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My story. From 520 to 700 two weeks before the test. 600 real score ;(

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Manager
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Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Italy
GMAT 1: 600 Q42 V31
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My story. From 520 to 700 two weeks before the test. 600 real score ;( [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2014, 12:33
So, now it is my turn to share my experience of the gmat. I precise that I love this forum; the members gave me the motivation to work on the gmat and sooo many pieces of advices.

I always wanted to do a Master of Sciences in Finance in one good university in Europe. My preference was Bocconi, for personal reasons and also because the university has a good reputation in Europe. When I started to look into the gmat I saw that they asked “only” 650 to apply. Great! :) I will do it. That was one year ago.
So I bought Kaplan 800 under the guidance of another forum member (big mistake, I needed to improve the theory before practicing). After that, I bought the OG. I didn’t find it very hard. Every time I finished a book, I bought another one : OG Quant, OG verbal. I bought the Manhattan Gmat books late (too late) last January. I learned a lot with these books, they are awesome. I realized that I jumped into exercices in the beginning without knowing well the theory. I bought the CAT test Gmat club but they were much too difficult for me. In quant I aimed at a Q47 maximum. During all my preparation I wrote all the questions with aswers that I found difficult in notebooks (approximately 200 questions written). To make them again and again. I re-read SC Mgmat several times, I bought Powerbook CR.

I precise that I am working and it was very hard for my to study the evening after my job. I often came back tired, I spent all the day in front of a computer and when I came home? same story.. :roll: So to be fair I was “half studying” during months. I skipped some days because “I worked too hard today, I can’t do it anymore”. I remember a hard period when I stopped studying for 3 weeks because of the increase of the charge of work in my job (colleagues left, more work to do). But I didn’t give up and I keep studying later. I practiscd on GmatPrep (590, then 660, then 690, but that last one was biaised because I knew a lot of questions).
As the time was passing, I decided finally to book a date to pass the exam after the summer. Now Gmat became serious. I decided that I would take my 3 weeks holidays to work hard on the Gmat to maximize my chances to break 700. That is what I did. I booked the Gmat 3 months before passing it. During the 3 months before the official test. I was extremely motivated. I dreamed gmat, I lived gmat. I didnt see my friends so much anymore. Eventually I spent my 3 weeks holidays (what a waste!) studying.. almost 10 hours a day! I did exercices, exercices, and exercices. After one week studying, I passed a mock test on manhattan Gmat : 700 (Q44, V40)!! i was extremely happy. :-D My quant score was still weak but I thought that I improved greatly in Verbal. That motivated me even more. I was certain I would make it by working harder on the quant part.

But, 3 days later, I passed another Mgmat mock test : 670 (Q44, V37). Well, that was a disappointment but I was still above my first objective of 650 so I stayed motivated.
Then, 5 days before the exam, I bought the pack exam Gmat Prep and I passed Gmat Prep 3 : 640 (Q45, V33). Big disappointment. It brought me so many doubts.. I didn’t understand how it was possible to pass from 700, to 670 and then to 640.. Was I very lucky during the previous mock tests? Did the Mgmat mock test was easier than GmatPrep? I decided to stop passing mock tests until the real test, as they discouraged me completely and made me lose confidence..

I applied wisely to all the pieces of advice given on Gmatclub : no study the day before the test, bring something to eat, to drink.. The night before the test, I went to bed at 12.30 to have a good night sleep (I had to wake up at 8.30am). At 3am my eyes were still wide open. Impossible to sleep. It was hot, too hot. I saw equations when I closed my eyes, my brain was running and didn’t want to rest. The more I saw the hours passing, the worst it was. I finally fell asleep short after 3am. My 2 cents : If you have some difficulties to sleep in general or before exams, or summer or whatever, don’t make the same mistake than me : don’t book your test the morning! :roll: I chose the morning because I wanted to avoid my sleeping moment of digestion in the afternoon.

