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750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips

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27 Nov 2011, 14:54
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The majority of the posts I read during my preparation period were about long-term study plans that people employed for this process. However, I feel that the number of posts about long-term study plans greatly outnumber those about last week strategies. Don't get me wrong. I think the aforementioned inequality is completely justified - there's no point in having a last week strategy unless you've prepared for the exam in a very thorough manner. Still, I believe I can provide more value to the readers of this forum by focusing on the methods I employed in the week leading up to my exam (given the fact that there's not as much guidance out there on this topic relative to others). The following is a list of things to do in the week leading up to your exam:

1) Go through all the mistakes you've made in the books and papers that you used to prepare. It's more important that you go through the mistakes you made in your papers if you're constrained for time. Solve these questions again and make sure that you can get answers for them (within reasonable time limits of course).

2) Don't go crazy solving papers everyday. Make sure you devote time to learning from the mistakes you've made and closing off the chinks that currently exist in your armor. I think doing 2-3 tests during the last week is more than enough, with the last CAT practice taking place either 2 or 3 days before the actual test. For last week practice tests, I would suggest either MGMAT or GMATPrep.

3) Make sure you know exactly how to get to your test center. The last thing you need on the day of the test is anxiety about finding the center.

4) 24 hours prior: stop preparing! Take the last day off to relax. I'm sure you've read (and realized by now if you've given any full-length CAT practice tests) that sitting down for the GMAT is similar to running a marathon. You simply have to take some time to relax before attempting the test. Cramming to do a few a more math or verbal drills will probably not be helpful. It might just tire you out, or even worse, undermine your self-confidence right before the exam. This is a great segue for the fifth (and possibly most important) point.

5) STAY CALM AND CONFIDENT!! If you know you've put in the required amount of work to face the GMAT, and you've been getting scores in your practice tests that are within a reasonable range of your target score, there is no reason you shouldn't get the score you're aiming for on the GMAT. Getting freaked out on the day before will just derail you. So what do I suggest? Engage in activities that will keep your mind off the exam altogether. Watch a movie, go out for dinner with some friends, exercise etc. etc. Do whatever it takes to prevent yourself from thinking too much about the exam you're giving in ~24 hours.

6) On the day of the exam, try to reach the exam center ahead of time. I reached 30 minutes ahead of time. I spent my spare time listening to music to calm my nerves. If you've ever played a sport competitively, it might be helpful to repeat the ritual you engaged in prior to a game / match (similarly, if there's a ritual you've been following for all your practice tests and you feel it's been helpful, make sure you repeat it). You need to treat the 4-hour exam like any other competitive sporting experience. Make sure you're carrying some snacks and beverages in case you get hungry or thirsty during the breaks.

That's pretty much it. Apologies if parts of my post are not completely clear. It's 4 am here but I promised myself that I would get this post done before the Monday following my exam.

Best of luck, everyone!! I really hope this helps!
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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips [#permalink]

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27 Nov 2011, 18:03
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Congratulations!

And yes, those are some good points about last minute preparation tips. Your points about getting familiar with your test center are very important. Sometimes we even advise students to visit the test center the day before just so they get familiar with the traffic/parking, and what the place looks like.

A large part of the test is psychological and it's important to visualize your success.

Imagine: It’s test day–the real deal. Not a practice exam. You’ve walked by or driven by your test center a few days earlier so you know what it looks like. You imagine yourself walking into the test center. You know your test is in front of a computer at one of those testing centers. Visualize yourself going through the directions on the computer.

Spend at least five minutes at a time imagining different details about taking the test. Visualize yourself spotting sentence structures based on keywords or commas. Visualize yourself checking for X & Y consistency for SC questions or recognizing a Data Sufficiency Percent vs. Actual Number question. You know what to look for and where the pitfalls are (multiple % data points without any actual number data points are useless if they ask you a “how many” question).

Your visualization scene doesn’t need to be the same each time, but you need to tap into a sense of accomplishment, calm, and confidence. Do this every morning and before bedtime.

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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips [#permalink]

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28 Nov 2011, 18:28
Congratulations!
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28 Nov 2011, 19:53
Congrats man !
Could you tell me what Practice tests you found to be most accurate ?
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28 Nov 2011, 23:09
congrates and very good tips..
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29 Nov 2011, 10:07
georgepaul0071987 wrote:
Congrats man !
Could you tell me what Practice tests you found to be most accurate ?

