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Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen

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Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2011, 17:55
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Here goes my very sad but true story - don't worry I will make sure to keep it short and interesting.

Sometime middle of this year - early June - an apparently small GMAT bug bit me. She was invisible, and I did not take her seriously. I thought she was tiny enough to cause me any trouble, and I took it lightly. I gave my 1st practice test and got ~650. With a target of 750 in my mind, I started my journey with the GMAT poison in my blood with a hope that my metabolism will flush this poison out of my body in 1-2 month period.

I started giving my next set of practice tests after a month of prep and was happy to see 680-700 scores. Nice, I said! Let's book a date 1 month from then - I thought. I booked a date for early Aug. I studied for 2-4 hrs on weekdays and 8-10 hrs on weekends, only to realize my score has not improved beyond 700 (me trashing quant and verbal trashing me - that's how we rolled) 8 days before the test. By this time, I had realized that the poison from the apparently small bug has spread everywhere in my body, and I had a feeling it would only get worse.

I decided to postpone my test by a month. Now, I had fully realized GMAT bug that appeared tiny early-on was just an illusion, in-fact she turned out to be a million times scarier than the scariest monster I have every imagined in my widest dreams. GMAT not a joke anymore, and her poison took over my entire life - in-fact she had become my life. She turned out to one of the most high maintenance girlfriend I could hope for, but I had no choice but to keep making love to her from then on. We made love day and night, weekdays and weekends, and at work and at home - I wished I could tell my X what a great time I was having; I am sure she would be jealous.

Two weeks before the test day, we were emotionally attached. She was writing the script for me, and suddenly I realize that I am actually able to satisfy my lust for 750 as I was closing in on 750. GMAT then introduced me with her hot younger sis, and in-fact she let me hit on her sister. I felt as if I scored on the hottest girl on the planet - the GMATPrep. With scores in 720-750 q50-51 v36-40 range 1-3 weeks before the test in MGMATs and GMATPreps, I was getting more and more confident every day. However, I stayed in this range till the end, and closed on a good note in a MGMAT test 5 days before the test.

Something happened suddenly, GMAT started to hate me and made me doubt our relationship in the last week. There was too much emotional drama, only to demotivate me. Not sure why but I started doubting my possibility of closing in on 750 in the real test.

Came the test day - yesterday! My bowel was very angry with me. It forced me to take high dosage of Pepto Bismol. Anyways, I somehow gathered myself together and went for the test in the morning - 1st slot of the day. I took 2 bananas and 1 gatorade with me. Reached 1 hour before the test, and they let me in to the testing room at 7:30 AM.

Came an easy Argument essay! I finished it on time with good revision - hoping 6.0. Came a NASTY FILTHY Issues essay! My stomach started complaining in the mean time. I hated that essay - I always practiced by arguing against the issue in my practice test, but the stupid issue was so biased towards arguing in favor, I had argue in favor. I somehow, with full of disinterest, finished the essay - hoping 4.5-5.0 in that. Well, I believe AWA should be 5.0-5.5 - whatever, who cares? I took a break to calm my angry bowel in the break as quickly as humanly possible. [EDIT: Official report - 5.5]

Now came the Quant - in my lovestory with GMAT, she had always been her softer side. She always gave me love through out my prep without asking too much from me in return. We made lotsa love during the test till 15 mins before the end of the section. THEN A MONSTER - another GMAT taker - ENTERED THE TESTING ROOM. I am sure he was her X. He decided to punish me. His essay section started towards the end of my Quant section. I was at #33 when the beast started typing with FULL NOISE OF THE KEYBOARD, and I lost all my concentration. I could not concentrate well on the last few Quant tough DS questions, and I am sure I lost it there as I remember panicking - scored Q49 (my LEAST of all scores ever).

I took another break, when I calmed my angry bowel again as quickly as humanly possible, gobbled a big bite of banana and sipped a bit of gatorade. Then I came back to the testing room only to realize the monster would be accompanying me during my Verbal section. I started the verbal section, and the guy continued his noisy typing. I could hear everything even with my earplugs on and I COULD NOT CONCENTRATE a bit for more than 70% of the verbal section. I didn't know what I was reading and what I was marking - I was not sure if I should walk outside the room to complain as I was afraid of loosing the precious time. Moreover, my bowel was complaining all the time. The section ended on a terrible note - I knew very well how it went. I was not sure if I should cancel or report the score. I thought f' that, and I reported as I thought at least I would know my worst case in the worst circumstances - scored V22 (btw my diagnostics was just below 30). Total score 590 (q49, v22) - 50+ points below my diagnostics 3 months ago. So the lovestory ended on a sad note, and now I am not sure if should just dump GMAT out of my life or can I actually trust here again.

