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Two Days to Go--how should I spend them?

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Two Days to Go--how should I spend them?

by jmnelson419 » Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:07 pm
I have two days until my exam (which is Saturday morning) and I took both days off of work. I have an errand to run both mornings, but besides that, I have all day both days for prep.

I've been studying for the past 3 months and feel comfortable on math CONCEPTS, and comfortable with verbal. I'd like to study more sentence correction and data sufficiency, as well as word translations. However, I'm having a pretty big issue with timing/pacing on the quant section. I also need to look at the essays, but I'm not terribly worried about them, I just want to do one practice of each.

So here's my question--do you think I should spend the time doing more practice problems on the sentence correction/data sufficiency, or should I do all types of problems, focusing on pacing? How would you spend your last two days if you were me? I am thinking that Friday night will not be spent studying, but relaxing and trying to get myself mentally ready for Saturday morning (de-stressing)....

Thoughts appreciated!

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by chieftang » Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:02 pm
Have you taken both the official GMAT prep tests?

If so, just try to relax. Review any notes you might have, go in to the test with a confident attitude, and be sure to let us know how it goes!!

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by FutureWorks » Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:42 am
Hi jmnelson419,

Last two days take practice tests and see which areas you lack and try to improve them. Don't stress yourself too much. All the best!

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by jmnelson419 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:14 am
Thanks ya'll. I'm about to take a practice test now and see how it goes....fingers crossed!

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by jmnelson419 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:35 am
I just got my lowest score ever on this practice test!!! I got killed with timing---had to guess on the last 10 questions and got all of them wrong.

Any suggestions on improving this in the next couple of days?
Looking at the questions I spent the most time on, they were 700-800 level--and I ended up getting them wrong.

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by ariz » Thu Jan 12, 2012 12:02 pm
Although possible, it will be difficult to improve your timing in just a couple of days. If you are not applying until next year you will have plenty of time to study and work on your timing issue

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by jmnelson419 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:10 pm
Thanks everyone!!! I managed to improve my timing.

The test I took yesterday at first was a MGMAT practice test. I analyzed the results--of all the questions i spent over 4 minutes on--I got every single one wrong and every single one was a 700-800 level question. This helped me justify being able to skip problems.

I took 2 more practice MGMAT tests, one yesterday afternoon and one just now. This time, on the quant, I wrote down the number of minutes I had left before I started each question. I believe this helped me keep an eye on the time. Also, I was honest with myself and if i didn't think i could solve the problem in under 3 minutes, i tried to eliminate at least 1 answer, guessed, and moved on. The result was a score I feel a lot more comfortable with, and I had about a minute left on quant each time.

I got this!! Test day is tomorrow.....good vibes please!

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by artistocrat » Thu Jan 19, 2012 5:15 pm
So how did you do? ;-)

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by jmnelson419 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:52 pm
My timing issues were a signal for sure that I was not ready for the quant section. I ended up not having issues with timing on test day--however I achieved this by guessing and moving on when i got to a harder level question, and more score definitely reflected.

My total score was a 590--while may be good enough to get into my first choice overall score wise, my quant score was too low to feel comfortable with submitting, so I am working on restudying to take again. Luckily, I killed the verbal section so I don't really need to focus there.

Now that I have the basics of the concepts, I'm working through the advanced sections in the back of the MGMAT strategy guides. In addition, I'm going to work through all the OG problems again, aiming to re-take the test end of Feb. I'm aiming for a 650, all the jump in improvement in my Quant. I've gotten a few 640s on practice tests so I know I'm close and I can do it.

