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This is my first entry, but before I pen (or type in this case) my remarks I want to thank one of my tutors for introducing me to this site. I took the GMAT today and was extremely disappointed. I spend the entire afternoon crying and wondering what is wrong with me. I took the GMAT four times and my highest score was a 420. My GMAT score today was the lowest it’s ever been, a disappointing 380! Business school is something I've been dreaming about ever since I was in college. I applied in 2006-07 and got dinged by all schools: HBS, Kellogg, Stern and Columbia. Even though my score was low, I was still convinced that my other credentials would carry more weight. No such luck. Today's outcome was no different. I'm all cried out!
My approach to the GMAT has been interesting. At first, I was memorizing the formulas and didn't really understand the fundamental concepts. Now, my approach has been to understand the basic math concepts and then take that knowledge and apply it to the questions. My quant score improved from Q21 to Q26 in just two weeks. However, I didn't study that much for the verbal and my score went from Q27 to Q17. I can't seem to strike that balance and improve both scores. Any advice
I know it can be discouraging, but if you want it bad enough you can improve your score.
I would really recommend a tutor. I know it can be expensive, but a good tutor can really make a big difference. The reason being is that a tutor can watch you work through problems and show you why you are making mistakes. They can also teach you the fundamentals and set up a study plan for you.
If you live near a university, I recommend looking there first. A lot of grad students tutor for the GMAT and charge very reasonable prices.
You probably need to change your strategy drastically.
I think a big thing in Verbal, and even Quant , is to understand the patterns in the questions, and looking for things that are consistent and you can only do that with lots of practice and attention.
Try to understand what the GMAT is trying to test you on, and how they will try and trick you, and act against it. I think that is a big advantage for us. Sometimes by the makers always trying to trick you, it goes to our advantage. Since you can eliminate extremely "obvious" answers
The problem is how fast can you spot the trick in the question??
By your quant score it looks like you need to understand more basic level stuff. GMAT Math Bible is a good start for you.
Also pick up the Manhattan GMAT books, all of them. If you study with them you can easily raise you score 150-200 points probably within a month. Then you go from there.
4 times and you always got between 380 and 420 - that is really consistent, almost shockingly so.
I agree with the above, whatever you do, you have to change your study method drastically.
Also for those top schools you should be getting 600 on pretty much any practice CAT that is discussed here. During your studying, if you are not hitting 600 on your practice tests, you are not ready. Your final goal should be 650, high enough to not raise a red flag on your apps.
I know how it feels to have that B-School pressure looming on you - I've come to terms with the fact that if I DON'T get the score that I want on the GMAT the first time I take it, it's just no big deal.
I don't HAVE to get admitted into one this year, or even the next - as long as I take the time to study and get that desired score, it will be time well spent. I am not sure about other people's experiences here, but I am the only one putting the pressure on myself to go to b-school, not my parents, not my job...just me! So if you are in the same boat, then I strongly suggest you hold off and take your time as well. Hang in there!
may I recommend tutot.com, yeah its for high school students but they help with anything up to Calculus. I use them all the time. Its about 40-60 cents a minute, and they will work on what ever you want at any level. I used them for precalculus, and now I am taking calculus at Baruch and still using them on difficult questions, or for a refresher on the basic concepts. Right now they have a special and you get 50 free minutes without using your credit card! So try it. They are available 24 hrs a day.
No I do not work for them, I just think there services are great!
Thanks so much for your feedback and suggestions. I think I'm finally learning the basics, but it'll still take some time for me to really understand everything. I haven't been able to identify the tricks for most questions, but I'm determined to get it. I just bought all the Manhattan GMAT books and will get the other books you mentioned.
Tarmac, my AWA was 5 and the recent score was 4.5.