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Disaster: Never expected scores to go down

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Manager
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Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 65
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 640 Q39 V38
WE: General Management (Real Estate)
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Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2012, 04:35
Today I sat in GMAT second time and scored pathetically, to say the least. I am cursing myself but don't know why the actual score went down drastically.

My first attempt in Dec, 2010 got me 640 (Q39 and V38) and I thought with some more efforts, I could improve upon Quant multifold and also increase verbal a bit. I started the preparation in right earnest around 3 months back and felt very comfortable towards the end of preparation period. The results were showing in mock tests as can be seen from scores below;

Untimed ones
MGMAT average Quant 46 to 47 and verbal at 34-35 and total score at around 680. Highest was 690.

Timed ones
GMAT Prep 1: 31.7.2012: 47Q with 16 wrong and 35 V with 11 wrong. Total score 670
GMAT Prep 1 after resetting the question pool: 2.8.2012: 43Q with 11 wrong and 42V with 8 wrong Total 700. Not many repeat questions luckily.
GMAT Prep 2: Q49 V40 Total 730. There were some questions, which I had seen earlier in this forum but was happy to see consistence in verbal scores and progress made in RC.

Today on 12th August, I was very well prepared mentally as well as physically however the results are just frustrating. Surprise surprise, I got 540 (Q 35 and Verbal 29). In fact, I could score this much without preparation in 2010. During the test, I never felt that my performance was going downhill as I was constantly getting harder Geometry, Probability and Inequalities' problems. In verbal, I was constantly getting tougher CR, RC and SC problems and felt that I was moving in right direction. Timing was not an issue in quant although I had to rush through last 2 questions in verbal. I also did not feel any kind of anxiety.

I would appreciate guidance from experts to help me analyse the poor outcome. I intend to retake third time within September and will need a lot of guidance as to how to plan my next one month.
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Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2012, 20:05
Did you gave tests under official conditions? Otherwise It looks like you had a bad day
_________________

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Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2012, 20:44
Hi manjeet, Feel sorry for you buddy. Any Timings issues during the test?? Were you mentally exhausted during quant and verbal?
A drop of 30-40 pts is understandable but not 100+ points.
I went through a similar situation---
620-shocked-but-not-defeated-135978.html
Buddy, I am going for long haul . I will appear for the test only once i am confident of 750+ so that even in worst case scenario , my performance doesn't drop below 700.
For verbal, I'm going through gmatfiction besides wsj, nyt and The economists.
_________________

Fire the final bullet only when you are constantly hitting the Bull's eye, till then KEEP PRACTICING.

A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html


Last edited by rajeevrks27 on 12 Aug 2012, 21:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2012, 20:51
HI,

To boost your confidence you can check out my gmat debrief
570-to-700-my-gmat-journey-133461.html

The very first thing which i want to ask is why you have taken only two timed first? I would suggest you to take atleast 6-7.
Secondly how to improve from here:

how to improve:

1. When you solve a question and you have already taken 2mins and you don't see yourself going anywhere in that question in next 1min. Then guess and move on! (its not necessary to get all questions correct to get a 50 or 51!)

2. Identify the weak areas (which i guess you have) and try the following:
Prepare a xls sheet (topic by topic).. and keep a track of your progress on a daily basis. Use color coding (Red,Orange,Green).
Red: You are weak in theory - brush up your concepts.
Orange - Done with theory but weak in application of the concepts
Green - Done with the topic

3. Regarding the individual topics:
For i=1 to end
For i=1 to end
-> Study "chapter i"
-> go to grockit.com and schedule game for "chapter i" with difficulty level easy, If doing good then increase the difficulty to "medium" else go to next step
-> re-read the "chapter i" if you are doing bad
-> else goto next chapter and repeat the above steps.


4. Why grockit?
Because they have a timer for each and every question so it will help you improve your speed.
They have tricky questions which is what GMAT asks you!

5. General Advice
GMAT Quant is not tough - its tricky
Keep an eye on that then i guess you can help yourself out a bit.
Also, i read it somewhere that when you are doing good in Quant then you get either a probability or a PnC question. So if you get a question like that then its a plus for you!

6. Go to gmatclub and follow the discussions of the topics in which you are weak. Try to do the 700 level questions and try to follow the discussion which they have. It will help you in knowing how to think about the problem.

How to improve Quant :-- Register in grockit.com and practice, practice and practice!

Coming to the verbal part:
Am not a verbal guy so my advice might not be so helpful to you, but still i will try sharing my thoughts!
Have you tried powerscore CR bible(which i had referred too!): Once you are done with reading the CR argument, are you able to predict what kind of question is going to come and what will be the possible answer? (I was able to do those things once i was done with powerscore CR!)
Also, did you try grockit for practice? It helps a lot in improving the speed. And am very sure that once you are with powerscore then you can get almost all CR questions correct.

