Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? : General GMAT Questions and Strategies
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# Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat?

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Current Student
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Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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04 Dec 2007, 20:49
Hello-

I wanted to start a thread for people who are taking practice exams and not scoring 600 and 700s but feel they should be - Perhaps we can share what reasons might be and discuss study strategies etc.

Have you found useful tools on this site that could help develop a comprehensive study plan (timers, study schedules etc.)

I graduated from a respectable NY State University with a 3.7 GPA in Business Management and Political Science in 2002 so I know I have a brain somewhere!

I have taken two practice tests so far and scored 470 twice! I have serious problems finishing the exam and clearly need to continue studying concepts to work through problems faster.

I am taking the Veritas Prep course for the 2nd time right now and am scheduled to take the exam in February (which I may postpone if this score doesn't go up!)

Is anyone else in a similar predicament?
 Veritas Prep GMAT Discount Codes e-GMAT Discount Codes Optimus Prep Discount Codes
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05 Dec 2007, 07:22
What type of practice tests are you taking? I also feel that I can do much better than my test scores. I am receiving in the 530-600 on my practice MGMAT exams. I feel they are tougher and different in nature to the OG questions that are closer to the questions on the real exam.
Current Student
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05 Dec 2007, 09:48
Hi Jingy-

I took the GMAT Prep exam - I actually took the same one 2x but months apart and didn't remember from one exam to the next. I think I am going to purchase those MGMAT exams because there is not much practice material out there - which is why I used the same GMAT prep exam twice ( i didn't want to waste them!)

My biggest problem is that I don't finish because I am by nature a slow test taker and have to learn to move on... I think I need to start timing a batch of the questions I am doing for "homework" out of the OG book while still trying to master certain topics!

How long have you been studing for the exam- when do you plan to take?
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05 Dec 2007, 18:21
Hey hardaway, I have been studying for about 2 and a half months. Ive taken the MGMAT virtual course, which was pretty good. I haven't taken the Gmatprep exams, but Ive heard that they are pretty accurate in terms of what you will get on the real exam. I feel I will score better on the GMAT prep material than the MGMAT test. The MGMAT tests are very challenging, a level above the real thing. If you sign up for the MGMAT tests, there is a timer you can use on their website.
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07 Dec 2007, 06:02
Yeah I understand how you feel, I know I have got the brains but have been scoring in the 470s!!! What is wrong!!!?? I'm gonna retake the test in 2 weeks time and is currently devoted to studying everyday!
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10 Dec 2007, 04:41
just started preparing and got 500 in diagnostic test from kaplan...can anybody tell me how does this reflect..i am a doctor and pretty rusty at maths .......i am targetting 650+...is 500 a good baseline start score?
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10 Dec 2007, 12:54
singlishgirlie wrote:
Yeah I understand how you feel, I know I have got the brains but have been scoring in the 470s!!! What is wrong!!!?? I'm gonna retake the test in 2 weeks time and is currently devoted to studying everyday!

hi i think many people assume they can do or rock. but gmat can rock most of them.

the reason for this bitter truth to exist is that gmat requires only basics and a very very good strategy. i met quite a few people in prep with smart brains, but they failed most of the time. they studied days and nights. so keep in mind it is only the strategy that you stick to to tackle tricky problems.

not quantity but quality.

good luck.
VP
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10 Dec 2007, 12:58
mbbsmba wrote:
just started preparing and got 500 in diagnostic test from kaplan...can anybody tell me how does this reflect..i am a doctor and pretty rusty at maths .......i am targetting 650+...is 500 a good baseline start score?

you are aiming at UK universities, perhaps you are in london or somewhere in the uk. Private message me i am in london now and prepping.

with your medic. background 500 is a good score if it is Kaplan. their scoring system takes you down and puts your face onto the ground. keep your head up and start doing serious work.

my first kaplan was 480 and i have a quant background. i should say i was in a worse situation when i first started prep several months ago.

goood luck

Last edited by Ravshonbek on 10 Dec 2007, 13:24, edited 1 time in total.
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10 Dec 2007, 13:17
Just remember, the GMAT has very little to do with how smart you are. There are only so many concepts the GMAT tests and most of the concepts were taught to us in high school.
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13 Dec 2007, 06:25
Quote:
most of the concepts were taught to us in high school.

As far as the quant section goes, there were some topics that I had never even learned before! I guess that's what comes from having an undergrad major that only required one math class!

Also, for me the trickiest part of the quant on the GMAT was learning how to do everything without a calculator.
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13 Dec 2007, 16:45
Yes, I am in a similar predicament. I am a sharp girl. Graduated with a good undergrad record and double majored. I have been studying the GMAT for 3 months. On the practice exams, I was scoring in the high 500s. On GMATPrep specifically, I rec'd a score of 560. I sat for the real test 2 days ago and my actual GMAT score ended up being 470!

I have excellent essays and recommendations just waiting to be read but now I have this sad GMAT score that will not get me into any of the schools to which I am applying. I will take the test again. This time, my studying strategy will be to go through the Official Guide from cover to cover and then after that, work through the OG and PR quantitative (my weakness) and verbal workbooks. I feel that I scored so low on the real test due to not working many of the ACTUAL problems in the OG and other books. Since I've been out of undergrad for 5 years, I ended up spending too much time focusing on building my high school math skills opposed to working GMAT quant problems from the many sources available (ie Offical Guide 11th Edition, Kaplan, PR, etc).

I believe what I've read many times....the GMAT is certainly a "learnable" exam so keep the faith. I will.
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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06 Jan 2008, 17:42
Hi Sparkle-

Thanks for your post- it seems we are in the same boat - Do you know when you will be taking your next exam?

