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Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice?

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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 04 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Katz '15, Fisher '15
GMAT 1: 450 Q27 V24
GMAT 2: 490 Q30 V24
GMAT 3: 620 Q42 V34
GPA: 3.52
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 5

Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2013, 14:09
Hi All,

I have been studying GMAT material for over 2 months and have taken the official test twice. My scores have fluctuated dramatically over that time. Here are those scores and preparation timeline:

-Scores-
550 (Q37, V29) -- 10/30/12: Manhattan CAT (first assessment, no preparation)
450 (Q27, V24) -- 11/12/12: GMAT Prep Software
450 (Q27, V24) -- 11/13/12: Official GMAT Test (1st)
510 (Q33, V28) -- 11/29/12: Kaplan CAT 1 Diagnostic
580 (Q39, V34) -- 12/20/12: Kaplan CAT 2 Diagnostic
530 (Q35, V27) -- 1/2/13: Kaplan Ultimate Practice (taken in actual testing center)
490 (Q30, V24) -- 1/4/13: Official GMAT Test (2nd)

-Preparation-
Mid Oct - Mid Nov: Familiarized with GMAT test format and loosely studied the subject matter of ManhattanGMAT ten-part book series.
Mid Nov - End Dec: Enrolled in Kaplan Advantage four-week online course, utilized Kaplan video workshops and premier book on subjects of weakness, created short quizzes on Easy & Medium difficulty level to work on timing and approach.

-My Questions-
Over the next 2 months, should I put more emphasis on understanding/mastering the subject matter (ex: Quant Algebra, Verbal Pronoun Agreement) -OR- preparing for the actual question types I will be facing (doing an abundance of practice problems, looking back at theory, fundamentals, and how each question can/should be solved). I still miss approx half of Medium level questions that over 60% of Kaplan students get correct. I am shooting for a score of 650 by the 1st week of March.

Any other comments or insight on my situation is greatly appreciated. Tips on how I should best utilize the GMAT Club website will also help. I am new to the GMAT Club and look forward to becoming an active member over the next 2 months. Thanks in advance.

- jc
Kaplan GMAT Prep Discount CodesKnewton GMAT Discount CodesGMAT Pill GMAT Discount Codes
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Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 07 Jan 2013, 16:46
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I am a firm believer that the only practice CATs that are accurate are the ones from GMAC (just my opinion, feel free to disagree). The top prep companies might spend millions of dollars modeling their algorithms and questions after GMAC's algorithm and official questions, respectively, but at the end of the day, the only ones who actually create the GMAT are the members of GMAC, not the prep companies. Keeping that in mind, your scores align with your GMATPrep score.

I took the same Kaplan class you took. With all due respect to Kaplan, I thought the class was awful. I scored a 580 after taking the class and can honestly say that I learned nothing from it. I would avoid Kaplan at all costs.

Here is what I would do (this got me a 700 and should have gotten me a 730+, but I panicked during the quantitative section):

-Purchase the 5th edition MGMAT books from Amazon, the 13th edition OG, the 2nd edition blue OG verbal book, and the 2nd edition green quantitative book. I also suggest getting the writing pad form MGMAT.

-Spend a month or two going through the MGMAT books and work the corresponding OG problems. Do NOT move to the next book unless you have mastered the material from the previous book. Take a GMATPrep Cat after you are done. Go over the Cat and post any questions you may not understand on GMAT Club.

-Take a look at the IR section in the OG and the IR MGMAT book. Google "Chineseburned AWA guide", click on the first hit, and read over the part for the analyze the argument, memorizing his template.

-Take the GMAT and score well.

As far as using this website goes, just answer questions. Pick a section and go through each question. When you respond, explain exactly why you picked the answer you did. If you are wrong, so what? Ask for help and try to help others. To do well on the GMAT you need to immerse yourself in it.

I hope that helps :)
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 04 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Katz '15, Fisher '15
GMAT 1: 450 Q27 V24
GMAT 2: 490 Q30 V24
GMAT 3: 620 Q42 V34
GPA: 3.52
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 5

Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2013, 11:16
Thanks for the reply and recommendations Commdiver.