I am completely devastated with this experience. Three months of hardship has gone in-vain. I had planned to apply in 4-6 top 10 schools this year in Round 2, BUT now I don't know what to do. I have many questions rambling in my head, such as
    1. Should I give up this year now, and give GMAT next year? Or, should I give GMAT next month again? I am "sorta" confident that I can score close to 750 "under normal circumstances".
    2. What would schools (top 5s) think of my 590, even if I managed to score close to 750 in second attempt? If they are going to look at my 590 and bias their opinion against me, then what's the point of giving GMAT again and wasting my time? I really wanted to start my MBA next year; I have stellar academics and great recos with 5 yrs work-ex lined up. But, NOW I AM DOOMED and feel hopeless!
    3. If I give my GMAT end of October, do I still have enough time (2 months) to finish 2-4 applications? How can I give myself a fighting chance this year? Any kind of advice would be much appreciated!
    4. How can I keep myself motivated to retake, as I fear that what if something like this happens again? :(

Looking for honest guidance, advice and motivation.
I know there are certain areas I can improve, and perhaps even guarantee 99%ile (under normal circumstances) in my retake in 4-6 weeks.

ps. Sorry if there are typos and grammar errors, as I did not proof read.

Last edited by fallen on 16 Sep 2011, 04:44, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2011, 19:43
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fallen...I don't know you but I can tell you that there is one word you should discard from your dictionary - "surrender". If you take a peek at my journey, it was filled with blood. And I had 4 attempts. Believe me, no one can really imagine about my condition. And when I finally got a good score and got an admission in an MBA college this year, my immigration status got F****ed up. So I rescinded the admission offer and now applying to other countries but I can't study in the US anymore.

Hitting a wall is not an option in our journey. You can only rely on your choices to take right or left turn. If you stop, sooner you will realize that you are alone on this road. And the worst part is that your decision will affect your future decision. But if you continue running, the only think that will stop you is "YOU".

So stand up, dust off the sinking feeling, take a deep breath of new life, and run buddy. Run so fast that you bypass the bad karma……Good luck and do let me know how it goes.
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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 15 Sep 2011, 23:12
talk2vj wrote:
fallen...I don't know you but I can tell you that there is one word you should discard from your dictionary - "surrender". If you take a peek at my journey, it was filled with blood. And I had 4 attempts. Believe me, no one can really imagine about my condition. And when I finally got a good score and got an admission in an MBA college this year, my immigration status got F****ed up. So I rescinded the admission offer and now applying to other countries but I can't study in the US anymore.

Hitting a wall is not an option in our journey. You can only rely on your choices to take right or left turn. If you stop, sooner you will realize that you are alone on this road. And the worst part is that your decision will affect your future decision. But if you continue running, the only think that will stop you is "YOU".

So stand up, dust off the sinking feeling, take a deep breath of new life, and run buddy. Run so fast that you bypass the bad karma……Good luck and do let me know how it goes.


I can't imagine what you must be going through man! I thought I am going through a very tough and difficult time. Take care, hope you get through with your app, graduate with a top degree, land up your dream job and then all this wouldn't matter anymore.
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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 01:04
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* Hey Fallen *,

Hey you have just not fallen but fell all over to the TEST-DAY Trap. I know I am in similar situation many times, easily frustrated and end up venting out the scapegoat who ever comes across me first that day, let it be milkman , a co passenger on the road , sub junior in the office or whosoever. Most of the time its my beautiful brainy wife with lots of endurance ( Poor soul , she takes it hard on her for a whole day, She is a banker and I attribute her endurance to it. )

The common observation is that in sheer annoyance causing traumatic anxiety surrounded by dark clouds of frustration with its factious fragrance , we tend to show it on our utmost loved ones and in the end calm down ourselves. I showed it on my wife and you showed it on your love ( The Gmat ) ! I do not think there is something severely lacking or any ambiguous concepts after your preparation I am sure you complemented the concepts with toads of gmat like practice. But what about your endurance levels ? Did you check your stamina and endurance with lots of practice tests under sheer gmat like conditions. May be 6 Manhattan Cat's and 2 Gmat prep tests are more than enough for most of the folks to improve their focus and make them ready for the D-day. They all are mere souls, but people like you and me are special ! End of the day we need more of everything ;) May be we need 10's of practice tests to increase our immutability.

