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770 Score (Q50 V46) - Test Day Strategy

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770 Score (Q50 V46) - Test Day Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2015, 13:08
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Hey Everyone-

I'm super excited to share that I wildly exceeded my (low) expectations on test day. Having general anxiety to begin with, May 16th was a terrifying day for me. I want to share my strategies for surviving test day and ensuring that you're in peak condition for your test. Combined with the advice from others, I hope the following tips can help you out!

Take Care of Yourself!
This one is obvious, and every expert will recommend the same thing. Get plenty of sleep leading up to your test day, not just the night before. If you've ever taken Psych 101, you may have come across Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This pyramid argues that in order to begin addressing higher level needs, you must first establish security in your basic needs. The base of the pyramid includes "breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion." I've seen many arguments for/against sex near test time, so I'll leave that for you to research, but when it comes to the others - take care of your body! Notice that "problem solving" is at the top of the pyramid? Do whatever it takes to make sure that the rest of your needs are met. If there are circumstances outside of your control, maybe consider changing your test date. For example, if you have any family issues, this could be distracting on test day. You will likely already be nervous, do NOT add anxiety to your day.

Image


My Test Day Schedule
    8:30 - Wake Up

    9:00 - Breakfast (eat healthy, get some protein, drink a little coffee if you normally do)

    10:00 - Brain Space: Review a few notes from problems you may have previously had trouble with. If you have an error log, remind yourself of the trends you came across. I spent this time telling myself that I was going to look for a quadratic on every problem (GMAT likes to hide them!). I also told myself that I would carefully read the prompt and write down what the question is asking for. Don't use this time to tackle new questions or concepts, it's too late for new material. Just get your brain limbered up a little.
    (if you're like me, you may have trouble focusing on anything at this point)

    11:00 - Relax: I put a movie on. I needed something to distract me, because at this point I felt like I was going to puke. I put Ender's Game on, because it was the exact kind of mindlessness that I needed. I also spent a little time reading, but I didn't want to overdo it with the vast amount of reading that was coming up. If you can, get some exercise in at this point. I had surgery recently, so I did my PT exercises to get my blood flowing. I also knew I'd be celebrating afterwards, so I figured I should get those out of the way beforehand.

    1:45 - Eat: I drove to Trader Joe's, fought the crazy Saturday parking lot, grabbed a small salad, and a coffee from nearby. I had no interest in eating, and I was worried that coffee would send my anxiety through the roof, but I had taken all of my practice tests after drinking coffee in the morning and afternoon, and I wanted to remain consistent as much as possible.

    2:15 - Get Pumped: I drove to my test center. So this was probably weird, but I chose to take my test at the test center on the other side of town out in the suburbs. My other option was downtown. To give you an idea, I HATE driving downtown in my city. Parking is a nightmare, and pedestrians are crazy (literally). I also happen to love cruising... so I opted for a 25 min drive to the other side of town to give myself time to listen to music, breathe some fresh air, and try not to think about the test. I reverted back to my high school self and blasted Eminem "Lose Yourself." No shame, I KILLED it in my car studio. Really though, I think getting myself pumped up at this point was the best decision of my day. I had sweaty palms, wanted to puke, was cracked out on caffeine, but I turned it to giddiness for a little bit with Marshall's help.

    2:40 - Last Minute Prep: Come to Jesus time. I got to my test center about an hour before my test time. Probably too early, honestly, but considering it was a little hard to find, I'm glad I did. I used this time to eat my salad and quickly glance over my flash cards I had made. I also used this time to jot out my essay outline (I barely studied the AWA) to make sure I still knew what I was writing. With about 40 min before my test time, I went for a walk around the area to get blood flowing and to relax. Considering this was a super random area for one to just go for a stroll, I got a lot of weird looks. Didn't care. This day was all about me and the GMAT and nobody was going to bother me... until I looked up and realized I'd wandered into the parking lot for an adult video store and should probably turn around at that point.

    3:15 - Get Focused: 30 min to test time, I put my phone and notes in the car, grabbed my snack (almonds and a banana), and headed inside. On my way, I passed a girl that was walking out, holding her test scores, and crying. Panic started to creep in, but I reminded myself that 1. Pearson conducts several tests simultaneously, not just the GMAT, and 2. the GMAT is NOT worth crying over. Ever. Period. I took a deep breath and continued into the creepily empty office building. Taking note of the location of the bathrooms and water fountain, I proceeded to check in for my test. Having left my notes and cell phone in the car, following the rules were simple. I made sure to use the restroom immediately before beginning my test, then ended up starting early, probably around 3:30.

