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Lessons from a rookie

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Lessons from a rookie [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2009, 20:21
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Hey y'all,

I'm writing this to share with you the lessons I've learned from the my first GMAT, which I took a week ago. I guess this can bring some sort of help, mainly for beginners.

First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm 23, from Brazil, with under 2 years of work experience. So, I'm in no rush to begin my MBA. I took the GMAT mainly to how challenging it would be and to create a starting point for future efforts. My study consisted of understanding the structure of the GMAT and what I would be asked to do.

I've always had great results throughtout my life when it comes to exams and pressure moments, so I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't expecting above-average results. And considering my lack of preparation, I suppose the outcome was good indeed, as I got a 670 (Q45,V37) and 5.5 AWA.

I hope the following can be of assistance.

    Overall experience
  • Get used to doing a test with people around you. In the test, you'll have to control the temptation of looking at people entering and leaving the room and you'll have to deal with the different noises, be it the clicking of the keyboard or someone sneezing. I tried to use the ear plugs that are provided, but it didn't feel right. Just taking a test knowing there's a camera recording your every move can be disrupting. You'll have to get used to it all.
  • Time flies by. Maybe I felt it more than it should because I hadn't practised with a time limit (or at all...). My biggest challenge was finding a pace which I was confortable with.
  • The breaks are quite important. I didn't use more than 5 minutes of each, but just getting the chance to take a few deep breaths and diminishing the tension was of utter importance.

    AWA
  • Time management is the key. I took more time than I should've writing down ideas that I wanted to insert in my argument. I was still writing the second paragraph when I realized I wouldn't be able to finish in time. So, I wrote two lines in each of the following paragraphs, just to be sure that the reasoning would be complete. The I came back to enhance the size of the text. But it ended up being too short.
  • Although I cannot expose the topics of the AWA, what I can tell is that the issue presented was not, by any means, one sided. There were truly strong arguments to support both sides. I took too much time to pick one. I should have just chosen one and gone with it. No hesitation allowed.
  • The 5.5 showed me that you do not need to use complicated structure or unknown words to succeed. The half point I lost was probably because my texts had fewer words than expected. The structure I used was pretty straighforward, with 5 paragraphs in each of the texts (intro, argument1, arg2, arg3, conclusion).

    Quantitative
  • Don't let the test play mind trick on you. I knew the test was adaptive, so the questions were supposed to get harder and harder if I were doing a good job. When the first 5, 7 questions came out easy, I started questioning my own decisions. Had I been making stupid mistakes? Block these thoughts. They bring no good whatsoever. Soon enough, some pretty tough questions started coming by.
  • Learn when to give up. I lost precious time trying to figure out questions that I should have guessed long ago and had to make up for that time on the final questions. You are the one taking the test, not your ego (my ego sometimes takes over...).
  • The basics of math are truly important. The questions are simple in their development if you know the basic concepts.
  • Pay the utmost attention to details. Leave the errors for the questions that you really don't know how to solve. What I did was translate every single peace of info to the drawing board provided.
  • A mistake I believe I made was to write down the aforementioned info as it came up in each question without first reading the entire question. I guess I lost precious time writing down data that sometimes wasn't useful.

    Verbal
  • I've always considered myself a fast and good reader. In the GMAT, however, I found myself rereading passages quite often. I guess I wasn't really used to the type of text that the test provides. Next time, I'll practise by reading more than the articles in nfl.com... Economics and science came up quite often.
  • I used elimination process a lot, specially in sentence correction, by using the drawing board to mark the answers that I was eliminating in each question.

    Well, that's what I currently recall from the test.

    Good luck on your upcoming challenges,

--------------
All Day
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All Day

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Re: Lessons from a rookie [#permalink] New post 24 Jan 2009, 20:54
AdrianPeterson wrote:
Hey y'all,

I'm writing this to share with you the lessons I've learned from the my first GMAT, which I took a week ago. I guess this can bring some sort of help, mainly for beginners.

