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300 points improvement from first attempt, is there room for +40. ESR

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 16:16
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Hi all,
GMAT isn't an easy journey for me, as I assume for a lot of folks here, so firstly I'd like to thank the community, honestly your influence cannot be overstated.
Brief: First attempt 570 (Q37;V30) Second 600 (Q46;V27) Third 680 (Q47;V39) Fourth (Q??V??)?

Long story(literally long) short - my target score is 720, I've started at the very bottom at 350, spent 16 month, and after three attempts it feels as I'm as far from achieving 720 as I was early on. Admittedly it's a bit of an exaggeration, I scored 680 (Q47; V35) which is not that bad, given from where I've started, so as a last resort I decided to post here to gather valuable thoughts whether or not to retake. My applications process is almost finished, I plan to apply in II Round, there is some time for additional prep and another exam, therefore I have 2 questions:
1. Does it worth to retake?
Rationale behind retaking - scholarships(would be good to get one), and somewhat personal, I know it may sound dumb, but getting so close it's extremely annoying to retreat although I'm aware that difficulty increase is non-linear and 40+ progression at the top, after having 300+ improvement is very difficult to say the least. Arguments against retaking - to check if there is life outside of GMAT and work, burn 3-4 kilos I've gain in the process, pet my dog(if he is still out there).
2. If I decide to retake what materials would you advise?
Materials I already finished:
OG 2019 and 2020 series
All Manhattan series (inc Advanced Quant and Foundations)
MathRevolution (helped me to improve from Q22)
GMATCLUB tests(one of the best)
Kaplan 800
Powerscore CR bible
E-gmat
Also I attached my 2 last ESR's if there some thoughts pls share.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: 300 points improvement from first attempt, is there room for +40. ESR  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 16:26
Hi FSpartan,

First off, a 680/Q47 is a strong Score, so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

There's certainly no harm in continuing to study - and with a 680, you're closer to a 720+ than you probably realize. 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) Over the last 3 months, how many hours did you typically study each week?
2) Over the last 3 months, on what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (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 you should work on to score higher. Since you have purchased your ESRs, then I'll be happy to analyze them for you. Before you can include attachments to your posts/PMs, you need to have at least 5 posts in the forums (and right now you have just 2). If you would rather not go through those extra steps at this point, you can feel free to directly email me your ESRs (at Rich.C@empowergmat.com)

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 18:14
Hi, Rich
Thanks for prompt reply
As per study hours, I simulate test almost everyday except for Sunday, so it's 2 hours + 1.5 hour revision etc. (twice a week I add an essay as well), so fair assessment would be around 20 hours a week.
My CAT's (3 months)
680 (Q47V36) 08/05/2019
710 (Q49V39) 08/31/2019
600 (Q46V27) 09/13/2019 - Second test (verbal score is rather unrepresentative here, got difficult RC at early beginning, reread twice (i know its taboo) and lost timing.)
690 (Q47V39) 09/20/2019
680 (V47V35) 10/17/2019 - Third test
I plan to apply in this round so deadlines are at the beginning of January. On top of my list are - Columbia(family passion, my brother is Columbia grad), Insead, LBS. target - Georgetown/Rotman, I'm also thinking about few safe options, but I haven't decided yet.
As per ESR I totally agree, data is presented in extremely vague fashion virtually impossible to draw reasonable conclusion, nonetheless I've got reports for the last 2 exams and I will send them to you.

Best wishes
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New post 23 Nov 2019, 10:37
Seems like you are very close to your target. Maybe brushing up concepts in Quant can help. Did you try Target test prep math course? I heard good stories about it.
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New post 23 Nov 2019, 14:53
Hi FSpartan,

I've sent you an email with an analysis of your recent ESR and some additional notes.

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New post 24 Nov 2019, 12:27
Thanks for support and advice! Yeah seems very close, but its a Zeno's paradox, the more I push the farther it gets. Regarding TTP - thanks I'll have a look. I'm going to invest more in verbal, specifically in RC it is an outlier, (SC 39,CR36, RC31), will try to rectify that.

santorasantu wrote:
Seems like you are very close to your target. Maybe brushing up concepts in Quant can help. Did you try Target test prep math course? I heard good stories about it.
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New post 24 Nov 2019, 12:30
Hi Rich, thank you for thorough review, very insightful, please check your email for reply.
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi FSpartan,

I've sent you an email with an analysis of your recent ESR and some additional notes.

