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Help!! Mental Break down

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Help!! Mental Break down [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2017, 13:12
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Hi Guys

Let me just start off by saying most everyone on here is quite helpful and I am really appreciative of the help. This is my second or third post on here and I am hoping I do a better job of explaining my problem. About a couple months ago I too my GMAT exam and ended up scoring a 460. When I gave my fist simulation exam without looking at any material I scored a 560. Unfortunately I did worse on the actual exam than my fist exam. I have spent the last couple months away from the GMAT trying to locate why I am did not do well. I dont believe this was a lack of knowledge gap. I spent a solid 6 months studying for this exam and I knew the material quite well. I spent a lot of time ensure I got 80% of 500-600 and 600-700 questions right and 50% of 700+ questions. I realized that before the exam I was having a mental break down. I ended up putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself and my mind kept wandering. A couple of thing I noticed were: 1) I had a hard time focusing 2) I was not going though my progression for Verbal like I did during practice 3) my brain to a certain degree was shutdown (auto pilot) 4) had a hard time recognizing question which I have practiced a million times 5) I believe I was quite nervous and anxious leading up the exam. Has anyone experienced these characteristics, if so how did you over come some of these problems. What are some tactics or strategies you used to stay calm and focus? Any insight or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Re: Help!! Mental Break down [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2017, 15:35
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spatel2 wrote:
Hi Guys

Let me just start off by saying most everyone on here is quite helpful and I am really appreciative of the help. This is my second or third post on here and I am hoping I do a better job of explaining my problem. About a couple months ago I too my GMAT exam and ended up scoring a 460. When I gave my fist simulation exam without looking at any material I scored a 560. Unfortunately I did worse on the actual exam than my fist exam. I have spent the last couple months away from the GMAT trying to locate why I am did not do well. I dont believe this was a lack of knowledge gap. I spent a solid 6 months studying for this exam and I knew the material quite well. I spent a lot of time ensure I got 80% of 500-600 and 600-700 questions right and 50% of 700+ questions. I realized that before the exam I was having a mental break down. I ended up putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself and my mind kept wandering. A couple of thing I noticed were: 1) I had a hard time focusing 2) I was not going though my progression for Verbal like I did during practice 3) my brain to a certain degree was shutdown (auto pilot) 4) had a hard time recognizing question which I have practiced a million times 5) I believe I was quite nervous and anxious leading up the exam. Has anyone experienced these characteristics, if so how did you over come some of these problems. What are some tactics or strategies you used to stay calm and focus? Any insight or help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Dear spatel2

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, in addition to helping explain questions on the GMAT, I am also a meditation teacher. The very best thing you could do would be to start a full meditation practice--it would be a challenge, but the payoff, in terms of the GMAT and everything else in your life, would be huge. I also recommend this blog:
Practical Tips for Stress Reduction
Read that blog carefully, and read all the linked blogs carefully.

Also, I am going to recommend a company of my friend, John Hankey:
Mindful Test Taking
He also has a number of practical tips that can help you.

Let me know if you have any questions. I wish you the very best of good luck, my friend.

Mike :-)
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Re: Help!! Mental Break down [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 01:54
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Hi,

Meditation is a great way to boost up your confidence and focus. Also try to identify the areas where you face most difficulty and try to practice that more

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Re: Help!! Mental Break down [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 02:02
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hi spatel2

Hope this helps
Also you can try insight timer and aware app from play store.

WR,
Arpit

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 05:48
Check my debrief and you will get all your answers. Also i have a post that is an advise for all non natives read that about how to approach verbal. I was getting a 700+ in my mocks still my first attempt was a 540 (fever and personal issues) second attempt a 640 q50v27 froze during verbal and too much stress. Third attempt 720 q49v40. my advise for verbal is also there in my posts.hope you like it

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 09:41
mikemcgarry thanks for your help, I gave meditation a try this morning and as it was my first attempt ever not sure i did it right. But will stick to it and hopefully it pays dividends

premprabhs111 your debrief was quite inspiring and very relocatable, hopeful that I am able to achieve success like you too, after all the GMAT is meant to be broken right ;)

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 09:52
spatel2 sure thing. Enjoy the exam and think you are learning something new

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Re: Help!! Mental Break down [#permalink]

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New post 12 Sep 2017, 10:31
Hi spatel2,

I believe you have been given enough tips on reducing stress.
This is a tip which came in very handy for a friend of mine and hoping
it comes in handy for me as well. I will be giving the exam soon.

If your target score is 730, keep telling yourself - I will achieve 730
IMO, having a positive mindset is the single more important thing to cracking this exam.
If i am not wrong, GMAT is more about mentally defeating the exam than anything else.

Thanks in advance!
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Help!! Mental Break down [#permalink]

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New post 13 Sep 2017, 12:21
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spatel2 wrote:
mikemcgarry thanks for your help, I gave meditation a try this morning and as it was my first attempt ever not sure i did it right. But will stick to it and hopefully it pays dividends

Dear spatel2,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, very good for you, because it's all in the effort. I'll mention a few things about meditation.

