Definitely much easier second time round in terms of stress and preparation, and especially not getting caught up in the scaremongering of other parents
DS1 is far more academic than DD1 and we thought it would be much harder for DD1 to achieve as much, especially since we felt she has been completely underestimated at her school (labelled as unacademic very early on with the remedial maths class, school refusal to move her to a higher group etc).
As it was our second time through the process, we took a far more relaxed approach, no pressure on her as we realised there was only so much we (and she) could do. Anyway as it turned out, she scored very well, making over 240. Although her score is safe for CHG, she seems to be like her brother after all in that she doesn't want to go to CH....
If it had been our first attempt there's no doubt the uncertainty about what we were doing would have shown, we know we did far less than others in her class but it was more targetted, if that makes sense. I followed a lot of the advice on here and it was all she needed