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GMAT - Pacing, psychology, etc

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Joined: 12 Nov 2008
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Schools: Ross (R2), Cornell (R3) , UNC (R3) , INSEAD (R1 Jan)
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GMAT - Pacing, psychology, etc [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2009, 07:37
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Hey guys, I've been studying for the GMAT for a bit now (on and off) and have done the following tests: one of Kaplan CAT's, most of the MGMATs and one GMAT Prep. My scores these days hover around 680-720.

However, I'm not good at pacing myself. For example, I got 700 (Q44, V41) on GMAT Prep and I made a few really dumb mistakes, because I thought I was going to run out of time. As a result, I had 13min to spare on the quant section and 6min on verbal. I know my score would have been at least 20-30 higher if I had a better approach to time management and was able to pace myself more effectively.

A few questions:

1) How do you guys pace yourselves? Do you use a certain cutoff in terms of how many questions you have to have completed by certain time? It's always a struggle to let go, just guess and move on. Anyone use a rule of thumb, when is it time to let go?

2) As I've mentioned before, I have a low UG GPA, so I'm under A LOT of pressure to do well on game day, and I'm worried this is going to adversely impact my performance. I know this is something I need to work out in my own mind, but if anyone has been in a similar situation and knows the feeling, how did you deal with it? I don't want to even think about my score until I hit that finish button.

3) Decided to schedule the test for Sept 14, so a week from today. I have gone through old posts, but any thoughts on how to polish off and work out weak spots with a week left would be truly appreciated. At this stage it feels like I've covered what there is to cover and the incremental gains are very small. Nevertheless, there is a huge volatility between all the tests I take (sometimes I don't do so well on SC, sometimes it's RC or Data sufficiency - it really is a crap shoot and there is no one area that I'm particularly weak in). What do I focus on then?

Thanks so much in advance for any thoughts/ideas/suggestions!
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Re: GMAT - Pacing, psychology, etc [#permalink] New post 06 Sep 2009, 16:14
Expert's post
Good luck on your test on the 14th.

This should help with your questions:

1. timing-strategies-on-the-gmat-80176.html

2. stress-management-tips-83421.html

3. the-oh-guide-to-the-last-week-before-gmat-67555.html and also: test-day-warm-up-78595.html
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Re: GMAT - Pacing, psychology, etc [#permalink] New post 07 Sep 2009, 19:25
I have that same problem with volatility in my scores. For example, I did decently in the Problem solving 2 CATs ago, but poorly on the data sufficiency, the test before my last, I did very poorly on problem solving (chalking it up to nerves) and decently in data sufficiency. Last time, I did decently again in problem solving and poorly again in data sufficiency.
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Joined: 12 Nov 2008
Posts: 368
Schools: Ross (R2), Cornell (R3) , UNC (R3) , INSEAD (R1 Jan)
WE 1: Advisory (2 yrs)
WE 2: FP & Analysis (2 yrs at matriculation)
Followers: 21

Kudos [?]: 86 [0], given: 45

Re: GMAT - Pacing, psychology, etc [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2009, 19:02
Thank you bb, very helpful! :)

GmatNY86, I know that feeling. IMHO the main reason is how hard a given section is, which of course begs the question, how do you get that extra incremental increase in your score, if you're already doing ok.
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Current Student
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Joined: 19 Jul 2009
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GMAT 1: 690 Q44 V41
GPA: 3.75
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Re: GMAT - Pacing, psychology, etc [#permalink] New post 08 Sep 2009, 21:05
ariel wrote:
Thank you bb, very helpful! :)

GmatNY86, I know that feeling. IMHO the main reason is how hard a given section is, which of course begs the question, how do you get that extra incremental increase in your score, if you're already doing ok.


I think that as long as my nerves are fine, I'll most likely do decently in problem solving. Data sufficiency, not so sure. Data sufficiency is more about getting you confused than testing your knowledge, IMO. Although it's both.
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Re: GMAT - Pacing, psychology, etc [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2009, 03:54
check out my post, in case you find it useful. I kindda derived a time-scale to keep a check on how fast I'm moving during test.

done-730-50q-38v-thanks-a-lot-guys-81912.html
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Re: GMAT - Pacing, psychology, etc   [#permalink] 09 Sep 2009, 03:54
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