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GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go.

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GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 07:09
Hello all - I am quiet new to this forum and really find it useful. My problem is GMAT, it looks like, I can't do the GMAT. I have taken the GMAT twice, once in July [410] and another one today [460]. Between July this year and today, I have gone through Kaplan classroom course and also took GMATClub tests, MGMAT and official GMAT practice tests. My highest score in all the tests was 600(MGMAT) that I scored only once and highest on KAPLAN tests was 570. In official practice tests my scores were 420 and 480.

I am really struggling to find where the problem is. When I do the practice stuff, I score really high, but when I take tests my performance really suffers :( I think I have a good profile [Age-32, British citizen, International Experience on senior positions - 7 years, Overall experience- 9 years, top 10 management consultancy companies in utilities, aerospace, energy and health sector. Manage the charity work from my area for Chernobyl in Russia and the efforts have been praised by the Russian government]. Can anyone please comment in terms of what sort of score I need to get me into one of the 12 business schools?

The schools I am planning to apply have the deadlines around 1st Feb. Is it worth taking the GMAT again? If yes, can someone please please suggest where I am going wrong and what can be done? Can private tutoring be of any help?
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 07:14
Hello gsaxena26,

For some reason, I find it hard to believe you do "fine" on practice problems but then can not break 500 on the real test.

Are you limiting your time when doing practice problems?
Are you using an error log to track progress?

Remember, the GMAT test it two fold:

Solving/Answer questions
Working under strict time constraints

If you only have one of the two attributes above, you will NOT succeed on the test.

Would you please provide more details about your practice test experiences and real test experiences?
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 08:02
Hi Mohater,

Many thanks for the prompt response. to be perfectly honest, i have never changed any time settings on any of the exams. Also, every test I gave, I have written essays and simulated the real test experience. Beleive me since July I didn't have any life, prepared around 6 hours every day, and therefore feelingreally down at the moment. I want to do an MBA and if by your advice I can crack the GMAT, it will be very much appreciated.





mohater wrote:
Hello gsaxena26,

For some reason, I find it hard to believe you do "fine" on practice problems but then can not break 500 on the real test.

Are you limiting your time when doing practice problems?
Are you using an error log to track progress?

Remember, the GMAT test it two fold:

Solving/Answer questions
Working under strict time constraints

If you only have one of the two attributes above, you will NOT succeed on the test.

Would you please provide more details about your practice test experiences and real test experiences?
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 08:20
Post the raw and scaled scored from your practice tests and real tests.

What sections are giving you the most trouble?
Are you not completing the practice test within the allotted time?
Are you not completing the real test within the allotted time?
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 08:34
Thanks - Here are my scores:

MGMAT CAT1
Quantitative 39 57 %
Verbal 32 67 %
Total 590 67 %


MGMAT CAT2
Quantitative 45 77 %
Verbal 22 29 %
Total 560 57 %

MGMAT CAT3

Quantitative 44 73 %
Verbal 30 59 %
Total 600 70 %

MGMAT CAT4

Quantitative 33 39 %
Verbal 31 62 %
Total 530 46 %

MGMAT CAT5
Quantitative 28 24 %
Verbal 30 59 %
Total 490 35 %

Kaplan tests scores are in the range of 540-570. Official scores 410 and 460 [Today].

The areas where I struggle most are:

Verbal in general and in Maths I am not very strong on questions around overlapping sets and where one has to apply two or three things together. And at the moment very low on confidence too which I think is obvious after seeing these scores.
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 08:36
I have no issues around the timing though.
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 10:50
Your scores are all over the place.

You say you don't have any issue with timing. That may be true, but you're still getting many lower ranked problems (<600 difficulty) incorrect.

You content grasp/material understanding is without a doubt deficient.

Math: Your scores are all over the place. This is likely due to lots of guessing
Verbal: Good news here, your score is stable. That means you have a solid footing to figure out what concepts you need help with.

Go through the book review threads and pick up the books that cover the concepts you need the most help with.

