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Journey to my MBA

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Two days before GMAT.

Looked at the professors answer sheet for the test I took last week.  I found 3 questions where I didn't quite know for sure the answers or I didn't study an area well enough to have it solid and 9 careless stupid misread mistakes. The highest score in the class was 47 out of 50. I should have had that score. So I feel better that I was prepared enough, but just not careful enough.

Regarding the GMAT.... How are my studies?
For math, I feel like I'm 70-75% ready.
For English, about 40-50% ready.
For essay, about 60% ready.

There just hasn't been enough time.

It seems like it takes about a week to bring up the arbitrary percentage points I assigned to any one category about 10%. So I think that I need another month and a 1/2 to 2 months of focused study. I hear people who took 2 months and 1 month, but others who took 4 months.. a couple a year.

So I feel only somewhat slow compared to others. There are just brilliant people out there.  Perhaps more disciplined too. 

About 2 months ago. Those numbers were
Math: 40%
Verbal: 30%

So I feel like I came a long way so far.
I foresee a score of between 500-650, but would die happy with a 700.

I feel like I need to be ready with the following numbers to feel confident about a 700+ score in the future however.
Verbal: 80%

These percentage points I'm assigning are based on the following criteria
1) Effectiveness - My performance of practice tests.
2) Error minimization - The level of mistakes, misreads I make
3) Speed - Whether I'm able to consistantly do verbal and quant questions in 2.2 minutes or less over an extended period of time.
     This also ties into how well I remember certain shortcuts to speed up my problem solving time or my process of elimination both in verbal and  in Quant.
4) Concept/Grammar - The sheer volume of concepts in Quant and grammar rules for Verbal that I am comfortable with mainpulating and recognizing.  

So for example, if I'm 65% effective.. it's because my concept/grammar may be at 80%, but my speed is at 30% and my errors may be at 40%.

Thanks for everone's advice and offer for help.  I haven't really found problems that I've had where I wasn't able to post a question on GMATClub or TestMagic and get the answers for concepts I was looking for.  The guideline that I've been sticking to for the last 3 weeks has been to maintaini my discipline, continual error review and strive to understand concepts and grammar rules.
Oh yeah, those shortcuts people have been sending me have been very helpful.  Shaved HUGE amounts of time off of some types of Quant problems.  When I see 6-12 digit numbers in a quant problem, I used to say, "oh dang.. this is going to take a while."  Now, it's a different story.  Thank You!

   Right now I'm thinking that I may need to take this again once or perhaps twice. If this were the case.. I would need till Late September for the second and if necessary.. Early November for the third. (I really don't want to do the 3rd one).

Consequently, I'm starting to think of this as a "for real" practice GMAT.    This is easing the pressure I'm feeling and will hopefully result in a better score.

But no matter what happens, I already know that I could do better if I had 2 more months of solid focused study time. (It would be less if I didn't have the Molecular Biology Class which in my book has the priority over GMAT studies) I don't want to take a second GMAT during the same time as I take the class.

Today's my last day of study before the GMAT. I'm going through Math and I'll do some English and essay practice tonight.

I plan on doing some more essay's in the morning and doing about 40 math to keep my brain going. I also plan on visiting the test center tomorrow just to make sure I know where it is before going there Saturday.

I think I'll watch TV tomorrow night, get up Saturday morning.. do some light exercise, take a shower and head on over there 45 minutes or so before the test just to get comfortable to know where everything is.

This is one of those times I wish I didn't have a public blog.  I'd rather not share my score if I get below 500.   But, I started this blog with the notion to be completely up front so well see.


Blogger Riter said...

Relax! Its just a test and you arent really obligated to tell the world your gmat score. Go Dave!!! Good luck.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dave, good luck!!! I have two pieces of advice, but feel free to ignore them:
1. If I could go back, I would have memorized some timing guidelines so that I would know when I was going too slow or too fast. i.e. After 10 minutes I should be on question 6, after 20 minutes question 12, etc. As it was, I panicked halfway through the math and blazed through most of the questions only to finish with 7 minutes left. Poor time management.
2. At the test center I went to they allowed you to start early if you arrive early. Keep that in mind...


Good luck!

6:13 PM  
Blogger iwhoElse said...

Dave, remember Life is tough, but I/WE ARE TOUGHER... go ahead do your best.. Go ahead and do your best.....

6:36 PM  
Blogger PowerYogi said...


Good luck on the GMAT, my friend. You are going to be just fine, and I'll bet a few bucks you are going to be very happy with your final score.

I was in your same state the week of my exam. I was swamped with work and decided to stop studying and just do practice tests. But i did the kaplan ones and they score really low, which got me very depressed. So i just said f-it, if i screw up this one i've always got another chance. this mode of thinking took the pressure off and got me all realaxed. i think being calm going in was the single best thing i did, and would advise you too.

and, make sure you go to the test center early, or the prev day. I went the prev day, just 'coz i wanted to get away from my books, and discovered that mapquest directions were wrong due to exit closures thanks to Boston's infamous big dig. needless to say, i would have stressed myself crazy if this happened test day.

wish you the best,

11:03 PM  
Blogger britchick said...

Remeber to get a good night's sleep and to try to relax. Good luck!

1:52 AM  
Blogger britchick said...

Remeber to get a good night's sleep and to try to relax. Good luck!

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the best dude. I have my GMAT next week. And ur doing well will boost my confidence too.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Geethu said...

Good Luck. You will do well. While doing the test don't estimate whether you are doing good or not.

7:16 AM  
Blogger Durba said...

All the best! And don't stress on it, am sure you'll do well. My suggestion for the day before -watch a funny film, take a nice drive and get a good night's sleep.

7:31 AM  
Blogger Wakechick said...

Best wishes, Dave!

10:46 AM  

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