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Got 650 and considering retaking the test

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Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2017, 18:25
Hi,

I took the GMAT for the second time 2 days ago and got a disappointing score of 650. The first time I took it 8 months ago, my score was 620, so it was not a big improvement.

My mocks before the most current exam were 720, 710, 740, from GMAT Official and Economist. So I was very hopeful for this time around.

The problem with me is that I have extremely bad test anxiety, which significantly impacts my performance. Before the first exam, I was not able to sleep the whole night and my exam was at 8am. The second time, I took a sleeping pill but still had troubles with sleeping and did not sleep till 3:30am, waking up at 7 and I had my test at 2:30pm. Needless to say, I was very tired, sleepy, and my body ached.

I feel like I have been studying all I could and, if I take it once more time (which I most likely will do), what else could I do to prepare for the exam. When should I retake it (my schedule works best a month later)? And, most importantly, I appreciate any advice on how to calm my nerves and give the exam my best ability the next time.

Thanks!
Chi
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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 11 May 2017, 10:53
Hi Chi,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. A poor night's sleep would impact just about every Test Taker's performance on the Official GMAT, but there are other potential factors as well. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?

In addition, what were your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores on each of your 2 Official GMATs?

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Rich
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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 12 May 2017, 05:14
Hi Rich,

Thanks so much for your reply!
Please see below for my response to the questions:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
No. I took the first mock entire time. For the second and the third exams, I took only the Quantitative and Verbal sections

2) Did you take them at home?
I took them in the library. I tried to mimic the exam atmosphere as much as possible. But the exam environment is very daunting to me! The whole checking in and checking out every time I go for a break is so intimidating. Plus, they don't allow many drafts. It took me 2 minutes to wait for the exam proctor to give me the second draft during Quantitative section. I also went to the restroom every break and had to run across the hall from the exam room to the restroom. I wonder if I should try not to go to the restroom and just sit and recompose myself? I have a bad habit of going to the restroom regularly when I am nervous.

3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
Yes. I always take them around 2-4pm. My exam was at 2 pm.

4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
I did pause for a few minutes during the second exam because somebody was talking on the phone in the library.

5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?
I did take the first and second mocks before when I first started studying. There were some but not many repetitive questions. The third mock was completely new to me.

6) My scores
GMAT 1: 650 (Q48, V28)
GMAT 2: 620 (Q44, V35) - I was very surprised by the low math score. I always scored 48 or higher in any mocks throughout my study time.

Thanks so much. I appreciate any pointers of whether I should continue studying (I have about 4 months before the round 1 application) and how I can study, not just hard, but also smart to get to the 700 level.

Sincerely,
Chi
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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2017, 18:34
lqc172 wrote:
Hi,

I took the GMAT for the second time 2 days ago and got a disappointing score of 650. The first time I took it 8 months ago, my score was 620, so it was not a big improvement.

My mocks before the most current exam were 720, 710, 740, from GMAT Official and Economist. So I was very hopeful for this time around.

The problem with me is that I have extremely bad test anxiety, which significantly impacts my performance. Before the first exam, I was not able to sleep the whole night and my exam was at 8am. The second time, I took a sleeping pill but still had troubles with sleeping and did not sleep till 3:30am, waking up at 7 and I had my test at 2:30pm. Needless to say, I was very tired, sleepy, and my body ached.

I feel like I have been studying all I could and, if I take it once more time (which I most likely will do), what else could I do to prepare for the exam. When should I retake it (my schedule works best a month later)? And, most importantly, I appreciate any advice on how to calm my nerves and give the exam my best ability the next time.

Thanks!
Chi


It sounds like your under performance is due to nerves.. I think you should retake it sooner rather than later, while your experience is still fresh (the admin stuff, checking in/out, etc.)
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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2017, 18:58
Hi Chi,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's what happened here. By skipping sections, pausing the CAT, seeing 'repeat' questions, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.' By extension, these practice scores were not accurate.

Thankfully, this is a relatively easy set of problems to fix. You'll certainly need a new set of practice CATs to work with and you have to put in the necessary time to train your brain (and body) for the FULL GMAT. You might also need to invest in some new GMAT training materials. You have plenty of time to continue studying before the Round 1 application deadlines, so it's now a matter of how efficiently you want to approach this next phase of your studies.

1) What is your goal score?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2017, 11:45
lqc172 wrote:
Hi,

I took the GMAT for the second time 2 days ago and got a disappointing score of 650. The first time I took it 8 months ago, my score was 620, so it was not a big improvement.

