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3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant

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3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Mar 2019, 21:53
Hi GMATClub Community,

My name is Thao Tran, a Vietnamese GMAT aspirant.

My story is I first attempted GMAT in June 2016 after taking a GMAT course in Vietnam, and I scored 650 (Q44, V36).

From 2016 to 2018, I quit my corporate job and established my own localization business and studied for GMAT inconsistently. When my business picked up, i.e. having more clients and projects, I sometimes didn't study for months. But when I did study, I did a lot of Quant questions from the 2018 OG books.

In January 2019, I sit in for the second attempt, I was surprised on the test date that Quant and Verbal sections had been changed with shorter time and less questions. I was studying mostly through GMAT Prep and OG books. I scored 640 (Q47, V31). I only answer 29/31 questions for Quant so the Q47 actually didn't reflect my real ability.

Seeing my Verbal go down, I studied consistently with e-GMAT verbal and scored 87 percentile on its Verbal ability test and 720 overall score with GMAT Prep test #5.

Yesterday, March 18, 2019, I sit in for my third attempt and got 650 (Q44, V36) again. I bought the ESR for my yesterday test and saw that I scored V44 on reading comprehension, which is really great and I'm thankful to e-GMAT but my CR went down significantly. Since the beginning of my GMAT journey, my CR has always been the driving force of my Verbal score. Now seeing it this low (V27 for CR sub-section), I'm quite sad.

My explanation is that (1) I tend to focus more on either Verbal or Quant after each of my attempt, hence significant increase in my previous weaknesses but significant decrease in my strengths, (2) I might have overlooked questions of my strengths, e.g. CR questions and Quant section during the test, hence decreasing the accuracy and (3) My nerves on test day might have affected my performance.

I'd be grateful if you can take a look at my case and share your thoughts on what I should do next. Because after all, I know I have it in me to make it over 700 but somehow on test day, I haven't succeeded.

Thank you so much,
Thao
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 14:12
2
Hello thaotran90 ....welcome to the community.

For Quant, I would be following the steps below :
1. Use GMAT Club pdf (free !! :) )to refresh concepts tested in the exam.
2. Start practicing 600 level Qs at the links below, and once I reach 90% accuracy(in 2 mins) I would move to 700 level.
**From your post ......it seems....you would be done with those 2 steps in 5-10 days
3. Similarly, at 700 level I would strive for 80-85% accuracy(again in 2 mins) ..... more the merrier !!
4. Finally, definitely use GMAT Club Q-Tests (if you are targetting Q48++) :)
**Be mindful with your mistakes and the ones that you took more than 3 or 4 mins.

DS : https://gmatclub.com/forum/ds-question- ... 28728.html
PS : https://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-ps-ques ... 27957.html

All the best !!
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 19:12
1
thaotran90 wrote:
My explanation is that (1) I tend to focus more on either Verbal or Quant after each of my attempt, hence significant increase in my previous weaknesses but significant decrease in my strengths, (2) I might have overlooked questions of my strengths, e.g. CR questions and Quant section during the test, hence decreasing the accuracy and (3) My nerves on test day might have affected my performance.

I'd be grateful if you can take a look at my case and share your thoughts on what I should do next. Because after all, I know I have it in me to make it over 700 but somehow on test day, I haven't succeeded.
It's true that your scores are exactly the same as the ones you got in 2016, but the 720 you got on GMATPrep 5 shows that you can get a 700+ on the actual GMAT.

However, unless you've been doing well consistently in RC, you should not assume that the 44 your ESR shows for RC is accurate. Nor should you assume that it is only your CR that you need to work on. Go through the other official practice tests you've taken and check whether there is a pattern.
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 19:19
[However, unless you've been doing well consistently in RC, you should not assume that the 44 your ESR shows for RC is accurate. Nor should you assume that it is only your CR that you need to work on. Go through the other official practice tests you've taken and check whether there is a pattern.[/quote]

Thank you very much for your advice. I'll definitely do a thorough review and no assumption this time around.
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 19:19
1
thaotran90 wrote:
Hi GMATClub Community,

My name is Thao Tran, a Vietnamese GMAT aspirant.

My story is I first attempted GMAT in June 2016 after taking a GMAT course in Vietnam, and I scored 650 (Q44, V36).

From 2016 to 2018, I quit my corporate job and established my own localization business and studied for GMAT inconsistently. When my business picked up, i.e. having more clients and projects, I sometimes didn't study for months. But when I did study, I did a lot of Quant questions from the 2018 OG books.

In January 2019, I sit in for the second attempt, I was surprised on the test date that Quant and Verbal sections had been changed with shorter time and less questions. I was studying mostly through GMAT Prep and OG books. I scored 640 (Q47, V31). I only answer 29/31 questions for Quant so the Q47 actually didn't reflect my real ability.

Seeing my Verbal go down, I studied consistently with e-GMAT verbal and scored 87 percentile on its Verbal ability test and 720 overall score with GMAT Prep test #5.

Yesterday, March 18, 2019, I sit in for my third attempt and got 650 (Q44, V36) again. I bought the ESR for my yesterday test and saw that I scored V44 on reading comprehension, which is really great and I'm thankful to e-GMAT but my CR went down significantly. Since the beginning of my GMAT journey, my CR has always been the driving force of my Verbal score. Now seeing it this low (V27 for CR sub-section), I'm quite sad.

My explanation is that (1) I tend to focus more on either Verbal or Quant after each of my attempt, hence significant increase in my previous weaknesses but significant decrease in my strengths, (2) I might have overlooked questions of my strengths, e.g. CR questions and Quant section during the test, hence decreasing the accuracy and (3) My nerves on test day might have affected my performance.

