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# 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience

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600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2009, 20:41
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Hi,

I think the GMAC may have changed their verbal section. I have been reading about a lot of recent test-takers having issues with the verbal. Please note that I practiced my exam in "real conditions" - full 4.5 hours, no breaks, etc. etc.

MGMAT 1 29-Oct V36 Q42
MGMAT 2 7-Nov V33 Q45
MGMAT 3 12-Nov V37 Q44
MGMAT 4 20-Nov V38 Q47
MGMAT 5 5-Dec V34 Q43
MGMAT 6 7-Dec V35 Q46

Today I took the GMAT and got: 600 - 44Q 29V. My jaw almost hit the floor when I saw my score. I still can't believe it.

I was expecting around a 44Q(hoping for better) as that's the average of my quant scores - but my verbal was *way* off. I will admit that I had some serious timing issues with the verbal and I had to rush through the last 10 problems. However, I want to say that the sentence corrections were MUCH more difficult than I had been expecting/had seen on the MGMAT tests. I think this may be where I spent a lot more of my time as I was forced to rush at least 3-4 CRs.

Please also note that I studied OG10, OG11, and OG12 and OG12's Verbal Review - and completed all of the associated questions with each numerous times. I have also used many other resources for prep. I guess the only good thing I have going for me is that I haven't yet taken the mba dot com "Official" practice tests.

So my question is, what do I do now? I'm taking the exam again Jan 4th or 5th. I just purchased PowerSocre's SC Bible and the CR Bible - I will study those and do all the questions associated. Sorry to put a competitor's books on here but I've already gone through the MGMAT verbal books (I read the SC guide at least 3 times). Should I just reset the MGMAT and take tests 2x per week leading up to my retake?

Finally, my weakest area on MGMAT was RC - although I felt fine with it on the GMAT.. maybe that's because I was doing poorly. I've tried the M GMAT RC guide and I have yet to show much improvement. Can you recommend any other resources for RC improvement?

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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2009, 21:01
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luckydude wrote:
Hi,

I think the GMAC may have changed their verbal section. I have been reading about a lot of recent test-takers having issues with the verbal. Please note that I practiced my exam in "real conditions" - full 4.5 hours, no breaks, etc. etc.

MGMAT 1 29-Oct V36 Q42
MGMAT 2 7-Nov V33 Q45
MGMAT 3 12-Nov V37 Q44
MGMAT 4 20-Nov V38 Q47
MGMAT 5 5-Dec V34 Q43
MGMAT 6 7-Dec V35 Q46

Today I took the GMAT and got: 600 - 44Q 29V. My jaw almost hit the floor when I saw my score. I still can't believe it.

I was expecting around a 44Q(hoping for better) as that's the average of my quant scores - but my verbal was *way* off. I will admit that I had some serious timing issues with the verbal and I had to rush through the last 10 problems. However, I want to say that the sentence corrections were MUCH more difficult than I had been expecting/had seen on the MGMAT tests. I think this may be where I spent a lot more of my time as I was forced to rush at least 3-4 CRs.

Please also note that I studied OG10, OG11, and OG12 and OG12's Verbal Review - and completed all of the associated questions with each numerous times. I have also used many other resources for prep. I guess the only good thing I have going for me is that I haven't yet taken the mba dot com "Official" practice tests.

So my question is, what do I do now? I'm taking the exam again Jan 4th or 5th. I just purchased PowerSocre's SC Bible and the CR Bible - I will study those and do all the questions associated. Sorry to put a competitor's books on here but I've already gone through the MGMAT verbal books (I read the SC guide at least 3 times). Should I just reset the MGMAT and take tests 2x per week leading up to my retake?

Finally, my weakest area on MGMAT was RC - although I felt fine with it on the GMAT.. maybe that's because I was doing poorly. I've tried the M GMAT RC guide and I have yet to show much improvement. Can you recommend any other resources for RC improvement?

1. How did you feel during the verbal section? Fatigue, anxious?
2. Guessing on 10 is too many
3. Work on your timing
4. I've noticed that the algorithm on MGMAT and GMAT Power Prep are not the same; the latter having more of a tendency to wreck your score if you do bad in RC. Just an observation not fact. I've noticed GMAT Power Prep will throw an RC, towards the middle will throw a bunch of RCs and CRs to throw your timing off and have you guessing at the end. Again, can't say this is fact. Just what it seems like to me. Having RC questions, then a bunch of SC questions is easier than RC questions and then CR questions.
5. I think you are trying to do too much in a month. You want to take a test 2x per week, read the powerscore (each at least 200 pages) and then take the GMAT Prep. It's possible but I don't know how effective that will be.