    3:30 - Stay Focused: Focus blackout. I took up the offer for the ear plugs, and I'm so glad I did. I've read stories of other folks having distracting testing centers, but I must say I had zero distraction. With a giant monitor (much better than my laptop), I just allowed myself to be absorbed into the screen. I was killing it as far as timing went, way better than any practice test. I also had started with MGMAT tests, so I felt like the quant section was super easy in comparison. During each break I used the restroom, looked myself in the mirror, and told myself I was the ****. I swung my arms around, did a little yoga in the hallway, kept my earplugs in, and ignored everything around me. Long hair don't care. The test happened. Then my score happened.

    7:00ish? - DONE: After deciding to accept my scores and then confirming my demographic information, my scores popped up. Does anyone else think the scores kinda come out of nowhere? I had no idea my score would just appear suddenly when I clicked "next" on that screen. I was pretty shocked. Then it registered that I'd exceeded my goal. I raised my hand, got the eff out of there, got my score report, and immediately texted my predetermined list of recipients:
      1. Tutor (sorry, Mom)
      2. Mom
      3. Sister
      4. Boyfriend


    I proceeded to drive home, crack open a beer, and get absolutely obliterated in celebration.

Overall, the biggest takeaway I had was to stay confident. Keep visualizing success - literally picture what that score report looks like with your dream score on it. Don't let anything get to you, only you can distract yourself. Deep breaths, take care of yourself, get pumped and above all... CELEBRATE!

Let me know if there's anything else that would be useful to know... I'm making it my personal goal to raise the 99% level to 770 by helping others get high scores.
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Re: 770 Score (Q50 V46) - Test Day Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 22 May 2015, 14:03
What a fantastic achievement! Thank you for the report - you really showed that you're human (as we all are) and what goes into performing well.
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New post 23 Jul 2015, 10:45
Congrats on the score! What were your practice scores like? MGMAT? GMATPrep?
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New post Updated on: 10 Aug 2015, 11:45
1
jz4analytics wrote:
Congrats on the score! What were your practice scores like? MGMAT? GMATPrep?


3/15 MGMAT 1: 640 (Q40,V37)
3/28 MGMAT 2: 720 (Q44,V45)
4/4 MGMAT 3: 710 (Q45,V41)
4/25 MGMAT 4: 740 (Q47,V45)
5/3 MGMAT 5: 740 (Q46,V45)
5/10 GMATPrep 1: 770
5/14 GMATPrep 2: 760

5/16 GMAT: 770

I'll point out a couple interesting things here. The first MGMAT test is HARD (mainly due to quant). I wish I had started with a GMATPrep test just to have a more realistic expectation. Though it may have helped me to start with MGMAT so that I expected the GMAT to actually be that hard. I also had surgery on 4/9 which was a pretty big disruption to studying, so I have a funky gap. Lastly, since I didn't take a GMATPrep test until the week before my test date, I was really shocked to see my score go up to 770. I didn't trust that it wasn't a fluke, so I took another test 2 days before my test date. I would not encourage doing that - it has the potential to leave you either feeling discouraged going into the test, or exhausted by test day. By that point you should be relaxing and getting yourself pumped up. Really, I'd just suggest having taken both GMATPrep tests as well as several MGMAT tests by test day.

Originally posted by LetMyPeopleGoSurfing on 23 Jul 2015, 10:54.
Last edited by LetMyPeopleGoSurfing on 10 Aug 2015, 11:45, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 23 Jul 2015, 11:04
1
Thanks... I agree that the MGMAT quant is a bit hard. It's also "computation heavy" whereas the GMAT seems to be more logic-driven. I've had trouble even finishing MGMAT quant sections but never had that problem with official material. I'm still curious about the predictive value for MGMAT. My GMAT is on Monday, and I've scored:

