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370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!

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370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 10:51
Hi,

I’m going to be giving my GMAT the third time in the space of 12 weeks.

Every time I have given the Kaplan prep tests it has given me exaggerated scores then the gmat prep tests (over a 100 score difference each time I had the test). Which lead me to have false hope in passing the GMAT.

I do not trust Kaplan prep tests at all now.

I scored only a 370... need minimum of 450 to get into East Carolina.

I am really confused now if I should spend any more money on courses and private tutors as I have already spent 3K with Kaplan.

I feel like I do need guidance but don’t know which company to trust now. Also need a structure and a game plan. I have worked really hard over these past 12 weeks... for some reason still can’t crack the GMAT.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 14:07
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Getting 450 is really not tough. If possible take the ESR report from mba.com by buying it. This is very critical as you will be able to analyse yourself. Remember always that first ten question matters a lot in each subject. So basically take a bit more time than average time to make sure that you have actually marked it correctly. My suggestion for quants will be take target test prep for 5 days which costs you only 1 dollar, but believe me its a real GEM. For verbal one needs more attention and in shorter time I will suggest you to do sentence correction correctly and RC..for CR you need a bit more time to understand.

If you liked my post do not forget to give kudos. Cheers!!! Happy Learning !!!
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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 20:10
Hi bilal86bk,

To start, there are a variety of different Quant and Verbal 'score combinations' that will earn you a 450, so you do NOT need to be a strong performer in both sections to earn a 450+. By extension, to earn that Score, you do NOT need to correctly answer ANY questions that YOU think are too hard or too weird, so the smartest choice that you can make when dealing with a 'tough' question is to dump it IMMEDIATELY (just take a quick guess and move on). You can use the time that you 'save' to do more work on the 'gettable' questions.

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) When did you begin your studies? How many hours have you studied each week?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) You say that you're taking the GMAT for the THIRD time, but you only list one Official Score (the 370). When did you take your 2 Official GMATs and how did you score on each (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?

Goals:
4) When is your next Official Test Date?
5) What is the application deadline for East Carolina? Are you planning to apply to any other Schools?

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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 20:49
Hi Rich,

Thank you for your feed back. As per your questions please see below:

Studies:

1) I started studying on the 15th of Nov 18. Studied for 6 weeks each time before attempting the Test. On average I would say about 4 to 5 hours a day.

2) - Mocks on Kaplan prep tests were averaging 500 (Gave about 10 - don't have access to breakdowns anymore.)
- On Gmat prep tests (1) 350 - Q16 V20 (2) 410 - Q25 V22 (3) 380 - Q25 V17 (4) 320 - Q22 V13
- Actual Gmat test 370 Q23 V18

3) The first I gave I got a 300. Don't remember the break down.

Goals:

4) I haven't booked it as yet, but my intention is to give another 6 weeks before I attempt, which takes me to mid April.

5) Deadline for East Carolina University is on the 1st of June. I won't be applying to any other universities.

Regards

Bilal
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New post 28 Feb 2019, 21:23
Hi Bilal,

Since you've taken the Official GMAT twice already, you know that Test Day is a rather specific 'event.' The details of Test Day are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become. As such, when there's a big difference in Scores, you have to consider how you took your CATs and whether you did so under unrealistic conditions. For example, did you ever skip sections, take the CATs at home, take them at different times of day, pause the CATs, etc. Doing ANY of those things can lead to an unrealistic Score result - and by extension, you were not properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience' that occurs when you take the Official GMAT.

All things considered, I think that you can certainly hit your Score Goal in the timeframe that you have described. We need to start with some analysis though. "Review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). As such, I'd like to know a bit more about the Official CAT in which you scored 380. While a full Mistake Tracker would provide a lot more information, there are some basic questions that you should be able to answer (and the more EXACT you can be with your answers, the better):

After reviewing each section of that one CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake?
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?
3) Because the question was too hard?
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 21:39
I made sure i did all the prep tests timed, although in some i did pause to figure out the question. Kaplan ones I did completely timed. They just seemed to give extremely exaggerated scores.

1) I did make a few silly mistakes!
2) As I stated in my original post, there were some aspects which I just did not cover. Therefore i had no clue how to do them.
3) I did find some questions hard. Some I could have done, however was not able to do them as it would have taken me too long.
4) I definitely struggle with time. However, I managed to finish my quant in good time for the actual exam. Although, I guessed quite a few just so i could move on and do the ones i could.
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?

Also I have ordered the detailed report from GMAT for the exam i got 370 in. I got 57% of the questions correct. (Avg the breakdown of Q & V). 62% correct in the first Quarter of the Verbal section and 57% in Quant section.
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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2019, 13:05
Hi Bilal,

If you have purchased the Enhanced Score Report, then I would be happy to analyze it for you (you can feel free to post it here or PM it directly to me).

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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2019, 15:17
Hi Bilal,

Yes - I received your ESR and have sent back the analysis with some notes and suggestions.

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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 06:47
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Hi bilal86bk,

You have have done the right thing by reaching out for help, and you are correct in thinking that you need to follow a structured plan moving forward. Since you most recently scored 370, it’s clear that you lack the quant and verbal fundamentals you need to achieve your goal score. Thus, you need to SLOW DOWN and follow a more gradual, linear, and thorough study plan, starting with the foundations of GMAT quant and verbal, learning each topic individually, and progressing to more advanced (450-level) concepts.

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 topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type. 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, 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, you likely 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 logical meanings. 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. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and 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 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.

Good luck!
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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Mar 2019, 10:36
Hi bilal86bk,

Getting a 450 would not require a whole lot of effort now that you are at a 370 already. As pointed out earlier, it only requires the right test taking strategy along with basic understanding of the concepts tested on the GMAT. I am sharing some free resources for you to do just this.

Hope this helps. If you need any further help, please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com.

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Re: 370 :( Need to get at least 450! Help!   [#permalink] 11 Mar 2019, 10:36
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