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I've taken a number of CAT's now, and have always done poorly on the verbal section. One of the reasons, is I become fatigued during this section and can't seem to be focussed. This seems to always bite me in the CR and Comprehension sections. If I do the verbals by itself I always end up with a higher score then when in a full CAT setting.
Any suggestions or pointers other than just doing more CAT's and getting used to it. Does coffee or some other stimulant during the break help. I usually just drink water or chew gum.
Yes, this represents one of the main challenges with the verbal section. By the time test takers reach it, they have already gone through the AWA and quant sections. Just continue to practice in order to mentally improve your stamina. Also, take the breaks between each section. Use that time to stretch, eat, splash water on your face, and so forth. Also, make sure that you're relaxed during the test. Anxiety and stress will cause you to burn out more quickly. Every now and then, close your eyes or look away from the screen. This reduces eye and neck strain.
Bottom line: sooner or later, everyone feels exhausted and tired during the GMAT. It's your goal to (1) postpone that moment for as long as possible and (2) know how to deal with it and minimize the effects when it inevitably arrives.
Thanks for your advice. I guess since everybody goes through it, it's part of the process and built into your score.
You can try something that worked very well for me
After the quant section, when you come out of the room for the break, just mentally rewind some points about the verbal section, and try not to contemplate at all about how you faired in the previous sections. You can think points like how to tackle SCs, some unique grammatical rules that you might have learnt etc.
All the best!
Samidh ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Feel free to get in touch if you feel I can be of some assistance to you. You can find me in Facebook if you search!
Well, one thing to consider is that when you do practice tests, you take them to know how your progress is. If you have problems focusing during the verbal section, and thus you believe that it's a lost exam because it doesn't really show your actual progress (it's generally not a good idea to practice when you are tired), if your exams allow it, you can switch the order of the quant and verbal sections and alternated between them. For example: first practice exam: quant and then verbal; second exam: verbal then quant, and so on.
During your preparation period, if your schedule allows it, try to study in longer blocks of time, as much as possible. It's better to study for 4 hours at once than study 2 hours in the morning and 2 in the evening. Even when the time spent is the same, working 4 consecutive hours will build your stamina. If possible, never study less than 2 and a half hours (75 min + 75 min), since that is the length of both sections combined. So a lot of effort goes in scheduling your study time.
For full practice exams: try to learn the AWA template early in your preparation. Many people leave it for the last days. But I think that if you are used to it and want to build stamina and practice full length exams comparable to the real thing, then it's better to do the AWA in each test. That way, after some tests, you can focus on purposely setting your mind on spending minimal intellectual energy on the AWA section, kind of cruising through on an automatic pilot mode. This way, you get to the later sections with some fuel left in the tank.
Of course, you also need make a conscious effort to fight fatigue and lack of focus during your study and practice tests. That's the only way to increase stamina after some time.
Appreciate your advice. It really helps. Im also learning more about myself. Ten years ago as en engineering undergrad, I had a lot more mental stamina. Many times I wondered, why I could'nt perform similarly. Even though Im still physically as fit, for sure some of those grey cells have gone for a hike.
No-no, it's not only about your gray cells. I failed first time because of Verbal - I was so tired and it was very difficult to concentrate. I've scheduled my second GMAT in a month and got the best I could get in Verbal. So, here is my recipe:
- don't study day before exam. Just 5-10 min warm up in morning. - fight for each question. At each particular moment, there are only one question that holds a couple of valuable points and separates you from your dream, and ~2 min. Anything else is irrelevant. Be a bit angry Think of each question as the most interesting and valuable information you've been looked for whole life. Trick your mind as interest = concentration, no interest = fatigue and boredom.
After my GMAT, I thought I could take one more without break.