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# It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.

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Manager
Joined: 28 Jun 2018
Posts: 73
It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.  [#permalink]

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27 Oct 2018, 00:06
Hi,

I am writing this post totally distraught and confused. Let me start at the beginning but I'll keep it short.
I started studying for the GMAT around a few months ago but actually began my real study only a month ago and took the test on the 25th of October.
From the beginning, my problem was Quant. I don't come from a math background and put all my energy into bringing my score up from 29 to 42, which is what I wanted.
From what I could tell, a total score of 86 from both sections would give me a 700 or something close, which is what I aimed for.

Verbal, on the other hand, I hardly practised. I did go through the MGMT SC guide, and it helped a lot I think. From the time I first took a test without studying (I had score 32 on Verbal then), I saw some improvement in the month. I took 6 official tests overall, all verbal scores below:
V41
V36
V37
V32 (Twas a bad test day, a lot of my family kept interrupting me DURING the test so I didnt count this one)
V37
V37

While I was scoring 42-45 on Quant. So I thought I'd PROBABLY score a 37-38 on verbal too, but hoped against all odds to cross 40. Intitially I thought I could easily score 45-46 on V, but I never really gave it time. So I can't complain.

Test day: I scored 24.

I cannot get my head around it. Sure. it was the first section of the exam for me and I was EXTREMELY nervous, but still - 24?!
I cancelled my score that day, but right now, I just stand confused. My experience during the test: I was super nervous, and RCs f***d me up. I for some wild reason could not concentrate. I kept reading and re-reading and still didn't get a word, and that made me lose all my time for SC and CR, making me guess around 15 questions or so with under 30 secs for each.
I know it was half a bad day, but i still don't get a 24.

I am an English Major, I know I don't have problems with the language. So why is RC messing me up?
More importantly, I plan to take the test again on 23rd Nov. what do I do? This time I NEED a 45+.
Joined: 19 Jul 2018
Posts: 98
Re: It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.  [#permalink]

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29 Oct 2018, 14:07
Hey hibobotamuss,

Your experience really sounds like test day nerves. Other than that, there are a few things that could have happened. What order did you take your test in? (And did you take it in the same order as you took your practice tests?) Anything out of the ordinary on test day? Did you feel like the passages were substantially harder than the ones in your practice exams? Was there one really hard passage early on that threw you off? Were the practice tests you took GMAT Prep tests? Did you take them (other than the one you mentioned) under realistic/unfriendly conditions?

Remember that you aren't alone and that you can improve - one test day doesn't define you. The average of your CATs shows that your ability level is definitely higher than you showed on test day.
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Laura
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Manager
Joined: 28 Jun 2018
Posts: 73
Re: It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2018, 00:26
Hey, I started with Verbal then went on to Quant. I did end up wasting a lot of time one of the RCs earlier in the test - but the problem was that no matter what I did I just couldnt concentrate. How do I make sure that doesn't happen?

Yes, the test results mentioned are all official GMAT prep tests, I bought all six so. I had taken them in realistic conditions. I don't get the fall from avr 37 to 24.

What do I do to make sure my nerves don't get the best of me next time? I have 25 days for the next test.
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Re: It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2018, 16:37
Hi hibobotamuss,

There are a variety of factors that can lead to score drop on Test Day, thus we have to consider far more than just how anxious you might have been. To start, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What is your goal score?
5) What is your exact retest date?
6) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
7) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Joined: 19 Jul 2018
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Re: It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2018, 16:49
1
Unfortunately there's no good way to make 100% sure that it doesn't happen again, but generally the best preparation against something like this is, well, preparation. (And maybe some changes to how you're taking your test.) Since it's a matter of nerves, one thought would be to try taking AWA/IR first. That way you're 'warmed up' when you're going into verbal rather than going into it cold. If you noticed that quant went more smoothly, it might be because (even though you were stressed) you had gotten into the groove of test taking by the time you got there.

Another thing I would suggest isn't content related. The most important thing you can do is to have a plan if things are going wrong like that again. Have a plan for "hey I'm going to close my eyes for ten seconds, breathe a couple times, and get back to it". It seems silly, and it seems like a waste of time. But if you can get yourself back on track, you're going to more than make up for those ten seconds pretty quickly.

The last thing is just continuing to work on doing practice sets in timed and stressful situations. If you can, get out of your house and go to a library or another "unfriendly" space. It might seem like not a big deal, but the mental strain of going someplace unfamiliar and less comfortable than your home (or even your usual study spot) can help in preparing your brain for test day.
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Laura
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Joined: 28 Jun 2018
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Re: It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.  [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2018, 23:35
Could you guys advise me on the best way to get my Quant score from 42 to 46-47? My test day is 23rd November, and I don't want to rely on just Verbal in case i mess it up again. I've consistently hit 40-41-42 on Quant, so want to push it up.
Joined: 19 Jul 2018
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Re: It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2018, 17:09
I'd recommend taking a look at your strengths and weaknesses here and then really honing in on those weaknesses. In the GMAT world, your floor is more important than your ceiling, so while it's important to push the limit on the hardest problems you can do, you have to prove to the scoring algorithm that you "deserve" those problems before it'll give them to you.

Take a look at your last three or so practice tests (or even take a new one. At Orion we have a shorter diagnostic that you can try that will do this for you too if you don't have this sort of itemization on the practice tests you've already taken). Look specifically for the questions that held you back - questions that you missed that have a difficulty level below your final score. Figure out what topics those are testing and why you got those wrong (it won't always be content -- for many it might be reasoning). Then focus on those things. Then move on to the next topic, and then the one after that.
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Re: It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.  [#permalink]

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31 Oct 2018, 18:13
1
Hi hibobotamuss,

I’m sorry to hear how things went on test day. Let’s focus on the heart of the matter: You unfortunately made a very common and misguided mistake in your prep by assuming that your verbal score was set and by thus focusing only on quant. The good news is that since you were an English major, I’m sure you have the foundational skills necessary for great verbal score; however, you need to put in some work.

Additionally, given the disparity between your overall verbal skills and your verbal section score, it seems likely that you struggled with trap answers, in other words, choices that are incorrect, but are written to seem, or sound, correct. You can know a lot about English but get smoked by GMAT verbal if you don't clearly see the difference between trap choices and correct answers. So, going forward, your training should include a fair amount of work that is focused on telling the difference between trap choices and correct answers.

Lastly, I know you were nervous for your previous exam, but if you can further improve your GMAT skills, you will be able to better control your nerves and thus perform at a high level on test day.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Re: It took me two days to get over the GMAT I took, now I want advice.   [#permalink] 31 Oct 2018, 18:13
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