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Psychology behind the GMAT is always a tricky subject, but I've always looked at it this way:
Confidence is something you earn.
If your practice tests scores are as high as they've been, you've earned the right to be confident. The test itself just tests how well you've prepared, so if you know that you've prepared well and set yourself up to succeed, try to see test day itself as the "victory lap" after all the training. I always think that way before a marathon or triathlon...by the time I get to the start line, the work has already been done and it's just time to let it show. I like being able to draw on the preparation as my reason for confidence, and it's always worked pretty well for me.
One more thought that made me really confident on the GMAT - when you get to the test center and they're taking your palmprints and digital photos, I think it's helpful to recognize that they're putting a lot of that pressure on you intentionally to keep your score down. I remember thinking "if you have to do all this nonsense to intimidate me in the hopes of keeping my score down, that just means that your questions aren't hard enough on their own". Any time I felt pressure, I'd just laugh, thinking "this is how they mess me up, by making me feel artificial pressure", and that would help me to relax as I knew their tricks better than they did.
Thanks Brian, its really a stressbuster.... I like this area specially
"if you have to do all this nonsense to intimidate me in the hopes of keeping my score down, that just means that your questions aren't hard enough on their own". Any time I felt pressure, I'd just laugh, thinking "this is how they mess me up, by making me feel artificial pressure",
idk brian but that's a pretty epic little speech there. never thought about it as victory lap. those palm things are intensely annoying tho i will admit. and the fact that they make you take a picture and everything like you're writing your life away or something (sigh) ill definitely keep that little speech in mind on my next round for sure
my exam date is next Friday and even though I usually handle pressure well (used to be a world top 10 professional sportsman), I am quite nervous myself. I've spent the last three months preparing for the test, sacrificing almost all personal life to re-learn the goddamn quant principles I had thought I'd never need again. Given the amount of time and effort spent on the GMAT, I expect myself to score well (my Gmatprep tests have been in the 700-730 range, MGMAT tests between 700-720), which is, ironically, putting even more pressure on myself. It is the first and hopefully last time that I take the test... so thank you Brian for that piece of advice, I will try to remember it on the day of the exam; after all, it is just a test and not a "life or death" decision.
Subharata, I wish you the best of luck for your test; if you have been having such consistency in your prep tests then you probably shouldn't be too far off on the real one as well. And if you do get out of your prep tests range, then it can always be on the upside!
Also, stolen from jauer112's thread about his GMAT experience:
(don't have enough posts yet so sorry for not providing a direct link)
Overall: I do feel that the GMAT is very learnable. It doesn't really matter what one's natural math and English language abilities are, hard work and perseverance are what matter. With enough time and smart study methods, anyone can do well on this test.
I believe that this is one of the things that might help you get your confidence back. We have spent a lot of time preparing and we should just go there and do what we know we can do.
When I was taking the test, I thought to myself "This isn't going very well. I've definitely missed a lot of questions." The message here is that even if you don't think you're doing well, don't get dismayed, because you might be doing better than you think!
Also from the above-mentioned thread, I actually think this is just another trick of the GMAT to get us nervous. Even the guys with 770 have to cope with answering many questions wrong; the test works this way. Actually it seems that getting hard questions seems to be the way to a better score, even if you answer them wrong. Do not get dismayed by getting questions wrong.
(now if I just need to follow my own advice, right? )