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560?? !!!

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560?? !!! [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2006, 10:15
I wrote the GMAT and my score was much lower than I had expected. I was quite surprised at this because my scores on both the Kaplan and GMATPrep practice exams were pretty good.

My official GMAT score was:

Scaled Score
Quant 42
Verbal 25
Total 560

On the my first GMATPrep practice exam I got:

Scaled Score
Quant 40
Verbal 29
Total 580

I think my quant score was lower because I didn't pace myself well and had to finish the last 7 questions in 7 minutes. I paced myself better on my second GMAT Prep exam and I got:

Scaled Score
Quant 47
Verbal 33
Total 650

On Kaplan’s Ultimate Practice Exam I got:

Scaled Score
Quant 48
Verbal 30
Total 660

On both Kaplan CATs 3 and 4 I got around:

Scaled Score
Quant 40
Verbal 30
Total 600

I completed all Kaplan’s required homework in the correct order and went over the practice questions on the GMATPrep software.

Is it normal to see such a large drop from practice exams to the real exam?

I have heard some people say the Kaplan questions are different from the official GMAT questions, should I have been spending more time with the 11th edition of the Official Guide for GMAT Review? If so, why did I get a 650 on my second GMATPrep practice exam?

I was feeling fine on test day and while completing the exam I thought things were going well.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

Lisa
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 [#permalink] New post 01 Mar 2006, 13:49
Dont loose heart.. i think it was just a bad day!
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2006, 05:30
How long did you prepare for the test?
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2006, 19:45
The strange thing is that on test day I felt fine and while writing the test I thought it was going really well.

I put a lot of preparation into the exam!

I enrolled in the Kaplan course the last week of November. I did all of the required Kaplan homework and a little more. For the six weeks before the exam I literally was studying at least 20 hours a week. On my first Kaplan practice exam (CAT) I got a 550. But CATs 2-4 were all around 600.
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560!! As well! [#permalink] New post 02 Mar 2006, 23:23
Hi,

I had a similar experience, I took the GMAT IN Feb and scored a 560. On the Kaplan tests I got 2 570's. On the Prep software I got a 640. So I am not sure what went wrong, since everyone says the Kaplan CATs are harder.

I suspect it is pacing, but not sure. I also took the GMAT last year (Dec) and got a 570. I feel I have one more chance to get a 650+, I know it is possible.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I scored 58% in Maths and 58% in Verbal to get the 560.

Last Year I got a 46% in maths and a 69% in Verbal to get the 570.
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 [#permalink] New post 03 Mar 2006, 15:06
You should definitely retake. The actual test is very similar to gmatprep and powerprep. So the fact that you scored a 650 on gmatprep means you are atleast capapable of getting that score.

My personal take is to focus less on kaplan practice problems and more on the ones from OG, especially as you close in on the actual test. I'm of the opinion that once you got the basics down, excessive practicing of Kaplan/PR/Arco etc serves to harm more than help.
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Mar 2006, 21:10
Test scores do fluctuate and sometimes may not represent your real abilities. My strategy is if you expect a real score of 650, then aim it 50 points higher for the simulated tests. Then most likely you won't be disappointed. Problem with PowerPrep or GMATPrep tests are sometimes you've seen the problems in the tests and may do better if you are familiar with the questions. To get the real feel, you need to make sure you really study each question and make sure you are making your own choice, not remembering from your memory. If there are guessing involved when you answer your questions, then it is possible that you get a relatively high score when the guesses happen to be all correct and a low score when they happen to be mostly wrong. So make sure you are able to answer the questions without guessing.
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 [#permalink] New post 06 Mar 2006, 09:45
Hi everyone,

I actually just discovered I got a 3.5 on that AWA. That’s the 18th percentile! Ouch!

Lfox2: That’s strange that’s strange. Your math went up but your verbal went down.

Forlorn: I’m definitely going to do way more questions from the Official Guide and not do much more with Kaplan (even though I’m eligible for the Higher Score Guarantee).

