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Third attempt beat again..how to go from 610 to 650+?

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Hi everyone,

I hope your studies are going well. I write this post because I have just sat for my third GMAT attempt and score a 610. A little bit about myself, I am a senior pursuing a concentration in business administration. I am interested in applying for an MBA directly after graduation, and even if I am not accepted I would like to get the GMAT out of the way before starting a full time job. My first attempt at the GMAT was in November 2016 with hardly any preparation- I scored an atrocious 470 and felt humiliated at the testing center. It's now a year later and two attempts later. I sat for the GMAT in September and score a disappointing 580. I couldn't understand what I did wrong- my practice CAT's on the official exam pack 2 were between 620-690. I decided to sit for another exam a month later and have still fallen short- I scored a 610. While there are some schools that I can get into with a 610 I want to retake the GMAT as the university I currently attend in Washington D.C has an average of 650. Any advice guys? I have five more attempts but I have burned up all the official exams by GMAC. The breakdown on my 610 score was q40 and v34. The highest I have ever scored for the verbal section on a CAT is v40 and the highest I have ever scored on the quant section is q47- and yet I have failed to score this high or even relatively close to these scores on my last two attempts which have been after a year of studying. I have also used up all the Veritasprep CAT's and most of the Manhattan CAT's.

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by ceilidh.erickson » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:16 pm
Whenever I see a student who gets a much lower score on the real test than on practice tests, usually one of the following is a factor:

1. They're not practicing under test-like conditions.

- If you're giving yourself extra time or pausing within a section, if you're giving yourself long breaks between sections, etc, you might see higher performance on practice tests than on the real thing.

- The time of day also matters - if you practice in the afternoon but take the real thing at 8am when you're sleepy, that can make a difference.


2. Anxiety is hurting them.
You mental state can have a HUGE impact on your performance! Try to tell yourself the following:

- There's no need to stress on any given test, because there's no penalty for taking it multiple times (except the cost of the test itself, which is minimal in comparison to the cost of graduate school). Just tell yourself "if this doesn't go well, I can always take it again."

- Stress is a good thing! (A little bit of stress, anyway). It means that your body is preparing for a fight - you're in "game-time" mode. Try to tell yourself, "ok, it's good that I'm feeling excitement. That will focus my concentration!"

- Remember to BREATHE! Your brain needs oxygen. Taking a DEEP BREATH before every question can help reduce the buildup of cortisol & make it easier for you to think clearly.

- The GMAT is very forgiving. It's ok to guess & move on from any individual problem - even the experts get lots of questions wrong / have to skip on the real thing!

Here are some more resources about managing anxiety:
https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgoniga ... anguage=en
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... mat-score/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... at-stress/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... anagement/
https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... t-wrong-2/

Another thing that students often don't think about, but which can have a huge impact: decision fatigue. When you've made dozens of decisions in a row (as on a GMAT exam), it depletes your ability to make new decisions. One way to combat that - eat something! Increasing blood glucose has been proven to counteract decision fatigue. "Even the wisest people won't make good choices when they're not rested and their glucose is low,"
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magaz ... .html?_r=0
Ceilidh Erickson
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by ceilidh.erickson » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:24 pm
Nunuboy1994 wrote:I have also used up all the Veritasprep CAT's and most of the Manhattan CAT's.
I just wanted to add that our CATs (I can't speak to other companies) work differently from GMAC's. On GMATPrep, CAT 1 has its own pool of questions; you won't see any of the same questions on CAT 2. But if you take CAT 1 a 2nd time, you're likely to see some of the same problems.

For Mprep, you get 6 CATs that all draw from the same giant pool of questions. You might see one on CAT 1 that your friend saw on CAT 4. Within those 6 tests, you won't see repeats. Once you take all 6, though, you can reset the pool (don't worry, you'll still see all of your results from CATs 1-6). So you haven't "used up" the tests - you can take 7, 8, 9, etc. You just might see a few questions that you've seen before. It won't be that many - particularly if you're improving & seeing harder and harder questions.
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by Rich.C@EMPOWERgmat.com » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:58 pm
Hi Jameel,

I responded to your PM with some suggestions/advice.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
Contact Rich at Rich.C@empowergmat.com
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