Yay yay!! I'm finally done with the GMATs. I took the GMAT for the second time on 2/23 and I have to say that I've learned a lot from this experience. My key lesson was around JUST BEING RELAXED! I do so much better when I just relax and let my brain work. All of the information is in there, I just need to let it out.
I purposely waited a month after my last business school application was completed to take my GMAT again, so I'd have plenty of time to do thousands of practice problems and as many practice tests as I can possibly get my hands on. Of course I relaxed a bit after I finished my applications and before I knew it I had lost a week, then I had family stuff that I had to deal with for another week or so. All of this meant that I didn't get through nearly as many practice tests or problems as I wanted to. I realized to that I was doing great on timed problem sets both in terms of finishing them in the time limit and answering the vast majority of them correctly. Then, I'd get to a practice test and not be able to finish it in time and score in the very low 600s. It was rather frustrating, but I worked to get my game face on for test day.
On test day, I told myself that my score didn't matter at all. My schools that I had already applied to would never see my score from this test unless I sent it to them. I just got to spend the morning of my day off answering a bunch of questions before I got to spend my afternoon doing fun things. This totally took the pressure off. I knew I was going to be ok when I finished the math section barely in time. Yes, the last 5 problems or so were a bit rushed and the last couple I did have to rule out 1 or 2 options and then guess, but I finished all of them which I hadn't during my previous test.
I have to say to all of those of you still studying for the GMAT out there, you should practice being relaxed just as much as you should practice the problems and study the material that is on the test. Honestly, I think that's the reason that I did so much better this time around despite not much additional studying. Good luck!!