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New post 26 Nov 2019, 20:48
Hi FSpartan,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. The good news is that your latest GMAT score is pretty much in line with your practice test scores, so you appear to have performed up to your abilities on test day. Regarding your plan moving forward, you certainly could give the GMAT one more shot. I see that you plan to check out TTP, so if you have any questions regarding the course, feel free to reach out to me directly. Also, since you will be focusing on RC, would you like some general advice regarding how to improve your Reading Comprehension skills?
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New post 26 Nov 2019, 23:58
Hi and congrats on your accomplishments FSpartan!

300-point improvements are exceedingly RARE! Probably fewer than 10 people on GMAT Club have managed this kind of improvement. You should be very proud!

I think 680 is a very strong score in this case and I hope you’re not embarrassed of your 350. I think it could be a pretty impressive story to include in your applications to put into perspective what kind of journey and effort it has been for you. I think at this point to be pretty hard to squeeze another 40 points but not impossible. I know that I would regret not taking the test one last time and would wonder what would happen if I did.... if you’re feeling the same, I would spent two weeks but cut it at that perhaps. Definitely not more than 3 weeks. Again, I think you should be extremely proud of your score.

PS. You can better your chances of admission using admissions consultant. Taking into consideration your extraordinary journey he may want to consider and having one help you with crafting your story. Applicants are not evaluated equally because it would be unfair to measure diff people with different backgrounds and different resources using the same ruler. Instead, schools evaluate what one has been able to achieve with the resources they had.

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New post 28 Nov 2019, 09:26
Hi, you are the most amazing case on gmat score improvement I have ever heard. 300+ is huge!

680 is a pretty good score.

I suggest you to retake when you are sure to secure low 700 score (700 is good already). Insead, Cambridge and Oxford only have median score of 690-700. Just check with the median score of your target schools (I don't know which mba programs you are targeting to)

Good luck

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New post 28 Nov 2019, 12:32
FSpartan, I think you're in good hands with Scott and Rich offering advice, and I'm just here to bow down in honor of what you've already achieved. bb is right: 300-point improvements are incredibly, incredibly rare. I've been in GMAT-land for 20 years, and I don't think I've seen more than a handful of improvements that large.

So whatever happens with your retake: I have huge, huge respect for what you've done already. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Good luck with your applications! And seriously, I'd be honored to hear from you after your retake or after you hear back from MBA programs -- I'm really curious to see where you land. People with your level of work ethic and determination always, always land on their feet in this process.

Congratulations again on everything so far!
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New post 28 Nov 2019, 13:28
Hi FSpartan, congratulations on 680! This is a very good score, and I dare say it makes you competitive enough for all schools. I support what bb and GMATNinja said, your story of improving from 350 to 680 is incredible, and maybe it is worth to somehow highlight the story in the optional essay.

R2 deadlines are around the corner, so you may want to apply to programs of your choice and see what happens next. You can always retake the test in Q1 2020 if you decide to do so. Remember, most of the schools judge your application based on several metrics, and unless your GPA (or equivalent) was completely off from the range that programs require, 680 is a good enough score. Good luck!
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Re: 300 points improvement from first attempt, is there room for +40. ESR  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2019, 13:43
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FSpartan wrote:
Hi all,
GMAT isn't an easy journey for me, as I assume for a lot of folks here, so firstly I'd like to thank the community, honestly your influence cannot be overstated.
Brief: First attempt 570 (Q37;V30) Second 600 (Q46;V27) Third 680 (Q47;V39) Fourth (Q??V??)?

Long story(literally long) short - my target score is 720, I've started at the very bottom at 350, spent 16 month, and after three attempts it feels as I'm as far from achieving 720 as I was early on. Admittedly it's a bit of an exaggeration, I scored 680 (Q47; V35) which is not that bad, given from where I've started, so as a last resort I decided to post here to gather valuable thoughts whether or not to retake. My applications process is almost finished, I plan to apply in II Round, there is some time for additional prep and another exam, therefore I have 2 questions:
1. Does it worth to retake?
Rationale behind retaking - scholarships(would be good to get one), and somewhat personal, I know it may sound dumb, but getting so close it's extremely annoying to retreat although I'm aware that difficulty increase is non-linear and 40+ progression at the top, after having 300+ improvement is very difficult to say the least. Arguments against retaking - to check if there is life outside of GMAT and work, burn 3-4 kilos I've gain in the process, pet my dog(if he is still out there).
2. If I decide to retake what materials would you advise?
Materials I already finished:
OG 2019 and 2020 series
All Manhattan series (inc Advanced Quant and Foundations)
MathRevolution (helped me to improve from Q22)
GMATCLUB tests(one of the best)
Kaplan 800
Powerscore CR bible
E-gmat
Also I attached my 2 last ESR's if there some thoughts pls share.

