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Retaking GMAT, advice needed

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Retaking GMAT, advice needed [#permalink] New post 17 Mar 2013, 17:37
Hi, I gave the GMAT yesterday and got a 700 (48Q and 38V). I believe the low verbal score was because of CR and RC. I thought I was doing pretty well in RCs (mostly 1 or 2 wrong), at least in my practice tests, but CR has always been a problem (5-6 mistakes). But after the exam I am not sure of my RC performance also. SC has mostly never been a problem even under timed conditions. I scored a 750 and a 710 on the GMAT prep (770 and 780 repeats) and my last four scores on MGMAT are 710, 720, 710 and 770 (last one was a repeat). On the exam I spent more time on the first few questions in the verbal section, and I had to hurry. I believe my main problem in verbal is that I take more time per question and that's causing me to hurry towards the end. Also for CR, prethinking seems to be a problem. On easier and some medium CR questions, I seem to be doing alright, but I falter on harder question specially when I am short on time. Under untimed conditions accuracy is more than 85% on CR. Even on the practice tests my verbal scores were in the 39-42 range. I have exhausted all the recommended preparation materials. I am thinking of signing up for egmat, but i am not sure if it will help me since I am the 84 percentile in verbal already. Can you please help me in deciding if egmat is right for me. I want to give one last shot and I am aiming at 750 plus. I made some silly mistakes in quant and can push my quant score to at least 50, so I believe that if I can improve 3-4 points on verbal, I can reach my goal. Any help will be really appreciated.
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Re: Retaking GMAT, advice needed [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2013, 11:03
Hi,

A few points:

1. Your Quant is a 78th%ile and Verbal is 84th%ile. I am not sure how avoiding a few silly mistakes can get you to a 50 but if you are confident then good :) But just a change in Quant scores can mean 700->730 jump - a score good enough to make it to any bschool in the world.

2. Don't worry about what happened on the real test as its hard to guess. Instead look at your problem areas based on your GMATPrep tests. Maybe even the practice questions you solved. You will need to have a laser sharp focus on the areas that trouble you and try to come up with a test-day strategy to fix that.

3. At a 500 level it is concepts, at a 600-level it is application but at a 700 level it is all about strategy. So I would be interested to know how you split your time across the questions. As you mentioned you were rushed in the Verbal section. Even a small change in timing and it can mean a variation of around 2-raw scores.

4. GMAT has a standard variation of +/-29 points. What this means is that you can take the test again with NO prep and see an improvement to 730 (or a drop to 670). So my recommendation is to review your approach and take it once more to see how it goes.

All the best! :)

Arun
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Re: Retaking GMAT, advice needed [#permalink] New post 18 Mar 2013, 12:04
Thanks Arun for your suggestions.

1. In quant, I usually have problems in DS. Most of my mistakes in practice tests were in DS. But I was surprised to find that DS on the actual exam was not that tricky. I failed to recognize 2-3 pattern questions in PS towards the end of the quant section and spent more time on these questions. Because of this I had to guess 2-3 questions which were wrong (now that I solved them at home). On reflection, I approached DS with more "respect" on the exam because I was expecting them to be more harder than they actually were and relaxed a bit for PS questions.

2. In verbal, I started slow cos I dint want to make many mistakes in the first few questions. As I mentioned, SC is my strong suit but I got a few awkward questions in between where I spent more time. I feel that I did not "attack" the verbal section and was relaxed when approaching the first 20 questions. I had around 34-35 minutes left for the remaining 21-22 questions. I did not get a chance to prethink answers on CRs. I just tried to eliminate all the out of scope/opposite/extreme answers and pick one which I thought was best. For RCs, retention was a problem.

On my practice tests too, I finish the sections just in time. I believe my underlying approach to RC and CR needs to change as speed is affecting my accuracy on these questions. I dont want to take any more chances since this is going to be my final attempt. I am looking at going for either the e-gmat or the gmat-pill verbal courses (atleast for RC and CR). From the reviews looks like the RC gmat-pill is good although a bit expensive, whereas the e-gmat CR course seems better. Any suggestions?



arun@crackverbal wrote:
Hi,

A few points:

1. Your Quant is a 78th%ile and Verbal is 84th%ile. I am not sure how avoiding a few silly mistakes can get you to a 50 but if you are confident then good :) But just a change in Quant scores can mean 700->730 jump - a score good enough to make it to any bschool in the world.

