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< 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do?

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< 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2011, 09:05
Please see my progress in my signature. After 2 weeks, since my last CAT test, I decided to take GMAT Prep today - at the same time as I am scheduled for the test - at 8AM, seriously who opens office at 8AM? (I had no choice!)

This messed up my body cycle, you know the normal morning routine. My stomach kept cramping during the Essay writing and early in the Quant section. Anyhow, I don't think that affected me as much as what happened next!

I OVER-STRATEGIZED quant. I felt like the GMAT Prep quant questions were relatively (to MGMAT) very easy and I was finding answers in < 1 mins and sometimes < 30 secs. Then I started feeling as if I am missing some trick in these questions and started verifying my answers to EACH question. In turn, I wasted 30 secs-1min extra on each question; I don't remember any question that I had to change my answer after those 30 secs-1min. As a result, for the 1st time I reach the last question with ONLY 1 min remaining. I found the answer in 30 secs, and then started double checking and right when I was about to click end, the SECTION TIME-OUT before I could complete it. And I was like F', it will give me wrong analysis.

I tried hard but I could NOT get this feeling out of my mind when I went into verbal, and I just could NOT focus. I read 1st 3 question twice with full of disinterest and, guess what, I got all those 3 wrong :(. Overall I had 15 incorrect, out of which 5 were in 1st 10 - moreover, I had already wasted a ton of time (25 mins) when I got to question 10. This affected my entire verbal section, as I could never recover from this decreased self-confidence! The result is obvious: 690 (q50, v31) :(

I am very sad right now. This morning, I was so confident to score somewhere close to 750, but FAILED miserably.

Any tips that would help me mentally stay at the same state throughout the tests: motivated, energized and determined?

I think this story should be what NOT to do on the test day! :p I hope I witnessed the worst :(

Last edited by abhicoolmax on 24 Jul 2011, 09:26, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2011, 09:21
Hey man,

The first thing to realize is that your prep seems to be going fine. You have improved your score in the few tests that you have given. So, all that matters between a 690 and a 720-750 is a matter of a few correct answers.

I too have my exam on 29th and I try not to think about what I did on the quant section- I have already answered that section and no matter what I think, the answers can not be changed. :) So its better not to be hung up and think ahead on the verbal section. it may not be easy but I think that one has to get into this habit of not worrying about whats gone. 'Just try to be forward looking'.

After all, doing well on the verbal section can be more important than doing well only on quant.

I gave a kaplan test today and got a 760 to my surprise...I was worried that I had made silly mistakes in Quant. But during the 8 min break, I calmed myself and thought that I still have the chance to make it up in Verbal.

Just remember that each one of us can give you tips but ultimately you gotta realize what works best for you.

I hope this is helpful to you and that you are be able to pick your score from here. All the best.
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2011, 09:45
abhicoolmax wrote:
Please see my progress in my signature. After 2 weeks, since my last CAT test, I decided to take GMAT Prep today - at the same time as I am scheduled for the test - at 8AM, seriously who opens office at 8AM? (I had no choice!)

This messed up my body cycle, you know the normal morning routine. My stomach kept cramping during the Essay writing and early in the Quant section. Anyhow, I don't think that affected me as much as what happened next!

I OVER-STRATEGIZED quant. I felt like the GMAT Prep quant questions were relatively (to MGMAT) very easy and I was finding answers in < 1 mins and sometimes < 30 secs. Then I started feeling as if I am missing some trick in these questions and started verifying my answers to EACH question. In turn, I wasted 30 secs-1min extra on each question; I don't remember any question that I had to change my answer after those 30 secs-1min. As a result, for the 1st time I reach the last question with ONLY 1 min remaining. I found the answer in 30 secs, and then started double checking and right when I was about to click end, the SECTION TIME-OUT before I could complete it. And I was like F', it will give me wrong analysis.