My mocks before the most current exam were 720, 710, 740, from GMAT Official and Economist. So I was very hopeful for this time around.

The problem with me is that I have extremely bad test anxiety, which significantly impacts my performance. Before the first exam, I was not able to sleep the whole night and my exam was at 8am. The second time, I took a sleeping pill but still had troubles with sleeping and did not sleep till 3:30am, waking up at 7 and I had my test at 2:30pm. Needless to say, I was very tired, sleepy, and my body ached.

I feel like I have been studying all I could and, if I take it once more time (which I most likely will do), what else could I do to prepare for the exam. When should I retake it (my schedule works best a month later)? And, most importantly, I appreciate any advice on how to calm my nerves and give the exam my best ability the next time.

Thanks!
Chi



Hi

Test Anxiety is a big issue of not performing well in the exam
you should have at least 8 hours of well dreamed sleep and cordial and spiritual
peace,

what else could I do to prepare for the exam

you are already attempted for 2 times, now you should well aware of your hasty bad areas
GMAT, focus on these weak areas, practice as maximum as possible
Make an error log to trace your mistakes, Take at least 5-7 CATs review each CATs (mistake analysis, pacing analysis)
Meet the pace of GMAT, falling short of time in the real thing make more hasty
so practice enough to overcome this problem
Eat digestible food, Sleep well at least 7-8 hours
and be cool and calm, dont take it as the day of judgement
It is just a Graduate test life will never stops if you perform bad at the Test
so be cool and calm and be confident.
My example
(I have an exam tomorrow, still have spent hours on GMAT Club :) )

Good Luck
Cheers
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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2017, 11:55
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Have you tried Manhattan GMAT Guides? I am about to take my exam this weekend. I have purchased the guides a few months ago to try and really nail down the core knowledge as well as establish some good strategies. Those guides work. Time and strategic studying are your best friends. Find what works for you and keep at it until test day.
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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2017, 22:51
Hi lqc172 ,

Test anxiety is a common issue and most test takers go through it. 650 is a good score to lead with and you can now consider it your base score and work on your weak areas. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal. I believe you may benefit from taking a GMATPREP course. If you are willing, there are some great GMAT prep companies that can help you with your preparation.

In order to make an informed decision I would highly encourage you to go to their websites and try on their free trial and decide for yourself which one do you like better. You try out free access to EmpowerGMAT, Magoosh and Optimus Prep as they have great reviews on GMATCLUB.

Also for verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market.

You can also try out the MGMAT guides they are phenomenal and cover the entire syllabus really well. I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them. Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have a good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina and help you with your anxiety issues. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practise tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

Lastly I would also encourage you to purchase the latest version of OG and the verbal review for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... 68383.html

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 14:48
Thank you so much for everyone's response. As I have till around October for the first application round, I think I will try for another attempt... I will commit about 16 hours every week. I don't think I will study too much as that might have been one of the factors that caused my stress the first two times.

My plan moving forward:
1) Take the practice tests with Manhattan, full experience. (I used up all Veritas mocks, GMAT Official, two free Kaplan tests)
2) Study both Verbal and Quantitative fairly equally (When I studied for the second exam attempt, I mostly focused on Verbal and used e-GMAT)

For the actual test next time, I just hope I could sleep this time around... Not sure what will help. My biggest problem is when I am afraid I won't be able to sleep, then I cannot sleep at all.
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Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test [#permalink]

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New post 15 May 2017, 20:39
lqc172 wrote:
Thank you so much for everyone's response. As I have till around October for the first application round, I think I will try for another attempt... I will commit about 16 hours every week. I don't think I will study too much as that might have been one of the factors that caused my stress the first two times.

My plan moving forward:
1) Take the practice tests with Manhattan, full experience. (I used up all Veritas mocks, GMAT Official, two free Kaplan tests)
2) Study both Verbal and Quantitative fairly equally (When I studied for the second exam attempt, I mostly focused on Verbal and used e-GMAT)

For the actual test next time, I just hope I could sleep this time around... Not sure what will help. My biggest problem is when I am afraid I won't be able to sleep, then I cannot sleep at all.


Hi Chi (It sounds a Vietnamese name)
I know your situation cause I met a lot of anxiety problem during my first attempt. Then I am sure that stamina and your mind strength during test time can impact considerably your result.
But can I ask you this question. Why your verbal in 2nd attempt lower than the first one? While you said that you focus almost on Verbal during practice?
Thanks
Re: Got 650 and considering retaking the test   [#permalink] 15 May 2017, 20:39
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Got 650 and considering retaking the test

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