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# Took the GMAT...and Cancelled My Scores.

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Intern
Joined: 26 Mar 2003
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Took the GMAT...and Cancelled My Scores. [#permalink]

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20 Apr 2003, 12:54
Hi guys,

I've just wanted to share my experiences on taking the GMAT , so no one goes through what I've just been through. I wrote my GMAT this morning, and decided to cancel my score about 15 questions into the Quant. section. First, here's my background:

- Studied for about 2 months (total 150 - 200 hours)
- Fully completed OG, Kaplan, PR, Insiders Guide
- PP#1: 730 (without reading official guide)
- PP#2: 710 (about a third of the way through the guide)
- Kaplan CD: 610, 600, 600, 600
- Princeton Review: 720 , 710
- Aiming for a 700+ score

For the AWA, I was surprised that the Issue essay came first, instead of the Argument. No matter, both were straight from the OG, and were not too difficult.

For some reason, I was really nervous about the Quant. I have an engineering background, which makes this even more unusual. I did very well on the PP practice tests (#1: Q49 and #2: Q50), but I got totally RATTLED when I hit a question (#4 or #5)that I couldn't find an answer to (in the choices). So I started to doubt myself, redo my work, worry about the clock, and essentially freak out. This behavior started to perpetuate itself as more questions came around, even really simple ones that I'd had no problems solving in practice.

Believe me, this is not atypical test-taking behaviour for me, so I was really disturbed by how I reacted. I'm not sure how to make sure this does not happen again. In retrospect, I feel that I started to think more about how the questions were going to screw up my score, rather than focusing on the question itself. This cost me dearly (not to mention the $200). I decided to stick around for the Verbal, which was actually quite reasonable, and very similar to the OG. If you can do the questions in the book, you'll be fine. I feel I should emphasize that I don't think the Quant. on the real thing is any harder, so please don't get discouraged. It just looks a little different than some of the stuff in the OG (more steps, wordier, etc.). And that apparently was enough to throw me off. Any suggestions folks? I feel like my effort in studying has been wasted, as I was really looking forward to getting this off my back. I am at a loss at what to do. Take a break for a few weeks? Schedule another exam right away? Thanks for your input.  Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount Codes Manhattan GMAT Discount Codes Jamboree Discount Codes Founder Joined: 04 Dec 2002 Posts: 14917 Location: United States (WA) GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42 GPA: 3.5 Followers: 3952 Kudos [?]: 25117 [0], given: 4748 Re: Took the GMAT...and Cancelled My Scores. [#permalink] ### Show Tags 22 Apr 2003, 06:51 kdog3490 wrote: Hi guys, I've just wanted to share my experiences on taking the GMAT , so no one goes through what I've just been through. I wrote my GMAT this morning, and decided to cancel my score about 15 questions into the Quant. section. First, here's my background: - Studied for about 2 months (total 150 - 200 hours) - Fully completed OG, Kaplan, PR, Insiders Guide - PP#1: 730 (without reading official guide) - PP#2: 710 (about a third of the way through the guide) - Kaplan CD: 610, 600, 600, 600 - Princeton Review: 720 , 710 - Aiming for a 700+ score For the AWA, I was surprised that the Issue essay came first, instead of the Argument. No matter, both were straight from the OG, and were not too difficult. For some reason, I was really nervous about the Quant. I have an engineering background, which makes this even more unusual. I did very well on the PP practice tests (#1: Q49 and #2: Q50), but I got totally RATTLED when I hit a question (#4 or #5)that I couldn't find an answer to (in the choices). So I started to doubt myself, redo my work, worry about the clock, and essentially freak out. This behavior started to perpetuate itself as more questions came around, even really simple ones that I'd had no problems solving in practice. Believe me, this is not atypical test-taking behaviour for me, so I was really disturbed by how I reacted. I'm not sure how to make sure this does not happen again. In retrospect, I feel that I started to think more about how the questions were going to screw up my score, rather than focusing on the question itself. This cost me dearly (not to mention the$200).

I decided to stick around for the Verbal, which was actually quite reasonable, and very similar to the OG. If you can do the questions in the book, you'll be fine.

I feel I should emphasize that I don't think the Quant. on the real thing is any harder, so please don't get discouraged. It just looks a little different than some of the stuff in the OG (more steps, wordier, etc.). And that apparently was enough to throw me off.

Any suggestions folks? I feel like my effort in studying has been wasted, as I was really looking forward to getting this off my back. I am at a loss at what to do. Take a break for a few weeks? Schedule another exam right away?

