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TERRIBLE DAY 560 :((

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TERRIBLE DAY 560 :(( [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 16:51
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Hello GMAT Club -

I have been stalking you for about 4 months now and this is my first post. I just had a terrible day after getting home from the test center. I just got a 560!!!! I am so depressed and looking at an empty bottle of wine as I write this.

I took the Veritasprep course before this and expected to do a lot better to say the least. My first practice test was a 660 and I feel that is an accurate score without studying for me.

There were some issues prior to the test for me that definitely contributed to this result. I slept about 2 hours last night and away from my bed, not my fault if you are wondering. I also 'crammed' way too hard in my opinion the week before the test. I also missed the last 3 classes at veritasprep due to travel for work.

I have always been weak at Quant, but my first verbal on my first CAT was a 47 and that is usually the strong point in my score. I fell apart during the test, which is unlike me because I was a professional athlete for sometime and love 'competition' and tests of character and stamina...I was over analyzing everything and taking way to long.

I honestly don't have the numbers because I ripped them into pieces when I got the printout. So now I turn to this community...what do I do now? How long do you suggest someone in my situation rates for a retake. I know a lot of people inflate their scores on here, but honestly I am a 650 scorer on a bad day. I want to take it again as soon as possible and got the week before not look at anything related to the GMAT.

If you have any time please respond. I have a good job in many circumstances (pay, location, upward mobility) but I loathe it...and I believe I am looking to the GMAT for other options. Maybe the answer is forget it and keep my head down and work in my industry? But I think this is the right route for me.

Thanks GMAT Club!
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Re: TERRIBLE DAY 560 :(( [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 20:19
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C13GMAT wrote:
Hello GMAT Club -

I have been stalking you for about 4 months now and this is my first post. I just had a terrible day after getting home from the test center. I just got a 560!!!! I am so depressed and looking at an empty bottle of wine as I write this.

I took the Veritasprep course before this and expected to do a lot better to say the least. My first practice test was a 660 and I feel that is an accurate score without studying for me.

There were some issues prior to the test for me that definitely contributed to this result. I slept about 2 hours last night and away from my bed, not my fault if you are wondering. I also 'crammed' way too hard in my opinion the week before the test. I also missed the last 3 classes at veritasprep due to travel for work.

I have always been weak at Quant, but my first verbal on my first CAT was a 47 and that is usually the strong point in my score. I fell apart during the test, which is unlike me because I was a professional athlete for sometime and love 'competition' and tests of character and stamina...I was over analyzing everything and taking way to long.

I honestly don't have the numbers because I ripped them into pieces when I got the printout. So now I turn to this community...what do I do now? How long do you suggest someone in my situation rates for a retake. I know a lot of people inflate their scores on here, but honestly I am a 650 scorer on a bad day. I want to take it again as soon as possible and got the week before not look at anything related to the GMAT.

If you have any time please respond. I have a good job in many circumstances (pay, location, upward mobility) but I loathe it...and I believe I am looking to the GMAT for other options. Maybe the answer is forget it and keep my head down and work in my industry? But I think this is the right route for me.

Thanks GMAT Club!


First of all, one bad score is making you re-consider your life plans? I don't expect this from anybody, forget about professional athletes and people who know what it is to perform under pressure.

Secondly, not sleeping the night before the GMAT is a killer. Look, we have all done it in college - crammed for 6 straight hrs before the exam and then taken it to pass with flying colors. The thing about GMAT is that it is not a test of your cramming skills. You cannot perform if your mind is tired. Sometimes, late into the night, if I am not being able to sleep, I get up to study a bit. Needless to say, all I can do is read some stuff - I cannot retain, analyze or calculate. It just seems hard and cumbersome. The same things seem intuitive when handled with a fresh mind. GMAT is a test of higher order thinking. Your higher order thinking shuts down when you are tired. You cannot use logic and reasoning - when we make bad decisions, it's usually when our brains are addled (too drunk/too sleepy/too tired). There are very few people who would do well on GMAT without proper rest.

Next step would be to take a while off. If your scores are where you want them to be, take a GMAT date (perhaps 1 - 1.5 months away). Then review your concepts, (go through your Veritas books again to refresh), practice and plan the day before GMAT and GMAT Day meticulously. You can certainly afford to give two full days out of your life to GMAT - put friends, job, family everything on the side for these two days. Just try to relax your mind, have a good night's sleep, a nice, light breakfast/lunch before the test and some snacks during the breaks.
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Re: TERRIBLE DAY 560 :(( [#permalink] New post 21 Mar 2013, 22:42
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I couldn't put this any better than Karishma, so I won't even try. Not sleeping well before the test will do you in every time, but I also wanted to address the issue of not sleeping in your own bed in a little more detail here.

Many students live in cities that do not have Pearson Centers, and therefore have to travel a little ways to take the GMAT. However, the conditions of the travel need to be taken into consideration as well. I once had a student who had to drive a couple of hours to the nearest city with a Pearson Center (it's Canada, eh), so he ended up crashing on his friends' couch the night before. Needless to say, he didn't sleep very well and was sorely disappointed in his score that day. If you must travel to take the exam, consider taking the exam in the afternoon or spending the night in a hotel if you don't have a friend with a spare bedroom in that city. Stay away from sofas, futons and 2 AM cram sessions.

The conditions of the night before are surprisingly important for a lot of students. As Karishma put it, we've all crammed for a university or high school exam and gone to the exam tired but loaded on adrenaline. The GMAT is more akin to getting 2 hours of sleep and then trying to run a half marathon. You might finish, but chances are you won't be breaking any personal records on your time. Be well prepared and properly rested and you'll achieve your maximum potential on test day.

