Wednesday, September 10, 2008

GMAT Update

I leave 5 minutes late, sit in traffic for ~38 minutes and arrive right before 8 am (one should be at the site 30 minutes before the appointment). It was at a computer and technology training center on the way to the airport- the only GMAT testing site in Qatar.

I walk in and find.... no one. Only an attendant (sadly, they are mainly called 'tea boys' because that's their main job- we're trying to come up with a less demeaning title) was around and sweeping. Then I saw the counter: 'Ramadan Hours: Open at 9 am".

What?! My test is 8:30! Will I be counted late? What do I do?
I realized things were out of my hands. I went out, moved my car to a shadier spot and brought my Official GMAT prep book to review writing samples. An Indian gentleman arrives around 8:10, also to take the test. He's nervous about testing on time as well.

Five minutes later, someone shows up and starts to head upstairs. 'Oh- you have a test? Which one? GMAT? Ah...Mr. Abdullah does that. Inshallah he will be here soon.'

Inshallah? God-willing? For many Westerners, they often interpret that as 'nope. probably not going to happen.' Uh-oh.

At this point the anxiety was gone. I couldn't do anything but wait. 4 minutes before 8:30, miraculously Mr. Abdullah from upstairs and acts as if nothing is odd.

The Indian gentleman and I are escorted to a little glassed-in room w/ 3 computers. Our pictures are taken, fingers are scanned, and personal items are locked up. We start. My monitors refresh rate drives me nuts at first, but I adapt. A Qatari student appears late, gets set up and then I realize he must be taking another test. He left and re-entered the testing room about 8 times in half an hour. Then left. I don't know what it was, but it didn't help me focus.

Needless to say, the test went faster than I thought. Must have been the adrenaline. And then my score popped up on the screen- 690. Ten points short of my goal of 700. AH! Quantitative 39 (55 percentile), Verbal 45 (98). Should I retake? After looking online, some recommend not retaking, for- if I had gotten 700, would I be considering retaking? If no, then don't. However, my Quant. score is so off my Verbal score and given the high quantitative level of MBA education and my lack of it in undergrad, I think I need to bring that Quant. score up some more. I'm signed up for Oct. 14th, the next earliest I could take the test.

(I later found out, after I signed up to retake the test (GMAC- please, take my $250 again), that I got a 6.0 (perfect) on the writing portion. Ok- I get it. I get the Verbal part. Now I just need that Quant. score to bump up...Inshallah).

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