I already posses the following materials:
- MGMAT, 5th Edition: Complete Strategy Guide Set 0-9
- OG: 13th Edition
- Noteboard (from Kaplan)
- Kaplan Premiere Course Book
- Kaplan Premiere Pocket Guide

I just ordered both the OG Verbal & Quant 2nd Editions.

I am going to hit the MGMAT books hard and apply those gains to the OG questions. I also think the GMATPrep Question Packs will be beneficial.

If you don’t mind me asking... going into the test prep, how much of the GMAT material would you consider “new knowledge” opposed to sharpening what you already knew? I still find myself learning or relearning a lot of the Quant concepts presented. I expect the MGMAT series to provide a full understanding of these concepts.

Thanks again, greatly appreciated. -jc
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Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2013, 11:57
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commdiver wrote:
I am a firm believer that the only practice CATs that are accurate are the ones from GMAC (just my opinion, feel free to disagree). The top prep companies might spend millions of dollars modeling their algorithms and questions after GMAC's algorithm and official questions, respectively, but at the end of the day, the only ones who actually create the GMAT are the members of GMAC, not the prep companies. Keeping that in mind, your scores align with your GMATPrep score.

I took the same Kaplan class you took. With all due respect to Kaplan, I thought the class was awful. I scored a 580 after taking the class and can honestly say that I learned nothing from it. I would avoid Kaplan at all costs.

Here is what I would do (this got me a 700 and should have gotten me a 730+, but I panicked during the quantitative section):

-Purchase the 5th edition MGMAT books from Amazon, the 13th edition OG, the 2nd edition blue OG verbal book, and the 2nd edition green quantitative book. I also suggest getting the writing pad form MGMAT.

-Spend a month or two going through the MGMAT books and work the corresponding OG problems. Do NOT move to the next book unless you have mastered the material from the previous book. Take a GMATPrep Cat after you are done. Go over the Cat and post any questions you may not understand on GMAT Club.

-Take a look at the IR section in the OG and the IR MGMAT book. Google "Chineseburned AWA guide", click on the first hit, and read over the part for the analyze the argument, memorizing his template.

-Take the GMAT and score well.

As far as using this website goes, just answer questions. Pick a section and go through each question. When you respond, explain exactly why you picked the answer you did. If you are wrong, so what? Ask for help and try to help others. To do well on the GMAT you need to immerse yourself in it.

I hope that helps :)


well I completely agree with you. basically is the best strategy to do BUT I 'd like to give my opinion.

All process depends entirely on the person that faces the exam. people score 750 after 2 weeks because are really adptive test, people 760 after 2 yers of study, people 400 after applying the best strategy, books, mocks, tips and tricks, flashcards of the entire universe gmat-like and not.

In my opinion: books, gmatclub, discussion, study, and material over there is sufficient to overcome or not this test. I do not believe in courses and so on......my opinion

At the end of the day, you learn when study, and reflect on your own. no one can teach you how to find your way of thinking
_________________

COLLECTION OF QUESTIONS
Quant: 1. Bunuel Signature Collection - The Next Generation 2. Bunuel Signature Collection ALL-IN-ONE WITH SOLUTIONS 3. Veritas Prep Blog PDF Version
Verbal:1. Best EXTERNAL resources to tackle the GMAT Verbal Section 2. e-GMAT's ALL CR topics-Consolidated 3. New Critical Reasoning question bank by carcass 4. Meaning/Clarity SC Question Bank by Carcass_Souvik 5. e-GMAT's ALL SC topics-Consolidated-2nd Edition 6. The best reading to improve Reading Comprehension 7.Verbal question bank and Directories

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 04 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Katz '15, Fisher '15
GMAT 1: 450 Q27 V24
GMAT 2: 490 Q30 V24
GMAT 3: 620 Q42 V34
GPA: 3.52
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 5

Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2013, 16:28
Thanks carcass, motivating.

I spent a majority of my 1st month's prep learning the ins-and-outs of the test I'd be facing, rather than learning the materials/subjects that would be presented. I am 100% on understanding the test, it's adaptability, timing, and what to expect. With that said, I'm ready to buckle down, study hard, and learn the MGMAT series from 1-9 while applying this knowledge to various GMAT question types.

In regards to my studying habits, I tend to hold concepts better once I've seen how they should be applied. I could learn permutations and combinations all day but unless I reference how these concepts are being applied, they tend not to stick. I'll be referencing corresponding questions as I hit each subject.