Any other advice here? :)

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by artistocrat » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:03 pm
What were your verbal and quantitative sub-scores? It sounds like you have a good grasp of verbal, from what you say. I too would focus on quant, if its an area that could be most markedly improved. If you are shooting for the 650-level, then the Official Guide is all that you need. Make sure you nail the fundamentals down, so that you are not scrambling for an approach to a given problem on test day. Test nerves play a large role in determining overall performance. Anxiety can be a positive or a negative depending on the level, and how you cope with it. Some anxiety is inevitable. I would be more careful not to simply skip questions because they appear too difficult. In those situations, sometimes it helps to look at the underlying relationships, so that you can see the big picture. Every problem when broken down rests upon some very basic principles. There is no need to study formulas extensively. Sometimes it's best during the exam to put the pen down and just stop to think! After all, it is a test of reasoning ability acquired over the long haul, not a test of one's calculation ability. Remember, don't give up studying verbal completely. Do some verbal every day if you can. It will keep your mind attuned to solving those types of problems. And, I reiterate one more time, STUDY THE OG backwards and forwards, up and down. You get the picture. It means studying why you got a problem right, and what were the trap answers, as well as studying why you got a problem wrong, and why the correct answer is right. There are some useful articles on this forum to that effect. Who knows, maybe you can do even better than you did on your practice exams! Good luck!

PS. I too am a rewrite.

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by jmnelson419 » Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:10 pm
Thank you! I'm at work and can't remember the EXACT Q and V scores, but I was around the 35 percentile in Quant and 81 percentile in Verbal. My program emphasizes strong quant performance which is why I want to retake.

I actually am a pretty good test taker so anxiety plays a very small role I feel. I definitely don't want to skip many questions, if any on the second try. I simply developed this strategy in the last two days before my test since I was having serious timing issues (ending the section with 10-15 questions unanswered).

I have heard so much about OG so maybe I will focus a little more on OG and less on strategy. I set myself up a schedule this week and am hitting the books again this weekend.

Thanks for the advice!

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by jmnelson419 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 6:55 am
Update: here are the scores-- Q 34, V 37, total 590
Don't have my AWA yet.

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by dvinoth86 » Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:16 am
My personal advice would be DO NOT DO ANYTHING RELATED TO GMAT.

Take complete rest. Prepare mentally for taking the test. This will help you to recollect quickly on test day.

I practice many question till the last day and I was mentally tired on the Day. Even though I was sure of the concepts I kept rechecking them. This wouldnt ve happened if I had taken rest. I was completely tired when I finished the Quant part. Verbal was a complete flop for me. By the time verbal began i was completely tired and i couldnt think!!!! I was not using the strategies that I had been practicing. I didnt know what i was doing in the verbal section and it showed on my result (Q44/V18) even though I had prepared well for verbal and had a 97% accuracy with OG harder questions (last 40 in each section of verbal)..


So take complete rest and be fully charged for the D Day. Visualize yourself getting the answers correct, like spotting the errors in SC, visualize yourself doing well on the GMAT. DO NOT TAKE A Full length test 5 days before the test. Nothing is more tiring than a full length test. your brain needs to be fully charged for the test day to recollect, to spot the errors, to think and to get you the BEST SCORE you truly deserve.

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by tigerd » Sat Jan 21, 2012 1:20 pm
Personally, I like to do untimed problem sets until I feel fairly confident on the actual test. There's enough to stress out on the GMAT, and you don't need time pressure to be one of them.

After you get plenty of R&R to recuperate, I would recommend doing untimed math practice sets out of the prep books, until you're ready for another round of timed GMAT tests.

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by artistocrat » Sat Jan 21, 2012 2:48 pm
Let's face it, you won't learn any new material in the last two days, at least you won't retain much. Before I wrote the GMAT I looked over a couple old Manhattan and GMAT Prep exams just to keep the 'feel' of the questions. It was very relaxed. On the day before the test, I just chilled at home, and spent half an hour going over some light Official Guide questions. I felt this worked pretty well. What I didn't do, which I should have, was do some more light review before the test on test day. Would a marathon runner not stretch before a marathon? Also, make sure your diet, exercise, and sleep patterns are not disturbed. I lost sleep before my exam due to the anticipation. Rest is so crucial, not just 2 days before the exam, but also in the weeks prior to the big day.