Test day : I arrive to the center, confident to get at least 650 (I thought that my score would be between 650 and 670). First disappointment ; the test center is not at all similar to the one on the video showed on the website MBA.com . The thick wall “anti-noise” between the computers showed in the video on MBA.com was a very thin wooden slab. They didn’t reduce any noise. The chairs were old and creaking. It was really disturbing as one boy kept moving on its chair during half the test. The keybord was also old and noisy. (fortunately i had some earplugs that i put before the quant part).
Then I began the test. I was stressed out but not overwhelmed by the stress. The integrated reasoning was a catastrophee but I stayed focus saying to myself that the most important was the quant part and the verbal part. When I was doing quant and verbal I didn’t have to impression to rock the test, but neither to srew it up. So I thought my score would be like before : around 650-680 like in the mock tests. And eventually I saw the score : 600 (Q42, V31), :cry: Integrated reasoning 2 (I had 7 is the last mock exam). The last time I had 600 it was in March. In March! I worked so much until March! I didn’t understand what happenened to me. I hesitated 2 sec and I cancelled the score. I wanted to forget that score. I still can't explain what happen. I don't understand.

Now I am determined to try it once again. Because I can’t stay with a 600 score two weeks after a mock test of 700. I had so many hopes.. I want to take it in January.
But I want to analyse what I did wrong, what I have to improve. To change my ways of studying. Maybe register to some special courses? Are there any course you would advise? Magoosh, Veritas, Mgmat? I hope you guys will give me some advice. In math I am not confident at all, I often do a lot of stupid errors of calculation. I have difficulties of going towards the good direction when I begin one exercice. Of course everytime I see the answer, the traditional : “it was so obvious…”. I am stucked at Q45 maximum.. impossible for me to go beyond that ☹
In verbal I am very disappointed as I thought it was a strength. But I have some difficulties to stay focus on the text and I easily lose my concentration.

Here is my story, but it is not finished yet. I don’t know if someone read that until here. But if you did thank you! :-D I hope I will write a second topic a few months from now, telling you a much better score.

I hope some of you will give me some advice..
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Re: My story. From 520 to 700 two weeks before the test. 600 real score ;( [#permalink] New post 02 Sep 2014, 13:49
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Hi OSS198,

Thanks for sharing your story! Sorry to hear that you missed your goal, but you definitely have the right attitude of trying again and not becoming despaired. I think you did a lot of things right, so it may have just been a bad day rather than lack of preparation.

A few things which I may recommend for improvement:
(1) If you're like a lot of people, then discipline is the biggest barrier to studying. The same reason that people hire personal trainers to make sure they go to the gym, I think there is value in having a personal/small group tutor or a paid course where you are forced to stick with a schedule.
(2) If you don't want to pay for a course or small tutoring group, then try to find someone in your area that can be your accountability partner. Keep each other in check so that you both succeed.
(3) I highly recommend doing small amounts of practice each day rather than marathon sessions on the weekend or during holiday. It is almost impossible to have 10 hours of good studying in one day - after a certain point you are just going to go crazy. If you are tired after a long day at work, still try to do just 30 minutes so the concepts stay fresh in your mind. Worst case scenario, try not to go more than 2 days without doing even a little practice.
(4) Try to diagnose your strengths/weaknesses to see where you should focus your attention before your next test. Don't just dive right back into it. Instead, regroup, reassess and come up with an effective plan of attack. Write out your plan (or work with a tutor to plan it out) with dates so you have a schedule with clear milestones and achievements. Given your starting point and your goal, you don't have to be super aggressive about it. You've got 4 months still until the test.

If you'd like to discuss in further detail, feel free to PM me, I'm happy to help.
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Manager
Manager
User avatar
Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Posts: 59
Location: Italy
GMAT 1: 600 Q42 V31
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 16 [0], given: 106

CAT Tests
My story. From 520 to 700 two weeks before the test. 600 real score ;( [#permalink] New post 04 Sep 2014, 07:52
Thanks a lot for you answer and your advice LighthousePrep!

I checked the prices and having a tutor is definitely too expensive for me. It is a pity because it would have helped me to gain confidence.
Im going to check anyway the different prep proposed. I think i will take one soon.
I like the idea to have some people to study with, but it is very difficult to find some and even more to find some that aim at the same level than me (i couldnt work with someone aiming at +750), but i will look anyway!

The thing that scares me and that i still dont understand is the reason why my score was so low compared to the mock tests.. When i will pass the next official gmat test, i will definitely be stressed out for that during the test, even if i will score well in the mock tests preceding the test. I hope that won't be a problem for me..
My story. From 520 to 700 two weeks before the test. 600 real score ;(   [#permalink] 04 Sep 2014, 07:52
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My story. From 520 to 700 two weeks before the test. 600 real score ;(

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