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570 57% Q44/V25 - Seeking advice

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570 57% Q44/V25 - Seeking advice

by NethraN » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:33 am
Hello Everyone,

I have been following Beat the gmat posts since longtime. Though this is my first post here, I know who's who of this site and am really expecting some advice from these experts and everyone here.

I gave my GMAT on 2nd March - 9 AM slot and ended up scoring a mere 570. I was shocked since I never got below 600 in any of my practice tests.
During the test I never felt like am doing bad, but I ran out of time in both the sections and had to guess 3 questions in quant and 4 in verbal. I took a long time to solve some questions and guessed a few but I could never predict my score would be so less.

Below are my practice test scores:
GMATPrep I - 600 Q44 V28 ( I took this test during initial days with out much preparation)
MGMAT CAT I - 670 Q47 V34
MGMAT CAT II - 630 Q44 V32
MGMAT CAT III - 600 Q44 V30
MGMAT CAT IV - 680 Q45 V37
MGMAT CAT V - 650 Q44 V35
MGMAT CAT VI - 650 Q44 V35
GMATPrep II - 600 Q45 V27
GMATPrep I - 600 Q46 V26
ACTUAL GMAT - 570 Q44 V25

I guess all of you can observe a pattern here, my score the first day of my preparation and the last day of my preparation was the pretty much the same and my Quant score has remained constant without bothering to change. I strongly feel that the desperation of getting a good score on GMAT pulled my average even lower and fetched me only a 570.

Materials I used were:
OG 11
OG Quant review
OG Verbal Review
KAPLAN Premier program with CD ROM
KAPLAN Math workbook
Princeton cracking the GMAT
Manhattan Sentence Correction

My mistake was to trust Manhattan CAT scores, I had read in several posts that these tests are actually tougher than the actual GMAT so I was very confident that my preparation is heading in the right direction but I was so wrong. I feel MGAMT's scores are deceiving, their tests are definitely good for practice and have some really good and tough questions but their scores are no match with the GMATPrep scores. BIG MISTAKE - I did not take GMATPrep tests until the last minute assuming that I can slam it when am managing such scores in MGMAT CATs.

My Background:
I have 3+ years of IT experience, I have got some awards and recognitions during my tenure, I can get good LOR's and I can dream of an MBA only if I get good funding. My schooling was from a Govt school in India so my English foundation is weak (I can improve and am ready to work hard).

I hope this gives enough information to help you give me the right advice. What I want to know from you people is

1) Should I even consider giving GMAT another shot or should I just give up my dream of having an MBA from a good school?

2) How to improve my Verbal score?
Considering that with my current quant score a decent verbal score can get me good marks, is it advisable to take classes or do it myself. As you can see i pretty much had all the materials necessary but may be I did not know how to use them, so any guidance on how to make the most out of the books is highly appreciated and honored.

3) How to conquer the fear of GMAT?

4) How much does essay score matter to the B-schools?

I know this is a very lengthy post by someone who got just a 570. But this the first thing am doing after recovering from my depression, posting for help with lots of hopes (I can say that the very thought of getting help and advice from people here helped me recover). Thanks a lot for giving me your precious time and every word of advice will make a difference to me, so please help me.

Only piece of advice from my side is "Neither take GMAT for granted nor let GMAT take you for granted"

Thanks a lot!

Nethra.
Nethra

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Re: 570 57% Q44/V25 - Seeking advice

by El Cucu » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:51 pm
NethraN wrote:Hello Everyone,

I have been following Beat the gmat posts since longtime. Though this is my first post here, I know who's who of this site and am really expecting some advice from these experts and everyone here.

I gave my GMAT on 2nd March - 9 AM slot and ended up scoring a mere 570. I was shocked since I never got below 600 in any of my practice tests.
During the test I never felt like am doing bad, but I ran out of time in both the sections and had to guess 3 questions in quant and 4 in verbal. I took a long time to solve some questions and guessed a few but I could never predict my score would be so less.

