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Frustrated with weird results

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Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 12:22
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Folks,
I have been prepping for gmat for almost about 3 months now.
After courses from knewton and e-gmat I have almost achieved an OG accuracy of 90+ percent
i took gmatprep today and scored a disappointing 680 with Q50 and V31
this is certainly NOT my optimum performance as my accuracy is way higher than what I achieved today
I took MGMAT CAT 2 where i scored 710 with Q49V37, and that too was 2 months back. So I have certainly improved since then. However that doesnt reflect in the gmatprep score.
So I am really frustrated now and I think I lose concentration while doing all the 3 sections together on a 41 question basis
I also found today that I was horrible in time management and had to guess 1 RC completely and a couple of CR/SC as well. And I also figured that I completely fail at answering history based complicated RC passages and my RCs in the gmatprep I took today were ridiculously difficult.
However in the MGMAT CAT I had 13 mins to spare in the verbal. This is VERY weird.
I am at a mess and I dont know how to increase my verbal concentration
I have the gmatclub tests and kaplan Q bank. Should I take timed quizzes of 45 questions on verbal with RC CR SC mixed?
any advice will be highly appreciated.
Thanks

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 12:28
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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 12:46
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Hi, souvik101990. Let's see what we can find out together.

souvik101990 wrote:
can anybody shed some light on the quality of gmatclub verbal CATs and whether they can help in my situation?

Judging by the six-minute gap between your posts, I think that it's important to start by taking a deep breath and trying to relax. If there is a problem, then there is a solution. The last thing that we want is to panic, because that only gives us another obstacle to deal with.

souvik101990 wrote:
So I am really frustrated now and I think I lose concentration while doing all the 3 sections together on a 41 question basis

Could you elaborate on this? The way I currently understand this is that you usually don't take practice tests in their entirety. In other words, you take attempt each section (AWA, quant, verbal) separately with relatively large time gaps between them. Am I interpreting this correctly?

If this is indeed the case (and my apologies in advance if not), then I am forced to adopt a stern stance here: practice tests have absolutely no value or purpose if not taken under realistic test conditions. That means taking the full 30 minutes for AWA with the math and verbal sections with no additional break time. Anything else will present a false indication of one's level. I could probably go on (and on) about this, but let's make sure that I'm on the right track about how you take these practice tests.

souvik101990 wrote:
I also found today that I was horrible in time management and had to guess 1 RC completely and a couple of CR/SC as well. And I also figured that I completely fail at answering history based complicated RC passages and my RCs in the gmatprep I took today were ridiculously difficult.

Your focus seems to be on RC, though a verbal score of V31 suggests a problem with verbal overall. Let's start with the basics first: what specifically have you used for your verbal prep? Tell me everything (books, questions sources, strategies, how many times have you read the books or revisited the questions, etc.). As for RC itself, a good training program involves LSAT RC passages. Those are much longer and more complicated than GMAT passages.

souvik101990 wrote:
However in the MGMAT CAT I had 13 mins to spare in the verbal. This is VERY weird. I am at a mess and I dont know how to increase my verbal concentration.

The time differential does have me scratching my head on this one. Again - and without accusing you of anything - did you take the Manhattan verbal section on its own or right after the AWA and quant sections? And this wasn't a repeat test, right?

souvik101990 wrote:
Should I take timed quizzes of 45 questions on verbal with RC CR SC mixed?

How many practice questions do you usually complete in one session? But to answer your question, I think that it's a good idea to practice with a good number of questions at a particular time to improve endurance for the test.

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 18:22
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Thanks for an elaborate reply. Thanks a ton actually.
But I think you misinterpreted me. I have taken only 3 practice tests so far
2 MGMAT CATs: These were 2 months back and I did not even complete half of my preparation and results were
680 Q49V34 and 710 Q49V37
Both of these tests were taken in ideal conditions and both of these times I had time to spare in verbal.
So, I thought I should complete my courses and then have a look at where I stand.
I completed knewton course and e-gmat SC course. Finished Manhattan SC and completed OG 13 questions.
I also solved gmatclub questions regularly and had a fair bit of accuracy.
I also have the gmatprep Q pack and my accuracy is certainly above 85% there.
However the gmatprep exam that I took yesterday attacked my nerves.
In quants the problems seemed to be very difficult and I made 8 mistakes. But Q50 seemed rational.
In verbal I made a complete mess.
Because I make a lot of silly mistakes in general, I thought this time my strategy should be focus and spend more time on each question and make sure it is correct.
This approach did not work at all and I ended up guessing an entire RC passage (attempted 3Q without reading) and had a very nervous stretch for the last 5 CR/SC questions (4 of which I got wrong)

While practicing I solve OG/gmatprep Q pack, but I think my major problem is lack of concentration. I think that is why I end up scoring pretty good during practice but failing in the CATs.
Hope I made myself clear.
Any thoughts now??