For RC
Did you try reading articles from following sites
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/
http://www.scientificamerican.com/
http://www.economist.com/

For Sc
Did you try Thursdays with Ron?

Good Luck for your prep!
Hope it helps!
_________________

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you must believe

How to start GMAT preparations?
How to Improve Quant Score?
gmatclub topic tags
Check out my GMAT debrief
Thursdays with Ron link
Looking for a Quant tutor? Check out my post for the same!

Combined Formula Sheet :
Number Properties || Word Problems and PnC || Equations, Inequalities || Geometry

How to Solve :
Statistics || Reflection of a line || Remainder Problems

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Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 65
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 640 Q39 V38
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Followers: 4

Kudos [?]: 26 [0], given: 3

Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2012, 23:35
Thanks for kind words.

Verbal has never been a problem as I have consistently scored more than 35 and in last actual gmat, I got 38. In fact, RC which was the weakest area had also improved this time with hit rate of 95% plus. CR and SC also never gave me trouble. Here also, my hit rate was more than 90%. In last three GMAT prep mocks, I scored 40 and 42. Its not my own assessment only which gave me confidence but my tutor (I joined some prep course back in 2008) also always praised my skills in verbal. Seeing so low score in verbal is what is bothering me the most because I was banking on exceptional verbal scores with 85th percentile in quant to cross 700 but a score of 29 is a shocker for me.

I have gone through Powerscore CR, Manhattan SC and more then 500 questions of each type from GMAT prep as well as OG and Verbal Review with consistent 90% plus hit rate in all sections. I know that I have to overcome this self pity if preparation has to start in right earnest again.

As far as Quant is concerned, I have gone through all section wise questions here at GMAT Club and also regularly follow Bunuel with his exceptional explanations. Although due to my under graduate and school background (I am 40 years old and did schooling in late 80's), I never felt very comfortable with quant initially however with a lot of help from this website and Manhattan books, I overcome that difficult too with consistent 46-47 scaled scores. In GMAT Prep II, I hit 49 too under perfect exam conditions (I gave it in a closed room with some distraction from children making noise outside).

I gave 3 timed GMAT preps (never gave more because I thought with some of the repeat questions, the scores would be inflated and would give me over confidence). I also did 6 CAT of Manhattan but untimed.

Stamina and focus also do not give any problem. Having mentioned all above, I feel an error log and specific focus on weaker areas will help me overcome the set back.

Rajeev: When you encountered a setback of 620's, how did you pick up the preparation again? I am finding it difficult to overcome the shock although I happened just yesterday. I have to come out of it sooner rather then later. I will appreciate your suggestions as to how to go about from here on. Should I focus specifically on practice or pick up the books on basics again.

Thanks again Gupta ji and Rajeev.

nktdotgupta wrote:
HI,

To boost your confidence you can check out my gmat debrief
570-to-700-my-gmat-journey-133461.html

The very first thing which i want to ask is why you have taken only two timed first? I would suggest you to take atleast 6-7.
Secondly how to improve from here:

how to improve:

1. When you solve a question and you have already taken 2mins and you don't see yourself going anywhere in that question in next 1min. Then guess and move on! (its not necessary to get all questions correct to get a 50 or 51!)

2. Identify the weak areas (which i guess you have) and try the following:
Prepare a xls sheet (topic by topic).. and keep a track of your progress on a daily basis. Use color coding (Red,Orange,Green).
Red: You are weak in theory - brush up your concepts.
Orange - Done with theory but weak in application of the concepts
Green - Done with the topic

3. Regarding the individual topics:
For i=1 to end
For i=1 to end
-> Study "chapter i"
-> go to grockit.com and schedule game for "chapter i" with difficulty level easy, If doing good then increase the difficulty to "medium" else go to next step
-> re-read the "chapter i" if you are doing bad
-> else goto next chapter and repeat the above steps.


4. Why grockit?
Because they have a timer for each and every question so it will help you improve your speed.
They have tricky questions which is what GMAT asks you!

5. General Advice
GMAT Quant is not tough - its tricky
Keep an eye on that then i guess you can help yourself out a bit.
Also, i read it somewhere that when you are doing good in Quant then you get either a probability or a PnC question. So if you get a question like that then its a plus for you!

6. Go to gmatclub and follow the discussions of the topics in which you are weak. Try to do the 700 level questions and try to follow the discussion which they have. It will help you in knowing how to think about the problem.

How to improve Quant :-- Register in grockit.com and practice, practice and practice!

