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630, 640 and 660... 700 is elusive. Please help.

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630, 640 and 660... 700 is elusive. Please help. [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2008, 08:44
630(Q47, V30) -AWA 4.5 - 22 May
640(Q47, V31) -AWA 5.0 - 04 Sep
660(Q47, V35) -To Get - 25 Oct

After about 2 months of concentrated preparation for GMat, I could hit 630 in my first attempt in May. I was disappointed at the score, felt I did silly mistakes in Math and had timing issues.

After first attempt, I concentrated my study on verbal but improved in math in common areas. On my second attempt, the test center attendant did not attend me for 5 min for the break and did not log me back properly. Thereby lost 2 minutes of Quantitative section. I worked under time pressure guessed some quant questions to cover up. Finally ended up scoring exact 47. I started on verbal very well but after about 20 Questions, I got a very lengthy RC passage on Mexican culture in USA. It was tough, thus I was stuck on this passage for about 13 minutes. By the time I came out of that passage, I had about 1 min per question left. I had no option but for guessing many of the CR questions. I scored 31 in Verbal. The result was 640(Q47, V31).

I was consistently scoring between 700 - 750 range on all my attempts on GMat Prep, MGMAT. I concentrated on GMAT Club Challenges and was scoring above 90% on most of the tests. Worked on Probability, Combinotricks and other common math areas. Only area where I did not get a good grip is equations and inequality. I am not an Engineering graduate thus this limitation is understandable. I made an attempt to know from other as to what is the good source to master this area, it appears there is none. To improve this area, I concentrated on all my mistakes in the test questions, read through all the explanations. Thus I was reasonably confident for my third attempt to score math in 49-50.

I did not face any issues with the Test Center. I started off with a Math with Inequality question with an equation and 3 choices of range for x to evaluate and arrive at answer. I was nervous to see this as the first question topic, my weakest area to start with. I struggled for some time and answered it. Not sure whether that was right or not. I worked well through math section. I faced couple of questions where I was clue less and had to guess. On the whole, I felt very confident about my answers to most of the questions. I got one probability question and answered well. I expected a score of 49... to my surprise the score is again 47.

On verbal, I did very well in SC, reasonable in CR and RC. I found some twisted RC, questions must have missed some of them thus stuck at 35. CR questions that I faced in the test are definitely more convoluted than those in Prep Tests and practice sets. Did anyone practice with such touch CRs?

Other problem I did not completely overcome is, I am not able to keep focus completely on the verbal questions. In the real test, my thinking is partially going towards my score. I know that this thinking would hurt my score, but honestly I am yet to overcome this problem during actual test.

On the whole, I am really disappointed to have got stuck at 47 on Quant, but for this I would have made it to 700 club. I wonder whether weakness in one area could hurt our progress so much. Any suggestions welcome. I wanted to make another attempt in 30 days. I wanted to meet R2 of some colleges offering 1 year MBA.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: 630, 640 and 660... 700 is elusive. Please help. [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2008, 13:26
Hi Vishy,

It might be that you scored less than your true ability in math because of psychological issues: when you see a q. on unfavourable topic, you become too tensed and your thinking becomes somewhat less clear. It was true for me, and I spent a lot of time working in these weak areas in order to feel more relaxed during the real test.

The problem in your case is that equations and inequalities are too vast a topic, as it covers several different areas (types of problems), and each of them could require its own approach. Perhaps it could help if you identify which types of equations and inequalities are your weakness, and work on these types specifically. Or, if you feel that the entire topic is one big gap, revising some high school algebra book could help. Although, I don’t think that is the case in your situation: if you had such a big gap, you would have probably never scored 47, which is quite decent. Another possibility is that you tend to make a number of ‘silly’ mistakes during the real GMAT because of nervousness or because of losing focus – in such cases, Challenges usually help to build confidence and to catch the ‘tricks’. Perhaps you might want to take them again.

As for verbal, your scores clearly show progress. If you feel that there is no particular area in which you are weak (i.e., one of SC, RC, CR), then perhaps all you need is more practice with original questions – I mean those from OGs, GMAT preps, Old Paper Tests. If, however, there is one particular weakness, then, perhaps, you need to practice it separately. Common recipes could help here: reading the Economist for RC, MGMAT SC Guide for SC, LSAT or CR1000 for CR.

I wish you good luck with your preparation. It seems that 700+ is not far away :)
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Re: 630, 640 and 660... 700 is elusive. Please help. [#permalink] New post 28 Oct 2008, 18:25
Hi Greenoak,

You are spot on on many of the situation I am in. I was scoring 48/49 in my practice tests even 5 months ago. I have improved on several of math fundamentals and now score 50/51 on each of the practice tests.. but occasionally 49. While I am relatively confident on the practice tests, when it comes to the real test I remember whatever happened in the previous test and suddenly feel little low on confidence. I tried not to make silly mistakes by doubly checking my answers but probably that did not help.

On Inequalities, I know most of the fundamentals and given time, I can solve any problem. However, some complex questions in absolute inequality and some inequalities combined with complex quadratic expressions are the ones that I take quite a long time. In the real GMAT the challenge is I can't loose too much time but need to get the correct answer. Probably this is where I am falling short.

On verbal, I am yet to master RC within time. I improved a lot on SC by analyzing my mistakes in 1000 sets while following MGMAT SC guide. I am generally good in CR, however in the real GMAT, the questions are really tricky in CR. The problem I face is I don't see such tricky stuff in practice content. I am sure I miss some of these tricky ones due to time pressure. I will try Economist for RC as this is a new idea for me. I read good things about Power Prep CR book, thinking I need to take that to tune further, I will follow 1000 sets thoroughly.

Thank you for your wishes.
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Re: 630, 640 and 660... 700 is elusive. Please help. [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2008, 07:41
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Hi, Vikram!
It is sad to hear this news from you as time runs fast :(

vishy007 wrote:
Other problem I did not completely overcome is, I am not able to keep focus completely on the verbal questions. In the real test, my thinking is partially going towards my score. I know that this thinking would hurt my score, but honestly I am yet to overcome this problem during actual test.
.


Human mind has unbelievable memory and ability to solve problems but it likes interesting problems. So, try to turn boring RC and CR into superb materials that you were eager to read for your entire life: exaggerate, use bad language, continually "ask" questions, use "video game" mode. In other words, do all you can do to make problems very interesting for you.

vishy007 wrote:
I wanted to make another attempt in 30 days.

Absolutely agree! Use only OG for verbal to be in touch with real questions.

Good luck!
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Re: 630, 640 and 660... 700 is elusive. Please help. [#permalink] New post 29 Oct 2008, 08:53
Hi Serg,

I will try to see verbal as more interesting. I practiced exaggeration with many of the passages but midway I forget to exaggerate and read the passage. I definitely see a value add with exaggeration, but under time stress loosing that focus. I am pretty sure that I am doing lot better in RC than what I used to do, mostly from suggestions picked up from you.

I will definitely tune CR & RC little more with your suggestions and aim for the magic figure again.

Thank You.
Re: 630, 640 and 660... 700 is elusive. Please help.   [#permalink] 29 Oct 2008, 08:53
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