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 18:35
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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 18:43
You indicate that you have a certain accuracy percentage in the OG, but the test is computer adaptive. This means that you're comparing apples to oranges. You can get 85% of the questions right but if 15% are the hard questions, then when you're in the test situation you get to the hard questions but then miss them.

It sounds like you need to focus in on the harder questions and make sure you have strategies to get them right.

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 18:47
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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 18:51
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machichi wrote:
You indicate that you have a certain accuracy percentage in the OG, but the test is computer adaptive. This means that you're comparing apples to oranges. You can get 85% of the questions right but if 15% are the hard questions, then when you're in the test situation you get to the hard questions but then miss them.

It sounds like you need to focus in on the harder questions and make sure you have strategies to get them right.


Good advice, but I think I am fairly average on hard questions. My OG accuracy on Hard questions is definitely over 75%.

last evening I slept for 3 hours after the frustrating gmatprep. After waking up, I bought the kaplan quiz bank and solved 2 quizzes.
First one was 10 SC quiz. Only hard questions. 8 correct 2 wrong.
Second one was 10 CR quiz. Only hard questions. 10 correct 0 wrong .
My problem, seemingly is to retain concentration while doing 41 questions.

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 18:52
did not try that... but i guess there Verbal should be good. Quant is bit though.

Also, as i was not good in Verbal so i used to find their RC bit tough. Will suggest you to take a second opinion from someone.

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2012, 19:07
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souvik101990 wrote:
In verbal I made a complete mess. Because I make a lot of silly mistakes in general, I thought this time my strategy should be focus and spend more time on each question and make sure it is correct.This approach did not work at all and I ended up guessing an entire RC passage (attempted 3Q without reading) and had a very nervous stretch for the last 5 CR/SC questions (4 of which I got wrong)

It seems that you experimented with a new strategy, but didn't quite have full control over it. You highlighted RC as a problem area in general, but was the RC passage mentioned above toward the very end of the test? If so, then it seems that fatigue, time pressure, and the general difficulty of the verbal section brought on a certain level of anxiety (see here). I suspect this since you recounted a hard time near the end. Have you ever faced such adversity in a practice test before?

The verbal section - especially the latter portion - is definitely a critical point in the test. Many points are lost or gained at this stage. I wouldn't feel too bad about it for now. Verbal is more difficult on the GMATPrep than Manhattan. Combined with the possible issues discussed above, a decrease of six points, while not welcome, is not catastrophic either. With that said, you're right to be on-guard. We certainly don't want a pattern to emerge.

So unless there are more concerns related to your recent GMATPrep experience, we could move on to discussing more about your verbal prep. You mention OG 13 and the Manhattan SC, but is that everything?

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 00:50
I am also getting strange scores. I took the free MGMAT CAT yesterday and scored 670 (Q 40, V41). I completely messed up the timing on quant and could not answer the last 7 questions. I took the older version of GMAT Prep today (2005), and got a massive 760 (Q50, V42). Granted some 3-4 questions on the verbal was from OG12. But still I found the exam way too easy. Is GMAT Prep version 1 significantly easier than version 2? It definitely was easier than manhattan.
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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 01:14
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souvik101990 wrote:
In verbal I made a complete mess. Because I make a lot of silly mistakes in general, I thought this time my strategy should be focus and spend more time on each question and make sure it is correct.This approach did not work at all and I ended up guessing an entire RC passage (attempted 3Q without reading) and had a very nervous stretch for the last 5 CR/SC questions (4 of which I got wrong)

It seems that you experimented with a new strategy, but didn't quite have full control over it. You highlighted RC as a problem area in general, but was the RC passage mentioned above toward the very end of the test? If so, then it seems that fatigue, time pressure, and the general difficulty of the verbal section brought on a certain level of anxiety (see here). I suspect this since you recounted a hard time near the end. Have you ever faced such adversity in a practice test before?

The verbal section - especially the latter portion - is definitely a critical point in the test. Many points are lost or gained at this stage. I wouldn't feel too bad about it for now. Verbal is more difficult on the GMATPrep than Manhattan. Combined with the possible issues discussed above, a decrease of six points, while not welcome, is not catastrophic either. With that said, you're right to be on-guard. We certainly don't want a pattern to emerge.

So unless there are more concerns related to your recent GMATPrep experience, we could move on to discussing more about your verbal prep. You mention OG 13 and the Manhattan SC, but is that everything?


