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First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help!

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First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 10:24
I took the first test and got Q45 and V 17.

I figured, since I was getting in the 40's during my prep (GMATprep and CATs) that I will be fine in the retake. I focused on CR and SC to improve my verbal.

I went through CR bible and focused on the most common CR questions (Weaken, Must Be True, Support, Main Point, and Resolve). I understood the logic and went through Whiplash's CR list from GMATPrep) and did half of them. I did the same with SC. I figured, since I want a 600 score, I wouldn't need to cover every detail of CR and SC. I just needed to know the most common types an do as many problems as possible. I did not do much for RC because I never thought that I a certain strategy is needed besides understanding the actual passage.

For Quant, I went through the OG problems listed in the MGMT books and did 90% of them with a very high success rate. So I felt good about math.

Then the test came and I ended up with 28 Q and 19 Verbal.

I booked a test a month from now.

What do I need to do to crack the 600.

I am lost because a lot on my life depends on this test.
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 10:59
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I'm sorry to hear about your dissappointment. How did your practice tests go? Can you list dates taken and scores? Practice tests are an important part of the study process.

Also, check out our post here: new-to-the-gmat-club-start-here-130870.html to get you started with our top posts and most popular posts to help you boost your score.
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 11:01
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Go thru both tests with and find out what areas are causing you the most trouble and focus on those for 2 weeks and take another CAT.

Personally I used the MGMAT guides and loved the CAT's on MGMAT's website because they allow you to analyze your test results in a variety of ways..
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 11:10
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GMATLA wrote:
I'm sorry to hear about your dissappointment. How did your practice tests go? Can you list dates taken and scores? Practice tests are an important part of the study process.

Also, check out our post here: new-to-the-gmat-club-start-here-130870.html to get you started with our top posts and most popular posts to help you boost your score.


I did check the posts and I've been using GMATclub for some practice questions, however ,I am focusing more in OG and MGMT books since I am aiming for 600 620 score.

My first GMATprep 1 560

GMATprep 2 530 (ran out of time before the end of the quant section)

CAT 1 Quant 43 Verbal 32 620

CAT 2 Qant 44 Verbal 36 660

I am honestly not sure, is it me freaking out during the exam? Is it that the exams are actually harder (phasing out of idioms and GMAT tests generally getting harder every year)? Is it that I had lack of sleep the other night? I tried with all my powers to sleep, I even stayed up for 48 hours non sleep so I'd sleep well before the test to no avail and ended up with only a few hours of sleep.

I can't understand why I can't crack the 600 score.

I am very sure that I have a good grasp of the general principles for all question types.

My problem now is that I don't want to redo the same OG problems again, where can I find new questions that will be as close and as challenging as the real questions?
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 20 Apr 2012, 16:00
I would also recommend practicing using the same practice pad and pen that is used during the testing center. I noticed that helped with the big change in atmosphere from taking the test at home or at library vs. testing center.

Good luck on your retest.
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2012, 09:39
aalba005 wrote:
I would also recommend practicing using the same practice pad and pen that is used during the testing center. I noticed that helped with the big change in atmosphere from taking the test at home or at library vs. testing center.

Good luck on your retest.


I do use MGMT's booklet. It has been helpful.
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2012, 16:20
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First, I'm sorry that your test results weren't relatively close to our practice tests.

First, Improve your verbal!!
Your verbal scores on the real exam are considerably below average. I recommend that you review the strategies again and work on easy and average difficulty problems in the official guides and the 2nd edition of the verbal guide, and lastly, with the extra question pack in GMATPrep. Don't worry about working on hard ones for now because you are getting questions wrong that most test takers are getting right.

I have seen some guys look at LSAT logical reasoning questions as a way to study for CR on the GMAT. While they essentially are the same exercise, LSAT questions are almost always more complex, and include question types that never show up on the GMAT so far (parallel reasoning). Don't use it. The GMAT material is sufficient. Second, you will notice that the same scenarios of answer choices are used as right and wrong answers time and time again. This will turn CR almost into a quantitative problem in many ways.

