I gave GMAT for the third time and scored disappointing 540 (Q37 V28) . I scored 580 in my previous attempt (still disappointing but I got into my preferred school due to my other application materials and my experience in Marketing Research + previous MBA degree helped I guess). I completed my Masters in Marketing Research for USA in my preferred school with that score and worked for an year in a dream company but my goal is to do PhD and the professors/schools am in talk with are satisfied with a score of 640-650 with my profile.
Now a little about my experience with GMAT:
I scored consistently above 640 in all my GMAT prep exams and others too. I realize that I could not take the timing pressure and even in past when I posted on this blog (regarding my previous attempts) experts did tell me that I need to work on my concentration and stamina.
But, all my practice exams give a different picture than my real GMAT experiences because of which I am not able to really understand what am I doing wrong (but certainly I am going wrong somewhere)?
This time the whole test right from IR was a chase against time for me. I had almost guessed on last 15-18 questions in Quant some without reading too. This happened as I knew my IR didn't go well and I had that behind my mind while solving questions in quants and am pretty sure that I was doing fine until I looked at the clock and saw I just had about 25 min left for almost 20 questions. And I rushed through all others and started getting very easy questions and I knew I blew the test.
Once I reached verbal I had lost hopes. But still tried working through it. I also thought of cancelling my score but I didn't as my school deadlines are just around the corner. Don't really know if that was a good decision though. Anyways, after spending the weekend rethinking about it am certainly not ready to give up. I know I can do much better than this.
But I am so confused as to where to start from now? I have to build upon my timing and when I see my scores in real GMAT I feel as if I also need to work on fundamentals (but my practice sessions give a total different picture).
Do you think I should just work on practicing for quant?? of course timed one and see which type of questions really mess up my timings? and then go back and re do the fundamentals in those areas??
As for verbal I feel I really need to redo all my fundamentals with such a disappointing score. Please suggest
Books I referred :
MGMAT all guides E-gmat
verbal online (I started scoring 30+ in my mocks after this)OG 13
+ OG verbal
and quant review (completed OG 13
quant but not verbal in its entirety (RC and CR was not completed))
GMAT prep Exams + Exam Pack 1
MGMAT 4 CATs
What I think is completely a NO-NO but I did those:
I did take 4 CATs without AWA and IR but all others were with AWA and IR sections. My exam was in the morning at 8:00am and am NOT a morning person. I only took one CAT at this time and did score 640 in it a day before actual CAT. I revised all my flash cards that day so pretty much was studying off and on the day before the test. One more thing I guess is essential to mention here is that I took most of the CATs in about last 10days to my actual Test. Could that have burnt me out??
With all this mentioned, I really want to get some opinions regarding retaking the test on Feb 13 as the schools are ready to wait for my GMAT scores until then for Fall 2014. So essentially its just a month from now.. but I am not working in this one month and plan to completely devote my time to GMAT.
Please suggest. All advices are much appreciated!!
First I would suggest you to take the free Veritas
practice test. It is based on the latest GMAT pattern. What will you gain out of it?
- Your practice test scores are much higher than your actual GMAT scores. We need to figure out what the problem is - is it stress or are your concepts weak? If you score 650 in your Veritas
practice test, chances are that your fundamentals are good enough for a 600+ score but you need to calm down your nerves. If you score about 550, that indicates a more fundamental problem.
If you do get a low score in your practice test, you will need to revisit all your concepts and then practice in a timed manner. Your timing is certainly off. You took about 50 mins for 17 questions - the important question is this - did you evenly distribute the 50 mins among the 17 questions or did you lose track of time and sat on one question for 10 mins? At this stage, it's actually better if you lost track of time because that means you can easily remedy the situation by consciously moving ahead after you have spent 3 mins in a question. If you spent 3 mins in every question, then the issue is more pronounced because you are probably using very long winded approaches for simple problems.
"I did take 4 CATs without AWA and IR but all others were with AWA and IR sections. "
Not a big problem though you must practice IR too.
"My exam was in the morning at 8:00am and am NOT a morning person."
Can be easily remedied next time.
"I only took one CAT at this time and did score 640 in it a day before actual CAT."
CAT on the day before the actual test - bad idea. A 4 hr CAT exhausts you mentally and physically.
"I revised all my flash cards that day so pretty much was studying off and on the day before the test."
Not a problem. We tend to go back to our logs and flashcards on and off just before a big exam. This doesn't really hurt but its better to try to relax.
"One more thing I guess is essential to mention here is that I took most of the CATs in about last 10days to my actual Test. Could that have burnt me out??"
Too many CATs in a few days is again a bad idea. I suggest people to take one CAT a week - perhaps 2 if they are really pressed for time and need to work on their strategies and time management skills through the CATs.
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