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2nd attempt, 640 again :( [#permalink]
29 Jun 2005, 17:47
I gave the GMAT today for the 2nd time.Today I got 640 again (Q48,V29)
I had got 640 (Q50,V26) the first time last july. Last year I wasn't surprised with my score as I had guessed my way in the last 15 questions of verbal.
This time I thought I was doing pretty well in the verbal section but when i saw the marks I was really surprised. I found maths a little tougher so I knew getting a 50 was difficult, but I felt pretty confident while doing the verbal section.
I used to have decent strike scores in practice questions so I don't where I goofed up in the actual exam.
I am trying to analyse what went wrong and it looks like I might have got the initial few questions wrong. I can't seem to figure out anything else.
Even if I think of giving it once more, I don't know how to test myself now. I've exhausted all test material.
I don't know how to proceed. The worst part is I can't seem to find out where I went wrong. Most of the time during verbal I felt as if I was getting the right answer.
What could have gone wrong ? And what should I do now ?
These are the scores of my practice tests ( most of them in sequence ).
Kaplan 1 620 (Q50,V33)...............gave 2nd time after 1 year
Kaplan 2 540 (Q38,V25)...............gave 2nd time after 1 year
ETS paper 55 630 (Q41,V32)
Kaplan 3 640 (Q50,V35)...............gave 2nd time after 1 year
ETS paper 52 690 (Q48,V33)
ETS paper 48 V40............after giving AWA and challenge
ETS paper 42 V44............after giving AWA and challenge
Anyone can suggest what I should do now ? I'm pretty confused.
Last year I had slept only 4-5 hrs and I couldn't think at all during verbal section and had not paced myself properly. I didnt even eat properly last year.
This year I made sure I slept properly and was not at all tired before the exam. I ate breakfast etc and took some snacks too.
This time I felt my self really comfortable in verbal section with the pacing and with the answers I was giving........but I got a bad score again !!
Looking forward for some advice.
I'm crossing the bridge.........
You obviously can get 50 plus in Q so need to focus on verbal if you are thinking about taking the GMAT again. Since you are unable to figure out where you are going wrong in Verbal, you can perhaps consider one of the online or classroom courses where an instructor can see where you are going wrong and offer remedies.
But first I suggest you take some time off this stuff. That might help.
ashk, sorry to hear about your score. During my second GMAT attempt, I got 650, up from 620, and my verbal score was actually lower than during my first attempt. I knew I had to practice verbal and only verbal for the months following and it is what I did. I REALLY pounded on verbal and read so much material so that I can now explain concepts, not only saying "because it's good to the ear" kind of answer. If you look at most of my posts, I really try to go through the concepts with excruciating detail and it is how you will improve it and I know you can.
I do not believe that it would be worth it to spend 1k on a test prep from 640 onward. I believe most of the improvement that will happen will be through a rigorous self-study approach. Hence, you should focus on only verbal and try to answer most of the verbal questions on this forum and then, 1-2 weeks before the exam, start doing math a bit more intensively, say half math half verbal. While studying verbal, it would be a good idea to continue joining the challenges though.
Keep your chin up, the fight is not over yet! I really want you to score at least 660, nothing less _________________
QT also pulled you down but mainly verbal did so....
640 is also not a bad score at all. 600+ is a good score. but if you are looking for 700+, better retake it. in the mean time its better to proceed application process and when you get your new score you can submit the same...
all the best.....
Last edited by HIMALAYA on 30 Jun 2005, 18:15, edited 1 time in total.
Don't let it overwhelm you. it's afterall a system - and all systems can be can be figured out and mastered. One piece of advice, Verbal clicks better if you relax a bit. One good way of doing that is to read a lot - including things you enjoy- like fiction, maybe. I try to treat myself to some good quality fiction as part of my 'getting ready for verbal' strategy.
Not only does it let me unwind, but also helps with my verbal skills.
If you can get a higher score why settle for less?
