October 30th finally came.
I arrived early to the test center, went through all the pre-exam procedures very fast, and some 20 minutes after my arrival I already was in front of my computer screen. After two months, several hours and hundreds of math and verbal questions I was (at last!!) taking the GMAT. It was an exciting moment indeed, and I faced it confident in my possibilities.
And so It started.
I won´t go into much detail about each section but, soon enough, I realized that it was not going to be my best day. I had woken up feeling mentally dull (an early coffee did not help much), and through the first half of the exam I was felling tired and sleepy, and therefore struggling to focus. That didn´t affect me much on the AWA, but when IR and Quantitative sections came – where you need to find the right approach to the question and do it fast- I struggled at first. I wasn´t able to concentrate on the questions, and what I usually did in 1 or 1,5 minutes, was taking me twice that time. So the fact that I was “running late”added to the fact of not being at my prime.
But that is something you just have to endure. There are days through the preparation process in which almost no question represents a challenge and there are other days where even some average ones make you suffer a bit due to different conditions. I think you have to be ready and prepare yourself so even if the exam day is not a good one, you are able to put up a good performance and end up with a good score. Therefore, I did not worry too much about it and just tried to make the most of the questions ahead of me.
By the time I reached the second break I knew my performance in the Quant test had not been stellar and my score, most likely, would not be as good as in my practice exams (49), but I was also sure it would be a good score nevertheless. Besides, upon starting the last part of the exam, the Verbal section, I was more like my usual GMAT-self. Being good at verbal since the very beginning of my GMAT study process, I was confident I would score quite high in this test. Therefore in the last part of the exam things went much more smoothly and I was far more relaxed.
And, all of a sudden, it ended. I did not feel that I had actually been sitting there for almost four hours. Time had flown. When you finish the exam you are asked if you want to confirm or cancel the score and of course I did not have any doubts I wanted to confirm and see it. Why wouldn´t I after all that time and effort put into it? So I clicked “yes” and “next” without hesitation when asked, and:
AWA 5.5 IR 6 Quant 46 Verbal 41 Total 710
It is true that I am not fully satisfied with that 46 on Quant (nor with the 6 on IR), since I know I can do much better. In fact, just after leaving the test center I was already considering the possibility of retaking the exam. But it is also true that 710 is a great score (it meets my initial goal of scoring above the 700 mark), even more after a day that wasn´t by far a good one, and that retaking the exam requires at least another month of good work, a month I will be also loaded with work at the hospital and with plenty other things to do (my soccer team is back on the fields for another successful season, hopefully).
So, bottom line, I am happy with my well-earned 710. Let´s move on since it is a long way before I am ready to apply. Next stop: TOEFL.