Below are my practice test scores:
GMATPrep I - 600 Q44 V28 ( I took this test during initial days with out much preparation)
MGMAT CAT I - 670 Q47 V34
MGMAT CAT II - 630 Q44 V32
MGMAT CAT III - 600 Q44 V30
MGMAT CAT IV - 680 Q45 V37
MGMAT CAT V - 650 Q44 V35
MGMAT CAT VI - 650 Q44 V35
GMATPrep II - 600 Q45 V27
GMATPrep I - 600 Q46 V26
ACTUAL GMAT - 570 Q44 V25

I guess all of you can observe a pattern here, my score the first day of my preparation and the last day of my preparation was the pretty much the same and my Quant score has remained constant without bothering to change. I strongly feel that the desperation of getting a good score on GMAT pulled my average even lower and fetched me only a 570.

Materials I used were:
OG 11
OG Quant review
OG Verbal Review
KAPLAN Premier program with CD ROM
KAPLAN Math workbook
Princeton cracking the GMAT
Manhattan Sentence Correction

My mistake was to trust Manhattan CAT scores, I had read in several posts that these tests are actually tougher than the actual GMAT so I was very confident that my preparation is heading in the right direction but I was so wrong. I feel MGAMT's scores are deceiving, their tests are definitely good for practice and have some really good and tough questions but their scores are no match with the GMATPrep scores. BIG MISTAKE - I did not take GMATPrep tests until the last minute assuming that I can slam it when am managing such scores in MGMAT CATs.

My Background:
I have 3+ years of IT experience, I have got some awards and recognitions during my tenure, I can get good LOR's and I can dream of an MBA only if I get good funding. My schooling was from a Govt school in India so my English foundation is weak (I can improve and am ready to work hard).

I hope this gives enough information to help you give me the right advice. What I want to know from you people is

1) Should I even consider giving GMAT another shot or should I just give up my dream of having an MBA from a good school?

2) How to improve my Verbal score?
Considering that with my current quant score a decent verbal score can get me good marks, is it advisable to take classes or do it myself. As you can see i pretty much had all the materials necessary but may be I did not know how to use them, so any guidance on how to make the most out of the books is highly appreciated and honored.

3) How to conquer the fear of GMAT?

4) How much does essay score matter to the B-schools?

I know this is a very lengthy post by someone who got just a 570. But this the first thing am doing after recovering from my depression, posting for help with lots of hopes (I can say that the very thought of getting help and advice from people here helped me recover). Thanks a lot for giving me your precious time and every word of advice will make a difference to me, so please help me.

Only piece of advice from my side is "Neither take GMAT for granted nor let GMAT take you for granted"

Thanks a lot!

Nethra.
1st take one or two weeks to rest.

Most common error is to forget errors! If I were you I would try to review erros made in OG and Gmat prep especially. Spent time analyzing (quality over quantity).

Verbal is your weak area. Identify where are your weackness (CR; RC;SC)

Practice every day and analyse all mistakes.

Gmat can be beaten!

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by deadman » Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:33 pm
*BUMP*

Guys can you please answer Nethra's questions and take a look at her post.

I found it interesting as a future test taker and find it weird that nobody responded.

Dont worry Nethra, I am sure you will BEAT THE GMAT next time

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by deadman » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:26 pm
BUMP again

In hopes of someone to give us some good analysis and feedback.

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Re: 570 57% Q44/V25 - Seeking advice

by kanha81 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:47 pm
El Cucu wrote:
NethraN wrote:
I hope this gives enough information to help you give me the right advice. What I want to know from you people is

1) Should I even consider giving GMAT another shot or should I just give up my dream of having an MBA from a good school?

2) How to improve my Verbal score?
Considering that with my current quant score a decent verbal score can get me good marks, is it advisable to take classes or do it myself. As you can see i pretty much had all the materials necessary but may be I did not know how to use them, so any guidance on how to make the most out of the books is highly appreciated and honored.

3) How to conquer the fear of GMAT?