I am a living example of the one who followed Paul's advice to the last word! When I started reading Paul's explanations, I thought Paul is really superb and he know every detail of grammar off-the-cuff. But then, I realised the trick! Paul doesn't give off-the-cuff solutions to verbal SC - he analyses each problem, in his own golden words, in "excruciating detail". That basically means, if you do a SC/CR/RC correct and then you redo the same problem 1 month down the line, you should remember all the grammar flaws of that question or what exactly is the thought process for a CR or how exactly you analysed the RC, the last time you did it!
I do not feel ashamed that I have given GMAT thrice, the first time scoring just 600 - the second time, with a lot of structured prep and scientific analysis a lowly 570, but then, believe me it is the attitude that counts a lot! The third time around, I thought I have exhausted all the material and even remembered answers for most of the questions (even in the couple of practice tests that I gave), but I realised that I never analysed each question in the level of detail it entails.
My advice to you, after been through the same turmoil, is:
Stop doing full length tests. (if you think you already have the stamina)
Firstly, focus on questions that you have got CORRECT in the past and try to identify the grammar flaws (for SC) in all the incorrect options. An option might seem a no-brainer, but remember that you need to explain yourself the exact flaw in that incorrect option.
For CR: I am no expert, but all I can say is to practice all the LSAT questions(if possible) again going through each of the options.
RC: The method that I followed was to paraphrase each paragraph and try to mentally draw a picture of the RC. I started off by writing down what I understood from each paragraph in a few simple words(with no time limit) and then started to attack the questions. This approach is going to give you a lot of confidence (the essential ingredient of success) - then try to work out RC's with time limit. Though you might not be able to complete questions in section practice tests, you sure are going to have a good comprehension and approach - this is exactly what would be tested in your final exam.
We know you are a 700+ candidate, just muster all the traces of strength you have and restart your prep. Target a timeframe of 45 days.
Ash, Keep your chin up man. I totally agree with Vithal and Paul posts. I'm in the same situation you're in. After taking the exam on Aug 23rd 2004, I exhausted all material and my score was still a 650 [M-49, V-29]. So i totally understand what you're going through. There is hope.
For SC's ask yourself are you able to pick the OA after eliminating all the other ACs for grammatical reasons? Paul sets the standard in that aspect. I've drawn inspiration in how he solves SC's and am attempting to follow his strategy.
For CR's and RC's use LSAT material. When you start working harder problems you're shortcomings are exposed more readily. Be prepated to "face" your flaws and rectify them. Develop a methodlogy for CR's and RC's, working with CR's and RC's from "Official" LSAT material.
I hope you find my post useful. Last but not least, go through "Share your GMAT experiences" and draw inspiration from each invididual posts. Every time i get down on myself, i read/draw inspiration from many of the "Share your GMAT" experience posts. Believe me, it never gets old!!!
ashk, sorry here about your experience. In my opinion, you should go ahead and apply to schools anyway. In the mean time you can still go ahead and prepare for the next attempt. Some pointers I can offer you are as follows
1. It is extremely important to keep an error log. It is more important to review your error log on a weekly basis.
2. Once you establish your stamina, doing full length tests won't help you much. Instead focus on the concepts and "learn the concepts to the bone".
3. Try to solve problems under timed conditions, you could do in steps of 20 problems at a time.
4. Be very careful of first few questions and keep track of your time during the exam.
5. Have faith in your preparation and go with a positive attitude. _________________
math isn't a problem for you but verbal needs work. you said that this time
you felt you were getting the right answer whenever you were answering
a verbal question on the exam. this is a good sign imo, it means you were thinking
logically, without guessing, and eliminated wrong answers one by one - you are improving. the bad part you
didn't have a chance to get to the harder questions.
here are my thoughts, I also have struggled with verbal. you need to do LSAT RC's and CR's. you will be destroyed at first but believe me, GMAT RC's and CR's will seem a joke after them.
Take a break for 2 weeks, study LSAT for 1 months, occasionally doing math problems, then take the test.
I agree with Paul and Vithal that you need to be able to scrutinize the question and understand all its workings, but you must be able to do this in a timely fashion and under stress. If you manage to do this analysis subconsciencely (is it a word???) and automatically, you will be the king of the verbal. That's why practicing timed hard questions is important.