I have checked all my answers to the questions twice or at least tried to go thought the logic a few times, if I could do it.

My test was a year ago and the Math seemed reasonable - I got 48 or 49. I had only one hard question that came #12 or 14 that kept me sweating for 3 mins and then forced to guess.

Nevertheless, despite checks and such, I never found an error in my original calcualations and stort of stopped checking answers by the mid of the Quant section. But then I had 2 PS questions that did not have teh answers that I got. This really got me worried since I started thinking that I must have missed a good number of questions and only thanks to heavens the answer choices did not match this time.

No need to hide, I was neverous. I did not think about canceling the score though since my curiousity was killing me, but I was always thinking that I would fail the test and get under 600. I had no clue I would get 750 - I just did not know since the test keeps you on the verge of your abilities and you constantly feel as thought you will fail and mess up - the nature of the GMAT.

I just wanted to let this out, and as to your question,

I would try to retake a few tests to try restore confidence. You sound very solid in your prep and background, so I see no problems. Get the test scheduled as soon as you can on a weekend or sometime when you can have a day of rest just before - my persoanl suggestion.

Bogdan.
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Joined: 08 Apr 2003
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22 Apr 2003, 09:30
Hi,
I am really concerned though about your performance. I am an engineering graduate too and am goin to take the GMAT in the next few days. I am preparing more from the OG only now and have almost given up the Kaplan's and Princeton's. This is after the various people's experiences read on the net. I have come to belive that if the OG is what would be like the GMAT then it is not worth to pay more attention to the scores off KAplan and Pricenton. As, i fair good consistenly on the Quant section in high 40's but never on the verbal.

This is where my confidence goes absymally low. Now, few days to go i am getting nightmares like what will when i start the Quant section and dont get any answer right or the ones specified in the options. I would totally freak out. This has happend once at home itself while giving a practice test. I wasnt even able to do a simple subtraction. I freaked out. So, when i read more on this forumn that the initial question on the Quant are tough, i just feel what will happen if i dont get them right. But yes i believe in one thing, if it has to happen it will happen. If i am positive about my ability and hard work which has been done to preapre for the test then i shall fair best to my abilities and get the score i desire.

May not be that convincing for you, as you too would have gone for the test with positive mentality . But my personal gut feeling would be not to give up. Lets see i should hold on to what i say on my test.

Now, a question for Bogdan and others too on this forumn who have given GMAT, please tell me how much does the AWA score matter on the GMAT and in applying to schools.

Does a low score of 4 or 4.5 on AWA means that you would be out of contendership for top schools even if GMAT score is high.

Also, i would like to know how much time should a person spend on to preapre for AWA.

Thanks
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 14917
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 3952

Kudos [?]: 25117 [0], given: 4748

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22 Apr 2003, 16:01
evensflow wrote:
Hi,
I am really concerned though about your performance. I am an engineering graduate too and am goin to take the GMAT in the next few days. I am preparing more from the OG only now and have almost given up the Kaplan's and Princeton's. This is after the various people's experiences read on the net. I have come to belive that if the OG is what would be like the GMAT then it is not worth to pay more attention to the scores off KAplan and Pricenton. As, i fair good consistenly on the Quant section in high 40's but never on the verbal.

This is where my confidence goes absymally low. Now, few days to go i am getting nightmares like what will when i start the Quant section and dont get any answer right or the ones specified in the options. I would totally freak out. This has happend once at home itself while giving a practice test. I wasnt even able to do a simple subtraction. I freaked out. So, when i read more on this forumn that the initial question on the Quant are tough, i just feel what will happen if i dont get them right. But yes i believe in one thing, if it has to happen it will happen. If i am positive about my ability and hard work which has been done to preapre for the test then i shall fair best to my abilities and get the score i desire.

May not be that convincing for you, as you too would have gone for the test with positive mentality . But my personal gut feeling would be not to give up. Lets see i should hold on to what i say on my test.

Now, a question for Bogdan and others too on this forumn who have given GMAT, please tell me how much does the AWA score matter on the GMAT and in applying to schools.

Does a low score of 4 or 4.5 on AWA means that you would be out of contendership for top schools even if GMAT score is high.

Also, i would like to know how much time should a person spend on to preapre for AWA.

Thanks

I have meant to write for a long time about it, but have not.

AWA is more important than others think it is. I have given 0 value to it and even though I got 5.0 which is 79 percentile, I thought it was worthless. It is not however, as you can guess from my tone.

