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For as long as I can remember, I have wanted an MBA. Unfortunately, the GMAT has become a great barrier to this goal. I have written the exam twice - both times failing short of the 550 score that I need. Here is the breakdown of my scores: Attempt 1:460 total score (34/69% verbal, 18/6% quantitative) Attempt 2: 540 total score (41/92% verbal, 23/12% quantitative) I have been in contact with my school of choice and have completed all application requirements. They have said that I am the ideal candidate, but they cannot let me in without a better score on the GMAT. I have tried a prep course and tutor. Please help - I am hoping to make my third attempt successful. Thank you.

You made some decent improvement in your verbal score, but your quant is holding you back.

Try going through a batch of questions and mark down the ones you get wrong. Ask yourself why you get them wrong? What could you have done differently to not make the same mistake next time? Is there a thought process that brought you down the wrong path? What is the best way to think about the question?

Oftentimes, it is difficult to see the big picture by yourself. Seeing other people go through test questions and comparing your own way of thinking to theirs can often help change the way you approach GMAT questions.

Keep your head up. That's great to know that everything else in your application is OK. Now just do what you need to do to get over this hump.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted an MBA. Unfortunately, the GMAT has become a great barrier to this goal. I have written the exam twice - both times failing short of the 550 score that I need. Here is the breakdown of my scores: Attempt 1:460 total score (34/69% verbal, 18/6% quantitative) Attempt 2: 540 total score (41/92% verbal, 23/12% quantitative) I have been in contact with my school of choice and have completed all application requirements. They have said that I am the ideal candidate, but they cannot let me in without a better score on the GMAT. I have tried a prep course and tutor. Please help - I am hoping to make my third attempt successful. Thank you.

Hi,

I was in the same boat when i started for Quant, but believe me some small strategic steps can boost your scores initially very well.

1)Identify the most tested areas of quant - e.g. number properties, algebra, word problems etc 2)Identify where you are strong and where you are weak in the sub areas within these areas. 3)When you take test , you should be clear where you are going to allocate that one extra minute 4) Prepare notes ( PM me , if you want mine.. i will send it across )

For example, i am weak with geometry, so when i took the test ... i gave half a min to understand the problem, if i knew about the problem , i gave another 1.5 mins, else gave another half a min to guess and moved on.

at the same time, i did not hesitate to give one min more to the type of Q i was confident about, my score in quant ( real gmat ) was 45 , and before the same strategy i was scoring some 39/40 on quant, so this leap was more because of strategy and less because of content

hope this helps

and last but not the least.... do not give up ... i suck at verbal so am giving fight to gmat on verbal.. every one fights here.. just the enemy is different and subjective

Just as a side note to this post, it is obvious that you are stuggling on Quant. As you may already know an MBA is extremely Quant intensive, although maybe not as much at your desired schools. As long as you understand that there will be a lot of math, and you OK with that, then I say keep up the studying.

Your verbal score was very impressive, and fortunately for you, math is known as the easier subject to improve in. Because of you low quant score, it is obvious that you struggle with even the basics of the Quant sections. I would recommend that you work very diligently on the most basic of concepts, b/c it is impossible to build on your skills in quant without the foundation. A great book for you would be the Kaplan Math Foundations, and also brush up on your foundations on the Manhattan GMAT math refresher on their website.

Do not concentrate on probablity or combinations because these are considered more difficult, and b/c of your skill level you will most likely not get very many (if any) of these questions. I would spend your time concentrating on the most commonly tested areas. Work on understanding DS questions, as well as studying Decimals, fractions, percents, number properties, algebra, word problems, etc... this along (coupled with your verbal) will drastically improve your Quant score and overall score. GOod luck!
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How is your timing on quant? If you are getting crushed by the clock, keep in mind that this test is not about perfection. If a problem looks like it is going to take more than 2 min, you need to guess and move on so that you can finish the section in time. At your current level, you can do quite a bit of guessing and still get a better score, if the guesses are interspersed with some solid right answers.

I recommend that you check out our Foundations of GMAT Math book. http://www.manhattangmat.com/storeitemshow.cfm?ItemID=521&catid=10 It's important that you can quickly and confidently set up a wide range of problems, and this book covers all the essentials. It should also make you a stronger and more organized problem-solver. If you don't just want to study from a book, we also offer a 2-part Foundations of Math workshop.
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Dmitry Farber | Manhattan GMAT Instructor | New York

I too strongly support the MGMAT Foundations of Math book. It is very comprehensive and detailed. It takes you from the very basics and builds you up.

As GMATLA said... quant is easier to improve on than verbal. So hang in there. A month of intense quant focused study should boost your score to at very least a 30.
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For as long as I can remember, I have wanted an MBA. Unfortunately, the GMAT has become a great barrier to this goal. I have written the exam twice - both times failing short of the 550 score that I need. Here is the breakdown of my scores: Attempt 1:460 total score (34/69% verbal, 18/6% quantitative) Attempt 2: 540 total score (41/92% verbal, 23/12% quantitative) I have been in contact with my school of choice and have completed all application requirements. They have said that I am the ideal candidate, but they cannot let me in without a better score on the GMAT. I have tried a prep course and tutor. Please help - I am hoping to make my third attempt successful. Thank you.

First of all, you are pretty close to the score you need. If you take GMAT today, you could get a 550 without doing anything since your score will vary by 20-30 points from day to day depending on your state of mind, your energy levels etc. This also means that it could drop by 20 points so I am certainly not suggesting you to 'take another shot blindly'!!! All I am saying is that you are very close.

It is obvious that a little bit of push in Quant and you will be through. With a 23, I think you are suffering due to lack of conceptual understanding in Math. e.g. if you have \(\frac{x}{4} + \frac{4}{x} = 7\), can you solve for x without struggling? Are you very clear in your mind how to manipulate such equations? Do you know when you can add, when you can multiply, how to deal with fractions, variables etc? Very often, students struggle with these basics. They keep focusing on GMAT Quant but forget to first work on their Math skills. If a private tutor and a course have not helped you, I think this might be your problem. If it is, you need to get your high school Math book and work on these basics. Check out some 'Math Essentials' book which many test prep providers, including Veritas, offer. Then revisit your GMAT Quant books. You should be able to arrive at the answers quickly and easily this time around.
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Thanks for the responses. Answering the question above does not come easy for me - I find these questions get easier as I study, but it's never a natural quick response. I'll purchase recommended books to build my foundation. Everyone has helped get me motivated again.