Yes lets achieve a state of " Immutability - the quality of not being alterable ! " Its not like we need it just for the test but lifelong such as our careers post mba and balancing personal life and work evenly all the way throughout the life ! Life has a meaning and much more than a mere failure here and there ! Why do most successful MBA Grads end up single or get divorced , if not mess up their profession ? Why do most Gmat Takers end up relieved when see their expected score and express a sigh of relief ! They take up Gmat rather heavily bringing a toll on other aspects of life, they are unable to balance many things. they end up prioritizing one thing and completely ignoring the other facet of Life.

GMAT is more like a Motherly Love .It teaches the endurance at an early phase perhaps. May be that is why we end up 4-5 hours in Testing Environment on the D-Day ! Hate it to get hated. Give love to get back more Love ;) So rather approach Gmat with a passion to break the jinx , with a strong hold of mental strength to trash the first or yet another challenge that comes your way. Stand there , give your best shot , keep yourself motivated, reinforce your attitude with complete iron and freshness. Go , take the test whatever happens , let a truck beep you throughout the test, do not care . Focus on the task at end ! This is possible only if you have an utmost passion and willingness to face any Challenge !

Few thing you may try :

    1. Immediately as soon as you are done with a break , focus your mind and take a Knewton / Mgmat or any other free test which you have not taken before and make sure your scores are not inflated. See the score you get. If it is still 700 plus or near your target score, we can reconfirm your concepts are right and you got what it takes !

    2. Practice more tests not merely for the sake of reviewing and projecting a score near to the actual D-Day score but to increase your endurance. Practice in public areas like " not a so quite coffee shop " , " a friend's room facing the road with lots of Traffic ", and any other thing that is sure to keep you deviated and frustrated.

    3. An regular morning exercise, let it be for 10 -15 min alone , a casual walk round the trees with your partner , a jog around the lake or a track or a ground , or some physical exercise. It not only keeps you fit but heals your mind and keeps it afresh throughout the day

    4. Make sure you pile up 2-3 cans of chilled energy drinks in your locker and use them in breaks during the test day ( Practice days and the actual day ).

    5. Meditation helps a great deal but try it at least for 5-10 min after your most strenuous periods in a day. May be after a long day of work , when you get back home mentally and physically tired , meditate or calm down yourself for 10 min before you can do any other activity, or even before you enter the rest room ;)

I just cant say more. You are already spirited enough to retake it next time and confident to crack it ! you got the spirits , you got the concepts, that is the reason i mentioned " you got what it takes ". Just tackle and tweak your endurance levels to the max possible extent mate.

Kudos for your confidence even after getting crushed and sustaining minor injuries ;)

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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 17:44
Thanks a lot talk2vj and hoogly for your responses. Your posts really motivated me to keep fighting. I am sure, if I can manage to get a good score in my retake, it will boost my self-confidence for ever. Right now I am feeling pity for myself, and hope I can feel good for myself in the end.

talk2vj,
Sorry to hear your story about not being able to make your dream come true. Wish you a good luck for your future endeavor man. I read your detailed debrief, and I must say it was very useful. I learnt a lot about how can I make my GMAT prep strategy even better. I will work hard to increase my endurance and accuracy by following some of your guidelines. Thanks so much.

hoogly,
I must say you have a great writing skill. Thanks for spending your precious time for writing such an inspirational post. I will take your advice and try to give my practice tests in tough conditions - starbucks, in a park besides a road, and so-on. Hope this will improve my endurance. I had given my practice tests in calm atmosphere, and, as a result, I could not handle the tough conditions during the test.

Could somebody please also respond to one my questions in regard to how top schools treat low scores: What would schools (top 5s) think of my 590, even if I managed to score close to 750 in second attempt? If they are going to look at my 590 and bias their opinion against me, then what's the point of giving GMAT again and wasting my time? I really wanted to start my MBA next year; I have stellar academics and great recos with 5 yrs work-ex lined up. But, NOW I AM DOOMED and feel hopeless!

Thanks everybody. I owe you guys for the support.
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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 18:30
I am in the same boat as you with a score of 620 (Q47, V28). This was my 4th time taking the test and I have never scored so low in verbal before. >.< throughout my practice I had consistently scored around the 690-740 (v37-45) range. I was really surprised and disappointed because I studied so hard in verbal going through RC99, manhattan SC guide, aristole SC, OG SC(5x), and so much more. The questions that I was running across, when taking the verbal, were moderately difficult but not 400 level difficult o.O...i mean i scored lower in verbal than when i took the test the first time with barely any preparation...omg
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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 19:21
Don't be discouraged. GMAT is just playing hard to get ;)

Never give up... I personally had to try three times before I nailed her :D

All the best...

