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Finally experienced what is called screwing up in the test

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I took my GMAT yesterday. Started the essay writing and thought that is a good way to be synchronised with the test. Began my Quants and there were about 12 number properties questions. Took me 5 minutes to answer the first question. Couldnt give up because I thought I need the first thing right. Then somehow got control of the timing and random picked answers for last 3 questions.

I started the verbal with full energy and was having a complete control. Relaxed and left with a minute to spare. When I clicked report scores, it displayed 550 (Q42 V 25). Except for one time (Powerprep 1 without preparation) I never scored below 33 in my verbal so far. This is the least score and I am puzzled what went wrong. I know I am not good at RC. But CR and SC are in the 70-80% hit rates. My GMAT PREP 1 is 640 and GMATPREP 2 indicated that it is 590. MGMAT scores are from 590-640.

I know what I did wrong during the prep. As a warning for other members of the group I am posting this.

1. Discipline is the key
I scheduled the GMAT on March 10. But my job review fell on the same day and I had to reschedule it to March 31.( By March 10 I was scoring 640 both in MGMAT and GMATPREP). Then I prepared for my job review and couldnt focus on GMAT.

2. Concentrate equally on Verbal and Quants
Alarmed by low Quants score, I focused on Quants for 2 weeks and my verbal score fell down.

3. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE
Almost every one of us knew this. Has been reiterated by so many persons during our prep. Yet I want to emphasise practicing. If you dont practice Verbal or Quants for a week you can be assured that your score will go down.

It was not GMAT which went wrong. It was my own mistakes, but it is too late to fix.
I am just taking a break and will definitely retake. I should have settled well for the 620 given my target schools. Now it has lowered my selfesteem. Nevertheless, I will fight on.

Thanks BTG.
~R

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by beatthegmat » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:59 am
Thanks for sharing this experience with us. Sorry that your test performance didn't meet expectations.

Your summary of lessons is really fantastic and will definitely help a lot of folks in this community. More importantly, I really admire your tenacity--I'm very inspired by your not being drawn down by this minor setback. With your attitude and thoughtfulness, I'm sure you'll kick this test's butt the next time around.

Have a good break, and good luck!
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by AleksandrM » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:02 pm
I feel your pain.... Not absolutely, as I have not taken the real thing yet, but I do feel your pain on the verbal part.

I have been doing verbal from books and here on the site and have been pretty much killing the SC, CR, but not too much the RC.

I took two PR tests and scored in the 20s, though I scored a 36 on Kaplan.

I think the key is concentration and control of your emotions. When I took my Kaplan CAT, I caught myself at least twice thinking about food or how my left thigh is soar from the last workout. YOU MUST FOCUS ON THE EXAM!!!

This really comes with practicing taking CATs. That is why I plan to take a CAT every weekend when I am within a month of the actual test.

Best of luck to you.

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by rajmirra » Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:06 pm
Thanks Eric and Aleksander. I have set my mind to give it again in the first week of May. I dont want to take a long break and waste my preps so far.
~R

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by ElleBee » Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:20 pm
rajmirra wrote:Thanks Eric and Aleksander. I have set my mind to give it again in the first week of May. I dont want to take a long break and waste my preps so far.
~R
Good luck on your May retake! I'm sure you'll do better the next time around. Thanks for posting helpful tips for the rest of us!

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by kristoph16 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:59 pm
I took the test yesterday and experienced a similar outcome, although my mistakes occurred during the quantitative.
I'm not exactly sure what happened, my mind just shut down after fixating on the first few questions, which I got wrong anyway after spending way too much time on them.

In hindsight, I should have cut my losses, and skipped a few questions here and there, rather than having to rush and guess during the last 10 mins of the test.

I hope this helps.

I am going to retake the test as soon as I can.

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by Stacey Koprince » Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:48 pm
Lots of people take the test twice - just consider the first one your practice test to get you ready for the "real" test. :)

The good news is that you've now got a lot of data about what you should and shouldn't do. Just make sure that you really think about what went right / what didn't and how that should impact your study. rajmirra's got a good start up above, though I'd encourage you to think even more carefully about what did and didn't go well during that verbal section - even down to any individual questions or topics you can (sort of) remember.
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by cobraqueen » Wed Apr 09, 2008 1:29 am
I fully agree with Rajmirra on the listed points. It turns out I experienced similar feelings after the retake of the exam this year. (540...)
I was convinced that focusing on what went wrong last year (540 again...) would improve my score and bring me above 650.... but the strategy did not really work out so well....
I concentrated primarily on quant prep in the weeks preceding the exam and as a result my score totally switched around... from 60% on verbal and 40% on math last year it went to 60% on math and 40% on verbal this year.

Here are a few conclusions I have been able to make for myself:

Conclusion 1: Concentrate equally well on both MATH & VERBAL!
Conclusion 2: Do not think of it as if you are weak on one particular area. Think of it as if you are weak everywhere!
Conclusion 3: Practice MORE!
Conclusion 4: Manage your timing while you prepare!
Conclusion 5: Try taking as many CATs as possible during practice so as to psychologically prepare for the length and tiredness of the real test!
Conclusion 6: Intensify your practice in the week before the exam so it remains fresh in your mind!
Conclusion 7: Being rested before test day does not change a thing! (Last year I literally did not sleep and kept practicing till the last minute... rereading the powerprep overviews of grammar and math....as a result I was exhausted during the exam. -> Got 540. This year I decided to rest well before the test day... slept well ate well etc... -> got 540....

I hope these will help some of you at least.

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by Stacey Koprince » Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:39 am
I wouldn't necessarily conclude that you shouldn't be well-rested for the test. If you aren't you have a much greater chance of bombing the thing. Does that mean if you are well-rested, you'll definitely get the score you want? Of course not - too many variables. But you want to give yourself every chance possible to be in "the zone" on test day, and you're definitely not going to be in the zone if you're sleep-deprived and anxious.
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