I went to a Kaplan center for a practice test yesterday.
I envisioned a simulation of the actual GMAT test, maybe without the essays since those are not graded on site and hence could be considered a waste of time.
Once there, it quickly became apparant that my expectations were not in line with what they had scheduled.
This is not a complaint, just relaying the message to anyone who is interested.
Kaplan offered a paper test much like the SAT's, you know the kind....fill in the oval with a #2 pencil.
This presented a big problem in terms of actually simulating the real GMAT. There is nothing computer-adaptive about this method. Not sure why I expected a simulation, but I did.
In terms of the test, I need to work on my timing. I ran out of time on the quant. section and had to rush guesses on my final 10 questions. This obviously needs to be addressed before I pay for the real thing. Verbal, as expected, was much easier, despite the fact I had a brain fart and didn't turn the last page. I answered only 37of the verbal questions. Again, I need to address that before the real thing.
Looking back on the evening I think Kaplan's test is good for showing you what it's like to sit there for 2.5 hours taking the test. Their diagnostic printout sales sheet at the end was good, it gave me some info as to what I tested well on (and what I need to work on), along with my percentiles and overall score. They didn't sell as hard as I expected, which was nice. I bit my tongue on the $100 rebate offer they brought up as a benefit of showing up....you can easily get $200 off for the same by simply signing up on their website and waiting for email promos.
Other than going through the motions, though, there's not much I can see as adding to my preparation. That said, going through the motions is a big part of this process, so I'm glad I went.