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GMAT Horror Story!!!

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GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 00:17
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Here is a link to my backstory heading into the GMAT, just in case you wanted the complete picture.

8-t63473

So let me attempt to tell you my crazy GMAT experience:

I took the GMAT a little over a week ago. I went in there feeling pretty good. I received a good amount of rest the night before and everything felt good going into the test.

When I got into the center, they did their routine, placed all my materials into a locker, signed disclosure forms, blah blah.

I then did the whole finger print, ID scan thing and was seated for the exam. Analysis of an argument popped up, I breezed through it. Analysis of an Issue popped up and I tore that apart also. Both of the essays went very well, I had enough time to proofread everything and I had felt that they were some of the best pieces that I had written in awhile. I felt good,

Here is where the whole nightmare begins. So you have to raise your hand to take your break. The moderator has to sign you out and then to get back to your station he/she has to go through the whole security process and log you back into your comp.

So as I was taking my break before Quant, I asked the the moderator (an absent minded old lady) if she had a timer so I knew exactly when my break was over. (Since my watch was placed in the locker and for some reason the lobby area of this testing facility did not have a clock anywhere in plain sight.) She told me in her soft grandmotherly voice, "Dont worry about it sweetheart, have a seat in the lobby area and I will let you know a couple of mins before your break is over so you can start the Quant section."

I said ok, what else would I think at this point, this is her job and she will keep me informed accordingly right? WRONG! So as I went to the bathroom, came back was eating a light snack, my mind was only consumed by one thing - The Quant section. Every formula that I had ever studied was going through my head, I was reviewing equations to keep them on the tip of my mind just in case I had to use them.

After I finished my snack, I felt that more time than usual had passed.....So I got up and tracked down the moderator. I approached her and emphatically stated to her that I was ready to start the Quant section. As she peered at me with a dumbfounded look, (the look that you give when you have forgotten something important), she told me to get in back of 2 individuals in line who were waiting to get to their stations to start their examinations. (Not GMAT exams BTW)

As she fumbled through their IDs, paperwork and finger prints scans, it was finally my turn. She did the whole process, sat me down at my station and logged me back in. As soon as I peered over to the screen, I noticed that the computer was 6 and 1/2 minutes into the quant section. Do my eyes deceive me?? NO!! I couldnt believe what I was seeing. She looks over at me and in a sweet voice has the nerve to tell me that I had exceeded my break time!! WTF!!??

Consumed by anger, frustration, you name it, I demanded her to reset the section, upon which she told me that she had no power to do so. I had explained to her that I asked at a minimum for a timer and she stated to me that she would let me know when I had a couple of mins remaining!!!! She specifically told me that, what as I supposed to think? That she was not going to let me know? That she was going to deceive me and not do her job? This was my first time in such a testing facility I had no reason not to trust her.

After I had caused somewhat of a scene and re-iterated her words to me, she had no response. She knew she messed up, she told me to speak with her after the examination and she bolted off. So there I was over 7 minutes have passed and I am on question 1. Needless to say I just sat there for a few seconds to gain my composure and to calm my anger and my nerves before I had to fight this uphill battle. So as I proceeded through the section, I tried to bank as much time as possible as I can but I was fighting a losing battle. I tried to cut bait where I could, but there were many problems where I had to spend additional time so it was pretty much even. All I know is that by the end of it I literally had to guess on 5-6 straight problems. And you know even if I was doing well (which I really doubt because of the anxiety to rush) randomly guessing on the last 5-6 could have adversely affected my score.

So it was break time again going into the verbal section and I walked over to the moderator's desk. I told her that I was not going to take my break to go the bathroom, because if I did, there might be some people in front of me where she would take 20 mins to process them, putting me in another time crunch situation for this part of the exam. She had no response to me, because she knew i was right...so I had her re-log me into the computer for the next section. As I sat there still pissed from what I had encountered during the math section, I sat there trying to stop the smoke from coming out of my ears. As the Verbal section started, I started off trying to shake what happened to me, but by the time I hit a RC passage, I couldnt concentrate for the life of me. I was done!! Still pissed and unable to concentrate, I just ended my test and canceled my score - I was livid with what I has just gone through. It made sense at the time for me to cancel, I was not feeling it all nor did I feel that I was operating at my potential - and surely the guessing at the end of the Quant probably screwed me as well.

