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Taking the GMAt for the 4th Time. Need Advice

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Joined: 15 Nov 2006
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Taking the GMAt for the 4th Time. Need Advice [#permalink]

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New post 18 Jun 2007, 07:57
Hi All,

I took the Kaplan course in September 2006 and took the GMAT in NOv 2006 and scored 610. Q 82% V47%. Strangely Kaplan's practice exams always stressed me out. I never really did too well in the math section on the Kaplan exams and being an engineer that always made me feel bad. But in the real test, I did good in the math section and bad on the verbal section. I worked on the verbal section and retook the GMAT again in Feb 2007. This time again I scored 610, but with 57% in Math and 73% in Verbal. The problem was I was overworked at work and couldn't really work too hard for the second time.

With those scores I already applied to Santa Clara Univ, UC Davis and UC Berkeley, but my target was really UC berkeley. I got into both Santa Clara and UC Davis and am waitlisted at Berkeley. I did retake my GMAT without too much preparation in March 2007, only a month after my Feb attempt and scored a miserable 570.

Going with UC Davis or Santa Clara is not an option for me. I would always feel like I settled for less. I am determined to conquer the GMAT and make a 700. Berkeley does not reconsider reapplicants favorable unless they have shown significant improvment, but I plan to apply to UCLA and Wharton West next year. My profile is : Indian women, MSEE with 10 years of work experience, married with 2 kids. I work full-time for a major networking company in San Jose. I am determined to conquer the GMAT and get into a good school of my choice.

I plan to take the entire month of september 2007 off to study. I would like some serious advice on what books to buy, what courses to take and such.
I already took the kaplan course and I have several kaplan books. I also have the princeton review book and the OG. I think the Kaplan Math is pretty good, but Kaplan verbal did not help me at all. I speak and read english like a native speaker, but unfortunately I cannot spot the mistakes in SC and I certainly do not get the logic behind CR. RC is a nightmare for me. But most of all, 3.5 hours is a killer for me. By the time I get to the verbal section, my brains are already fried. I have taken over 13 full length exams, but somehow the 3.5 hour exam is still too long for me. Most of all, I cannot handle stress very well and I panic when I take the exams.

Given all these, what can I do to get a 700 score?

Advice appreciate,
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New post 19 Jun 2007, 18:09
Definitely don't use Kaplan for verbal. It's nothing like the real thing. Use Princeton Review for verbal; it's much, much better. For SC help, get a book called Grammar Smart. It covers the core English grammar rules that you need to know.

What you really need to do, though, is go see your doctor about your test anxiety. No matter how much you prep, if you panic during the test, it's not going to be good (as you've seen). Sounds like you have a legitimate anxiety issue, so your doc should be able to prescribe something to calm you down (therapy isn't going to resolve test anxiety; it's a physical reaction).

Also, watch what you eat and drink on test caffeine unless you have it every day, and avoid sugar. Eat healthy things like fruit, carrot sticks, a granola bar, eggs for breakfast, etc. Eating junk will boost your anxiety levels.

Hope this helps as a start...
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New post 20 Jun 2007, 06:41
Hey targetfocus if it makes you feel better, I scored 590 on my first Kaplan test and just got 720 yesterday on GMAT yesterday on my first attempt.

Kaplan is not even remotely close to the real thing. They perhaps think that they are doing a good thing by preparing you for "tougher" material, but all they are doing is eroding your confidence. If I were you, I would chuck the Kaplan CD in the bin and take a GMatPrep test for a more accurate self assessment and then target my weak areas.

If you find the SC stuff difficult, you just need more practice. Use GMatter (get it from to get lots and lots of practice.
  [#permalink] 20 Jun 2007, 06:41
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Taking the GMAt for the 4th Time. Need Advice

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