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Exam temperament (Failed at 2nd attempt too) : Please help

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Exam temperament (Failed at 2nd attempt too) : Please help [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2017, 03:18
Dear all,

I have been a part of this community for almost a year now. I have taken GMAT 2 times. I gave my first attempt in August 2016 and I gave the second attempt a few weeks ago in March 2017. In my first attempt, I had issues with application of concepts and practice. I joined e-gmat verbal online course and Gmat club tests for my second attempt and I diligently studied for 2.5 months. I used the scholaranium and did hundreds of question from CR,RC,SC and maths.

My second attempt was on 30th March 2017.

During my preparation, I made sure to regularly take Mocks and analyze my errors. I gave 11 full mock test under exam conditions and I scored fairly well on all of them.
I took all 6 GMAT PREP exams and I scored consistently on them.
These were my mock results:
1. GMAT PREP 1 ( q: 49, v: 31 ) 660 (25th January 2017)
2. GMAT PREP 4 ( q:50, v:35 ) 710 (20th February 2017)
3. GMAT PREP 3 ( q:50, v:35 ) 710 (25th February 2017)
4. GMAT PREP 5 ( q:50, v: 38) 720 (7th March 2017)
5. GMAT PREP 6 (q: 49, v:35) 700 (10th March 2017)
6. GMAT PREP 2 (q:50 , v:38) 720 (24th March 2017)

I took all these mocks with AWA and IR and the proper break. I was pressed under timing in all these mocks for verbal especially. There were times when I had to answer 10 questions in 10 mins. For maths, I improved my timing using GMATClub Tests.

Before the exam day, I was bit scared about my timing in verbal as I have the habit of sticking to a question and not letting it go. Still, I was feeling confident as I knew that under any circumstances I will score good as I did in my mocks.

But, before the exam day, there was a long power cut in my locality and I couldn't sleep because the backup was exhausted. I slept barely for 2 hours the day before my exam. But I wasn't affected my this. I reached the center and I started my exam. AWA went pretty well (I got a 5.5/6). Then in IR I was stuck in a two-part analysis question for some time but I went ahead. I got 6 MSR questions and I knew I was bad at them. So, I had the feeling that I screwed IR section (I got a 3, even less than my 1st attempt ie was 5).

After the break I started with maths, It was going pretty well till 9th question (ahead of time) but then there was a question (I think 12th) and I got stuck with that one. I didn't realize how much time I had spent on that question. And by the time I was trying to catch my pace up, there was one more question where I got stuck and had to guess and move ahead. I remember I was on 30th question with 7 mins to go and I had to guess 35,36 and 37 in order to complete the exam. After the maths section, I felt I messed up but Still I had the feeling that I will get a 49 for sure.

After the break verbal started with 3 sc and one cr question. Then came in an RC it was a long one and I read it quickly(with egmat strategies). The first RC question was a main point and I was stuck between three options and I wasn't able to narrow down the answer. I tried to move ahead but somewhat I got frozen and I couldn't. I was trying hard to figure out that question and I wasted a lot of time. I had to complete the first 10 questions in 21 mins but I was 5 mins behind due to my mess up. I messed up with one more RC in the same way in the third set of questions. Then, I tried to catch up the pace but I was on the 30th question with 10 mins left. I had to guess on all CR question that came after that and I knew I had messed up. I wasted so much money and effort. The last 10 questions were stressful, my mind was telling me that you have messed up and I knew RC has taken my life again.

I got a 640 (q: 48, v:29) in my second attempt. I just improved by 30 points from my first attempt.

I had done everything I thought was necessary for GMAT exam. I took a leave from my college, left some placements offers, shifted to the other city just to study for the exam. Moreover, I took mocks in a proper manner in the same kind of conditions but still, I failed in my second attempt. I don't want to apply with this score as I know it;s not representative of my performance.

I have an issue with the competitive exams. I perform well in mocks but when the real exam comes, I am stuck or hold on to a question and I mess up.I think my exam temperament is not good while taking the exam. I don't know ho exactly to move ahead. I am currently giving my final semester exams. I want to improve but I feel like I have given everything that I had to my second attempt. I think that it could be the possibility that even if I improve and prepare for my third attempt, I could mess up again due to my bad temperament during the exam. I couldn't improve in this respect.

Please suggest what I can do and how can I work to improve my exam temperament.

I am attaching my ESRs from both attempts please see and give your valuable inputs.

Thanks a lot.
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Re: Exam temperament (Failed at 2nd attempt too) : Please help [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 06:12
retakegal95 wrote:
Dear all,

I have been a part of this community for almost a year now. I have taken GMAT 2 times. I gave my first attempt in August 2016 and I gave the second attempt a few weeks ago in March 2017. In my first attempt, I had issues with application of concepts and practice. I joined e-gmat verbal online course and Gmat club tests for my second attempt and I diligently studied for 2.5 months. I used the scholaranium and did hundreds of question from CR,RC,SC and maths.