Sure. I found the MGMAT and Official GMATPrep test series to be the most accurate in terms of scoring.
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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2011, 12:04
Congrats on the score, I'm taking mine a second time in a bit over a week (12/10) Very helpful tips, and I agree with all of them. Good luck in your applications!
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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2011, 12:17
that is an amazing score... and great tips... one tip that I would add to the list is to make sure one is eating properly... good nutrition gives you energy and goes a long way making you feel good. A carb and protein breakfast/lunch on the day of the exam will keep one focused.
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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips [#permalink]

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29 Nov 2011, 12:25
wallstreetbarbie wrote:
that is an amazing score... and great tips... one tip that I would add to the list is to make sure one is eating properly... good nutrition gives you energy and goes a long way making you feel good. A carb and protein breakfast/lunch on the day of the exam will keep one focused.

Last time I took the test was 9am on a weekday. I woke up normal time, had a nice filling omelet and a coffee. Relaxed a little and drove off to the test. This time, my test is at noon on a sat, down town in the city. I'll have to take a 45 mins subway ride and walk 10 mins to the test center... no idea when to eat to insure I wont be hungry, and wont need to use the bathroom...

bleh, just a few more things to worry about on the day of the exam.
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29 Nov 2011, 12:33
highwyre237 - How about getting to the test center an hour ahead and grabbing some food near the test center... take some time to enjoy your meal, use the restroom and then head over to take the exam
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01 Dec 2011, 14:17
wallstreetbarbie wrote:
highwyre237 - How about getting to the test center an hour ahead and grabbing some food near the test center... take some time to enjoy your meal, use the restroom and then head over to take the exam

That is what I did the first time I took the test. I stopped at a Starbucks down the street and had some tea and oatmeal. I would still suggest bringing a tasty protein bar to eat during one or more of the breaks. I think that would have seriously helped me stay focused.
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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2011, 15:11
Good tips. As for number 4, I think its individual preference. If I had stopped 24 hours before the test I'd have felt like I could've done more. I took a practice test at 9 pm the night before my 8am test. That would throw some people off, but other (like me) feel most comfortable doing something if we just practiced it. I'd definitely agree that you should relax from when you wake up until the exam, but I'd say anything before you go to bed is fair game.
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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips [#permalink]

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01 Dec 2011, 18:17
Thanks a lot for the great tips. Developing a ritual may be extremely beneficial, as well as establishing a stable context for your studying (morning/afternoon? Wired on caffeine?) Whatever you are used to during preparation, make sure to replicate that as closely as possible on the actual test, physio-psychological context is proven to get your body in the right mode and facilitate recall (take the psych major's word for it).
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01 Dec 2011, 21:36
Congrats man... Gr8 score
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01 Dec 2011, 23:03
congratulations.... and gr8 Job
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01 Dec 2011, 23:19
congrats!
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02 Dec 2011, 02:41
Amazing post.
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02 Dec 2011, 04:35
I have the same break ups and i scored a 740
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02 Dec 2011, 06:42
ramchandanineil wrote:
georgepaul0071987 wrote:
Congrats man !
Could you tell me what Practice tests you found to be most accurate ?

Sure. I found the MGMAT and Official GMATPrep test series to be the most accurate in terms of scoring.

Do you mind writing a few lines about the materials that you used, practice tests + scores etc. ? I have heard that MGMAT scores are a bit inflated? I am not sure. Please share some thoughts!

Thanks
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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips [#permalink]

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02 Dec 2011, 06:48
voodoochild wrote:
ramchandanineil wrote:
georgepaul0071987 wrote:
Congrats man !
Could you tell me what Practice tests you found to be most accurate ?

Sure. I found the MGMAT and Official GMATPrep test series to be the most accurate in terms of scoring.

Do you mind writing a few lines about the materials that you used, practice tests + scores etc. ? I have heard that MGMAT scores are a bit inflated? I am not sure. Please share some thoughts!

Thanks
Gmat Prep 2 comes closest to the real test . MGMAT Prep tests are more difficult than the real test .
I wrote a funny debrief in the experiences section . You could read that to have an idea
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Re: 750 (Q49 V42)! Last Week Preparation Tips   [#permalink] 02 Dec 2011, 06:48

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