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700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V

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700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2010, 22:54
After 3 solid months of studying pretty much every day, 4-6 hours a day, I took GMAT this past Saturday and I'm not at all happy with my result. I know I can do better so I plan to take it over in a month or two and I will make this thread my daily journal (after I take a few days for R&R). I thought that on a bad day the worst I could possibly do was 660 but my nerves got the best of me. During the test I knew that I wasn't doing as well as I could have but I was shocked to see 630 starring at me when it was all over.

The week before the test I started to feel very nervous and began to doubt myself - even though I was getting 700-740 consistently on GMATPrep and on the MGMAT prep tests. I had a very intense event happen in my personal life about two weeks before - that threw me off a bit but I don't think that it was the cause of my poor performance. The day before the test I didn't do any studying and just took care of a bunch of other responsibilities hoping that that would relax me; it worked but it all came back as soon as I entered the test center.

I slept well, planned my meal times perfectly, and got to the center 30 minutes before the test. It was much smaller than I was expecting - there were only 10-12 seats and each one was filled. I think everyone else was writing GMAT, and we all started at the same time.

AWA was exactly what I expected. I'm not sure what my score is yet but this part of the test went very smoothly. I used a template similar to those posted here and on a few other sites. I finished both with about 7-10 minutes left and I spent the rest of the time adding bits and pieces and trying to make the wording more effective.

I was really worried about nature calling and hunger striking so I had a plan for my breaks and stuck to it: bathroom, splash of water on the face and a Cliff Bar. Both of my breaks took about 7 minutes.

QUANT went okay but I knew there were some things I missed that I should have gotten right. My quant range in prep was between 42 and 47 so I'm not overly shocked with my quant result. I messed up a few easy questions. I think in my prep I spent too much time doing prep tests and practice questions and not enough time on understanding each type of question. I will definitely make that my focus for the next time around. The questions were a bit harder than any I'd seen in OG10-12 or GMATPrep, and the wording was slightly different.

Bathroom, splash of water on the face, Cliff bar.

I'm absolutely stunned with my verbal result because verbal was always my strong area in prep. I think the worst I ever got in prep was 38 and I was usually above 42. I got what I found to be very difficult RC questions, but maybe they just seemed difficult because I was so nervous that I couldn't read. I mean I could read but I couldn't focus on what I was reading and couldn't really remember more than 4 words at a time. That probably impacted my CR too, but I think I did very well on SC. I was getting some very difficult SC questions but I felt as though I was knocking them down.

I've done all the GMATPrep and 6 MGMAT prep tests (twice!) so I'm going to have to find other options for practicing the test. I'm going to really work on understanding every piece of material and not just practice questions. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about my nerves but I'm hoping that I'll be a bit more relaxed the second time around. I'm open to any suggestions for my prep, especially anything to help with my nerves and any additional material I might benefit from. I've listed below all of the most of the materials I have already used.

OG10-12
OG Verbal 1st ed.
OG Quant 1st ed.
MGMAT SC (2003), Number Properties (newest one), Word Translations (2003), Equations/Inequalities/VIC's (2003), Geometry (2003)
Sacksmann Math Bible
CR Bible (only read the first 40 or so pages...will read the whole thing this time)
Kaplan GMAT 800
Disclosed Exams
GMATPrep
GMAT Club (forum and tests)
PR Cracking the GMAT
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesManhattan GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2010, 02:55
Don't be dishearted !!! Sometimes it's just because we are at the wrong place at the wrong time.

It was same for me (I was so nervous that I couldn't read)
620-unable-to-handle-pressure-around-20-random-guesses-85910.html#p644005

I scored 710, 740 in GmatPrep and 620 in actual ( I gussed many) :)

Start over again and I am confident next time it will be all OK for you.
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Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2010, 09:42
shanewyatt wrote:
After 3 solid months of studying pretty much every day, 4-6 hours a day, I took GMAT this past Saturday and I'm not at all happy with my result. I know I can do better so I plan to take it over in a month or two and I will make this thread my daily journal (after I take a few days for R&R). I thought that on a bad day the worst I could possibly do was 660 but my nerves got the best of me. During the test I knew that I wasn't doing as well as I could have but I was shocked to see 630 starring at me when it was all over...



Hi Shanewyatt,

Another MBA candidate was in a somewhat similar situation in the thread below. His anxiety and confidence level is his biggest obstacle:

please-guide-me-89635.html#p678720

The suggestions I gave were as follows:

1. Manage your test anxiety. Minimize your worries and pay attention to good nutrition and adequate exercise. Maintain adequate sleep with a consistent schedule leading up to your test.
2. Make a special effort to improve your weaknesses along with strengthening your expertise during practice. For RC, especially, you should make a point of reading articles every day and taking notes about them as you might for the GMAT.
3. Locate or set up a serious test-taking environment in your house or a public library or a park or another facility so that you can exclusively focus on taking the mock tests.
4. Review all prior mistakes along with explanations. Make a list of those typical errors you tend to make and consciously remind yourself of them and refrain from making the same mistakes.
5. You may want to take the day before the test off entirely so that your brain can relax more right before the test day.
6. Keep a light-hearted and positive attitude on the test day. Maintain strong momentum from beginning to end as the final problems can sometimes be equally as important as the initial ones.

