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Edit: I received my official score this morning. Is it typically sent so quickly?
I'm going to refrain from providing any study "tips", since other posters here have put together extremely comprehensive suggestions. I will focus on the test day along with some general recommendations for the preparation period.
Yesterday I resisted temptation to work problems or flip through my study guides. I also found myself, during times when I was idle in my room, I would start working problems in my head. I decided to leave the house and go hit some golf balls. I find it difficult to focus on anything but my swing when I'm out at the range, so in that sense, it was perfect. (the flight path of my golf balls, however, was closer to grotesque) When I returned to my house, my roommate and I decided to brew some beer, which we have been putting off for months. For the next six hours, my mind was focused on grains, malt, hops and yeast. Once I finished making the beer, I went to the gym and did some cardio for a bit. I capped off my evening by eating some sushi and reading a history book. By 9:30p, I was in bed. Despite how anxious I had been about the test the night before, I fell right asleep.
I woke up feeling refreshed at 6:00a, made myself some oatmeal and hard-boiled eggs, and dressed comfortably for battle. I listened to Bach on the drive to the test center, where I arrived about 15 minutes prior to check-in. I was surprised how many people were there for an 8:00 am appointment, but only 20% of them seemed to be taking the GMAT. The check-in process went smoothly, they called my name, and I sat down in my cubicle. Despite the fears I had regarding the scratch pads provided, they were actually quite easy to use. The fine-tip sharpie provided sufficient detail to work equations and take notes for essays. The earplugs were actually extremely similar to the ones I practiced with, so it wasn't a distraction at all.
The writing samples, as others have pointed out, were a great way to get into testing mode. This is yet another reason it is imperative that you take the FULL tests, AWA samples included, during your prep tests. Something happened in my brain that said, "Oh yeah, it's another GMAT Prep. Go time!" I worked through both the essays with a smile on my face, and used the spare three minutes of each to scribble down my grids for the quant section. I then raised my hand, was put in "break mode" and exited the test center. I visited the restroom for a liquid deposit, ate an apple, and had a couple sips of water. I went back into the room and got ready for quant.
When the first quant question popped up onto the screen, I froze for a moment, not sure how to go about solving it. In fact, I took about 4 minutes to solve that first question. The next few didn't take quite as long, but I found myself going over the 2 minute mark in order to correctly answer the all-to-important first section of questions. Unfortunately, I saw a few question types that I hadn't seen before, which also took me longer than 2 minutes to solve. Peeking up at the time, I realized I had to guess on a few questions. By the time I reached the last six questions, I only had about 5 minutes remaining. I had to do some half-ass attempts to solve the problems, and then make educated guesses. The section ended, and I started my second break. I made another liquid deposit, and ate a half peanut butter sandwich and drank a couple sips of water. I started wondering why the quant section seemed so difficult. Had I done extremely well, or had I screwed up and just not performed at the level I was accustomed to? I quickly shut those thoughts down, and told myself how much I was going to enjoy the verbal section.
I went back to my cubicle and noticed they had replaced my scratch pad. Thus, I needed to use the instruction screen time to quickly scribble down my answer grid. I used about 30 seconds of the verbal section to complete my grid. From the moment the verbal section started, I felt incredibly comfortable. Perhaps it was the difficult questions I had practiced from the forum, or the countless GMATPreps I had re-taken to expose the most difficult verbal questions, but this section seemed pretty straightforward. I can only remember about 5-6 questions where I really had to take some time to decide between two answers. I also found that I was pacing myself well at the beginning, and thus became relaxed with my available time. I found myself with about 5 minutes remaining for the final 4 questions. I finished the section, and proceeded to the questionnaire.
This section wasn't as long as others have described. I was able to speed through the questions, since nothing had changed since I entered the information online a couple months ago. But, I can tell you it was just as nerve racking as I expected. When I clicked "report scores", I became incredibly nervous and expected my quant score was going to bring my score to a level that would require a re-take. I also considered the possibility that my verbal questions were easy because I had made some careless errors. The test writers have a reputation as tricksters, after all. When I saw the 740 pop up onto the screen, I threw my hands in the air and sat back in my chair. I was done.