I tried hard but I could NOT get this feeling out of my mind when I went into verbal, and I just could NOT focus. I read 1st 3 question twice with full of disinterest and, guess what, I got all those 3 wrong :(. Overall I had 15 incorrect, out of which 5 were in 1st 10 - moreover, I had already wasted a ton of time (25 mins) when I got to question 10. This affected my entire verbal section, as I could never recover from this decreased self-confidence! The result is obvious: 690 (q50, v31) :(

I am very sad right now. This morning, I was so confident to score somewhere close to 750, but FAILED miserably.

Any tips that would help me mentally stay at the same state throughout the tests: motivated, energized and determined?

I think this story should be what NOT to do on the test day! :p I hope I witnessed the worst :(


Abhi chill maar!
690 is not a bad score - I too had a 710 on my GMATPrep. But the great thing is you caught your mistake! I too had the same fallacy. When I took the GMATPrep I found the quant too easy and it blew me off track. I made 5 really stupid mistakes because I was hard-pressed for time!
Verbal was also very bad 8 mistakes. My first 2 questions were SCs and I got both incorrect. Well I have read that mostly GMAT starts with 2 SCs before moving on to other sections. Why dont you post your detailed analysis - so we can discuss.

Also, now you know about GMATPrep Score - dont take any of it now! Exhaust all the other tests to build stamina and then come back to GMATPrep to get into the GMAT Mode - No non-standard- extra tough material - you wudnt believe whenever I see a variable say x, my mind immediately goes to fractions, negatives and zeros!!! But such complication is unnecessary.

Now try to solve all verbal questions, which you got incorrect, again in a more relaxed fashion and then see the answers! Then search for the same questions on MGMAT Forums to understand each and every SC question!!!

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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2011, 09:56
Hey Abhi,

Sorry to hear that your mock CAT did not go well... but if I were you I would not worry too much.

You are quite good in Quant and as you said MGMAT Quant is slightly more cumbersome (in calc.) then GMAT Prep quant so it is natural that you felt GMAT Prep questions as easy. You did not mention how many questions you got wrong in Quant. Q50 w/o answering 1 question is quite good, if you would have answered it correctly or even incorrectly it is possible that you would have got Q51.

As for the verbal, if you are aware that the impact on your verbal score was due to panic caused by constantly thinking about quant section, then you already know how to improve this - once you are done with a section, try to forget about it and with a positive mindset focus on the next section :) ofcourse this is easier said than done but this was your mock GMAT and not the real one so you have the opportunity to learn from it. I would analyze the questions you got wrong in Verbal and see if they were due to careless mistakes (caused by panic) or due to lack of conceptual understanding. If it is the former, I would not worry too much and if it is latter, I know what to focus on in the next week :)

So, to sum it up - you are aware that you are good in Quant, be happy that you made the mistake now instead of during the real GMAT and learn not to carry burden from one section to another. Good luck for the next CAT!

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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2011, 09:58
akhileshgupta05 wrote:
Abhi chill maar!
690 is not a bad score - I too had a 710 on my GMATPrep. But the great thing is you caught your mistake! I too had the same fallacy. When I took the GMATPrep I found the quant too easy and it blew me off track. I made 5 really stupid mistakes because I was hard-pressed for time!
Verbal was also very bad 8 mistakes. My first 2 questions were SCs and I got both incorrect. Well I have read that mostly GMAT starts with 2 SCs before moving on to other sections. Why dont you post your detailed analysis - so we can discuss.

Also, now you know about GMATPrep Score - dont take any of it now! Exhaust all the other tests to build stamina and then come back to GMATPrep to get into the GMAT Mode - No non-standard- extra tough material - you wudnt believe whenever I see a variable say x, my mind immediately goes to fractions, negatives and zeros!!! But such complication is unnecessary.

Now try to solve all verbal questions, which you got incorrect, again in a more relaxed fashion and then see the answers! Then search for the same questions on MGMAT Forums to understand each and every SC question!!!


I think today is NOT my day. My GMATPrep crashed, now it won't let me review :( I am getting this error error-while-accessing-the-gmatprep-software-64714.html

FML! I don't even know how many SC, RC and CR I got wrong. This sucks man. I hope I somehow find a way to recover as this analysis is VERY IMP for me to decide how to prepare next.

