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# [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!

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Intern
Joined: 27 Jun 2017
Posts: 17
GMAT 1: 680 Q43 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
[680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 10 Sep 2017, 12:50
Hi,

I just had a very frustrating GMAT experience this week as I tried the GMAT for the first time. Now I'm considering taking it a 2nd time and this time I need a huge improvement. Maybe you guys can help me to analyze why I failed and what I should do to improve next time.

The hard numbers
unofficial score:
IR 7 (82%)
Q 43 (50%)
V 40 (91%)

Total: 680 (83%)

I chose to do Quant at start because I did so in all my mock exams. During the Q-section I felt pretty good, had a good pace, the questions were ok, nothing really new, rather common questions.
The V-section didn't feel great, I lost some time on sentence correction questions, because I couldn't see any patterns to cross off 2-3 choices right from the start. It felt harder than it did in the mock exams. I lost so much time, that I couldn't read the last 2 questions and I just clicked random answers.
IR was ok, had one annoying question that took like forever to compare 3 tables... but the score doesn't matter that much so it's ok.
Same for the AWA, it was a good topic, but it took me a little bit too much time (flimsy keyboard and qwerty layout - really annoying for someone who is used to have qwertz layout on a perfect Mac keyboard), still curious to see my score although it doesn't matter that much to me.

my background
For my personal background:
I am turning 30 in a few month and I'm living in Germany. I'm currently working at one of the Big4 companies in the Transaction Advisory (M&A and Valuation/Business Modelling). Before that I spent 6 months at a M&A Boutique in Frankfurt which I joined after I got my Masters Degree in Finance, Accounting & Taxation. All in all I have 2 years of experience in the M&A/Transaction Advisory Industry (Work and internships) and 3 years experience in retail banking.

My plan is to "survive" the 3 junior years at the Big4 and then get my MBA from one of the Tier II B-Schools in the US, my first preference is UT Austin McCombs, but USC Marshall and ASU Carey are also on my target list.

Preparing for the GMAT
I started preparing for the GMAT in April and after I knew how the GMAT works in general I took my first GMATprep exam and scored a 590 (Q37 V34)

I used the Manhattan GMAT guides as well as the OG Guides (+ Quant + Verbal review) to study but unfortunately I don't have too much time during the week due to my job and I have only the weekends to get things done. My routine was like this: I read the guide books during the week before or after work and on the weekend I did the OG questions related to the guide. After I did all Quant guides I did the same with the verbal guides. I took 4 weeks off before the GMAT and I focussed on the errors I made (I have an error log for quant and verbal). I did 2 mock exams (GMATprep) every week before the Test and I scored okay:

Exam 2 710 (Q47 V41)
Exam 3 710 (Q47 V41)
Exam 4 690 (Q47 V37)
Exam 5 730 (Q47 V42)
Exam 6 720 (Q47 V42)

I assumed I could score 700+ on the real test, although my aim is actually 730+ to get safely into the program I want. It's hard to describe the feelings I had when I saw the 680 score, feeling like a total failure and being furious as hell.

What to do now?

So I want to do the GMAT again and this time I need a huge improvement on my score, I just want the 730+ so badly (it's an ego thing I guess). The problem is, I don't have much time due to my work and I have to take my CFA Level 1 in December. Good thing is, I have 1 more year until Round 1 applications (as you might remember, I want to gain full 3 years junior experience).

When do you think I should take the next GMAT? As soon as possible or should I take my time until spring and give it a 2nd shot? All help is appreciated, feel free to ask me anything you need to know!

Have a productive weekend!
- Tommy

Originally posted by Tommy87HG on 19 Aug 2017, 02:00.
Last edited by Tommy87HG on 10 Sep 2017, 12:50, edited 1 time in total.
CEO
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 2642
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2017, 06:06
Tommy87HG wrote:
Hi,

I just had a very frustrating GMAT experience this week as I tried the GMAT for the first time. Now I'm considering taking it a 2nd time and this time I need a huge improvement. Maybe you guys can help me to analyze why I failed and what I should do to improve next time.