I'd be grateful if you can take a look at my case and share your thoughts on what I should do next. Because after all, I know I have it in me to make it over 700 but somehow on test day, I haven't succeeded.

Thank you so much,
Thao



I would also suggest to analyze the pattern. Also go for a suggested study plan for GMAT,it will make you focus on both quant and verbal , so you will not loose touch to any section


all the best !!

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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 19:20
HI thaotran90,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Given that you have not put your full effort into your GMAT prep, 650 is not a bad score! That said, to hit your 700+ goal score, you have to put maximum effort into your GMAT prep and spend the time you need to methodically improve your quant and verbal skills. Specifically, you need to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. 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.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. Also, you may find it helpful to read the following articles about The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT and How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 19:32
u1983 wrote:
For Quant, I would be following the steps below :
1. Use GMAT Club pdf (free !! :) )to refresh concepts tested in the exam.
2. Start practicing 600 level Qs at the links below, and once I reach 90% accuracy(in 2 mins) I would move to 700 level.
**From your post ......it seems....you would be done with those 2 steps in 5-10 days
3. Similarly, at 700 level I would strive for 80-85% accuracy(again in 2 mins) ..... more the merrier !!
4. Finally, definitely use GMAT Club Q-Tests (if you are targetting Q48++) :)
**Be mindful with your mistakes and the ones that you took more than 3 or 4 mins.

All the best !!


Thank you very much for the links and advice on Quant section. I'll follow accordingly.
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 19:34
Hi Scott,

Thank you for the detailed advice. I actually have not heard of Target Test Prep and its focus on Quant section. I just browsed through your blog and enjoyed a lot of your detailed articles. I will definitely look further.

Regards,
Thao
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 20:30
Hi Thao,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your 3 Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (650 +/- a few Scaled Score points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. You're actually closer to a 700+ Score than you probably realize, but you'll have to make some fundamental changes to how you 'see' (and respond to the Test) to consistently score at that higher level.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) What type of study routine did you follow over the last 2 months. Did you study a consistent number of hours each week?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks over the last 2 months (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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). Since you have purchased the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you. You can feel free to email or PM it to me directly.

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Rich
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3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 19 Mar 2019, 20:51
Hi Rich,

Thank you for your comment.

I did order your EmpowerGMAT for a month, from January to February 2019 to prepare for my third attempt. I appreciated most your teaching on reading speed and skipping the so-called weird questions. My reading speed has increased as I tried to implement your method and it increased my RC sub-section score from 29 (for 2nd GMAT attempt) to 44 (for 3rd attempt) and SC score from 31 to 37.

Here are my answers to your questions:

1) What type of study routine did you follow over the last 2 months. Did you study a consistent number of hours each week? -> I studied consistently from end of January 2018 to the week before my 3rd attempt on March 18. The last week before I had this big work project and so I just reviewed concepts, not really studied.
I have my own business so after I assigned work to my staffs, I could take off anytime to study. And I studied on average 3 hours per day.

2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks over the last 2 months (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)? -> I took 3 GMAT PREP Tests, 1st mock (2-3 weeks after my 2nd GMAT attempt of 640): Overall score is 660 with Q49 V31, 2nd mock (2 weeks after 1st mock): overall score is 640 with Q45, V34, 3rd mock (10 days before the 3rd GMAT attempt): overall score is 720 with Q49 V40

Goals:

3) When are you planning to apply to Business School? -> Fall 2019

4) What Schools are you planning to apply to? -> I haven't decided yet but my dream school is Yale. I have my own business and I know Stanford is the hub for Entrepreneurship but I don't think I can get in Stanford. Other school in North California I'm also interested in is UC Berkeley.

Attached is my ESR for my second attempt. My ESR for the third attempt will be followed after this post.


Regards,
Thao
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Originally posted by thaotran90 on 19 Mar 2019, 20:48.
Last edited by thaotran90 on 19 Mar 2019, 20:51, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 20:50
Hi Rich,

Attached is my ESR for my 3rd attempt.

Thank you,
Thao
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 21:47
Hi Thao,

I've sent you a PM with some additional questions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 21:54
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Thao,

I've sent you a PM with some additional questions.

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


Hi Rich,

Thank you and I've replied.

Regards,
Thao
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2019, 18:19
My pleasure! If you have any further questions regarding the course, feel free to reach out to me directly.

Good luck!
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Mar 2019, 06:48
thaotran90 wrote:
u1983 wrote:
For Quant, I would be following the steps below :
1. Use GMAT Club pdf (free !! :) )to refresh concepts tested in the exam.
2. Start practicing 600 level Qs at the links below, and once I reach 90% accuracy(in 2 mins) I would move to 700 level.
**From your post ......it seems....you would be done with those 2 steps in 5-10 days
3. Similarly, at 700 level I would strive for 80-85% accuracy(again in 2 mins) ..... more the merrier !!
4. Finally, definitely use GMAT Club Q-Tests (if you are targetting Q48++) :)
**Be mindful with your mistakes and the ones that you took more than 3 or 4 mins.

All the best !!


Thank you very much for the links and advice on the Quant section. I'll follow accordingly.


No problem. You are most welcome.
That's what we do here in GMATClub .....we learn and then share the experience with peers.
Please get involved with the community ....help others learn. It will help you solidify your learning.
And ..... definitely share the information ...if you find somebody looking for ( As I did).

All the best!!
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Thanks in appreciation.
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Re: 3 attempts, can't escape the 650 & big fluctuation in Verbal & Quant   [#permalink] 25 Mar 2019, 06:48
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