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Devastated

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Senior Manager
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Devastated [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2006, 14:04
Well after taking the test the first time and bombing the math section (I got a 640 Q:38 V:40), I decided to hit the OG and study my butt off for round 2 vs. the GMAT.

I did a ton of problems, looked over the mistakes etc. I was up to a 690 on the GMATPrep retakes when disaster struck. I took a GMATPrep and did well on the math but poorly on the verbal. I started using the Manhattan GMATPrep book for sentence correction and actually started getting more wrong. Then my strong points in reading comp and critical reasoning started to fail me - I have no clue why.

So I took a little time off, refocused. Decided not to take anymore practice tests for fear of further burnout. I did some problems out of the forums here and working in the official guide. I felt comfortable, I also looked over the mistakes I made on the practice tests and could correctly choose the right answers.

Today was test day and I woke up feeling this was it. I am prepared to get my dream score and show the GMAT who its daddy is. I arrived early, hoping to start the test around 11 - and they let me. Writing section was a breeze. So I took my 10 minute break (there is no clock in the center for you to see), went to the bathroom, drank some water, and paced - while chatting with the test admins. I got worried so I asked if it had been 10 minutes and they went to check my computer (the same computer I got the 640 on might I add). To my surprise it was exactly 10 min so I had to rush to my seat and actually went over break time by 75 seconds.

This put me in the wrong frame of mind, but I settled down and got the firest question right...hit my stride on the math but I got rattled about halfway through and lost focus. I recovered in parts but overall I felt I did about the same as my first official GMAT.

Took my second break, didnt take the full 10 mins because I didnt want the same thing to happen. I focused and took my time, maybe a little too much time. Halfway through the section I got worried about time and had to speed things up - overall I felt I was doing ok. The CR questions were tougher then I remembered, and the reading comp were challenging but nothing I wasnt prepared for.

At the end of the test I pressed report scores and closed my eyes. When I opened them I was shocked.

Q: 43 an improvement of 5 points
V: 31 a loss of 9 points
Total: 610

I am not sure if it was a fluke or what. I dont even know how it would be possible to lose so much ground on the verbal section, something I haven't struggled with at all throughout my studying until the last week of practice tests.

I left, the woman handed me my score (she knew I was trying to do better in the math section - she had been there the first time I took it) and she said to me I should be pleasantly surprised. I took the paper, didnt say a word and rushed out.

Right now I am not sure where I stand. Four of my schools have the first score report and only that score report. But I know a 640 will probably not be enough to get me in. At the same time I have been living the GMAT for 5 months straight. I am tired of it, but I want to beat it. I know many on this board have had the same struggle - but man I felt like I had been stabbed in the chest when I saw that score. Especially because I was sure it would be the math that was lower. :?
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2006, 16:16
I say retake... IF you know without a doubt you can clear 640. My suggestion would be to go ahead and book a date about 6 weeks out. Take the next 2 weeks off to not think about GMAT.... just decompress your head. Then take another 4 weeks and give it one final try. I personally took about 4 or so practice tests in the week before the exam... I think it's key to use that final week to focus on timing issues and getting yourself used to not being rattled by weird occurances. Use PR and MGMAT tests if you haven't exhausted those already. I found those to be the most representative of score behind the GMATPrep. Also, your expectations may have been a bit too high with that 690... if that was a reboot (which means you might have seen a few of the questions before). So even if you can hit 670 or so, that seems like it would be a good score for you. But don't stop at the 610 or 640.... try to shake it off and tackle it one final time. But tell yourself this is it and if you hit above 650, I would take the score and move on to apps.

good luck!

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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2006, 17:12
Marcus - Thank you for the words of encouragement - of course I will retake, and I will follow your advice as well as applying several of my own pointers.

Third times a charm right? 8-)
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 [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2006, 17:42
Yes, take a break off GMAT and then gather your energy for another try. Think this way, if the variance of the scores is normal then the next time it's more likely than not that it should fluctuate upwards. :-D

From your account of the last test I think timing may be your issue. Try to train yourself to a good pace through out the section, regardless of difficulties of the questions. It should help you.
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2006, 03:58
Before you get too down on yourself here....

My gmat scores:

1st time - Quant 43, Verbal 35 - overall 640
2nd time - Quant 33, Verbal 44 - overall 640
3rd time - Quant 45, Verbal 45 - overall 730

See that 10 point drop in quant? Yea, no idea what happened there either.... but... as you can see, I was able to overcome in the end. Just so you know a quant 43 to 33 drop is worse than your verbal drop in terms of %'s - by only 1%, but its still a bigger drop!

The quant drop is 30% lower on the percentile numbers. .... in fact, a 33 quant is 41%, below the mean. Your verbal score is at least above the mean!

Do not despair, for - as I once said - you may have lost this battle with the GMAT, but you can win the war.

Take some time off - not too much that you never find the motivation to come back to this. Two weeks.
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 [#permalink] New post 27 Jun 2006, 04:36
Rhyme - thanks for the kind words. We are in similar situations - I can only hope that my outcome will be as good as yours. I am going to read through your story and see if I can use any of your study methods to help me hit my goal.

I am still a little shocked at the drop in my verbal, I have never had trouble on that section. But it is what it is and the GMAT has won 2 rounds against me - however like you said, I can still win the war.

Yesterday was hard, my girlfriend is pissed at me for studying so much and then to come home without getting the score I wanted just added to it. The pressure has definitely been on, I think I need to take some of the pressure off and just go with the flow and see what happens. I will definitely study hard but the GMAT isnt the end of the world.
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 [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2006, 06:16
Dont worry, everything can happen, don't forget that even if you spend months studying for the GMAT your score only depends on a 4h exam with random questions (maybe you prefer geometry or maybe you like statistics , ...) so feel confident, study again for a while and come back :wink:

I lived the same story a while ago even if I score at a lower level
550, then 500, then 620 and finally 640 but I was close to quit the GMAT stuff after getting a 500 ! evrything is possible...

Good luck

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 [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2006, 12:56
hey buddy dont stress,

640 is a good score. Maybe you need to focus more evenly on both sections. I feel that verbal can be hit or miss if you dont bring your A game. Good luck with everything
  [#permalink] 30 Jun 2006, 12:56
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