My second attempt was on 30th March 2017.

During my preparation, I made sure to regularly take Mocks and analyze my errors. I gave 11 full mock test under exam conditions and I scored fairly well on all of them.
I took all 6 GMAT PREP exams and I scored consistently on them.
These were my mock results:
1. GMAT PREP 1 ( q: 49, v: 31 ) 660 (25th January 2017)
2. GMAT PREP 4 ( q:50, v:35 ) 710 (20th February 2017)
3. GMAT PREP 3 ( q:50, v:35 ) 710 (25th February 2017)
4. GMAT PREP 5 ( q:50, v: 38) 720 (7th March 2017)
5. GMAT PREP 6 (q: 49, v:35) 700 (10th March 2017)
6. GMAT PREP 2 (q:50 , v:38) 720 (24th March 2017)

I took all these mocks with AWA and IR and the proper break. I was pressed under timing in all these mocks for verbal especially. There were times when I had to answer 10 questions in 10 mins. For maths, I improved my timing using GMATClub Tests.

Before the exam day, I was bit scared about my timing in verbal as I have the habit of sticking to a question and not letting it go. Still, I was feeling confident as I knew that under any circumstances I will score good as I did in my mocks.

But, before the exam day, there was a long power cut in my locality and I couldn't sleep because the backup was exhausted. I slept barely for 2 hours the day before my exam. But I wasn't affected my this. I reached the center and I started my exam. AWA went pretty well (I got a 5.5/6). Then in IR I was stuck in a two-part analysis question for some time but I went ahead. I got 6 MSR questions and I knew I was bad at them. So, I had the feeling that I screwed IR section (I got a 3, even less than my 1st attempt ie was 5).

After the break I started with maths, It was going pretty well till 9th question (ahead of time) but then there was a question (I think 12th) and I got stuck with that one. I didn't realize how much time I had spent on that question. And by the time I was trying to catch my pace up, there was one more question where I got stuck and had to guess and move ahead. I remember I was on 30th question with 7 mins to go and I had to guess 35,36 and 37 in order to complete the exam. After the maths section, I felt I messed up but Still I had the feeling that I will get a 49 for sure.

After the break verbal started with 3 sc and one cr question. Then came in an RC it was a long one and I read it quickly(with egmat strategies). The first RC question was a main point and I was stuck between three options and I wasn't able to narrow down the answer. I tried to move ahead but somewhat I got frozen and I couldn't. I was trying hard to figure out that question and I wasted a lot of time. I had to complete the first 10 questions in 21 mins but I was 5 mins behind due to my mess up. I messed up with one more RC in the same way in the third set of questions. Then, I tried to catch up the pace but I was on the 30th question with 10 mins left. I had to guess on all CR question that came after that and I knew I had messed up. I wasted so much money and effort. The last 10 questions were stressful, my mind was telling me that you have messed up and I knew RC has taken my life again.

I got a 640 (q: 48, v:29) in my second attempt. I just improved by 30 points from my first attempt.

I had done everything I thought was necessary for GMAT exam. I took a leave from my college, left some placements offers, shifted to the other city just to study for the exam. Moreover, I took mocks in a proper manner in the same kind of conditions but still, I failed in my second attempt. I don't want to apply with this score as I know it;s not representative of my performance.

I have an issue with the competitive exams. I perform well in mocks but when the real exam comes, I am stuck or hold on to a question and I mess up.I think my exam temperament is not good while taking the exam. I don't know ho exactly to move ahead. I am currently giving my final semester exams. I want to improve but I feel like I have given everything that I had to my second attempt. I think that it could be the possibility that even if I improve and prepare for my third attempt, I could mess up again due to my bad temperament during the exam. I couldn't improve in this respect.

Please suggest what I can do and how can I work to improve my exam temperament.

I am attaching my ESRs from both attempts please see and give your valuable inputs.

Thanks a lot.


"I think that it could be the possibility that even if I improve and prepare for my third attempt, I could mess up again due to my bad temperament during the exam. I couldn't improve in this respect."
This is some pretty negative thinking and doesn't help at all. Note that GMAT is about both, aptitude and attitude. First ensure that you are good at the tested topics - then ensure that you know you are good at them!
Also, keep in mind that there is no limit to the number of time times you can take GMAT. If you do not get the score you like, you can just choose to cancel it and no one will be the wiser. Hence you shouldn't stress out unnecessarily.

