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Bombed on test day, what happened??!

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Joined: 04 Jan 2014
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Concentration: Accounting, Real Estate
GMAT 1: 530 Q32 V31
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Bombed on test day, what happened??! [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2014, 18:06
I'm 33 and have been out of school for almost ten years. I've been working in real estate and that has slowly been drifting towards accounting and becoming a CPA. I decided last year that I was ready to go for my MBA. However, after ten years... anything past intermediate algebra is a problem. But I bought some used textbooks and have been moving through it fine. I started studying specifically for the GMAT in mid-December. I took my first practice exam through GMATprep CAT on January 1st and scored 530 - that became my baseline score. On March 1st I scored 630 on the second GMATprep CAT. This last month I've been pulling 590-650 on the official GMAT paper exams, and 530-560 on the Kaplan CAT exams, which everyone says are harder (add 70 points or so for a more accurate, comparable score...).

Feeling pretty good with my scores hovering around 630, I decided it was time to go. (I'm obviously not aiming for Stanford. I mention it because it seems like a lot of people on here are absolutely in shambles over a score anything less that 700. I thought I'd just mention that there are 600 scoring people out there, too!)

Long story short, I went in yesterday feeling confident, sat down, and got my butt handed to me without even knowing it. 530. Exactly where I started.

My routine has been about two hours a night for three months. I've made flashcards for almost every question I've missed using ANKI, and I drill myself regularly. I took a prep class at Seattle University. I've spent many hours watching the KhanAcademy videos and working through problems using the official guide. I've been pretty consistent and thorough. I will admit that I've been getting a little burnt out these last couple of weeks. I started to see my scores in range with what I wanted and I eased off it a bit. I guess that might have been a mistake. Right now, after all the study and scoring so low, I must admit that part of me is about ready to just throw in the towel.

I just can't believe I dropped 100 points on the actual exam?!

I know not to take it to heart - these things happen. I've already signed up to test again at the end of April. However, I'd love to avoid is a repeat experience of this Monday! Anyone out there with similar experiences to share? Any tips, thoughts? I really didn't feel that nervous taking the exam. Yes, some of the questions stumped me, but I used what I knew to make an educated guess and moved on. I couldn't believe it when I saw the score report: GMAT 1, Nate 0

:(
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Re: Bombed on test day, what happened??! [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2014, 15:22
Expert's post
Sorry to hear that. That's annoying! What materials did you use? What did Seattle U use? Just their own stuff?

I have a somewhat seimilar experience of studying (though on and off with Princeton review books) and then scoring the same score 6 months later. I studied using the wrong materials and the books that did not click with me. I hated their books actually :-)

I did the Kaplan Premier + Kaplan Math Workbook + Kaplan Verbal Workbook

Many like these days to use MGMAT or Online courses...

P.S. You did not post your score split so it is not possible to tell if you stink in quant, verbal, or both :-)
These are also helpful to compare your official and unofficial scores (see if something went wrong in Q or V). Look at those and figure out if you decreased in one, both?
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Intern
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Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 3
Concentration: Accounting, Real Estate
GMAT 1: 530 Q32 V31
GPA: 3.4
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: Bombed on test day, what happened??! [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2014, 08:38
Q32 V31

I'm not sure the exact breakout on the practice exams; I've been hovering around the 40th percentile in Math and 80th in Verbal. My math skills are just abysmal. Yeah, the prep class at Seattle U was their own. I used the official GMAC book and bought the Kaplan Premier guide but only used the online portions (mostly the practice CAT exams). I used the CAT exam questions as flashcards. Perhaps I should have spent more time just memorizing formulas. Anyways, I felt like I was getting comfortable with the types of questions I was seeing.
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Joined: 04 Jan 2014
Posts: 3
Concentration: Accounting, Real Estate
GMAT 1: 530 Q32 V31
GPA: 3.4
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: Bombed on test day, what happened??! [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2014, 08:43
Also, thanks for responding :)

I'll give a look at MGMAT. I took a few days off and fled down to Portland (love that city!!) for some R&R - I feel better now. Hopefully I'll have a positive post for the forum in April :)
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Re: Bombed on test day, what happened??! [#permalink] New post 24 Mar 2014, 17:09
I don't think you should waste your time memorizing formulas, apart from obvious ones such as circumference or something like that. The thing is, you have to be flexible with quant section. There's literally nothing you can't do in there. If it gives you an algebra question, see if you can do it algebraically, if after taking 10-20 seconds you're going no where, plug numbers and check answers one by one. 12TEN? Exhaust your possibilities. Yes/Nos, find whether a statement both gives a true and a false. Number properties are those you should kill, quickly derive at the scene whether e.g. odd x odd = ? etc, think about primes logically and you're set and done.
The questions are fairly routine until you get higher up which might require more skills, but if you're confident enough you should have plenty of time left to deal with the last few questions which getting them all correct would help your score up.
I've done nearly no preparation at all for quant, all you need is to be flexible and be decisive. My take on gmat quant is admittedly vastly different from the prep materials, but just some thoughts for you to consider.
Verbal I'm not a lot better than yours, so there isn't a lot I can say on this section. In any case, good luck!
Re: Bombed on test day, what happened??!   [#permalink] 24 Mar 2014, 17:09
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