Coming to the verbal part:
Am not a verbal guy so my advice might not be so helpful to you, but still i will try sharing my thoughts!
Have you tried powerscore CR bible(which i had referred too!): Once you are done with reading the CR argument, are you able to predict what kind of question is going to come and what will be the possible answer? (I was able to do those things once i was done with powerscore CR!)
Also, did you try grockit for practice? It helps a lot in improving the speed. And am very sure that once you are with powerscore then you can get almost all CR questions correct.

For RC
Did you try reading articles from following sites
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/
http://www.scientificamerican.com/
http://www.economist.com/

For Sc
Did you try Thursdays with Ron?

Good Luck for your prep!
Hope it helps!
Director
Director
User avatar
Status: Enjoying the GMAT journey....
Joined: 26 Aug 2011
Posts: 735
Location: India
GMAT 1: 620 Q49 V24
Followers: 60

Kudos [?]: 276 [0], given: 264

GMAT ToolKit User GMAT Tests User Premium Member
Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2012, 04:12
manjeet1972 wrote:
Rajeev: When you encountered a setback of 620's, how did you pick up the preparation again? I am finding it difficult to overcome the shock although I happened just yesterday. I have to come out of it sooner rather then later. I will appreciate your suggestions as to how to go about from here on. Should I focus specifically on practice or pick up the books on basics again.

Manjeet, For me, Picking up prep again is a necessity rather than a choice. But i did took a break of almost 3 weeks before sitting again for studies. I can help you in quant for sure , for verbal, i suggest you to look for help from those who have scored great in it. BTW, I agree with what guptaji wrote about how to improve verbal and i am following a similar approach. You can even enroll in e-gmat 4 points improvement offer on your score of V 38. I am finding the Ron's videos very helpful though i'm focusing on the quant part only. Moreover, I started using the error log more diligently for this attempt than i did in the previous one.
Let's fight the beast for one more time buddy, for doing so is worth the investment and hard work.
_________________

Fire the final bullet only when you are constantly hitting the Bull's eye, till then KEEP PRACTICING.

A WAY TO INCREASE FROM QUANT 35-40 TO 47 : a-way-to-increase-from-q35-40-to-q-138750.html

Q 47/48 To Q 50 + the-final-climb-quest-for-q-50-from-q47-129441.html#p1064367

Three good RC strategies three-different-strategies-for-attacking-rc-127287.html

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Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 5
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Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 0

Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2012, 06:31
better you find the other tips and posting like the pro
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Joined: 07 Sep 2011
Posts: 65
Location: United States
Concentration: Strategy, International Business
GMAT 1: 640 Q39 V38
WE: General Management (Real Estate)
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Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 04:20
Rajeev,

Thanks for the offer to help in quant. I would certainly like to use it.

Although poor score beyond expectation was a constant burden on mind for couple of days post test, now I have overcome it and started refurbishing my basics again. I have already gone through number properties guide of MGMAT. Need to work more on word problem skills and algebra.

Keeping in mind that I have already done a lot of hard work by way of consulting, practicing and challenging myself with the help of following resources, I would appreciate your suggestions to improve on quant score.

1. OG 11, 12 and OG review
2. MGMAT strategy guides as well as advance strategy guide
3. All Signatures of Bunuel
4. All topic wise questions under PS and DS under 600-700 and 700 category
5. All questions answered by Bunuel on daily basis

Lets keep in touch. Sending contacts through PM.



rajeevrks27 wrote:
manjeet1972 wrote:
Rajeev: When you encountered a setback of 620's, how did you pick up the preparation again? I am finding it difficult to overcome the shock although I happened just yesterday. I have to come out of it sooner rather then later. I will appreciate your suggestions as to how to go about from here on. Should I focus specifically on practice or pick up the books on basics again.

Manjeet, For me, Picking up prep again is a necessity rather than a choice. But i did took a break of almost 3 weeks before sitting again for studies. I can help you in quant for sure , for verbal, i suggest you to look for help from those who have scored great in it. BTW, I agree with what guptaji wrote about how to improve verbal and i am following a similar approach. You can even enroll in e-gmat 4 points improvement offer on your score of V 38. I am finding the Ron's videos very helpful though i'm focusing on the quant part only. Moreover, I started using the error log more diligently for this attempt than i did in the previous one.
Let's fight the beast for one more time buddy, for doing so is worth the investment and hard work.
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avatar
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 7
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, Finance
GMAT 1: 620 Q51 V23
GPA: 3.29
WE: Engineering (Other)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 8 [0], given: 1

Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 19:09
Consider my case

MGMAT1: 740 (Q46,V45)
MGMAT2: 720
MGMAT3: 760 (Q49,V45)

Gmat Prep1: 730
Gmat Prep2: 710

GMAT: 670 (Q49,V31)!!!

All the practice tests were taken in the same month.
Re: Disaster: Never expected scores to go down   [#permalink] 16 Aug 2012, 19:09
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