Posture is important: keep your spine aligned and relax. Breath is important: keep the breath slow and very deep, filling the whole belly with each breath. In fact, the more you can do this belly-breathing throughout the day, the calmer you will be. The classical meditation instruction is to breathe deep and focus on the breath: at first, that's almost impossible, which is fine. Your mind will wander--perfectly normal--and then you will notice that you have wandered in your attention, and very gently, with tremendous patience and self-forgiveness, come back to the breath. Meditation is gigantic exercise of self-love and self-acceptance: however you are is fine. Part of the point is to start to recognize that just about everything we think is purely a story, no more. Consider these three stories:
1) "If I get a 750+ on the GMAT, my career will be wonderful."
2) "If I get a 400 on the GMAT, I will have a horrible career."
3) "If I make a lot of money, then I will be happy."
All of those are purely stories, no more. There's no guarantee that they are true. In fact, there certainly are people out there for whom #! and #2 are false, and significant social science research has verified repeatedly that #3 is simply not true: income and happiness are 100% uncorrelated. Meanwhile, mediation and mindfulness are highly correlated with overall life satisfaction.

I would recommend researching mindfulness practice: this is a useful complement to meditation, and together, they really can reduce stress. There are many good books on meditation and mindfulness.

You see, the paradox is that, to do well on the GMAT, you have stop caring about it. Very specifically, you have to disattach from all the stories you tell yourself about what a good score or a not-so-good score might mean. You are a talented young person, and like any talented young person, you have the potential to create a wonderfully rewarding and satisfying life for yourself, irrespective of what you may get on the GMAT. In the big picture of Life, GMAT score doesn't matter at all. If you can really hold on to that perspective, then you can relax and bring the best of yourself to the GMAT. You have to be focused on being relaxed and bring the best of yourself: if you are not attached to outcome, the paradox is that this will produce the best outcome!

Acting without attachment to outcome. There is an ancient wise book about this theme called the Bhagavad Gita. Gandhi based his life on that book. This book helped Gandhi liberate India, the second largest nation on Earth! It certainly can help someone do better on the GMAT!

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Mike :-)
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Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: Help!! Mental Break down [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2017, 06:44
mikemcgarry wrote:
spatel2 wrote:
mikemcgarry thanks for your help, I gave meditation a try this morning and as it was my first attempt ever not sure i did it right. But will stick to it and hopefully it pays dividends

Dear spatel2,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

My friend, very good for you, because it's all in the effort. I'll mention a few things about meditation.

Posture is important: keep your spine aligned and relax. Breath is important: keep the breath slow and very deep, filling the whole belly with each breath. In fact, the more you can do this belly-breathing throughout the day, the calmer you will be. The classical meditation instruction is to breathe deep and focus on the breath: at first, that's almost impossible, which is fine. Your mind will wander--perfectly normal--and then you will notice that you have wandered in your attention, and very gently, with tremendous patience and self-forgiveness, come back to the breath. Meditation is gigantic exercise of self-love and self-acceptance: however you are is fine. Part of the point is to start to recognize that just about everything we think is purely a story, no more. Consider these three stories:
1) "If I get a 750+ on the GMAT, my career will be wonderful."
2) "If I get a 400 on the GMAT, I will have a horrible career."
3) "If I make a lot of money, then I will be happy."
All of those are purely stories, no more. There's no guarantee that they are true. In fact, there certainly are people out there for whom #! and #2 are false, and significant social science research has verified repeatedly that #3 is simply not true: income and happiness are 100% uncorrelated. Meanwhile, mediation and mindfulness are highly correlated with overall life satisfaction.

I would recommend researching mindfulness practice: this is a useful complement to meditation, and together, they really can reduce stress. There are many good books on meditation and mindfulness.

You see, the paradox is that, to do well on the GMAT, you have stop caring about it. Very specifically, you have to disattach from all the stories you tell yourself about what a good score or a not-so-good score might mean. You are a talented young person, and like any talented young person, you have the potential to create a wonderfully rewarding and satisfying life for yourself, irrespective of what you may get on the GMAT. In the big picture of Life, GMAT score doesn't matter at all. If you can really hold on to that perspective, then you can relax and bring the best of yourself to the GMAT. You have to be focused on being relaxed and bring the best of yourself: if you are not attached to outcome, the paradox is that this will produce the best outcome!

Acting without attachment to outcome. There is an ancient wise book about this theme called the Bhagavad Gita. Gandhi based his life on that book. This book helped Gandhi liberate India, the second largest nation on Earth! It certainly can help someone do better on the GMAT!

Let me know if you have any other questions.
Mike :-)


mikemcgarry , thanks for the insightful reply. The examples of Bhagavad Gita and Gandhi were great. I can relate to every word you said :)
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Re: Help!! Mental Break down   [#permalink] 02 Oct 2017, 06:44
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