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From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test

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From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 01:54
Hi,

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 free test)
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!
Priyanka
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Concentration: Strategy, Operations
Schools: ISB '15
GMAT 1: 720 Q48 V40
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Re: From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 02:25
Hey Priyanka,

I am really sad to know about your GMAT experience...I had been following your discussion with the GMAT experts few days back coz I have severe timing issues and I was hoping to get some tips myself...And as it happens when you are following some one's progress...you silently start rooting for that person and hoping that their strategies work .....
However, your realizations from this setback is awesome....I mean if these realizations make you a better decision maker and a more positive person then thats not all in vain, right? I am sure you will do well next time....you definitely have the skills.....all the best and God bless!

-Upasana
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Re: From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 03:24
Hi Priyanka,

Let's take this one issue at a time. I think the key problem-area you have highlighted is your test-taking attitude in actual conditions. You panic, look at the clock, etc etc. Well, I want to reassure you that it is not something one cannot overcome!

But first, one clarification. You seem to have done really well in the MGMATs practice CATs. Now, as far as I remember, those were tough nuts to crack! Did you do them in untimed/ partially timed conditions? If yes, then I think you didn't prepare well on the particular aspect of test-taking in timed conditions. If no, however, then it means you know how to get a 730 and only freaked out on the actual day!

We can talk more on this if you like but I think you problem-areas are not insurmountable! So cheer up!
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Re: From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 03:43
@ Upasana, really appreciate your concern. I am positive and clear. all because of my family's support. I am going to chase it till I get it!

@ budablasta: I did everything timed. Even the sectional tests (including OG questions) I did timed. I used the gmatclub timer. Not even a single practice or mock was untimed or taken advantage off. I am looking inside and outside for ways that will help strengthen my mental focus and strength. I know what makes me panic. In case you have some advice on that do share it back with me :)
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Re: From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 03:55
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@ Upasana: Sorry, forgot to mention one thing. The strategy suggested by Karishma in my last post really worked. Just that i did not apply it on my test day. Even the 730 and 720 in the mocks were all because of that strategy and a peaceful mind. I would highly recommend you to use them. I am going to practice more with these strategies so that they are ingrained in me and I dont forget them anytime during the tests. :)
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Re: From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 11:42
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Hi priyanka, Remember our last transcription about enjyoing GMAT. I must tell you out of my experience that at times we tend to take few thing very seriously in our life as if with out them our survival is not possible on this mother earth. Those things become so close to our heart that we can't imagine our day and night without them. IMO this thinking puts so much pressure on us that our natural performance doesn't comes out. I think the anxiety dropped ur performance otherwise i consider you to be a strong contender for 700 +.
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Re: From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2012, 23:16
Hi Rajeev,

I know exactly what you are saying. For me it is more of a mind game. Thanks. I will connect with you off this thread for some thoughts :)

Warm Regards,
Priyanka
Re: From 720 in the last Gmat prep to 610 in the real test   [#permalink] 17 Mar 2012, 23:16
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