Thanks for the encouraging words man. I need to just take a chill pill. Whatever! I still have 3+ weeks to go and I think it is not insufficient to get the score I need. I just need to be emotionally strong on the final day :)
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 24 Jul 2011, 12:09
Chetangupta wrote:


vinayrsm wrote:


Thanks Chetan and Vinay for your kind words of encouragement. I think needed this panic attack. I am using it as a wakeup call and as a drive to not repeat the same mistake again.

Chetan,
If you can score 760 in Kaplan, you all set to build a sky-scraper in the real test. Good luck to you my friend! 800 - do it ;-)

Vinay,
Man I lost the entire test review section. I can't see anything on the test page for review anymore. As far as I remember: Final score was 100% 690. Q was definitely 50, but I don't quite remember if V was 35 or 31, I think it was 31.
I got 3 quant incorrect. 1st question I think somewhere around ~24. Then 36 and 37.
When I quickly skimmed through my Verbal review - realized I got most RC right. "I think" it was the SC that I got many wrong. Since I was rushing in the end, I was targeting 30 secs for SC :p
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2011, 08:39
abhicoolmax - There is something in the log files

I believe the path is some
%appdata%
GMatPrep/logs

I had got this info in GMAT Club forum. Check out the place where the download links for the test are given in this forum. I remember reading them and playing around tweaking these.

Sorry cannot check as posting form my office laptop.

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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2011, 14:38
krishp84 wrote:
abhicoolmax - There is something in the log files

I believe the path is some
%appdata%
GMatPrep/logs

I had got this info in GMAT Club forum. Check out the place where the download links for the test are given in this forum. I remember reading them and playing around tweaking these.

Sorry cannot check as posting form my office laptop.


Thanks krishp84. I spent a lot of time trying to decipher the info in the logs and to see if I can do anything about it, but I could not figure it out. I can see that the logs show what options I selected for which question but I could not find the questions themselves. Do you know if somebody successfully recover the review from a completed test? Thanks for the willingness to help.
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2011, 14:50
Hey Abhi,

I'm sure you'll reach your target score. You still have 3 good weeks!
Just be positive and have faith in your efforts!
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 25 Jul 2011, 15:05
piyatiwari wrote:
Hey Abhi,

I'm sure you'll reach your target score. You still have 3 good weeks!
Just be positive and have faith in your efforts!


Thanks a lot piyatiwari for the kind words of encouragement. I will just keep practicing and keep trying my best I could to make my existing skills sharper day by day; rest leave it on God's had :). I can't believe it is close to 2 months since I have been in this freaking GMAT mode. 3+ weeks more to go; so, little less than 1/2 the time I have spent so far is still left in the journey. Can't wait to get it over! :) Well, hope it gets over on a decent note.
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 26 Jul 2011, 17:51
The real positive thing to take from this experience is you've been there now, you've realized what it cost you to let a shortened quant section effect your verbal section. I think that gives you an advantage and I can only hope to experience the same downfall.

Just make an error log, realize your problems you made, with 4 weeks left you should spend this time focusing on your writing techniques and fine tuning your mindset. I think you'll find a way to get through this, keep us posted on your progress and what your score comes out to be!

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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2011, 05:33
690 is a fantastic score, and yeah taking the verbal part after the quantitative part can be really tough. It´s really hard to concentrate on it after you have done the quantitative part before. With more practice tests you will fix this problem. I remember, when I took my first cat test, I felt so unconcentrated on the verbal part!!
Wish you all the best for your next couple of weeks :-D !!
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 07:31
I gave another MGMAT (700 q51 v34) - verbal again got screwed. This time I can't blame anybody. I was feeling good and focused this time. I got most SCs and many CRs wrong. Don't know what happened :( Towards the end I did not have enough time. I guess I need to take practice tests more frequently now to get used to the time and pace. Any further advice?
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 09:56
Abhi - dont stress it... look at the bright side you have improved on RC! Can you share your wrong vs. right difficulty levels for SC & CR in this MGMAT or overall for 4 MGMAT CATs? That can be helpful info for people on this forum who can guide you better. Also, perhaps post those on MGMAT forum - Stacey will most likely respond.

