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# Have you overcome test anxiety?

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Intern
Joined: 01 Aug 2018
Posts: 15
Have you overcome test anxiety?  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 13:19
I’ve hired several brilliant gmat tutors and they both said essentially the same thing...”you have a solid understanding of all the fundamentals (Quant) and can solve problems efficiently once you recognize the right way to solve, but for some reason you are not seeing the correct solutions the first time through.”

Unfortunately, these teachers don’t know how to prescribe a solution for this- and I’m running out of time!

I think I understand how stress works and have made many positive changes in my life over the past few years, from improved self-talk, visualization, goal-setting, and most of all to surrounding myself with positive people and things.

However, when I got into that test center last time it was as if I was being chased by a lion for 4 hours.

I finished the first 10 quant problems with 43 minutes remaining on the clock, and totally blanked on many of them. My first official score in October was 600 (Q32 V40), then after doing tons of additional training and official practice problems, I give a terrible performance of 550 (Q33 V33). I’ve been studying since late July.

I feel like I went stress-blind and scored way below my actual ability.

Have YOU overcome this? Or have you trained a student to overcome this? How? What was the root cause and solution?

I can score over 40 on both sections in practice. Next test is 12/29- help!

Posted from my mobile device
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Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 3047
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: Have you overcome test anxiety?  [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2018, 20:41
1
ThomasR22 wrote:
I’ve hired several brilliant gmat tutors and they both said essentially the same thing...”you have a solid understanding of all the fundamentals (Quant) and can solve problems efficiently once you recognize the right way to solve, but for some reason you are not seeing the correct solutions the first time through.”

Unfortunately, these teachers don’t know how to prescribe a solution for this- and I’m running out of time!

I think I understand how stress works and have made many positive changes in my life over the past few years, from improved self-talk, visualization, goal-setting, and most of all to surrounding myself with positive people and things.

However, when I got into that test center last time it was as if I was being chased by a lion for 4 hours.

I finished the first 10 quant problems with 43 minutes remaining on the clock, and totally blanked on many of them. My first official score in October was 600 (Q32 V40), then after doing tons of additional training and official practice problems, I give a terrible performance of 550 (Q33 V33). I’ve been studying since late July.

I feel like I went stress-blind and scored way below my actual ability.

Have YOU overcome this? Or have you trained a student to overcome this? How? What was the root cause and solution?

I can score over 40 on both sections in practice. Next test is 12/29- help!
V40 (90%) is a really good score, and what it tells me is that your reasoning skills are excellent. On the other hand, your Q32-33 (21-23%) scores are definitely not as good (such scores typically show that the test taker is not very comfortable with the basic concepts). Q40 (39%) is a better score, but even that score indicates that the test taker needs to continue working on the basics.

Because scaled scores don't mean much in quant, you should not assume right now that you need to work only on handling pressure. Take a look at the quant percentiles on this page and check what score you'd be comfortable looking at as a good indicator that your fundamental concepts are not whatever it is that is holding you back.

Additionally, you should check for comfort and time pressure as well. That is, there is a difference between simply knowing something and knowing it really well.
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Joined: 04 Nov 2017
Posts: 82
Location: India
GMAT 1: 590 Q48 V23
GMAT 2: 700 Q48 V38
GPA: 4
Have you overcome test anxiety?  [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2018, 22:35
1
ThomasR22 wrote:
I’ve hired several brilliant gmat tutors and they both said essentially the same thing...”you have a solid understanding of all the fundamentals (Quant) and can solve problems efficiently once you recognize the right way to solve, but for some reason you are not seeing the correct solutions the first time through.”

Unfortunately, these teachers don’t know how to prescribe a solution for this- and I’m running out of time!

I think I understand how stress works and have made many positive changes in my life over the past few years, from improved self-talk, visualization, goal-setting, and most of all to surrounding myself with positive people and things.

However, when I got into that test center last time it was as if I was being chased by a lion for 4 hours.

I finished the first 10 quant problems with 43 minutes remaining on the clock, and totally blanked on many of them. My first official score in October was 600 (Q32 V40), then after doing tons of additional training and official practice problems, I give a terrible performance of 550 (Q33 V33). I’ve been studying since late July.

I feel like I went stress-blind and scored way below my actual ability.

Have YOU overcome this? Or have you trained a student to overcome this? How? What was the root cause and solution?

I can score over 40 on both sections in practice. Next test is 12/29- help!

