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Dealing with Exam Anxiety

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Re: Dealing with Exam Anxiety  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2019, 08:32
cgbear wrote:
MartyTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi cgbear.

Given what your ESR says, you were pretty effective in RC. CR was your least strong verbal area. So, you may be able to get a serious score increase by doing some slow, careful CR training, so that you learn to more clearly define what makes the incorrect choices incorrect and the correct choices correct.

When I say "slow, careful training," I mean spend a lot of time on each practice question, seeking to see the details and understand the logic that makes the correct answer the only one that works.

As things stand, probably you are not seeing the logic of Critical Reasoning questions clearly enough, and so you are getting tricked into choosing trap choices that seem correct at first glance but actually don't answer the questions. By carefully analyzing dozens of CR questions - they can even be ones you have seen before - you can train yourself to see what you have to see in order to answer CR questions correctly.

Doing so could result in a 20 to 50 point increase in your total score.


Yes, it seems that I would need some serious CR training. Before, SC was really hurting my verbal score (average of 5 to 7 mistakes in practice tests), so I focused heavily on SC in the last few weeks before test day. SC did improve, but CR unfortunately suffered.

If you have any recommendation on which tools/materials I should use to improve CR, please do share it with me. Thanks!


Hi cgbear,

Check out this thread:
Ultimate Verbal Study Plan
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Re: Dealing with Exam Anxiety  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2019, 10:07
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cgbear wrote:
Yes, it seems that I would need some serious CR training. Before, SC was really hurting my verbal score (average of 5 to 7 mistakes in practice tests), so I focused heavily on SC in the last few weeks before test day. SC did improve, but CR unfortunately suffered.

If you have any recommendation on which tools/materials I should use to improve CR, please do share it with me. Thanks!

Hi cgbear.

I don't have any particular recommendations for CR materials. There are various materials that you could use in training for CR. One way to find some would be to browse the Share GMAT Experience posts to see how others prepped for CR

Whatever materials you use, be sure to include in your prep doing detailed analysis of official CR questions. Nothing beats repeatedly analyzing questions, defining why incorrect answers are incorrect, figuring out how trap answers would trap people (to learn how to avoid being trapped yourself), and defining what makes correct answers correct.

By clearly defining each of those aspects of dozens of CR questions, you will train yourself to see what there is to see and learn to rock CR.

Also, remember, if you can get them correct slowly, you can learn to get them correct quickly. So, start off getting them correct slowly. Your job is to get them correct. See how many you can get correct in a row. Then once you consistently answer them correctly when working slowly, work on speeding up.
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Re: Dealing with Exam Anxiety  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Mar 2019, 16:41
cgbear wrote:
So, I took the GMAT today and got a score of 640 (Q44, V33). It was very disheartening given that I was scoring 680 to 710 in my GMAT Prep mock exams. I wasn't extremely anxious or nervous today; however, I do admit I was not able to tackle some quant questions that appeared in the actual test, as they test some concepts that I have never encountered in my books, mock exams and quiz banks.

I'm willing to give the GMAT another shot, although I haven't determined yet how long I should prepare for my second attempt.


I'm sorry your official test didn't go as well as your practice tests. :( Reading over this thread, two pieces of reading material came to mind:

First of all, this is something I wrote about your exact situation - when your official test is lower than your practice test scores. https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... st-scores/ It's not necessarily going to tell you what to do next, but you might find some insight into what could have happened on test day.

Second, it can be helpful to acknowledge that you can't always 'turn off' anxiety. You can reduce your anxiety via various techniques such as mindfulness and focusing on your breathing, but at the end of the day, you can't just choose to feel less anxious when test day arrives. (And if you do feel anxious, that's normal and not a bad sign.) In that situation, something called 'anxious reappraisal' is particularly helpful. Here's an article on it: https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2016/03/can-three-words-turn-anxiety-into-success/474909/ I use this myself and even though it seems silly, it works and doesn't require you to 'shut down' the anxiety! It actually turns it into something that can help you. :)
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Re: Dealing with Exam Anxiety   [#permalink] 27 Mar 2019, 16:41

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