I was just thrashed by the GMAT

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I was just thrashed by the GMAT

by frank1 » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:30 pm
Well,i have read lots of stories here.
Especially one that inspire you to do good.

My story isn't going to inspire you but it may give you some do's and dont's which definately may help you(i guess)

here is my story

As it is strictly forbidden to talk exam i will limit all the things up my experienceI took gmat recently and was totally thrashed by it.

Prep: Around 6 months
Kaplan(all books and Kaplan platinum cd)
OG (All three book ,i know about 90% answers of questions of three books)
Manhattan 8 book series
Princeton review workbook
Power score CR Bible
beat the gmat-
700+ hard questions
300 quantitative questions
different question sets(rate, mixture....)
Verbal notes

prep tests
Kaplan average 610
Manhattan average 630
gmat prep 1-630
gmat prep-2 610
Numerous others
I agree i was never above 700 because of verbal, in quantative i have got up to 49 and y average was around 44

What i was aiming for: around 630-650

Result (Disaster):540
AWA 5


My weakness
DS (esp. 700+)
Verbal (Mixed as i am not native english speaker. My striking rate was 75% in SC,CR and 70% in RC)
My primary education or schooling

What went wrong(my perception)
I feel like too many DS question questions in earlier part killed my quant score ,DS has been my weakness and to my brunt exam luck on that day there were lost of DS questions in earlier part.(What a luck).It was something that i had never experienced during prep test.So may be that derailed me.
I didn't feel i got any easy question in any stage of test(except 1)
My verbal was good and i was even confident about answers in most of them, maybe i made mistakes in earlier part
I felt i will be more lucky in exam day(in other words may be i felt exam question wont be difficult)
and may be i was not good enough for it.

Do's and don'ts from my experience

Do
Prepare for the worst(you could think of)
Look for something of everything rather than many thing of one thing(for eg, you prepare hard probability questions for weeks and there is no guarantee that it will come.....there may not be even single question of it)
Respect earlier questions(i think that is what went wrong in verbal section)
Go for type of questions rather than each individual question.(You may kill a 800 level question which nobody was able to kill but you should know that question will never come in actual exam)
Respect time constraints. At the end of your preparation make sure everything starts and ends on time. For eg, solving DS in 5 minutes may be equivalent to making 2 mistakes then after cramped by time.
If possible do write essays in prep test. Other things apart if you start quantitative section directly rather than writing essay, your mind would be quite fresh unlike exam day when your mind will be 1 hour old(tension wise) ,when you reach to quantitative section. This can make a huge difference.
Take gmat in advance. Now i am in total dilemma when should i retake it(will it be useful,may be i wil miss the deadline)
Do fully respect GMAT, i have very good GPA, around 4 years of work experience, good resume but now i have low score which has closed door for me to most of good universities(it will be waste of money and time even to try i guess) or even scholarships or assistance ship in middle level college. Whole war lost with the single battle. People may argue but it has been true at least for me. So do respect GMAT and try to do best.
Take GMAT and language test with the proper gap.I took both with gap of 8 days and blew off GMAT.
Admit your weakness and work on it. Don't assume you will be lucky and question won't be asked from that section on exam day.
Consider time, don't move too fast thinking you will run out of time at the end(one mistake i made)

