Help from another dimension

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Help from another dimension

by DBushkalov » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:23 am
Hi fellows,

I dont want to make you read tons of lines here, but I just cant write it in only 2-3 sentences. So thank you for taking your time to read this.

On my first GMAT Prep exam (w/o any preparation) I got 610. After I finished all preparation and knew all strategy guides from cover to cover I retook the exam and got 650. Yesterday I took my first Manhattan gmat exam and was pretty dissapointed to see the score of..... 610 again.

Now, here is what has happened. Halfway thourgh verbal (somewhere after the 20-th -22-nd question)I was in the 90th percentile. Then a streak of 12 wrong answers in 18 questions. This was also the case in my 650 score a few weeks back. Thus I assumed that after I take the essay, IR, make 37 quant tasks, and the half of the verbal prompts, I just loose my concentration so fast, that the situation becomes almost uncontrollable. The techniques with deep breathing and massaging your neck are very good, but toward the end of the exam they are not particularly helpful; this is simply because i get so tired that it is tough to keep the concentration at a level to read passages, solve CR tasks and all this at a rapid pace.

My question to you:

should I consider taking some pills for concentration and stamina come the test day? I have never done such things, but why not try it? After all, Lans Armstrong and Diego Maradonna did it in the past so...

On another note: The exam is just too long and difficult, especially since I have never been to USA, AUSTRALIA or UK, and thus, have never been exposed to spoken ENglish for a time long enough to feel the English as a second native language to you. Thus I am not that good in english. True, I can write, listen, speak and read pretty well, but not necessarily the passages on the gmat and especially when you get 41 questions thrown at you in less than 80 minutes, preceded by another 150 minutes of hard stressful tasks. Also, starring at the computer for too long contributes a lot to making me tired.

If you can offer me some other method to reinforce my concentration I would be very appreciateful


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by [email protected] » Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:11 am
It sounds like your main weakness is mental stamina. I suggest that you build more stamina by taking LOTS AND LOTS of practice tests.

At the same time, you should work on the way in which you engage with Verbal questions. When it comes to Reading Comprehension (RC) and Critical Reasoning (CR) questions, it's crucial that you engage 100% in the passage. If you "zone out," you'll end up re-reading the passage, and this is a time killer.

One suggestion: rather than approach a new passage with dread ("I don't enjoy reading this at all"), try to feign interest ("Excellent! This passage is about stock market regulations in Mexico!"). The better your engagement, the better the results.

You'll find additional tips to help you better engage with the passage in this free video: ... on?id=1123


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by DBushkalov » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:12 am
thank you brent,

I support your opinion that I should take as many practice exams as possible. Regarding the ëngaging with the passage"- part, I already do that. engage, look for the simple story, connect to what you know, unpack the beggining, connect to what you ve read from the passage so far and speed up. It's just not always working. But I will keep pushing hard.

Have a nice day and btw. a very good article, about the Data Sufficiency mistakes made by rookies and veterans. Really enjoyed it.

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by MBAAdmissionsCoach » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:54 am
Hi DBushkalov,

Clearly your GMAT experiences have been very frustrating for you. I understand how discouraging can be.

I have a few suggestions for you that are perhaps a little unconventional for this forum, but here goes!

1. English
You mention that your English abilities are not as strong as you'd like. This is definitely part of your stamina issue on the exam. Trying to complete the entire exam in English is fatiguing you.

So, what is the solution? I recommend you start reading and communicating in English every day - to build your skills, stamina and, most importantly, your confidence!

2. Other ways to build stamina/reduce stress
Here's where the unconventional advice comes in. In addition to my MBA Admissions Consulting business, MBA Admissions Coach, I'm also a professional running coach.

Are you engaged in a regular exercise program that helps you reduce stress and build physical stamina? If not, I suggest you look into something right away. Many of the runners I coach find that they develop great confidence and stamina in doing the things that they thought they could not do.

Plus, you could listen to English language podcasts or music while you exercise - multitasking! Yes!

3. Performance Enhancing Drugs - Ha ha! That was a joke, right? Sure, Lance Armstrong did it, but look how many Tour de France titles and Olympic medals he has now - ZERO! This is not the path to follow, my friend.

If you are concerned that you have a problem with attention and concentration, you should seek a qualified medical evaluation on this.

However, just to find a panacea to help you on test day is not a good plan. First, it may backfire on you (you may be too jittery to perform well on the exam). Second, if you do well on the exam and you are admitted to a school, but you can't perform to that GMAT score in the program, you may find yourself in serious academic trouble.

4. Relaxation exercises - It's good that you are developing techniques to help you relax. Are you practicing your relaxation exercises every day? Don't save them just for test day. Make relaxation and stress relief a part of your every day life.

That's all I've got for now. I hope it is helpful to you. If I can help further, just shout!


Wendy Flynn
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