Don’t Look Now but G-Day is Almost Here


The month of August is going to be a busy one for me work wise. I unfortunately got the bad luck of the draw and have to travel a week before the exam but I plan on using my time wisely during the day so I have at least a good 5-6 hours in the hotel each night to study. The week of the GMAT, I already have Thursday and Friday marked as “DO NOT DISTURB” days as I will for sure be holed up in the corner of the public library somewhere, unshowered, caffeined out, and studying until my eyeballs fall out.

The impact this exam will have on my admissions decision is quite intimidating. I know your GMAT score doesn’t define you as an applicant, and a high score won’t necessarily get you into a school, but a low score can definitely keep you out. As a young applicant with a pretty average GPA, my profile really needs a competitive score to at least make an adcom blink at my application before putting it in the reject pile. I have 28 days to get a 720… let’s rock and roll.


1. Really focusing on my weaknesses
– Verbal: Critical Reasoning
– Quant: Number Properties and Rate Problems

2. Time Management
– Too quick on verbal
– Too slow on quant

3. Making flashcards and reviewing them each morning
– Fractions/Decimals/Squares/Factorials etc. that should be memorized
– Formulas
– Question stems for CR
– Idioms

4. Keeping calm and carrying on
– I get frustrated and defeated easily when I come across several difficult problems in a row… my fluctuating mood swings during a 75 min section on a practice test are unreal sometimes
– I tend to take too many seconds away from the question I’m working on because I’m analyzing it’s difficulty to determine if I got the prior question right or wrong.

5. Better note taking during RC
– I have to read the passage at least 3 times before I clearly comprehend what I’m reading sometimes. I still do pretty well on RC but I’d like to be better in this area

6. Analyzing incorrect answers on CONCEPT rather than CONTENT
– I would say this has been my biggest mistake so far and wish I would’ve realized it earlier. When I miss a question, I watch the step by step of how to solve it correctly and I work through it along with the video and I understand how he comes up with the correct answer, but 9 times out of 10 if the same problem occurred in a different format with different numbers, I probably wouldn’t know how to solve it. This next month I want to be better at understanding how to apply a concept no matter what format the question is in or what information is given, because no question is exactly alike and if you don’t understand why you’re doing something, you won’t understand how to do it either

7. Practicing IR and AWA
– I have yet to even look at this material. How soon did anyone else that has already taken the exam start studying these sections? My plan was to start the Saturday/Sunday before the exam, but if I am under estimating the difficulty/importance please let me know!

Send your positive thoughts down to Texas for me. It’s much appreciated! 🙂


Posted on July 27, 2014, in GMAT and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. The comments above have everything I wanted to say, except do not forget to eat well and exercise regularly!! your body needs the right nutrition and food (not the fatty stuff) to function optimally.


    • Aw thank you! I really appreciate that! As will you 🙂

      And luckily nutrition and exercising is like permanently plugged into my brain so that’s one thing I know I won’t forget to do.

  2. I tend to analyze my previous answers by the kind of questions I get next. I got myself to stop that by glancing at the timer everytime I noticed I was doing it.

  3. Texaswannabecali, find your zen space and motor on! Thinking of the bigger picture always helps focus!

    You will do brilliantly! All the best!

  4. Good luck! And remember to give your a brain a break. Rest before the exam is just as important rather than study the two days before; why not veg out and catch up with friends and ensure you have enough sleep.

  5. Hey there texaswannabecali, may I suggest that you try and take it easy 1-2 days before the test i.e. definitely study but don’t do like 10 hours of study, strongly advise against taking mocks on the day before the test. For me one of the aspects of the GMAT was to manage mental fatigue. You want to be mentally fresh on the day of the exam. I wrote a debrief on gmatclub:

    There’s also more detailed debriefs that give some other useful pointers – I just gave my 2c worth based on my prep experience.

    For IR – I’d suggest spending an hour or two the last week to familiarise on the question types. AWA -you should be fine 🙂

    • ZoSo,

      Thanks so much for reading my post and offering some good advice. I didn’t even consider the fact that my brain would be mentally drained if I took a practice test the day before. Congrats on the 730!! That is an amazing score. Loved your debrief. Very helpful.

      I’ve been using the MGMAT’s CAT for mock exams and the OG and Magoosh for practice questions and I can definitely see the difficulty discrepancy between the 2. I also plan on purchasing the GMAT Prep Question 1… would you say its worth it for the additional practice that’s similar to what I’ll see on the test?

      • No worries. I’m glad you got something out of it. Yeah, I wouldn’t read too much into MGMAT mocks- I got a 610 on my MGMAT the last week before my exam but I simply reviewed the mock to understand where I faltered.

        For verbal, I only practiced from official sources- it worked for me. Definitely would recommend purchasing the QP1 and the 2 extra exams. With the question pack 1 you can select to do mixed questions of varying difficulty in a timed environment- I found this quite helpful. The difficulty level is representative of what you see on the test.

        Quant gets trickier as you venture Q45+. I would recommend Gmatclub CAT’s- they’re great!

      • Thanks so much for the advice!! Will definitely heed 🙂

        What schools are you applying to this Fall?

  6. For keeping calm in the middle of the exam try breathing exercise for 5 seconds, helped me last time :). For AWA and IR I studied both for 6 hours each, got a 6 /8 in IR and 5.5 in AWA. Just know the fundamentals and there is always chineseburned.

    • Farhan,

      Thanks for the tip!! My stress levels will probably be through the roof so breathing exercises will definitely be on my “to-do list” lol. And okay, 6 hours each isn’t bad at all. Great scores by the way!

  7. I remember having the same issues with time! I’d always run out during the quant section and be done with the verbal way ahead of time. I even walked out of the actual GMAT half an hour early. I don’t think it really helped my score much.

    I think you have your strategies down, so just keep your cool and I’m sure you’ll ace it!

  8. Meant to say best of luck! 🙂

  9. Positive vibes coming to you from Europe!

    For what it’s worth, I also visited the test centre before I took my exam, to be sure where it was and so it wasn’t so stressful on the day itself. I also made sure to use all the breaks on offer – go to the restroom, give yourself a pep talk in the mirror, have a sip of Gatorade and a nibble of banana, or whatever.

    Bear in mind that I hadn’t sat a standardised test for ten years when I did the GMAT, so I was a bit anxious about it all and the above really helped.

    Do what you need to do, get in there, kick butt and get the result!

    Best of lick texaswannabecali!

  1. Pingback: Fridays From the Frontlines: Test Obsessed - Clear Admit Blog

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