One thing that I started doing for SC is to search the stem in google and really understand what experts are saying for each option choice. There is tremendous learning in doing this activity (irrespective of whether you got the answer right or wrong). For ex: I did 25 SCs from GMAT paper test and while reviewing all of them I found so many rules that I was overlooking and that could have made picking the correct choice much easier & faster. I am making my own SC flashcards from these learnings.. I expect that over a period of time (after doing 100-150 SCs) the rules will saturate and hopefully ingrained in my memory till the test. This approach does take quite some time so it asks for quality over quantity of SCs.

I am sure that you'll do great on the test!

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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 10:30
abhicoolmax wrote:
I gave another MGMAT (700 q51 v34) - verbal again got screwed. This time I can't blame anybody. I was feeling good and focused this time. I got most SCs and many CRs wrong. Don't know what happened :( Towards the end I did not have enough time. I guess I need to take practice tests more frequently now to get used to the time and pace. Any further advice?


I too am plagued! I got the same score 710 on all MGMATs!! Annoying!

And how do you get that Q50 every single time? I make quite many mistakes on Quant. I find some questions very difficult and subtle!

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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 11:53
vinayrsm wrote:
Abhi - dont stress it... look at the bright side you have improved on RC! Can you share your wrong vs. right difficulty levels for SC & CR in this MGMAT or overall for 4 MGMAT CATs? That can be helpful info for people on this forum who can guide you better. Also, perhaps post those on MGMAT forum - Stacey will most likely respond.

One thing that I started doing for SC is to search the stem in google and really understand what experts are saying for each option choice. There is tremendous learning in doing this activity (irrespective of whether you got the answer right or wrong). For ex: I did 25 SCs from GMAT paper test and while reviewing all of them I found so many rules that I was overlooking and that could have made picking the correct choice much easier & faster. I am making my own SC flashcards from these learnings.. I expect that over a period of time (after doing 100-150 SCs) the rules will saturate and hopefully ingrained in my memory till the test. This approach does take quite some time so it asks for quality over quantity of SCs.

I am sure that you'll do great on the test!


"I think" I know most of the rules now. It's mostly that in those 1 min I am not able to get to the answer, and then I panic and select the one that I have found the best. For 700-800 range, my SC accuracy has been terrible. But maybe you are right, I should spend a lot of time on each of my mistakes in-general. There is definitely a pattern here, so something I am not doing right. I just need to work on this hard now.

Please find my Verbal Analysis for the 4 tests attached. Thanks for the tips. I will try to also post in MGMAT Forum and see if I can get the help I need. Please let me know if you see something in the analysis that I don't see.


akhileshgupta05 wrote:
I too am plagued! I got the same score 710 on all MGMATs!! Annoying!

And how do you get that Q50 every single time? I make quite many mistakes on Quant. I find some questions very difficult and subtle!


Yeah, man it is getting really hard on my self-confidence now. Not too much time to improve and still not there where I want. Hoping for some miracle to happen in coming days, and I start scoring somewhere where I want :p

Regarding Quant, I just 1 simple rule that has worked each time so-far: Solve every problem as if I want to get all 37 correct with NO short measures. Sometimes if I see I have spent a lot of time and I am still not close to the answer but getting there, then I quickly switch to evaluating the answer choices i.e. POE.

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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 13:34
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Abhi - Yes, do post the analysis on MGMAT forum.

What I see is that you need to focus on SC 600-700 level accuracy (along with 700-800 level) - this is preventing you from getting a good average for right answers currently it is at 610 and I think it should be 710 (for correct answers choices). Needless to say that you would have noticed that Verbs and Comparisons are the two areas you can improve the most in. I think addressing these two areas can already influence your score.

I think if you feel you are rushing through the SCs because of time constraints during these CATs, may be good to increase the Verbal section timing a bit and give yourself a little bit extra time to get the questions right. Prep has two parts: Accuracy first, Timing/Pacing next. The usage of these CATs first is to practice getting difficult (700-800 level) questions correct and then to get these correct in reasonable time. Good luck!

