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This one goes out to the one or two other grey-hairs out there thinking about chasing their MBA; it can be done.
I took my GMAT today at a Pearson center in Bellaire Tx (small city swallowed inside Houston). I called the center yesterday to confirm my appointment and any last-minute changes; everything was go. I had set my test at 11:30 AM, which I recommend as a good go-time. It's late enough that you are awake, but early enough that you are still fresh. At least that's how it worked out for me.
Now I know we're all supposed to be quiet and relaxed and have nothing else to do on the test day, but Life is not always so obliging. In my case, I had to take my daughter to daycare, bring the sedan in to have the oil pan replaced (dang thing cracked last Saturday), and then do some shopping for things needed, as well as feed the dogs and put out the trash. The trick there is to always know how much time you have - since I managed to finish all my chores more than two hours before I had to go to the test center, I still had time to decompress and get myself mentally prepared.
Check-in was a bit long but no big deal. I brought a bottle of water, a can of cola, and two apples, which worked out great. The lockers are big enough and easy to use.
Oddly enough, despite all the noise and worry I found the noteboards easy to use, no problem at all. There were actually four 2-sided laminated pages, a little larger than legal size, and bound at the top to easily handle.
The AWA was a breeze. Basically what you do is just think for a little bit about the basics (Do I agree? Why or why not? How was the argument put together? What would make it stronger, etc.), give yourself a framework and write as if you are having a discussion on the subject.
The Quant almost scared me to death at first; the first four questions were increasingly hard. I know that means you're doing well, but I was unsure of every one of my answers until the first Data Sufficiency question. I got very few of those, for some reason. I saw a lot of Algebra questions, only one coordinate geometry question. The last six questions were ridiculously easy, I was really worried I must have somehow missed a trick.
Verbal was a lot like the practice tests. I didn't see even one Critical Reasoning question that I can recall, which bothers me - CR was a strong suit for me during practice. I saw a lot of Sentence Correction, mixed in with five sections about Reading Comprehension. At least two questions had a set of answers where none seemed correct, so I figure I must have missed those.
When I finished the test, I was pretty comfortable that I had done well in Verbal, but cratered in Quant. So I was pleasantly surprised to see the 730, with a 48 Quant (86th percentile) to go along with the 42 Verbal (96th percentile). I do not understand, however, if I got the 86th percentile for Quant and the 96th percentile for Verbal, how I am supposed to have the 97th percentile overall, but I will take it and not complain.
Best of luck to everyone still waiting to test, especially the other old fogies who wonder if you can go back in your forties as I am doing now.
" do not understand, however, if I got the 86th percentile for Quant and the 96th percentile for Verbal, how I am supposed to have the 97th percentile overall, but I will take it and not complain. "
If I understand correctly, your Overall score is where you lie in terms of your combined Verbal & Quant scaled scores (based on how many correct answers at the according degree of difficulty). Based on the score distribution, it's somewhat easier to get a stratospheric Quant score than verbal (you were only three points below a 99th percentile in Quant, me too, it drives me nuts). The 99th percentile for Verbal is anywhere from 45-60 vs. 51-60 for quant. Your oustanding performance on the Verbal catapulted you in the 97th percentile in terms of total points (you beat the mean by almost 15 points there). That is why some schools look harder at quant, to adjust the score a bit (I've heard). In your case, it almsot certainly won't matter.
Anyway, great score. Your AWA advice is also succint and accurate. Best of luck!
Check out this awesome article about Anderson on Poets Quants, http://poetsandquants.com/2015/01/02/uclas-anderson-school-morphs-into-a-friendly-tech-hub/ . Anderson is a great place! Sorry for the lack of updates recently. I...