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I got 560 in CAT, now what?

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I got 560 in CAT, now what? [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2013, 13:09
I just finished a CAT from Kaplan's online pack, and got a 560.
I scored a magnificent 0 in IR, and I struggled with time on that, Q 46% and V 53%. I have been preparing for a few months (since October really), not so fanatically, with long breaks for xmas and easter holidays and the last 1,5-2 months very fanatically, but I got a bit disappointed with my score. I'm aiming to have the exam at around 9-10 of July an I want to get around 700, or higher. How realistic is this?

I'm full time worker, and I try to study 2-3 hours after work (if there are any brains left at that time), and all day during the weekends. I'm doing ok with medium difficulty, but when something gets a little more difficult than the usual I panic (and then when I see the solution I go like "oooh...that's what it was").
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Re: I got 560 in CAT, now what? [#permalink] New post 02 Jun 2013, 13:38
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Well, if the CAT has not painted a good picture for you, I am happy to describe it in different words - whatever you are doing is not working. I did the same thing and I got about the same result (540). Basically all the studying you have done has been recreational and not really purposeful.

My suggestions:
1. Get the right books such as the MGMAT books or the Veritas Prep books (or enroll in the proper course - there are quite a few including low cost options from eGMAT, GMATPill and Magoosh)
2. Study BEFORE work. I have been able to rearrange my schedule to start working at 9 or 10 AM and I studied from 6 AM till 9 AM. Start every day by reviewing.
3. If you struggle with verbal (SC or RC), try my GMAT Fiction suggestion. You can end your days with this or if you take public transportation, it is a good task to do (not solve questions or read GMAT books - just read fiction at this time).
4. Build a GMAT Schedule and stick to it (I would usually recommend taking a day off every week but in your situation time of the essence, so I would say, study through.
5. Use 3 hours on the weekend (Sat and perhaps take it easy on Sun). Weekends are good days to take CAT's but dont' rush into those yet until the end.

You will need about 2 months to improve 150 points (710). I can't see you improving more than 100 points in 1 month but I love being proved wrong (hope you can do it faster)...

More thoughts here: gmat-study-plan-for-gmat-novices-start-your-gmat-journey-80727.html
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Re: I got 560 in CAT, now what? [#permalink] New post 03 Jun 2013, 03:15
First of all thank you bb, you just made my day, when I started losing hope!

1) I have gotten some books, they seem to have a wealth of information. They cover all the possible question types, however I find that it's self practice that builds up the skill, no matter how many times you go through the book...
which is true in life, outside the GMAT world.

2) I thought about it before but I didn't think of it as a major issue, but since you suggested it and got relevant experience, I'm actually very intrigued to give it a try.

3) I'm non-native english speaker too, but I've been a long time in the UK, so language it's not so much of a problem, it's rather a hurdle, or it's increasing the difficulty if you like (I'm sure non-native english speakers understand what I'm saying).

4) As you mention, time is indeed of the essence, and I don't feel particularly tired, since I am aware of the time frame, so I wouldn't mind everyday study (even if it's a 1 or 2 hours).

5) I've read other people suggesting not to take a lot of CATs, I wonder why, since it builds up your pacing and stamina, and prepares your body for the actual test.

Regards
Re: I got 560 in CAT, now what?   [#permalink] 03 Jun 2013, 03:15
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