You know that you can reach the needed score from your experience with the practice tests and your extensive studying. It's important that you walk into the test with that in mind!

If you end up feeling like you'd need any help with certain sections of the test or with your Admissions process once you knock the next one out of the park, let us know! We offer a discount to our GMAT Club candidates!
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Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2010, 11:20
Ouch! Nevertheless you should take heart in your efforts and perhaps give another go...!
Agree with the guys above...! it could be matter of being right place right time...!

Good things shall happen!!!
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Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 25 Jan 2010, 12:04
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Thanks everyone for your advice and kind words.

It's only been a day and a half since my exam and I have already modeled my new plan of attack. I welcome any thoughts, advice, reality checks, etc. that anyone has to share. I'm feeling good after taking some time to plan what I will do different this time. I have read over the re-take success stories and I'm looking forward to writing mine when it's all over.

Here is my new plan of attack:

1) Use Error Log. I used cue cards the first time around and just put solutions on them. This time I plan to track everything so I'm aware of my real weaknesses and not only my perceived weaknesses.

2) I will write up a daily schedule including activities outside of preparation. Here is what it will include:
a) 3 types of questions/day - one math and two verbal. Do at least 3 RC passage/day.
b) Start applications
c) Read 1 hour a day, non-GMAT material
d) Post on GMAT Club every day
e) Two hours a day at the gym (I've been doing this for about 8 years so this won't be a big adjustment). Don't push it too hard but stay very healthy.
f) 1 hour for job searching (I got laid off in the middle of my GMAT preparation)
g) 1 hour to practice/learn French (I live in Montreal and don't fully speak French)
h) Aikido class every Monday night for two hours

3) Relax and do things that aren't GMAT:
a) Take a night off to be with friends every now and then (I basically haven't left my apartment since I began preparing 3-4 months ago!)
b) Go to the Super Bowl in Miami!
c) Watch Team Canada win the Olympic gold medal in men's hockey.

4) Focus on weakness - RC, probability, work/rate, TBC. Really determining what's causing my errors.

5) Look in to purchasing new material: GMAT Focus, PR 1021, GMAT Club Tests. Kind of broke right now so may just work my way to 200 posts to get the Club Tests. I've already spent quite a bit of money so far so I think I may just use the material I already have.

6) Get interested in women's issues and minority issues (not only for RC but also because they're important issues)

7) Read scientific literature and expand my vocabulary (pretty much just for RC because I hate science)

8) Use Power Prep once/week, don't test every day (I was spending too much time taking practice tests and not enough time learning the fundamentals. Brute force didn't work so it's time to do something different). I've exhausted GMATPrep and MGMAT exams so I'll have to use PowerPrep and GMAT Focus.
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Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2010, 13:12
shanewyatt,

Kudos on your perseverance...! Setting up big expectation is a huge step; Now needs a great execution...its the real dealmaker...!!!

Take a look at this:

please-evaluate-my-study-schedule-79588.html (coutesy Topher - Check out schedule.xls)
how-to-prepare-the-second-time-89756.html#p680572 (courtesy piyatiwari)

I think these guys did a great job to tool and roadmap...!

Finally clock in your time at Gmatclub!!!... Help and Be Helped... :) :)
ATB and good luck
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Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2010, 14:41
Expert's post
Sorry about the split between practice and real test.
Sounds like the most score difference is in Verbal - sometimes that's a sign of "stress/etc" as strategy/approach have a lot of impact on the Verbal part - make sure you are following specific and exact strategies for SC, CR, and RC and do not deviate on the real test.

However, you definitely have in you to get 700+.
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Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2010, 16:17
Hi !
Just got a very similar experience...Unfortunately.
After 3 to 4 months of intensive work using the good material of MGMAT, I was getting pretty confident that I could score at least 680, if not 700+.
My results on the MGMAT CAT exams during the last 3 weeks of training were:
- CAT1: Q46, V28 - Score:600
- CAT2: Q47, V35 - Score: 680
- CAT3: Q46, V41: Score: 710
- CAT4: Q47, V39: Score 700
- CAT5: Q48, V35: Score 680
- CAT6: Q48, V44: 750
And then I also scored Q48, V40 (score 730) on the GMATPrep software.
So, I thought I was in good shape and I took the official GMAT test yesterday and got....630! (Q45,V31). Extremly dispasointing.
I found the real test MUCH MORE difficult than the MGMAT tests in particular for the verbal section. I ran out of time and I had to ramdomly guess the last 10 verbal questions, which can explain my poor verbal score! I was unlucky as well as I got 3 RC passages (my weak point - as a non-native english speaker, I'm pretty slow at reading) in the first half of the verbal sections with 2 of them being particularly long (one was over 80 lines!!!! May be experimental one?). I have 4 weeks before my next GMAT exams and and absolutely need to improve both Math and Verbal as well as timing strategy. Any pieces of advice?
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Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V [#permalink] New post 05 Feb 2010, 19:50
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I scored 700 and 710 on GMATPrep, but I got 640 on real test :cry: :cry: :cry:
Re: 700-740 in Prep, 630 actual, 42Q, 34V   [#permalink] 05 Feb 2010, 19:50
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