4) How much does essay score matter to the B-schools?

I know this is a very lengthy post by someone who got just a 570. But this the first thing am doing after recovering from my depression, posting for help with lots of hopes (I can say that the very thought of getting help and advice from people here helped me recover). Thanks a lot for giving me your precious time and every word of advice will make a difference to me, so please help me.

Only piece of advice from my side is "Neither take GMAT for granted nor let GMAT take you for granted"

Thanks a lot!

Nethra.
1st take one or two weeks to rest.

Most common error is to forget errors! If I were you I would try to review erros made in OG and Gmat prep especially. Spent time analyzing (quality over quantity).

Verbal is your weak area. Identify where are your weackness (CR; RC;SC)

Practice every day and analyse all mistakes.

Gmat can be beaten!

Your english is quite good, so for the VERBAL, I would recommend MGMAT SC and CR BIBLE.
Want to Beat GMAT.
Always do what you're afraid to do. Whoooop GMAT

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by cramya » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:51 pm
Nethra,
First of all dont feel bad that u have got 570. I have seen posts on this forum where folks have improved from 400's to 600's i.e. a 150 - 200 point jump. It is very much possible with determination and hardwork.

Look at it this way u were 30 points aways from a 600 and 130 from a 700. IMO with a strong application a GMAT score above 650 is definitely competitive to get in to a good school.Are u looking at top 50, top 10 top75 etc.. what are your priorities? Thats the most imprtant thing. For example I would narrow down to the schools I would want to go and see what the cut off GMAT score is. This will tell u more on what u might need to do.

1) Should I even consider giving GMAT another shot or should I just give up my dream of having an MBA from a good school?

If u have the time and are in no hurry to start ur MBA soon then by all means give it another shot. I am sure u will succeed if u focus more on verbal like u said. I have seen lots of posts from folks who's first langauge is not English but have fared well on verbal.

2) How to improve my Verbal score?

Verbal is indeed a tough nut to crack for most. The one thing I would suggest is when u r practicing questions in Verbal know why the answers that u marked off are really wrong. This will teach u as much or more than the right answer itself. Once u can spot the errors time and again the correct answer more or less becomes intuitive.This can only be achived by knowing the rules to attack the various question types and then implementing it in practice to ensure the strategy or rule or idea behind ur approach works.

IMO these are good verbal books(not saying the one u have used are bad in anyway):

SC-> Manhattan sentence correction 3rd edition

CR-> Power score CR bible or Manhattan CR bible 3rd edition

RC-> Manhattan again or any

Use the 12th edition OG for new questions if u have already exhausted 11th edition and GMAT PREP for practice. I would do GMAT preps again and again till I exhaust the questions. Quality is more important than quantity i.e analyze each and every question u do until u know why the 4 choices in the question are really wrong and the one correct choice is really correct.

3) How to conquer the fear of GMAT?

GMAT is not the end of the world. Its just a test. Go with that attitude i.e with neither arrogance nor over confidence.Take one question at a time without worrying about if u picked the right answer choice for the last one. Approach each question with a free and uncluttered mind. Its easier said than done but trust me if u tune ur midn right(repeat this to yourself everyday) this can be done. Try to implement this in every practice test u take and see if it works.

Being confident always means + some points on the GMAT.I hope u understand what I mean.

4) How much does essay score matter to the B-schools?

Not sure on this. I would check with an admissions expert in the admission section of the forum.

Wish u the very best and I am sure we will see a good debrief from u in the coming months...

Good luck; there is nothing to feel depressed about as there are more things to life than "Are u a 700+ scorer on GMAT".

Keep us posted.

Regards,
Cramya
Last edited by cramya on Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by mayonnai5e » Tue Mar 17, 2009 5:53 pm
1) Should I even consider giving GMAT another shot or should I just give up my dream of having an MBA from a good school?

2) How to improve my Verbal score?
Considering that with my current quant score a decent verbal score can get me good marks, is it advisable to take classes or do it myself. As you can see i pretty much had all the materials necessary but may be I did not know how to use them, so any guidance on how to make the most out of the books is highly appreciated and honored.

