Haven't posted much on the forum but I want to preface that this is not the GMAT success post that everyone hopes for.
I just finished my re-take this morning and walked out of the test feeling very bewildered. I'm not great with standardized tests (Took SATs 3 times to get 1480) so I tend to spend a lot of time practicing and preparing. Back in May 2012, I took the GMAT with light prep and scored a 650 (46Q and 34V). I was okay with this as a "baseline" as I wasn't planning on applying that year.
Fast forward to July 2013, I had my mind set on applying for class of 2016 and my target score was 720+. My prep involved Magoosh
, MGMAT [self guided prep], and OG practice tests. My 5 practice tests were as follows:
- 660 - MGMAT
- 640 - MGMAT
- 680 - MGMAT
- 700 - GMAT Prep
- 710 - GMAT prep
I was excited about my progress and definitely felt ready to tackle to actual GMAT.
On test day [this morning], I was relaxed and completed the AWA and IR with reasonable confidence. Things were a little rough with the Quant section as I had to skip 3 to finish on time. I knew I hadn't done was well on the quant as my prior practice tests, so I tried brushing it off and clearing my head for the verbal section. I got through the verbal relatively slow and had to guess on the last 3, but I "felt" that it went relatively well compared to the quant. I get through the info pages, and my score turns out to be 580 (46Q 25V
). I was so shocked that I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing.
Reality has set in and I plan to re-retake it mid-Nov. Given my progression and performance on test day, does anyone have any recommendations on what other resources I should use? Are there any other CAT tests out there for those that have exhausted 2 major sources? Any feedback or recommendations on strategy to get to 700+ is much appreciated.
I'm very sorry to hear about your rough performance today.
The first thing I'll say is --- keep in mind that you can take GMATPrep tests
more that once (they have a considerable question bank), and I believe you can also take MGMAT CAT tests more than once (they also have large question bank). Save those high quality sources for toward the end of this next round of prep.
I would definitely recommend the idiom ebook:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom-ebook/
I would definitely recommend watching all the Magoosh
verbal videos again.
It seems a huge factor, though, is not
the quality of the prep material (because you were doing fabulous work on the practice tests), but the challenges of the test day itself. Here, I will recommend a few things.
(a) think about your level of understanding for each concept:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/understand ... rformance/
(b) do ALL of your practice against a clock at this point, absolutely nothing untimed:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/pacing-and ... -the-gmat/
(c) all your practice should be mixed by topic, no single-topic practicehttp://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-study ... vs-random/
Perhaps most importantly, think about your mindset, your emotional framework, your capacity for focus, your ability to bring forth the best of yourself in a pressure situation. These are absolutely crucial issues that often receive little attention in test prep. See this series of blog articles:http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/overcome-g ... y-breathe/http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/beating-gmat-stress/http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/the-gmat-b ... g-picture/http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/zen-boot-c ... -the-gmat/
As curious as this may sound, I think you need to practice this stuff (deep breathing, mindfulness, etc.) at least as seriously and as intensely as you study any GMAT material. You see, again, in your practice sessions, you were already there!! The talent & knowledge is within you, and I believe what would help you the most is simply learning to get out of your own way so you can, in the moment of pressure, unlock the masterful performance that is inside you waiting to come out.
Does all this make sense? Please let me know if you have any questions.