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FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall?

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FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2009, 19:21
Hoping someone can provide me with some inspiration. I have been non-stop studying for the GMAT for the past few months. I am in a Kaplan course and on my practice CAT tests I am scoring anywhere between 560 and 640. My target is 650 and I am taking my exam on November 14th. It seems as though I have hit a plateau and I cannot get beyond this point. Has anyone else had a similar experience? What did you do to move beyond this point and see consistant high scores in the mid 600's? If so, please share. Also, are the CAT tests harder/easier than the actual GMAT?

My scores:

Diagnostic: 550
CAT 1: 560
CAT 2: 640
CAT 3: 560
CAT 4: 580
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2009, 20:52
Superprime,

Success breeds Success

Break away from madness for a couple of days. Do anything but GMAT. Look back in life see what has brought you success and what triggered that passion and inspiration...Depend on your memoirs and hunt those ingredients back... Realize the difference between the need and needy is CAN DO ATTITUDE!!!

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2009, 21:27
If the above score is from Kaplan CAT tests, then believe me, you are already above your target score. Actual GMAT test is way easier than Kaplan tests. I would suggest you to attempt couple of GMAT Prep tests. These tests will give you an idea of where you stand. GMATPrep tests are close to actual GMAT tests.

Btw, here is my GMAT debrief. In case you find it inspiring, I had been scoring very badly in Kaplan tests, but in actual GMAT my performance was much better.
done-730-50q-38v-thanks-a-lot-guys-81912.html
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2009, 21:54
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Superprime wrote:
Hoping someone can provide me with some inspiration. I have been non-stop studying for the GMAT for the past few months. I am in a Kaplan course and on my practice CAT tests I am scoring anywhere between 560 and 640
Non-stop studying is seldom the way to go. It's great that you're dedicated, and you shouldn't give anything less than 100%, but that doesn't mean you can't take a break now and then.

Rest for a few days. While I can't comment on the difficulty of our tests, the official GMAT prep tests are a great resource. Try taking one after you've taken a break; if your score does end up higher, then that's a great boost to your confidence, and if not, at least you've gotten another test under your belt to learn from!

Best of luck, and let me know if there is anything else I can help you with!
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2009, 21:56
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Here are my thoughts on getting over the 700 hump: gmat-study-plan-go-from-650-to-80235.html
But since you are enrolled in class, you should speak up and talk to the instructor - they should be able to recommend something. Do let them know that you are stuck and not improving - they need to be aware.
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2009, 22:16
Superprime wrote:
Hoping someone can provide me with some inspiration. I have been non-stop studying for the GMAT for the past few months. I am in a Kaplan course and on my practice CAT tests I am scoring anywhere between 560 and 640. My target is 650 and I am taking my exam on November 14th. It seems as though I have hit a plateau and I cannot get beyond this point. Has anyone else had a similar experience? What did you do to move beyond this point and see consistant high scores in the mid 600's? If so, please share. Also, are the CAT tests harder/easier than the actual GMAT?

My scores:

Diagnostic: 550
CAT 1: 560
CAT 2: 640
CAT 3: 560
CAT 4: 580



Go back to the basics. Seems like you don't have the fundamentals down with those scores. If you try to learn everything at once, the harder things throw you off unless you are sure with your fundamentals. I am taking my test in 2 days and I am watching a basic grammer video. I have been practicing 700+ problems and they have been really confusing me. Took a practice test today and missed some basic problems in Verbal. I blame this on hard problems making me unsure about fundamentals.

Just me two cents.

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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2009, 07:22
Thank you all for your input. I really do appreciate it. I am going to take another practice test tomorrow. But as for tonight, I am going to the gym and clearning my head! I will report back.
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2009, 14:25
Superprime,

I am having the same experience as you are.
Lots of study and boom: another 500's score.
Are you studying 7 days a week?
Honestly, I am thinking about slowing down a bit (for myself).

First of all, tell us in details what you are doing (do you have a study routine as I described in my post? is-my-study-routine-ok-85038.html )

Second, could you please "open" your scores, to know whether you have an unbalanced score? (e.g.: 33Q/40V or 45Q/15V)

A light of strength for you
:-D

Superprime wrote:
Hoping someone can provide me with some inspiration. I have been non-stop studying for the GMAT for the past few months. I am in a Kaplan course and on my practice CAT tests I am scoring anywhere between 560 and 640. My target is 650 and I am taking my exam on November 14th. It seems as though I have hit a plateau and I cannot get beyond this point. Has anyone else had a similar experience? What did you do to move beyond this point and see consistant high scores in the mid 600's? If so, please share. Also, are the CAT tests harder/easier than the actual GMAT?

My scores:

Diagnostic: 550
CAT 1: 560
CAT 2: 640
CAT 3: 560
CAT 4: 580
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 21 Oct 2009, 18:52
bigoyal wrote:
If the above score is from Kaplan CAT tests, then believe me, you are already above your target score. Actual GMAT test is way easier than Kaplan tests. I would suggest you to attempt couple of GMAT Prep tests. These tests will give you an idea of where you stand. GMATPrep tests are close to actual GMAT tests.

