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Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side!

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Intern
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Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 9
Location: France
Concentration: International Business
Schools: HEC '15
GMAT 1: 420 Q V
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Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side! [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2012, 18:23
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My story:

I had to take the test in another country (I live in Europe) because everything was closed in my country at the time I wanted to take the test.
The evening before the test just as I was about to plan my journey my internet connection stopped working. So I had to get the address of the test center from a friend.

I also realized that there were still 500 math questions and 2 practice test I would have liked to do but it was obviously too late. Not a nice feeling..

On the morning just before leaving home I decide to take a bigger bag and start moving my stuff from the smaller to the bigger bag, almost forgetting to move my money and passport that were hidden in a small sidebag in the smaller bag....

Then I take the train and arrive in the city where I will take the test. One of the most stupid decisions of my life, I decide to go there by public transport instead of by taxi.

Anyway, I arrive in the street of the test center 30 min early, quite proud of myself. Had I not taken the right subway and bus in a city I had never been to before with the help of a map received at the train station?

I'd noted the test center's address on my mobile phone.

What I didn't know then, was that I had accidentally erased part of the address because I had been nervously fondling with my phone. I had a feeling that there must be something wrong with the address. I had also noted the address on a piece of paper in my bag, but the stress made me forget that completely. So I was on this big street and actually looking for the wrong address with the clock ticking away.................

If it hadn't been for 2 great!! guys with internet connection on their phones (unlike mine) whom I asked for directions and who helped me realize my mistake I would have missed the exam.

But even with the right address buildings in the street were not clearly numbered and people I asked in the street could not help me out and most of them did not speak English. With the help of a kind man who actually walked a bit with me I found the right building literally right on time. Wanting to prove to myself that I can find my way around in a foreign city under time pressure almost made me miss my appointment. I didn't even have the phone number of the test center with me.

Looking back I think stress and fatige made me hyperventilate and act in an irrational way. I realize now how lucky I was on test day.

Prepare well and well ahead.
Avoid preparing things in the last minute as printers and computers really are unpredictable.
Don't underestimate the psychological burden of test day and take any kind of stupid chances!
Be it travelling to the test center or other.
Your head will be full of Gmat stuff and you will not be able to concentrate 100% on other important things!
_________________

Our constraints are what define us. Work hard and never give up.

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1 KUDOS received
SVP
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Status: Graduated
Affiliations: HEC
Joined: 28 Sep 2009
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Concentration: Economics, Finance
GMAT 1: 730 Q48 V44
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Re: Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side! [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2012, 20:27
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Expert's post
Wow, there sure were a lot of pitfalls during your search for the test center! Although I hope the test itself turned out okay, I wouldn't be surprised if the pre-test experience adversely affected your score to some degree.

With that said, your experience should be very helpful to others. Thanks for sharing!

And for anyone further interested in this topic, please see here:

gmat-anxiety-99374.html
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Intern
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Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 9
Location: France
Concentration: International Business
Schools: HEC '15
GMAT 1: 420 Q V
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Re: Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side! [#permalink] New post 05 Apr 2012, 21:19
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I'm glad that you found it helpful, bmillan 01, and were not bored by my Mr.Bean-like story.

Yes, I hope that my post will help some people. I guess it sounds like I am a really chaotic person, but actually I am not and I took the GMAT very seriously.. it's just that the stress and pressure can make make "normal" things go more often wrong than they usually do and then you badly need luck on your side ..

As you say, it surely affected my score, even though I managed to calm down a bit during AWA. Anyway, this forum helped me a lot and I am glad I can now be helpful to others here too.
_________________

Our constraints are what define us. Work hard and never give up.

Manager
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Joined: 06 Jul 2011
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Location: Accra, Ghana
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Re: Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side! [#permalink] New post 09 Apr 2012, 01:38
Thanks for the advice. Sometimes doing things at the last minute creates unnecessary stresses and worry for all of us.
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Re: Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side! [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2012, 23:20
thanks for your great advice to tackle the stress on the G-day
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Re: Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side! [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2012, 07:45
Had a similar experience, I'm in Europe too. My setback was the fact that the test center managers were late!!
Everything turned out fine in the end.

Thank you for your advice, stress it's such a huge factor on the GMAT.
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Re: Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side! [#permalink] New post 04 Jun 2012, 08:56
Expert's post
Great notes. Exam day anxiety is a big thing, add on logistics and bathroom concerns and a lot of things can go wrong on exam day. Try to keep a morning routine in the prior days to the exam similar to what you'll do on the actual exam. The time you'll stay at the exam center will be over 3 hours...so try not to eat anything early in the morning that will upset your stomach. Try to only drink water or soda (drinks with glucose so you have energy for your brain) and leave the large meals or snacks for after the exam.
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Intern
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Re: Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side! [#permalink] New post 11 Jun 2012, 07:15
this is a great post thanks
Re: Avoid last minute stress!!! Be on the safe side!   [#permalink] 11 Jun 2012, 07:15
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