Would appreciate some advice on what I should focus on over the next 30 days as I gear up for a re-take of my recent disappointing 680 (Q44, V39). It's a fine score but not at the schools I'm applying to, and is lower than ANY of my practice tests so I can't help thinking I had a bit of an off day. Here's some background on my practice tests (in chrono order):
3/10: GMAT Prep 750 (Q48, V46) - before I had taken any Manhattan GMAT
courses or anything, just some OG prep, so this gave me some confidence and I decided to take a project that had me overseas for the past 6 months and didn't touch any GMAT prep until end of august.
8/31: MGMAT 630 (Q38, V37) - was just trying to reacclimate to test so wasn't concerned with score
9/19: MGMAT 710 (Q42, V45)
10/3: MGMAT (Q41 - didn't do the verbal section)
10/6: MGMAT 720 (Q43, V45)
10/8: MGMAT 690 (Q45, V39)
10/12:MGMAT 700 (Q44, V40)
10/13:GMAT Prep 720 (Q48, V41) - I took this on a decent hangover so felt pretty good about this really
10/14:GMAT Prep 770 (Q49, V47) - yes this was a re-set and re-take as my 3rd GMAT Prep test but I only recognized a few questions and gave myself a 2-min time penalty on those. I figured it wasn't very inflated if at all.
My scores just days before my exam coupled with the apparent consensus on these fora that the GMAT Prep software is the most accurate in scoring had me pretty confident I could get upwards of a 750 going in. I was a bit baffled at what went wrong once I saw the 680. My best guess is the following:I scheduled a 8am test like an idiot
: I do my best work after midnight but jumped on an open 8am slot. I was considering changing it up until the practice test 3days prior when I got a 770 while starting at 8am. Still, I can't help but think my brain wasn't fully awake yet and I've scheduled the next test later in the day.I think I second-guessed my verbal and had right-to-wrong switches
: I frankly thought I owned verbal on the actual test, noticing what I thought were some hard questions but never feeling stumped. I did not own it. I definitely stopped and re-read/thought twice about a lot of questions and probably went back and changed some answers and I know others on here have suggested that's a common cause of underperforming on the actual test. So that's my best guess.There were definitely some quant questions I just didn't feel like I'd prepared for
: I think these were primarily number properties questions.
Reflecting on the results, I can't help but think I had a bit of an off day but maybe also missed some signs that I wasn't in the range that I thought I was in. Maybe it turns out that I'm an outlier and my Manhattan GMAT
scoring was a better indicator of actual performance than GMATPrep software was. I would REALLY appreciate some suggestions for how best to get into the 750 range in 4 weeks given I've already been through MGMAT strategy guides, much of the OG (though I'll continue to plow through it further). I think for starters I'm going to focus on:'practicing like I play'
: doing all OG problems in 30-50 problem chunks, with a time limit, and guessing on those I don't get (instead of stopping and learning the hardest ones as I go along as I did in the past). Also taking all practice tests with writing and IR at the beginning as I only did that on ~halfDoing the other free practice tests available online
, etc. as others have said that a broader set of practice tests was helpful and provided noticeably different problems than MGMAT.Listening to key MGMAT class recordings
: I did self-study and stuck to the books but maybe I'm missing some valuable color from the class recordings that I have access to.
If anyone has suggestions for how I can turn this thing around, it would by MUCH appreciated. I've seen others rave about the help they received on these boards and hope to have a success story to share in a month from now. Thanks, Ambrose.