So today I took my first GMAT and scored a dismal 620 Q42 V33.
Background: I started studying in April and was averaging about 2 to 3 hours a day on the weekday and 4 on the weekend. I've been out of school for five year now so I wanted to give myself time to get up to speed especially on the quants. I have been the following materials:
1. MGMAT Strategy Guides
2. Powerscore CR
3. OG 12
5. GMAT Club Tests
In early Jan 2012, I did my first full practice CAT under test conditions with no study and scored a 570 Q36 V33. This was the free MGMAT CAT 1.
After going through all the MGMAT Strategy guides and end of chapter questions I started practising OG questions chapter wise based on the MGMAT Guides
. After sometime, I also included the Kaplan
Q Banks and GMAT Club tests
and kept a good error log
. I essentially ended up doing reviewing every question in the OG12
and 13 to the point where I was getting every single question right.
In June I stated practising CATS again.
1. The first CAT was a not so useful Princeton CAT with no essay and IR. 570 Q36 V33. I knew that this score was defintely off considering I had just put in 2 months of study.
2. Following that I did my first MGMAT CAT 1 but unfortunately I skipped the essay (but I did do the IR section. I scored a 670 Q45 V36 (virtually no repeats from the January test). I did have timing issues but I reviewed problems and worked on pacing.
3. I took my second MGMAT CAT 2 four days later. This time I did the whole test and I did well in terms of pacing. I made a 710 Q45 V41.
4. Ten days of more reviewing and I took my first GMAT Prep CAT 1 and scored a 720 V47 Q41. Absolutely no timing, stress or stamina issues.
At this point I was more or less in the range I wanted to be in. Many say that one should only take practice tests to see were one stands and to build stamina. Since I was doing well stamina wise and I was hitting my target score I figured now time would be well spent in reviewing concepts and practice especially in quants . My idea was to try and solve problems in more than one way in order to develop a flexibility in strategy. I also paid attention to my weaknesses; namely Geometry, Word Problems and VIC's.
Overall I was in a positive frame of mind and felt that I would do well on my first attempt. boy was I wrong!
Two days ago, I started developing a cold. I immediately went to a doctor and explained the situation to him. He prescribed me some medicine that did not make me feel drowsy and in fact I began to feel better. However, I noticed that the medicines left me a little groggy.
So come test day today, I woke up after a good night's sleep and my cold was pretty much gone so I decided to skip the medicines for today. I went to the test center and during the process of checking in I began to feel a sense of uneasiness creeping in. I was getting nervous and it surprised me. Anyways, I proceeded with the AWA which went smoothly for the most part but I was still feeling anxious. IR came next and like my practice tests I could never tell how I did on it. By the time I started Quants, I was getting even more stressed out. The first two questions were straightforward enough and then came this abstract number properties question involving factorials to the nth power. Thats when I got thrown off. Even then, I felt that I was getting thrown some hard questions but every now and then I got hit with some REALLY simple questions. As with the practice tests I did not analyse the quant section and readied myself for the verbal section.
By the time Verbal came around I was more or less calm and in a good frame of mind. I got a few bold face CR's and 'evaluate the hypothesis' type questions. I thought I was doing well because I say those types of questions in GMAT Prep. However, I also noticed some really easy SC's and that got me wondering. In any case I finished the section with about three minutes to go and kapow! 620!!
It's only now that I'm in a better frame of mind and able to reflect on today's events. My thoughts:
1. Anxiety got the better of me. I can't imagine how this could be as I was feeling very positive right until check in.
2. I possibly rushed through the first few questions in each section (out of nervousness perhaps?) because in both Q and V I found myself 5 mins ahead at one point.
3. A case of bad luck: I answered wrong the questions that mattered.
4. I'm not really a morning person and I tend to be the most mentally active in the afternoon. However I have been training myself by going to bed early and getting up at 5:30 am for the past two weeks.
So at this point I am wondering whether I should schedule again for next month. How should I go about studying. I have the whole of this month off so I can dedicate myself full time. My tentative plan:
1. Finishing the rest of my available CATS i.e MGMAT 3,4,5,6 and GMAT Prep 2. Possibly taking them at different locations eg. living room, dad's office, friend's place etc. Now I am also beginning to wonder if I should have practised more CATs? One thing is for sure; I'm going to take 3-4 days off and get in some good RnR.
2. Going over my error logs and reviewing all concepts.
3. Consider taking up an online course perhaps to keep me motivated and have an outside perspective on my progress.
4. Purchase OG Verbal
and OG Quant
for more official question practice.
Any thoughts, suggestions, insights and positive criticisms would be very much appreciated. Thanks!