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Horrendous GMAT Experience!

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Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Pakistan
Concentration: Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q45 V32
WE: Medicine and Health (Health Care)
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 05:32
Hi, I'm a new member here, and I just attempted the GMAT for the first time a few days ago. So I thought I'd share my experience here, and ask for advice on how to improve the next time around.

So, I gave my test on June 20, in Islamabad, Pakistan. I was absolutely horrified to see the state the test center was in. There was literally no electricity during 75 percent of the duration of my test! No air conditioning or fan!! All they had were back-up UPS systems for the computers so they wouldn't shut off during the middle of a test. In Pakistan, the temperature consistently reaches 45 degrees (115 degrees farenheit), so you can imagine how hot the center must have been! It was like sitting inside an oven! However, I tried my best to stay focused and ignore the heat for the duration (I'd go wash my face to try and cool down during every break). Although its not the test centers fault there was no electricity (Pakistan is in the middle of a huge energy crisis, among other political turmoil), I still think that they should have come up with some arrangements to at least be able to run some fans in the test center.

Anyways, after giving my test, I ended up getting a 640 (45 quant, 32 verbal). I was quite disappointed when I saw my result, but then considering the conditions I took it in, I think I did alright. I'm sure if I had known and was prepared to take the test in such an environment I would have performed significantly better (my goal is around the 700 mark). That's why I've decided to take the test again in about a months time.

Looking at my result, I need to improve my verbal quite a bit in order to reach my target goal. My weak spots are the Reading Comprehension and the Critical Reading. What guides/resources would be the best for me to use in order to improve in these areas? (Previously I used the 2012 Kaplan GMAT (the overall study guide that has both math and verbal), and I used the guides at 800score . com (recommended by my brother in law))

As for the math section, I'd say Data Sufficiency is my weakest link. But I've been steadily improving in this area over time. I also have some difficulty solving the harder "Problem Solving" questions in under two minutes.

Any Tips or guides on what to do so I can improve my score would be greatly appreciated!!
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Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 11:33
For improvement in RC and CR, there is nothing like reading american dailies. You can go for The Economist, Scientific American and NY Times. Even I scored meager 25 in verbal and believe me I never thought that I was this weak in verbal. I got 48 in quant though. So, I think that I need to improve a lot verbal section as you need to.

For practice of RCs, someone here dumped around 300-400 RCs from GMAT, LSAT and GRE. I am not able to find the link now. I will try later and let you know the link.
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Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 11:35
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Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 24 Jun 2012, 13:52
Expert's post
I am sorry to hear about experience. I am sure that the heat and shock (of taking the test under such conditions) definitely impacted on your performance. You should report the situation to GMAC and see if you can get your scores cancelled as they are not a true representation of your potential.

Reading and familiarity with keywords definitely helps in RC. Add discover magazines, wsj, and harvard business review to the list. You can also check out our RC/CR courses for some free concepts. On another note, you do need to focus on quant as well.

Good luck!!

-Rajat
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Joined: 24 Jun 2012
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Location: Pakistan
Concentration: Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q45 V32
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Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 25 Jun 2012, 02:34
@mahajanakhil1985: Thanks for the Link! I definitely plan to start reading dailies like The Economist, NY Times, and WSJ.

@egmat: I thought about contacting gmac and notifying them of the situation, and to possibly have my score cancelled. However, I'm not sure if I should do this. What exactly will happen once they cancel it?

I also plan on working on my quant (its mostly data sufficiency that troubles me, and a few certain types of problem solving), but I'm going to spend maybe 60-70% of my time on the verbal portion.
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Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2012, 19:51
I agree with egmat! You should at least call to see what can be done, and ask what does the score cancellation means (total clean slate?).

Also, if outages are a regular occurance, is it possible for you to fly to some nearby country that doesn't have the same issues? I know that's expensive, but if you're paying for the mba or even considering the impact of getting in a higher tier school... it may be well worth the cost. Though if you do this, don't forget to make sure you arrive early as to get used to the hotel, how to get to test center etc.
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Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 03 Jul 2012, 22:51
PS. Read this thread: do-i-have-a-valid-case-to-complain-about-the-test-center-132369.html#p1101496

It sounds like from another poster's issue, you may not get your score cancelled (given a free retake instead). However, you can explain the score and refer the school to the testing center/incident report.
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Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2012, 08:59
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Hello, Raheel! Rebecca from GMAC here. I saw your post. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to file an incident report. While I cannot guarantee any particular outcome, at the very least documenting these incidents does help us to ensure all test centers are providing a fair experience to candidates. We appreciate all feedback on our test centers. Thank you for your cooperation in this.
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gmac.com | mba.com

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Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Pakistan
Concentration: Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q45 V32
WE: Medicine and Health (Health Care)
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2012, 06:32
Hi Rebecca!

I've sent an email to the following address: GMATCandidateServicesAPAC@ pearson. com (sorry for the spaces in the email i cant post links yet). I sent it exactly a week ago, but I still have not received any response. Should I call them and speak to a representative? Also, its probably a lame question, but how exactly do i file an incident report?
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Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 11 Jul 2012, 10:11
Expert's post
I'm sorry. You should have received a response by now. I will follow up with them and find out what happened to your email. In the meantime, you can see the process for filing a complaint here: http://www.mba.com/the-gmat/test-day/te ... cerns.aspx. Please be as specific as possible in your complaint and include as many details as you can remember. This will help us investigate the incident and speed the process.

Thank you!
_________________

Jeremy
Social Media and Marketing Manager
Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®)
gmac.com | mba.com

Intern
Intern
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Joined: 24 Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Pakistan
Concentration: Finance
GMAT 1: 640 Q45 V32
WE: Medicine and Health (Health Care)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience! [#permalink] New post 23 Jul 2012, 00:08
Ok, so I just received some good news. Pearson Vue are allowing me to take a free retake of the exam (my current score can't be cancelled)...Now I just need to decide where I should retake it :)
Re: Horrendous GMAT Experience!   [#permalink] 23 Jul 2012, 00:08
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