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Discouraged - Test this Saturday.

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Intern
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Joined: 03 Sep 2013
Posts: 3
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT Date: 10-26-2013
WE: Analyst (Other)
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

Discouraged - Test this Saturday. [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2013, 19:08
Hello all,

Although I have been reluctant to post. I've seen a huge level of support from other users and I have reached the point where I am discouraged enough to give it a shot.

I just finished taking a GMAT Prep practice exam - my score = 440. As I have noted on the topic name, I am scheduled to take the exam this Saturday. I do not feel confident at all. I am almost certain I will have to retake it again.

Here is a bit of my background:

Graduated in May 2013, Poli Sci major, with Econ concentration. I am currently working for a Fortune 500 company, in their commodity research department. I intend to pursue a MSc in Finance.

I scheduled the test for this Saturday after being instructed to do so by my GMAT Prep instructor. The course was offered by a university in my area and although the school is one of the top ranked public universities in the US, I did not feel that the GMAT prep course was beneficial. The instructor focused on strategy and always mentioned the fact that the test is "nothing to worry about, just apply these strategies". He made it seem so easy. I think all of us fell under the illusion that we could ace the test just by taking the course. He even suggested not taking any CATs.

I became a bit suspicious after doing a bit of my own research and seeing that the GMAT takes extensive preparation and incredible amounts of review. Almost in a state of panic (3 weeks prior to the test) I ordered MGMATs Foundations of GMAT Math, went through the book in about a week and half. Still didn't feel prepared, ordered the full 8 guide MGMAT but with only a little bit over a week I've barely been able to scan 3 of them. This past week, I just didn't know what else to do and added the GMAT Pill courses to my list of materials.

Today with 2 days left, I feel lost. A 440 practice test. I know that my preparation was not adequate nor correct. Does anyone have any advice? I am only taking the test this Saturday so that I don't lose the entire $250. Should I just cancel my score the day of? And after this Saturday, how should I proceed?

My breakdown was 23Q 26V - I am incredibly embarrassed but I have decided to use this forum as a resource going forward. I don't know how much it will help anyone else but I will be logging my experience on here from now on, so that others may benefit from a GMAT horror story from beginning to end (hopefully a happy ending).

I appreciate any advice.

Sincerely,
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Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 69
Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Strategy
GMAT 1: 680 Q46 V36
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Re: Discouraged - Test this Saturday. [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2013, 21:41
1
This post received
KUDOS
rumimilano wrote:
Hello all,

Although I have been reluctant to post. I've seen a huge level of support from other users and I have reached the point where I am discouraged enough to give it a shot.

I just finished taking a GMAT Prep practice exam - my score = 440. As I have noted on the topic name, I am scheduled to take the exam this Saturday. I do not feel confident at all. I am almost certain I will have to retake it again.

Here is a bit of my background:

Graduated in May 2013, Poli Sci major, with Econ concentration. I am currently working for a Fortune 500 company, in their commodity research department. I intend to pursue a MSc in Finance.

I scheduled the test for this Saturday after being instructed to do so by my GMAT Prep instructor. The course was offered by a university in my area and although the school is one of the top ranked public universities in the US, I did not feel that the GMAT prep course was beneficial. The instructor focused on strategy and always mentioned the fact that the test is "nothing to worry about, just apply these strategies". He made it seem so easy. I think all of us fell under the illusion that we could ace the test just by taking the course. He even suggested not taking any CATs.

I became a bit suspicious after doing a bit of my own research and seeing that the GMAT takes extensive preparation and incredible amounts of review. Almost in a state of panic (3 weeks prior to the test) I ordered MGMATs Foundations of GMAT Math, went through the book in about a week and half. Still didn't feel prepared, ordered the full 8 guide MGMAT but with only a little bit over a week I've barely been able to scan 3 of them. This past week, I just didn't know what else to do and added the GMAT Pill courses to my list of materials.

Today with 2 days left, I feel lost. A 440 practice test. I know that my preparation was not adequate nor correct. Does anyone have any advice? I am only taking the test this Saturday so that I don't lose the entire $250. Should I just cancel my score the day of? And after this Saturday, how should I proceed?

My breakdown was 23Q 26V - I am incredibly embarrassed but I have decided to use this forum as a resource going forward. I don't know how much it will help anyone else but I will be logging my experience on here from now on, so that others may benefit from a GMAT horror story from beginning to end (hopefully a happy ending).

I appreciate any advice.

Sincerely,




Hi,

A few things to note :
1. Your exam date is pretty close. So, stop crying over spilt milk. Think of what you can do in 2 days : perhaps revise some basic concepts.
GMAT maths book on gmatclub is a good resource. Go through it thoroughly. You can find it in bunuels signature.
2. See what mistakes did you do on OG. Try to make sure that you dont repeat those.

Doing these things should be enough considering you have just 2 days.

On the exam day. focus on the question at hand. Concentrate on just getting that one question right and forget about the rest.
Keep your timings on track.

You will definately do good :)
Have faith..

Good Luck!!
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Re: Discouraged - Test this Saturday. [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2013, 22:09
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Expert's post
rumimilano wrote:
Hello all,

Although I have been reluctant to post. I've seen a huge level of support from other users and I have reached the point where I am discouraged enough to give it a shot.

I just finished taking a GMAT Prep practice exam - my score = 440. As I have noted on the topic name, I am scheduled to take the exam this Saturday. I do not feel confident at all. I am almost certain I will have to retake it again.

Here is a bit of my background:

Graduated in May 2013, Poli Sci major, with Econ concentration. I am currently working for a Fortune 500 company, in their commodity research department. I intend to pursue a MSc in Finance.

