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620 on first practice test - Disappointed

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 34
Location: India
Concentration: Entrepreneurship, Marketing
GMAT 1: 690 Q47 V39
GPA: 4
WE: Marketing (Retail)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 12

620 on first practice test - Disappointed [#permalink] New post 09 Mar 2014, 03:57
I started with a diligent attempt towards my GMAT prep in January 2014.
In these 3 months, I have studied the MGMAT guides, completed OG 13, and completed the quant section of OG 12.

My GMAT date is May 3rd 2014. My target score is 720+.

Until today, I was quite confident with how my prep was proceeding.

Today I took my first CAT (MGMAT) after starting my prep. I scored a 620 (Q42 V33). This is way below what I had expected and has left me a bit demoralized, considering that I had scored higher on the practice test I had taken before starting my prep (GmatPrep pratice test #1)
Link : 660-gmat-prep1-taken-before-prep-156994.html#p1251485

I have spent the better half of the day reviewing my performance and have made these observations :
  • My performance on Quant dips in the second half of the section. This might be due to the fact that I spend more time than required on the first half.
  • I wasn't able to finish either of the sections on time. In quant I had 3 questions left for the last 1 minute and for verbal I had 2 questions left for the last 1 minute. This led me to mark random choices for these questions. How dangerous is this as opposed to not answering a question at all?
  • Almost all the questions that I got wrong were of the 700-800 level.
With less than 2 months to go for D-Day, my strategy for the next one month is to practice as many questions as possible during the week (under timed conditions), and take a practice test on Sunday. For the last month (Apr-May) I plan to increase the number of practice tests and go through my error log, along-with solving more and more practice questions.

For practice questions I am using Kaplan 800 and OG12. Once I am done with these I plan to start solving the 700-800 level questions on the GMATClub forums.

Can anyone help me deconstruct the significance of this test score and also recommend me a plan of action for the next 2 months to take my score to 720+.
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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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Posts: 2101
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Kudos [?]: 2164 [0], given: 31

Re: 620 on first practice test - Disappointed [#permalink] New post 10 Mar 2014, 13:29
Expert's post
nitishgera wrote:
I started with a diligent attempt towards my GMAT prep in January 2014.
In these 3 months, I have studied the MGMAT guides, completed OG 13, and completed the quant section of OG 12.

My GMAT date is May 3rd 2014. My target score is 720+.

Until today, I was quite confident with how my prep was proceeding.

Today I took my first CAT (MGMAT) after starting my prep. I scored a 620 (Q42 V33). This is way below what I had expected and has left me a bit demoralized, considering that I had scored higher on the practice test I had taken before starting my prep (GmatPrep pratice test #1)
Link : 660-gmat-prep1-taken-before-prep-156994.html#p1251485

I have spent the better half of the day reviewing my performance and have made these observations :
  • My performance on Quant dips in the second half of the section. This might be due to the fact that I spend more time than required on the first half.
  • I wasn't able to finish either of the sections on time. In quant I had 3 questions left for the last 1 minute and for verbal I had 2 questions left for the last 1 minute. This led me to mark random choices for these questions. How dangerous is this as opposed to not answering a question at all?
  • Almost all the questions that I got wrong were of the 700-800 level.
With less than 2 months to go for D-Day, my strategy for the next one month is to practice as many questions as possible during the week (under timed conditions), and take a practice test on Sunday. For the last month (Apr-May) I plan to increase the number of practice tests and go through my error log, along-with solving more and more practice questions.

For practice questions I am using Kaplan 800 and OG12. Once I am done with these I plan to start solving the 700-800 level questions on the GMATClub forums.

Can anyone help me deconstruct the significance of this test score and also recommend me a plan of action for the next 2 months to take my score to 720+.

Dear nitishgera,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

First of all, on the issue of what to do at the end of a section, running out of time, guess vs. skip, see this post:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/guessing-s ... -the-gmat/

A post that might help with tempo on the math section:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/how-to-do- ... th-faster/

Improving from mid-600s to low to mid 700s is tricky. It's a quantum leap. Cultivate the habits of excellence. Some of the questions of excellence are: "What else can I do to prepare myself?", "How can I understand this already-familiar idea more deeply?", "Is there anything about this question/concept/strategy that I am taking for granted?" One of most important habits of excellent is: never make the same mistake twice. It's very hard to live by that standard, but it's an ideal for which to strive. When you get a question wrong, it's not enough to look over the solution casually and think, "Yeah, I have to remember that." For any problem you get wrong, the question is: how hard do you have to review, so that you so thoroughly integrate what you got wrong that you can guarantee that you will not make that mistake again? Again, it's hard to live that way consistently, but consistency of this sort is precisely what an elite GMAT score requires.

Here a post that makes some broad recommendations to you behaviors that will support your GMAT preparation:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/zen-boot-c ... -the-gmat/

For big improvements in your score, do everything you are planning, and follow this one-month study plan:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/1-month-gm ... -schedule/
That will also expose you to Magoosh, the lessons & the practice questions. This is another perspective --- MGMAT is fantastic, but hearing the same concepts two different ways helps to deepen one's understanding. Here's a free GMAT lesson:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/lessons/944-substantive-clauses
Here's a practice DS question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/981
Here's a practice SC question:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/3263
When you submit your answers to those practice questions, the following pages will have full video explanation to the questions. Each one of our 800+ practice questions has its own video explanation, for accelerated learning.

I hope all this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Mike :-)
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: 620 on first practice test - Disappointed   [#permalink] 10 Mar 2014, 13:29
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