Btw, here is my GMAT debrief. In case you find it inspiring, I had been scoring very badly in Kaplan tests, but in actual GMAT my performance was much better.
done-730-50q-38v-thanks-a-lot-guys-81912.html


I don't know if the Kaplan CATs are different for the course vs. what others use (CD Rom?), but this HAS NOT been my experience. I took the Kaplan course, I was always optimistic thinking that I'd get an easier test on the GMAT. I don't know if the GMAT that I got was some sort of black sheep, but at least in my case this was not my experience. I should qualify that. The verbal RC and CR, I felt was easier than Kaplan's. Especially the RC. I got a 690 on the strength of my verbal and I feel like those RCs really helped me with my pacing and score. The RCs are the main reason people struggle with verbal. However, every passage that I got was relatively easy to understand. My weakness is natural science passages. In my first Kaplan CAT, I got 2 such passages despite getting a 510 and completely bombing the verbal. None of those passages on the GMAT for me. So at least parts of the test WERE easier. I ended the verbal at faster pace than I probably have ever (3 minutes to spare). Though the SC was about the same as Kaplan.

HOWEVER, the quant was as difficult as any Kaplan quant. Tougher than some. I have finished my last 4 Kaplan CATs with 88th percentile, 75th percentile, 84th percentile, and 75th percentile. My GMAT quant percentile? 69th percentile (44). I also had to pretty much guess about the last 10 questions. Worst pacing I've had since the first CAT when I got a 510 and bombed both sections. Although, I think my nerves got the better of me indirectly. I was worried to look up at the time (I would look up earlier on a practice CAT) because I didn't want to start panicking. Still, very difficult, as are most Kaplan Quants.

Overall, this was the 3rd best score I got, if you take into account Kaplan. However, Kaplan's scoring is screwy. For example I got 710 twice in my CATS. Once with a Q47 V45 and once with a Q48 V45. Looking at the scores on the real GMAT here that would probably be in the 740-760 range (someone correct me if I'm wrong). I won't say that the GMAT overall more difficult than the Kaplan CATs. However I won't say it's easier either. Don't bank on the real thing being easier.

Regarding your question. After that 510, my next CAT spiked to a 710 (Q47 V45). However after that I had 3 straight tests of 610, 600, and 600. My goal was always 700 (which unfortunately I barely missed) and I was really bummed, especially about that last one. The first 600 had my nerves get the better of me and answer something like 6 out of 15 problem solving questions right. I got nervous and started to panic. I couldn't read and comprehend questions. I went into a mental block. I did have a decent data sufficiency result of 11 out of 15. Which is weird because I struggled with those before. Anyway, I went over the questions and answered almost all of them correctly without the explanation. I thought to myself "if I don't let my nerves get the better of me I'll do a much better job at this. I know that I can answer most of these, my nerves are the only thing standing in my way". That was last time that I let Quant get the better of me to such an extent. Sure, questions here and there, but I never had a complete meltdown like I did with that test. However, my next test I felt much better and then I saw that this time my data sufficiency was 6 out of 15. I was distraught. I thought "will I always be stuck with a 600?" What was disappointing is that I thought that maybe I solved my data sufficiency problems. The problem with data sufficiency for me was that I always felt like I was taking a stab at the dark. There seemed to be no structure and a whole lot of me answering questions with no confidence. However, I can't quite pinpoint it, it may have been a Manhattan GMAT Numbers propety book, but I seriously improved my "rephrase the question stem and statements and strategy", I also just became more cognizant of cues like integers, more than 0 and would try plugging in "unusual" numbers such as decimals, 0, and negatives if allowed. My last 4 Kaplan CATs DS out of 15 were 11, 11, 12, and 11. So now with my nerves more managed for problem solving and my improvement in data sufficiency I improved my quant for the last 4 tests. Because of the improved quant I got myself out of the low 600s rut. I had a 660, 640, 710, and 650 for my last 4 Kaplan Quants and 690 on the real thing. I also tried improving my verbal by buying SC and CR Manhattan GMAT books as my verbal really slipped since I focused on quant too much. The 660 was a 49 in quant, but something like 29 or 28 in verbal (I actually think that a 660 may have been generous). The verbal books worked for the first CAT that I took after I started studying (V45- 98th percentile), but not the second one (don't remember the scaled score but the percentile was in the 60s), but I did get a V41 (92nd percentile) on the real GMAT. Still, I think what got me out of the rut was a tangible improvement in data sufficiency and less nerves in problem solving is what got me out. My advice is to try to figure out a weakness or two and work on it if you can't figure them all out and work on them. If you improve a question type or two that should be enough to lift your score significantly.