Good luck on any future GMATs you may take!
-Ron
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Concentration: Marketing, Other
GMAT 1: 550 Q30 V36
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Re: TERRIBLE DAY 560 :(( [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 05:24
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It's not uncommon to take the exam more than once. So think of this as your practice run. You now know what not to do and now you know about the practice center and all of those question marks won't be there next time around. You're going to go into it knowing what to expect.

Before my first exam, I put about two months in (admittedly, not taking the difficulty of this exam as seriously as I should have). I ended up with a 550 - so really close to where you were. I was practicing closer to 600, but for some reason thought that the practice tests were wrong and I'd do better. We all know how that works :) Anyway, I took about five months, studied hard, used my available resources and brought my score up to 660 and I'm still going. So if you know this is what you want - why give up after spending so much time on it? Just make sure it's what you want.

Without knowing your specific study schedule and how much of the Veritas schedule you actually followed (I'd see if you could go back and watch those classes - if that service is offered because I'm sure you missed a lot in three classes) - I can't say whether or not your study plan is effective. But I'm guessing with that score, you've got some improvements to make both in the time management portion and in the overall content portion. These boards are a great resource, though, so you should have no problem improving in both of those areas as long as you dedicate the appropriate amount of time to do so.

Good luck!
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Re: TERRIBLE DAY 560 :(( [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 12:04
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:

First of all, one bad score is making you re-consider your life plans? I don't expect this from anybody, forget about professional athletes and people who know what it is to perform under pressure.


Thank you so much for your responses!! Checking back here today and reading these replies and reading other people's stories makes me realize that my experience was a lot more common then I expected and I really only have how I treated the day before the exam to blame.

Karishma- YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT! I was licking my wounds from the test but giving up is never the right way to go. I do appreciate the Veritasprep crew replying to this thread.

I am going to take a week off and then schedule the test again. I live in a top 5 populated city so you have to schedule a date a month in advance to get the day I want. Using the Veritasprep materials, what do you believe is the best method?

I am going to try to take a test 2 times a week, but my issue with the test software is that post test it doesn't let you know what areas you need to focus on and what areas you are strong. Yes you can group them on your own, but I feel I don't get an accurate idea of where my weak areas especially for Quant.

I know I have an issue with turning word problems into algebra, any suggestions? Thanks for your responses again, it definitely helps. I will be an active member of this site!!
BSchool Thread Master
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Joined: 08 Jun 2012
Posts: 108
Location: United States
Concentration: Marketing, Other
GMAT 1: 550 Q30 V36
GMAT 2: 660 Q41 V40
GMAT 3: 670 Q44 V38
GPA: 3.27
WE: Corporate Finance (Mutual Funds and Brokerage)
Followers: 3

Kudos [?]: 29 [0], given: 70

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Re: TERRIBLE DAY 560 :(( [#permalink] New post 22 Mar 2013, 12:42
I'll let the Veritas people handle the specific strategy part since you're a student of theirs, but I just wanted to make two suggestions for you-

At the level you're at right now, I'd definitely recommend less tests and more drilling down the core concepts. Become confident in everything that can be tested and then worry about scheduling your test. Unless you're looking to submit an application this app year - you have more than enough time to do this. Use the official guide and your course materials and get REALLY confident in your abilities, tests aren't going to help you unless you take the test and review EVERYTHING - and if that is the case - it'd probably be easier to just go in order of the books rather than in a random manner that the tests will give you. Eventually you're going to want to take a bunch of CATs - but I wouldn't rush to do that. Learning and repeating problems and drilling down those concepts are what will really help you to improve. I never felt like I got much out of repetitive testing and the course I used required a ton of CATs itself, so anything in addition would have just been overkill.

Read some of the articles posted through this website (on the blog, etc.) and you'll see the common opinion is that repetitive testing isn't really the most effective approach.

I would also suggest downloading one of the error trackers and tracking your progress in the official guide. This will show you what areas you're weak in. At that point you can focus more specfically on those points.

We're here for you! If you come across any problems or any strategies you're unclear on - this is the place to ask them! There are so many awesome people here willing to help and it won't take you long to get a response.
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"You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." - Walt Disney

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Re: TERRIBLE DAY 560 :(( [#permalink] New post 25 Mar 2013, 03:36
Expert's post
C13GMAT wrote:

Thank you so much for your responses!! Checking back here today and reading these replies and reading other people's stories makes me realize that my experience was a lot more common then I expected and I really only have how I treated the day before the exam to blame.

Karishma- YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT! I was licking my wounds from the test but giving up is never the right way to go. I do appreciate the Veritasprep crew replying to this thread.

I am going to take a week off and then schedule the test again. I live in a top 5 populated city so you have to schedule a date a month in advance to get the day I want. Using the Veritasprep materials, what do you believe is the best method?

I am going to try to take a test 2 times a week, but my issue with the test software is that post test it doesn't let you know what areas you need to focus on and what areas you are strong. Yes you can group them on your own, but I feel I don't get an accurate idea of where my weak areas especially for Quant.

I know I have an issue with turning word problems into algebra, any suggestions? Thanks for your responses again, it definitely helps. I will be an active member of this site!!


Once you are back from your break, send me/Ron a link of your test results. We will advise you accordingly.
_________________

Karishma
Veritas Prep | GMAT Instructor
My Blog

Save $100 on Veritas Prep GMAT Courses And Admissions Consulting
Enroll now. Pay later. Take advantage of Veritas Prep's flexible payment plan options.

Veritas Prep Reviews

Re: TERRIBLE DAY 560 :((   [#permalink] 25 Mar 2013, 03:36
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