Hi, I just wanted to share my very sad GMAT experience today. Pardon the length please. I wanted to disclose relevant facts. I hope I can get your advice. Thanks
I'm a silent member of the forum but I've been following the inspiring posts of many here. They've kept me motivated during my eight weeks of GMAT preparation.
Sadly, I cannot share the same success. I just took the GMAT and scored a devastating 510 Q31 V28. This is a hard fall for me after scoring 470, 640, 580, 710, and 720 in my practice tests (GMAT prep). My Q score started from a hopeless 17 (diagnostic exam) and progressing to 38-48 levels. My V was more stable starting at 35 (diagnostic) to 40-42 consistently. I was hoping for at least a 680.
My failure has a lot to do with my physical and mental condition before and during the exam. Two nights before the exam, I only had around 3-4 hrs of sleep. I was so nervous, I just kept on thinking about the exam, how difficult it might be, how I might do, etc. I woke up at 5am with a headache and a very knotted stomach. I couldn't even finish my breakfast. I re-assured myself that this is how I always felt before major examinations (college midterm exams, CPA exam, etc) and somehow, I always got good marks. So I thought I would be just fine. Unfortunately, the GMAT CAT is a totally different species.
Quant: The first question was manageable, finished within two minutes. The second and third ones totally caught me off guard. The Q stems were unfamiliar to me and I couldn't see my answer in the choices. My already unsettled nerves started to be in panic mode. I had to guess no. 2 and 3 and the rest didn't get any better. I knew I wasn't doing well as the Qs seemed to be easier compared to GMAT prep. Qs that I could easily answer during my practice tests seemed difficult then. I was too nervous than even my arithmetic calculations were incorrect. I had to re-do problems hence lost a lot of time. I had to guess more than 3 Qs in the last 10.
I took the 8-minute break and cried in the restroom. I knew I did poorly in Q. It was like my first diagnostic (Q17) all over again. The sad part was that I knew I had most of those concepts mastered. I knew that if those came out in my practice tests, I would have easily answered them. I tried to shake off my morose mood but it's easier said than done. I was already deliberating whether to cancel my score or not. I decided it's better to see an assessment of my performance.
Verbal: The first Q was easy. The next five were not difficult either. I was still very much troubled by my Quant performance but I tried my best to focus. I got a lot of highlighted RC so I thought I was progressing well. I didn't encounter very difficult Qs. I even started to think the actual exam was easier than the practice exams. As I was eager to finish the exam and nurse my throbbing headache, I rushed through the Qs without reviewing my answers. I paid dearly. A price of V 28. This was my lowest V score ever. My diagnostic exam was a 35. I was easily scoring 40-42 consistently.
As I clicked the "report score" button, I was expecting a 600 since I thought I was doing well in Verbal. But there it was, 510 Q31 V 28. I sat there numb, fighting back the tears.
After this experience, I've re-assessed my preparation. I also want to get your opinion on what I did wrong or right and how I can improve. Although I'm not looking forward to studying again, I'm not giving up. I know that I've exerted tremendous effort in this. I've invested so much time and energy and I know I deserve a 700. So I want to get up from my first fall and try to claim that victory.
I want to schedule my second attempt on Sept 28, 2009. Do you guys think this is sufficient time for me to improve my score to 680-700 level? I sincerely believe that I have mastered most concepts tested in the GMAT. My pitfalls include anxiety hence lost focus, silly/stupid mistakes (arithmetic, misreading question, etc) and bad time management. Admittedly, I did not work much on my time management in Quant. I plan to work hard on this for my next attempt.
How else can I better prepare for the next round? What materials should I use? I've read great reviews of the Manhattan materials. It seems to be unavailable in my country though
I'm thinking of answering the GMAT club tests
. Should I? Is it close to the actual exam? Since I have 30 days to study, is it advisable to do one a day? Also, how can I improve my verbal score? To be honest, I still can't believe my very low score. Perhaps it was my nervousness and lack in focus (after quant episode).
-Eight weeks of studying, 2-4 hrs on weekdays, 5-6 hrs on weekends
-Materials: OG 12
(finished all quant and SC, left around last 10-15 Qs in CR and RC unanswered)Kaplan premier
(finished all exercises but didn't answer CAT as many advised against it)
Princeton (finished all exercises)
Manhattan SC guide
GMAT prep SC compilation (finished 140 out of 180 Qs)
GMAT prep (took both sets 3 times)
Hope to get your opinion/advice guys. I know one month preparation time is very tight. But I really want to give ample time to apps preparation. Hopefully I will succeed in getting a 680-700 in my next attempt.
Thank you all!