With reading comp, a good number of questions hit inferences that the context of the text provide, that's what makes it hard. If it was a test where you just looked at what happened, well, then reading comprehension won't be hard. Fortunately, the passages are pretty short, so I believe that you should be able to decipher the author's viewpoints quickly and apply them to questions quickly as well.

With sentence corrections, try to mentally break down every sentence into a simple sentence (ex - I went to the mall). The simple sentence is the main point and essentially says what the author intended to say.

Next, break down all the pronouns (he/she) and their antecedents (what does "he" refer to). There are so many pronoun errors because of things like this (ex - everyone must pick up their bags before going to the mall. That sentence is wrong because the pronoun their refers to everyone, which is a SINGULAR noun, so the sentence needs to be like this: Everyone must pick up HIS OR HER bags before going to the mall.

Third, parallelism (ex - I went to the mall, ate some food, and walked my dog home) is another thing you really need to watch out for. Tons of screwy sentences with this because all these GMAT sentences come with so many little clauses separated by commas that it makes my head spin.

Do not stay up 48 hours straight to ensure a good night's sleep before the GMAT
If you are up that long, you still aren't fully recharged after one night's sleep. You probably need a couple days to start sleeping normally and feeling fine normally again. You may have to alter your sleeping hours a little to accommodate the GMAT, but that is not good for you.

Take the GMAT at a time where you feel comfortable
Most GMAT's that are available are at 8 to 9 AM in the morning at least when I played around at mba.com. Take the test at an hour where you will be sure that you will perform at a high level for up to four hours straight. For me that is in the early to mid afternoon, so I took my tests at that time. If you're an early riser, then yes, take your exam at 8 to 9 AM, but I'm not that type of guy, so I take mine later.

Hope these tips help. Good luck!
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 07:01
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novanative wrote:
Do not stay up 48 hours straight to ensure a good night's sleep before the GMAT
If you are up that long, you still aren't fully recharged after one night's sleep. You probably need a couple days to start sleeping normally and feeling fine normally again. You may have to alter your sleeping hours a little to accommodate the GMAT, but that is not good for you.


It`s a very important advice.
You need a normal regime of the day to make your brain think effectively.
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 10:09
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Hi,

The GMAT is a very psychologically draining test. To me it sounds like your nerves are getting the best of you. I had a similar problem when I started my gmat prep. I remember freaking out during my first practice test which led to a poor result. I'd recommend trying a couple things:

Before a practice test do a quick job to get the endorphins flowing. After exercising you tend to be more relaxed / calm which can help you reach a point of clarity when you're taking a test

Attack each problem - you want to be excited to the challenge the problem will bring you. Don't live in fear of the next problem.

If you don't know the answer to a problem just guess and move on. I ended up doing very well in the verbal section and I must have skipped at least 5 problems (mostly SC).

Don't play that game in your head when you assess the level of difficulty of each problem trying to infer how well you are doing. This a waste of your time and there are to many unknown variables such as practice questions.

Your verbal score is fairly low, are you a native speaker of English?
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 10:25
novanative wrote:
First, I'm sorry that your test results weren't relatively close to our practice tests.

First, Improve your verbal!!
Your verbal scores on the real exam are considerably below average. I recommend that you review the strategies again and work on easy and average difficulty problems in the official guides and the 2nd edition of the verbal guide, and lastly, with the extra question pack in GMATPrep. Don't worry about working on hard ones for now because you are getting questions wrong that most test takers are getting right.

I have seen some guys look at LSAT logical reasoning questions as a way to study for CR on the GMAT. While they essentially are the same exercise, LSAT questions are almost always more complex, and include question types that never show up on the GMAT so far (parallel reasoning). Don't use it. The GMAT material is sufficient. Second, you will notice that the same scenarios of answer choices are used as right and wrong answers time and time again. This will turn CR almost into a quantitative problem in many ways.

With reading comp, a good number of questions hit inferences that the context of the text provide, that's what makes it hard. If it was a test where you just looked at what happened, well, then reading comprehension won't be hard. Fortunately, the passages are pretty short, so I believe that you should be able to decipher the author's viewpoints quickly and apply them to questions quickly as well.