On average I'll hit about 85-90% on MGMAT and the official guides. When I use the PowerPrep, I score the same if I don't guess. When I'm short on time, and start guessing, I score about 10-15% lower. Therefore, I'm better off finishing than guessing. This has happened to me about three times.
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2009, 21:22
lagomez wrote:
luckydude wrote:
Hi,

I think the GMAC may have changed their verbal section. I have been reading about a lot of recent test-takers having issues with the verbal. Please note that I practiced my exam in "real conditions" - full 4.5 hours, no breaks, etc. etc.

MGMAT 1 29-Oct V36 Q42
MGMAT 2 7-Nov V33 Q45
MGMAT 3 12-Nov V37 Q44
MGMAT 4 20-Nov V38 Q47
MGMAT 5 5-Dec V34 Q43
MGMAT 6 7-Dec V35 Q46

Today I took the GMAT and got: 600 - 44Q 29V. My jaw almost hit the floor when I saw my score. I still can't believe it.

I was expecting around a 44Q(hoping for better) as that's the average of my quant scores - but my verbal was *way* off. I will admit that I had some serious timing issues with the verbal and I had to rush through the last 10 problems. However, I want to say that the sentence corrections were MUCH more difficult than I had been expecting/had seen on the MGMAT tests. I think this may be where I spent a lot more of my time as I was forced to rush at least 3-4 CRs.

Please also note that I studied OG10, OG11, and OG12 and OG12's Verbal Review - and completed all of the associated questions with each numerous times. I have also used many other resources for prep. I guess the only good thing I have going for me is that I haven't yet taken the mba dot com "Official" practice tests.

So my question is, what do I do now? I'm taking the exam again Jan 4th or 5th. I just purchased PowerSocre's SC Bible and the CR Bible - I will study those and do all the questions associated. Sorry to put a competitor's books on here but I've already gone through the MGMAT verbal books (I read the SC guide at least 3 times). Should I just reset the MGMAT and take tests 2x per week leading up to my retake?

Finally, my weakest area on MGMAT was RC - although I felt fine with it on the GMAT.. maybe that's because I was doing poorly. I've tried the M GMAT RC guide and I have yet to show much improvement. Can you recommend any other resources for RC improvement?

1. How did you feel during the verbal section? Fatigue, anxious?
2. Guessing on 10 is too many
3. Work on your timing
4. I've noticed that the algorithm on MGMAT and GMAT Power Prep are not the same; the latter having more of a tendency to wreck your score if you do bad in RC. Just an observation not fact. I've noticed GMAT Power Prep will throw an RC, towards the middle will throw a bunch of RCs and CRs to throw your timing off and have you guessing at the end. Again, can't say this is fact. Just what it seems like to me. Having RC questions, then a bunch of SC questions is easier than RC questions and then CR questions.
5. I think you are trying to do too much in a month. You want to take a test 2x per week, read the powerscore (each at least 200 pages) and then take the GMAT Prep. It's possible but I don't know how effective that will be.

On average I'll hit about 85-90% on MGMAT and the official guides. When I use the PowerPrep, I score the same if I don't guess. When I'm short on time, and start guessing, I score about 10-15% lower. Therefore, I'm better off finishing than guessing. This has happened to me about three times.

Lagomez,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

1. How did you feel during the verbal section? Fatigue, anxious?
I felt a bit anxious as the first problem was a tough one. It involved changing the sentence's meaning to maintain grammatical correctness. Also, I felt the SCs were tougher than MGMAT.

2. Guessing on 10 is too many
Yeah I've never had such serious timing issues. I practice with a stopwatch and aim to do SCs in 90 seconds and RCs and CRs in 2 min, respectively. I realized I was screwed when I had 15 minutes left and 15 questions left.

3. Work on your timing
I'm not sure what else I can do. I've taken a ton of CATs (over 15 of them - note I only took the MGMATs once each, I just didn't post my Kaplan and other scores)

4. In response to your answer, any suggestions on good practice material? I' have the RC 3000s, but I don't like that they lack explanations.

5. I think you are trying to do too much in a month. You want to take a test 2x per week, read the powerscore (each at least 200 pages) and then take the GMAT Prep. It's possible but I don't know how effective that will be.

