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Inconsistent performance in tests

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Inconsistent performance in tests [#permalink] New post 09 Sep 2012, 21:36
Hello all,

I am planning to give GMAT in 2 months. I have no fixed time in mind because I do not want to rush through my preparation. I am targeting upwards of 750. I'd given GMAT in 2008 scoring 660. You know what happened in 2009 so did not dare to think about leaving a well paying job for higher studies. But now I am determined because I am at that "now-or-never" cross roads.

I started off with a diagnostic test of GMATPrep and scored a morale boosting 700, I was happy, but the happiness ended there. I bought MGMAT SC book and got the 6 MGMAT free tests. The first test ended beating me up black and blue, I could not complete the quant in time (which ironically I thought was my strong point) with 2 questions remaining to be completed. I scored an abysmal 600, a huge drop from my previous GMATPrep score of 700.

I lost confidence and focus at this point, it took me a long time to recover. I analyzed my weak points in verbal and started working on them. I saw my learning curve moving up as I saw the accuracy of verbal answers increasing. So I gave another test yesterday and was shocked to see scoring 640.

I am even more confused now. I am from India with an IT background and my choices of colleges are very limited and so it is very important for me to score above 750. Am I being unrealistic? I am unable to understand what went wrong from GMATPrep's 700 to the recent 640. All this in spite of preparing at least for .5 to 1 hr per day.

Please help me analyze my
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Re: Inconsistent performance in tests [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2012, 11:19
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Hey I guess MGMAT tests are a little tougher. Not to worry. Your scores are great. GMAT prep gives the closest approximation to your actual scores. Go ahead and book a date.
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Re: Inconsistent performance in tests [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2012, 11:42
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How long have you been studying?

Also, did you say you spent 30-60 mins per day studying? How much total time did you put in?
Was it in the morning, on the subway/bus, or after work, or while watching TV?
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Re: Inconsistent performance in tests [#permalink] New post 12 Sep 2012, 14:54
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The general consensus is that Manhattan's tests can present more difficult questions than the GMATPrep does (particularly for math). So that could be a factor. With that said, a drop of 100 points is probably too big. Did you take both tests under realistic test conditions (all sections in one sitting, limited time breaks, etc.)? And, as bb asked, how was your day or schedule before and during the Manhattan test?

And given that you currently study 30 minutes to one hour per day, your expectations are unrealistic. You will either need to revise your target score downward or devote more time and effort to your studies.
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Re: Inconsistent performance in tests [#permalink] New post 14 Sep 2012, 01:18
Thanks for the replies.

Some info as sought: I am planning to give the test in 10-2 slot. So I am giving the test only during those timings. All the tests were given at home and under almost similar environment. Breaks are taken as instructed and the sections are taken at one go.

@BB: I gave the first test around 1.5 months ago. After that, I have been preparing mostly for SC, because my performance in other areas was fine as per my analysis. I gave the first MGMAT test within 2 weeks, I could not complete quant section (2 questions were left over) but I cannot really say, I took the test in professional environment. Study time was generally during office hours and/or after work. Material used was MGMAT SC, OG 13 and GMAT CLUB

I continued to concentrate on verbal SC and added CR too (MGMAT verbal CR showed that I needed some improvement). After that I have been preparing for .5-1 hour a day and gave the 2 test last week. This time one verbal question left unanswered.

I was elementarily aiming to get 40+ V score as I was "assuming" my capabilities in quant. MGMAT seem to have toppled that, but I am now confused. However, I have now re-strategised and added quant too to my daily preparation.

My results are as follow:

CAT 1: Q 34, V 38 IR 3.7 (I have been giving IR too, could that be a factor?) 2 qns in quant were unanswered.

CAT 2: Q 43, V34 IR 5.27 1 question in Verbal was unanswered.

I am really desperate to cross the 40 barrier for verbal. I am confident about quant in spite of not-so-great performances, because I know I am not practicing quant.

Please let me know your views on my approach, should I continue to concentrate particularly on Verbal until I get desired results? I have now added a 30 minute slot for Quant review and practice, though.
Re: Inconsistent performance in tests   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2012, 01:18
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