From your latest ESR, I see that you spend less time in CR and more in SC. Ideally, you don't need more than 1 - 1.25 mins for an SC question. But for CR, people usually take upto 2 mins. The point I am trying to make is, that you might want to increase your speed in SC (say, by focussing on the decision points). Also, in case you are a little more careful in CR questions, you might improve your accuracy. Yes, RC certainly did not work out in your favour but you already knew that. What was the problem you faced in RC during the exam? Was comprehension a problem? Or was time a problem?

I suggest that you write down everything you learnt from this attempt. The sections/topics in which you feel you are weak; those in which you feel you take too much time etc. Then take a break of a few weeks and start with a fresh mind. Since you are in your final year, you have plenty of time.
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Re: Exam temperament (Failed at 2nd attempt too) : Please help [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 07:02
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
From your latest ESR, I see that you spend less time in CR and more in SC. Ideally, you don't need more than 1 - 1.25 mins for an SC question. But for CR, people usually take upto 2 mins. The point I am trying to make is, that you might want to increase your speed in SC (say, by focussing on the decision points). Also, in case you are a little more careful in CR questions, you might improve your accuracy. Yes, RC certainly did not work out in your favor but you already knew that. What was the problem you faced in RC during the exam? Was comprehension a problem? Or was time a problem?


Thankyou so much Ma'am for responding. Actually, the ESR shows the average time for CR less because I got CRs over the end and I had to guess them, otherwise my average time for a CR is 2:00-2:30 mins. I know I need to improve, but what I feel is it is a skill to take the test, and I really don't have that. Because I practiced a lot and prepared a lot for this attempt. What happened in the exam especially in RC was that I understood the whole passage, I was just stuck between 2-3 choices and I wasted time clinging to a specific question. The first time I did this thing was in first 10 questions when around 6th question, there was a long RC and comprehended that well, I read that RC in 2:40 secs. The first question was a main point question and none of the options was covering the whole passage. So, I was confused between the options and wasted my time there. I wasted around 4 mins on that question. I somewhat froze. I knew I should move on but I couldn't. After that, I was behind time the whole.

This is why I feel that this same thing could happen again. I thought that my second attempt would be the last one. I am planning to Masters in management in Fall 2018. So, I have to apply to schools before September this year. And, multiple retakes wouldn't be seen as a bad thing?
Also, even when I was practicing at home, my verbal timing during mocks was pretty bad. How can I improve my timing? When I practice questions individually my timing is good but, during mocks things are different.

Thanks again

regards

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Re: Exam temperament (Failed at 2nd attempt too) : Please help [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 12:11
Hi retakegal95,

To start, you would likely get more of a response if you also posted your story in the Shared Experience Forum:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/share-gmat-experience-8/

In a prior series of posts back in October, here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/low-gmat-sco ... l#p1744691

You described how you had taken the 6 Official GMAC CATs. In this recent thread, you describe taking them all again. Unfortunately, that is NOT realistic - retaking a CAT that you have already taken almost always leads to 'repeat' questions. Even just a few of those questions will 'throw off' the algorithm as well as diminish any natural anxiety issues, pacing problems, etc. that you might normally have. The result is an artificially 'inflated' score that doesn't properly define what you need to work on to improve.

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Since this 2nd Official Score is 30 points above your prior Official Score, it's likely that you have the same general skills/ability that you had before. To score at a significantly higher level, you'll likely need to focus on changing how you 'see' (and respond to) the GMAT; that will almost certainly require learning/practicing new Tactics.

We also cannot discount the poor night's sleep that you described. That lack of sleep would almost certainly impact anyone's performance on Test Day.

1) Are you planning to apply to same Schools that you mentioned back in October? If those MIM/SIM Programs both still 'require' just a 600, then you're clearly in position to apply.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Exam temperament (Failed at 2nd attempt too) : Please help [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 13:13
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi retakegal95,

To start, you would likely get more of a response if you also posted your story in the Shared Experience Forum:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/share-gmat-experience-8/

In a prior series of posts back in October, here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/low-gmat-sco ... l#p1744691

You described how you had taken the 6 Official GMAC CATs. In this recent thread, you describe taking them all again. Unfortunately, that is NOT realistic - retaking a CAT that you have already taken almost always leads to 'repeat' questions. Even just a few of those questions will 'throw off' the algorithm as well as diminish any natural anxiety issues, pacing problems, etc. that you might normally have. The result is an artificially 'inflated' score that doesn't properly define what you need to work on to improve.

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Since this 2nd Official Score is 30 points above your prior Official Score, it's likely that you have the same general skills/ability that you had before. To score at a significantly higher level, you'll likely need to focus on changing how you 'see' (and respond to) the GMAT; that will almost certainly require learning/practicing new Tactics.

We also cannot discount the poor night's sleep that you described. That lack of sleep would almost certainly impact anyone's performance on Test Day.

