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4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)

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4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2018, 10:28
All,

4+ months of Manhattan Prep GMAT studying and my score actually lowered by 100+ points.

Got a 530 on a practice GMAT ("CAT") on my first attempt (without studying), then a 590 on the official (after ~9 weeks of studying), then took another CAT exam after 15 weeks of studying and got a 470...

I would grateful if anybody on here can provide some feedback / help!

Below please find a detailed overview of my GMAT studying efforts to date. Hopefully this will help provide some color into any weaknesses in my studying style / plan:

I started the 9-week (in-person) Manhattan Prep GMAT class in the beginning of November 2017 and ended it at the end of January 2018 (3+ months of guided studying). During the program I worked on the assigned strategy guide readings and homework as well the assigned OG problems.

I would study ~2 hours per day on weekdays and 4-6 hours on weekends. At times, I'd cram for 7 hours on weekends if I couldn't study at all during the weekday.

I would review questions I got wrong from the homework (Manhattan Prep strategy guide questions as well as the OG), but I would only review them immediately right after getting them wrong. I haven't revisited them since.

I took my first CAT on November 11 (1 week into starting my GMAT studies) and I scored a 530 (36Q, 28V).

Then on January 7, I took a second CAT (in midst of the 9-week program) and scored a 530 again (34Q, 29V).

Then on January 13th, I took an official GMAT exam (I still had 3 classes from the 9-week Manhattan Prep program left) and scored a 590 (33Q and 38V). I believe the boost in Verbal score on my official exam was due to the fact that I drilled down heavily into Sentence Correction and Critical Reasoning during the last 2 weeks before the official exam (as evidenced by my Official GMAT ESR).

After finishing my 9-week GMAT prep program on January 28, I wanted to take a third CAT exam to benchmark my study progress, but since I still had a few chapters to finish from the Manhattan Prep Strategy guides, I postponed the 3rd CAT exam for ~four weeks out.

During the four weeks, I studied 6-9 hours per week where I primarily caught up on any Manhattan prep strategy guide chapters I was not able to complete.

Then, on February 25, I took my third CAT exam and got a 470 (Q28, V 28) - even lower than the score I got without any studying!

I am not sure what the issue is here. 4+ months of studying and no progress, score actually got worse. I was aiming for a 730+ by April / May.




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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2018, 10:32
One thing i can suggest you, please be sure that your concepts are clear...else no CAT can be your true score predictor and consequently one may end up with an unexpectedly low or high Exam score.
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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2018, 12:02
Hi nycguymba,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your first 2 CAT score results (taken 2 months apart) show that you essentially performed the same each time (530 +/- a few Scaled Score points). You were clearly consistent in how you approached the Exam - you handled certain aspects of it consistently well, but you also made certain consistent mistakes. Your 3rd and 4th CATs show some considerable 'swings' in Scores, so we have to start by analyzing how you took your CATs - to see whether there are inconsistencies there that would help to explain the variations in your results.

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Feb 2018, 12:11
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi nycguymba,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your first 2 CAT score results (taken 2 months apart) show that you essentially performed the same each time (530 +/- a few Scaled Score points). You were clearly consistent in how you approached the Exam - you handled certain aspects of it consistently well, but you also made certain consistent mistakes. Your 3rd and 4th CATs show some considerable 'swings' in Scores, so we have to start by analyzing how you took your CATs - to see whether there are inconsistencies there that would help to explain the variations in your results.

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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


Rich,

Thank you for responding. One thing I wanted to clarify -

My third exam (where I scored my highest to date - a 590) wasn’t a CAT. It was an actual official exam (taken in the Pearson office).

I took the official exam coz I needed to apply for an MBA prep program that required an official score.

Answers to your Qs:

1) I only took the Verbal, Quant and IR each time on the CATs (in that same order)

2) yes, took them at home. Same computer / desk each time.

3) yes, took them at 8am on Sunday each time.

4) I took a 2 minute longer break on my 2nd CAT

5) I had not seen any of the questions on the CAT before. I had never taken the GMAT CAT before.

Appreciate any help. Thanks!!!




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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 10:27
Hi nycguymba,

Since the 590 was an Official Score - and your best result so far - we can use that as a basis for comparison. To start, raising a 590 to a 730+ will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle the Quant and Verbal sections.

If you have not already done so, then you might choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. 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. If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 10:33
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi nycguymba,

Since the 590 was an Official Score - and your best result so far - we can use that as a basis for comparison. To start, raising a 590 to a 730+ will likely take at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle the Quant and Verbal sections.

If you have not already done so, then you might choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. 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. If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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


Rich,

Yes, I did purchase the ESR, how can I share this with you?

Answers to your questions:

1) Plan to apply this fall, R1 - so guess by October

2) Applying to Wharton, CBS, Yale

3) I think I can dedicate 10-15 hours a week now

Thoughts on study hours? Increase?




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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 10:51
Hi nycguymba,

You have plenty of time to continue studying and improving - which is good. By extension, while I understand that you might "want" to retake the GMAT by April/May, you don't necessarily need to take it by then. You're planning to apply to some highly competitive Schools, so a competitive GMAT Score will be a must. This is meant to say that you need to put in as much effort as it takes to get to that competitive level (regardless of whether you spend more time than you originally planned for or not). Studying 10-15 hours a week would be fine; you just have to be mindful that you now have to be focused more on the quality of your study (and not the quantity of it).

You can send me a PDF of your ESR through PM or email. If neither of those options are practical, then you can send me a direct link to your ESR in your mba.com Account.

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 10:59
Good analysis..workable by anyone.
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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT)  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 19:08
Hi nycguymba,

When your score dropped from 590 to 470 that means you move into different level. I won't give you many tips. But I think you have to be more immersed into the GMAT concept. Do not focus on how much you learn. Instead, focus on how good you master the GMAT skills. Since you only have a limited time to study, you may consider to release some topics that seem too hard for you, and try to get more score from the other topics that can be more explored. Manhattan is a great study material. However, sometimes I feel that Manhattan teachs too much. Finally, GMAT is a unique test. It not only test your understanding of the concept, but also test on how good you manage your time and choose a right decision fast.

470 to 740 in 2 months? Well, that is very challenging. But, hey, there is a will, there is a way.

Goodluck.
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Re: 4 Months of Studying - Score lower by 100+ points (MGMAT) &nbs [#permalink] 27 Feb 2018, 19:08
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