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# MORTIFIED BY A LOW SCORE. WHAT NOW???? HELP PLEASE!

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Joined: 29 Jan 2005
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24 Sep 2005, 20:43
Can somebody please offer me some advice?? I recently took 10 weeks off work, enrolled in a Kaplan course, attended every class, completed every problem on the online syllabus, read every book in print about how to attack all problem types, took over 20 practice CATs (including 9 Kaplan CATs and the ultimate practice exam), faithfully participated in the online GMAT club, and even went as far as getting extra tutoring practice from my Kaplan instructor. All my practice CATs were in the 600-700 range. Assuming that I was well within range of at least a 650, I registered to take the official test and showed up an hour early to review my notes one last time. In short, I felt fully confident.

Then came the real test. I was faced with problems far more complicated than anything Kaplan had ever taught in the classroom. Multiple step combination/permutation problems. Tricky data sufficiency, fully underlined sentence correction problems, back to back reading comprehension passages, and malfunctions in the test timer during the breaks (the administrator had to reset the test after every five minutes between sections????). I applied some strategic guessing and did my best, nevertheless. Then came the greatest shock of my life: Q35/V36 570 overall. I almost broke down and passed out from disbelief. What a blow! What an embarrassment!!

At first I considered taking it out on Kaplan and requesting my money back, but so many people swear by their services. Then I pondered the possibiliity of a glitch in the tests score. Could ETS have made a mistake? Finally, I assumed the administrators were somehow sabotaging me during the breaks. All said and done I am mortified. I cant even tell my friends and coworkers my real score.

What happened?? After all that effort, money, and sacrafice, I am considering throwing in the towel. I have to work 50 hours a week and application deadlines are around the corner, not to mention Im not getting any younger. The pressure is intense and has started taking its toll on my physical/psychological well being. Maybe Im just one of those people who simply arent cut out for business school.

I just dont know what to do. I would sincerely appreciate any advice from someone with a similiar experience as mine. Please!

Thank you.

GMATT73
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24 Sep 2005, 23:49
Gmatt73

Well... don't let this minor setback put you in despair. 570 is not an embarrassing score. It may just not reflect your best effort. And thats what you need to work on. I believe there is still some time till most Round 1 deadlines, certainly Round 2 deadlines, for you to squeeze in another crack at the test. Maybe a change of strategy is whats required. Some of the posts on this forum talk of such strategies. Take a few days to relax, and start with a 4-5 week game plan.

Just my 2 cents. Good luck!
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-Vikram

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27 Sep 2005, 05:28
hey GMATT73. Thanks for the encouragement in my post. From my experiennce, all I can say that the GMAT has more psycological hurdles than anything. I, like you, have done just about everything and am very comforatable with my progress. There really isn't anymore information that I can learn (maybe a little polishing in com/perm) My problem is mindset and that I need to be more relaxed and I have the faith that I can do better. Maybe mindset is your issue. Definitely take another crack at it, stay confident, and you will do better. I hope this helps.
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Christopher Wilson

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27 Sep 2005, 08:33
Sorry to hear abt ur exp. I think it is time for u to reflect on ur prep, u can definitely do better next time. May I suggest that u think abt the following:

1. Did u solely base ur prep on KAP ? Did u not do OG ? If ans is "yes" then u know what to do next i.e. treat OG as bible.

2. May the confidence in ur prep stemmed from doing the same problems and feeling happy abt getting them correct ? If yes, then in ur next prep, challenge urself with ONLY new problems till the end and ignore familiar problems all-together.

3. Do u think u over-prepared ? If yes, then for next time only allocate 1-2 months of prep time. It is very easy to get all burntout after overprepping. Kepping ur mind fresh on the day of test is VERY imp.

4. Were u nervous while taking the test ? If yes, then u have underperformed. Controlling ones emotions is of utmost importance. Without that all prep is worhtless.

5. Did u tend to overanalyze SCs ? If yes, then u shud stop that. Many ppl here go on a tangent and start mastering grammar for SC and in turn confuse themselves and others. Your job is aceing SCs and not mastering grammar, which r two separate things. For mastering SCs buy MGMAT SC guide and only focus on OG and this guide. So stick with those 2 books and u will do good in that. SCs in real test are nothing similar to what any prep book has, only OG comes lil close to them.