Thanks in advance.

Fairly possible, just improve quant by 2 and verabl by 1 point, you'll be there
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New post Updated on: 28 Nov 2019, 17:46
Thanks ScottTargetTestPrep yes, my score is in line with previous scores, which adjusted with test center stress means I performed at my best or even better, and to be fair I was satisfied when I saw 680 on the screen, but it feels as I was that close to getting 700+ score. Partially because I know where I've cut corners - particularly some basic quant topics(roots, exponents, inequalities), and surprisingly section which I always was confident about - RC. It's been an unpleasant surprise, I'm still perplexed how I misjudged my RC abilities. It is a section which I devoted least time, as my accuracy rate was always in 75%+ range, with 1:50 per question. But after I've received ESR I found out that RC is the weakest section for last 2 exams (23;31). Therefore I want to focus on those areas refresh all notes and give it another try. I'd love to hear your thoughts on RC, thanks for your support.
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi FSpartan,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. The good news is that your latest GMAT score is pretty much in line with your practice test scores, so you appear to have performed up to your abilities on test day. Regarding your plan moving forward, you certainly could give the GMAT one more shot. I see that you plan to check out TTP, so if you have any questions regarding the course, feel free to reach out to me directly. Also, since you will be focusing on RC, would you like some general advice regarding how to improve your Reading Comprehension skills?

Originally posted by FSpartan on 28 Nov 2019, 13:53.
Last edited by FSpartan on 28 Nov 2019, 17:46, edited 1 time in total.
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New post Updated on: 28 Nov 2019, 17:46
Hi, bb thanks for reaching out, as a matter of fact you and members of this forum are whom I should thank for the improvement, without expertise, enthusiasm and camaraderie I found here such an increase would be unthinkable.
I'm not embarrassed by starting at 350, I would be if I still were there, but it was indeed an awful point to start from. On other hand although I'm grateful for such progress I can't say I'm extremely proud of the final score, a lot could've been done better, perhaps I've set up myself an unrealistic goal and it is time to make reality check.
I also agree it would be hard to get additional 40 points, as Scott points out, this result is in line with my previous attempts, I had no sickness, insomnia, bad day, whatsoever, which means I lack some skills that I have to improve at the same time mastering what I already have learned. All that said, you gave a neat description of my thoughts, all these what-if's bother me so that I'm strongly inclined towards retaking for the last time. It might be somewhat irrational, as it's likely that other aspects of my profile will cover for this score, if needed - I'm from unrepresented country - Turkmenistan (11 GMAT tests registered last year worldwide, MBA alums almost non-existent), served 2 years in military then had to move from my country and built everything up from scratch in foreign country - Cyprus, started career in real estate brokerage, had steady career progression all the way up to general manager position, then co-founded real estate company, which I'm managing now for 4th year. I guess it sounded a bit like a profile evaluation, I'm just interested about your opinion on retake given entirety of my profile.
As per mentioning this journey in essay, frankly I thought it's going to be perceived either as irrelevant detail (who doesn't struggle with GMAT) or negative(350 as a weakness), but I will consider that now, thanks for valuable insight!

bb wrote:
Hi and congrats on your accomplishments FSpartan!

300-point improvements are exceedingly RARE! Probably fewer than 10 people on GMAT Club have managed this kind of improvement. You should be very proud!

I think 680 is a very strong score in this case and I hope you’re not embarrassed of your 350. I think it could be a pretty impressive story to include in your applications to put into perspective what kind of journey and effort it has been for you. I think at this point to be pretty hard to squeeze another 40 points but not impossible. I know that I would regret not taking the test one last time and would wonder what would happen if I did.... if you’re feeling the same, I would spent two weeks but cut it at that perhaps. Definitely not more than 3 weeks. Again, I think you should be extremely proud of your score.

PS. You can better your chances of admission using admissions consultant. Taking into consideration your extraordinary journey he may want to consider and having one help you with crafting your story. Applicants are not evaluated equally because it would be unfair to measure diff people with different backgrounds and different resources using the same ruler. Instead, schools evaluate what one has been able to achieve with the resources they had.

Posted from my mobile device

Originally posted by FSpartan on 28 Nov 2019, 17:07.
Last edited by FSpartan on 28 Nov 2019, 17:46, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 28 Nov 2019, 17:41
Honestly to say that I'm pleased to hear this from GMATNinja himself would be a huge understatement. I had 30% accuracy on low and mid difficulty questions on SC, let alone hard ones, and even that presumably as a result of guessing. Then I started following your feed and videos and improved my SC to (39) 85th percentile! I will be glad to keep in touch and update my progress both on GMAT and MBA. Thanks for all you've done for community and myself, you might not notice but your commitment has a huge impact and is highly appreciated!