Best books overall:
best-gmat-books-reviews-recommendations-77703.html

Best Verbal books:
best-gmat-verbal-prep-books-reviews-recommendations-78094.html

Best Quant books:
best-gmat-math-prep-books-reviews-recommendations-77291.html
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 09 Dec 2009, 17:04
Hmmm. I am not amazing at the GMATs, but from all my research, I have seen that Manhattan's Sentence Correction is very good. I just bought it a few days, I'll be starting it in a week. But your Verbal does sound good, like Mohater said.

The results of the tests that you posted, are they in the order that you took them? Because MGMAT 1 you got 590 and then MGMAT 5 you got 490. Thats a big change.

Share your real exam experience. Were you really stressed? Did you eat enough? Were you trying to rush? Did you finish the test too quickly?

Like Mohater said, your scores are all over, so its hard to find what the problem might be, but if you share your test day experience, we might find something you need to focus on.

Thanks
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2009, 01:27
Hello DestroyTheGMAT ,

Many thanks for your reply. I agree entirely with what Mohater said. I am not a very good exam taker naturally. As far as MGMAT tests are concerned, I took the tests in descending order, (MGMAT 5 - MGMAT1).

Yes, I did rush a little in the exam, but I also get worried and panicky if I don't answer any of the questions correctly, especially in the first 15 as what I heard that first 15 are the most important questions on GMAT and I am sure it effects my overall performance too. So can anyone suggest anything on how to improve on this? Also, can anyone advise if its OK to write the GMAT 3rdtime and it will not have any negative effects on my overall application?

Cheers,
G.
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2009, 03:48
gsaxena26 wrote:
...
Yes, I did rush a little in the exam, but I also get worried and panicky if I don't answer any of the questions correctly, especially in the first 15 as what I heard that first 15 are the most important questions on GMAT and I am sure it effects my overall performance too. So can anyone suggest anything on how to improve on this? Also, can anyone advise if its OK to write the GMAT 3rdtime and it will not have any negative effects on my overall application?

Cheers,
G.



The above bold is a MYTH, it is NOT TRUE. Your goal is keep your average time per question in pace to complete the exam. The exact time per problem is not always a concern, the time for entire blocks of questions is.

Taking the GMAT a third time will not affect your viability as a candidate.

You're getting ahead of yourself here. There is no magic pill or single book that will save you.

Your goals should be as follows:

#1 Overcome your content/material deficiency. This involves purchasing the books and understanding the content. Simply crashing through practice problems will NOT help you here.

#2 Monitor how long it takes you to solve a problem while getting the problem CORRECT. This is key to figure out how to overcome and resolve more difficult questions.
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2009, 04:19
Thanks for your reply Mohater. Much appreciated. I feel bit better after seeing the comments, and especially around the content/material deficiency. Ok - another question - sorry for being a pain - Can private tutoring be of any help?
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2009, 04:48
Ok - as you guys are helping me out, I thought to put my preparation strategies over here:

Before my first exam in July2009.

1. Completed Kaplan (Maths, Verbal)
2. Completed Kaplan 800.
3. Completed Princeton.
4. Offiicial Guide 10th Ed.
5. Score: 420

After my exam in JUly 2009

1. Joined Kaplan classroom course.
2. Done all the quizzes, tests.
3. But as I said in my previous posts the scores didn't increase.
4. It could be because, wherever I got stuck to solve the question I rushed and saw the solution to it without giving my 100%. This was mostly in Quant. Applied same strategy on the GMATClub tests too.
5. Partially done MGMAT, OG12th Ed for Verbal.
6. Took the exam yesterday and scored 460 :(

Can anyone please advise, what changes I have to make?
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2009, 11:18
Hey
I see you have been putting a lot of effort in your prep. You said you have completed all these books, approximately what percentage of questions did you get correct in 1st try? When you got questions wrong, how many times did you review them?
I did some studying and tried many questions. I went back to the questions to see what I got wrong, but only once and I am certain that killed my score. You want to review the questions you get wrong 2-3 times to get familiar.

Do you keep an error log? There are tonnes of them on this website. I have made my own slightly different than what is out there. I suggest you get all the books together, and review some basics again. Then start doing the problems you have done already and find which ones you get wrong. Do the ones you get wrong 2-3 times after you learn how to do it right. Practice is the key!

