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For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong

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For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 11:04
Hi guys,

In the last mock test I had taken, in the verbal section, I had the first 20 questions consistently correct, however, towards the latter half excluding 5 I had all wrong. I am assuming it is either fatigue or the lack of concentration that got the better out of me.

Could you please suggest a strategy so that I can avoid this from happening?

Peace,
Alex
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Re: For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 20:00
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First of all, it's hard to make solid conclusions from only a single exam. Even though you are dealing with a fair number of problems, there are a lot of variables that will impact your performance during the course of the test.

Here are some things you might consider:

-Timing (most likely): Are you spending too much time on the early part of the test and realizing about half way through that you are behind in the clock? Use timing charts to keep track of your progress throughout the exam. Also, you should be practicing OG problems in a "timed set" format to get used to GMAT test timing.
-Mental (very possible): The GMAT can be a mental game. If you think you are starting to miss problems it can impact your mindset as you work through the rest of the test. You can't go back to any prior questions, so you need to do your best to get "amnesia" about the prior problems and focus completely at the current problem on the screen.
-Large Content Gaps (not very likely): In rare cases you can get stuck in content areas that are holes for you and you keep seeing problems that attack your weaknesses. You need to be a generalist to succeed at the GMAT - specialists in a few areas will be exposed.
-Coincidence (possible, but not likely): Sometimes you just a series of questions that stump you.
-Technical Error (not likely): I haven't seen this issue come up, but it is theoretically possible.

Do any of these seem to match your situation? I would recommend taking another test (GMATPrep, MGMAT, or some other test of choice) to see if the pattern repeats itself.

KW
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Re: For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 21:03
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aalexjacob wrote:
Hi guys,

In the last mock test I had taken, in the verbal section, I had the first 20 questions consistently correct, however, towards the latter half excluding 5 I had all wrong. I am assuming it is either fatigue or the lack of concentration that got the better out of me.

Could you please suggest a strategy so that I can avoid this from happening?

Peace,
Alex


I agree with Kyle. I can think of 2 reasons that could lead to such a lopsided performance and I am pretty sure that one or both the things happened during your mock - Improper time management and/or Fatigue.
If the pattern has been similar in multiple mocks, it is most likely fatigue that got the better of you. If this happened only in the last mock, then you probably did not manage your time properly.

Did you use 45 minutes for the first 20 questions and then panic? That would explain the good performance in the first half and the not so good in the second half. The time shortage would have made you run through the second half without thinking very much (which gives a 20-25% probability of answering the questions correctly). I am sure you know how to deal with this problem - keep moving. Do not waste too much time on any one question.

By the time people reach the second half of Verbal, fatigue sets in. They kind of 'just don't care anymore'. This problem is a little harder to manage. You need to build stamina by ensuring that you study for 3-4 hrs at a stretch and by taking more mock tests. Also, you need to take breaks in between the sections and use those breaks well. Run to the washroom and freshen up - Grab a drink and stuff some healthy, easy-to-digest food in - then come back to your place and relax for a minute by closing your eyes - then start the next section. The entire exercise should take you 5 mins (the break seems to be more grueling that the exam itself!). You need to eat and drink to keep up your energy. You need to freshen up and relax to keep your focus.
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Re: For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 21:05
KyleWiddison wrote:
First of all, it's hard to make solid conclusions from only a single exam. Even though you are dealing with a fair number of problems, there are a lot of variables that will impact your performance during the course of the test.

Here are some things you might consider:

-Timing (most likely): Are you spending too much time on the early part of the test and realizing about half way through that you are behind in the clock? Use timing charts to keep track of your progress throughout the exam. Also, you should be practicing OG problems in a "timed set" format to get used to GMAT test timing.
-Mental (very possible): The GMAT can be a mental game. If you think you are starting to miss problems it can impact your mindset as you work through the rest of the test. You can't go back to any prior questions, so you need to do your best to get "amnesia" about the prior problems and focus completely at the current problem on the screen.
-Large Content Gaps (not very likely): In rare cases you can get stuck in content areas that are holes for you and you keep seeing problems that attack your weaknesses. You need to be a generalist to succeed at the GMAT - specialists in a few areas will be exposed.
-Coincidence (possible, but not likely): Sometimes you just a series of questions that stump you.
-Technical Error (not likely): I haven't seen this issue come up, but it is theoretically possible.

Do any of these seem to match your situation? I would recommend taking another test (GMATPrep, MGMAT, or some other test of choice) to see if the pattern repeats itself.

