How to recover from a disappointing GMAT score

disapointing gmatMany of you may know this feeling.  You hit your last confirm on the verbal section and anxiously await your score to come up and your heart falls into your stomach as you see that it is nowhere near what you wanted.  What do you do? First of all, you should have come into the test knowing what score you would accept and what score you would cancel, so if this score is not what you wanted, cancel it.  You always have the opportunity to reinstate it within 60 days for $100.

The first step to dealing with disappointment is allowing yourself to feel that disappointment.  This is a healthy part of moving on and accepting what has happened.  So, its ok to feel sorry for yourself for a bit.  You worked hard on this exam and did not get the results you wanted, so take some time to deal with your feelings.  Maybe treat yourself to a nice meal or a massage to make yourself feel better.

After a day or two of sulking, however, its time to pick yourself back up.  Try to put things in perspective and remember that this is only a small part of your life.  Most schools are understanding of the fact that the GMAT is a difficult test, so only look at your highest score anyway.  Furthermore, many students end up taking the GMAT more than once, so know that you are not alone in your struggles.

Finally its time to plan how to tackle the test again.  First, analyze what might have gone wrong on test day.  Were you particularly nervous?  Did you change anything about your routine, like drink more caffeine than usual or get a bad night’s sleep?  Or was it just bad luck?  From there, you can plan how to start your study again.  Take a look at my post on the 5 biggest GMAT studying mistakes, and make sure that you are not repeating these.  Good luck with take two!!!

Meet the Author

Eliza Chute

I was always just an average student, but with the right course prep I was able to score a 770 on my first try. I had to wade through a lot of material to find what was right for me, but luckily for you I've done all the research for you! See more on my GMAT courses page.

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