Don't
Don't assume questions in exam day you will get easier or question will be similar to OG and gmat prep(structure only is same otherwise even a single word may not be similar).Some people get nervous initially in GMAT as they are habituated of getting same or similar questions what they study in their college exams.
If you do good in hard questions of Kaplan don't start feeling that you will do good in actual exam
don't assume there will be equal proportion of question from each section (like Geometry 30,arithmetic 30 and so on)
Don't think like "i can do better even not looking a certain chapter or concept". You may end up getting lots of question from same concept. It happen to me with "inequalities"
If you could do well in OG questions, dont start assuming you will do good in exam
Assume you are doing good or bad based on the question you are getting(I was thinking i was doing bad in quantitative and good in verbal but result was opposite)
Don't Overdo practice and feel longer you practice better it is
Dont neglect things you dont like(i use to unlike co-ordinate geometry--it took full revenge from me)
Don't get over excited with GMAT prep test
Don't get lost among too many so called "notes", "collections" and so on. If you do you will remain practicing for ever as there is no definite boundaries.
Don't get tensed if computer restarts in the middle of the real exam. I was worried for a while. It happened in my case.
Don't take preparation classes with lechers who teach you just rules and dont think your score will improve drastically overnight after you take prep classes. It happened in my case(local institute).My prep class was waste of time and money.
Don't get bogged down by myth of friends. Every case is separate. Myths just play in back of your mind so don't think of it.
Have proper gap between language test(i took ielts with score of 7.5) and GMAT.I delayed language test and it took revenge as i had to take it just before gmat to meet deadline.
Don't feel that if you do good in language test your verbal score will shoot. MAT verbal is more tactical less semantically verbal.

Most important remain positive and also PRAY for luck.

I feel unlucky as well as the guys who were much below my standard (in academic records, test prep score, dedication) got 70-100 point higher than my score later.
They were amazed to see my score and so was i, seeing their score.

and i think this is no hidden secret and every preparation providers do say this "pay extra attention to initial questions,initial correct answers or wrong answers can play vital role in overall score.(even if you do good or fail in later part).

I dont know it is 100% true or not but from my experience i felt like, its true.

and another important thing learn from mistakes of others(saves your dollars and time),that why i have posted it here.

I dont feel any thing i have posted here is against any agreements.I have tried to eliminate anything as such.If there are any please inform me.I will remove it.My motive is just to share what happened to me.

Thanks
and BEST OF LUCK
GMAT score is equally counted as your GPA and 78 clicks can change you life.

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by Night reader » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:03 am
Hi Frank, I have to say - don't regret your test experience! You've been posting here so good and meaningful; I would not expect your quant score to roar under 45 ... Perhaps you were less attentive or got exhausted during the prep time. Besides, you mentioned here so many sources for GMAT review and practice - I am shocked man. Would not it be better to reduce the prep material twice and analyze deeper all mistakes? Did you have any error log file revisited throughout 6-month prep time? If you continue this way of preparation for the next GMAT sitting, that should not help too much, I guess. And yes, you are right the early questions count heavier on percentile and scaled score!!! I remember finishing my test with quant 16 mistakes in GMAT prep and yet scoring 47(!) , while my finishing the decent part of quant with 11 mistakes left me at scaled score 45 another time. The difference was that when I made 16 wrongs and scored 47 I had only one wrong within the set of 11 first questions...

MGMAT is another example. I was sitting and practicing new CAT and 'time over' command popped up, I was on question 24 (was distracted). The scaled score I got was 35!!! - can you imagine MGMAT gave me 35 with 13 questions not answered - I checked I was standing 83 percentile rank when the time limit command triggered.

These things happened to me 30 days ago; I have let myself to practice with BTG set since then. Now I am looking into 700+ problems too, but I do mainly analysis here. This way I should continue one month until mid-February and then take GMAT.

I suggest you cool down and start analyzing all of your weak areas, including DS. You definitely need to retake GMAT and propose yourself for round 3.

good luck.

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by frank1 » Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:59 am
Night reader wrote:Hi Frank, I have to say - don't regret your test experience! You've been posting here so good and meaningful; I would not expect your quant score to roar under 45 ... Perhaps you were less attentive or got exhausted during the prep time. Besides, you mentioned here so many sources for GMAT review and practice - I am shocked man. Would not it be better to reduce the prep material twice and analyze deeper all mistakes? Did you have any error log file revisited throughout 6-month prep time? If you continue this way of preparation for the next GMAT sitting, that should not help too much, I guess. And yes, you are right the early questions count heavier on percentile and scaled score!!! I remember finishing my test with quant 16 mistakes in GMAT prep and yet scoring 47(!) , while my finishing the decent part of quant with 11 mistakes left me at scaled score 45 another time. The difference was that when I made 16 wrongs and scored 47 I had only one wrong within the set of 11 first questions...