2. Don't worry about what happened on the real test as its hard to guess. Instead look at your problem areas based on your GMATPrep tests. Maybe even the practice questions you solved. You will need to have a laser sharp focus on the areas that trouble you and try to come up with a test-day strategy to fix that.

3. At a 500 level it is concepts, at a 600-level it is application but at a 700 level it is all about strategy. So I would be interested to know how you split your time across the questions. As you mentioned you were rushed in the Verbal section. Even a small change in timing and it can mean a variation of around 2-raw scores.

4. GMAT has a standard variation of +/-29 points. What this means is that you can take the test again with NO prep and see an improvement to 730 (or a drop to 670). So my recommendation is to review your approach and take it once more to see how it goes.

All the best! :)

Arun
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Re: Retaking GMAT, advice needed [#permalink] New post 19 Mar 2013, 00:19
I would suggest you to focus on your Quant. Give 10 GMAT Club tests (or any other quant sectional tests) and keep your verbal at the same level you can get 730 Q50 V38. If you really want to improve verbal then e-GMAT is better. However my opinion is that non natives make mistake in verbal due to slower reading/comprehension speed when compared with natives which cannot be rectified by any strategy. There are two ways to improve that: crap load of Verbal practice (LSAT for CR/RC) or improving your reading speed by reading 20-30 books over a period of time.
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Re: Retaking GMAT, advice needed [#permalink] New post 20 Mar 2013, 00:22
eugenebhatt wrote:
Thanks Arun for your suggestions.

1. In quant, I usually have problems in DS. Most of my mistakes in practice tests were in DS. But I was surprised to find that DS on the actual exam was not that tricky. I failed to recognize 2-3 pattern questions in PS towards the end of the quant section and spent more time on these questions. Because of this I had to guess 2-3 questions which were wrong (now that I solved them at home). On reflection, I approached DS with more "respect" on the exam because I was expecting them to be more harder than they actually were and relaxed a bit for PS questions.

2. In verbal, I started slow cos I dint want to make many mistakes in the first few questions. As I mentioned, SC is my strong suit but I got a few awkward questions in between where I spent more time. I feel that I did not "attack" the verbal section and was relaxed when approaching the first 20 questions. I had around 34-35 minutes left for the remaining 21-22 questions. I did not get a chance to prethink answers on CRs. I just tried to eliminate all the out of scope/opposite/extreme answers and pick one which I thought was best. For RCs, retention was a problem.



For quant, the problem at a 50-raw score level in DS is that it pretty much becomes a question of application and not so much knowing your concepts. Also you said "DS on the actual exam was not that tricky". The trick with tricky questions is PRECISELY that - they don't look tricky. Almost paradoxical :)

For verbal, I have a few suggestions for you:

1. I am not sure how spending MORE time can help increase your accuracy. I mean, yes maybe for a few questions but overall time and accuracy are not directly proportional i.e. the more time I spend per question, the greater my probability of getting it right. So you need to get better at guessing. Guessing not when you are stuck and have spent 2minutes but guessing early on - say 30seconds into the question on whether it is worth pursuing it.

2. Also 34-35minutes for 21-22 questions means you had roughly 95seconds per question - it can be tough getting out of that situation since CR would consume more than that. (Again a bit paradoxical that you can solve faster because not being able to do it fast is what got you in this position to begin with!) so you have to arrest the problem before that. Here is a recommended approach: Try to cut the 75minutes into 5 mini-tests of 15minutes each and try to solve 7 questions in Quant and 8 questions in Verbal in these mini-tests. Even if you get around 5 questions correct in each of these mini-tests you can potentially hit a 750+ score.

3. I am not sure of the techniques you have mentioned but here is some food for thought - any technique that doesn't help you on the day of the test is a technique not worth using while you practice. So try to take a step back and see if (a) you are using the techniques incorrectly (b) that technique works for YOU. In either case it would require a change in your approach.

Hope this helps,

Arun
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Re: Retaking GMAT, advice needed   [#permalink] 20 Mar 2013, 00:22
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