After the craziness of last week and this weekend, I have finally had time to reflect on what my experience has been like and what I taken from it. So, here….we….go…
Practice makes perfect, but test day is its own animal:
No matter how much I practiced, nothing seemed to prepare me for the test day atmosphere. I took practice test, after practice test and I would say that my math score was always high on test day and my verbal score was always lower. One of the reasons I think this might have happened is that I always felt like I was doing terribly on the Quant section, and maybe I was in a bad state of mind for the Verbal section. If I had a piece of advice to give, it is be like a quarterback. A quarterback is always told to forget the play that happened prior, as the next play is always the most important. Having a short memory on the GMAT is certainly something that would help you.
You are going to get questions wrong:
This isn’t a test in high school or college where if you are getting questions wrong, your score is going to suffer tremendously. It only matters what difficulty the questions are that you get wrong. I can tell you that I missed quite a few Quant questions (I think), but still managed a 48. The problem was that I panicked when I started getting questions wrong. You have to expect that some questions are going to be too tough for you, as the point of the adaptive test is to find a level where you are getting 1 question correct and then 1 question wrong.
This should be pretty obvious to most people, but choosing a recommender who you can work closely with on the recommendation is very important. You are not going to write it for them, but giving them ideas or answering questions for them will be a pretty big part of your interaction with them. Getting a great recommendation is very important, so choose someone who can speak highly of you, but also someone who is intimately familiar with your work. General statements, such as “He is a really hard worker,” are not exactly what adds value to a recommendation. The recommender should be able to cite specific examples which should highlight your strengths.
Essays – I am going to leave these for tomorrow, as I have been trying to finish this post since 9:43am. I thought this was supposed to be a quiet week…