This is my first post on the forum . . . Will try to keep it short.
To give a background, I am a commerce grad with an MBA from a non premier institute and over 6 years of work experience. Further, English isn't my native language albeit, always believed was strong in the subject (Have been an avid reader until recent times).
Why GMAT? . . . To further my career prospects and if possible, effect an industry change.
My target score was 700+ not because of a morbid attraction for the figure . . . But to further my prospects of making the cut. If my existing score would suffice, I am not out there to prove any point in so far as GMAT scores are concerned. In retrospect, I would have been satisfied with a 680+ score.
So, I took a study break and started off on 5th November when I booked the date for GMAT. Studied OG, KAPLAN
& PRINCETON REVIEW. Took all available mocks scoring between 670 - 720 . . . The mean being 690.
I] Not focusing on English considering it a strength . . . Had identified quant as a weakness upfront and given the self inflicted paucity of time for prep, couldn't focus sufficiently on English.
II] Not Postponing my Exam knowing that I had at best, an outside chance of kissing 700 . . . Felt obligated to justify my study break.
III] Not building stamina sufficiently for the test knowing that I ran out of steam after 10 Verbal questions in a full length mock.
IV] Attempting 9 mocks - one each day at a local testing center at the exact test time, for 9 days prior the test in a no holds barred attempt to augment stamina . . . Achieved a near burnout !
v] Manage Stress . . . Levels highest ever experienced fuelled by the knowledge of having neglected English and the knowledge that I might fall short of the goal.
Key Observations & Takeaways:
I] The 8 minute break on the GMAT counts for nothing . . . 2 - 2.5 minutes for check out and check in - balance for rest room and a quick bite (Surprisingly, even water bottles aren't allowed in the test room) !
So, when you practice, be very stringent in resisting the temptation for picking a call or having a fag in between breaks.
II] The GMAT is smarter than one's impression about oneself - Prepare in a balanced way focusing on both Q & V - Remember, the test is a product of collective expert brains and has been tested on millions of exam takers over time.
III] Take a test date upfront (reasonable time frame) - work towards it, keep evaluating yourself and do not hesitate to postpone the exam prior 7 days by a reasonable period if you feel the need for more prep.
IV] Word for Avid Smokers - From personal experience, the habit is counterproductive and can get one restless in a 4 hour mental ordeal. No, there isn't enough time to slip in a drag between breaks !
V] English indeed is tougher than any mock appeared (On the real deal, I registered my lowest ever score in any mock ) . . . Quant is simpler, yet intensive not on calculations but on the subtle language - Yes, Gmat Prep test Quant is the most reflective for Quant.
One reason why many might contend to have recieved scores much lower than their self determined accuracy of questions answered is that the GMAT is extremely deceptive in the framing of questions and one has to be on one's toes to track the nuances and subtleties in the lingo to avoid silly mistakes.
Way Forward - Evaluate my chances with the current score, if not strong, which in all probability will be the case, have another shot with balanced study and ensure I don't repeat the mistakes as aforesaid.
Expecting a 5 on AWAs . . . Will keep you posted . . .
Will be glad to be of any assistance needed, given my score though, one can learn more from my errors . . .
RECEIVED THE OFFICIAL SCORE (IN 10 DAYS . . . AM SURPRISED!) . . . . . . . . . . . .
AND THAT'S ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING 4.5 ON THE AWA (NOT THAT AM HUNG UP ON IT), ALBEIT, IT STRESSES THE NEED FOR A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE INGREDIENTS TO A GOOD OVERALL SCORE . . . WILL SEEK PROFESSIONAL COACHING GUIDANCE NOW . . .