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650 --> 580....what else can I do to get to 700?

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650 --> 580....what else can I do to get to 700? [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2013, 11:17
Hey guys,
Haven't posted much on the forum but I want to preface that this is not the GMAT success post that everyone hopes for.

I just finished my re-take this morning and walked out of the test feeling very bewildered. I'm not great with standardized tests (Took SATs 3 times to get 1480) so I tend to spend a lot of time practicing and preparing. Back in May 2012, I took the GMAT with light prep and scored a 650 (46Q and 34V). I was okay with this as a "baseline" as I wasn't planning on applying that year.

Fast forward to July 2013, I had my mind set on applying for class of 2016 and my target score was 720+. My prep involved Magoosh, MGMAT [self guided prep], and OG practice tests. My 5 practice tests were as follows:
- 660 - MGMAT
- 640 - MGMAT
- 680 - MGMAT
- 700 - GMAT Prep
- 710 - GMAT prep
I was excited about my progress and definitely felt ready to tackle to actual GMAT.

On test day [this morning], I was relaxed and completed the AWA and IR with reasonable confidence. Things were a little rough with the Quant section as I had to skip 3 to finish on time. I knew I hadn't done was well on the quant as my prior practice tests, so I tried brushing it off and clearing my head for the verbal section. I got through the verbal relatively slow and had to guess on the last 3, but I "felt" that it went relatively well compared to the quant. I get through the info pages, and my score turns out to be 580 (46Q 25V :shock: ). I was so shocked that I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Reality has set in and I plan to re-retake it mid-Nov. Given my progression and performance on test day, does anyone have any recommendations on what other resources I should use? Are there any other CAT tests out there for those that have exhausted 2 major sources? Any feedback or recommendations on strategy to get to 700+ is much appreciated.
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Re: 650 --> 580....what else can I do to get to 700? [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2013, 14:31
Expert's post
GTME2010 wrote:
Hey guys,
Haven't posted much on the forum but I want to preface that this is not the GMAT success post that everyone hopes for.

I just finished my re-take this morning and walked out of the test feeling very bewildered. I'm not great with standardized tests (Took SATs 3 times to get 1480) so I tend to spend a lot of time practicing and preparing. Back in May 2012, I took the GMAT with light prep and scored a 650 (46Q and 34V). I was okay with this as a "baseline" as I wasn't planning on applying that year.

Fast forward to July 2013, I had my mind set on applying for class of 2016 and my target score was 720+. My prep involved Magoosh, MGMAT [self guided prep], and OG practice tests. My 5 practice tests were as follows:
- 660 - MGMAT
- 640 - MGMAT
- 680 - MGMAT
- 700 - GMAT Prep
- 710 - GMAT prep
I was excited about my progress and definitely felt ready to tackle to actual GMAT.

On test day [this morning], I was relaxed and completed the AWA and IR with reasonable confidence. Things were a little rough with the Quant section as I had to skip 3 to finish on time. I knew I hadn't done was well on the quant as my prior practice tests, so I tried brushing it off and clearing my head for the verbal section. I got through the verbal relatively slow and had to guess on the last 3, but I "felt" that it went relatively well compared to the quant. I get through the info pages, and my score turns out to be 580 (46Q 25V :shock: ). I was so shocked that I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Reality has set in and I plan to re-retake it mid-Nov. Given my progression and performance on test day, does anyone have any recommendations on what other resources I should use? Are there any other CAT tests out there for those that have exhausted 2 major sources? Any feedback or recommendations on strategy to get to 700+ is much appreciated.

Dear GTME2010,
I'm very sorry to hear about your rough performance today.

The first thing I'll say is --- keep in mind that you can take GMATPrep tests more that once (they have a considerable question bank), and I believe you can also take MGMAT CAT tests more than once (they also have large question bank). Save those high quality sources for toward the end of this next round of prep.

I would definitely recommend the idiom ebook:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-idiom-ebook/
I would definitely recommend watching all the Magoosh verbal videos again.

It seems a huge factor, though, is not the quality of the prep material (because you were doing fabulous work on the practice tests), but the challenges of the test day itself. Here, I will recommend a few things.
(a) think about your level of understanding for each concept:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/understand ... rformance/
(b) do ALL of your practice against a clock at this point, absolutely nothing untimed:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/pacing-and ... -the-gmat/
(c) all your practice should be mixed by topic, no single-topic practice
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/gmat-study ... vs-random/

Perhaps most importantly, think about your mindset, your emotional framework, your capacity for focus, your ability to bring forth the best of yourself in a pressure situation. These are absolutely crucial issues that often receive little attention in test prep. See this series of blog articles:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/overcome-g ... y-breathe/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/beating-gmat-stress/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/the-gmat-b ... g-picture/
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/zen-boot-c ... -the-gmat/
As curious as this may sound, I think you need to practice this stuff (deep breathing, mindfulness, etc.) at least as seriously and as intensely as you study any GMAT material. You see, again, in your practice sessions, you were already there!! The talent & knowledge is within you, and I believe what would help you the most is simply learning to get out of your own way so you can, in the moment of pressure, unlock the masterful performance that is inside you waiting to come out.

Does all this make sense? Please let me know if you have any questions.

Mike :-)
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Magoosh Test Prep

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Re: 650 --> 580....what else can I do to get to 700? [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2013, 14:55
Feel for you. Well done for picking yourself up so quickly.

I would recommend practice timings on exam questions and doing lots of practice questions. Can buy extra from GMAT prep including an extra two tests and more practice questions.

Might also want to see a tutor for a bit of advice on test strategies. Might help.

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Re: 650 --> 580....what else can I do to get to 700? [#permalink] New post 10 Oct 2013, 15:06
Thanks for the words of encouragement guys. I'm going to get the GMATprep exam pack 1 and reset my MGMAT cats. Hoping to be more consistent come Nov!


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Re: 650 --> 580....what else can I do to get to 700? [#permalink] New post 28 Nov 2013, 07:11
Hi everyone! Happy Thanksgiving to those in here in the states. I just wanted to update everyone on the results of my last GMAT.

After a long year of studying for the GMAT on and off, I'm finally okay with my score! I took the exam on Nov 27th, 2013 and scored a 700(49Q 37V)! Its a little bit below my target score but I'm satisfied with the results. To recap, here were my ups and downs of my GMAT journey:
- May 2012: 650 (46Q, 34V)
- Oct 2013: 580 (46Q, 25V :shock: )
- Nov 2013: 700 (49Q, 37V, 8IR)

I couldn't have done it without the countless resources here! Thank you GMATClub! Its going to be a very good thanksgiving indeed :D

EDIT: My study material in 2013 were as follows:
- Self-guided MGMAT prep - This required a lot of discipline, but the material was very useful to me. The verbal and test taking strategies were the most useful. I can't say enough good things about MGMAT's practice exams. The level of analysis you can perform on your test results is amazing. Which leads me to my next tool...
- Magoosh GMAT - I used Magoosh as a supplementary tool to review areas where I was weak at. I would take 2 MGMAT practice exams, breakdown areas of weakness, and watch the corresponding videos in Magoosh. Highly recommended!
Re: 650 --> 580....what else can I do to get to 700?   [#permalink] 28 Nov 2013, 07:11
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