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Terrible Score...taking it again...need help

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Terrible Score...taking it again...need help [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2008, 07:37
I've been dreading writing this post for the last week. I took the actual GMAT on July 17, and I bombed it hard.
I got a 530 (Q30, V32), AWA 6.0. I'm devastated. I don't know what happened, I'm pretty sure I stressed too much that I became over relaxed and careless. I wasn't giving the exam my heart, it wasn't there…not sure why. Suffice it to say I'm a bad test taker.
Going in I thought the lowest I'd get was a 640 given my CAT experience.

I studied for over 9 months, the last 4 of which were intense (I mean 2-3 hours on weekdays and at least 6 hours each day on the weekend).

Material I used to study:
MGMAT books: quant and SC books
2 MGMAT CATS
4 GMATPrep CATS
OG11
OG Verbal and Math supplements
Kaplan 800
Kaplan course book

CAT scores:
GMATPrep Exam 1: Q39, V40 -- 650
GMATPrep Exam 2: Q37, V34 -- 590
GMATPrep (don't have details) -- 670
GMATPrep Exam 2 retry: Q43, V31 -- 610
GMATPrep Exam 1 reinstall: Q39, V35 -- don't have the score
MGMAT CAT1: Q43, V34 -- 640 (paused briefly during exam)
MGMAT CAT2 : Q43, V33 -- 630 (paused briefly during exam)


My weaknesses:
-Testing under time pressure
-Probability, sequences, combinations, permutations
-Solving problems on the fly

I'm going for it again, here's my plan let me know what you think
-6 weeks of study, so take the exam by Sept 15
-Find a tutor for weak points
-Focus on OG11, OG10, OG supplements, PaperTests, GMATPrep, PowerPrep, SC1000, GMATclub Challenges
-Time everything!
-Keep an error log, find pattern of weakness (lets say arithmetic and then cover with tutor and/or MGMAT books)
-Do 1-2 CATs a week, might do MGMAT CATS
-Do cardio every other day
-Don't stress on this exam, learn to relax

I'm shooting for a 700, I will attain it! :-)

What do you think? Any suggestions?? Please help.
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Re: Terrible Score...taking it again...need help [#permalink] New post 28 Jul 2008, 08:07
From your quant scores, it looks like you need to focus on your quant basics. Since a majority of your quant scores are in the late 30's , I suggest brushing up on all of quant first (excluding probability/ P&C) until you hit atleast 43-44 consistently. I am yet to take my GMAT but I don't think a testtaker will encounter challenging P&C/ probability questions in the late 30's

I agree with you on the cardio. It does help in endurance and lowering stress levels.
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Re: Terrible Score...taking it again...need help [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2008, 07:15
If you plan to take the exam again in 6 weeks, I suggest you put together a concise study plan. Dont try to boil the ocean and do all those books again, just focus on the 3-4 topic areas that you think need the most improvement. And as you said, timing and exam-taking aptitude is key; especially since your score is lower than all the scores you got on your practice tests.

So make sure you use your 6 weeks wisely and keep your chin up. I have a good feeling that you can at least bring you score in-line with your practice scores (mid to high 600s).
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Re: Terrible Score...taking it again...need help [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2008, 09:01
aaron22197 wrote:
From your quant scores, it looks like you need to focus on your quant basics. Since a majority of your quant scores are in the late 30's , I suggest brushing up on all of quant first (excluding probability/ P&C) until you hit atleast 43-44 consistently. I am yet to take my GMAT but I don't think a testtaker will encounter challenging P&C/ probability questions in the late 30's

I agree with you on the cardio. It does help in endurance and lowering stress levels.


Aaron,
Any particular books you recommend? I've gone through the MGMAT quants already.
Thanks!
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Re: Terrible Score...taking it again...need help [#permalink] New post 29 Jul 2008, 22:08
Ali, as long as you have the motivation, you'll nail a 700+.

You're still getting probably half of the questions wrong, so there are a lot of areas that you can make drastic improvements on... Just keep chugging away. Make sure you analyze what you screw up on each time you write a practice test, and be sure to address that. It's all about slaughtering your weaknesses...
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Re: Terrible Score...taking it again...need help [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 05:53
trancing wrote:
If you plan to take the exam again in 6 weeks, I suggest you put together a concise study plan. Dont try to boil the ocean and do all those books again, just focus on the 3-4 topic areas that you think need the most improvement. And as you said, timing and exam-taking aptitude is key; especially since your score is lower than all the scores you got on your practice tests.

So make sure you use your 6 weeks wisely and keep your chin up. I have a good feeling that you can at least bring you score in-line with your practice scores (mid to high 600s).


Ali,

It is possible that you are strong in some quant areas and really weak in others. If the test has a majority of questions on your strengths, you end scoring in the late 30's or even early 40's. If it tests you on your weaknesses, your scores are in the early 30's. I am just speculating the reason for the skewed scores.

MGMAT is a good source and covers the basic concepts. It is not the best source for problems though. Their exercises are simple but test questions are difficult and have lengthy solutions. I am not inclined to suggest any new material since you are only 6 weeks away. One strategy that has really given me quick results is thorough reviewing. Go through each question in the OG (especially the last 40-45) and don't just solve it but review it and ask yourself "Can I still solve it if x is given and y is not?" or "Instead of Angle BOC, angle CBO is given". Also look for possible GMAT Traps..

for eg.

What is the value of x ?

x+3y=5
5x+2y=9

ofcourse the answer here is (C), but you should try to think of traps

what if the problem is

What is the value of x ?

x+3y=5
3x+9y=15

Is the answer still C?

No it is not. Both equations are the same and the answer is (E). You should be able to think of all the possible traps when you see a question.

The above may not be the best example , but I hope it is sufficient to make my point. you should think about variations in a problem as you review them. This is a boring process but it sure gives rapid results.
GMAT quant is more abt learning the FAMOUS TEST TRAPS than being a quant genius. Just because a person can solve complex trigonometric or engineering problems, dosen't make him a 51 in the GMAT. On the other hand, a person can score a 51 by knowing the basics , identifying these traps and practicing hard.

Good Luck ... I think you will make the 700 club
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Re: Terrible Score...taking it again...need help [#permalink] New post 30 Jul 2008, 06:38
Thanks everyone; great advice, and I appreciate the positive sentiment.
I believe Walker and a couple of other folks put together a list of math traps, similar to what Aaron mentioned. I need to brush up on that that.

Aaron or anyone else, do you think 6 weeks are sufficient for a 700+?
I am open to any additional study material, maybe I'll push out my exam date a bit, so please suggest material that you think is useful.

StartupAddict- You can see that I'm following your advice! Much obliged.

Wish me luck everyone. Additional advices is highly appreciated.
Re: Terrible Score...taking it again...need help   [#permalink] 30 Jul 2008, 06:38
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