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just scored 640 (debrief and depression)

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just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2012, 09:25
WARNING: Very long post. Just took my exam today and essentially bombed it by scoring a 640 (Q40 V38). I can't even describe how awful I feel currently but figured I would write a quick debrief when it is fresh on my mind so here it goes:

Took the 9 week MGMAT course in person beginning in mid March.
Work anywhere from 8-13 hour days so I tried to study some each night and then would do the majority of my studying on the weekends (also English speaker born in US).
I read all of the MGMAT books, did a good portion of the OG12 problems and kept track in OG archer (through MGMAT).
Took all 6 MGMAT CATs spread over my entire studying time frame. The last 4 were actually after I learned the fundamentals: and ALL were under official testing conditions

MGMAT 3 680 (Q43 V39)
MGMAT 4 680 (Q45 V36)
MGMAT 5 670 (Q46 V36)
MGMAT 6 680 (Q43 V39)

I took the last MGMAT about 3 weeks before my actual exam.

In the past few weeks, I had been reviewing problems I missed on exams and OG12 (via error log). In addition, I had started going through parts of this great forum. I knew my weak areas (so I thought) and had attacked them from the time of my last practice test.

I did not do any GMATPrep until the last week (in which the software froze mid way through Quant) so I tried to remember the ones I guessed on and search these forums (turns out I had guessed right more often than not).

Actual Test Day experience:
Had everything planned out. The night before I had jitters but still managed to get 8 plus hours sleep. Woke up with a calmness and ready to do it after all my prep. Get to test center (which I had visited). no surprises.

AWA: Remembered my templates and struggled to get some of it out onto the screen but feel like I did well enough for 4 or better.

IR: This section I was very concerned with after not really preparing at all. I had not breached a 4.5 on any of the 3 tests I completed with IR. However, when IR started, I felt dialed in. I literally feel like I had a decent shot at all the questions so needless to say I felt confident.

At break, I went to restroom cleared my head and told myself it was time for the real thing (chugged redbull and had bite of snickers).

Felt no shortage of energy in quant. The first four or so I felt pretty good. At that point, it is kind of a blur to be honest. I mean if I started to get some that I felt were out of my range, I would guess. I stayed pretty much on track in terms of timing as I went along. There were a few problems that I felt I knew how to do (i.e. square root, etc that I couldnt get to answer to) so I may have spent too much time on these. As I approached the last few questions, I had the time to do them but I couldnt get to an answer quickly. But, in the end, I felt like I guessed at at least half of the questions. I think it was a solid mixture of timing problems and just not being able to get to the answer (i guess a lack of fundamentals). Even with this guessing, it didn't seem to me that I was getting hit with what is 2+2 questions, I thought they were of 600-700 level difficulty.

Took my break and repeated the steps above. Didn't feel great with quant but figured maybe it was hard bc I did well.

anyway, i hit verbal section running. felt that I was doing better than I had in all my practice tests. then I hit about question 22 and felt the urge to pee (sorry if TMI). It stayed with me throughout the rest of verbal and kind of gave me a rushed feeling but I dont think it affected my score really. That being said, there were Id say 1 RC question, 4-5 CR questions, and 3-4 SC questions in which I spent too much time on. This kind of made the end a little rushed as well (for the last 2 questions Id say I had about 30 seconds for). So probably equivalent to guessing on last 3-4 questions. All in all, felt that I probably hit within my range (which I did).

Asked to report my scores and didn't really think twice about it. I figured I probably scored in the 660-680 range and heck maybe could have been surprised (like some others have mentioned) and scored above 700. Then I see the 640. Literally a grown man that had to fight back tears.

I don't even know what to do at this point. I know it is a fresh wound so I may be talking a little extreme but I really don't have any motivation or faith that I can raise my score if I were to take it a second time. I thought I had the fundamentals down but obviously I didn't which was made exponentially worse by timing. Even if I study longer, I feel defeated with this score. I gave it my best shot and failed. I literally dont want to look at any study materials ever again.