So after it was all said and done I spoke with the supervisor of the facility and told her all of the crazy details. She advised that I call Pearson and open up a case for them to review.

So I opened an official case with Pearson and told them that realistically, I thought that I had made it back in time to start the Quant section, (even after she had stated that she would relay timing information to me and didnt). But where I lost the time was when she burned countless minutes fumbling with the system to get people to their stations.

So im still waiting on word from Pearson, hopefully at a minimum they will pay for my next exam and fire that incompetent hag!

So long story short, this nightmare has prolonged my process another month (given that I nail it in my next attempt) and has taught me a very valuable lesson - do not trust/count on anyone at the testing facility to help you out with anything. Whether its timing or whatever - take minimal time during your breaks and rush back to your station and just sit there if you have ample time to spare. Oh man what a first time experience with the GMAT huh?

Hopefully someone can learn from this experience and make sure that this doesnt happen during your test!

Anybody have any thoughts, similar experiences, comments?
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 01:01
Hey allinder, really sorry to hear that buddy :( I hope they give u a free retake ...
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 01:20
That's terrible what happened to you, Alinder. There's a similar horror story somewhere in this forum a few weeks back. That person eventually got a free retake. Hopefully you will be awarded the same.
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 04:03
hey Alinder, don't sweat buddy

treat this like an opportunity to even better your gmat potential and really drive home that GMAT score!
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 05:30
Wow, so sorry to hear this. I hate how the progress of someone is brought to a complete stop by someone elses incompetence... Happens a lot nowadays.

Don't sweat it - ace the thing on your retake and rub your 780 in the old ladys face :lol:
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 07:02
what was your score?
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 07:38
gmatnub wrote:
what was your score?

he cancelled the score (and most of us would have done the same)

no point having a bad score on the books
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 10:05
Sorry to hear this. Good luck for the GMAT retake.
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 10:12
very harsh luck mate ... I hope you regroup well and really hit a homer next time around.
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2008, 11:15
Thanks for all the support guys!! Im doing my best to put all of this behind me and move forward!

Its hard to stay motivated after an event like this, where you pour in everything you had to fight this battle...for it to be inevitably postponed for another day.

Hopefully I can muster up the motivation/energy to really put in some time to make sure I seal the deal on my next attempt.

I dont want to say that I have given up, Im just soooooo burned out at this point, and I dont have time to be.

Feel kinda like Barack, finished up the primary season with all of his might and effort, to be thrown into the general election race with full force - knowing that he cant take a break because McCain has had 3 months of campaigning/fundraising ahead of him.

Oh well, time to dig deep!
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2008, 12:05
AlinderPatel, Forget it. There are many guys like you preparing for Attempt II (including me). We will nail it this time. Remember, thats why GMAT has multiple attempts. Always, the toughest thing in GMAT is to maintain the concentration for 4 hours. All the time (even if you give GMAT 5 times), there will be something terrible during the exam. But, as a manager (leader), you must have the smartness to get over it and concentrate on the task at hand.
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2008, 14:28
Leopard wrote:
AlinderPatel, Forget it. There are many guys like you preparing for Attempt II (including me). We will nail it this time. Remember, thats why GMAT has multiple attempts. Always, the toughest thing in GMAT is to maintain the concentration for 4 hours. All the time (even if you give GMAT 5 times), there will be something terrible during the exam. But, as a manager (leader), you must have the smartness to get over it and concentrate on the task at hand.


I completely agree! Well said!
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Re: GMAT Horror Story!!! [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2008, 07:34
That's horrible. But you'll be able to do better the second time around. It's a shame you have to invest so much energy into the process again, but things tend to be better the second time you do them. Good luck!
Re: GMAT Horror Story!!!   [#permalink] 20 Jun 2008, 07:34
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