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First time GMAT experience at Pasadena, CA location

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Intern
Intern
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Status: GMAT once done, Going for GMAT 2nd time.
Joined: 29 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Schools: Anderson, Haas, Ross, Kellog, Booth, McCombs
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 3

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First time GMAT experience at Pasadena, CA location [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2011, 14:07
My Background: I have MS in Biomedical Engineering and graduated in 2001. I started preparing for GMAT couple months a ago but started spending approx. hours for last 2 months. I practiced all the OG questions for Quant and Verbal. I also, read Manhattan guides and their 6 full GMAt exam. I practiced the Gmat Club tests and GMAT prep in repeated basis.

GMAT Prep: Average 620, Q: 49 V: 27
Manhattan CAT: Average for 5 tests is 630 Q:48, V 30. One of the test got 680 Q 49, V 32.

Fact: As you can see that I am weak in verbal, I had to put in more practice in verbal and repeated the OG for verbal. I sat for GMAT at Pasadena center on June 14, 2011. I got 570 with Q: 41 and V: 27. This is a real bad score for me since I was hoping atleast 630.

Experience at the Center: The center was not to my expectation. Firstly, the center didn't have restroom in the same floor and one has to go up one floor to access the restroom. It seemed okay at first but when i had to run up and down I couldn't catch my breath and was not relaxed at any time. The reason being short break time. I had read in GMAT Prep and other places that the break time is 15 mins. The fact is that the center allowed for only 8 mins. In addition, the center requires that every time you leave the room, you need to do hand scan and show ID. The same needs to be done when I enter the room. this takes approx. 1 min each. This means that the break is shorter than 8 mins. The first break I entered in just at 16secs and I was awed. I was disturbed and distracted therefore when I started quant. Couldn't concentrate well and affected me badly wherein, i couldn't complete the section. I left one unanswered question due to time out. Learning from this I was more careful in next break. This time I went in well settled and on time. Moreover, the mouse was not smooth when I moved it and had to tap again and again while moving it around. I wish centers have much better mice. In addition, the ear plugs they provide are made of poor foam. They squash in ears and donot fit well at least for me. I have small ones and always have to select the right kind of ear plugs. Unfortunately, the center do not allow personal ear plugs for test.

What I am trying to say here is, be well prepared with the unknowns that could happen at each center, since all centers may be different. I can say that my test was affected due to some of the center regulations, especially the break time came as surprise.

Near Future Plan: I am not satisfied with score and will be sitting for the exam again in 2 months. I plan to take Veritas course so that I can get help with speed and verbal. I am hoping that this will be so. Also, I decided to do so since I am exhausted in the resources I have used for the prep so far. It is costly to join such courses BUT IF I get 100 more in score than its worth the money and time.

If anyone has any other advice or comment do share with me. I's be happy to provide answers to any questions in regard to the first time GMAT experience. I know I researched this forum for others experience and hope I can be help to others who plan to take for first time.

I am motivated and will not give up easily. I will do one more try and give my best. To do so, I am also, canceling my 10 day Caribbean Cruise in July. Canceling since vacation is not the priority now and can be done after my exam or any time in year. Also, the money spent on vacation can now be used towards the Veritas course. Look forward for any help and feedback anyone out there can provide to help me achieve my GOAL of 700.
_________________

BP

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Re: First time GMAT experience at Pasadena, CA location [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2011, 16:11
I am sorry to hear that you faced all these issues during the test. I think it is a good idea to set a thread that people could share their experience in different test centers, and figure out which one is the best.
Intern
Intern
User avatar
Status: GMAT once done, Going for GMAT 2nd time.
Joined: 29 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Schools: Anderson, Haas, Ross, Kellog, Booth, McCombs
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 3

GMAT Tests User
Re: First time GMAT experience at Pasadena, CA location [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2011, 10:17
ashkanator wrote:
I am sorry to hear that you faced all these issues during the test. I think it is a good idea to set a thread that people could share their experience in different test centers, and figure out which one is the best.


I agree with you. In fact, I am considering another center nearby i.e. in Glendale for my next and final test. I hope I can hear from some one about that test center experience.
_________________

BP

Re: First time GMAT experience at Pasadena, CA location   [#permalink] 16 Jun 2011, 10:17
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