It is possible to complete 4 applications in a month or two, but things are gonna be very tight!

very very tight :p

But it is possible.
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From 650 to 710 to 750 - My Tryst With GMAT [Experience Thread]

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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 19:39
don't give up.
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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 16 Sep 2011, 22:03
fallen wrote:
Could somebody please also respond to one my questions in regard to how top schools treat low scores: What would schools (top 5s) think of my 590, even if I managed to score close to 750 in second attempt? If they are going to look at my 590 and bias their opinion against me, then what's the point of giving GMAT again and wasting my time? I really wanted to start my MBA next year; I have stellar academics and great recos with 5 yrs work-ex lined up. But, NOW I AM DOOMED and feel hopeless!

Thanks everybody. I owe you guys for the support.


Hi Fallen ,
I'm in the same boat as you are . Managed a verbal 32 ( my practice scores were never less than 45). Was deeply dejected, sad but then asked my myself.." will I be happy without an MBA in my life"? Immediately decided a re-take , but this time need a solid strategy..

Not sure if you have seen this article;;

http://www.manhattangmat.com/blog/index ... orrection/

Coming back to your question; If anything the Bschools will take your effort ( in case u manage a 700+ from 590) in a very positive way . I have spoken to many Bschool admission personnel and all of them are unanimous in their opinion that raising a score to 700+ from low 600's is very well appreicated . This effort is better appreciated than getting a 780 after scoring a 750 earlier. In the end , the fact is Bschools need to have a high Average GMAT score to maintain their competitiveness in the market. So the more you get the better they feel :)

Just go and kill her ..All the best bro !!
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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2011, 06:08
sudhir18n wrote:
fallen wrote:
Could somebody please also respond to one my questions in regard to how top schools treat low scores: What would schools (top 5s) think of my 590, even if I managed to score close to 750 in second attempt? If they are going to look at my 590 and bias their opinion against me, then what's the point of giving GMAT again and wasting my time? I really wanted to start my MBA next year; I have stellar academics and great recos with 5 yrs work-ex lined up. But, NOW I AM DOOMED and feel hopeless!

Thanks everybody. I owe you guys for the support.


Hi Fallen ,
I'm in the same boat as you are . Managed a verbal 32 ( my practice scores were never less than 45). Was deeply dejected, sad but then asked my myself.." will I be happy without an MBA in my life"? Immediately decided a re-take , but this time need a solid strategy..

Thanks man! This is so motivating. I loved how you said "this time need a solid strategy". Makes me feel... yeah that's the attitude I should have. If you are at a state to share your high-level retake strategy, I would love get some insight.

sudhir18n wrote:
Not sure if you have seen this article;;

<MGMAT SC BLOG POST>


This is awesome! No more stupid idioms :). As long as we know know the rules of grammar and how they can change the meaning, we should be able to tackle these SCs. Just need to tailor our strategies accordingly. Thanks for sharing.

sudhir18n wrote:
Coming back to your question; If anything the Bschools will take your effort ( in case u manage a 700+ from 590) in a very positive way . I have spoken to many Bschool admission personnel and all of them are unanimous in their opinion that raising a score to 700+ from low 600's is very well appreicated . This effort is better appreciated than getting a 780 after scoring a 750 earlier. In the end , the fact is Bschools need to have a high Average GMAT score to maintain their competitiveness in the market. So the more you get the better they feel :)

Just go and kill her ..All the best bro !!

Wow! Good to learn that BSchools take this as a positive reinforcement. I will do everything I can to get past 760 - I need to get very very comfortable to with verbal and that's it. I guess if I can pull it off in 1-1.5 months, I hope this will overshadow my miserable 590. Thanks buddy for chiming in. Good luck to you - lets kill her together :).
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Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen [#permalink] New post 17 Sep 2011, 12:37
Best of luck fallen for your 2nd attempt...and Sudhir I am really sorry to hear about you...you were hitting 800s towards the end of your prep...do you mind telling your overall score?

BTW I am also sailing in the same boat...I scored 610 on my first attempt although I was averaging 680-690. I am also planning to take a second attempt.

BR
Mandeep
Re: Sad story, but hoping for a rise of the fallen   [#permalink] 17 Sep 2011, 12:37
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