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1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!

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New post 23 Dec 2018, 21:51
Just did my first GMAT. Shocked to find the score did not improve compared to my two CAT : 650 (one year ago) and 610 (a month ago). I cancelled my score right away without any second thought.

Before I took the exam I signed up for empowergmat which was helpful in reinforcing my memories in math formulas and devising strategies for verbal. I took quite a lot of day offs in these two months to prepare for the exam too , as I was determined to succeed but it didn’t look so good in my job.

2 things I struggled the most in the test: pacing and remaining calm. My mind was foggy when I looked at the first quant question which actually was pretty easy. I probably have got a few right ones in a row at the beginning so the questions became abit difficult. Maybe I got a few wrong ones as the questions became easy again. Overall, I probably dumped 2-3 complicated ones due to time.

For verbal I thought I did pretty well but maybe in reality I got quite a lot wrong ones in a row and therefore GMAT threw me some easy ones which had not much impact on the score.

It’s pretty frustrating to know I have not improved at all after all the studies and practice. My performance is stagnated.

I need to score an extra 100 points but I think it’s not achievable before the application deadlines of the schools. :( I did pretty well at school before and now GMAT makes me feel like an idiot.

I will keep going but I m also worried no improvement can possibly be made.

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Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."
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Re: 1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2018, 22:04
parijit wrote:
what are your scores verbal ,quant?


I cancelled quickly ... I only remember quant which was 44....

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_________________
Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."
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Re: 1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2018, 22:16
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Re: 1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Dec 2018, 14:54
Hi Gem,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as hoped. A few weeks ago, we discussed how consistent your various Scores had been over time (you're essentially performing at the same level each time you take an Exam: about 630 +/- a few points) - and this 630 is right in line with your other performances. In simple terms, your 'default' ways of approaching the Quant and Verbal sections likely are the same as they were when you started studying - meaning that you have not completely incorporated what you have learned into your processes.

My advice at that time is essentially the same now: you need more study time than you allotted; raising a 630 to a 720+ would likely require at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you would have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. If you've developed any 'bad habits' that are keeping you from scoring higher, then we'll have to make sure that we proper focus in on those issues and work to fix them (and replace them with new 'good habits'). Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

1) What are the next application deadlines after Round 2 for the Schools that you're interested in?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 25 Dec 2018, 00:34
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Gem,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as hoped. A few weeks ago, we discussed how consistent your various Scores had been over time (you're essentially performing at the same level each time you take an Exam: about 630 +/- a few points) - and this 630 is right in line with your other performances. In simple terms, your 'default' ways of approaching the Quant and Verbal sections likely are the same as they were when you started studying - meaning that you have not completely incorporated what you have learned into your processes.

My advice at that time is essentially the same now: you need more study time than you allotted; raising a 630 to a 720+ would likely require at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you would have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. If you've developed any 'bad habits' that are keeping you from scoring higher, then we'll have to make sure that we proper focus in on those issues and work to fix them (and replace them with new 'good habits'). Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

1) What are the next application deadlines after Round 2 for the Schools that you're interested in?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


I was planning to apply for the 2019 class but now i think its pretty tight, since my GMAT score is far from being satisfactory. I might need to devote another 6 months or so to improve my score. I have a pretty intense full-time job and only around the holiday season I would have more time for focused study. So I m thinking maybe 6 months is a reasonable time. I would probably apply in Aug/ Sept next year instead.

It is really tiring just to think about the long road ahead. But I m determined to make it work. The good thing is after this first text experience, maybe the next time I enter the test room I would not be as nervous as I was.

I got 33 in verbal I think ( i canceled quickly without taking a good look at each score, coz i was horrified by what i got) ....so verbal is definitely the weak spot I need to fix first and foremost. If it was not improved, no matter how well I did in quant, I still wouldn't reach 700+.
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Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."
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Re: 1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2018, 11:53
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Hi Gem,

Based on what you have written in your various posts over the last couple of months, it sounds as if your life is rather 'busy' most of the time - and that you probably have not taken any time 'off' to rest/relax. Since it sounds like you're now considering the Round 1 applications in September, 2019, it would make sense for you to take a little 'time off' from your studies now. Your GMAT skills won't fade away if you take a few days or a week off (and given your consistent performance, even a lengthier amount of time off might be beneficial - since you won't be thinking about the GMAT in the same terms day-after-day and you might be more open to making changes to your routine later).

