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Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP!

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Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 10:23
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Hey everyone,

I just joined the site today, after doing some Google searches and reading plenty of posts. You seem like a great community and hopefully I can learn from and be of assistance to others.

As for my current situation, I am in crisis mode since my test date is less than 2 weeks away, February 9th. To date, I have been meeting 1-2 times a week with a recommended private tutor from a friend who now attends Cornell. We have been working out of the Kaplan 2008 Guide as well as the Kaplan Math Guide. Additionally, I purchased the Official GMAC Verbal and Quant books when we began. Sadly, I’ve yet to crack those.

Last week, under less than ideal conditions (noise from roommates and late at night after a days work on 6 hours sleep) I took my first CAT test using the Kaplan software. I scored a 510 (24Q, 33V). My emphasis with the tutor has always been Math as that was historically my worst subject through the years. Verbal was normally an area of strength for me. Further, I had some timing issues on the CAT and had to guess on the last 5-7 of each section. Last night, after work (again on 6 hours sleep and with some NYC car noise) I took a second CAT and score 480...yikes! It killed my night and really hit my confidence.

As most of you have likely already thought to yourselves, I too feel Im not ready. Then again, I’ve been working on this since early December...admittedly not as hard as I should have. I am hoping to apply to three schools on the west coast (USC, UCLA and Pepperdine), all with 630 averages or better. I have strong essays, 3 years work experience with a large bank on Wall Street and already had a positive interview with Pepperdine. I’ve been promoted since my start and went to a competitive Big Ten school, graduating with a 3.3 GPA.

Bottom line though, Im hoping to hear some feedback. I know it may be unrealistic, but does anyone think or even have suggestions to help me crack the 600 barrier? Tricks, tips, etc.? Im anticipating a response that I cannot do much at this point, but am optimistic. At the very least, are the Kaplan CAT tests an accurate measure of my performance? My tutor seems to think they are harder and Id likely score 50-60 points higher on the real thing.

Thanks in advance for the responses!

Last edited by kilograms on 30 Jan 2008, 10:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 10:28
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Your tutor sounds worthless, also it sounds like you have been studying for about 6 weeks, that's not a lot of time. Also, you should have cracked those OG books much earlier.

I think at this point you have to find out whether to go ahead with the test or reschedule it, to find this out, I would take one of the GMATpreps and see what you get. If you are getting under 550 you need to reschedule
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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 10:34
Tarmac wrote:
I would take one of the GMATpreps and see what you get. If you are getting under 550 you need to reschedule


I appreciate the feedback.

Which are the GMAT preps? The ones they supply when you sign up for the test via MBA.com?
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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 11:26
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Your tutor may be brilliant, but apparently isn't working for you. Also, I doubt you can relay the test enough to make a real difference in studying time.
I think the biggest problem is just a mental block you have. Stop worrying about if you should blame the lack of sleep or the traffic noise or a bad tutor (who you really SHOULD fire) and just study. Que Sera Sera. I honestly think if you try to relax, and accept that you will get a decent score, if not quite as high as you want, that your score will go up. Since you don't have really enough time to study anyway, I would say this is your best bet.

Sorry if this seems harsh. It really isn't meant to be. Just something that I have observed during my 5 years as a tutor or teaching assistant for college courses. Your mindset really makes a difference. If you can go into the test "at peace" with yourself, you could pick up a good 50 points!

Good luck.
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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 11:38
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Reschedule, drop the tutor and start hanging out here. We'll have you over 700 in a few months 8-)
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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 11:56
westsider wrote:

Sorry if this seems harsh. It really isn't meant to be. Just something that I have observed during my 5 years as a tutor or teaching assistant for college courses. Your mindset really makes a difference. If you can go into the test "at peace" with yourself, you could pick up a good 50 points!

Good luck.


Not harsh at all, I expected and hoped to hear this type of feedback. I am quite certain Im going to be hanging around here more often and will likely move my test back 4-5 weeks. If I have to apply Round 4, so be it. A stronger score would make the difference. Hopefully I can achieve the mid-600s. No one is putting a gun to my head to rush me into B-school. I know I have time, Im only 25.

With that said, Im supposing I will hit the OG books I bought and buy more practice exams that people here suggest on other posts. Maybe even the GMAT Challenge would be beneficial? I am open to all.

As for what you touched on regarding my outlook and mental state, you are totally right. I need to envision the outcome and stay positive. Im confident I can achieve the score I want, just need to put in the effort.
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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 12:15
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The people on this forum will help you tremendously. Participate in the forums regularly and read the threads. You have made a huge step forward just by joining this club. I took the GMAT yesterday and scored 640 (v34 q43). Not quite as high of a score as I wanted but I started out with a 470 5 months ago. I haven't done my write up yet because I am kind of busy right now but will be posting my experience here soon listing materials used and methodology. The advice from tarmac and esch are right on the money. There are some heavy hitters here on this forum and the people are extremely helpful. Good luck to you.

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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 30 Jan 2008, 16:10
tick66 wrote:
The people on this forum will help you tremendously. Participate in the forums regularly and read the threads. You have made a huge step forward just by joining this club. I took the GMAT yesterday and scored 640 (v34 q43). Not quite as high of a score as I wanted but I started out with a 470 5 months ago. I haven't done my write up yet because I am kind of busy right now but will be posting my experience here soon listing materials used and methodology. The advice from tarmac and esch are right on the money. There are some heavy hitters here on this forum and the people are extremely helpful. Good luck to you.

TICK


Thanks for the encouragement TICK. Your results are certainly encouraging on their own! Congrats.

Do you all feel the GMAT Challenges would help me? Ive scored in the mid-20s on my CATs in Quant so Im not sure if theyd be as useful. I've gone through all the basics in the Kaplan Math Review book and own the OG Quant book. Thoughts?
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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2008, 07:47
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eschn3am wrote:
Reschedule, drop the tutor and start hanging out here. We'll have you over 700 in a few months 8-)

What esch said. Worked for me!
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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 31 Jan 2008, 08:17
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Kilo,
I did not get to do the challenges because I already had plenty of other material to cover. Although I have heard only good things about the challenges. I started w/ PR cracking the GMAT then moved on to OG-11 and OG verbal & quant Review. As I got closer to the real exam I started using MGMAT books and tests. I took a total of 10 practice CATS using GMATPrep (the disk GMAC sends or downloadable @ mba.com), PR CATS, and MGMAT CATS. Try to find your weak areas as early as possible. The OG11 is important and make sure you create error logs and review review review and make sure you understand the concepts. Don't start out w/ problems that are way too hard. Work your way up to and solve the very hard, time consuming problems. This will also build your confidence. Also, try to do problems using a timer and see if you can increase your speed and establish a good rythm. You'll do great. Be patient, work hard and invest good time into this and you will achieve.

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Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP! [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2008, 14:03
Hey Guys,

Just thought Id thank you all again for the responses and encouragement. I re-scheduled for March, gives me 6 weeks to really get cracking and change my strategy. I just started the OG Verbal and Quant problems this week and purchased the MGMAT SC book today. Additionally, I finally downloaded the GMAT Prep software. As for my tutor, Im limiting the times we meet and he actually gave me a copy of OG11 this week, Ill be using that.

Thanks again, Im sure Ill have more questions and sucessful updates to come!
Re: Stressed, worried and most likely under-prepared...HELP!   [#permalink] 01 Feb 2008, 14:03
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