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A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help

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A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 04 Nov 2010, 17:20
Growing up, I believed in the saying, " hard work will always pay off." In this case, I am doubting my beliefs. It's really depressing to discover that my Quantitative=25 & Verbal=12. I'm embarrassed to tell my friends and family my overall GMAT score (330.) It's sad, everyone knows that I have been studying the GMAT all year. At this point, I want to give up; maybe an MBA is not for me or maybe a 3-hour timed exam is not my cup of tea.

I guess the reason why I am writing this post is to seek moral support. I am determined to do whatever it takes to get to a top graduate school. I need a high GMAT score - 650-710. Is this a feasible goal? Has anyone ever increase their score by 300+? Should I just quit now? I felt like I wasted a year and half on my life studying for this test.

My current study strategy:

I reviewed the OG10, MGMAT & Princeton Review Books. Then, I enrolled myself into the Princeton Review Class. I scored in the 400's range on my practice exams.

Someone please tell me what I am doing wrong and what I need to improve on.

Also, when should I take the GMAT again? Next year? in 2 years? or until I learn all the concepts of the GMAT test? I am working full time, but I have committed my weekends to studying the GMAT.



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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2010, 06:40
Are you studying blindly? Are you using an error log?

Simply following a program will work for some, but you apparently have multiple weak spots (timed environment, test center, quant weakness, verbal weakness, reading problems too quickly, time management, etc.). You must address each weakness on its own.
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2010, 06:50
A few questions for you:

- You said you "reviewed" the OG10, MGMAT, and Princeton Review books. Does that you mean you did the practice problems in MGMAT and PR, and all of the problems in the OG?

- If the answer to the above is yes, do you have an idea of where your areas of weakness might be? Did you have problems with a particular math concept, for example geometry or number properties? Did you do well in one part of verbal (CR, maybe), but not another (SC, for example)?

- You said you used the OG10. Any reason you chose that over the newer OG12?

- What has your past experience been as far as your performance on standardized tests? Do you normally do well? Was the GMAT a fluke?
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2010, 08:21
Don't be disheartened with a 330. Rather take this as an opportunity to learn.This low a GMAT score should serve as a wake-up call for you .Introspect why did you perform this poorly. Write down whatever thoughts come in your mind. The reasons may vary over an entire range of spectrum ranging from lack of strategy to psychological reasons such as anxiety,lack of concentration. You've to be very brutal with yourself in the analysis.
You said that you "reviewed" the OG10, MGMAT etc. I'd rather not use the word "reviewed" when preparing for the GMAT because the recommended topics and the books have to be "chewed",understood so that you're able to able the GMAT concepts in your daily life also.
I'd not recommend using the Princeton material for the GMAT. It's good enough to get just an average score.
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 05 Nov 2010, 11:45
Friend,

I read somewhere that GMAT really doesn't test how good your math or verbal is, but how good you are at taking the GMAT. The trick is to learn GMAT inside out, identify your weak areas, use all of the helpful techniques suggested in this forum and finally, get your confidence up. GMAT is full of simple math concepts which require some thinking and comprehension, but nothing out of this world. Same with the verbal part. If you use proper study techniques, you will beat it.
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2010, 01:54
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Have somebody whom you both trust with your feelings and find intelligent (somebody like a former GMAT taker that got around the score you want would be perfect) take a CAT with you. Try to do one that is UNTIMED. Talk through your process as you work. Have them take the test on paper with you as you work. Move ponderously from one question to the next.

You might come to find out that you are simply making careless errors or not understanding certain question types, like data sufficiency.
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2010, 09:07
+1 for rockzom's idea!!! You should try that.
Don't be disheartened. I see that this is your 1st post here. Be more active in this forum, there are many folks here who will be able to help you.

It is very difficult to provide input with so little information. My suggestion is to get more organized and learn topic-wise. There are plenty of forums here that provides strategies for any span of preparation (1 month to maybe more than a year), there are many other tools too. Get yourself familiar with this forum and like rockzom said take a test along with a former GMAT taker. That way you will get an idea about the time you will require, then plan and execute. You will reach your aim, don't worry! Best of luck!
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 06 Nov 2010, 09:25
i think you would the kind of candidate that would benefit most from a course if you really wanted to sit down and do it.
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2010, 20:10
First and foremost, I like to say thank you! I appreciate the utmost support from everyone. I will try my best to answer everyone’s questions and then briefly talk about my study habits, test anxiety, and future strategy.

Study Habits

My initial strategy was to dive into the GMAT blind. I purchased Princeton Review’s Cracking the GMAT and read every page. Next, I enrolled myself into Princeton Review’s GMAT course. After reviewing the material and taking the course, I realized that I learned a great deal about shortcuts but nothing about the fundamental concepts in the GMAT. I got my butt kicked in the course yet I did not miss a class. Then, the GMAT tutor advised me to read more books and review Princeton Review’s “Grammar Smart.” I read extensively and reviewed other grammatical books.
A friend then referred me to look at the MGMAT. Until then, I realized that the MGMAT provided fundamental concepts in detail. So I review certain parts of the MGMAT; primarily concepts that I felt most uncomfortable with.