I scheduled the test for this Saturday after being instructed to do so by my GMAT Prep instructor. The course was offered by a university in my area and although the school is one of the top ranked public universities in the US, I did not feel that the GMAT prep course was beneficial. The instructor focused on strategy and always mentioned the fact that the test is "nothing to worry about, just apply these strategies". He made it seem so easy. I think all of us fell under the illusion that we could ace the test just by taking the course. He even suggested not taking any CATs.

I became a bit suspicious after doing a bit of my own research and seeing that the GMAT takes extensive preparation and incredible amounts of review. Almost in a state of panic (3 weeks prior to the test) I ordered MGMATs Foundations of GMAT Math, went through the book in about a week and half. Still didn't feel prepared, ordered the full 8 guide MGMAT but with only a little bit over a week I've barely been able to scan 3 of them. This past week, I just didn't know what else to do and added the GMAT Pill courses to my list of materials.

Today with 2 days left, I feel lost. A 440 practice test. I know that my preparation was not adequate nor correct. Does anyone have any advice? I am only taking the test this Saturday so that I don't lose the entire $250. Should I just cancel my score the day of? And after this Saturday, how should I proceed?

My breakdown was 23Q 26V - I am incredibly embarrassed but I have decided to use this forum as a resource going forward. I don't know how much it will help anyone else but I will be logging my experience on here from now on, so that others may benefit from a GMAT horror story from beginning to end (hopefully a happy ending).

I appreciate any advice.

Sincerely,


Since you know that you are not prepared for the test, one suggestion would be to postpone taking it. Why to put a 450 score on your permanent record? I sometimes advice people to go ahead with their appointment to experience the actual test but that is in case they are close (but not close enough) to their target score. Since a 30-40 point variation in actual scores as compared to practice test scores is normal, there is a chance that they may get a score close enough to their target score. If that doesn't happen, they can always take it again with a better understanding of the test. But since your practice test score is quite a bit lower than your target score (I am assuming), I don't see you gaining much from taking the test at this stage. You will probably forfeit your registration fee but you wont have a 400-450 score on your record. On the flip side, if you do take the test, you have already paid for it and at least next time you will know exactly what you will undergo - the exam environment, the protocol... So at the end of the day, it is your call and your comfort.

Whichever way you decide, I would suggest you to make a future plan which goes something like this:

1. Work on your concepts - GMAT doesn't test just strategies (I wish it were that simple.) It tests your conceptual understanding of the topics. The questions above 600 level are ingenious (more so above 700) so you need to have your basics bolted down. You should understand the why and how of every relevant thing. GMAT test makers take great pleasure in wording the question in such a way that it befuddles you. If your concepts are clear, it wont matter how they word the question. For that you will have to go through either the entire material of a test prep company or take a course which caters to foundation and well as advanced topics depending on how you study best.

2. Now work on strategies - how to speed up, what to do in particular questions, how to manage time, what to do if you don't understand the question, which pitfalls to look out for in DS questions, how to recognize the CR question types etc

2. Take a practice test to check your progress - This you need to do at regular intervals after working on concepts, say weekly or fortnightly. Identify your lag areas and work on those. Meanwhile, keep practicing everything else.

3. Once you touch your target score, schedule your appointment, keep practicing and hopefully, you will achieve it.
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Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 124
Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Schools: HBS '16, Fuqua
GMAT 1: 510 Q25 V36
GMAT 2: 510 Q29 V31
WE: Research (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 8

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Discouraged - Test this Saturday. [#permalink] New post 23 Oct 2013, 23:46
Feel free to take the test and treat it lightly. Go get the experience of the GMAT for real and then use your score as a baseline to improve from. It's certainly possible to make great strides from where your from.

You have a balanced score so that's good.

If your a native English speaker it should be fairly easy to get your verbal up in two days.
RC: find the conculsion in the text. It's some times on the question. Then understand why that is conculsion. From your understanding pick your answer.
SC: have a quick galance through a grammar book.
RC: take notes when you read the extract.

Maths:
If you only do two things:
Have a look at number properties in MGmat books.
Have ratios and percentages sorted.
Quick revision of the multicplation times tables will help.
If your short on time- get your learning from maths revisions guides kids use for SAts. Should be similar content.

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 03 Sep 2013
Posts: 3
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GMAT Date: 10-26-2013
WE: Analyst (Other)
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 2

GMAT Journey - Ending one, to start another [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2013, 04:53
Thank you all for the advice. I will take the test in order to have the first hand experience, however, I will be canceling my score. I do not feel prepared and I don't feel comfortable sending a score like the one on my practice test to schools.

My applications are due in January, so after this Saturday, I will start fresh. Do you suggest any particular outlines? These are some of my ideas on how to approach my second attempt

- Use the GMATpill outline as a basic structure for studying
1. Sentence Correction
2. Critical reasoning
3. Reading comprehension
4. Problem Solving
5. Data Sufficiency
6. Integrated Reasoning
7. AWA

- Go through the specific MGMAT 8 section guides
- Take a CAT every weekend until desired score is reached - my goal is 650+

The process will take some time but I hope to retake the test in about 4 to 6 weeks. I am currently working 12 hour days and so I can only muster 2-3 hours of studying. On weekends, I should be able to work for about 10 hours.

I will keep posting to track my progress.
Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 124
Concentration: General Management, Nonprofit
Schools: HBS '16, Fuqua
GMAT 1: 510 Q25 V36
GMAT 2: 510 Q29 V31
WE: Research (Non-Profit and Government)
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 8

GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Discouraged - Test this Saturday. [#permalink] New post 24 Oct 2013, 07:51
Don't cancel your score! Use it to gauge how much you need to travel.

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Re: Discouraged - Test this Saturday.   [#permalink] 24 Oct 2013, 07:51
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