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Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP!

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Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 31 Oct 2009, 19:30
I have less than a week until the gmat and I just scored a 630 q44, v32 on GMATPrep Test #2. My goal is to achieve a 700.

I always get nervous on exams, turn into a different person, and completely botch questions that are 10 times easier than the ones I have been practicing in gmatclub.

I feel confident that my score would have been much higher if I had not let my anxiety cloud my thinking on the exam. Looking back at the questions I missed reaffirmed what I went through on my practice exam, I botched questions I could answer upside down.

Does anybody have any strategies to overcome test anxiety I can try to prepare myself with over the next several days?

Also, I feel that I have exhausted GMAT Prep tests, and I know one strategy is to simulate the real exam every day until the real gmat to soothe my anxieties. Can anyone recommend me good gmat practice exams that simulate the real test?
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Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 01 Nov 2009, 07:28
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Hello dpgxxx,

The test environment can break anyone. The keys to success on the exam are:

1. Good time management. Making sure you are on task for completing the test in the allotted time will help alleviate your stress levels during the test. Don't let one problem put you in a crunch.

2. Proper content understanding. You will run into problems that cause your brain and stomach to churn. The key here is either solve the problem in the allotted time per problem or eliminate as many incorrect answers as possible, guess and move on.

Other then that:

Take full advantage of your breaks. Use the restroom, stay hydrated and pack snacks to keep your energy up. Use the provided ear plugs/ear muffs and stay focused.

As for other practice tests, go through the practice test review thread. There are a handful of other free options and the reviews we have are quite detailed.
all-gmat-cat-practice-tests-links-prices-reviews-77460.html

Best of luck,



dpgxxx wrote:
I have less than a week until the gmat and I just scored a 630 q44, v32 on GMATPrep Test #2. My goal is to achieve a 700.

I always get nervous on exams, turn into a different person, and completely botch questions that are 10 times easier than the ones I have been practicing in gmatclub.

I feel confident that my score would have been much higher if I had not let my anxiety cloud my thinking on the exam. Looking back at the questions I missed reaffirmed what I went through on my practice exam, I botched questions I could answer upside down.

Does anybody have any strategies to overcome test anxiety I can try to prepare myself with over the next several days?

Also, I feel that I have exhausted GMAT Prep tests, and I know one strategy is to simulate the real exam every day until the real gmat to soothe my anxieties. Can anyone recommend me good gmat practice exams that simulate the real test?

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Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2009, 01:12
Thanks mohater!

To share an emphasize on how important timing, environment, conditioning, and choice of gmat prep exams can all be, ammuse yourself with the following:

On Monday, I went back to work late at night to take the free Veritas gmat, and found my already impaired mental focus from a full day of study compounded with construction noise blaring literally 20 feet away from my computer. Scored 530. Almost killed myself. Noticed two things, lots of content mistakes and probably the crappiest test I have ever taken. The verbal section began with 3 consecutive RC passage sets, which happens to be my weak spot.

That night, couldn't sleep and woke up feeling at 50%. Nevertheless, I forced myself to study alllll day and finally at around 10pm I took the Manhattan GMAT free exam. I must say I took advantage of the pause botton to finish my exam, but hopefully that help would be offset if I was 100% alert. I scored 700, my highest ever.

Now with 2 full days until my real gmat, I have a score of 630(gmatprep), 530 (veritas), and 700 (mgmat) and no clue how to put it all together in predicting my real gmat score.

If anyone has any opinions on my scores, id love to hear them. Id also love to hear any suggestions on how the final 2 days before exam day should be spent.
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Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2009, 01:48
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It seems to me like you just need to relax. That's probably not the type of advice you were looking for. Seems like you've done enough prep to score 700, since you've done it in prep exams, so you just need to be able to focus to hit this score.

