I had high hopes for the GMAT today, I have studied over 200 hours and I have been making 700s on CATs the past few weeks. I was planning on making a 700 at the absolute lowest today, with hopes of a 720. In the past, I have been what I would consider a "game-time player", almost always rising up to the pressure during important tests/exams.
It did not go as expected.
My blackberry randomly turned off last night, causing me to wake up an hour later than i was planning to. That being said, this is not a legitimate excuse for doing as poorly as I did, as I still made it to the testing center with plenty of time to spare (although I was freaking out when I woke up haha).
The essay was about bodybuilding, which was exciting because I used to be a bodybuilder. I wrote frantically for about 15 minutes, and then realized I had misread the prompt and I was forced to restart my essay. That being said, I think I did very well on the AWA.
The analysis of an issue went very well. I would not be surprised to get over a 6 on the essays.
And then it was quant. Quant has always been a weakness of mine, even though I graduated from college with an accounting degree I have never been strong at math. I took Business Calculus I and II in college, and received Bs in both. Those two courses were the extent of my college math. Because of this, I spent a TON of time preparing for quant. I have been scoring 45-48 on a majority of my quant CATs, and I was very confident going into the exam.
I got clicked "next" and got the first question. A VIC, just like the one million I had solved before. The only issue is, my mind went BLANK. COMPLETELY BLANK. I literally could not click for three minutes, and two of the equations kept coming up to be the same number (I was picking numbers and plugging). At this point it was defcon level 5 panic, and I was confidence was shaken. I finally clicked something and then went on. I settled into somewhat of a groove, and I'm pretty sure I got the next 7 questions correct.
The 8th question was very difficult (but I realized while taking it, this is a GOOD thing, as if you are seeing difficult questions it means you will do well), it was a circle that looked like a ying yang with the left side shaded, a DS problem. I don't think I got it right, and the subsequent question was a DS question about three triangles, each larger than the other with the smallest one inside the other two. I took 5 minutes on this and probably missed it, big mistake. I got a few other ones that were not that difficult after this, but I must have made a dumb mistake somewhere because they got easier. At about 15-20ish I got an overlapping sets question. 60 percent of pictures are landscapes, 80 percent are in color, 10 percent are not in color nor landscapes (or something like that), that i COULD NOT GET. This is the EASIEST question, and when I got home I solved it in less than 25 seconds. My confidence was done. i played around with equations for several minutes and finally guessed something (which was wrong). I got an easy one and then ANOTHER overlapping set.
Overlapping sets are definitely a weakness, and I knew I should have practiced them again. I ended up getting 3 out of the next 5 over lapping set questions and it went downhill from there. I got to number 37 with 5 minutes left, and it was a very simple rate question. When I saw how easy it was I knew that I had failed quant. I honestly felt like walking out of testing center and never coming back during the eight minute break.
I have been far better at verbal than at quant, however I realized that no amount of verbal prowess would bring my score to a 700. I relaxed during the verbal, but I actually relaxed a bit too much as I probably missed the last 3 questions due to guessing as I did not have enough time.
Looking back, I simply did not prepare the right way. I've done a TON of CATs, yet I have not really STUDIED the material. Working question after question is good, but you don't actually get any better at the GMAT materials unless you truly understand them. I learned today that there is a big difference between getting correct answers and actually UNDERSTANDING WHY you got the correct answer.
That being said, 640 is simply too low compared to my CAT scores. I looked like Butler in the NCAA Championship game last Monday.
3/6/2011 MGMAT CAT 1- 670 Q45 V36
3/8/2011 MGMAT CAT 2- 640 Q43 V35
3/14/2011 MGMAT CAT 3- 690 Q44 V39
3/21/2011 Versitas CAT- 670 Q47 V39
3/23/2011 MGMAT CAT 4- 680 Q47 V36
3/23/2011 MGMAT CAT 5 680 Q47 V36
4/1/2011 GMAT PREP 1- 700 Q43 V42
4/3/2011 GMAT PREP 2- 700 Q48 V38
4/6/2011 MGMAT CAT 6- 710 Q47 V40
CAT- 650 Q42 V40
When I saw the 640 on the screen at the testing center I honestly wanted to cry. And I sent the scores to Ross, Darden, and McCombs, as I assumed at the absolute WORST I would get a 680ish. Thank god I did not send them to Fuqua, as that is my first choice for b-school in 5 years.
For prep I used the mgmat guides
almost exclusively. They are great, I just completely choked today. I am leaving for Officer Candidate School for the Navy in exactly one month, therefore I will not be able to take the GMAT again until 2012. I'm going to put more time in, and concentrate on learning the material and I am confident I will get my 700. It is just frustrating and embarrassing to get a 640 when I've been bragging to my friends for the past two weeks that I'm going to get a 720 or higher.