1. Bschools use AWA as a sample of your writing - they get the full essay texts and do read it along with your application essays - this way they can try to spot the Folks who cheat or get their stuff written by somebody else. This is the most guaranteed piece of writing in the application. If you did everything, you have nothing to worry. This is the most important point for the AWA.

2. Some schools make you take an "optional" writing class or communications workshop or such.

I think this is it.
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Joined: 26 Mar 2003
Posts: 24
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22 Apr 2003, 19:01
Bogdan,

Thanks for your reply. It's encouraging to see that even smart people with excellent Quant. scores still struggle a little bit with a few questions. I believe you are right - my problem is more nerves than preparation, and I think I just need to put less pressure on myself and walk in with more confidence.

I think one thing that people shouldn't underestimate about the GMAT is how *TIRING* it is when you're writing it. I found myself reading questions 2 or 3 times just to interpret them correctly. The 17" monitors at my center were at 60Hz refresh rate and only 15 cm from my face, so it really bothered my eyes. Especially during RC, this is quite painful. And make sure you get enough sleep! (I was so nervous, I only had 4 hrs. sleep the night before)

My problem now is choosing what materials to prep with? I finished OG, Kaplan and PR books and CD. I also finished "Insider's Guide To The GMAT", but it is a piece of garbage. Nothing at all like the real thing. Has anyone tried the Kaplan GMAT Test Bank 500/1000? It's online at Kaplan's web site....I'd like to hear your feedback.
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Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 53
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22 Apr 2003, 21:11
I'm a little discouraged now after reading your post heh. I actually went through that Insiders book as well and didn't think it was that bad but then again my only exposure to teh real thing is the OG. I'm about to buy the Kaplan books but only because I've already gone through OG twice and don't know what else to do with my time. I have two months left.
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Posts: 149
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23 Apr 2003, 10:43
thanks BB,
You still didnt tell me how much time should one spend preparing for AWA.

Also, please tell me why have guys been saying that problems in the initial part of the Maths section are tough. is it that they involve complex calculations or is it something where it takes time to arrive at an equation and then solve it.

wha makes it different from Kaplan Maths and OG maths. In my view Kaplan maths is good, with some problems testing real good principles. But they wont be tough once the technique is known.

Also, if anyone's there from India i would like to know how does GMAT math differ from CAT(IIM entrance) maths. IIM maths involves real tough principles and one should be really sharp to get them hit on the first go in a limited amount of time.

thanks...
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Joined: 24 Apr 2003
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24 Apr 2003, 07:31
evensflow wrote:
thanks BB,
You still didnt tell me how much time should one spend preparing for AWA.

Also, please tell me why have guys been saying that problems in the initial part of the Maths section are tough. is it that they involve complex calculations or is it something where it takes time to arrive at an equation and then solve it.

wha makes it different from Kaplan Maths and OG maths. In my view Kaplan maths is good, with some problems testing real good principles. But they wont be tough once the technique is known.

Also, if anyone's there from India i would like to know how does GMAT math differ from CAT(IIM entrance) maths. IIM maths involves real tough principles and one should be really sharp to get them hit on the first go in a limited amount of time.

thanks...

If you don't mind I would refer you to the best MBA info sites I've ever seen: http://www.mbaapplicant.com. They say Analytical Writing score does not matter AT ALL. And you will find there what really matters for being accepted into top B-schools. So do not take your time for AWA prep. Work better on Quant and Verbal sections.
Founder
Joined: 04 Dec 2002
Posts: 14917
Location: United States (WA)
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
Followers: 3952

Kudos [?]: 25117 [0], given: 4748

### Show Tags

25 Apr 2003, 05:03
SoTrue wrote:
evensflow wrote:
thanks BB,
You still didnt tell me how much time should one spend preparing for AWA.

Also, please tell me why have guys been saying that problems in the initial part of the Maths section are tough. is it that they involve complex calculations or is it something where it takes time to arrive at an equation and then solve it.

wha makes it different from Kaplan Maths and OG maths. In my view Kaplan maths is good, with some problems testing real good principles. But they wont be tough once the technique is known.

Also, if anyone's there from India i would like to know how does GMAT math differ from CAT(IIM entrance) maths. IIM maths involves real tough principles and one should be really sharp to get them hit on the first go in a limited amount of time.

thanks...

If you don't mind I would refer you to the best MBA info sites I've ever seen: http://www.mbaapplicant.com. They say Analytical Writing score does not matter AT ALL. And you will find there what really matters for being accepted into top B-schools. So do not take your time for AWA prep. Work better on Quant and Verbal sections.

