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590 - a failure story

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Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 579
Location: France
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590 - a failure story [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2006, 09:20
Hi everyone,

Here is my story and how I expect to improve. If you have any idea, let me know!

I am a french engineer and work in Germany on project management issues. I have 6 years work experience.

I started to think about an MBA in Feb06. Then I decided that I would apply only to INSEAD. The application deadline was today. I passed the TOEFL 3 weeks ago, but don't know yet the result( > 105/120 is required). I decided to pass the gmat yesterday, to let me enough time for preparation. The application is complete(without TOEFL result), essays written etc. Finaly, I decided not to apply when I saw my score...

So yesterday, I took the test and scored a miserable 590(Q44, V26). It was a great deception because I felt quite confident both in Q and V. I was just slightly stressed, but not more than when I take the gmatprep CATs. Moreover, I found the V part equivalent to the one of GMATprep with easier RC.
Needless to say, with this confidence, that I was reaaaaaaly disapointed, especially because I never scored so low in V. May be the software was bugged?

Following are my scores since I started to study End of February.

date TEST V Q total

14.03.6 test14 22 38 510
27.03.6 gmatprep1 27 44 590
9.04.6 kaplanCD 1 25 29 520
21.04.6 ETS 1 38 47 690
7.05.6 kaplanCD 2 31 38 570
28.05.6 PR3 34 41 610
5.06.6 PR2 35 43 640
12.06.6 score800 44 37 640
14.06.6 score801 39 38 610
18.06.6 kaplanCD 3 33 36 560
24.06.6 PR4 44 45 710
24.06.6 score802 37 47 680
28.6.6 gmatprep2 37 44 650
29.6.6 score803 38 39 610
01.7.6 score804 32 47 630
02.7.6 gmatprep1 35 49 690(reinstallation)

03.7.6 REAL 26 44 590

Here are my preparation materials:

Kaplan 800 book
Kaplan CD (course + 4 CATs)
RC, SC, CR 1000
Power prep

I studied 4 month, near my job, and put a lot of efforts in the preparation. During the last 2 months, every evening I worked, also on week ends, reduced the visits with my girlfriend to the minimum on WE, and the last two WE, we didn't see at all. I worked the full sat&sunday, from early in the morning till late in the evening. I've done all the 1000SC, almost all the CATs, hundreds of RC questions, hundreds of CR, all the OG 10&11. I had also a log which I used only to measure my answer time and to track my answers, with comments. The rate of correct answer was about 70% to about 80% in limited time conditions for every set of 20 questions.

Last WE, I reviewed the log to make only the questions I had wrong. I saw that I was much better and did much less careless mistakes(maths).
The WE before this one, I did the second gmatprep CAT to see where I stood. I was unhappy since I scored lower in verbal than I expected. Reviewing my mistakes, I realised that I had mainly SC and RC wrong. Though I kept practicing maths since I feared the math section.
This WE, I reinstalled gmat prep and took both test, on sat and on sunday. I made again mistakes in SC. Then I realised that the 1000SC did'nt help me much, and that the sentences were much different. No obvious questions with 3-2 pattern, Like-Unlike etc. I had really to understand the meaning and the structure. So the evening preceding the exam, I went on Gmatclub and searched all "gmatprep SC" questions. I had more than few erroneous.

However I felt confident for the next day, because I tought it wouldn't be harder, may be even easier. That I wasn't that stupid, that I worked a lot so I could reach my target(>680).
Then came the 590.

Since then, I consider to do it again, perhaps in 1-2 months. Anyway, I've missed the last INSEAD intake for January07, and will have to apply for the sept 07 intake, with first rounds in Sept/Oct I think.
I will have to seat and think about how I could improve my score in verbal.

I considered to buy the MGMAT SC book, since I read here that it was the best book about SC.
In RC and CR, I see no other possibility to practice more and finish the LSAT CRs & RCs. Like many here, I have trouble to understand texts when they are very conceptual(I prefer science or history or easy eco texts). Sometimes in PR RCs, I dont have the slightest idea what the author wants to say or prove.
Can you confirm that buying MGMAT SC book is the best I can do and if I should buy others that are not in my list but could be helpful. Or should I start from the beginning, doing every question again. I also tried to learn more about diagramming for CR, but didn't find anything explaining thread in this forum.

So now I will focus on the verbal part the next weeks(or months), but will not work so hard as I did till now. I have to learn cleaverly, or at least try.
And of course thanks GMATClub. It is an amazing site!
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Joined: 25 Apr 2006
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2006, 09:55
Had a same problem with V, 23. last time, in prep 28-40. could there be a problem with computer system? had lots of sc, u?
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2006, 13:13
bonjour karlfurt,

Reading your message I feel quite identified with your experience as I am also engineer, 6 years experience, I studied in France, I'm moving to Germany soon to work as project manager... and I am preparing to retake this damned exam in one month...

I did today my GMAT for the first time (680, see other post details), and I also scored below my expectations on the verbal side. I believe It's important not to give up! Keep your morale up!! It's clear that non-native speakers are seriously disadvantaged in this section...

What I plan to do during this week is to recompile all the wrong answers I did during the last 9 kaplan exams I did previously, and analyze in more detail what I did wrong. I bought the "official guide" from Pearson and Princeton review (I worked before basically on Kaplan's material).


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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2006, 15:59
You guys are lucky. To have a strong score in Quant is quite lucky. It takes a long time to get a good Quant score. Verbal, once you learn the methods, verbal is supposed to increase quite easily. Also, verbal seems to have more of a impact on your overall score, because the average of the verbal score distribution is lower.

So I've heard.

I need to get my Quant higher..

I am only one; but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
- Helen Keller

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Re: 590 - a failure story [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2006, 16:34
nope. its not correct to say that 590 is a failure story. it is a begaining of sucess. mine score was also 590 but when i appeared next time i almost crossed 700.

so keep practicing, your sucess is not too far.

goodluck buddy...
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 [#permalink] New post 04 Jul 2006, 22:01
I don't see any reason why you can not score more than 680.

From your experience one things is specifically shocking-- You were feeling under control during exam and still got low score--you may need to think about this! You might be setting expactation incorrectly or might be falling in to the GMAT treps.

I would suggest that you use not only Manhattan GMAT SC but also Manhattan GMAT Math books as you need improvement in Math also.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2006, 04:37
Thanks guys for your support.
Do you think it is worth buying OG11 additional Verbal and Quant part. Or are the questions the same than the ones from OG10+OG11+1000docs?

I've already ordered MGMAT SC + CR+ RC on amazon.
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 [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2006, 07:07
most Lot of questions in additional quant and verbal guide will be repeat one compate to 1000Docs, but you may want to buy it for explanation. I bought both but used only SC explanation.
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 [#permalink] New post 08 Jul 2006, 13:25

Don't think that 590 is a failure. It is not that bad. I am sure you will get what you aim. Just make a new plan and start studying well. At least you experienced the test and the atmosphere.. This is a chance for you to evaluate your weaknesses.. Don't give up..

All the best..
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 [#permalink] New post 10 Jul 2006, 09:57
GMAT has nothing to do with intelligence! Its a dumb test which I think tests your patience and perseverance more than anything else.
So dont be upset, just focus and you will definately get a higher score.
  [#permalink] 10 Jul 2006, 09:57
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