Dude/Dudette,
Thanks for the prompt replies and analysis of my chaotic situation. YOu are completely right in assuming that the verbal RC fiasco was towards the end of the test.
As far as the prep goes, I have done quite a lot. I completed every pre assessment tests and core homeworks on knewton.
As I was practicing questions from the kaplan quiz bank and random here and there, I see a pattern. I am doing very good (accuracy levels hardly go below 90%) when I am concentrating on a particular section or solving only a couple of questions. But when CR,RC and SC come to attack me together, especially after my internal defenses took a hit to achieve Q 50, all hell breaks loose.
So I have fixed up an agenda for me for a week where I want to work on my concentration levels.
I will take Grockit CATs every other day, while maintaining ideal gmat conditions.
I know that these tests do not reflect gmat scores, but the questions are gmat like and it will provide me with an exercise to increase my concentration and brain function levels.
Do you think its a good plan?

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 01:16
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I am also getting strange scores. I took the free MGMAT CAT yesterday and scored 670 (Q 40, V41). I completely messed up the timing on quant and could not answer the last 7 questions. I took the older version of GMAT Prep today (2005), and got a massive 760 (Q50, V42). Granted some 3-4 questions on the verbal was from OG12. But still I found the exam way too easy. Is GMAT Prep version 1 significantly easier than version 2? It definitely was easier than manhattan.


I think they are a bit different but not THAT different. From my experience I think something went wrong in your MGMAT CAT. While your verbal scores are certainly similar, the quant score are not even close. I agree MGMAT CATs have more difficult quant questions but I think it should be atleast within 5 points difference with gmatprep 1.

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 06:49
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Your approach seems reasonable. So work on endurance and gradually build your skill level. But, as mentioned already, use LSAT RC passages too. As far as extra practice tests, Manhattan and GMATPrep should be enough. While some prefer more CAT sessions, be aware about burnout or fatigue. Too much of a good thing is still too much. :wink:

And, as a side note, did you happen to eat any snacks or drink anything between the test breaks to maintain energy levels for the practice tests? Doing so can make a difference in one's performance. See here.

Also consider the Powerscore CR Bible. You appear to feel comfortable with CR, but this guidebook is fantastic and will almost surely improve your performance. Plus, it (indirectly) helps with RC comprehension as well. And get OG Verbal if you haven't done so already.

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 07:24
souvik101990 wrote:
tridevi wrote:
I am also getting strange scores. I took the free MGMAT CAT yesterday and scored 670 (Q 40, V41). I completely messed up the timing on quant and could not answer the last 7 questions. I took the older version of GMAT Prep today (2005), and got a massive 760 (Q50, V42). Granted some 3-4 questions on the verbal was from OG12. But still I found the exam way too easy. Is GMAT Prep version 1 significantly easier than version 2? It definitely was easier than manhattan.


I think they are a bit different but not THAT different. From my experience I think something went wrong in your MGMAT CAT. While your verbal scores are certainly similar, the quant score are not even close. I agree MGMAT CATs have more difficult quant questions but I think it should be atleast within 5 points difference with gmatprep 1.


I hope you are right and that GMAT Prep is a more accurate reflection of my skill level than the MGMAT CAT. I may have messed up the manhattan one as it was the first proper practice test I took. I have decided to buy the rest of the MGMAT tests and see if I improve - taking the test on Sep 2 so I think I have enough time. There is surely a heavy penalty for poor time management! lesson learnt.

I like the idea of snacking during breaks to keep energy levels up - I got REALLY agitated towards the end of the verbal section.
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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2012, 07:56
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tridevi wrote:
souvik101990 wrote:
tridevi wrote:
I am also getting strange scores. I took the free MGMAT CAT yesterday and scored 670 (Q 40, V41). I completely messed up the timing on quant and could not answer the last 7 questions. I took the older version of GMAT Prep today (2005), and got a massive 760 (Q50, V42). Granted some 3-4 questions on the verbal was from OG12. But still I found the exam way too easy. Is GMAT Prep version 1 significantly easier than version 2? It definitely was easier than manhattan.


I think they are a bit different but not THAT different. From my experience I think something went wrong in your MGMAT CAT. While your verbal scores are certainly similar, the quant score are not even close. I agree MGMAT CATs have more difficult quant questions but I think it should be atleast within 5 points difference with gmatprep 1.


I hope you are right and that GMAT Prep is a more accurate reflection of my skill level than the MGMAT CAT. I may have messed up the manhattan one as it was the first proper practice test I took. I have decided to buy the rest of the MGMAT tests and see if I improve - taking the test on Sep 2 so I think I have enough time. There is surely a heavy penalty for poor time management! lesson learnt.

I like the idea of snacking during breaks to keep energy levels up - I got REALLY agitated towards the end of the verbal section.


Hey all the best for the next CAT.
Keep us updated here!!!

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2012, 03:08
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I scored exactly the same score in GMAT Prep 1 (Q50 V31), with 8 mistakes in Quant.