To clarify, I suffer from a case of low concentration and text anxiety. Whether I am working or studying, my span of attention is thin; it stems from having a million thoughts that transpire in my head. I would like to defeat this battle but don’t know what else to do. Taking adderall in the past has helped, but I rather find a different solution than resort to a tablet every day.

Aside from my lack of focus, text anxiety has been another issue. The anxiety went into full effect a week before my official test date. The anxiety lasted up until the end of the exam. Thoughts that came to my mind included failure and regret. Furthermore, I fear of looking stupid among my colleagues and failing in life. Then I think about how I am wasting my time & money for a loss cause (pursuit of an MBA @ top school.) In addition, I get into a panic of regret. My childhood memories ignite. I think about the times that I chose to skip my English classes or cheat on difficult exams. Every shortcut that I took throughout my education has definitely caught up to me. In essence, these thoughts channel through my head and distract my thinking process during the GMAT exam.

I am almost certain that these two issues affected my score. During the test, I tried my best to focus on the exam. Occasionally, I snapped my fingers and wrote words down as soon as my thought-process got sidetracked. I would appreciate it if someone had solutions to these two issues.

Also, I felt rushed through a lot of problems. I think I left 3 math questions and 2 verbal questions unanswered. 65% into test, I realized that I still had a ton of problems left. So, I rushed through my answers to finish. I guessed about 7-10 questions in each section. If there wasn't a time limit on the GMAT- then I would most likely score higher.

I made a commitment to relearn what I've skipped in my youth. This is my opportunity to make things right and learn! I will try Rockzon’s advice and ask my roommate to examine while I take a practice test. Next I will “chew” each section one at a time. I will start with MGMAT’s Sentence Section. Also, in attempt to improve my writing skills, I purchased “Elements of Writing” by Neil Strauss. Thank you everyone! You all have given me strength to mentally fight and conquer this journey.
P.S - Can someone proof read my post and highlight any grammatical mistakes? (Tense, subject –verb, idioms etc...) I need to catch my bad tendencies and retrain my thought process.
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2010, 21:07
I'm wondering about your scores during practice tests. Practice tests are 'true' indicators of your final GMAT score. Though real GMAT may vary from practice test but not a great deal. How was your performance during practice tests? As rishiraj mentioned, you've to be brutally honest with yourself for self-analysis.
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2010, 08:01
Hello Friend,

I also had a case like you.the The first time I gave my GMAT on Gmat prep my score was 350, I was shocked to see that,after one month of prepration nothing much improved My score reached 450.I realized that I have not focussed on all topics properly.I studied them again and worked hard on maths and verbal especially because English is not my native langauge.In my third month my score reached 560(STILL i HAVE A LOT TO IMPROVE my exam is in DEC !!! ).I am still working hard on my Verbal and avoiding mistakes in Quant.
The best suggestion that I can give is practice! practice ! practice never give up.Read all the concepts carefully.I also use oG12 and Kaplan CD for tests on which I have score 510 till know.

I hope this might help you a bit ....All the best for your exam.
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 13 Nov 2010, 00:42
dedicatedgmat101 wrote:
P.S - Can someone proof read my post and highlight any grammatical mistakes? (Tense, subject –verb, idioms etc...) I need to catch my bad tendencies and retrain my thought process.


Lol! No ,dude! You didn't make any noticeable grammatical mistakes .Your english seems fine,that means you'll have to work on the logical and psychological parts.
Nice writeup,by the way ! You'll succeed, bet I must! :)
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 11:14
I've narrowed down my strategy. Now, I will focus on the Verbal Section - Sentence Corrections.

Can someone recommend a good strategy to improve my score?

Currently, I'm re-reading MGMAT's Sentence Correction - Guide 8. At times, I feel like this is a waste of time because I understand the concepts. Should I just practice a lot of problems and then learn from my mistakes?


Are there any other books that I should review?
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 12:36
Definitely practice. It's the only way you'll develop familiarity with the test.

Kobe isn't great because he has inherent skill. He's great because he watches game tape night in and night out.

dedicatedgmat101 wrote:
I've narrowed down my strategy. Now, I will focus on the Verbal Section - Sentence Corrections.

Can someone recommend a good strategy to improve my score?

Currently, I'm re-reading MGMAT's Sentence Correction - Guide 8. At times, I feel like this is a waste of time because I understand the concepts. Should I just practice a lot of problems and then learn from my mistakes?


Are there any other books that I should review?
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Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help [#permalink] New post 01 Dec 2010, 14:12
I think you should take a two pronged approach - read the guide and work on the problems side by side. But before all that, you should also try to review your Quant skills. I would probably recommend taking a structured course like Knewton's (it's cheap and efficient, from what I hear) in order to make sure you're attacking all the angles of the GMAT.
Re: A demoralizing GMAT score- Someone help   [#permalink] 01 Dec 2010, 14:12
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