At some point, you might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn't provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

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1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2018, 23:07
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Gem,

Based on what you have written in your various posts over the last couple of months, it sounds as if your life is rather 'busy' most of the time - and that you probably have not taken any time 'off' to rest/relax. Since it sounds like you're now considering the Round 1 applications in September, 2019, it would make sense for you to take a little 'time off' from your studies now. Your GMAT skills won't fade away if you take a few days or a week off (and given your consistent performance, even a lengthier amount of time off might be beneficial - since you won't be thinking about the GMAT in the same terms day-after-day and you might be more open to making changes to your routine later).

At some point, you might also choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn't provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich


Thanks Rich. I have taken a one-day break after the test and I m also back to work after Xmas. I m planning to spend at least 2 hours on my work day and 5 hours on the weekend to prep for my next test. That shall give me plenty of time to rest. I will also follow a new set of study strategies, knowing what my key weaknesses are after my first test - pacing and CR.

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Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."
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New post 29 Dec 2018, 18:52
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Hi gempony,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT, but I’m glad that you plan to give yourself the time you need to sufficiency prep for the GMAT and apply at a later date.

If you need any advice regarding your study plan, feel free to reach back out, and I’ll be happy to help. Also, you may find it helpful to read the following articles about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT and developing the proper mindset for GMAT success.

Good luck!
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Re: 1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2018, 22:48
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi gempony,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT, but I’m glad that you plan to give yourself the time you need to sufficiency prep for the GMAT and apply at a later date.

If you need any advice regarding your study plan, feel free to reach back out, and I’ll be happy to help. Also, you may find it helpful to read the following articles about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT and developing the proper mindset for GMAT success.

Good luck!


Thanks Scott! Here's my ESR report. Please feel free to comment on my weaknesses and suggest ways to improve my score by 100+ points in 6 months. Thank you!
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_________________
Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is. –Vince Lombardi

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all- In which case, you fail by default. -J.K. Rowling

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. -Steve Jobs

"The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves."
Target Test Prep Representative
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Re: 1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2019, 20:06
Hi gempony,

Thank you for the response. So, I realize that you are hoping to craft a master plan based on your ESR; however, you need to make sure that you avoid falling into the trap of focusing on micro-details based on your ESR and thus misdiagnosing your weaknesses. Since your ESR is based on only 31 quant questions and 36 verbal questions (a very small sample size), it may not give you a complete picture of what to focus on going forward. For example, does your scoring 80% in Counting/Sets/Series mean that you are devoid of weakness in those topics? Not necessarily. Perhaps you were given many lower-level questions or had some lucky guesses on those topics. Furthermore, there is no way to know HOW MANY questions you were given from those topics, right?

A few things do seem clear. For one, your ESR seems to indicate that you are not strong in RATES/RATIO/PERCENT or EQUALITIES/INEQUALITIES/ALGEBRA. So, by becoming super-strong in those areas, you would likely score a few points higher in quant. On the other hand, the ESR does not clearly indicate a weakest or super-strong area in verbal. So, it's likely that you would increase your verbal score by working on any type of verbal question.

Overall, we know that your quant score currently stands at 44 and your verbal score at 32. So, to improve by 100+ points in 6 months, you need to follow a structured study plan that allows you to master the GMAT topic by topic through linear learning and focused practice. By studying in such a way, you can ensure that you methodically learn GMAT quant and verbal and fill in any knowledge gaps. Let me expand on this idea further.

Let’s say, for example, you are learning about Number Properties. First, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each Critical Reasoning question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, it is likely that you will have to work on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using an online self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find it helpful to read this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
TTP - Target Test Prep Logo
122 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

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Re: 1st Attempt , a pathetic 630!   [#permalink] 02 Jan 2019, 20:06
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