3) How to conquer the fear of GMAT?

4) How much does essay score matter to the B-schools?
First, if it's your dream you cannot just give up. If you can give it up so readily then that's not your dream and you're lying to yourself. No one achieves their dream without hard work.

Second, improving verbal usually amounts to boosting your SC and CR score first then RC score last since RC is harder to boost in a short amount of time. For SC, I recommend skipping any of kind timed work, creating a table/grid with easy/medium problems then for each listing out the types of error, why it's an error, and also think about how to fix the error. Do this for 80 questions. This exercise will force you to break down the problem to it's elementary particles then evaluate each piece. Difficult SC problems are usually just easy/medium questions with even more errors added in. For CR, break down each stimulus into the premises and conclusions in a table. Then identify the problem type and how to answer it. Finally, mark why each wrong answer is wrong. Organize all this information in table format so that you can do this for 80 problems.

Thirdly, conquering the fear amounts to knowing you've done your work and have confidence in your ability to Beat The GMAT. I went into my test worried and nervous, but I was not afraid - I knew I had done the necessary steps and put in the needed work to really understand the exam.
https://www.beatthegmat.com/my-blog-erro ... t4899.html
550 =\ ...560 =\... 650 =) ...570 =( ...540 =*( ...680 =P ... 670 =T ...=T... 650 =T ...700 =) ..690 =) ...710 =D ...GMAT 720 DING!! ;D

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Thanks a lot

by NethraN » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:28 am
Thanks a lot kanha81, cramya and mayonnai5e for your valuable advice and guidance.

I received my AWA score and I scored a 5 there.
kanha81 wrote:
Certainly, you should not take this score as an answer, but instead GIVE all you have to get a better one. Remember that Pessimism has never won any battles, it is optimisim that has survived time and again.
That was nice kanha81, it really did help me boost my spirits to give GMAT my best shot. Can you share the materials you are using and your opinion about them? I know eod all that matters is not hoe many books you have but still I want some really good books for SC and RC.

cramya wrote: IMO with a strong application a GMAT score above 650 is definitely competitive to get in to a good school.Are u looking at top 50, top 10 top75 etc.. what are your priorities? Thats the most imprtant thing. For example I would narrow down to the schools I would want to go and see what the cut off GMAT score is. This will tell u more on what u might need to do.
Cramya : The schools I am targeting needs a score above 680 in GMAT, so anything above 680 is my target as of now and obviously am ready to work hard for a score higher than 700.
cramya wrote: IMO these are good verbal books(not saying the one u have used are bad in anyway):

SC-> Manhattan sentence correction 3rd edition

CR-> Power score CR bible or Manhattan CR bible 3rd edition

RC-> Manhattan again or any
I was planning to use "Doing Grammar" book to improve my grammar for SC and generally too. This was suggested by LOGITECH and many others in this forum. I want to know your thoughts about this book.

I want to know how different is Manhattan SC 3rd edition from the second because I already have second edition.
cramya wrote: Being confident always means + some points on the GMAT.I hope u understand what I mean

Wish u the very best and I am sure we will see a good debrief from u in the coming months...
I don't know whether I was nervous or scared but a lot of things were at stake and I needed a good score very badly and this pulled me down.

Thanks a ton cramya for taking time out and helping me with this. It really encouraged me to do my best to beat the GMAT.
mayonnai5e wrote: First, if it's your dream you cannot just give up. If you can give it up so readily then that's not your dream and you're lying to yourself. No one achieves their dream without hard work.

Second, improving verbal usually amounts to boosting your SC and CR score first then RC score last since RC is harder to boost in a short amount of time.

Thirdly, conquering the fear amounts to knowing you've done your work and have confidence in your ability to Beat The GMAT. I went into my test worried and nervous, but I was not afraid - I knew I had done the necessary steps and put in the needed work to really understand the exam.
Yes mayonnai5e it is my dream and am definitely not giving up. I was so sad and upset that such a thought only crossed my mind that day.