HongHu: I don’t think I’d seen any of the questions on my GMATPrep practice exam. As far as guessing. I tried to spend about 2 minutes per question. I set my self some benchmarks. So when I had 54 minutes left I should’ve answered 9 questions. When I had 36 minutes left I should’ve answered 18. At 18 minutes left, I should’ve answered 27 questions. When I was falling behind my benchmarks I would wait until I got a question that looked that it would take a long time to figure out and I guessed. Do you suggest another strategy for pacing?

Thanks for the feedback so far, I greatly appreciate it.
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 [#permalink] New post 16 Mar 2006, 17:44
Lisa,

I took the GMAT test today and got 560. Although dissapointing, I am encouraged because the score is over 70 points improvement. I owe alot to this forum. So stick around the forums and good things are bound to happen to you.

From my experience, I found the questions very similar to GMAT prep. Some I think were a repeat except for the changing of numeral values.

My GMAT Prep scores were as follows:

GMATPREP 1 ............ 630
GMATPREP 2 .............600
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2006, 06:32
Don't give up, but do try to evaluate your preparation. One thing which jumps out at me, is that you may have framed your expectations by your practice tests. The reason I think that's not so good, is that you lock into a mindset that way, and also forget that your study conditions are not going to be very much like the test conditions. What I mean is, back when I was an undergrad, I found my grades were not all that good, and a friend warned me that I was aiming too low and letting myself coast. That is, if I expected to get a 'B' and would be satisfied by a 'B', then if I slipped I could get a 'C' or worse. The idea is to aim for 100%, reminding yourself how much work you will have to do to get that result. Almost nobody fools themselves into thinking it's easy to get an '800' on the GMAT, so if you tell yourself that's what you are aiming for, you know you will have to work.

Next, pay less attention to your practice score results and more to your error log. Track what kinds of questions you are getting wrong, because sure as shooting those kinds of questions will be plentiful and stress you out on the real deal. Remember that in a practice test, it's easy to relax when you see questions you can't answer, because you know you can look them up later for study, but when they happen in the real test, they can destroy your confidence and mess with your concentration. Also, you want to avoid getting lazy (forgive me for that word) in the test. We all do that at time - we are getting a little tired or distracted, and so we are not sure about the answer to a question, but one "looks right" and we choose it without really thinking through. You'd be amazed how many people make that mistake, especially since the test is designed to offer wrong answers which look good.

I took all kinds of practice tests, and got scores anywhere from 550 to 760. While it's true that my scores came up as I studied, the last practice test I took was at Rice University under real-test conditions, and I only got a 610 on it. That told me that my practice conditions were not realistic, and so I buckled down on my error log, worked on Geometry and Data Sufficiency and Sentence Correction, which were my personal potholes, and worked a 730 on the real deal March 14.

Do you know when you will retake the test? This will help you plan a schedule for your study and error-log review.

Good luck.
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 [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2006, 10:07
i agree with forlorn that Kaplan can actually do more harm than good. There is no doubt that GMAT math and verbal sections try to test conceptual ability, but it is important to notice that questions on the GMAT are mostly very tricky...they are not conceptually very difficult (which kaplan stresses on a lot), but they are just downright tricky. The test setters will use language which will make think in a manner to which you are not accustomed. Thats the reason this test is different from other competitive exams. Therefore, it is important to develop the right frame of mind before going to the test. The OG (and princeton to some extent) will help you in doing that. I am sorry to say that Kaplan does not help in this case.

Hope this helps.

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 [#permalink] New post 26 Mar 2006, 16:37
Hi everybody,

One thing I didn’t do (which I probably should have) is go over all the questions I got wrong initially. I would look at the solutions (and would understand the solutions) but I never tried the questions again.

I’m scheduled to take the test again in about a month. Unfortunately I won’t have as much time to prepare this time around as I did last time.

I’m planning on going over my wrong questions for Kaplan and going over new questions for the Official Guide.