Good luck, have confidence and take another shot after resting for couple of weeks !
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27 Sep 2005, 13:22
Hey GMATT73,

This is what I have been told. It is not a matter of doing 100 CAT or doing 1000 questions and studying 50 hours a week. It is a matter of managing your time accurately during the exam and feeling good about yourself. Try to work on an error log and look at it every day for 5 minutes. This will probably help you to understand what are your weaknesses...
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28 Sep 2005, 06:40
GMATT73 wrote:
Can somebody please offer me some advice?? I recently took 10 weeks off work, enrolled in a Kaplan course, attended every class, completed every problem on the online syllabus, read every book in print about how to attack all problem types, took over 20 practice CATs (including 9 Kaplan CATs and the ultimate practice exam), faithfully participated in the online GMAT club, and even went as far as getting extra tutoring practice from my Kaplan instructor. All my practice CATs were in the 600-700 range. Assuming that I was well within range of at least a 650, I registered to take the official test and showed up an hour early to review my notes one last time. In short, I felt fully confident.

Then came the real test. I was faced with problems far more complicated than anything Kaplan had ever taught in the classroom. Multiple step combination/permutation problems. Tricky data sufficiency, fully underlined sentence correction problems, back to back reading comprehension passages, and malfunctions in the test timer during the breaks (the administrator had to reset the test after every five minutes between sections????). I applied some strategic guessing and did my best, nevertheless. Then came the greatest shock of my life: Q35/V36 570 overall. I almost broke down and passed out from disbelief. What a blow! What an embarrassment!!

At first I considered taking it out on Kaplan and requesting my money back, but so many people swear by their services. Then I pondered the possibiliity of a glitch in the tests score. Could ETS have made a mistake? Finally, I assumed the administrators were somehow sabotaging me during the breaks. All said and done I am mortified. I cant even tell my friends and coworkers my real score.

What happened?? After all that effort, money, and sacrafice, I am considering throwing in the towel. I have to work 50 hours a week and application deadlines are around the corner, not to mention Im not getting any younger. The pressure is intense and has started taking its toll on my physical/psychological well being. Maybe Im just one of those people who simply arent cut out for business school.

I just dont know what to do. I would sincerely appreciate any advice from someone with a similiar experience as mine. Please!

Thank you.

GMATT73

i have faced similar case. when i took gmat 3 yrs back, in the begining of the verbal section, i switched off the power by mistake, by my feet. the administrator restored the test, and i finally got 560...45 Q, 23 V.
my verbal was quite good in practice tests and my confidence was also high....
i think it's the timer that has been the cause of ur score. trust me....i too am not out of the pain of getting a 500 score but the fact is that no one will endorse the truth until we fight and try again till we ourselves, by good chance, prove it....thats the pity of this game.

as for gmat being tough... i will tell u one thing...the math part that u found tough may be from the experimental questons. Also it so happens that when u get nervous, u see easy questions as tough. it will take u some time to realise that the sum of ur nervousness and bad luck (timer problem)..got u this 570....

come on, once more....and what is with the ppl around....u wont get smaller if u get ur desired score even on the 10th attempt. as for age and time limitations, i too am facing them. the settling attitude in life should be that u use ur last drop of blood toward the attempts for realising ur goal...whether u realise ur goal is not the big question....but that...did u put in ur maximum....ur last bit....

sound useless....ok, i stop here.
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only if i could choose....

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28 Sep 2005, 12:18
GMATT73,
The actual GMAT has become much harder. I also took the KAPLAN course and agree with your analysis of KAPLAN test material. I scored a perfect 800 (believe it or not) on all of the 7 online CATs in the course but got only 660 on the actual GMAT. I would say if your actual score (570) is 80-100 points less than your diagnostic score DEFINITELY try to get your money back from KAPLAN. I've complained to KAPLAN about their material several times - hopefully they will realize that the actual GMAT is getting tough, especially the Q section, and revise their material.

Nevertheless, the best part of the KAPLAN course is its online syllabus and the manner in which they teach you the basics which is important to ace the test.

As others have stated in the post, knowing the test material is only half the battle; the rest of the battle is psychological in nature (pressure, anxiety, peer pressure, timing etc), knowing to control this aspect is as imp. as knowing the material.

Definitely re-take and Good Luck!
28 Sep 2005, 12:18
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