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430-600+

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430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2019, 22:03
Hey everyone,

I started studying for the GMAT at the beginning of January where I decided to just focus on studying until my exam in the second week of April. I am six weeks away and I have officially hit panic mode. I have bought a bunch of books here is the list: Powerscore CR, Powerscore RC, The complete SC guide 2019, USED MGMAT books, fundamental quant MGMAT, and the 2018 OG book. I have finished all the books except for two more from the MGMAT books, which I plan on finishing next week. I study Sunday-Thursday for about 5-6 hours a day. I give myself weekends off so I don't burn out. I have made flash cards and I go through my flash cards before bed every night. The flashcards contain formulas, geometry rules, and concepts.
My practice exams:

Veritas Prep 1: 290 1/3/2019
OG 1: 300 1/16/19
MGMAT 1: 400 V21 Q22 1/30/19
* two-week vacation*
Veritas Prep 2: 430 V27 Q23 2/27/19

I have a little bit of money left for one more test prep, but I'm not sure what to do anymore. My weaknesses are in SC, and DS which is the worst. I have gotten to a point now where I have wanted to throw in the towel and just move on from the GMAT. However, I am not ready to give up yet. When it comes to concepts I feel like I understand quant but when I get a problem on my practice exams I am not always sure what formulas to use, especially when it comes to DS. I follow MGMATs AD/BCE which has helped but on my last practice exam, I scored 3/11 on DS. I am not sure what to do or if going up 170 points in 6 weeks is even possible but I am willing to keep working as hard as I can. I would love any sort of advice.

Thanks,

coolshark
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Re: 430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2019, 23:17
Hi coolshark45,

To start, raising your scores 140 points in 2 months is a noteworthy achievement. That having been said, raising this recent 430 to the point that you can consistently score 600+ will likely require at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. You will likely need more study time than you have allotted.

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 your timeline and your goals:

1) Do you have an Official Test Date scheduled yet (and if so, then what is it?)?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: 430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2019, 23:53
1) I don't have an official test day but my plan was to take it April 16 or 17th.
2) I plan on applying to business school before June 1st. So that I could make the fall deadline.
3) My list of schools are: University of Miami, Florida International University, University of Florida, University of Illinois at Chicago and Depaul University.

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Re: 430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 00:05
Hi coolshark45,

With a June 1st deadline, you would have about 3 months of potential study time - and that would greatly improve your chances of scoring higher (compared to a 6 week study timeframe). You would have to work on your applications while studying though, but GMATers tend to have 'busy' lives, so working on both at the same time isn't a 'bad' thing.

1) What is the exact application deadline for each School that you plan to apply to?
2) What is the minimum GMAT Score that you would apply with?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 00:12
1) What is the exact application deadline for each School that you plan to apply to?
2) What is the minimum GMAT Score that you would apply with?

1) All the Florida schools have a deadline by June 1st. DePaul is by August and UIC is by July.

2) The minimum I would apply with is a 600 but my dream score is a 650-670.

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Re: 430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 20:48
Hi coolshark45,

If you can be flexible with your timeline (meaning that you are comfortable pushing back your Test Date), then I think that would be a smart choice. As an alternative, you might consider studying for the GRE (you might find that Exam to be easier and most Business Schools accept either the GMAT or the GRE as part of the application process). If that is an idea that might interest you, then I suggest that you research each Program to confirm that the GRE is accepted there and that you take a practice GRE (you can download 2 for free from www.gre.org).

Beyond those options, the application dates you mentioned are somewhat staggered, so it's important to define your first-choice School (especially if you're choosing a shorter timeframe so that you can apply to other Schools that you are less interested in but have earlier application deadlines).

1) Which of these Schools interests you the most?
2) Would you apply to any of these Schools with a Score that was less than 600?

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: 430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2019, 03:30
Hi coolshark45,

Firstly I would say do not panic. Consider GMAT as a project and focus on acing one thing at a time. Having clear and trackable goals for each sub-section makes the process effective. The time that you have in hand should be enough to reach your target score, if you put in dedicated effort. Here is one such example,
    - Bruno improved from a 540 to 730 (Q48 V42) in 1 month. See how he focused on "logical approach" and building "core skills". Click here to watch his amazing video interview.