MGMAT 1: 720
MGMAT 2: 690
MGMAT 3: 670
MGMAT 4: 650
MGMAT 5: 680
MGMAT 6: 680
GMATPrep 1:700
GMATPrep 2: 710

Basically, I think the MGMAT Q is too hard and the V is too easy. I got a V45 THREE TIMES on MGMAT, which seems a little optimistic (you can tell by the total scores that my Quant on those was terrible).
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New post 23 Jul 2015, 11:10
Wow jz4analytics - I'm amazed your highest score was your first MGMAT. Try to psych yourself up on test day and hopefully you'll be looking at another 720 or higher! Good luck on Monday, pulling for ya!
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Re: 770 Score (Q50 V46) - Test Day Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2015, 11:46
CircusNerd wrote:
Wow jz4analytics - I'm amazed your highest score was your first MGMAT. Try to psych yourself up on test day and hopefully you'll be looking at another 720 or higher! Good luck on Monday, pulling for ya!


Thanks!

The funniest thing is that I took "full" CATs for only the first two MGMAT - the last four were without AWA/IR - and those were my best scores. I started to skip the early sections once I realized (1) MGMAT isn't the best gauge of real score, (2) the MGMAT IR is, sad to say, terrible, and (3) my time was better spent on studying. I think I focus better under pressure, which may explain some of it. I make more mistakes on verbal when I'm not concerned about the final score.

My two GMATPreps were IR7/Q48/V38 and IR8/Q47/V40... spent the last couple weeks focusing on verbal weaknesses and cleaning up whatever quant holes I could. Goal is at least 730 on Monday (or retake in a month if I have to).

Anyway, I do feel "pumped" now and am ready to just get it over with. As you suggested in the OP, I have been getting more consistent sleep this week than I usually do - a full eight hours every night. Preparing ones mental state far in advance is a smart move.

///EDIT/// I just noticed that if you were to plot my practice scores across time, it'd almost make a parabola. :)
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New post 19 Dec 2018, 09:03
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LetMyPeopleGoSurfing

Loved the way how you've subtly emphasized the importance of psychological and philosophical aspect. Congratulations!
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New post 19 Dec 2018, 23:56
XavierAlexander wrote:
LetMyPeopleGoSurfing

Loved the way how you've subtly emphasized the importance of psychological and philosophical aspect. Congratulations!


Thanks for finding this post and bumping it! I have missed it originally and very glad to see it!
Thanks and congrats LetMyPeopleGoSurfing on your score and Haas Admit and looks like graduation by now! Very well done!
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Re: 770 Score (Q50 V46) - Test Day Strategy  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 00:40
How long have you taken for your preparation period for the GMAT?

LetMyPeopleGoSurfing wrote:
Hey Everyone-

I'm super excited to share that I wildly exceeded my (low) expectations on test day. Having general anxiety to begin with, May 16th was a terrifying day for me. I want to share my strategies for surviving test day and ensuring that you're in peak condition for your test. Combined with the advice from others, I hope the following tips can help you out!

Take Care of Yourself!
This one is obvious, and every expert will recommend the same thing. Get plenty of sleep leading up to your test day, not just the night before. If you've ever taken Psych 101, you may have come across Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This pyramid argues that in order to begin addressing higher level needs, you must first establish security in your basic needs. The base of the pyramid includes "breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion." I've seen many arguments for/against sex near test time, so I'll leave that for you to research, but when it comes to the others - take care of your body! Notice that "problem solving" is at the top of the pyramid? Do whatever it takes to make sure that the rest of your needs are met. If there are circumstances outside of your control, maybe consider changing your test date. For example, if you have any family issues, this could be distracting on test day. You will likely already be nervous, do NOT add anxiety to your day.

Image


My Test Day Schedule
    8:30 - Wake Up

    9:00 - Breakfast (eat healthy, get some protein, drink a little coffee if you normally do)

    10:00 - Brain Space: Review a few notes from problems you may have previously had trouble with. If you have an error log, remind yourself of the trends you came across. I spent this time telling myself that I was going to look for a quadratic on every problem (GMAT likes to hide them!). I also told myself that I would carefully read the prompt and write down what the question is asking for. Don't use this time to tackle new questions or concepts, it's too late for new material. Just get your brain limbered up a little.
    (if you're like me, you may have trouble focusing on anything at this point)

    11:00 - Relax: I put a movie on. I needed something to distract me, because at this point I felt like I was going to puke. I put Ender's Game on, because it was the exact kind of mindlessness that I needed. I also spent a little time reading, but I didn't want to overdo it with the vast amount of reading that was coming up. If you can, get some exercise in at this point. I had surgery recently, so I did my PT exercises to get my blood flowing. I also knew I'd be celebrating afterwards, so I figured I should get those out of the way beforehand.