With sentence corrections, try to mentally break down every sentence into a simple sentence (ex - I went to the mall). The simple sentence is the main point and essentially says what the author intended to say.

Next, break down all the pronouns (he/she) and their antecedents (what does "he" refer to). There are so many pronoun errors because of things like this (ex - everyone must pick up their bags before going to the mall. That sentence is wrong because the pronoun their refers to everyone, which is a SINGULAR noun, so the sentence needs to be like this: Everyone must pick up HIS OR HER bags before going to the mall.

Third, parallelism (ex - I went to the mall, ate some food, and walked my dog home) is another thing you really need to watch out for. Tons of screwy sentences with this because all these GMAT sentences come with so many little clauses separated by commas that it makes my head spin.

Do not stay up 48 hours straight to ensure a good night's sleep before the GMAT
If you are up that long, you still aren't fully recharged after one night's sleep. You probably need a couple days to start sleeping normally and feeling fine normally again. You may have to alter your sleeping hours a little to accommodate the GMAT, but that is not good for you.

Take the GMAT at a time where you feel comfortable
Most GMAT's that are available are at 8 to 9 AM in the morning at least when I played around at mba.com. Take the test at an hour where you will be sure that you will perform at a high level for up to four hours straight. For me that is in the early to mid afternoon, so I took my tests at that time. If you're an early riser, then yes, take your exam at 8 to 9 AM, but I'm not that type of guy, so I take mine later.

Hope these tips help. Good luck!


Thank you so much for taking the time to write this great advice.

Here's the funny thing, I did GMATprep 1 and 2 and got 25 in verbal without really doing much studying. Right now, I think I feel comfortable with CR and SC. The problem that I am realizing is that I probably don't accept the fact that I should take my losses and move on from problems that are time consuming. I tend to try to answer each question then end up with little time and 10 questions left. I guess a lot which probably leads to several wrongs in a row and you know what GMAT's CAT treat these things. I need to just guess on tough problems and move on. I'll try that with MGMT's CATs and see how they go.

Once again, thank you so much for taking the time to write this.
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 10:26
tahder wrote:
novanative wrote:
Do not stay up 48 hours straight to ensure a good night's sleep before the GMAT
If you are up that long, you still aren't fully recharged after one night's sleep. You probably need a couple days to start sleeping normally and feeling fine normally again. You may have to alter your sleeping hours a little to accommodate the GMAT, but that is not good for you.


It`s a very important advice.
You need a normal regime of the day to make your brain think effectively.


I know, I just can't sleep. I think I will have to get some medicine to help me sleep before the test.
Manager
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Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help! [#permalink] New post 23 Apr 2012, 10:28
cpanagio wrote:
Hi,

The GMAT is a very psychologically draining test. To me it sounds like your nerves are getting the best of you. I had a similar problem when I started my gmat prep. I remember freaking out during my first practice test which led to a poor result. I'd recommend trying a couple things:

Before a practice test do a quick job to get the endorphins flowing. After exercising you tend to be more relaxed / calm which can help you reach a point of clarity when you're taking a test

Attack each problem - you want to be excited to the challenge the problem will bring you. Don't live in fear of the next problem.

If you don't know the answer to a problem just guess and move on. I ended up doing very well in the verbal section and I must have skipped at least 5 problems (mostly SC).

Don't play that game in your head when you assess the level of difficulty of each problem trying to infer how well you are doing. This a waste of your time and there are to many unknown variables such as practice questions.

Your verbal score is fairly low, are you a native speaker of English?


Thank you. I think the facts that I am lacking sleep and freaking out both contribute to my bad scores. I also think that I do mismanage time during the test.

I am not a native speaker of English but I have been speaking it for the best part of my days for the past 12 years. I think the fact that I didn't do much with RC (not sure how to improve on it) and getting 3 or 4 RC questions wrong in a row kill me.

Thank you for the advice.
Re: First test 510, second test 410. Completely floored. Help!   [#permalink] 23 Apr 2012, 10:28
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