You are right I will probably rachet the CATs back to 1x per week maybe 1.5x per week.

The truth is, I am astonished by my score - and perhaps the most frustrating thing is that I cannot pinpoint exactly what went wrong. I thought for certain that I would score in the 650-700 range given my MGMAT scores.
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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09 Dec 2009, 21:43
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Did you attempt GMAT Prep tests ? The GMAT Prep tests are very close to actual GMAT test and give you the exact picture of where you stand.

All other tests like MGMAT, Kaplan etc are just good for practice. Your actual GMAT scores can be way different from the score from these tests.
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2009, 04:46
bigoyal wrote:
Did you attempt GMAT Prep tests ? The GMAT Prep tests are very close to actual GMAT test and give you the exact picture of where you stand.

All other tests like MGMAT, Kaplan etc are just good for practice. Your actual GMAT scores can be way different from the score from these tests.

Thanks for the response. No I did not do GMAT Prep. From what I have heard MGMAT is supposed to be quite accurate. I will use GMAT Prep over the next month as my benchmark. I did however, use OG 10, OG 11, and OG 12 so I am quite confused as to how I scored so poorly in the Verbal section.

Regardless, are there any recommendations that you can make to help me improve my verbal other than going through the PowerScore books? I have heard that it is a good practice to solve the RCs in your head before "looking" for the answer.

Suggestions?
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2009, 04:59
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luckydude wrote:
bigoyal wrote:
Did you attempt GMAT Prep tests ? The GMAT Prep tests are very close to actual GMAT test and give you the exact picture of where you stand.

All other tests like MGMAT, Kaplan etc are just good for practice. Your actual GMAT scores can be way different from the score from these tests.

Thanks for the response. No I did not do GMAT Prep. From what I have heard MGMAT is supposed to be quite accurate. I will use GMAT Prep over the next month as my benchmark. I did however, use OG 10, OG 11, and OG 12 so I am quite confused as to how I scored so poorly in the Verbal section.

Regardless, are there any recommendations that you can make to help me improve my verbal other than going through the PowerScore books? I have heard that it is a good practice to solve the RCs in your head before "looking" for the answer.

Suggestions?

You missed one of the most essential tools for preparation and that also when its free.

I think you have already collected a good number books. OG is very good book for preparation, but the difficulty level is way below the actual GMAT questions level. Keep working with your new books and attempt GMATPrep tests. It has lot of difficult questions, equivalent to original GMAT test. You get 2 free tests, but you can reset the tests and attempt them again and again. I did it thrice, resulting in 6 (3 X 2) tests. It has such a huge database of questions that you would find new set of question in each attempt.

Having said that, prepare error log at the end of each test, evaluate where you are making lot of mistakes, and work more on those areas.
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2009, 05:30
bigoyal wrote:
luckydude wrote:
bigoyal wrote:
Did you attempt GMAT Prep tests ? The GMAT Prep tests are very close to actual GMAT test and give you the exact picture of where you stand.

All other tests like MGMAT, Kaplan etc are just good for practice. Your actual GMAT scores can be way different from the score from these tests.

Thanks for the response. No I did not do GMAT Prep. From what I have heard MGMAT is supposed to be quite accurate. I will use GMAT Prep over the next month as my benchmark. I did however, use OG 10, OG 11, and OG 12 so I am quite confused as to how I scored so poorly in the Verbal section.

Regardless, are there any recommendations that you can make to help me improve my verbal other than going through the PowerScore books? I have heard that it is a good practice to solve the RCs in your head before "looking" for the answer.

Suggestions?

You missed one of the most essential tools for preparation and that also when its free.

I think you have already collected a good number books. OG is very good book for preparation, but the difficulty level is way below the actual GMAT questions level. Keep working with your new books and attempt GMATPrep tests. It has lot of difficult questions, equivalent to original GMAT test. You get 2 free tests, but you can reset the tests and attempt them again and again. I did it thrice, resulting in 6 (3 X 2) tests. It has such a huge database of questions that you would find new set of question in each attempt.

Having said that, prepare error log at the end of each test, evaluate where you are making lot of mistakes, and work more on those areas.

Bigoyal,

I can't thank you enough for your insight. I plan to incorporate the 3000RCs as they are a bit more difficult than the GMAT RCs. But in my mind, I expect SC and RC to carry me to the upper 600s to low 700s.

