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10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous

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Joined: 28 Jul 2018
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GMAT 1: 680 Q51 V32
GPA: 2.98
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10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 04:22
1
Yeah as the title stated. I just walked out of the test center and I'm feeling super bummed ?

Everything from my mock test setup was exactly the same as the real one. Timing, break and the order of the subjects (V-Q-IR-AWA). But I... Tanked ? My mock tests results (from GMATprep & Manhattan) have been consistently around 720-780. So I was pretty upset about the score I got on the real GMAT.

I was really nervous before the exam, to the point at which I almost want to throw up. So when the exam started, I really couldn't think and it took me over 25 minutes to finish the first 10 questions on Verbal. You can probably imagine what happened afterward, I was short on time and got even more nervous and just couldn't focus until I finished the verbal section and took a break. I had some tea to calm myself down and it definitely worked. I felt confident again when I went back to take the Quant, knowing that I'm gonna kill it and I did.

I expected at least 750 on my real exam because that was about the average of my all mock tests. Anyway, I canceled my score.

What I learned today is that do not take your weakest section first, especially when it's your first time taking the GMAT real exam. You're gonna get wayyyyyy too nervous just as I did, and that's not good ?? Next time, I'll definitely take Quant first because I'm super confident. Additionally, for me, Quant is more passive as I already all the formulas, I just need to find the one, do some calculations and BOOM! Answer. Verbal is more active, I know certain rules of SC and CR, but there's always exceptions and no way of knowing the correct answer until I've organized the questions.

Things learned today.

1.Section order is important. The first one you take should be the section that you're confident because you'll be nervous and will need to take more time to settle in and get yourself ready for the test. Personally, after this experience, I think the best timing to take the weakest area would be the middle. The weakest one at second, after you have familiarized yourself with the setting at the test center and calm down and before you have exhausted yourself. The third one should be IR and AWA because you'll probably be mentally tired by the time already.

2. Stick with pacing and timing strategies. KNOW WHEN TO LET A QUESTION GO! Because, even if you get the one right, it might cost you three questions later from the short of time. The timing strategy I used is the one recommended by MGMAT (Questions finished: 8/15/25 Quant timing left: 50/30/10 Verbal timing left:50/35/20) not sticking with the timing was my biggest mistake. I am weak in verbal section already and the short timing completely destroys me.

3. Do use the break time. Relax, do some deep breathes, drink some water, go pee pee. Remember that after the break time is a brand new section and even if you did badly in the previous section, it won't affect your next section. So calm down and get ready for the next one.

4. Check the pen provided by the test center. Swirl the pen to make sure that the ink will come up at all angles. My pens only work at certain angles, although I managed to figure out how to make them work, it annoyed me a bit.

Since I canceled my score at the test center so I don't have proof of score. I guess you're just gonna have to trust me...

I hope my experience could help you guys and I still can't believe that I blow up $250 for nothing. Anyway, I am gonna go relax for the night and schedule another exam soon. I will come back after I finish my next exam and share more information with you guys.

Best of luck.
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Re: 10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 15:40
Hi yuenhsu,

First off, a 680/Q51 is a strong score (it's right around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. From what you described, you could potentially score higher on the GMAT - and there's certainly no harm in retesting - but again, it might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admission ... tants-124/

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Rich
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GMAT 1: 680 Q51 V32
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Re: 10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 18:42
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC

Thanks for the reply. After I talked with some other GMATers, I did start to realise that 680 is not as bad as I thought. But my GPA is only 2.9 so I really need a higher GMAT to compensate the low GPA. Additionally, I figured that it's quite competitive for Asian students, so I also want to stand out a bit with higher GMAT.

Thank you for the information about the admission, I will definitely take a look.
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: 10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2018, 21:01
Hi yuenhsu,

There are other ways to 'counter' a low GPA besides a higher GMAT Score, but since you're focused on the GMAT right now, we should stick to that subject. Considering the drop in your Verbal Scaled Score on Test Day, you might choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn't provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Re: 10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 08:40
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Hi yuenhsu

Congrats on that Q51, that is such an impressive score. Sorry about the Verbal though. I hope you are taking the second attempt asap, would love to read your retake debrief with your dream score!

All the best!!

Cheers,
GyM
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Re: 10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 17:11
Hi yuenhsu,

Thank you for sharing your story. I agree that 680 (with a Q51) is anything but a terrible GMAT score. Also, given how nervous you were, it is not shocking that your test-day score was lower than your practice exam scores. That being said, I’m happy you plan to relax a bit and retake your GMAT. With the right mindset, I believe you can really dominate on test day. If you need any advice about things moving forward, feel free to reach out.

Good luck!
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GMAT 1: 750 Q51 V40
Re: 10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 22:52
Hi

You have a great potential for an awesome GMAT score. Don't let nervousness be an obstacle. Though choosing Quant first will definitely help you, some meditation and Yoga can work wonders on your temperament. I take GMAT classes, and have been helping students regarding the same. Let me know if you wish any help on that regard. You can also go through my post https://gmatclub.com/forum/scoring-750- ... 76872.html.

Best of luck for the next attempt!

Regards
Mohit
GMAT Club Bot
Re: 10.16 First time GMAT and got 680 (V32 Q51) because too nervous &nbs [#permalink] 18 Oct 2018, 22:52
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