Posted from my mobile device

V33 and V40 shows that you are pretty much fine with verbal, while Q32 and Q33 are low scores for quant. Looking at the time is counter productive, in a sense that you have to look at the watch but sometimes looking too much at watch end up in time wastage. I think there are time strategies for Quant; but create your own.
Time -- No. of questions left
62 -- 31
42 -- 21
22 -- 10
2 -- 1

Also look at the Verbal-Quant VS Quant-Verbal option on GMAT prep tests; Do you want to do verbal first to gain some confidence or want to do quant first to counter the weak areas with fresh mind. But before you attempt any other official test, you need to be comfortable with the basics. Test Anxiety can be lowered by not thinking too much during the tests. Take each question on merit and answer that. Even if you realize that you made a mistake in your last question, leave that thought out and concentrate on the current question. Consequent wrong answers have major impact on your overall score.

In your actual GMAT and mock GMAT prep test look what are the Quant areas that you can improve upon. Get the ESR for both the test. I am sure you are making too many mistakes in the first 10 questions and that is making it difficult for your score to go up.

Also create an error log to identify the type and cause of mistake. Sometimes you may be doing lot of silly mistakes (calculation/Oversight etc) that may be leading to a wrong answer. You will have to do a thorough analysis of your weakness and fix it one by one. Not everything will happen overnight but slow and steady effort will take you closer to your desired score.

I went from V23 to V38. Even though my score improvement was in verbal but the basics of score improvement can be applied in your case as well.
Below is the link of my experience.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/590-q48-v23- ... l#p1990093
Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 8043
Location: United States (CA)
Re: Have you overcome test anxiety?  [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2018, 19:50
Hi ThomasR22,

Sorry to hear how things have been going with your GMAT. For starters, if you’ve been achieving your GMAT score goal on official practice exams (taken under realistic testing conditions) and have been told by multiple qualified GMAT tutors that you know your stuff, then you need to develop a positive attitude and be confident. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are pretty damn good at the GMAT!

To help manage your nerves, you could try some visualization techniques. Imagine various test-day scenarios such as getting stuck on a question, issues in the testing center, feeling pressed for time, or worrying that you’re underperforming. As you feel your stress responses start to kick in when thinking about these things, practice pulling yourself together and visualize focusing on getting correct answers.

When taking the GMAT, the best way to deal with stress is to get busy answering the question in front of you, focusing completely on the task at hand so that you redirect all of that nervous energy and naturally calm down. In other words, you distract yourself with a goal. Just tell yourself that all that matters is getting the correct answer to the question in front of you, and then when you have finished that question, take the same attitude toward the next one. Focus on winning each “mini-battle” and you won't have time for anxiety. If you can win enough of those battles, you can win the GMAT war, right?

I wrote an article that provides some more detailed advice about how to limit GMAT anxiety.

Feel free to reach out with further questions. I’ve got your back, my friend.

Let's do this!!
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Re: Have you overcome test anxiety?  [#permalink]

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17 Dec 2018, 01:11
Hi, ThomasR22

The score 600(Q32, V40) you got for the first time is good, considering that the average score of the beginner is around 500. As a beginner, score around 500-600 is okay. Hitting a score over 700 requires much time and effort. I want you to give advice that GMAT is a long-term journey and you should not be obsessed with every test result. One of the most important things is not the score, but taking time to reflecting on several parts that need improvement after taking the test.

Time management is a big challenge for you. This is an issue regardless of math skill. Good foundation of math doesn't make sense at all if you take very long to solve the problem and find correct answers. You should find the way to solve questions for 2 min each, which is what we exactly teach and offer in our online course.

There could be a lot of causes of the scores dropping, but if the reason is test anxiety, I recommend you to constantly take a mock test. You should be familiar with the test condition. It is one good way for you to set a date when you take a mock test. The quantity and quality of mock tests should be same or better than the real GMAT test. Once per week, once per month and so forth.. you can set it on your own way. However, you should keep in mind that before starting working on GMAT in earnest, you should firstly set a date which cannot be changed later on, and prepare it for the following days. By this way, you could be familiar with and overcome test anxiety.

Our company offers high quality mock tests. We also have over 2,700 questions available through our site. All lectures are categorized based on subject matters, so you can begin with any subject that you wish to improve on. We post our questions for DS &PS every week under Forum>GMAT Quantitative. Our questions are always up-to-date. Don’t waste your time learning outdated approaches to GMAT math. It’s a good place to practice our methods. Also check out our tips on how to improve your score. https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-ultimate ... 09801.html We offer both free trial pack and free video lessons to students on our site mathrevolution.com. So check it out to see if our material will work for you.

Please let us know if you have further questions.
You can reach us at info@mathrevolution.com

Good luck!
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Re: Have you overcome test anxiety?   [#permalink] 17 Dec 2018, 01:11
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# Have you overcome test anxiety?

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