Well, this sort of contradicts my previous post

AWA is more important than "it does not matter."
A number of tests and schools are moving towards essays more and more, and it is important that essays are written by the applicants not by companies like http://www.mbaapplicant.com. If you saw applications to the top 5 schools, most require 6-9 essays. And, I would not blindly trust consulting companies. They are more biased than car salesmen and never make references to their information sources.

I know a number of people who did not prepare to it at all (I have spent only 3 days working on a few essays but I took Composition classes before). Anyway, as I said, with a bad AWA score you may be required to enrol into a writing class at the school, which is emberrassing.

I feel like I am defending myself here, but I don't think there is a need to; I basically pass on what I find out. Admissions told me that they read the essays when they get them. They are not as critical as the scores but if you write something offending or stupid in the essay, the school will read it.

As to Preparation, I don't recommend buying books with essays, maybe if you consider yourself extremely bad just to see the examples.
What I did was just write a few essays in 1/2 hour; that's it. After about 3 or 4 essays, you get the structure, template, and language taken care of.

I did not mean to alarm anybody and get it as another thing to prepare to, but I thought it was important to know that AWA is read by schools and influences thier opinion, esp if you have a huge difference in AWA and your admission essays.

bb
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25 Apr 2003, 21:12
I think the key for the AWA is to go through the "Analysis of an Issue" topics at least once - by coming up with ideas beforehand (say 3 to 5 mins per topic), you can effectively save that time on the actual exam. The Issue essay tends to be harder for some because it forces you to think more creatively than for the "Argument" essay, which is very structured and easily "template-tized". Argument essay topics tend to share common reasoning problems: weak analogies, generalizations, cause-and-effect claims, etc.

I actually found reading sample essays helpful, esp. for the "Issue" section, because they revealed key discussion points to bring up on more obscure topics.
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27 Sep 2003, 18:55
bb wrote:
SoTrue wrote:
evensflow wrote:
thanks BB,
You still didnt tell me how much time should one spend preparing for AWA.

Also, please tell me why have guys been saying that problems in the initial part of the Maths section are tough. is it that they involve complex calculations or is it something where it takes time to arrive at an equation and then solve it.

wha makes it different from Kaplan Maths and OG maths. In my view Kaplan maths is good, with some problems testing real good principles. But they wont be tough once the technique is known.

Also, if anyone's there from India i would like to know how does GMAT math differ from CAT(IIM entrance) maths. IIM maths involves real tough principles and one should be really sharp to get them hit on the first go in a limited amount of time.

thanks...

If you don't mind I would refer you to the best MBA info sites I've ever seen: http://www.mbaapplicant.com. They say Analytical Writing score does not matter AT ALL. And you will find there what really matters for being accepted into top B-schools. So do not take your time for AWA prep. Work better on Quant and Verbal sections.

Well, this sort of contradicts my previous post

AWA is more important than "it does not matter."
A number of tests and schools are moving towards essays more and more, and it is important that essays are written by the applicants not by companies like http://www.mbaapplicant.com. If you saw applications to the top 5 schools, most require 6-9 essays. And, I would not blindly trust consulting companies. They are more biased than car salesmen and never make references to their information sources.

I know a number of people who did not prepare to it at all (I have spent only 3 days working on a few essays but I took Composition classes before). Anyway, as I said, with a bad AWA score you may be required to enrol into a writing class at the school, which is emberrassing.

I feel like I am defending myself here, but I don't think there is a need to; I basically pass on what I find out. Admissions told me that they read the essays when they get them. They are not as critical as the scores but if you write something offending or stupid in the essay, the school will read it.

As to Preparation, I don't recommend buying books with essays, maybe if you consider yourself extremely bad just to see the examples.
What I did was just write a few essays in 1/2 hour; that's it. After about 3 or 4 essays, you get the structure, template, and language taken care of.

I did not mean to alarm anybody and get it as another thing to prepare to, but I thought it was important to know that AWA is read by schools and influences thier opinion, esp if you have a huge difference in AWA and your admission essays.

bb

OK, BB.

Should recognize I was wrong about AWA. Talked to Associate Director of MBA Admissions of my school. He said they (AdCom) really pay a lot of attention to AWA of GMAT/TOEFL.

See you somehow,
Ilya
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28 Sep 2003, 07:41
Man u can really do it. Go for it again and am sure u would come up trumphs! Best of Luck once again and am sure lady luck would smile on u this time around. Just keep ur cool and believe that u can do it. Last but not the least GMAT is just an exam. Theres more to life than this exam!
keep smiling
neeraj
28 Sep 2003, 07:41
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