I know my score is not good enough to motivate you guys but I am writing this debrief only because I think there is a lot of scope to learn from my experience.
I had my GMAT scheduled for 12th March 2012. I had been getting the following scores in my mocks-
14 Jan--- 680 Q49 V28 (GMAT prep 2)
2 Feb--- 600 Q48 V28 (MGMAT 1)
18th Feb--- 640 Q38 V38 (MGMAT 2)
26 Feb--- 690 Q46 V38 (MGMAT 3)
29 Feb--- 680 Q51 V 35 (Veritas Prep
5 Mar--- 680 Q 47 V 35 (Knewton free test)
6 Mar--- 690 Q49 V 35 (MGMAT 5)
8 Mar--- 730 Q 51 V 38 (MGMAT 6)
9 Mar--- 720 Q50 V 39 (GMAT Prep 1)
12Mar--- GMAT EXAM---610 Q49 V24
I always had this entrance exam fear. No matter how well I do in mocks, I never did well on any entrance exam. Therefore, since I had not been able to increase my score above 700 till 6th march, I took some advice from GMAT expert. Their suggestion worked. I managed my time effectively and got my scores in the next mocks above 700. What went wrong
Before the test day, I had slept well. Had scheduled my appointment for 2pm so that I could avoid the early morning rush. But still something was wrong. I wasn't feeling well from inside. I had that fear coming back. I still kept saying to myself that I just need to be confident. Everything is fine. And, it worked for a while.
I reached almost an hour early but they allowed me in after 10 mins of wait. I was in well before my time. I had skipped my lunch, I went alone, I was nervous, I was feeling cold etc etc. All these were there because I was scared and nervous.
I started with AWA, both the essays went awesome. I can bet they will get a 6 score because both the argument & the issue were of my interest and I knew exactly what to write and how to write. I was confident. Then came the quant section, I was doing awesome again (as always). But the problem started when I reached an extremely difficult question (I guess 6th last question). I didn't get the question even after spending 2 mins. There my ego came in..I thought, I could do it...atleast understand it, just 2 more minutes and at that time I had more than 10 mins left for the remaining questions so I did it. I got so lost in the question that I didn't realize that I had taken 7 mins on that question. I think I got the right answer but at the cost of 7 mins! Now I had 5 questions and less than 4 mins. I got nervous again. My eyes were not moving off the ticking clock. I started thinking damn, what have I done? how can I be so stupid? how can I get ego in between this? I had trained myself for it. But it was too late to crib. Now I took a deep breath and started solving and guessing through the next set of questions. I know I could have done better. I knew I could have got 51 or more in quant had I ignored that question(which is what experts from GMAT club told me to do).
Now I had to take a break. I went out. My hart still throbbing. I kept saying myself that I can do well.I can still do well. But one thing I had forgotten. In all this I had forgotten that even if I did those last questions bad, I had been good throughout and my score cannot go below 46 considering the difficulty of questions coming towards the end. I should have realized it but I did not. Then I started saying to myself that I have to turn the game in the verbal section and do well there. This did nothing good but put pressure on me.
Now was THE hour of the test that really changed the game but not for good. I started verbal section. Suddenly, I started feeling cold shivers, I had to call the attendant there to switch off the AC. Then I had my pens dropped.I had to call them again to replace them with a new set of pens. I was distracted. I could hear a;ll what was happening around me which I did not hear while doing the AWA and quant sections. I was confused. My focus was getting lost. I could not understand a simple SC or CR question. I had not much expectation from RCs anyways. This was it. I was rushing through. Looking at the clock more than focusing on the question at hand. By now I had forgotten all the strategies I had used in my last mocks that worked. I had forgotten everything. Somehow, I finished the test. My heart bumping out of my chest.I knew I had screwed. I knew it. I had done it again as in other entrances. Now the score popped up and it was 610. I could not move for a while. I had never ever imagined that I would come down to 610. But I knew that it was because of me so I kept quiet. I did not speak to anyone for a day.
I had failed not in GMAT but in the bigger test which is to control my mind and stop panicking. I once used to be a topper in everything in school/ college but now, I had been screwing the entrances (CAT, XAT etc) for many years. All my colleagues at McKinsey get a 740 or above score and I couldn't get even 700? What else could be worse than this?
But then, I realized that the whole approach had been wrong for me. I had been giving all my entrance exams with the fear of losing it. with the fear of not getting a good score. I mistook these tests to prove myself. Which was the biggest mistake to do. I don't need to prove myself. I am in a firm I love to be.I am doing absolutely well in my career. I am doing a lot outside the office work. I have a good life and a score cannot decide my life. I had to get out of that thinking. It has been stopping me from giving my best.
I now know what I have to work upon most importantly. I have to work upon my mental strength along with the practice required. I do plan to write back GMAT next month. I am not sure I'll get a good score or not but I am sure that I am going to work upon myself, my mental strength. I cant let a stupid test defeat me just because I got nervous. I have to try again and may be again till I get what I want.Learnings---
1. Be confident.
2. Do what makes you happy. Talk to your boyfriend/girlfriend/mom/dad if that helps.
3. Even if you do one question wrong, do not get nervous, that wouldn't decide the score. (you can see it from my quant case only)
4. Remember, no matter what the score is, a test can never define what you are.
5. Never get the ego in between or get emotional on a question like I did.
6. Work equally on your mental strength.
I know there might be many things I have repeated here. But they might just help
As for me, I know I wouldn't have the luxury of that time off I was able to take from office this time. I know this is going to be a little more straining that last time as I wouldn't even get a leave before the test day. But, that wouldn't stop me.
All the best and be confident!