Archive for May, 2007

Anxiety

Starting to get anxious. I’ve been consciously trying NOT to be overly confident, but I’m pretty much done with studying. My task for the next 4 days is to maintain this knowledge and not forget anything that I’ve learned. I need to sit down tonight and do some more problems just to keep my brain well oiled. I have to admit that my spectacular GMATPrep scored has caused me to relax a bit in the last few days.

Many people on the message boards (somebody please stop me from reading those awful things) have said that the GMATPrep was an incredibly accurate indicator of their performance, while a minority have posted dismal results after successful GMATPrep attempts. I’d like to assume that these are the people who panic under pressure (I usually am not), but I really need to focus on these last four days so that I don’t throw away all of the preparation that I’ve done over the last four months.

On the home stretch…just gotta keep my eyes on the prize. It is getting difficult. Last night, I saw my friends again for dinner, and it felt AWESOME. I’ve missed seeing them. Just four more days! Focus!!!!

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GMATPrep2

Woke up early this morning for my last GMATPrep CAT before the actual test. I pretty much approach these CATs as I do a marathon. I wake up about 2 hours prior, eat a nutrition bar (my recent fave is the Powerbar Harvest Nut something or other), drink some coffee, go to the bathroom, watch some TV, and do some practice problems to warm up my brain. I also make sure I’m well-hydrated, but not too much that I have to pee mid-test (or mid-run). During breaks (or sticking to the long run parallel, water stops) I swallow some Clif Shot Bloks w/caffeine and drink some water to maintain my energy levels. I only started doing this last week, and I’ve found that it makes a HUUUUGE difference in my ability to focus on the latter half of the test.

 Today’s result? 720!!!! (Q45, V44). If I get anywhere between 700 and 720, I will be more than happy and these last few months of hibernation will have been worth it. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be!!!

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Let’s get this over with!

I’m ready to take the GMAT. I really just want to get it over with so that I can move on with my life….go out again and see my friends for a little bit before the annual work crunch in the Fall happens and applications are due.

I went over the questions that I got wrong on the GMATPrep last night. That was a little difficult because it just tells you the right answer but provides no explanation. Luckily, my friend is an SAT teacher so she was able to show me some answers via faxed proofs during work (ha!). Many of the math questions were simply because I spent too much time on one question in the beginning and didn’t feel like I had the time to work through some of the problems, so I took my best guess on some. I’m sure I could have gotten a higher score if I had paced myself better, but I’m still satisfied with what I scored on Saturday.

Going over the 7 verbals that I got wrong…there isn’t much that I could have fixed. I got all of my RCs correct except for two about the U.S. budget (I can live with that).

 One more GMATPrep on Sunday…and then next weekend is just easy review. I wish I could push my test up by a few days…I’m ready to take it. I don’t want to forget anything, but I’m not sure I can study much more.

Tonight, I’ll review some formulas. I always confuse the angles on the 30-60-90s, but that’s something I’ll just have to commit to memory the morning of the test. During my years in school, there was always something simple that I could never commit to memory during my studying. However, my short term memory could grab it the morning of my test and I would do well on the test. The only problem was that that part was never retained. To this day, I have trouble remembering the difference between its (possessive) and it’s (contraction). There’s a post-it on my desk to remind me which is which. Also on that post-it is the difference between e.g. and i.e.

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Less than two weeks to go…

Last night, I finished reviewing OG 11 and the Quant supplement for the 2nd time. Out of all the questions, I still have about 60 that I still can’t answer. Tonight, I’m having dinner at a friend’s house. Tomorrow, I need to review the questions that I got wrong on Sunday’s GMATPrep. Hopefully I can figure out what I did wrong, since GMATPrep only tells you the right answer, but does not provide an explanation.

Almost there! I hope I have something to celebrate in the end…something to show for my 4 months of hibernation. It’ll be nice to have a life again…assuming I don’t have to retake this thing.

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Holy crap, Batman!

Since my GMAT is in 15 days, I took my first GMATPrep this morning. Woke up at 7am, had breakfast, had coffee, and watched the first woman ever win the Bay to Breakers. As soon as she crossed the finish line, I turned off the TV, ate a Clif Blok (I’m testing nutrition for the day of the test), and fired up the GMAT Prep.