GMATNinja wrote:
FSpartan, I think you're in good hands with Scott and Rich offering advice, and I'm just here to bow down in honor of what you've already achieved. bb is right: 300-point improvements are incredibly, incredibly rare. I've been in GMAT-land for 20 years, and I don't think I've seen more than a handful of improvements that large.

So whatever happens with your retake: I have huge, huge respect for what you've done already. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Good luck with your applications! And seriously, I'd be honored to hear from you after your retake or after you hear back from MBA programs -- I'm really curious to see where you land. People with your level of work ethic and determination always, always land on their feet in this process.

Congratulations again on everything so far!
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New post Updated on: 28 Nov 2019, 18:16
Thank you mykrasovski I appreciate it. As I mentioned earlier I thought that having started from such a low score might be perceived in negative light, but thanks for advice I will definitely consider how to present it in optional essay. My result is on lower end of mid 80% range for Columbia business school which is my first choice. My GPA is good - 4.0, and other aspects leadership, experience I think are also ok. I also considered to evade doing all in December, applications + GMAT+other tasks, but retake in 2020 is less appealing as I will have applied to all reach schools at that point.
mykrasovski wrote:
Hi FSpartan, congratulations on 680! This is a very good score, and I dare say it makes you competitive enough for all schools. I support what bb and GMATNinja said, your story of improving from 350 to 680 is incredible, and maybe it is worth to somehow highlight the story in the optional essay.

R2 deadlines are around the corner, so you may want to apply to programs of your choice and see what happens next. You can always retake the test in Q1 2020 if you decide to do so. Remember, most of the schools judge your application based on several metrics, and unless your GPA (or equivalent) was completely off from the range that programs require, 680 is a good enough score. Good luck!

Originally posted by FSpartan on 28 Nov 2019, 18:07.
Last edited by FSpartan on 28 Nov 2019, 18:16, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 28 Nov 2019, 18:13
Hi chondro48 thanks! My target is 720, and I will most probably retake it on 27-30 December. My first choice is Columbia, but Insead and Oxford are in my shortlist too, I'm more inclined towards 2 year program in US but I'm considering 1 year programs as well.
chondro48 wrote:
Hi, you are the most amazing case on gmat score improvement I have ever heard. 300+ is huge!

680 is a pretty good score.

I suggest you to retake when you are sure to secure low 700 score (700 is good already). Insead, Cambridge and Oxford only have median score of 690-700. Just check with the median score of your target schools (I don't know which mba programs you are targeting to)

Good luck

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Re: 300 points improvement from first attempt, is there room for +40. ESR  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2019, 16:21
FSpartan wrote:
Honestly to say that I'm pleased to hear this from GMATNinja himself would be a huge understatement. I had 30% accuracy on low and mid difficulty questions on SC, let alone hard ones, and even that presumably as a result of guessing. Then I started following your feed and videos and improved my SC to (39) 85th percentile! I will be glad to keep in touch and update my progress both on GMAT and MBA. Thanks for all you've done for community and myself, you might not notice but your commitment has a huge impact and is highly appreciated!

GMATNinja wrote:
FSpartan, I think you're in good hands with Scott and Rich offering advice, and I'm just here to bow down in honor of what you've already achieved. bb is right: 300-point improvements are incredibly, incredibly rare. I've been in GMAT-land for 20 years, and I don't think I've seen more than a handful of improvements that large.

So whatever happens with your retake: I have huge, huge respect for what you've done already. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Good luck with your applications! And seriously, I'd be honored to hear from you after your retake or after you hear back from MBA programs -- I'm really curious to see where you land. People with your level of work ethic and determination always, always land on their feet in this process.

Congratulations again on everything so far!

Thank you for the kind words, FSpartan! It's an honor to play a tiny role in your incredible journey.
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Beginners' guides to GMAT verbal: RC | CR | SC

YouTube LIVE verbal webinars: all videos by topic

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300 points improvement from first attempt, is there room for +40. ESR  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Dec 2019, 04:24
From your first score, I notice that in your third attempt, you have a 10 point improvement in Quant and 9 point improvement in Verbal. That's just earth-shattering and mind-blowing!
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300 points improvement from first attempt, is there room for +40. ESR   [#permalink] 01 Dec 2019, 04:24

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