My reading speed is not all that great so I agree boosting my RC score can be tackled by extracting some extra time from SC and CR for RC. For this I need to improve a lot on SC and CR. I am ok when it comes to CR as I think I am good at reasoning but need serious improvement in SC. The approach you have given for SC and CR is just amazing. Thanks a lot.

I did the best I could but as I said I had many things at stake so somehow I let this fear of GMAT take over me. I think with proper preparation I will gain enough confidence to fight this fear. Along with knowing the material I need to know the exam well.

This forum is really a great platform to know all about GMAT, thanks to everyone behind it. I really look forward to posting my debrief(of a good score) here and helping others like me the best way I can.
Nethra

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by Ian Stewart » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:35 am
First, keep in mind that GMAT test takers are, in general, very motivated, intelligent and hard-working people, and to finish the test with an above average score is an accomplishment you should be proud of. The test is challenging, and not everyone gets the score they're aiming for on their first attempt, but with a positive attitude and focused preparation, you should see considerable improvement. Your Quant result in particular is very strong, which is encouraging, especially since Quant scores are usually more important to Business Schools than Verbal scores. With some improvement in the Verbal section, you should be able to bring up your Total score a lot.

Your GMATPrep scores were remarkably consistent, and your real test score was similar (it's within the margin of error), which suggests that you might not be taking the best approach in your study. As long as you keep doing a bit of mathematics practice, you'll likely be able to maintain your Quant level, but it is in the Verbal section where you could make the most progress. There are many good suggestions on this forum about study approaches, and I think you may want to try a new approach to Verbal questions, since your Verbal scores did not rise appreciably over the course of your preparation. In general, you're likely to see the most rapid improvement by focusing on Sentence Correction; improving in CR and especially RC takes longer.

You should also see a good improvement in your score if you can improve your pacing just by a small amount. It doesn't hurt you much on the math section if you get an 800-level question wrong; that only suggests to the algorithm that you might not quite be an 800-level test taker. By its very nature, the test will get more and more difficult until it's too hard for you, and if a question does seem very difficult, and you can't see a clear path to a solution, it's not likely to hurt you much if you take a good guess and move forward. You do want to be sure you save enough time to answer those questions which are at your level, since it will hurt you more to get those questions wrong. Had you managed to finish your Quant section, your score would likely have been a couple of points higher. The same will be true in the Verbal; if you can improve enough to get through the test just a bit more quickly -- and you're very close now -- then you wouldn't need to guess at questions at the end of the test, and that alone will help bring your Verbal score to an above average level. The GMATPrep tests are the best way to practice pacing, since those tests contain questions most similar to the real thing.

Good luck with your preparations, and there are many people here who will be happy to help along the way!
If you are looking for online GMAT math tutoring, or if you are interested in buying my advanced Quant books and problem sets, please contact me at ianstewartgmat at gmail.com

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by hk » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:11 am
Nethra,

After the comments and advices of experts like cramya, mayonnai5e and Ian there is little that i can add. Although i have not taken the GMAT yet, i have a very similar profile as that of yours. I too have only 3yrs of exp., am a non-native english speaker, My weakness is Verbal, and i'm getting scores in the same range as that of your practice tests.

But there are a few things that i found useful, which i would like to share with you. Consider this as humble suggestions from a friend who is sailing in the same boat as you are.

1. Timing - This is by far the most important aspect tested on GMAT. The gmat does not test whether you can solve a problem or answer a question. It test whether you can do it in under 2 mins. So if you think you are unable to arrive at the answer within 1 min, then there is no point on trying more and wasting valuable time that you can invest on questions that you might be able to answer. So guess.
One member here (sorry i'm bad with names) mentioned that he guessed on the second question of the quant section, although he knew how to solve it. It would take him over 2 mins to solve so he guessed it and moved along. To sum it up - Timming is golden.. So practice every question and time every question. This would avoid random guesses at the end for questions where you could have answered if you had 2 mins!!!

