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Stay Calm...My experience

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Stay Calm...My experience [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2006, 09:08
Hi All,

I've been shy to post in this forum because I haven't really had anything to say or add. But, since I took my first real GMAT a couple of weeks ago, I feel it important to share my experience.

I studied relentlessly for three months with the OG, Kaplan & Princeton Review course material, Kaplan Quiz Bank and online user forums like gmatclub.

Going in for the real thing, my practice test scores were:

PP1 : 43Q 39V 650 (Before I started to study)
800Score: 45Q 44V 700 (Felt the Verbal was too easy and didn't like overall feel of the test, so I stopped using it)
PP2 : 47Q 36V 680 (2 repeat questions)
PP3 : 45Q 41V 700 (4 repeat questions)
PP4 : 49Q 38V 710 (5 repeat questions)

Because I had some repeat questions on the PP tests, I hoped and aimed for a 680 on the real test.

Come test time, I did all the recommended things: relaxed the day before, slept well, ate oatmeal, etc. My AWAs were fine and then came the Quant section.

I freaked out on the first question. It was factor, LCM, GCD questions and I blanked. I saw the clock ticking down and just guessed. I got the second question, and proceed to blaze through the rest of the questions. I felt I was doing fine until a question like, "What is 3x^2 - 2x + 5 when x = -2 ?" came along and I knew that something had gone wrong. I didn't realize how fast I was going until I got to the last question and saw that I had 25 minutes left. My heart sunk. I had always raced to finish the last few questions, so I knew that I was screwed.

I took a break, and got mentally focused for the Verbal. The verbal was completely as I expected (except for the four reading passages). I was struggling at the end, however to keep focused and I felt like my eyes were going to fall out of my head.

I closed my eyes so that the score could load on the screen and I visualized and prayed for a 680. Opening my eyes, I was stunned to see:

41Q 38V 640

The realization set in that my real score was lower than all of my practice test. Needless to say, I was disappointed that I had wasted $250 and three months of my life studying.

My spirits have returned to normal, and I'm taking the test again next month. I wanted to share my experience to reinforce the importance of remaining calm and pacing yourself, even when the first question throws you for a doozy.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2006, 09:46
I experienced this kind of despair also
But my score is 100 lower than you with shameful verbal score
but OK on quant score

All my practice test provide nothing except FAKE ENCORAGEMENT
which doesn't help improving real score

on first gmatprep I got 600 Q49 V 23 without studying anything
on the rest of practice test , score get improving,
I'm full of confidence like you and then something hit on my head
on test day , unacceptable score appear on the screen Q50 V ... 540
I'm stunned for 15 minutes and can't even walk away from test place

When reaching home, I try to sleep but I can't .
What did I waste for last 1 month? I quit part time job to concentrate on
this test ($ 2500) , I gain weight 8 lbs due to lack of exercise
I stop trading stock which provide me an average of 400-500$ per month
I cry a little bit :cry: then coming back to full life again on next day
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2006, 09:55
I went through the same thing. Scoring 700's on practice exams, ended with an abysmal quant score and a total 640. I regrouped, studied again and retook, ended up with the highest score I'd ever achieved - 730.

In other words, don't despair - this happens to a lot of people.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2006, 10:54
I absolutely agree that it is imperative to stay calm during the test. Don't let any question throw you off your game so that it affects the rest of your exam.

I have my own little story to tell about freaking out on the LSAT (I take the GMAT this week). Many years ago, I was preparing for the LSAT. I studied LSAT OG guides, got familiar with the test and had practice scores of 171, 172 & 179. I went into the test with confidence because I normally do very well on standardized tests. LSAT is time intensive, and my practice had me finishing each section within a minute or two of the end (paper test, 4 scored sections)

Even though I was well prepared, I didn't account for something that threw me for a loop on test day. On test day, I got a RC section to start. In practice I was missing between 1-3 on RC, but on the real exam I got them all right (I didn't know at the time of course). My next section was a CR (there are 2 CR sections on the LSAT). In practice I was missing 1-2 in CR, and on this real thing I missed 1. So far, everything was great.

My third section was logic games. This is considered by many the most challenging, and for me, time was the big enemy. I was always close to running out of time in practice, and in this section, I was only 1/2 way through with only 2 minutes left. I ended up guessing on about 10 questions! What I didn't realize was that this was an unscored experimental section. It was intentionally difficult, but the practice tests I took did not have any experimental sections so I didn't expect it.

So, as I began the next CR section, I was totally freaking out in my mind. I knew that to get the overall score that I wanted I could miss maybe 8-10 total on the exam, and I just guessed on the last 10 questions of the prior section. My mind was racing and I couldn't concentrate until about 1/2 way through, when I cam to the conclusion that the prior section must be experimental. I ended up missing 7 in this CR section, when generally I missed only 1-2.

The final section was in fact the logic games section that was scored. In practice I had been missing from 2-4 in this section, but on test day, perfect! I did better on the real exam than in practice on my two hardest sections, but I lost my mind and screwed up a section that I should have done well on.

I still ended up with a good score of 174, but if I hadn't pannicked in the section following the experimental section, I could have been at 179-180. It's been quite a while now, but I can still remember how stressed I was, how my mind was racing and how I was unable to focus on what I was doing.

You must practice to block out all thoughts other than the questions that are presented to you. If you start worrying about questions that you missed, and then how it affects your score, and then what schools you can apply to, and then what job you can get...you'll go nuts can't possibly focus on what's in front of you.

I think that while practicing everything else on the GMAT, everyone should work on staying calm. It will help.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2006, 12:14
my 2 cents...

on my 1st attempt I didn't really study geometry all that much... neither I know it that well now... people were saying what are the odds of getting geometry... it will probably be easy and somewhere in the middle of the test...

finished my AWA, took a break... ready for the quant... BOOM first question is GEOMETRY... I was :shock: and it wasn't an easy one either... some hexagon with lengths of the sides crap... I don't even remember now...

needless to say I was thrown off in the beginiing... never recovered... definitely studying geometry now :lol:
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Aug 2006, 21:41
Hi jawzu,

3 month? heh I spent 2 years and gave 2 attempts. Yet I didn't get he score I want.
first attempt 660(q50, V31),
after a year of studying second atmept 670(Q50, V31).
3rd attempt - yet to be given.
All I want to say is "Don't get disapointed. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger(c)".
It is OK if you feel that you could have scored much higher. It means that you don't have to study that much, but rather you should learn to control yourself.

wish you all the luck in your second attempt
  [#permalink] 06 Aug 2006, 21:41
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