The hard numbers
unofficial score:
IR 7 (82%)
Q 43 (50%)
V 40 (91%)

Total: 680 (83%)

I chose to do Quant at start because I did so in all my mock exams. During the Q-section I felt pretty good, had a good pace, the questions were ok, nothing really new, rather common questions.
The V-section didn't feel great, I lost some time on sentence correction questions, because I couldn't see any patterns to cross off 2-3 choices right from the start. It felt harder than it did in the mock exams. I lost so much time, that I couldn't read the last 2 questions and I just clicked random answers.
IR was ok, had one annoying question that took like forever to compare 3 tables... but the score doesn't matter that much so it's ok.
Same for the AWA, it was a good topic, but it took me a little bit too much time (flimsy keyboard and qwerty layout - really annoying for someone who is used to have qwertz layout on a perfect Mac keyboard), still curious to see my score although it doesn't matter that much to me.

my background
For my personal background:
I am turning 30 in a few month and I'm living in Germany. I'm currently working at one of the Big4 companies in the Transaction Advisory (M&A and Valuation/Business Modelling). Before that I spent 6 months at a M&A Boutique in Frankfurt which I joined after I got my Masters Degree in Finance, Accounting & Taxation. All in all I have 2 years of experience in the M&A/Transaction Advisory Industry (Work and internships) and 3 years experience in retail banking.

My plan is to "survive" the 3 junior years at the Big4 and then get my MBA from one of the Tier II B-Schools in the US, my first preference is UT Austin McCombs, but USC Marshall and ASU Carey are also on my target list.

Preparing for the GMAT
I started preparing for the GMAT in April and after I knew how the GMAT works in general I took my first GMATprep exam and scored a 590 (Q37 V34)

I used the Manhattan GMAT guides as well as the OG Guides (+ Quant + Verbal review) to study but unfortunately I don't have too much time during the week due to my job and I have only the weekends to get things done. My routine was like this: I read the guide books during the week before or after work and on the weekend I did the OG questions related to the guide. After I did all Quant guides I did the same with the verbal guides. I took 4 weeks off before the GMAT and I focussed on the errors I made (I have an error log for quant and verbal). I did 2 mock exams (GMATprep) every week before the Test and I scored okay:

Exam 2 710 (Q47 V41)
Exam 3 710 (Q47 V41)
Exam 4 690 (Q47 V37)
Exam 5 730 (Q47 V42)
Exam 6 720 (Q47 V42)

I assumed I could score 700+ on the real test, although my aim is actually 730+ to get safely into the program I want. It's hard to describe the feelings I had when I saw the 680 score, feeling like a total failure and being furious as hell.

What to do now?

So I want to do the GMAT again and this time I need a huge improvement on my score, I just want the 730+ so badly (it's an ego thing I guess). The problem is, I don't have much time due to my work and I have to take my CFA Level 1 in December. Good thing is, I have 1 more year until Round 1 applications (as you might remember, I want to gain full 3 years junior experience).

When do you think I should take the next GMAT? As soon as possible or should I take my time until spring and give it a 2nd shot? All help is appreciated, feel free to ask me anything you need to know!

Have a productive weekend!
- Tommy
Though you could have done better, you haven't "failed". That's a good score that you have, and you should be able to apply to any program on your list with it.

It can be frustrating to get a lower score than you know you're capable of, but in my opinion, that's exactly what happens with most people on their first attempt. It'd be safer if you took some time out before taking the exam again, but really, given the consistency of your GMATPrep scores, you should be fine taking the exam again right away. Just keep in mind that you've got a range of scores. Although it's possible that you'll get your best score on the actual exam, it's generally better to go into the exam after moving your "average" up.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 27 Jun 2017
Posts: 17
GMAT 1: 680 Q43 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2017, 08:24
AjiteshArun wrote:
It can be frustrating to get a lower score than you know you're capable of, but in my opinion, that's exactly what happens with most people on their first attempt. It'd be safer if you took some time out before taking the exam again, but really, given the consistency of your GMATPrep scores, you should be fine taking the exam again right away. Just keep in mind that you've got a range of scores. Although it's possible that you'll get your best score on the actual exam, it's generally better to go into the exam after moving your "average" up.

Thank you for responding to my thread!

Well, if this ain't a failure, it sure does feel like it. But 3 days of self-hate should be enough so I'm trying to get a better plan for my next attempt.

What baffles me the most when I look at my mock exams, how could I stay basically on the same level of quant all the time? I spent most of the time studying for the quant part and I was still on Q47 (and much less in the real GMAT). How can I overcome this hurdle?

Unfortunately I'm already registered for the CFA Exam in December, so I think I could re-take the GMAT in Spring. How can I maintain my GMAT level and improve once I did the CFA?

AjiteshArun wrote:
Though you could have done better, you haven't "failed". That's a good score that you have, and you should be able to apply to any program on your list with it.

