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Need New Strategy?? 540 to 550 6 months later :(

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Need New Strategy?? 540 to 550 6 months later :( [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2012, 04:28
Hey guys,

I just recently took a Manhattan GMAT CAT and scored a 550 after going through all of the MGMAT books. I have to admit I was very disappointed as I took their CAT 1 back in June and got a 540 (prior to studying).

My results were as follows:

CAT1 - 33 Quant / 32 Verbal - 540 score (50%tile)

CAT2 - 37 Quant / 29 Verbal - 550 score (47%tile)

So while my job has been keeping my very busy lately, I typically study 1-2 hours in the morning and 4-6 hours on the weekends although there have been some breaks in my studying due to travel, etc. I wanted to solicit the advice of all of you GMAT geniuses today and see what you may recommend as far as review/study goes. I have attached the MGMAT summary of my results as I thought it may be helpful to explain exactly what is going on.

While some review is certainly needed, does anyone have any advice from when they may have run into similar issues? I plan on reviewing these missed sections within the MGMAT books again, but also am contemplating looking into other testing material. I noticed that my timing for both quant and verbal were off as the clock seemed to tick down and I went through a bit of guessing near the end for both. Anyone have any tips on timing strategies? I've heard that the first 10 questions really determine how you do, so focus strongly on those. Then if time is running out, rather than guessing at 3-4 in a row, guess on one, then attempt to solve the next one until you are finished in order to reserve a higher score.

Unfortunately, I seem to be one of those individuals (based on testing experience for other exams) who learns more through trial and error than just studying the initial material. I have seen a few resources that claim to offer OG type questions for sale by section and/or difficulty which provide a more thorough explanation than the OG does (although I forget the name of the one I am specifically thinking of at the moment )

Any tips/advice/study plans are extremely appreciated!! Due to a job promotion, I am actually moving my family up to NYC early next year and REALLY want to have the GMAT component out of the way so I can focus on applications (and the job)!! By the way, do the gmat club tests provide a strong assessment of your score breakdown (timing per question, weakest section is X, need practice on CR, etc) similar to what MGMAT does? Thinking about new sources for testing may help. Any ideas??

Thanks so much guys!!
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Re: Need New Strategy?? 540 to 550 6 months later :( [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2012, 08:19
Expert's post
ausadj18 wrote:
Hey guys,

I just recently took a Manhattan GMAT CAT and scored a 550 after going through all of the MGMAT books. I have to admit I was very disappointed as I took their CAT 1 back in June and got a 540 (prior to studying).

My results were as follows:

CAT1 - 33 Quant / 32 Verbal - 540 score (50%tile)

CAT2 - 37 Quant / 29 Verbal - 550 score (47%tile)

So while my job has been keeping my very busy lately, I typically study 1-2 hours in the morning and 4-6 hours on the weekends although there have been some breaks in my studying due to travel, etc. I wanted to solicit the advice of all of you GMAT geniuses today and see what you may recommend as far as review/study goes. I have attached the MGMAT summary of my results as I thought it may be helpful to explain exactly what is going on.

While some review is certainly needed, does anyone have any advice from when they may have run into similar issues? I plan on reviewing these missed sections within the MGMAT books again, but also am contemplating looking into other testing material. I noticed that my timing for both quant and verbal were off as the clock seemed to tick down and I went through a bit of guessing near the end for both. Anyone have any tips on timing strategies? I've heard that the first 10 questions really determine how you do, so focus strongly on those. Then if time is running out, rather than guessing at 3-4 in a row, guess on one, then attempt to solve the next one until you are finished in order to reserve a higher score.

Unfortunately, I seem to be one of those individuals (based on testing experience for other exams) who learns more through trial and error than just studying the initial material. I have seen a few resources that claim to offer OG type questions for sale by section and/or difficulty which provide a more thorough explanation than the OG does (although I forget the name of the one I am specifically thinking of at the moment )

Any tips/advice/study plans are extremely appreciated!! Due to a job promotion, I am actually moving my family up to NYC early next year and REALLY want to have the GMAT component out of the way so I can focus on applications (and the job)!! By the way, do the gmat club tests provide a strong assessment of your score breakdown (timing per question, weakest section is X, need practice on CR, etc) similar to what MGMAT does? Thinking about new sources for testing may help. Any ideas??

Thanks so much guys!!


First things first.
There is clearly something wrong in the way you study.
For example, you said you have gone through all the MGMAT books.
Thats an uphill task and not advisable to be all gulped down in the span of just a month.
Did you do the following things?
  • Did you solve the OG questions after each chapters and review them?
  • If you did did what was your accuracy in those? How did you review them?
  • Do the OG questions thoroughly and make sure you google them for reviewing and check the expert replies (either at gmatclub forum or MGMAT forum) and please dont close the browser until you are completely satisfied with why the correct answer choice is correct and the others are not. Doing the OG in this way will take considerable time (my guess is around a month) and only after that you should take MGMAT 3 and check the improvement.
  • Did you do the in action problem tests?
  • Are you confident that whatever chapters you have read do not need re reading? (usually people do tend to read a book multiple times to comprehend the magnitude of the information present.)
  • IMO you should keep away from the gmatclub tests right now. Your quant score implies there is a lack of concept/understanding and those should be your focus right now.
  • Do you plan to join a course?
  • If not then make a CONCRETE plan and stick to it for a month and then see the results, because often people do not realize that they are studying pretty aimlessly which becomes counterproductive.
  • Here is a couple of study plans for you. gmat-study-plan-for-gmat-novices-start-your-gmat-journey-80727.html?fl=menu
    gmat-study-plan-for-gmat-novices-start-your-gmat-journey-80727.html?fl=menu
  • ALL THE BEST

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Re: Need New Strategy?? 540 to 550 6 months later :( [#permalink] New post 05 Dec 2012, 08:21
Expert's post
I forgot to mention that timing is the last thing you should be worried about in the initial phase of your prep (unless you are on a very tight schedule and have a gmat date closing in).
This is simply because you can't save time unless you don't know how to, and to know how you have to internalize a lot of theory/concepts.
The fine tuning of timing comes with a lot of practice and a couple of timing strategies.
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V30-V40: How to do it! | GMATPrep SC | GMATPrep CR | GMATPrep RC | Critical Reasoning Megathread | CR: Numbers and Statistics | CR: Weaken | CR: Strengthen | CR: Assumption | SC: Modifier | SC: Meaning | SC: SV Agreement | RC: Primary Purpose | PS/DS: Numbers and Inequalities | PS/DS: Combinatorics and Coordinates

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Everything about the MBA Application | Over-Represented MBA woes | Fit Vs Rankings | Low GPA: What you can do | Letter of Recommendation: The Guide | Indian B Schools accepting GMAT score | Why MBA?

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Re: Need New Strategy?? 540 to 550 6 months later :( [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2012, 06:46
souvik101990 wrote:
I forgot to mention that timing is the last thing you should be worried about in the initial phase of your prep (unless you are on a very tight schedule and have a gmat date closing in).
This is simply because you can't save time unless you don't know how to, and to know how you have to internalize a lot of theory/concepts.
The fine tuning of timing comes with a lot of practice and a couple of timing strategies.


Thanks for the post - and certainly appreciate the advice. I'll keep the tip on timing in mind as well!
Re: Need New Strategy?? 540 to 550 6 months later :(   [#permalink] 06 Dec 2012, 06:46
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