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Advise Please - scored a 560

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Advise Please - scored a 560 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2012, 16:14
Scored a 560 Today Q41 V27.
Wrote the gmat back in Aug as well 560 Q39 V27.

The test is fair. Struggled with quant a bit. for example, solving for avg velocity is simple, but one question asked the to find V2 with all the other variables given...Easy question but under time constraints I had to guess....

I though Verbel was ok, until I saw my score. CR seemed a little harder than gprep. It seems that I havn't improved in verbal at all in the past 6 months...wierd.. Im pretty comfortable with SC and CR for the most part...RC was always difficult for me.


I have exhausted the GMATPREPS, MGMAT TESTS 1-6, as you can see below....btw MGMAT, most were not timed.

August 31, 2011 real GMAT – 550 Q39 V27

November 24, 2011 – MGMT #1 660 Q47 V33
December 8, 2011 – MGMT #2 630 Q40 V36
December 10, 2011 – GMAT Prep #2 610 Q48 V26
December 16, 2011 – MGMT #3 660 Q45 V35
January 6, 2012 – MGMT #4 680 Q49 V34
January 11, 2012 – GMAT prep #2 580 Q42 V28
January 20, 2012 - GMAT prep #2 650 Q46 V34
January 31, 2012- MGMT #5 650 Q46 V36
February 7, 2012 - GMAT prep #1 680 Q48 V35
February 9, 2012- MGMT #6 670 Q46 V35
February 14, 2012 - GMAT prep #2 660 Q48 V32
February 18, 2012- MGMT #1 740 Q49 V42
February 24, 2012- GMAT prep #1 720 Q49 V39
March 2 2012 – MGMT #2 690 Q49 V35
March 7, 2012, 2012 - GMAT prep #2 650 Q47 V33
March 8, 2012 –MGMAT #3 V37
March 9, 2012 –GMAT prep #2 V35
March 9, 2012 –MGMAT #4 V37
March 10 2012 –MGMAT #5 V37
March 14, 2012 - GMAT prep #1 700 Q47 V39
March 15, 2012 - MGMT #1 730 Q49 V41
March 21, 2012 – GMAT prep #2 690 Q47 V37
March 27, 2012 – GMAT prep #1 670 Q50 V31
March 28, 2012 – GMAT prep #1 V42
April 3, 2012 – GMAT prep #2 720 Q49 V39
April 8, 2012 - GMAT prep #1 740 Q50 V40
April 10, 2012 - GMAT prep #2 730 Q50 V39

April 14, 2012 real GMAT – 560 Q41 V27

Can anyone shed some light on what I can do to increase my score. I read all these stories of success but can't seem to figure one out for myself.
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Joined: 22 Feb 2012
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Schools: HBS '16
GMAT 1: 740 Q49 V42
GMAT 2: 670 Q42 V40
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Re: Advise Please - scored a 560 [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2012, 16:40
Dchow - only thing I noticed is that you did a ton of tests towards the end of your prep and generally people say they get the average of the last 3 tests... I guess I would ask whether you were feeling burned out for the actual test or if maybe you were just having a bad test day in general... I would suggest reaking if you either felt burned out or if the test was overly bad for you..

I took the test in Feb and scored a 670 and studied alot for 2 months and got a 740..
Materials I recommend are MGMAT books - I liked their advanced quant book alot - , khanacademy.com videos and Official Guide 12. If I had the time and money, I would have taken Manhattan's Live Online class - so if you have the resources, think about doing their 9 week class. Most of all don't lose hope - things will work out for you...
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Re: Advise Please - scored a 560 [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2012, 06:14
Expert's post
dchow23,

It seems you are falling into the classic GMAT study trap - you do tons and tons of questions. Hundreds and hundreds of questions, tons of practice tests - yet you aren't seeing the improvement you expect.

Note this logical fallacy:
"Doing more GMAT questions = higher GMAT score"

Remember to study smart -not just study hard. Doing lots of questions helps - but ultimately you need to be able to internalize all the booby traps so you won't fall in them next time.

