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Not improving/Need Advice - Chart of Scores Included.

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Joined: 13 Nov 2011
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GMAT Date: 05-26-2012
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Not improving/Need Advice - Chart of Scores Included. [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2012, 09:38
Hey All,

I need some help deciding what to do here. I have my GMAT scheduled for the 21st which is less than 2 weeks away and I am not where I thought I would be at this time. I started studying in late November, putting in a few hours each day with some breaks here and there. I started with Quant and went through the Mgmat strategy guides which were really helpful to get a refresher on some basic concepts. When I took my first CAT prior to studying (Kaplan Free Exam), I scored a horrible 490 but that was straight cold turkey. After refreshing on some concepts, I scored a 600 on the first official MGmat CAT. My subsequent scores are as follows: 580, 670, 600, 580, 600, 570. So basically I actually decreased my score after nearly 2 months, which is so frustrating! I plotted out my Q/V scores which show a steady improvement in Verbal (if you take out the one 28) but I did not improve AT ALL in Quant which is what I am actually more comfortable with! I have actually gotten worse with the most recent exam as my all time low!

I reviewed my Quant CATs and I seem to be making mistakes due to time for example in DS I am not testing all variables since it is too time consuming. I am also making silly mistakes here and there that are costing me. I sometimes freeze up even though I know the concept because it is stated in a different way. Also, I am finding that sometimes the CAT may throughout a new concept that wasn't tested before and I just can't remember how to handle it.

At this point I debating to either 1) Rescheudle my exam for antoher 2 weeks out (I see I have to pay $50 fee, ugh!). 2) Take the exam and see how I do and then take a course to see if it helps me to improve.

My goal was to get above 700 but that is probably now a pipe dream. I am hoping to atleast get high 600's (670+) which I did achieve on one of the CATs but now questioning if it was a fluke. Any advice is appreciated!
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Re: Not improving/Need Advice - Chart of Scores Included. [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2012, 10:24
I can see how that would be frustrating. Are you spending time really understanding the concepts/problems rather than just doing as many as you can?

Also, are you very nervous when taking a practice exam?
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Re: Not improving/Need Advice - Chart of Scores Included. [#permalink] New post 10 Jan 2012, 13:24
wallstreetbarbie wrote:
I can see how that would be frustrating. Are you spending time really understanding the concepts/problems rather than just doing as many as you can?

Also, are you very nervous when taking a practice exam?


I don't think I am just doing the exams and not understanding. I review each one and try to understand where I went wrong. I know the concept but during the exam I just freeze and mind mind goes blank. It's not that I get nervous during the CAT it's just that I get anxious and keep looking at the clock and worrying about falling behind. I tried hiding the clock but it hasn't really helped...
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Re: Not improving/Need Advice - Chart of Scores Included. [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2012, 13:14
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With just 10 days left, focus on redoing the questions you get wrong.

First you go through a question. Check the answer. What the heck did you do wrong? How could you have answered that question correctly. Did you do a stupid mistake? Did you not see a comma or an obvious sentence structure that you should have seen? Read the explanation.

OK, move on to the next question. Do the same thing. Look at the explanation. Maybe you got it right, maybe there was a quicker, more efficient way of arriving at the correct answer. Why did you miss that more efficient way? How could you have thought about it better so you would arrive at the correct answer faster?

Keep doing this until by the end of the day you do maybe like 30 questions. Now by the time you do 30 questions, you probably forgot what the questions or answers were for question #1.

So start all over. See if you can plow through questions #1 – #30 without stopping and getting ALL of them right. After all, you SAW the answer explanations. So if you really “understood” the answer explanations, then you should have no problem going through the questions.

This is the approach you should be using when you “do” GMAT questions. Once you redo all 30 questions straight through. Now do another 30 questions. Then combine all 60 questions and see if you can run through all of them straight through without mistakes.

If you subdivide, think through groups of questions, and then REDO all those questions in different orders AS IF you were sitting for the real exam and you are aware of time pressure, I guarantee your studying will be that much more effective than what you are currently doing now.

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Re: Not improving/Need Advice - Chart of Scores Included. [#permalink] New post 11 Jan 2012, 17:33
Thanks for the post GmatPill.

Ok so I just took the GMAC Prep Practice Test 2. I scored a 630 but what is more confusing is that I scored my highest on the math thus far (45)! Excuse my french but WTF!?

I have until Friday to decide if I'll reschedule... I might take a test Friday night and see how I do. Any recommendations on CATs that are MOST indicative of the final score?
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Re: Not improving/Need Advice - Chart of Scores Included. [#permalink] New post 16 Jan 2012, 14:26
gmatpill wrote:
With just 10 days left, focus on redoing the questions you get wrong.

First you go through a question. Check the answer. What the heck did you do wrong? How could you have answered that question correctly. Did you do a stupid mistake? Did you not see a comma or an obvious sentence structure that you should have seen? Read the explanation.

OK, move on to the next question. Do the same thing. Look at the explanation. Maybe you got it right, maybe there was a quicker, more efficient way of arriving at the correct answer. Why did you miss that more efficient way? How could you have thought about it better so you would arrive at the correct answer faster?

Keep doing this until by the end of the day you do maybe like 30 questions. Now by the time you do 30 questions, you probably forgot what the questions or answers were for question #1.

So start all over. See if you can plow through questions #1 – #30 without stopping and getting ALL of them right. After all, you SAW the answer explanations. So if you really “understood” the answer explanations, then you should have no problem going through the questions.

This is the approach you should be using when you “do” GMAT questions. Once you redo all 30 questions straight through. Now do another 30 questions. Then combine all 60 questions and see if you can run through all of them straight through without mistakes.

If you subdivide, think through groups of questions, and then REDO all those questions in different orders AS IF you were sitting for the real exam and you are aware of time pressure, I guarantee your studying will be that much more effective than what you are currently doing now.


I am not in a position to judge advice at this point, as I have just started studying. However, this looks like some of the best advice I have seen yet. Thank you!
Re: Not improving/Need Advice - Chart of Scores Included.   [#permalink] 16 Jan 2012, 14:26
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