(I also need to work on my AWA!! I got a 3.5!!!)

Thanks for the help,

Lisa
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 [#permalink] New post 28 Mar 2006, 15:53
Good luck with your retake. I am deciding whether or not I want or need to take it again. I scored a 580 after getting 620+ all day long on various practice tests. I feel your pain.

I'm curious to see how you do with such a short turnaround time. I am going to put mine off for a little while due in part to seeing if I can still get in with a 580 to a couple of schools I like.

I hope you kick butt next time!

:-D
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 [#permalink] New post 24 May 2006, 16:32
Hi LisaLeslie,

This is my very first post on the forum so here it goes... :P

I can certainly share your frustrations. I just took the GMAT test this past week on Tuesday May 23rd. I have been preparing more seriously since March... and in the past two weeks I was getting two 710s (Q47, Q41) on my GMATPrep test, but I was ONLY able to score a 590 (Q44, V28) on the real GMAT :(

At first I was really dumb-founded but after reading some of the advices on this forum, I think here were my biggest pit falls:

- Over reliance on practice scores (although the GMATPrep is a good simulation of the real test, I think I may have seen one too many 'repeat' problems from the OG which probably boosted my mark)
- During practice, I simply memorized the answers that I got wrong instead of really trying to get to the root cause of my error.
- Too nervous during the exam and exam day. I didn't get enough rest leading to the exam. I under-estimated the physical and mental energy I need for the real exam (I think I pretty much fried my brain right up until the night before)

Anyways, I really hope that you were able to improve your score on the 2nd try around. You certainly seem more than capable :)

As for everyone else on this forum, if you could offer any additional advice for me, that'll be great. I'm especially looking to obtain a tips document of some kind that would tell me how to 'look for' traps in Verbal sections. I know the basic concepts from Kaplan, PR, MG...etc, but it doesn't seem to click for me when I see new types of questions that I've never faced before.

Thanks!

jjhko
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 [#permalink] New post 25 May 2006, 09:30
I just think that Kaplan course just provides you more questions to solve but the questions really are not similar to the real GMAT questions.

My weakness is Verbal & Kaplan course didn't help at all in improving my verbal. And just don't rely on the practice score of KAPLAN... I scored around 580 in all the kaplan test & in real GMAT 530.

Now I have bought Manahattan GMAT books on SC,RC & CR. I can definitely say that Manhattan books are really good in explaining the concepts.

My hit rate in SC is improving slowly.
The key is to spend time in understanding each question, analyzing why you got it wrong as well as right.

Getting good score in GMAT requires hard work & practice for people like me.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2006, 06:52
LisaLeslie raised a very important point. That is how we really study. Sometimes we do lots of practice questions without seeing much improvement and even get test results that are lower than expectation. The problem is that we have not utilized those pratice questions to its potential. We would do it, and mark it, and look at the answer key and thought that we understood it. But next time it is very likely that we would make the same mistake again. What we really need to do, is to study each option for a question very diligently, to find out the mistakes in each of the choices, and to make sure we know why we chose the wrong choice.
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2006, 10:05
HongHu wrote:
LisaLeslie raised a very important point. That is how we really study. Sometimes we do lots of practice questions without seeing much improvement and even get test results that are lower than expectation. The problem is that we have not utilized those pratice questions to its potential. We would do it, and mark it, and look at the answer key and thought that we understood it. But next time it is very likely that we would make the same mistake again. What we really need to do, is to study each option for a question very diligently, to find out the mistakes in each of the choices, and to make sure we know why we chose the wrong choice.


Yeah... I totally agree... the #1 rule of approaching GMAT questions is QUALITY, not quantity
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 [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2006, 14:11
Good points. Just keep in mind, just because you're studying doesn't mean you're studying effectively. A Manhattan GMAT instructor once said, there are tons of wrong ways to study for the GMAT.
  [#permalink] 02 Jun 2006, 14:11
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