McCombs is Avg. 700, the other ones are in the 690's, I don't think a 680 score is enough to get in, unless I had a phenomenal background - which I don't have.
Manager
Joined: 14 Apr 2017
Posts: 247
Location: India
sandeep : sharma
GPA: 3.9
Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2017, 09:19
Hi Tommy
you have to concentrate on quant part.

Use GMAt club tests. I raised my score to Q 50 using these tests only.

remember after taking mock , analysis of questions is must.

You can use jaff sacman quant challenge also.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 27 Jun 2017
Posts: 17
GMAT 1: 680 Q43 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 02:36
Ok, the official results are in and I spent another 25\$ on the Enhanced Score Report.

Attachments

q4.jpeg [ 54.77 KiB | Viewed 1094 times ]

q3.jpeg [ 101.7 KiB | Viewed 1158 times ]

q2.jpeg [ 89.96 KiB | Viewed 1099 times ]

q1.jpeg [ 119.41 KiB | Viewed 1091 times ]

Intern
Joined: 27 Jun 2017
Posts: 17
GMAT 1: 680 Q43 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2017, 02:37
and for the verbal part:

made a second post so we don't confuse the results.
Attachments

v1.jpeg [ 133.35 KiB | Viewed 1084 times ]

v2.jpeg [ 83.44 KiB | Viewed 1082 times ]

v3.jpeg [ 114.77 KiB | Viewed 1086 times ]

Intern
Joined: 27 Jun 2017
Posts: 17
GMAT 1: 680 Q43 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2017, 10:47
C'mon guys, don't let me down. The statistics should be helpful to determine a strategy to improve right?
Like the 43% mistake rate on the first 8 or 9 questions. On what level are these questions? What can I do to get better in the first quarter?

Best,
Tommy!
CEO
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 2642
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2017, 10:46
Tommy87HG wrote:
C'mon guys, don't let me down. The statistics should be helpful to determine a strategy to improve right?
Like the 43% mistake rate on the first 8 or 9 questions. On what level are these questions? What can I do to get better in the first quarter?

Best,
Tommy!
Did you run out of time in verbal? Your accuracy in the last set of questions was just 50%. In quant, you got a lot of questions wrong in the beginning that you could have gotten right (the average difficulty of those questions is lower than that of later questions). Maybe it was just nerves. Another thing you should check is whether your DS is normally around the 30% mark. That would be the first thing I would address if I were you.
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Posts: 3386
Location: India
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Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2017, 11:21
What I would not do to get a score like that on the GMAT Verbal Section

As for the Quant part of the test, since the ESR is not going to give any insight on
what your weak areas are(specific topics where you make more mistakes)

I would recommend you to take a test (Manhattan/Veritas)
Make sure this is a test that you have not taken before and try and figure out
what are your weak areas(based on the questions you get wrong)

This test will also give you more insight on the DS problem. If you have not reset
the GMATPrep tests that you had taken before your GMAT, a careful analysis of your
mistakes in these tests would help point at your weak areas.

Hope this helps you in some way!
_________________
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Intern
Joined: 27 Jun 2017
Posts: 17
GMAT 1: 680 Q43 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
Re: [680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2017, 09:15
Thank you Ajitesh and PushpitKC for keeping this thread alive.

Sorry for my late response, but I'm back at work and I don't even find enough time to sleep on most days!

ajitesh: Yes, I ran out of time, it never happened on my mock exams but on my real exam. I had to guess the last 3 questions and didn't even have the time to read the questions... and I guess I ran out of luck, too. DS was my weak point and I tried to get better in this field, but somehow it didn't work out.

pushpitkc: haha thanks, all my projects are in English, so I'm already prepared for the verbal section I still have the results from the GMATprep mock exams and I have an error log of all errors including categories. I might upload them here, if this is helpful.

Best,
Tommy
Intern
Joined: 27 Jun 2017
Posts: 17
GMAT 1: 680 Q43 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
[680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!  [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2017, 13:13
As you can see, I missed nearly half of the questions in the first quarter of the exam. How can I improve this? On what level are the first few questions? 600? 650?

Also I checked the error log of my mock exams and I found these statistics:

Quant:
Quarter Count

1 11
2 26
3 14
4 25

Type Count
DS 36
PS 40

Verbal:
Quarter Count

1 14
2 10
3 7
4 11

Type Count
Critical Reasoning 13
Sentence Correction 21

What would you suggest based on these?

Also the overview of mistakes in the OG and quantitative review:
Attachments

Untitled2.jpeg [ 202.11 KiB | Viewed 701 times ]

[680] 1st GMAT failed - need help with analysis!   [#permalink] 10 Sep 2017, 13:13
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