Also, use OG 12th for both math and verbal. If you have it, why not use it?

In short:
1. Review what you get wrong 2-3 times so you don't make same mistakes again
2. Keep an error log!
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 10 Dec 2009, 23:58
Thanks for your suggestion "Destroy the GMAT". I will get on with it and stick with the approach that you and Mohater have suggested. I have decided that I will take the exam again.

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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2009, 22:11
gsaxena26 wrote:
Ok - as you guys are helping me out, I thought to put my preparation strategies over here:

Before my first exam in July2009.

1. Completed Kaplan (Maths, Verbal)
2. Completed Kaplan 800.
3. Completed Princeton.
4. Offiicial Guide 10th Ed.
5. Score: 420

After my exam in JUly 2009

1. Joined Kaplan classroom course.
2. Done all the quizzes, tests.
3. But as I said in my previous posts the scores didn't increase.
4. It could be because, wherever I got stuck to solve the question I rushed and saw the solution to it without giving my 100%. This was mostly in Quant. Applied same strategy on the GMATClub tests too.
5. Partially done MGMAT, OG12th Ed for Verbal.
6. Took the exam yesterday and scored 460 :(

Can anyone please advise, what changes I have to make?


If I were in your place - I would start to build foundation. I believe, Kaplan is way too advance or off bit for verbal.

Solid foundation can help you improve your score - My recommendations
1. MGMAT SC
2. Powerscore CR Bible
3. RC practice, practice and more practice- You are British citizen,So I believe it may not be problem for you.
4. Kaplan Math workbook / Nova guide(Maths section) - good to learn basics.

Try to practice/solve in Timed environment.
Maintain Error log - In GMAT it is important to know what you don't know than what you know.
It's more improtant to know our weakness.

best-gmat-books-reviews-recommendations-77703.html
top-20-best-gmat-books-on-gmat-club-76582.html
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 15 Dec 2009, 22:40
Thanks Spoilt. I am getting on with it. One last question - Do you think private tutoring can help?
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2009, 21:27
gsaxena26 wrote:
Thanks Spoilt. I am getting on with it. One last question - Do you think private tutoring can help?


I am sorry to say, but I have never tried any private tutoring. I am not the right person to answer this question.

But I would suggest, try some different method of preparation than what you were doing. Sometimes we are just not on the right track. We avoid reading books again because we feel that 'I already did that book, so I don't need to do that again' - but my experience says each time I read MGMAT SC and Powerscore CR Bible again, I learned something new.

I believe that working on basics can help you more than anyone can.
Try to build basics throughly for about 2 weeks and take one GMATPrep test to check your progress.

Good luck.
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 16 Dec 2009, 23:03
Thanks spoilt. Much appreciated.
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2009, 08:45
Spoilt wrote:
My experience says each time I read MGMAT SC and Powerscore CR Bible again, I learned something new.


Hey Spoilt,
Looks like you have read Powerscore CR Bible enough. This book suggested that I read the stimulus of the CR question first, while most of the other prep programs suggest to read the question stem first. What do you read first? Do you have any tips on how to approach this book to get most out of it?

Thanks
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go. [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2009, 20:01
DestroyTheGMAT wrote:
Spoilt wrote:
My experience says each time I read MGMAT SC and Powerscore CR Bible again, I learned something new.


Hey Spoilt,
Looks like you have read Powerscore CR Bible enough. This book suggested that I read the stimulus of the CR question first, while most of the other prep programs suggest to read the question stem first. What do you read first? Do you have any tips on how to approach this book to get most out of it?

Thanks


I read question firsts and then after reading the stimulus - read the answers in reverse order - E D C B A

It may sound litle strange but I read answers from E - A , not A - E.

Because I believe most of the time GMAT ansers for CR are hidden in upper answer choice that I read the last.

My technique may be wrong but it helps me.
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Re: GMAT - Steps to Improve. A month to Go.   [#permalink] 17 Dec 2009, 20:01
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