Sorry for the long novel!
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2009, 10:31
Here is a list of my Kaplan CAT scores continued, please advise if you think I'll be able to score a 650 on the actual GMAT by November 14th??

Diagnostic 550 (Q25 V85)
CAT 1 580 (Q51 V48)
CAT 2 640 (Q70 V66)
CAT 3 560 (Q42 V53)
CAT 4 590 (Q51 V58)
CAT 5 640 (Q53 V97)
CAT 6 630 (Q46 V98)
CAT 7 620 (Q59 V78)
UPT #1 480 (Q34 V29)
UPT #2 660 (Q68 V95)
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2009, 10:50
Superprime wrote:
Here is a list of my Kaplan CAT scores continued, please advise if you think I'll be able to score a 650 on the actual GMAT by November 14th??

Diagnostic 550 (Q25 V85)
CAT 1 580 (Q51 V48)
CAT 2 640 (Q70 V66)
CAT 3 560 (Q42 V53)
CAT 4 590 (Q51 V58)
CAT 5 640 (Q53 V97)
CAT 6 630 (Q46 V98)
CAT 7 620 (Q59 V78)
UPT #1 480 (Q34 V29)
UPT #2 660 (Q68 V95)


Interesting that you went from the diag to the first CAT. I had a 150 point drop off. 660 to 510.

As far as your upcoming test all of your grades besides the first UPT seem to be in the range. Kaplan's scoring is wacky so you may possibly get higher scores with those scaled scores. That 1st UPT seems to be a fluke. I was scoring a little below my GMAT score for 3 of the last 4 tests, with one being above it. BTW, I didn't even know you could take 2 UPTs.
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2009, 11:02
yes you can actually take a second UPT for $80 through Kaplan. I was so nervous for my first UPT (hence the 480) that I felt I needed more familiarity with the testing enviornment. It is the same exam so some of the initial questions are repeats, but since it's computer adaptive, the questions will change. So, I think I still need to focus on Quant. But is this roughly where I should be 2 weeks before test day if I want to score a 650? Any advice?
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 27 Oct 2009, 11:41
Superprime wrote:
yes you can actually take a second UPT for $80 through Kaplan. I was so nervous for my first UPT (hence the 480) that I felt I needed more familiarity with the testing enviornment. It is the same exam so some of the initial questions are repeats, but since it's computer adaptive, the questions will change. So, I think I still need to focus on Quant. But is this roughly where I should be 2 weeks before test day if I want to score a 650? Any advice?


Well I was doing better in quant at the end of my studies. In just my second CAT I hit a 45, 98th percentile in verbal. Since then I didn't hit 70s or higher and hit a low of 49th percentile. So I bought a sentence correction and critical reasoning book from the Manhattan GMAT. I also did critical reasoning in the official guide to get back into the routine of doing these (I've focused too much on quant before) and gain some confidence. Well the first CAT since then I got 98th percentile again, a 45 again. However, the next CAT (my final practice one) I got a percentile in the 60s. Then the final test, was the actual GMAT and I got 92 percentile. I didn't feel as good about the sentence correction as I would have liked after reading that mammoth book. However I was a bit lucky since I felt that the reading comp was really good (which wasn't part of my late verbal studies). Not sure how much the books helped me though. Still, maybe if you haven't tried yet, you can try Manhattan GMAT books for quant in your biggest weaknesses. The best quant book that I read was word translations. That's also the hardest topic, IMO.
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2009, 09:20
Okay...so I have finished all of my Kaplan CAT tests and this past weekend I took one of the GMAT Prep tests and got a 620. My actual GMAT is this Sat and I'm aiming for 650...what should I focus on these last two days before my exam? Is 650 a realistic achievable score considering my history?
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2009, 13:24
a 620 on the gmatprep test is within range for getting a 650 on the actual test. just make sure you get plenty of rest the night before. maybe do some light studying today and tmw. don't try to drill down any new information. on the actual test day, dont do any studying at all.

what was your breakdown of the gmat preptest? did you write down what each section score was? (not the # correct, but the actual section scores)?
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Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall? [#permalink] New post 12 Nov 2009, 13:40
Here are all of my final score breakdowns....ahhh kind of nervous....I'll def rest and go to the gym and eat a good meal and lightly study tonight and tomorrow..fingers crossed!

Diagnostic 550 (Q25 V85)
CAT 1 580 (Q51 V48)
CAT 2 640 (Q70 V66)
CAT 3 560 (Q42 V53)
CAT 4 590 (Q51 V58)
CAT 5 640 (Q53 V97)
CAT 6 630 (Q46 V98)
CAT 7 620 (Q59 V78)
CAT 8 560 (Q35 V53)
UPT #1 480 (Q34 V29)
UPT #2 660 (Q68 V95)

GMAT PREP #1 620 (Q62 V73)
Re: FRUSTRATED...looking for inpiration...have I hit a wall?   [#permalink] 12 Nov 2009, 13:40
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