KW


HI Kyle,

Thanks for a very prompt reply. It has been very helpful, especially the first two. Although, I have eliminated the occurrence of the last three.

What I have described is a pattern I am seeing in all of the mock tests that I have been giving. The last 5-10 questions in each of verbal and quant always tend to go wrong. Although, I have ample time on reaching these questions. I tend to rush through them. Not fully being able to concentrate on them. The last couple of tests, my eyes started to go sore by the time I was at the last ten questions of verbal. I could barely read.

You are right about timing because more often than not I am worried about the time I spend on each question. I use a timing chart that I've developed. I need to adopt a strategy where I have to look at the clock every 25 minutes or so.

About the mental this what I am getting hit by the most. The temporary amnesia is a good suggestion and I have to incorporate it. But how do I deal with fatigue?
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Re: For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 21:44
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
aalexjacob wrote:
Hi guys,

In the last mock test I had taken, in the verbal section, I had the first 20 questions consistently correct, however, towards the latter half excluding 5 I had all wrong. I am assuming it is either fatigue or the lack of concentration that got the better out of me.

Could you please suggest a strategy so that I can avoid this from happening?

Peace,
Alex


I agree with Kyle. I can think of 2 reasons that could lead to such a lopsided performance and I am pretty sure that one or both the things happened during your mock - Improper time management and/or Fatigue.
If the pattern has been similar in multiple mocks, it is most likely fatigue that got the better of you. If this happened only in the last mock, then you probably did not manage your time properly.

Did you use 45 minutes for the first 20 questions and then panic? That would explain the good performance in the first half and the not so good in the second half. The time shortage would have made you run through the second half without thinking very much (which gives a 20-25% probability of answering the questions correctly). I am sure you know how to deal with this problem - keep moving. Do not waste too much time on any one question.

By the time people reach the second half of Verbal, fatigue sets in. They kind of 'just don't care anymore'. This problem is a little harder to manage. You need to build stamina by ensuring that you study for 3-4 hrs at a stretch and by taking more mock tests. Also, you need to take breaks in between the sections and use those breaks well. Run to the washroom and freshen up - Grab a drink and stuff some healthy, easy-to-digest food in - then come back to your place and relax for a minute by closing your eyes - then start the next section. The entire exercise should take you 5 mins (the break seems to be more grueling that the exam itself!). You need to eat and drink to keep up your energy. You need to freshen up and relax to keep your focus.


Hi Karishma,

I believe you maybe right about the fatigue. This happens consistently in all my mock tests. Only this time it was amplified. I don't take breaks between sections. I don't even wash my face. Worst part is I haven't started doing the essays and the DI sections yet. I just do quant and verbal in the mocks. Thanks for pointing it out to me. Have to build stamina. Thanks for the tips as well
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Re: For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2012, 06:51
Expert's post
Fatigue is a real issue, and it got worse with the inclusion on Integrated Reasoning. You absolutely must take your breaks and make the most of them (I actually did some short sprints during my break to get the blood flowing).

Your practice needs to reflect test-like experiences. When you practice OG problems, you should be doing them in increasingly longer sets (up to 30-45 minutes) without breaks so you get used to long periods on intense concentration. When you take practice exams, and you should take quite a few, you should treat it like a real exam - no distractions and complete it from start to finish.

Also, I have found that note taking on the verbal section enhances concentration and can help combat fatigue. You should be taking notes on both RC and CR problems.

KW
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Kyle Widdison | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | Utah


Manhattan GMAT Discount | Manhattan GMAT Course Reviews | View Instructor Profile



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Re: For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong [#permalink] New post 11 Oct 2012, 09:17
KyleWiddison wrote:
Fatigue is a real issue, and it got worse with the inclusion on Integrated Reasoning. You absolutely must take your breaks and make the most of them (I actually did some short sprints during my break to get the blood flowing).

Your practice needs to reflect test-like experiences. When you practice OG problems, you should be doing them in increasingly longer sets (up to 30-45 minutes) without breaks so you get used to long periods on intense concentration. When you take practice exams, and you should take quite a few, you should treat it like a real exam - no distractions and complete it from start to finish.

Also, I have found that note taking on the verbal section enhances concentration and can help combat fatigue. You should be taking notes on both RC and CR problems.

KW


Hey Kyle,

Thanks for the tip. I do use notes RC and CR, sometimes it takes a lil bit longer, but it aids on the long run. In the last mock, however, I chose to skip the jotting down in the latter half of the verbal. He he... I paid a huge price for it :/
Re: For Verbal I had first 20 out of 41 right & latter 21 wrong   [#permalink] 11 Oct 2012, 09:17
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