I'm quite impressed by the number of tests you did - but did you even have time to review what you got wrong? Did you have time to review the questions that you got wrong 2 tests ago? The key to improvement is marking down questions to revisit later - and then religiously going back to them in random order. Identify what you could have done differently to either arrive at the answer quicker or to eliminate the wrong ones.

I'm afraid you may have run out of steam through all these practice tests. By the time you got the real thing, you weren't able to give your 100%.

If you decide to retake, please take these notes into consideration.
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Re: Advise Please - scored a 560 [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2012, 07:03
Thanks for the reply.

I actually would do all the corrections for each test and redo each question later that day. I feel my knowledge is at least above a 600 I just can't produce it on the actual exam. I feel I have the knowledge to help others in the GMAT but I can't seem to make anything happen on the actual exam. Its fustrating. Do you think I should take a GMAT class or do you think I know too much to do so?

QUANT
I found during the exam that timing was my biggest issue. I wasted 5 mins on the first question, then kinda just fell apart in the last 10 questions because i had 7 mins left. Questions were totally fair, its just that I found myself unable to manipulate simple formulas to arrive to the correct ans.

VERBAL
This is a little scary, but I felt that I was doing well, at least 33-36. I improved my SC and CR over the past 6 months were I actually understand what to look for in SC and the how to go through CR's. RC was always a struggle but I found 3/4 Rc's were not too tough.

Anyways, im back at it again. Gonna go hard for 1-2 months and take it again. Going to practice on timing, accuracy and just knowing when to give up.

Wish me luck,
Thanks for the reply
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Re: Advise Please - scored a 560 [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2012, 07:56
you probably burned out... take a week off and do a month of focused study. you have spent a lot of time on this exam and I am not sure of your study habits etc but from the looks of it you need a break and then get back into the game with guns blazing. figure out where you are weak and just focus on that
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Re: Advise Please - scored a 560 [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2012, 08:05
Expert's post
dchow23 wrote:
Thanks for the reply.

I actually would do all the corrections for each test and redo each question later that day. I feel my knowledge is at least above a 600 I just can't produce it on the actual exam. I feel I have the knowledge to help others in the GMAT but I can't seem to make anything happen on the actual exam. Its fustrating. Do you think I should take a GMAT class or do you think I know too much to do so?

QUANT
I found during the exam that timing was my biggest issue. I wasted 5 mins on the first question, then kinda just fell apart in the last 10 questions because i had 7 mins left. Questions were totally fair, its just that I found myself unable to manipulate simple formulas to arrive to the correct ans.

VERBAL
This is a little scary, but I felt that I was doing well, at least 33-36. I improved my SC and CR over the past 6 months were I actually understand what to look for in SC and the how to go through CR's. RC was always a struggle but I found 3/4 Rc's were not too tough.

Anyways, im back at it again. Gonna go hard for 1-2 months and take it again. Going to practice on timing, accuracy and just knowing when to give up.

Wish me luck,
Thanks for the reply


dchow,

I think you'll realize GMAT is not simply about knowledge. The majority of people going into GMAT have gone on a journey and learned a lot.

Simply learning a lot does not result in a bump in your score. Note there is a lot of strategy involved - mental strategy, timing strategy. Everybody knows the basic formulas, and general concepts - but who knows how to do an easy question in <30 seconds so they can free up extra time for the really tough ones that take 3 or more minutes?

Two people can arrive at answer (C) - but one did it 60 seconds faster and more confidently than the other one.

These small subtleties add up when it comes to the GMAT. Knowledge itself is not what the GMAT tests. Know the system, beat the system, and get ahead.

Good luck on your preparation. Study smart, not hard.
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Re: Advise Please - scored a 560 [#permalink] New post 18 Apr 2012, 06:19
Expert's post
dchow23 wrote:
Scored a 560 Today Q41 V27.
Wrote the gmat back in Aug as well 560 Q39 V27.