    1:45 - Eat: I drove to Trader Joe's, fought the crazy Saturday parking lot, grabbed a small salad, and a coffee from nearby. I had no interest in eating, and I was worried that coffee would send my anxiety through the roof, but I had taken all of my practice tests after drinking coffee in the morning and afternoon, and I wanted to remain consistent as much as possible.

    2:15 - Get Pumped: I drove to my test center. So this was probably weird, but I chose to take my test at the test center on the other side of town out in the suburbs. My other option was downtown. To give you an idea, I HATE driving downtown in my city. Parking is a nightmare, and pedestrians are crazy (literally). I also happen to love cruising... so I opted for a 25 min drive to the other side of town to give myself time to listen to music, breathe some fresh air, and try not to think about the test. I reverted back to my high school self and blasted Eminem "Lose Yourself." No shame, I KILLED it in my car studio. Really though, I think getting myself pumped up at this point was the best decision of my day. I had sweaty palms, wanted to puke, was cracked out on caffeine, but I turned it to giddiness for a little bit with Marshall's help.

    2:40 - Last Minute Prep: Come to Jesus time. I got to my test center about an hour before my test time. Probably too early, honestly, but considering it was a little hard to find, I'm glad I did. I used this time to eat my salad and quickly glance over my flash cards I had made. I also used this time to jot out my essay outline (I barely studied the AWA) to make sure I still knew what I was writing. With about 40 min before my test time, I went for a walk around the area to get blood flowing and to relax. Considering this was a super random area for one to just go for a stroll, I got a lot of weird looks. Didn't care. This day was all about me and the GMAT and nobody was going to bother me... until I looked up and realized I'd wandered into the parking lot for an adult video store and should probably turn around at that point.

    3:15 - Get Focused: 30 min to test time, I put my phone and notes in the car, grabbed my snack (almonds and a banana), and headed inside. On my way, I passed a girl that was walking out, holding her test scores, and crying. Panic started to creep in, but I reminded myself that 1. Pearson conducts several tests simultaneously, not just the GMAT, and 2. the GMAT is NOT worth crying over. Ever. Period. I took a deep breath and continued into the creepily empty office building. Taking note of the location of the bathrooms and water fountain, I proceeded to check in for my test. Having left my notes and cell phone in the car, following the rules were simple. I made sure to use the restroom immediately before beginning my test, then ended up starting early, probably around 3:30.

    3:30 - Stay Focused: Focus blackout. I took up the offer for the ear plugs, and I'm so glad I did. I've read stories of other folks having distracting testing centers, but I must say I had zero distraction. With a giant monitor (much better than my laptop), I just allowed myself to be absorbed into the screen. I was killing it as far as timing went, way better than any practice test. I also had started with MGMAT tests, so I felt like the quant section was super easy in comparison. During each break I used the restroom, looked myself in the mirror, and told myself I was the ****. I swung my arms around, did a little yoga in the hallway, kept my earplugs in, and ignored everything around me. Long hair don't care. The test happened. Then my score happened.

    7:00ish? - DONE: After deciding to accept my scores and then confirming my demographic information, my scores popped up. Does anyone else think the scores kinda come out of nowhere? I had no idea my score would just appear suddenly when I clicked "next" on that screen. I was pretty shocked. Then it registered that I'd exceeded my goal. I raised my hand, got the eff out of there, got my score report, and immediately texted my predetermined list of recipients:
      1. Tutor (sorry, Mom)
      2. Mom
      3. Sister
      4. Boyfriend


    I proceeded to drive home, crack open a beer, and get absolutely obliterated in celebration.

Overall, the biggest takeaway I had was to stay confident. Keep visualizing success - literally picture what that score report looks like with your dream score on it. Don't let anything get to you, only you can distract yourself. Deep breaths, take care of yourself, get pumped and above all... CELEBRATE!

Let me know if there's anything else that would be useful to know... I'm making it my personal goal to raise the 99% level to 770 by helping others get high scores.
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Re: 770 Score (Q50 V46) - Test Day Strategy   [#permalink] 20 Dec 2018, 00:40
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