As I said above, I have a few tips that I feel can really be helpful to some of you as you are working through your preparation. They are as follows:
1. As early as possible, get onto the EXACT routine you will follow on test day. If you have scheduled an 8:00 a.m. exam, make sure you take your practice tests at 8:00am. If you will have to go to sleep at 10pm and wake at 6am on test day, do it every day. This will get your body into a routine where waking up at 6 feels normal. Disclaimer - If you continue being in bed by 10pm after you have finished the GMAT, you may develop an affinity for "Matlock" and "The Golden Girls".
2. Clean up your diet. You would be surprised what a detrimental effect unhealthy eating can have on your brain. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies, high fiber carbs, and EFAs. Cut refined sugar out of your diet. This can have a drastic change on the way you feel the first two weeks. If you have enough time to do it, you will be happy you did. Also, don't even think about eating anything with MSG in it.
3. Simulate GMAT days as early as possible. Eat the same foods for breakfast, start the test at the same time, take all of the sections, take each of the breaks and eat the same foods during these breaks, etc. By simulating the test day repeatedly, your body will be in familiar territory on G-Day, which will greatly reduce the stress you could have if you're not sure how you will react to certain foods, an extra section, etc.
4. Give yourself realistic time constraints. Okay, I know I said I wouldn't give any study tips, but this is important. If you are re-taking GMATPrep exams (which you should do as much as humanly possible), be sure you're accounting for the time saved by doing a repeat time. For example, if you have two repeat quant problems during a given test which, on average, saves you one minute each (since you are already familiar with the solution method) take those two minutes off the time you have to complete the section. Therefore, you would now only have 73, rather than 75 minutes to complete the quant section.
5. Relax. Take time during your study sessions to relax yourself. Do some meditating, some deep breathing, listen to some soothing music, or whatever else you see fit. You want to be calm during your study sessions and your practice exams, which will surely translate on test day.
6. Scope out the test center the day before your exam. On the day before your exam, you shouldn't be studying or working (the latter may be unavoidable for some, but is strongly recommended). Since you're already up early anyway, you might as well check out the test center. Drive the same route, at the same time, that you will be taking on G-Day. This will give you an idea how long it takes to get there and eliminate one more unknown as you're making the commute on Day 0.
That's about all I have at the moment; I may remember more later after this beer wears off. I want to thank everybody on this forum for providing such tremendous material, advice, and support throughout my preparation. Without your assistance, I highly doubt the end result would have turned out the way it did. To those of you who are working on apps or studying for the test, I wish you all the best of luck.
Last edited by MeddlingKid on 24 May 2008, 08:27, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks guys! Yeah, I am pretty disappointed in my quant performance. I was sure I would score at least 48-49 today, but oh well. I wonder if the Adcoms are going to beef about it. It's kind of strange, given my quantitative background.
can u please elaborate on your comment about quant..seeing some type of questions you had nevr seen before? what type of questions were they?
Thanks. I don't think it'd be right for me to disclose question structure, according to my understanding. But, to keep things general, if one were to ensure he or she understood the concepts and kept track of time, it'd be easily manageable.
Awesome job man!!!! I can't believe you did V47? I thought you were tracking for the opposite split, higher Q lower V. Oh well, again awesome job man!!!
Thanks, man! That's more of what I expected. I never would have guessed I'd have a split like this. Your test is on Saturday, right? You're going to light that thing up!
Saturday at 8:00am. I must say I'm a little nervous about it being at 8, wish it was a little later. I'm just glad AWA is before Quant, gives me some time to warm up. Again, great job man! Now you can move to the B School Application forum and leave this side for good
Great job. I was thinking today yo uwere taking test, and eager to hear what happened. I think you could have scored higher on math, but your verbal seems like it was on your high end. Regardless a 740 to me is in that 740-760 group of elites. You are there. Exceptional job.
I think its great advice what you said. Take your mind off of it a bit. I hope to learn from you. Good luck the rest of the way, you got a great feather in your cap now. Thats for sure.
Yay congrats!!! Good tips about the day before and a healthy diet. I didn't realize they gave you ear plugs! I have a bunch of ear plugs that I wear to bed so I don't have to listen to my hubby snore .
Congratulations! Why is it that so many people recently (me included ) have stumbled on that first Quant problem? That can't be a medium difficulty problem compared to the GMATPrep 1st problems.... _________________
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