My observations
- GMAT Prep Quant is not easier than MGMAT Quant. GMAT Prep Quant questions are unique and need you to zoom in the question for 3-5 mins to get it correct There is absolutely no way around it. If you can make less than 4 mistakes in tough problems and 0-1 is easy problems, Q51 is there for the taking.
-GMAT Prep Verbal is much more subtle than MGMAT Verbal, where questions are either too easy or too hard(read not GMAT like). GMAT Questions are created beautifully to just trip you.
- Stamina is an issue, for me as well and it can only be improved gradually. You would need 3-4 weeks to really get in top gear. I would suggest you to take 75 mins to solve all the IR problems in MGMAT and skip the AWA. This will make you more tired when you reach quant.
-Take 10 Quality tests with no more than 2 tests per week and your stamina would be up there. That is what i am adopting.
- Section Tests in Verbal as well timed drill of 40 Questions in 80 mins should help. Easier said than done though, on weekdays.

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2012, 03:11
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AbhiJ wrote:
I scored exactly the same score in GMAT Prep 1 (Q50 V31), with 8 mistakes in Quant.

My observations
- GMAT Prep Quant is not easier than MGMAT Quant. GMAT Prep Quant questions are unique and need you to zoom in the question for 3-5 mins to get it correct There is absolutely no way around it. If you can make less than 4 mistakes in tough problems and 0-1 is easy problems, Q51 is there for the taking.
-GMAT Prep Verbal is much more subtle than MGMAT Verbal, where questions are either too easy or too hard(read not GMAT like). GMAT Questions are created beautifully to just trip you.
- Stamina is an issue, for me as well and it can only be improved gradually. You would need 3-4 weeks to really get in top gear. I would suggest you to take 75 mins to solve all the IR problems in MGMAT and skip the AWA. This will make you more tired when you reach quant.
-Take 10 Quality tests with no more than 2 tests per week and your stamina would be up there. That is what i am adopting.
- Section Tests in Verbal as well timed drill of 40 Questions in 80 mins should help. Easier said than done though, on weekdays.

Looks like we are on very similar lines.
And I agree with you completely on your gmatprep inputs.
Where are you from btw?
A like minded study partner might help me get there :)

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2012, 06:33
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AbhiJ wrote:
I scored exactly the same score in GMAT Prep 1 (Q50 V31), with 8 mistakes in Quant.

My observations
- GMAT Prep Quant is not easier than MGMAT Quant. GMAT Prep Quant questions are unique and need you to zoom in the question for 3-5 mins to get it correct There is absolutely no way around it. If you can make less than 4 mistakes in tough problems and 0-1 is easy problems, Q51 is there for the taking.
-GMAT Prep Verbal is much more subtle than MGMAT Verbal, where questions are either too easy or too hard(read not GMAT like). GMAT Questions are created beautifully to just trip you.
- Stamina is an issue, for me as well and it can only be improved gradually. You would need 3-4 weeks to really get in top gear. I would suggest you to take 75 mins to solve all the IR problems in MGMAT and skip the AWA. This will make you more tired when you reach quant.
-Take 10 Quality tests with no more than 2 tests per week and your stamina would be up there. That is what i am adopting.
- Section Tests in Verbal as well timed drill of 40 Questions in 80 mins should help. Easier said than done though, on weekdays.


Your observations are perfect and inline with the facts which I have deduced after my recent GMAT attempt.
Few more tips I would like to suggest
Get used to GMATPrep verbal or GMAT like questions.
you can either solve IR for 75 mins or double quant section and one verbal with 8 min breaks to test your endurance.
we relax a lot when we take a mock. I usually use the entire 8 min or at least 6 to 7 mins during the breaks, but in actual test you will return in less than 5 mins. So follow the same strategy to make it more strenuous in mocks.
In actual test, you will be solving for the entire duration of the test. So make your mocks as real as possible. Don't finish a section early off or rather don't start off verbal too early. Even 10 mins early makes a difference.
2 tests a week is over kill. You will detest taking tests after some time. Instead review for 2 - 3 hours with one 10 to 15 break in between and that is enough to improve your stamina. Don't solve problems. Review the problems, take notes, make connections to all known problems, search for optimal solutions in net, learn from strategy guides if the concept is new etc. On the whole its like running marathon, you don't run 10 kms twice every week, instead sprints will test and improve your endurance. While learning, you make more logical connections than while solving. So 2 to 3 hours of review with only one 10 to 15 min break is like take a 4 hour test solving the problems. This was suggested by Stacey in MGMAT forums and I find it extremely useful since I started following it. For more info check this link -> http://www.manhattangmat.com/forums/680 ... 15975.html

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Re: Frustrated with weird results [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2012, 06:56
msvel2304,

Thanks for Stacey's advice link. The advice for building stamina is solid - to decide what to study first and focus for an hour without any distractions.

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Re: Frustrated with weird results   [#permalink] 18 Aug 2012, 06:56
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