1) Are you planning to apply to same Schools that you mentioned back in October? If those MIM/SIM Programs both still 'require' just a 600, then you're clearly in position to apply.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Heyy,

Thankyou so much for your response Sir.

Yes you are right I took the official CATs again. But, I didn't encounter any repeat questions in exam pack 1 and 2. As, during my last attempt, I didn't review these mocks so, all the questions I encountered were new. Gmat prep 1 and 2 had repeat questions. So, yes in these two the scores were inflated I guess. Moreover, I took 7 veritas prep test and scored the same in them. Also, I gave one kaplan and Economist free exam and scored 700 and 710 in both of them respectively.

I guess you are right in the respect that I need to change how i "see" (respond to) GMAT. But, I have taken approximately 100 timed quizzes for both verbal and quant. I scored pretty well in them. I understand the anxiety and stress are there when you give the real exam. I am not able to understand how to proceed further. What I can pin down from my whole experience is that the I tend to cling on a question thinking that I might get this one right and I waste time, because of which I am under pressure for the remaining ones. I need to improve my timing strategy and I realized that earlier too and made a plan but, I couldn't apply in the real thing. This is what is bothering me. That how can I deal with this problem. I will be grateful if you could suggest me something.

Moreover, as I was scoring well in my mocks and I was confident I was focusing on Masters in Management from US, I know that's pretty competitive and I need a better GMAT for the same. I am planning to write GMAT again, as I still feel I am clear with the concepts. But, I really dont know how can I work upon my exam temperament issue.

Thanks for taking out time to respond.

Regards

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Re: Exam temperament (Failed at 2nd attempt too) : Please help [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 22:34
retakegal95 wrote:
VeritasPrepKarishma wrote:
From your latest ESR, I see that you spend less time in CR and more in SC. Ideally, you don't need more than 1 - 1.25 mins for an SC question. But for CR, people usually take upto 2 mins. The point I am trying to make is, that you might want to increase your speed in SC (say, by focussing on the decision points). Also, in case you are a little more careful in CR questions, you might improve your accuracy. Yes, RC certainly did not work out in your favor but you already knew that. What was the problem you faced in RC during the exam? Was comprehension a problem? Or was time a problem?


Thankyou so much Ma'am for responding. Actually, the ESR shows the average time for CR less because I got CRs over the end and I had to guess them, otherwise my average time for a CR is 2:00-2:30 mins. I know I need to improve, but what I feel is it is a skill to take the test, and I really don't have that. Because I practiced a lot and prepared a lot for this attempt. What happened in the exam especially in RC was that I understood the whole passage, I was just stuck between 2-3 choices and I wasted time clinging to a specific question. The first time I did this thing was in first 10 questions when around 6th question, there was a long RC and comprehended that well, I read that RC in 2:40 secs. The first question was a main point question and none of the options was covering the whole passage. So, I was confused between the options and wasted my time there. I wasted around 4 mins on that question. I somewhat froze. I knew I should move on but I couldn't. After that, I was behind time the whole.

This is why I feel that this same thing could happen again. I thought that my second attempt would be the last one. I am planning to Masters in management in Fall 2018. So, I have to apply to schools before September this year. And, multiple retakes wouldn't be seen as a bad thing?
Also, even when I was practicing at home, my verbal timing during mocks was pretty bad. How can I improve my timing? When I practice questions individually my timing is good but, during mocks things are different.

Thanks again

regards


Firstly, let me respond to this concern of yours: And, multiple retakes wouldn't be seen as a bad thing?
You already have two scores on your score report. Now, decide on a target score, say 680, before going in the test. Anything less than that and you can cancel the score. No one will know about your attempt since a cancelled score does not appear in the score report provided to the school. You do lose some money but in the grand scheme of things, you shouldn't worry about it. Accept the score only if you are actually good with it. Thanks to this option, the attempt becomes a "real" attempt only if you want it to be. Hence, half of your worry is unfounded.

Your CR performance then makes sense. Usually, people who are strong in Quant, tend to be good in CR too. CR is logic based and most of its questions can be solved by a step-by-step Mathematical type of approach.
Establish set strategies for various question types and follow them. With enough practice, your speed should increase and stress should reduce.

As for clinging to a question, know that one odd wrong answer in a mix won't hurt your score much - in fact it may not hurt your score at all even if it is not an experimental question - but the added stress and reduced time it lead to will certainly affect your score badly. Sometimes, you need to lose a battle to win the war.
Here is a post which talks about such strategic "quitting" and why it is very important: https://www.veritasprep.com/blog/2010/1 ... for-field/
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Re: Exam temperament (Failed at 2nd attempt too) : Please help   [#permalink] 13 Apr 2017, 22:34
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