2. First and Last set of questions - I read somewhere that the experimental questions (that do not count towards the score) tend to appear more in the middle of the test that at the end or at the beginning. So if you prepare a timing strategy allocate more time (slightly more) for the first 8 question and the last 8. Many people allocate more time for the first set but then just rush on with the last set, and mostly by random guessing. Try to avoid this.

3. Always track your progress - Use the GMAT test grid (found in the resources page) to track your progress. Solve 41 questions in verbal EVERYDAY (timed!!!) and save it as a new file. After say 2 week, go back and re-review them. When you make a mistake you might check the answer and know why you made the mistake, BUT after a week that memory would have faded away. Re-reviewing them would help you to avoid such mistakes in the future. Also, another important tip that some expert gave me was that when you review a wrong answer (especially in verbal), investigate what was the reason that prompted you to pick that particular wrong answer, then see what makes the correct answer correct. This technique immensely helped me to boost my verbal score from 60 percentile to 80 percentile.

4. Plan your studies and tackle your weakness - Prepare a study plan and definitely alter it as you progress thro' your preps. Since you know that verbal is your weakness, allocate more time to study the verbal part. Although, like Ian said, you should keep practicing the quant too. For example, i'm better at quant so i spend 65% of my time in studying verbal and 35% of my time in studying quant.
Prepare flashcards, you wont believe how useful this is unless you make them and review them. If you make a mistake often, that is a good entry to the flashcards. Basically, when you study there is so much that you read, but its difficult to retain all that in memory. Here is where flashcards come handy. It provides you a summary of what you studied and by reviewing it everyday you'll will automatically be able to retain it's content in your memory.

5. And finally, Realize that "only a 700 score is good" is only a myth!!!
Many people put in all their efforts studying for the GMAT and dont put in even half of the same effort into Applications. They fail to get in. Once you have a decent score which fall into the GMAT range of the targeted school, dont slow down. Carry on the effort into application process too. This will definitely make your dream come true.

Nethra, the above is my 2cents that i've gained by reading thro' this forum and other articles written by GMAT experts. I've gained a lot from these posts and articles. I hope you will too!!

All the very best with your preparation and i'm sure the next time GMAT is going to be sorry for messing with the wrong person!!!!

So lets do this!!!!

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by Bara » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:59 pm
Nethra,

You've got quote alot of advice here, and you'll have to determine for yourself what you think will work for you.

Your 570 is only 30 points lower than the real GMATs you took. I don't even consider any MGMAT scores - - they're third party tests and therefore, in my book, unreliable. They ARE great for practice, but not for scoring. Whether you had a false sense of security going in - - or not - - your score is not dramatically different from the real tests - - so YES you should take the test again. And perhaps a third time if necessary.
Most people take it atleast twice. So: join the ranks!

You speak in very broad terms about 'giving up your dream.' First, it isn't up to any of us to tell you what you should do about your future. Since we don't know you, or your history of intentions and goals, we can't be the ones to recommend a course of action. IT is up to you to think about whether 30 points is going to keep you from something you hold dear. I hope it isn't. And I encourage you to keep working at this. The test IS crackable. And if you're really going to be a leader...this is ONLY the beginning of personal choices -- defeat, perseverance -- or a change in course that is different. Really: be unreasonable with yourself. Be audacious. Live a life abundant. Be beyond the self you are presenting in this email. Otherwise...business school and leadership is NOT for you.

2) How to improve my Verbal score?
Get a kick ass tutor who understands the nuances of the test, how you learn and why you're getting things right and wrong. Most tutors will understand the 6-main areas of grammar that WILL show up on the test, however, not everyone 'gets' the nuances, which 'sometimes' show up on the test, and determine the difference between a 570/600 test taker and a 650-700+ test taker.

Many tutors from big companies are unable to deal with nuances - - because they aren't TRAINED to deal with them. They work from a script, might be good test takers themselves, but might not fully understand some of the nitty-gritty stuff you need to master.