MGMAT is another example. I was sitting and practicing new CAT and 'time over' command popped up, I was on question 24 (was distracted). The scaled score I got was 35!!! - can you imagine MGMAT gave me 35 with 13 questions not answered - I checked I was standing 83 percentile rank when the time limit command triggered.

These things happened to me 30 days ago; I have let myself to practice with BTG set since then. Now I am looking into 700+ problems too, but I do mainly analysis here. This way I should continue one month until mid-February and then take GMAT.

I suggest you cool down and start analyzing all of your weak areas, including DS. You definitely need to retake GMAT and propose yourself for round 3.

good luck.
Thanks for your kind words.
I am not basking but yes my score was to everybody's surprise :even to my instructors, my friends and initially i was quite dejected as it is the lowest score i have ever got in my whole life(may be from my childhood).

I agree my reading style was not as per GMAT style but one reason for that may be system of traditional educational schooling i had. All the exams paper based and we are given from within what we are taught and i was to adapt with GMAT style but unfortunately i was not up to it.Having said that,i have heard that there are lots of brilliant guys from india who are in similar situation and have scored quite high.So may be personal problem with me.

I feel another immediate cause for my downfall was lots of DS in initial part as i have mentioned. With lots of unsure answers in the initial DS questions,I start feeling I will end up with very bad score(BIG MISTAKE) and i finally ended up with 37.
I had more than 8 minutes remaining when the section ended that was also one sign that everything didn't go well.

Ya,another problem with my preparation was my error log was limited to my memory.

When i post analyze my failure,apart from other thing i think I should confess that one reason i failed was because I am used to 'reading by hard' or rot education. I think that justifies my 99 percentile GPA and 48 percentile GMAT score.
even in case of GMAT i tried same tactics(reading by hard) and i flopped.I think that has been one problem with me.(Wrong tactics and unable to adapt as per situation)

I even know almost 90% questions/answers of OG and major gmat books(in my memory) and as you know this style of memorization doesn't work with GMAT so i fell badly.Many friends tell me that they have done all OG questions and done all kaplan 800 but i now feel:dont go to the wording-go for the structure.You do well in particular 800 level question of certain book doesnt prove that you can do good in other 800 level questions.


I tried for 6 months but i was not able cope with it. I think it will take some time as i have been habitual to a way of learning in last 20 years of my education.

One reason i posted this here is that I am not sure i should retake GMAT or not considering:
I have missed opportunities of good universities by now(for 2011,most deadlines are over)
I was/am never looking for top business school or core MBA programs.
I am engineer who is trying to learn a hybrid programs such as MBA(IS),MIS and so on.

I have some technical certification program exam pending. I feel i have better chance of doing well there rather than retaking GMAT.So,i am bit confused what should i do. Preparation for GMAT has been kind of full time job.

Any way thanks for suggestions.
I also think i can do better than what i have done now.(but have to be frank and say i am still not upto 700 or higher level)

so I am in dilemma what should I do?
GMAT score is equally counted as your GPA and 78 clicks can change you life.

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by STEVEN SPIELBERG » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:04 am
frank1 wrote:Well,i have read lots of stories here.
Especially one that inspire you to do good.
Which STORY inspired you. Please mention the name and the author. Please be specific cause I need guidance and motivation too.
I want to win an OSCAR on the GMAT !!!

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by Random Wok » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:27 pm
@frank1

Sorry about your score. I think a lot of people, myself included, get intimidated by DS questions. Every time you mark a DS answer, there's always a little more uncertainty than any other type of question.

I think for DS, you should practice the process of plugging in numbers and ruling out statements, until you can do it in an efficient manner. I know this definitely helped me out. In my experience, DS is not about knowing "some trick" to solve the problem. What will really help you is being able to eliminate answers without making dumb mistakes. A lot of times, a complex DS problem would throw me off and I'd make an addition or subtraction mistake. Or I'd get flustered and forget that the question was asking for ">" and not "<". The math wasn't hard or anything, I was just intimidated into making mistakes.

Once you can approach these type of questions with confidence, you'll definitely improve your score.

Best of Luck,

Mark