Thanks again.

I hope others share your insight as I know there are a lot of experienced test takers on here who have faced similar problems in their own quest for 700.
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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10 Dec 2009, 06:53
I recently took my GMAT too (on 11/23/2009) and my quant was ok Q48, but I really felt verbal was way difficult from GMATPrep or OG12. I think I was doing well on RC and I am almost certain I got my first two RCs completely correct and then on I see questions being very hard and my last two RCS were just too long and had only two looong paragraphs. Somehow I managed my time really bad, I had 20 mins for last 20 questions and I just rushed through them (should've thought of a better strategy upfront - like taking 1.75 mins for 12 questions and working fast or guessing last 8). Anyway I managed only a V32 and I was getting V35-40 in my practice tests. I admit that I really didn't spend much time on practicing verbal... I only did some practice on SC, but CR I was confident I can crack and RC I was thinking I would be getting 60% right..

One question though. Does one need to read all OG10,11 and 12 ? isn't it enough just to do OG12 ( Iam thinking its the superset of OG10,11) - are there some questions in 10,11 that are not in 12 ? does anybody know ?
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2009, 01:33
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srini123 wrote:
One question though. Does one need to read all OG10,11 and 12 ? isn't it enough just to do OG12 ( Iam thinking its the superset of OG10,11) - are there some questions in 10,11 that are not in 12 ? does anybody know ?

OG10 has lot more questions then 11 or 12. What GMAC did was divide OG10 into three books, i.e. OG 11, Verbal supplement and Quant supplement. The questions in these books are mostly inherited from OG10. In OG12, some questions from OG11 has been replaced with new set of questions but most of the questions are again repeated.

If you are doing OG12, I don't think there is a need to do OG11 or 10. Alternatively you can get yourself a OG Verbal supplement or Quant supplement.
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2009, 07:05
Thanks Bigoyal +1
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2009, 07:21
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luckydude, I don't feel alone after reading this post. Last 2 weeks I'd gone into a recluse after the actual GMAT and a horrible verbal score (overall 64x).
I share your feeling that the actual test has got different that the mocks (in the last 2-3 weeks, my verbal was consistently 39-41 in both GMAT prep and MGMAT tests). But the real test was in 20s.

There may have been fatigue but not that bad and during the test I felt that I was getting the questions right, but the RCs being thrown at me seemed to get easier (all four of them 2 short paragraphs), so I guess I was actually messing up at some place.
On the contrary, the SCs seemed to be getting tougher towards the end.
Also, compared to the prep-tests, the real test had more cases of dubious answers (2 options, very close contenders).

The only time I received such low score out of ~15 odd mock tests I'd given was in the Veritas test. So I think something may have changed in the verbal section algorithm as well...

This time I'm also focusing on RC. The 1000RC and 1000CR (had only completed ~20% of those during the first attempt). Good luck to you on the second attempt and lets try to crack it this time!!
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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11 Dec 2009, 07:25
srini123 wrote:
I recently took my GMAT too (on 11/23/2009) and my quant was ok Q48, but I really felt verbal was way difficult from GMATPrep or OG12. I think I was doing well on RC and I am almost certain I got my first two RCs completely correct and then on I see questions being very hard and my last two RCS were just too long and had only two looong paragraphs. Somehow I managed my time really bad, I had 20 mins for last 20 questions and I just rushed through them (should've thought of a better strategy upfront - like taking 1.75 mins for 12 questions and working fast or guessing last 8). Anyway I managed only a V32 and I was getting V35-40 in my practice tests. I admit that I really didn't spend much time on practicing verbal... I only did some practice on SC, but CR I was confident I can crack and RC I was thinking I would be getting 60% right..

One question though. Does one need to read all OG10,11 and 12 ? isn't it enough just to do OG12 ( Iam thinking its the superset of OG10,11) - are there some questions in 10,11 that are not in 12 ? does anybody know ?

srini123! ah, ur havin similar tragedy too! Good to read all the retake strategies here...
I'll try to get hold of a OG10/11 for verbal practice.
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2009, 08:37
gmattokyo wrote:
luckydude, I don't feel alone after reading this post. Last 2 weeks I'd gone into a recluse after the actual GMAT and a horrible verbal score (overall 64x).
I share your feeling that the actual test has got different that the mocks (in the last 2-3 weeks, my verbal was consistently 39-41 in both GMAT prep and MGMAT tests). But the real test was in 20s.