I think I have made a similar error by not focusing on the OG - Good luck!!!
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2008, 07:23
Thank you guys for posting about this - I feel like I'm in the same boat. The most I ever got on my practice tests was 590, and I got 480 on the Kaplan diagnostic. Once, when I stopped studying for a week during the holidays, I took a practice test and dropped to 490 after scoring high 500's and freaked!

That's when I knew I had to get extra serious, and found that this board has been motivating me to do so. My biggest hurdles are timing on quant and CR confusion which I hope to overcome by finally getting the OG.

Not sure what situations you guys are in, but personally, I am finally motivated to go to b-school after being out of undergrad for 2.5 yrs - so although I haven't set my GMAT date yet, I am just pressuring myself to take it in Feb. Funny how this unscheduled test gets to you lol.
Current Student
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2008, 09:59
Hi Tangaroo-

Did you take Kaplan as a prep course or just the diagnostic test?
I have scheduled my test for February but I am nervous I won't be ready but I am going to stay after work in a conference room and study every day - once I go home I just can't study!

I also have problems on the quant with timing - I think the problem for me is dropping a problem if I can't answer it within 2 minutes. I have problems letting go!

Good luck and keep in touch with your study progress!
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2008, 11:30
I took the whole Kaplan course - I thought it was awesome to hear about the strategies, but only since I've been reading this forum, I've realised that they taught more tricks than actual content!

My main concern is with people's perception of the Kaplan study material and how it compares to the actual test - I've been doing little sets of 10 problems in various areas with the Kaplan stuff, now I'm worried that I don't have time to shift focus to another set of study material. I've been staying up late to study and also doing things at work (shhh, lol).
Current Student
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2008, 11:38
I took veritas prep and most of those problems come from old GMAT and LSAT questions (or so they say!)

Do you have the OG Guide? I just started to study out of that because most people on this site say thats the best bet for real content - I am going to use that over the next month and each weekend take a practice exam.
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2008, 11:58
Yep! Just got it yesterday and was pretty excited (I know, I'm a huge dork lol) - but have been looking at my Kaplan questions during the day online so it looks like I'm at least working heheheh.
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2008, 14:22
The GMAT does not test how smart you are. It just tests how well you can do on the GMAT. That's it. So master the basics and fundamentals. Really take the time to understand why you get questions wrong and your scores will start to improve.
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2008, 12:27
Tangaroo wrote:
Thank you guys for posting about this - I feel like I'm in the same boat. The most I ever got on my practice tests was 590, and I got 480 on the Kaplan diagnostic. Once, when I stopped studying for a week during the holidays, I took a practice test and dropped to 490 after scoring high 500's and freaked!

That's when I knew I had to get extra serious, and found that this board has been motivating me to do so. My biggest hurdles are timing on quant and CR confusion which I hope to overcome by finally getting the OG.

Not sure what situations you guys are in, but personally, I am finally motivated to go to b-school after being out of undergrad for 2.5 yrs - so although I haven't set my GMAT date yet, I am just pressuring myself to take it in Feb. Funny how this unscheduled test gets to you lol.

Tangaroo,

I was in your EXACT spot. I too have been out of undergrad for 2.5 yrs. and decided its time to go back.

I took the Kaplan class last fall and on the Diagnostic test I also scored a 490. I was pretty shocked. I was hoping for mid-upper 500's and my goal was a 650 on the actual test.

On the practice tests I scored ~560, ~590, ~620, ~600. I readjusted my goal to about a 630 on th GMAT. I ended up scoring a 690 on the actual test. I don't want to say that the prep tests are more difficult than the actual because perhaps I had an "easy" (meaning questions I happened to know) actual test - but I was MUCH more confident on the actual test. I knew I did well, but 690 (V42, Q42) really suprised me.

My weakness was without a doubt Quant. I literally didn't remember long division or how to divide fractions, etc. My strategy was to take a practice test once a week for about 5 weeks leading up to the test. I did exactly one practice essay and scored a 5.5, but writing is my strength.

The moral is - there is hope to score high! Stick with your reviewing and take the practice tests! I was able to review my practice tests at work the next day, that was helpful.

Don't stress, you still have lots of time to polish your skills and get the score you want!

J
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Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat? [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2008, 13:07
jwiner wrote:
Tangaroo,

I was in your EXACT spot. I too have been out of undergrad for 2.5 yrs. and decided its time to go back.

I took the Kaplan class last fall and on the Diagnostic test I also scored a 490. I was pretty shocked. I was hoping for mid-upper 500's and my goal was a 650 on the actual test.

On the practice tests I scored ~560, ~590, ~620, ~600. I readjusted my goal to about a 630 on th GMAT. I ended up scoring a 690 on the actual test. I don't want to say that the prep tests are more difficult than the actual because perhaps I had an "easy" (meaning questions I happened to know) actual test - but I was MUCH more confident on the actual test. I knew I did well, but 690 (V42, Q42) really suprised me.

My weakness was without a doubt Quant. I literally didn't remember long division or how to divide fractions, etc. My strategy was to take a practice test once a week for about 5 weeks leading up to the test. I did exactly one practice essay and scored a 5.5, but writing is my strength.

The moral is - there is hope to score high! Stick with your reviewing and take the practice tests! I was able to review my practice tests at work the next day, that was helpful.

Don't stress, you still have lots of time to polish your skills and get the score you want!

J

Thanks for the encouragement J, nice to know I'm not alone!

Did you only use your Kaplan material, or other stuff as well? I just started doing the OG this week and I find it so much clearer now (though the questions seem tougher), just hope I can retain the info that I learned from making silly mistakes.
Re: Smart but Scoring LOW! Are you in the same boat?   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2008, 13:07

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