Thanks again, greatly appreciated.
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GMAT 1: 700 Q43 V42
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Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2013, 16:56
Carcass, I agree with you. +kudos

JamesAC, there is only so much you can learn about the test. I cannot understand why test prep companies emphasize learning so much about the GMAT. Spend a minute reading the first few pages of the OG, and you should have all of the information you need. Beyond that, it starts getting into hypotheticals, not facts.

Also, stay active on GMAT Club. It is free and helps (did I mention it is free, unlike prep courses?). And do not spend too much time on permutations and combinations. If you are scoring close to 51Q, you might see one of each at most. If you look at some of the 99th percentile debriefs on here, most did not go into too much detail with permutations and combinations.
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Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2013, 21:13
JamesAC wrote:
Thanks for the reply and recommendations Commdiver.

I already posses the following materials:
- MGMAT, 5th Edition: Complete Strategy Guide Set 0-9
- OG: 13th Edition
- Noteboard (from Kaplan)
- Kaplan Premiere Course Book
- Kaplan Premiere Pocket Guide

I just ordered both the OG Verbal & Quant 2nd Editions.

I am going to hit the MGMAT books hard and apply those gains to the OG questions. I also think the GMATPrep Question Packs will be beneficial.

If you don’t mind me asking... going into the test prep, how much of the GMAT material would you consider “new knowledge” opposed to sharpening what you already knew? I still find myself learning or relearning a lot of the Quant concepts presented. I expect the MGMAT series to provide a full understanding of these concepts.

Thanks again, greatly appreciated. -jc


I want to purchase some book of Manhattan so that I can access 6 online CATs from its site.
Can you please suggest which book shall I go for, I am still not comfortable with SC or RCs so any book with good verbal stuff and not so expensive.
I tried buying online from MAnhattan site but being located in INDIA the shipping charges are more than the actual charges of book.

Any advice welcome please.

Regards,
Abhinav
_________________

Regards,
Abhinav

GMAT 1 - 580 (Q47 V23) a-tight-slap-on-face-149457.html

GMAT 2 - 670 (Q48 V34) 670-one-month-off-from-office-and-2-months-hard-work-163761.html#p1297561

“If you don't change your life; your life will change you.”

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Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 08 Jan 2013, 21:17
JamesAC wrote:
Hi All,

I have been studying GMAT material for over 2 months and have taken the official test twice. My scores have fluctuated dramatically over that time. Here are those scores and preparation timeline:

-Scores-
550 (Q37, V29) -- 10/30/12: Manhattan CAT (first assessment, no preparation)
450 (Q27, V24) -- 11/12/12: GMAT Prep Software
450 (Q27, V24) -- 11/13/12: Official GMAT Test (1st)
510 (Q33, V28) -- 11/29/12: Kaplan CAT 1 Diagnostic
580 (Q39, V34) -- 12/20/12: Kaplan CAT 2 Diagnostic
530 (Q35, V27) -- 1/2/13: Kaplan Ultimate Practice (taken in actual testing center)
490 (Q30, V24) -- 1/4/13: Official GMAT Test (2nd)

-Preparation-
Mid Oct - Mid Nov: Familiarized with GMAT test format and loosely studied the subject matter of ManhattanGMAT ten-part book series.
Mid Nov - End Dec: Enrolled in Kaplan Advantage four-week online course, utilized Kaplan video workshops and premier book on subjects of weakness, created short quizzes on Easy & Medium difficulty level to work on timing and approach.

-My Questions-
Over the next 2 months, should I put more emphasis on understanding/mastering the subject matter (ex: Quant Algebra, Verbal Pronoun Agreement) -OR- preparing for the actual question types I will be facing (doing an abundance of practice problems, looking back at theory, fundamentals, and how each question can/should be solved). I still miss approx half of Medium level questions that over 60% of Kaplan students get correct. I am shooting for a score of 650 by the 1st week of March.

Any other comments or insight on my situation is greatly appreciated. Tips on how I should best utilize the GMAT Club website will also help. I am new to the GMAT Club and look forward to becoming an active member over the next 2 months. Thanks in advance.

- jc


James I am sailing in same boat m its been two months I have started my prep.