A lot of people on this forum say to take it easy the day or two before the exam. Maybe this will help you on exam day, do something you enjoy the day before, watch/play sports, go to the movies just take your mind off it. One thing I do when I was stressed during my undergrad was just stop mid-exam for 10 seconds, look off somewhere other than the computer, take a deep breath and start again, it will help calm your nerves a bit.
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Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2009, 08:34
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There was a time when I used to be equally anxious or tensed about any exam I was going to attempt. This obviously wastes all the preparation and impairs spontaneity at the exam center. You should notice particularly that when you study, you are actually imbibing certain skills, for example, when you look at a quant problem, the statements and numbers are automatically making your brain to derive a possible equation or at least provoke it to try and think differently. These are certain traits that come with sustained practise and an improper focus can ruin it all.

The most important thing at the exam center is to stay in the groove, stay in tune with the process by which your brain functions and derives the official answers. So keep solving questions, an error-log is what that rescues you the best at this time. If there's not one, then keep solving questions and keep focusing on errors. Prefer more newer questions that you haven't tried earlier.

More importantly, learn and keep reminding yourself, the fact that GMAT is a test of a series of questions that are bombarded at you and you will do your best to solve each one of them. Just guestions and your solutions, there is nothing called a score, what you do is just read the question and answer it from all that you have learnt and practised. As I said, solve and not make an educated guess at each one of them, may be, one or two is fine but when you notice you are not doing it the right away and just making guesses based on your gut feeling stuff, take a momentary break to re-focus better.

Before the exam, learn to take deep breathes and release all the air from the lungs in a whiff!!!! Do that in a solitary state, away from anything else, think only about your breathing, count the breathes you take. Do this for 3 sets of 15 each. You can clearly see that your heart stops pounding harder.

GMAT is a wonderful challenge of focus, speed, agility and composure of the brain. Let nothing disturb you while you are trying to answer the questions. Why in the world should anything else ever matter? Wouldn't you be bothered if you were spending a quite evening with your spouse/fiancee at a beautiful, secluded place and there is disturbance around. Consider attempting the GMAT exam as a wonderful opportunity with a loved one, you have infact respected it, worked hard so that you could feel good with it. Why ruin all that when you get a wonderful opportunity to be with something that you have yearned for? Enjoy every moment, cherish every question and your approach to get the answer. Make it fast and make it wonderful!!!!

All the very best for your attempt, keep us posted.
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Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2009, 17:00
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I have some suggestion to overcome this anxiety, but it comes from my experience playing college football. Before my games I would listen to heavy metal and other hardcore music to get me amped up. By the time of the game I was so pumped up that I was extremely nervous, as I was playing I kept thinking about making mistakes on the field even though I was playing well. I would let negative thoughts creep in my head during pregame and they wouldn't go away until the end of the first quarter. There is a theory in sports psychology called the optimal zone theory, where the optimal zone is where you want to perform. Obviously I was so nervous that I was not in my optimal zone, I needed to calm down to return to it. What I started doing to cope with this was I listened to upbeat music that made me happy before games, not heavy metal and hardcore rap. This put my mind in the right state before I took the field. Also while doing this I visualized what I was going to do in different situations, and saw myself making tackles and breaking up passes.

This applies to the GMAT in that you need to perform in your optimal zone. You can't be too nervous or take it to lightly. What I would suggest is work on some visualization techniques a few days before the test. See yourself reading the RC passage and finding the main points, then visualize yourself seeing the questions and knowing the right answers with ease. You have prepared and you are confident, act like it. Maybe act a little cocky, talk some smack to the GMAT, tell it you are going to own it and believe what you are saying. I know that this is a little cheesy and off topic. Most of all remember the GMAT is just a test, there are bigger things going on in the world, and if you bomb the test (which I know you won't) you will be able to retake it. Little weird I know, but I hope I helped a little bit.
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Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2009, 01:45
Well said SensibleGuy & trzaskm.
I will keep these in mind. I too have the exam in 10days
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Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2009, 01:53
Guys someone also forward this link to me on managing stress for the GMAT, hope it's helpful:

http://www.manhattangmat.com/stress-tips.cfm
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Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP! [#permalink] New post 15 Nov 2009, 02:51
Re: Need Help Executing on Exams - Get too Nervous!!! HELP!   [#permalink] 15 Nov 2009, 02:51
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