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# Fight the Noteboards

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24 Jun 2009, 16:33
umashg wrote:
I've read the posts on the subject and wanted to throw in my 2c:

While I agree that the noteboards can be a cause of heartburn for some people, I think the most important point for each test taker is to be mentally prepared for the setup (overall, not just the notebaords) before going to the test center. I've taken the test twice - first time with ETS, using paper and pencil, and then with Vue, using the noteboards. I honestly dont think the noteboards make that much of a difference. Like someone said earlier, any external factor can have a psychological impact on the test taker - it could be the awful cologne worn by the person in the adjacent desk, noise from the AC units, etc. During my second test, I had to endure a somewhat sick student who was coughing most of the time - the earplugs could only do so much.

The best strategy is to tune out all the extraneous factors and focus on the test. Specifically for the noteboards, I'd suggest using a similar setup on your very last practice test at home just to get a feel for it. About the only concern I really had with the noteboards was that all my fingers were soaked in ink by the time I was done - and the ink doesnt wash off easily.

Sorry about reviving an old thread...this person said earplugs! Are earplugs allowed? If so, can I take them or are they provided? Also, if you feel the pen's tip is no longer "fine", can you ask for another one? Or once you get a pen, that's it? Thanks.
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24 Jun 2009, 17:06
emperorblack wrote:
umashg wrote:
I've read the posts on the subject and wanted to throw in my 2c:

While I agree that the noteboards can be a cause of heartburn for some people, I think the most important point for each test taker is to be mentally prepared for the setup (overall, not just the notebaords) before going to the test center. I've taken the test twice - first time with ETS, using paper and pencil, and then with Vue, using the noteboards. I honestly dont think the noteboards make that much of a difference. Like someone said earlier, any external factor can have a psychological impact on the test taker - it could be the awful cologne worn by the person in the adjacent desk, noise from the AC units, etc. During my second test, I had to endure a somewhat sick student who was coughing most of the time - the earplugs could only do so much.

The best strategy is to tune out all the extraneous factors and focus on the test. Specifically for the noteboards, I'd suggest using a similar setup on your very last practice test at home just to get a feel for it. About the only concern I really had with the noteboards was that all my fingers were soaked in ink by the time I was done - and the ink doesnt wash off easily.

Sorry about reviving an old thread...this person said earplugs! Are earplugs allowed? If so, can I take them or are they provided? Also, if you feel the pen's tip is no longer "fine", can you ask for another one? Or once you get a pen, that's it? Thanks.

They had headphones and I think they provided ear plugs if you wanted them, but I'm less sure about that part.

You can get as many pens as you need, but you can't pause your test to ask for a new one, you have to raise your hand and hope they notice you right away, so it's probably better to check it right away and then try to get through once you've started.
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24 Jun 2009, 17:44
Testing center may or may not provide the headphones. (I'm pretty positive that you have to have your own earplugs, it is better than to expect that the center will have them available)
You can read more here - gmat-testing-centers-discussion-77635.html
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25 Jun 2009, 10:39
Testing center may or may not provide the headphones. (I'm pretty positive that you have to have your own earplugs, it is better than to expect that the center will have them available)
You can read more here - gmat-testing-centers-discussion-77635.html

The Pearson VUE test center in Pasadena, CA provided me with two new ear plugs.
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18 Nov 2009, 21:22
From what I have read so far, it seems you will be given a laminated paper booklet with 4 sheets (8 page) in total. It will come with an erasable pen but you are not given an eraser?

You will not be given additional pen or booklet in the beginning of the test and have to raise your hand for switches. I have been practicing problems and tests on pen and normal scrap papers, should I consider switching to the booklet?

It is annoying to find that you cannot get additional papers ahead of time, I am pretty certain I will use more than 8 pages for Quant given how big I write....
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19 Nov 2009, 00:25
that's correct. you're not given an eraser... if you make a mistake they expect you to cross it out. of course, this says nothing for what would happen if your palms get sweaty and it erases by mistake
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19 Nov 2009, 02:43
that's correct. you're not given an eraser... if you make a mistake they expect you to cross it out. of course, this says nothing for what would happen if your palms get sweaty and it erases by mistake

I have been doing problems on scratch paper with pen up to now. Do you think I should get something like noteboard/laminated paper/eraser board to get prepared for the actual exam? I am not sure how much that affect your result....

Just for curiosity, how often do people ask for a note board replacement during quant and verbal?
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19 Nov 2009, 06:07
I hate the bureaucracy of the test center

i had given GRE in Bombay and the number of notebooks you were given were very limited.
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09 Dec 2009, 06:10
bump for everyone to see
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13 Dec 2009, 01:08
This notepad thing is especially bad in my case since I have sweaty palms!!!!

But you know after taking the test for the fourth time and I am now used to it. I do all my practice exams with color markers (on regular paper though) and I solved my sweaty palm problem by covering my entire palm with the sleeve of my shirt while holding my pen....YES for the entire 4 hours I was writing like this LOL
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20 Mar 2010, 22:54
I hate the pens. In verbal its not that bad but in Quant it annoys the hell out of me. I always have practiced quant with pilot uniball eye's and coming to these erasable staedler bullshits kills! I just ordered the MGMAT pad and I will be looking for the staedler pens.

@#$#@$ the noteboards!!!

Best.
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27 Aug 2010, 04:55
That's a very good idea to try the pen out before the test starts and do as much lobbying as one can to get extra pains.

I guess we can train on regular paper with 4 sheets that have approximately the same size as the real ones. At least we can know how many pages we use.

Is it advisable to ask for a new booklet during the breaks, just to make sure we never run out of space in each section?
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27 Aug 2010, 10:30
very true...Those markers and laminated sheets suck!
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28 Aug 2010, 08:08
Obviously, this fight has been lost.

Locked. PM Me if anyone has success in reaching out to the GMAC and I will open the thread back up.
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Re: Fight the Noteboards   [#permalink] 28 Aug 2010, 08:08

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# Fight the Noteboards

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