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This is my first post, but have been reading other posts and getting tips for a few weeks now. Today is the first day of my GMAT journey, and as recommended, I started with a GMAT Prep practice exam. After a couple of hours taking the exam, it ended with a 350. Lets just say I am disappointed it is so low. I knew it would be as I haven't even opened a book yet, but still. I have the Manhattan GMAT book series, CliffNotes Math Review for Standardized Tests, and the current version of the official GMAT prep book. These will be my study materials, along with a few other online math aids.
Has anyone started with this low of a score (or close) and how much did you improve before the first official exam? What was the time frame? I have 2 months before my first exam, but know I will need to take it again at least a second time. I am shooting for a 650-700. I hope to become a frequent poster on this forum as everyone seems so nice and just wants to help others. I will be glad to return the favor after this is all said and done haha. I just need something uplifting for the time being. I am hoping to get accepted at a German university this time next year.
The first piece you should mention is your score distribution. What were you raw Q and V scores?
The second part - 350 is really low. That's 6th percentile (you did better than only 6% of other folks). Why did you get that score? Is it something silly and obvious (e.g. took you too long to figure out how to use the system) - you are lucky if that's it since it is easy to fix or are you really really rusty and long time out of college?
It does not sound as though you have a challenge with English, which is good... i think.
As to improvement, you can count on (average - very average) about 100 points due to MGMAT books. Another 50-100 if you put good effort in, and another 50 if you drill through every question you get wrong. That's 250.
So that's what you can count on. I hope you did something silly during your gmat prep and you can raise your score quite a bit within days. Otherwise, you are looking at 600 as your ceiling... there are exceptions of people from 450 to 700 but that's rare... very rare.
I hope I did not let you down - I would love to see a turn around story and be proven wrong. These are just averages - not a reflection of every single person and improvement that they have had.... just averages - absolutely feel free to beat them!!!! and you should!!!
Honestly, I don't know why my score was so low. I will post the results below. I did not do the AWA section based on your instructions on the beginning study plan posting, but that is not deducted from the score right? I will openly admit that I am super bad at this sort of math, having not taken a math course since my freshman year of college. Just a little history on me (so you know me a little better). I was born and raised in Oklahoma, now living in Phoenix, Arizona working as a stock broker. I am highly educated and have taken 3 FINRA exams that were not too challenging for me, so I am familiar with the pressures of studying and test taking. I can give you more accurate results once I actually begin studying. I took my first exam a few hours ago, after a long day of work and errands so I am sure that might have a little to do with it, but not much. I plan to go to the library tomorrow and spend 3-4 hours since it will be the first day of studying. Do you have any tips? I plan to follow the study plan and spent the first month on math since it my most difficult subject. I am not going to get stressed because its just the beginning. The only thing I can do is hope it was not 100% accurate and work super hard! I look forward to going on this journey with the GMAT Club!
Tips - get a copy of the MGMAT roadmap - studying in the library is a good idea - anywhere without internet access or phone bugging you is Great! - Do not try coffee shops unless you are really good about not being distracted by all the commotion. - Save every single question you got wrong - print them out or do something with them and SOLVE them. You must know why you made a mistake on every single one and how to address it and then dig a foot deeper by learning more about the area. If you feel you don't know something related to the GMAT, you need to learn it. Seek it out! Make GMAT your greatest passion. You have to take keep interest in everything and if something does not bide with you and you feel uncomfortable if I locked you in the room with Equations or Statistics, then you need to spend more time and feel that you can stand proud and tall.
The skills you gain (skills, not necessarily knowledge) while studying for the GMAT will help you tremendously in BSchool and in life - it is a good training. As to the CFA/CPA/etc - unfortunately they do not have an impact on the GMAT. That's actually one of the toughest things for those folks to come to terms with. They get baffled and frustrated. Sorry, not the same. GMAT is more of a high school/college math than anything else... and persistence and fast thinking.
Just thought that I would give you a little update. I decided to go with a cheaper Kaplan course (as they are the company that my investment firm uses for FINRA exams), and just completed my first practice exam that they require. It was a little more uplifting than the score above. I got a 510 Q:31 V:48. It is still no where near what I want and/or need, but it much better than the 350 as a starting point.