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A Disappointing BURNOUT... 680 (Q48V35)

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A Disappointing BURNOUT... 680 (Q48V35) [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 09:59
Hi all,

I gave my GMAT today and was absolutely shattered at the score 680 (Q48 V 35). I have been preparing for almost 6-8 months and have gone through a decent amount of standard prescribed material. I took an off from work for all of the last month (used up all of my annual leave) just to prepare for the day and stuffed the prep dates with tonnes of practice exams. The results of my preps and finals are as below:-

Date Exam Quant Verbal Total
21/01/14 Veritas 49 40 720
23/01/14 Veritas 48 41 720
24/01/14 Veritas 49 40 720
27/01/14 Veritas 49 41 730
3/2/14 Veritas 49 41 730
4/2/14 Kaplan - - 700
6/2/14 Kaplan - - 720
9/2/14 Kaplan - - 720
15/2/14 MGMAT 48 34 680
17/2/14 GMAT PREP 49 41 740
19/2/14 GMAT PREP 49 35 700
21/2/14 GMAT PREP 50 34 700
26/2/14 ACTUAL 48 35 680

For analysing just the prep results i didn't read much into the MGMAT prep score as my internet went terribly wonky that day and the test was completely spoilt because of it…..but i may be wrong as it reflects my final day score!!!

Factors at play on the exam day were more or less an average test day for any test taker, butterflies the previous night, slight anxiety at the beginning of the test etc. One more personal issue that affected me though was my back. I used to be in a rowing team and was forced to quit due to a sports injury. My back’s kept in check with regular exercise, but the high intensity prep schedule meant i had to cut out the workout bit drastically. Mr Murphy decided to remind me of his presence and just at the beginning of the verbal section, i had a bad bout of back pain which lasted throughout and played a prominent role.

About the actual exam per se, i was pretty fidgety during the AWA (nerves i guess), IR was a bit tricky and my nerves again got the better of me (although 6 seems to be an acceptable score). I had intended to continue IR and Quant without a break and did so. Quant went about with considerable ease and i finished with almost 13 minutes to spare (although a score of 48 means i must have compromised on accuracy at a few places, much less than the practice but happier because a skewed score of Q50/51 V35 would have put me in a bigger dilemma). Post the 8 min water, food, rest etc break Verbal was slightly difficult and a very weird RC passage in the fourth question stumped me. I believe that was where it all went downhill. I am quite good at english so verbal per se was never an issue / botheration.

Anyway, this is the retrospective analysis

(a) The entire one month prep thing combined with a tonne of exams was an overkill and this may be a classic case of the dreaded burnout i had read in so many posts. Too much of anything can be bad.
(b) There was a progressive decrease in my verbal scores throughout, again probably attributable to loss of concentration. But, the verbal in the veritas prep was comparatively easier compared to the actual verbal so, maybe i analysed my verbal prep wrong. Doesn’t explain the high score in one GMAT PREP exam but it may be an aberration.

So a sincere request to the forum members to suggest course of action for the following:-

Does it make sense to retake the GMAT? (Current score 680)
Profile:-
Male
Ethnicity: Indian
Work Ex: 8 Yrs
Profession: Military (Officer Cadre) (Military Aviation Specialist)
Education B.Tech in Mechanical and Automation Engg (Approx GPA 2.9)
M.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering (Approx GPA 3.4)

I have 2 more years i need to complete before i can leave the forces, so i’ve got time in hand and i know i can hack GMAT, but i need to look holistically
Target Schools Stanford, MIT, Booth and Kellogg (Batch of ’18, :) i have time in hand)

(b) Assuming and accepting that my intensive plan was a burn out and i have miscalculated my strengths / weakness in verbal, can somebody suggest a viable verbal and exam prep strategy and way ahead.Does it make sense to pay a load of money to get professional training especially for verbal, money isn’t an issue but i need a holistic view on things. As of now i plan to take a complete break from studies for a month, take a GMAT PREP test in mid April with no practice or prep, subtract 50 from the score of that day (to compensate for repeated questions if any) and move from there on. Target exam by around mid may / June.

Finally, a word of caution for prospective test takers. Even high quantity of good quality can be severely detrimental, so please be aware. Unfortunately, realised a wee bit later. Hope whosoever reads this post doesn’t make the mistakes i did….Disappointed but, pumped up more than ever to put this bad dream to rest.
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Re: A Disappointing BURNOUT... 680 (Q48V35) [#permalink] New post 26 Feb 2014, 10:17
After experiencing the same situation myself, although I had a terrible "I cant breathe" cold during my GMAT, I have realised that working on the Verbal section requires a greater efforts, and especially since very few sources are there to provide you with the correct form of guidance for cracking 700+ level questions in verbal.

I scored a 680 too (Q49V34) and this came out as quite a shock as I was expecting more that 700, especially after spending four months slogging through PrincetonReview Classes and juggling between college classes, exams and other work. It feels like a big disappointment, I know. But since you have considerable time and you already have an excellent profile with your military service, I feel that your application ought to stand apart from the rest of the highly competitive Indian+Male+IT pool of MBA applicants.

Cheer up, All the best for the future ! :-D
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Concentration: Finance, Leadership
GMAT 1: 680 Q47 V36
GMAT 2: 680 Q44 V39
GMAT 3: 720 Q49 V39
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Re: A Disappointing BURNOUT... 680 (Q48V35) [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2014, 13:08
I am in almost the same situation as you are. First attempt I got a 680 (Q47, V36), just after scoring in the 740 range in the GMAT Prep mocks. After 1 month of additional study, I got an even worse result: 660. I know that I have some issues keeping my nerves cool during the exam, so I'm planning to work in this matter for my next attempt.
I believe that for Adcoms, 680 is different from 700. I know it seems just a small difference but your application could be put in a different pile just because of these 20 points. From your mocks, you know you can do better, and you have time for this. Just don't let the time and effort to study for your GMAT retake interfere in your essays ( good essays are more important than a good GMAT score).
Good luck (for both of us).
Re: A Disappointing BURNOUT... 680 (Q48V35)   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2014, 13:08
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