On the other hand, most independent and small company tutors are more selective in who works for them, and they have a mission help all their students thrive: they've got the test down to a science, and will look at the way in which each student answers things (correctly and incorrectly) and makes sure they understand how you need to proceed. Most tutors who do this, and do it well, have more than just 'GMAT' training, but actually hold advanced degrees or are writers,gramarians, linguists, educators or otherwise obsessed GMATers. So: get yourself a teacher who will make a difference for you. Not just someone who will take the information you need from a book/script.

3) How to conquer the fear of GMAT?
This is a MUCH longer and more involved question which requires you to:
2. isolate when you first felt it (it could NOT have been when you took the GMAT -- fears are TAUGHT and NOURISHED. Once you know the background on your 'blocks' you can develop a behavior modification problem that directly addresses your symptoms.
3. make a commitment to change.

A person cannot just automatically feel confident. It's something you need to work at and take time to develop. For some people, they can, 'fake it to they make it' for others, more intense practices, and/or outside help, such as hypnosis, affirmations, energy work, therapy, etc. help with the transformation. So please PLEASE don't think that just by wanting to feel a certain way, it puts you in that mindset. It's takes practice, and skill, and you might need a toolbox to redefine who you are and what you need to do to 'get over it.'

I've written about this quite a bit, here. I believe it is supremely important to address 'the who you are' when you go to take the GMAT.

Most companies and tutors hold the position that if you
'practice,' 'build up your speed' and 'refine your skill set AND verbal and math literacy' this will result in a 'happy test taker' who goes into the exam feeling great and confident. But this is simply NOT true, all the time.

It might be true for some, but not for everyone. Think about celebrities and what they reveal about themselves - - SO many are not balanced, and don't see themselves the way that we see them...and yet, it's hard for us to wrap our mind around the kinds of imperfections and even self doubt they have...and look at the traps they fall into! The media judgment doesn't help either. See, I beleive a GMAT test taker is no different.

The truth is that we're ALL the product of alot of conditioning and molding: our self esteem and worth can be fragile and NO ONE likes to be judged. The test sets us up to feel judged (all standardized tests do) because we become a 'number' rather than the fabulous people we really are. How you do DS is NOT who you are in the world or what you're capable of, and yet, this silly number somehow determines your leadership potential to schools!! Yikes!

I've worked with people who are practially household names, at the TOP of their careers: people in the entertainment industry, government, doctors...and they're all carrying the baggage of their youth along with "What will my colleagues think if i score below an "'X' or 'Y.'" People who are SERIOUSLY in the spotlight who are paralyzed, not because they don't 'get' the material, but because they are all of a sudden, going to be judged and valued (so they think) because of a number. I can't tell you how many people are closet GMAT test-takers, not because they don't want their bosses to know they are moving 'on', but because they have a fear of failure. Or people who are in offices where their colleagues and bosses have gone to TOP schools, yet, they almost feel they are 'frauds' and don't know how they got the job they hold: they don't feel as smart as their officemates yet from the subjective POV, they are as smart, if not more so, and DO deserve to be there. But our silly past gets in our own way. We get in our own way.

GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY.

So to me, with the limited ammount you wrote, you're GOING to have to deal with your own greatness and pull yourself out of self doubt and behaviors that aren't serving you any more. Tough love? Maybe. BUt if you're going to be a leader, attending 'leadership school' which is what business school is, ultimately, you're going to have to define WHAT a leader is, What her qualities are...and figure out ways to embody them, on the test...and in life.

You CAN do this.

SO: do it now.

Good luck!
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by pJackson79 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 9:24 pm
Nethra,

I am very sorry to hear about the frustration.

It seems to me that the main issue is not as much your knowledge of the content on the test, but comfort taking the test.

May I suggest that you take as many possible free GMAT tests as you can find but instead of looking at the score and letting that potentially intimidate you, simply choose to not look at the score and instead analyze questions you missed for errors you made.