I must add I am no expert on GMAT :lol:

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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 14:12
vinayrsm wrote:
Abhi - Yes, do post the analysis on MGMAT forum.

What I see is that you need to focus on SC 600-700 level accuracy (along with 700-800 level) - this is preventing you from getting a good average for right answers currently it is at 610 and I think it should be 710 (for correct answers choices). Needless to say that you would have noticed that Verbs and Comparisons are the two areas you can improve the most in. I think addressing these two areas can already influence your score.

I think if you feel you are rushing through the SCs because of time constraints during these CATs, may be good to increase the Verbal section timing a bit and give yourself a little bit extra time to get the questions right. Prep has two parts: Accuracy first, Timing/Pacing next. The usage of these CATs first is to practice getting difficult (700-800 level) questions correct and then to get these correct in reasonable time. Good luck!

I must add I am no expert on GMAT :lol:


Thanks Vinay. Your advice is great. You might not be GMAT expert but everything you said makes perfect sense. I will do in-depth analysis of SC and CR, and focus on each area one at a time for next few days. Then will see if I can improve the verbal score to close to 40. Trust me, I always feel like I can do it, but for reason during the test I make a lot of mistakes. I think it has a lot to do with timing, and as you said accuracy counts first.

I am thinking of applying the following strategy in my next test: I will allocate 2 mins avg (which I end up taking anyways but with panic) for the first 30 questions, that way I will be little more relaxed, and then for last 11 I will have 15 mins and will target for 50% accuracy. Since initial questions count the most, I think if I can get to 90-95%ile in first 30, I should at-least end up in 85-90%ile in verbal, which has been in 60-80 range right now. That way with 99%ile in quant, I should be able to achieve 95%ile overall.
Any thoughts on this? :) Thanks for your help.
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 17:47
I might as well chime in too ... First off, don't read too much into the practice tests, they usually don't indicate how the real thing will work.

When I took the GMAT for the first time, I got 680 (q49 v34). Clearly needed my Verbal score to jump up just like yours. This is what I did, I bought this ebook called Aristotle SC. Though I would say its not the best one out there, it is very useful for understanding SC. My problem was that I practiced hundreds of SCs and when I got something wrong, I reviewed the answers, but the explanations used technical English terms to state why the choices were right or wrong. For example, it would say, "preposition should not blah blah conjunction blah blah". Now to clearly understand the explanations, you first need to be able to pick the prepositions and conjunctions first. Maybe you are not as bad as I was but this ebook really helped set in some fundamentals. Once I was done with that, I went back and redid the OG questions. My accuracy was 90%+. Partly because I remembered some questions :) ... but I was picking the answers with a better understanding of the concepts.

Ok long story short, my MGMAT scores on verbal after reading the book were 44+. I even got a 46. Though I ended up screwing up my real GMAT and got a 38 there, I think I could have easily achieved a 42-43 on the real thing. Moral of the story, learn the fundamentals first, without them you can't get better at SC. You have the time, try the ebook if you can.
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Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do? [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2011, 20:13
I saw your verbal analysis - yes I am jobless :D :D

Anyway, I think you haven't caught your mistake yet, but the thing is that to be able to do better on 700-800 level questions, you will have to master the lower level ones!

What I am saying is that you need to make sure that you never ever get 600-700 or 500-600 level questions incorrect under any circumstance! I guess that's pulling your score down. I remember on my last test in verbal, I was on 99 percentile till the 25th question but then for some reason I got a 600-700 level question and I was kinda short on time and I guessed that question incorrectly to catch up. My score jumped to 80 and then I never managed to recover - Though I finished with 4 mins to spare in the end, utter stupidity.

Long story short, 700-800 level questions are a totally different ball game, at least as far as MGMATs are concerned, but we will come back to that later. You need to first make sure that you get all questions below that level correct flawlessly! Grammatical knowledge should come to you by second nature to be able to tackle those nasty 750 level SCs that test more than pure grammar.

_________________

GMAT done - a mediocre score but I still have a lot of grit in me

The last 20 days of my GMAT journey

Re: < 4 weeks to go and sad! what to do?   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2011, 20:13
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