There may have been fatigue but not that bad and during the test I felt that I was getting the questions right, but the RCs being thrown at me seemed to get easier (all four of them 2 short paragraphs), so I guess I was actually messing up at some place.
On the contrary, the SCs seemed to be getting tougher towards the end.
Also, compared to the prep-tests, the real test had more cases of dubious answers (2 options, very close contenders).

The only time I received such low score out of ~15 odd mock tests I'd given was in the Veritas test. So I think something may have changed in the verbal section algorithm as well...

This time I'm also focusing on RC. The 1000RC and 1000CR (had only completed ~20% of those during the first attempt). Good luck to you on the second attempt and lets try to crack it this time!!

Gmattokyo,

What specifically are you doing and/or have you heard that can be done to improve timing? I recently bought the CR and SC Bibles from Powerscore, I think they will be highly beneficial. Further, I will be doing the 3000RCs and I believe it will improve my performance.

One of the biggest issues I had was I felt that I was "over diagramming" on both CR and RC. As a result, I spent waaaaay too much time on each of these problems. I will see what I can do to reduce my diagramming for each of these and I should be good to go.

If anyone knows any strategies to improve verbal timing, please let me know! I already practice with a stopwatch, perhaps I should try to do all of my CRs in under 90 seconds.

Thanks!
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Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2009, 19:07
luckydude wrote:
gmattokyo wrote:
luckydude, I don't feel alone after reading this post. Last 2 weeks I'd gone into a recluse after the actual GMAT and a horrible verbal score (overall 64x).
I share your feeling that the actual test has got different that the mocks (in the last 2-3 weeks, my verbal was consistently 39-41 in both GMAT prep and MGMAT tests). But the real test was in 20s.

There may have been fatigue but not that bad and during the test I felt that I was getting the questions right, but the RCs being thrown at me seemed to get easier (all four of them 2 short paragraphs), so I guess I was actually messing up at some place.
On the contrary, the SCs seemed to be getting tougher towards the end.
Also, compared to the prep-tests, the real test had more cases of dubious answers (2 options, very close contenders).

The only time I received such low score out of ~15 odd mock tests I'd given was in the Veritas test. So I think something may have changed in the verbal section algorithm as well...

This time I'm also focusing on RC. The 1000RC and 1000CR (had only completed ~20% of those during the first attempt). Good luck to you on the second attempt and lets try to crack it this time!!

Gmattokyo,

What specifically are you doing and/or have you heard that can be done to improve timing? I recently bought the CR and SC Bibles from Powerscore, I think they will be highly beneficial. Further, I will be doing the 3000RCs and I believe it will improve my performance.

One of the biggest issues I had was I felt that I was "over diagramming" on both CR and RC. As a result, I spent waaaaay too much time on each of these problems. I will see what I can do to reduce my diagramming for each of these and I should be good to go.

If anyone knows any strategies to improve verbal timing, please let me know! I already practice with a stopwatch, perhaps I should try to do all of my CRs in under 90 seconds.

Thanks!

Your approach sounds fine. I read through the powerscore cr bible (should have done it first time around) and now doing the 1000RC and CR docs. For me it is less than 2 weeks now as I'd scheduled in the first possible date, maybe a rush, but just wanted to give it a go as soon as possible.
At the same time I'm making sure to practice few quant questions frequently (MGMAT challenge archive and GMAT Club tests). There is this big fear of getting lower quant scores during the retake in quest for higher verbal!

The techniques are individual preferences. I don't do any diagramming (except if those rare intricate logic Qs are there where u have to know necessary/sufficient/subconditions etc.). But make it a point to scribble something in RC, not looking at the screen...

Did anyone try the mba.com teasers? I had done it earlier when I started the prep and remember the performance as horrible. It'd be absurd and stupid, but I hope they don't use the performance there to correlate with the real exam (another conspiracy theory )

One of my friend's instructor had this take on the scores:
"-test day nervousness
-bad luck: questions may not be difficult but you might have got questions that were rare exceptions to some

The only area where questions many sound different from the previously known ones is CR: completely new ways of reasoning can come up"

So I suppose with enough practice, we have the "new ways of reasoning" covered, but the luck and conspiracy-theory part can't be helped with...
Re: 600 - 44Q What the hell happened?!? Horrible GMAT Experience   [#permalink] 14 Dec 2009, 19:07
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