I wrote cursory outlines for the two writing samples, since I’m not concerned about my writing abilities and I’ve already taken the full test with good essays twice. I know that I can endure and I know that if I make myself do the full writing test one more time before the actual test, I might kill myself.

The first math question threw me for a loop even though I knew how to solve it. I spent waaaay too much time on this and killed a good 6 minutes on a question that should have only taken me 2. I was a little overly cautious in the first few questions and ended up killing WAAAAAY too much time. I was at a significant defecit through the course of my Quant section and considered quitting and starting over next week instead. I guessed on a lot of questions and didn’t think too many through since I didn’t have very much time…about an average of 1.5 minutes to 1 minute per remaining 20 questions. ARGH!

After the quant, I was pretty disappointed, but I got up, went pee, quickly at 2 Clif Blocks, sipped some water and sat back down. I think these Clif Blocks significantly helped, as I didn’t lose my concentration quite as much as I usually do.

Verbal seemed to be a breeze although I got 4 reading comprehension passages when I thought there were only 3. Oh well! When I finished, I clicked Finish with the expectation that I would get a 650 tops…

 Instead, the score read 700!!! (Q42, V44) HOLY CRAP! I CAN DO THIS! How the hell did I do so well and still bomb the math? I guess I answered the crucial ones correctly. That’s the highest I’ve ever scored on verbal, too. I got 15 wrong in the math and 7 wrong in the verbal. I saw a few familiar questions from the official guide that I immediately knew the answer to.

Tomorrow, when my brain is less fried, I’ll have to review the ones that I got wrong. But this is good!!! Not too high that my ego will get the better of me, but just high enough as to be a confidence booster going into the test. YAY ME!!!

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STOP READING THE FORUMS!

I did it again. I went back to the forums. No, I didn’t read the Business Week ones, which is breeds the highest levels of panic and insecurity. I was at the GMATClub.com…so not as much paranoia, but a little bit of insecurity. I need to go back to NOT reading the forums and focusing on performing well on my GMATs in 3 weeks. FOCUS, woman!

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PowerPrep: 680

After a week of being abroad for some work training (40 hours of classroom training–aggh!), I arrived home Saturday night and pretty much went straight to sleep. Sunday was mother’s day, and since I’ve taken today as a vacation day, I thought it would be a good idea to take another GMAT CAT. This time, I decided to take the PowerPrep instead of the Kaplan CAT (still saving the GMAT Prep for the next week or so).

I’m three weeks away from the actual test, and I’m feeling alright. Today’s score is still lower than my secondary goal (beat 700), but within my primary goal (over 670). What I still need to work on is stamina…I got pretty fed up with the test in the last half of the verbal section and I had to continually remind myself to FOCUS–the finish line is NEAR. Surprisingly, I didn’t get very many wrong in the latter half. Hell, I didn’t get that many wrong at all.

What I also noticed was that in the verbal section, I was able to narrow down most of my incorrect answers down to two choices…and then chose the wrong option. Not sure how to fix that one, but I have noticed that when I’m able to focus, I tend to do better. So, need to build up my stamina to get me through the test…especially since I’m just writing outlines for the writing samples right now rather than full essays.

So my scores thus far (starting with the original Kaplan diagnostic in Feb 2007):

  • Feb 4, 2007: Kaplan Diagnostic: 590 (Q33, V39)
  • Mar 11, 2007: Kaplan CAT 1: 580 (Q35, V34)
  • Mar 18, 2007: Kaplan CAT 2: 580 (Q34, V35)
  • Apr 2, 2007: Kaplan CAT 5: 630 (Q40, V37) — taken at PearsonVue testing center
  • Apr 21, 2007: Kaplan CAT 3: 610 (Q40, V 33)
  • Apr 29, 2007: Kaplan CAT 4: 670 (Q45, V38)
  • May 14, 2007: PowerPrep 1: 680 (Q45, V38)

The good news is that I’m trending up. The bad news is that my Kaplan scores are pretty close to my PowerPrep scores.

This week I’ll be reviewing all my wrong answers from the Official Guide 11 & Official math supplement. I’ll take another PowerPrep this coming weekend and probably both GMAT Preps over the long weekend–one on Sunday and one on Monday). On the weekdays I’ll continue to review the wrong questions from the workbooks….and then that brings me to my official GMAT date: Monday, June 4. At this point, I’m not worried–I just wish I could get it over with and get on with my life. Hopefully I do well…

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