The test is fair. Struggled with quant a bit. for example, solving for avg velocity is simple, but one question asked the to find V2 with all the other variables given...Easy question but under time constraints I had to guess....

I though Verbel was ok, until I saw my score. CR seemed a little harder than gprep. It seems that I havn't improved in verbal at all in the past 6 months...wierd.. Im pretty comfortable with SC and CR for the most part...RC was always difficult for me.


I have exhausted the GMATPREPS, MGMAT TESTS 1-6, as you can see below....btw MGMAT, most were not timed.

August 31, 2011 real GMAT – 550 Q39 V27

November 24, 2011 – MGMT #1 660 Q47 V33
December 8, 2011 – MGMT #2 630 Q40 V36
December 10, 2011 – GMAT Prep #2 610 Q48 V26
December 16, 2011 – MGMT #3 660 Q45 V35
January 6, 2012 – MGMT #4 680 Q49 V34
January 11, 2012 – GMAT prep #2 580 Q42 V28
January 20, 2012 - GMAT prep #2 650 Q46 V34
January 31, 2012- MGMT #5 650 Q46 V36
February 7, 2012 - GMAT prep #1 680 Q48 V35
February 9, 2012- MGMT #6 670 Q46 V35
February 14, 2012 - GMAT prep #2 660 Q48 V32
February 18, 2012- MGMT #1 740 Q49 V42
February 24, 2012- GMAT prep #1 720 Q49 V39
March 2 2012 – MGMT #2 690 Q49 V35
March 7, 2012, 2012 - GMAT prep #2 650 Q47 V33
March 8, 2012 –MGMAT #3 V37
March 9, 2012 –GMAT prep #2 V35
March 9, 2012 –MGMAT #4 V37
March 10 2012 –MGMAT #5 V37
March 14, 2012 - GMAT prep #1 700 Q47 V39
March 15, 2012 - MGMT #1 730 Q49 V41
March 21, 2012 – GMAT prep #2 690 Q47 V37
March 27, 2012 – GMAT prep #1 670 Q50 V31
March 28, 2012 – GMAT prep #1 V42
April 3, 2012 – GMAT prep #2 720 Q49 V39
April 8, 2012 - GMAT prep #1 740 Q50 V40
April 10, 2012 - GMAT prep #2 730 Q50 V39

April 14, 2012 real GMAT – 560 Q41 V27

Can anyone shed some light on what I can do to increase my score. I read all these stories of success but can't seem to figure one out for myself.


Following is what I think explains your situation: (mind you, this is what came first to my mind... I am guessing here)

You took each test multiple times so the score was inflated. Perhaps you remembered answers to quite a few questions.
10 questions in 7 mins? Killer! I bet you did not solve a single one of them properly since you got very nervous.
It's hard to guess how you are doing in Verbal. It's not like Quant where you solve, get an answer and find it in the options (which gives you confidence that probably, you got it right).
With the number of questions you have done, manipulating standard formulas shouldn't be a problem. If they were, it's probably because you are not very comfortable with basic Math manipulations (which I doubt since you scored Q41) or because you are a nervous test taker and 'lose it' during the actual test.

This is what I would suggest you to do now:

Take a timed test you have never taken before (e.g. free Veritas test). Figure out your weaknesses especially in Verbal (SC/RC/CR). Try to fix that particular sub section by reading up theory on it and then practicing questions. Don't use the sources you have already used since they will give you a false sense of wellness. If you are good at CR, you should be able to solve CR questions irrespective of the source. Find out whether that is the case.
In Quant, I suspect you will not find one or two weak areas since your basics seem to be fine. Probably you will flip in the harder questions instead of questions from any particular topic. Again, try working on some new material. You might get insights on concepts you had overlooked before.
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Re: Advise Please - scored a 560   [#permalink] 18 Apr 2012, 06:19
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