Way Forward

Learning only grammar rules for SC or formula for solving Quant questions will not help. You should develop the key skills for solving the questions. To do this you must follow a methodical approach. I would suggest you to first create a plan and then work on its execution.

Creating a Plan

Use Personalized Study Planner to create a plan for yourself. In under 5 minutes the planner will give you the following:
    1. Milestones (target percentiles) for each sub-section tailored to your strengths and weaknesses
    2. Estimate of the overall time required to reach your target score
    3. Sequence of study and an estimate of time you would need to spend in each sub-section.

Executing the Plan

Once you have your plan ready, you should then move to execution. Given the limited amount of time you have and the improvement you seek, I would recommend the following strategy:
    - Evaluate topic level preparedness
    - Isolate weaknesses and improve upon them
    - Track Improvement and repeat the process until you achieve your desired scores

Evaluating Topic Level Preparedness & Isolating Weaknesses
    - Click here to take Ability Quizzes (Quant Ability Quiz | Verbal Ability Quiz) to evaluate your topic level preparedness in each section
    - Check ‘Skill Data’ section to Isolate the topics in which you are weak
The maximum improvement will come from your weak areas.

Improving Upon the Weaknesses
You may use your current resources to do so or check out our extensive Free Trial content to see if it suits your learning style. I am sharing direct links to a few of them. You can get access to a lot more of these videos and practice questions once you sign up for the Free Trial.

Attend the Free SC webinar this weekend
We are conducting a free SC webinar this weekend.Register now to reserve your spot and learn the methods to get ahead in your SC prep.

Regards,
Zinnia
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Re: 430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2019, 06:43
Hi coolshark45,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. While I do believe that you can improve your GMAT score, I don’t think it’s likely that you are going to improve your score by 170 points in just 6 weeks. Since you recently scored 430, it’s clear that you lack the GMAT quant and verbal fundamentals you need for a high score, right? So, what you really need to do is begin following a more thorough and linear study plan, one that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic, and then practice that topic until you’ve gained mastery. This process will take longer than 6 weeks. Could you push your GMAT to a later date? In any case, here is some specific advice on how to improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills.

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, it is likely that you 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 meanings that make sense. 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. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to 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.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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Re: 430-600+  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2019, 06:08
coolshark45 wrote:
Hey everyone,

I started studying for the GMAT at the beginning of January where I decided to just focus on studying until my exam in the second week of April. I am six weeks away and I have officially hit panic mode. I have bought a bunch of books here is the list: Powerscore CR, Powerscore RC, The complete SC guide 2019, USED MGMAT books, fundamental quant MGMAT, and the 2018 OG book. I have finished all the books except for two more from the MGMAT books, which I plan on finishing next week. I study Sunday-Thursday for about 5-6 hours a day. I give myself weekends off so I don't burn out. I have made flash cards and I go through my flash cards before bed every night. The flashcards contain formulas, geometry rules, and concepts.
My practice exams:

Veritas Prep 1: 290 1/3/2019
OG 1: 300 1/16/19
MGMAT 1: 400 V21 Q22 1/30/19
* two-week vacation*
Veritas Prep 2: 430 V27 Q23 2/27/19

I have a little bit of money left for one more test prep, but I'm not sure what to do anymore. My weaknesses are in SC, and DS which is the worst. I have gotten to a point now where I have wanted to throw in the towel and just move on from the GMAT. However, I am not ready to give up yet. When it comes to concepts I feel like I understand quant but when I get a problem on my practice exams I am not always sure what formulas to use, especially when it comes to DS. I follow MGMATs AD/BCE which has helped but on my last practice exam, I scored 3/11 on DS. I am not sure what to do or if going up 170 points in 6 weeks is even possible but I am willing to keep working as hard as I can. I would love any sort of advice.

Thanks,

coolshark


Hi coolshark45,

Welcome to GMATCLUB. To improve your scores in verbal, you can consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practice tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice. Here is a link that will help you with your decision.

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: 430-600+   [#permalink] 12 Mar 2019, 06:08
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