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Long post, seeking guidance~

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Joined: 11 Apr 2011
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Long post, seeking guidance~ [#permalink] New post 20 Sep 2011, 13:14
Hello,

I’ve been pretty depressed the last couple of days, and I feel like I can’t improve. I started studying for the GMAT in May, enrolled in the MGMAT prep course, and did the required homework. I also reviewed the materials again before class and went over the chapter review questions I got wrong to understand the concept behind each question.

After the prep course was over, I went over each quant book again, reread the materials and did quite well on the review questions. I also went over the OG12 questions that the prep books correlate to, and kept an error log of all the questions I got wrong. For each wrong answer, I reviewed both the official explanation along with the MGMAT companion and made notes on why I got the questions wrong.

I studied everyday for 2-3 hours on weekdays and 6 hours or so on the weekend. I started to notice how I was getting mentally fatigued and began taking Fridays off as a day to rest. Anyway, my score has not improved at all and I’m starting to question if I’m just naturally dumb regardless of how well I did in college.

I started off with MGMAT CAT with a 340 (Q19 V14), and got screwed because I made the CAT exam time each verbal question at 1:17 and each quant question at 2:00. So while reading a RC passage, by the time I get to the 4th paragraph, the question would skip. Same with RC questions (I thought the timed per question option meant it gives you the set time to answer the question, but you can go over the time as long as if you finish within 75 minutes per section as a way to practice pacing yourself).

MGMAT 2 - 600 (Q40 V33)
MGMAT 3 - 560 (Q35 V30) I was surprised by this score. I took the exam in my room when it was really hot and stuffy since my local library was closed due to Labor Day. I thought I was going to get <350 since I couldn’t concentrate at all and my neighbor’s dog kept barking.
MGMAT 4 - 540 (Q38 V29)
MGMAT 5 - 470 (Q29 V27)

As you can see, my scores have been dropping. After each CAT, I would review the next day, making notes, and understand why I got the question wrong. I would also redo the question again several days later to make sure I understood the question and the concept. Anyway, each test was taken on a Sunday, after reviewing the prior exam and going over OG12. I’m taking my last MGMAT CAT exam this Sunday and/or GMAT Prep as I have already registered to sit for the exam on 9/30/11 during my last week of prep course. The light at the end of the tunnel to attend business school is fading away~

Prep Materials
MGMAT CAT
8 MGMAT books
MGMAT Foundation of Math (I did all the exercises and did well)
OG12
OG Verbal
OG Quant
Kaplan (I rarely use this as my coworker gave it to me and he stated that the material isn’t that great. I just used it to brush up on my math)
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesVeritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: Long post, seeking guidance~ [#permalink] New post 21 Sep 2011, 06:43
Well, after going over my error log, it appears as though I need some serious work on work/rate problems, probability/combinatorics, and some data sufficiency.
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Re: Long post, seeking guidance~ [#permalink] New post 22 Sep 2011, 21:50
Expert's post
It is a little surprising to see that you have been putting in consistent effort since May and pretty much doing what you are supposed to but your scores are falling in both Verbal and Quant. Sometimes this happens due to burnout. Following would be my advice:
1. Take GMAT prep test 2 this Sunday.
2. Review the test on Monday.
2. Next day, just review your error log for an hour.
3. Last 2 days, don't touch any book/notes/logs. Do what you like to do - go for long walks, read a book etc. Just try to relax your mind. Preferably, don't watch dense movies etc
4. On the 30th, a couple of hrs before the test, just look at the important formulas, few reminders etc for half an hour to put yourself in test mode.
5. Go and take the test.

There is anyway no time left to learn new things. So just re-cap what you already know and go with it. Try to be as relaxed as possible. That should help bring your score up on test day.
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Director
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Status: -=GMAT Jedi=-
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
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Re: Long post, seeking guidance~ [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 01:25
I agree with Karishma; you've done everything right :)

In the coming few days, you should do things that Karishma has suggested.

What she suggested constitutes what I call the "outer game" or things that happen on the outside. I'm gonna tell you a bit about the "inner game" or what happens on the inside.

Remember this: You're only as good or as bad as you are on the test day!

I've seen people doing very well in their prep tests and crashing on the test day...

I've seen people doing very well in the actual GMAT despite poor scores on the prep tests...

In the next few days, the inner game is going to matter...

You will be nervous, you will doubt your preparation and you will be unsure... There is only one thing that will help you overcome these negative feelings and that is - Faith. Have faith in the preparation you have put in since May.

One way to do that is, visualizing. Visualize yourself putting in your best and reaching your target score. Make the picture as real as possible. Deliberately try and feel how you would feel if the target score has already been achieved. Each time the little voice in your head tells you that you have not done enough to get the target score, SPIT at it! It will cheer you up and get rid of the negativity (I personally visualize the negative voice coming from a tiny little red devil... and each time I destroy it in my own creative way e.g. sometimes I impale him with his own spear or imagine him being run over by a car or eaten by a shark or something)

All this mumbo jumbo works... I can vouch for it... I've never hit a +700 score in any of my mocks... But... I have scored as high as 750 in the actual GMAT :)

Good luck!
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

Director
Director
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Status: -=GMAT Jedi=-
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 740
Location: Kochi, India
Schools: ISB
WE 1: Engineer - Larsen & Toubro, ECC Division
WE 2: Faculty - T.I.M.E.
Followers: 33

Kudos [?]: 128 [0], given: 66

Re: Long post, seeking guidance~ [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 01:26
I think my reply was longer than your post :)

he he

:beer
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

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Re: Long post, seeking guidance~ [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 07:58
Hello,

Thanks again for the replies. I thought perhaps the forum was dead, haha~

I can’t really do much right now other than review the materials and go through my error logs. I don’t want to postpone my test since the low score will intensify and motivate me to do even better the second time. I truly believe I can do well, maybe not 740+ but at least a 700.

This may sound like an excuse but I think my ongoing injury from my fractured vertebrae may have something to do with my ability to do well. During my injury, I used to study with a back brace and it’s not all that comfortable, and now with the back brace off, I get lower back cramps usually after the second hour. At least I will undergo physical therapy after my final doctor’s appoint on 10/4. Regardless, I’m prepared to take the exam and score around 300-500ish.

BTW Entwistle, I do believe your response is longer than my post.
Director
Director
avatar
Status: -=GMAT Jedi=-
Joined: 04 Jan 2011
Posts: 740
Location: Kochi, India
Schools: ISB
WE 1: Engineer - Larsen & Toubro, ECC Division
WE 2: Faculty - T.I.M.E.
Followers: 33

Kudos [?]: 128 [0], given: 66

Re: Long post, seeking guidance~ [#permalink] New post 23 Sep 2011, 09:04
ha ha
Thanks for seconding my suspicion. Anyway, I hope you got something good out of it :)
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

Re: Long post, seeking guidance~   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2011, 09:04
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