket. I had put my wallet in my pocket thinking I could grab a coffee from a vending machine and forgotten about it in my anger! My wallet needs to go on a diet, as Jerry Seinfeld would put it, and it makes me sit lop-sided. I was so nervous that I couldn't think straight. I can't sit like this for an hour, and I certainly can't tell them I forgot it - they'll kick me out. So, I just toughed it out as best I could, constantly thinking about it. By the time I had 10 questions left I was getting sick (caffeine addiction and poor air circulation) and I thought I might vomit. I forced myself to keep answering questions and finally pushed through to the end.
WHAT?! I had just scored a 570 on my last Kaplan
exam and I was sure I had done poorly. I didn't believe it. I left and looked for an alley to vomit in, but ended up just dry heaving. It took me two hours to overcome the headache, but I finally recovered.
Now, two weeks later I am thrilled to have scored as well as I did. It still makes me angry that they discriminated against me because I'm not a smoker, but oh well. Life goes on.
Thanks for all the help, gmat clubbers!