Any advice to get me out of this mindset? should I take a week off and then study until I am hitting 700 level on tests and then schedule the test? Should I do more GMATPrep? Ive reread the MGMAt books about 3 times so should I get a tutor for fundamentals?

sorry for long post.
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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2012, 11:39
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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2012, 11:48
To be honest, I felt like I was guessing on a good portion. Going into the exam my weak areas were divisibility and number properties and word problems. But once I hit the test I couldn't tell a specific area that was tripping me up. That is why I am close to giving up hope
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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2012, 11:51
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Hey dont beat yourself on this.
Just focus on quant for a couple of weeks and dont lose track of verbal. While you are doing all these, you can maintain a comprehensive error log.
Check for gmatprep PS and DS questions. Solve them and get your concepts clear.
I think you have giant rooms for a better score a month from now
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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 04 Aug 2012, 12:23
i just dont have the confidence that doing more quant problems on gmatprep is enough to boost my score. I feel like I have been doing quant problems for five months and addressing my weak areas. maybe i am doing something incorrectly in my preparation. I review my problems by seeing what mistake I made and then later attempting the problem. Any ideas?
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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 07:19
I had a very similar experience to you on the quantitative side the first time I took the GMAT.

I was in the 700 range on practice tests and pulled a 630 on my first GMAT. Don't remember what the Quantitative score was but it was bad.

The 2nd time I took the test I drastically changed my approach. The first time I spent far to much time on questions that were above me skill level. It sounds like you might have made a similar mistake. This caused me to rush on questions I probably could of solved correctly with more time....and caused a little bit of panic as well.

What I did during my 2nd test once the questions got a bit too hard was to look at the question and quickly assess if I could come up with a correct answer within 2-3 minutes. If I wasn't sure I immediately took an educated guess and moved on. This allowed me to have plenty of time for the questions I could solve and also created more of a sense of calm because of the extra time. Spending 5 mins and getting a wrong answer is drastically worse then spending 30 seconds on a wrong answer.

I think you should try this approach on practice tests and see if it works for you. I actually studied much less for my 2nd test (mostly on # properties) and got a 740/ 47Q.

Keep your head up and stay positive. One test doesn't make or break anyone.
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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 07:26
Thanks Bullsds for taking the time to respond. Can you help me with the details of your retake approach? I think your response has made the most sense to me so far in terms of hat may have went wrong. However, I have no idea where to start now for test 2.

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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 07:51
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Happy to help. My 2nd time taking test I spent much more time studying concepts and less on practice problems. This just seemed to work better for me in terms of retaining principles.

This site has a pretty good summary section, particularly on # properties which I think is the most important part to have mastered.

(not letting me post link, will PM)

In my humble opinion I don't think your time would be well spent doing taking a bunch more practice tests. It seems like the knowledge is already there you just need a better test taking strategy/lack of jitters. I don't think its too uncommon for people to be overwhelmed their first time taking the test and have that determinately impact their score.

I would work on having a better feeling for your quantitative strengths and weaknesses and know the types of problems you can solve confidently, and more importantly the ones you cannot. Use your time on your strengths, not your weaknesses.

I think its also important to try to schedule a test for a time when you are relaxed....like a Monday morning when you are well rested. For me personally I didn't cram the days before.....I took it easy and relaxed and took a last practice test the day before in the mid afternoon. That evening I went over the results and spent half hour reviewing mistakes. After that I said a prayer and went to bed.

My last piece of advice would be to try to remove some of the pressure. Obv this is easier said then done....but I think it's important to remind yourself that while the test feels like the most important thing in the world in the large scheme of things its rather trivial. No matter what your health, friends, family and livelihood will still be there tomorrow no matter the result.

Hope this helps & gl.
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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression) [#permalink] New post 07 Aug 2012, 07:53
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Quote:
My last piece of advice would be to try to remove some of the pressure. Obv this is easier said then done....but I think it's important to remind yourself that while the test feels like the most important thing in the world in the large scheme of things its rather trivial. No matter what your health, friends, family and livelihood will still be there tomorrow no matter the result.

I like this :)
which site are you talking about btw?
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Re: just scored 640 (debrief and depression)   [#permalink] 07 Aug 2012, 07:53
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