And gave MGMAT -I yesterday and scored 580(Q44, V24) and had given Free KAplan test with 540

I have improved my Quant score but still not at the level I think I can reach atleast in Quant.

And in Verbal, everytime I analyse or review my Verbal Score I feel demotivated that its not my cup of tea. But this time I dont want to give up and want to score good in GMAT. Please advise how to improve verbal score. I am almost done with OG -12 and will be starting with OG -13 and plan to make OG -13 my best friend for next oone month till I get the desired scores in the GMAT prep.

PLease help

Abhinav
_________________

Regards,
Abhinav

GMAT 1 - 580 (Q47 V23) a-tight-slap-on-face-149457.html

GMAT 2 - 670 (Q48 V34) 670-one-month-off-from-office-and-2-months-hard-work-163761.html#p1297561

“If you don't change your life; your life will change you.”

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Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2013, 00:04
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Intern
Intern
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Joined: 04 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Concentration: Marketing, Entrepreneurship
Schools: Katz '15, Fisher '15
GMAT 1: 450 Q27 V24
GMAT 2: 490 Q30 V24
GMAT 3: 620 Q42 V34
GPA: 3.52
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 0 [0], given: 5

Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2013, 20:05
abhinav11 wrote:

I want to purchase some book of Manhattan so that I can access 6 online CATs from its site.
Can you please suggest which book shall I go for, I am still not comfortable with SC or RCs so any book with good verbal stuff and not so expensive.
I tried buying online from MAnhattan site but being located in INDIA the shipping charges are more than the actual charges of book.

Any advice welcome please.

Regards,
Abhinav


Abhinav,

The MGMAT 5th Series Guides are organized as follows:
(0) GMAT Roadmap: Expert Advice Through Test Day
(1) Fractions, Decimals, & Percents
(2) Algebra
(3) Word Problems
(4) Geometry
(5) Number Properties
(6) Critical Reasoning
(7) Reading Comprehension
(8) Sentence Correction
(9) Integrated Reasoning and Essay

Regarding Verbal, I like the link @Carcass provided. Consistency and fundamental sharpening will come from a painful amount of practice questions.

If I can expand on the content of each MGMAT book, just let me know.
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Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice? [#permalink] New post 09 Jan 2013, 22:38
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HI JAmes

Really srry about your score....
Here are my views:-
Quant
---------------

You need to start from basic . It might seem frustrating to read how to divide and multiply but get hold MGMAT maths foundations and slowly complete all the startegy guide.. DO not think about score just keep studying......Schedule a CAT after 1 month, give yourself. We are not wizards.
Once you are in Quant 42 range , pick up MGMAt advanced quant..Solve it 10 time not to memorize but learn to apply the principle. Believe me I am solving it and I see that questions from it appeared in the actual test similar questions and I was not able to solve...And Now i am thinking how close was I to a score of 47+ on real gmat......
For quants I personally feel that Number property is an area which needs to be improved, it requires lateral thinking.
Most of us have a thinking that GMAT is easy, Its easy if you are led by someone on right path. But Pal if you are misguided , you will take years.

Verbal
----------
Your scores in Verbal just few points away from your target score.
I would suggest ace RC that will help if your grey area in verbal is RC.....We take it for granted.

One major fault , Do you feel time was an issue in your tests....
If yes than look for timing strategy ....follow that ...Try and skip questions, if you cannot cope up with the time line mentioned in the article.It will boost your score as you will be able to give equal attention to all question.
Consider a Cricket match ,If the whole team bats for the entire stipulated overs than they will score obviously more than if the whole team gets out under 10 overs.

Also, For timed sets you can sign to GROCKIT, 3 days practice is fee. try it and see whether it helps or not. IF it does than go for it.

I scored 310 on 1st gmat prep,(last year)
410 Actual GMAt (this year)
560 GMAT prep 1 (After Gactual GMAT)
610 MGMAT ....and still giving a fight.

Find yoiur weaknesses , strengthen those and than go for test ....
Personally I feel 2 months is very short time.....

But there are exceptions on GMAT CLUB who have achieved....

Go for it brother...you can do it.....Very soon you will start seeing the silver linnings...


Archit

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Re: Score Drop from Practice to Official, Prep Advice?   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2013, 22:38
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