First of all, let me introduce myself. I'm 23, from Brazil, with under 2 years of work experience. So, I'm in no rush to begin my MBA. I took the GMAT mainly to how challenging it would be and to create a starting point for future efforts. My study consisted of understanding the structure of the GMAT and what I would be asked to do.

I've always had great results throughtout my life when it comes to exams and pressure moments, so I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't expecting above-average results. And considering my lack of preparation, I suppose the outcome was good indeed, as I got a 670 (Q45,V37) and 5.5 AWA.

I hope the following can be of assistance.

    Overall experience
  • Get used to doing a test with people around you. In the test, you'll have to control the temptation of looking at people entering and leaving the room and you'll have to deal with the different noises, be it the clicking of the keyboard or someone sneezing. I tried to use the ear plugs that are provided, but it didn't feel right. Just taking a test knowing there's a camera recording your every move can be disrupting. You'll have to get used to it all.
  • Time flies by. Maybe I felt it more than it should because I hadn't practised with a time limit (or at all...). My biggest challenge was finding a pace which I was confortable with.
  • The breaks are quite important. I didn't use more than 5 minutes of each, but just getting the chance to take a few deep breaths and diminishing the tension was of utter importance.

    AWA
  • Time management is the key. I took more time than I should've writing down ideas that I wanted to insert in my argument. I was still writing the second paragraph when I realized I wouldn't be able to finish in time. So, I wrote two lines in each of the following paragraphs, just to be sure that the reasoning would be complete. The I came back to enhance the size of the text. But it ended up being too short.
  • Although I cannot expose the topics of the AWA, what I can tell is that the issue presented was not, by any means, one sided. There were truly strong arguments to support both sides. I took too much time to pick one. I should have just chosen one and gone with it. No hesitation allowed.
  • The 5.5 showed me that you do not need to use complicated structure or unknown words to succeed. The half point I lost was probably because my texts had fewer words than expected. The structure I used was pretty straighforward, with 5 paragraphs in each of the texts (intro, argument1, arg2, arg3, conclusion).

    Quantitative
  • Don't let the test play mind trick on you. I knew the test was adaptive, so the questions were supposed to get harder and harder if I were doing a good job. When the first 5, 7 questions came out easy, I started questioning my own decisions. Had I been making stupid mistakes? Block these thoughts. They bring no good whatsoever. Soon enough, some pretty tough questions started coming by.
  • Learn when to give up. I lost precious time trying to figure out questions that I should have guessed long ago and had to make up for that time on the final questions. You are the one taking the test, not your ego (my ego sometimes takes over...).
  • The basics of math are truly important. The questions are simple in their development if you know the basic concepts.
  • Pay the utmost attention to details. Leave the errors for the questions that you really don't know how to solve. What I did was translate every single peace of info to the drawing board provided.
  • A mistake I believe I made was to write down the aforementioned info as it came up in each question without first reading the entire question. I guess I lost precious time writing down data that sometimes wasn't useful.

    Verbal
  • I've always considered myself a fast and good reader. In the GMAT, however, I found myself rereading passages quite often. I guess I wasn't really used to the type of text that the test provides. Next time, I'll practise by reading more than the articles in nfl.com... Economics and science came up quite often.
  • I used elimination process a lot, specially in sentence correction, by using the drawing board to mark the answers that I was eliminating in each question.

    Well, that's what I currently recall from the test.

    Good luck on your upcoming challenges,

--------------
All Day


Adrian !!

Thanks for sharing this with us. Truly solid advice !! You seem to think a lot like me :)

And congrats on scoring 670 with little or no preparation :)
_________________

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Check out my GMAT blog - GMAT Tips and Strategies

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 19
Followers: 0

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

Re: Lessons from a rookie [#permalink] New post 29 Jan 2009, 05:18
nice score, however luck can play a role in some cases. take my advise and save your time for something more valuable. let the 670 be your first and last try and remember it is a silly test anyway.

good luck in the admission.

Joey Live
Re: Lessons from a rookie   [#permalink] 29 Jan 2009, 05:18
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