Good Luck!!
Last edited by pJackson79 on Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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by Stacey Koprince » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:00 am
I received a PM asking me to respond. Some great advice above from a lot of smart people. I don't want to repeat what others have said, so I'll focus instead on some more concrete steps to take when studying verbal. Whether you decide to continue studying on your own or you decide to work with someone, you should be thinking about / studying these things.

I will echo just one thing, though: lots of people struggle with this test, and many of those people are able to get better scores. You're not alone in your struggles and your situation is not totally hopeless - not at all.

For any verbal question, we're trying to find the "best" answer, not the objectively "right" answer (as we are in math). So verbal is all about understanding what right and wrong answers look like and how to distinguish between really tempting wrong answers and right ones.

When studying any verbal problem, here are the things you want to analyze:

- why would someone choose each wrong answer; what would lead someone to think it's right even though it's wrong?
- which is the most tempting wrong answer? why is it so tempting even though it's wrong?
- why are the wrong answers actually wrong? (be able to articulate well enough that you could explain to someone else)
- why would someone eliminate the right answer; what would lead someone to think it's wrong even though it's right?
- why is the right answer actually right? (again, be able to articulate well enough that you could explain to someone else)

- how will I recognize a similar problem in the future? (either an SC that tests a grammar rule in a similar way or CR/RC question that tests a certain pattern of analysis / critical thinking in a similar way) Literally, what are the clues that I should remember, so that, if I see something like this again in future, I'll remember - oh, this is testing XYZ, and this is how I should think about that.

- Can I do this question within the given timeframe (see below)? If not, what else should I do to get myself to an answer and move on without spending too much time? (Recall, as others have said above, that you are going to get questions wrong on the test - the key is to recognize when something is just too hard for you and make sure you don't lose time on that question that you could better spend elsewhere.)
SC - about 60-75 sec; max of 90 sec
CR - about 2m; max of 2.5m
RC - about 2.5m (short) to 3.5m (long) to read; about 1 min for general purpose questions; about 1.5 to 2 for everything else

- "What else should I do" = "how should I make an educated guess?" On SC, this typically means dealing with the one or two things you do know in the sentence and then guessing from among the remaining choices. On CR and RC, there are additional things you can do to identify likely wrong answers even when you don't know the right answer. Here are some ideas to get you started: https://www.beatthegmat.com/verbal-strategy-t14035.html

So there are some things to get you started as you dive deeper into verbal.

I also want to mention that all tests have standard deviations. As some have mentioned above, the SD on the real test is about 30 points. The SD on our practice tests is about 50 points. The SD is not consistently high or low for everybody - for some people, their score is higher on the real thing and for others, their score is lower on the real thing. The lesson here is that we can't expect to score exactly the same when we take the real test (especially when we get nervous because we know the real test counts).

So what can we do? Mimic the real test as exactly as possible when taking practice tests. Do the essays - every time. This helps you to build mental stamina and helps you to function well at the end of the test (during the verbal section). Take the test at the same time of day as you plan to take the real test. Take the 10 minute breaks between sections, but don't take more than 10 minutes.

We can't, unfortunately, effectively mimic the knowledge that this practice test doesn't count. See this article for some ideas about stress management. Try some of these ideas out and see what might help you. https://www.beatthegmat.com/stress-management-t4167.html

Good luck - let us know how it goes!
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by VP_Jim » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:23 pm
Most of the resident experts have weighed in already and I'm a bit late to the game here, but I want to add one thing to the great advice provided above.

In addition to improving your English, taking some time to study like this might also decrease your stress. The tone that I get from your post is that you are getting depressed and frustrated; those are two emotions that certainly will not help your prep. By taking a step back and not worrying about GMAT questions for awhile and just reading for "fun", you might improve your emotional state quite a bit.

I hope you get the score you want, and happy reading!
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by Stacey Koprince » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:03 pm
One of my colleagues just posted another stress management article - here's the link: https://www.manhattangmat.com/stress-tips.cfm
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