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# 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten

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440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2009, 10:18
Took my first GMAT mock (MGMAT) today and scored a dismal 440 .

I’ve been prepping for the past number of months. Focusing on theory. To be honest I was a bit afraid to sit a mock exam. I kinda knew I wasn’t going to get a good score first time around. In hindsight I should have taken it months ago so I could see where I was weak.

I’m aiming for a good score, around 640 +. I’m hoping I can achieve this between now and Christmas.

My strategy is to use an iterative approach. Taking all MGMAT mocks (and others), focusing on weak areas after each exam and then retaking.

My plan is to use this thread to track my progress and get some pointers from gmatters – keeping procrastination to a minimum.

Mock Results

MGMAT CAT #1

Date: 12 Sep. 09

Break down

Quant 31
Verbal 21
Total 440

Although the score is about as low as they go there is a few things I can take away from it.
- In both verbal and quant I had serious timing issues. I had to guess the last 10 questions in each section. That’s 20 questions I had to just guess. Far from ideal
- Secondly – I hadn’t done any verbal prep. I read the MGMAT SC about 3 months ago and that was about it. Questions 31 to 41 were all incorrect – I guessed everyone bar the last question because I was running out of time. A verbal score of 31 would have left me in the 530 range.

MGMAT CAT #2

Date: 26 Sep. 09

Aztec
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Re: 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2009, 11:51
best of luck!
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Joined: 16 Jan 2009
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Re: 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten [#permalink]

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12 Sep 2009, 12:06
Hey Aztec you can do it. Just keep working ... it can happen for you! I'm sure you've seen the thread about a 490 to 700 but I'll post the link anyway: my-gmat-journey-from-490-to-700-q49-v36-62535.html
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Re: 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2009, 08:24
Hey Guys,

Its been a while since I've posted anything on the forum. I've been making steady improvements in my score over the past few months. Got a 580 yesterday in an MGMAT practice test which isn't great but a big improvement from where I started. Funnily enough, this is roughly in line with my error log and the percentage of questions ive been getting right and wrong. I still have a lot of work to do

Score summary

MGMAT 440
GMAT Prep 460
MGMAT 500
MGMAT 580 v33,q36

As well as improving my knowledge of the core concepts. I've improved my timing and temperament during the exam (I was a nervous wreck when I took the first one!!). At the same time I made a huge amount of silly mistakes. In yesterdays exam I was quite calm and composed all the way through. I freaked out once momentarily in the quant section. My timing wasn't perfect by a long chalk in each section I still had to rush the last 5-6 questions - most of which I answered incorrectly. This is better than rushing 10- 12 questions which I have had to do in previous practice tests! With better timing my score would have been better I feel.

But thats the GMAT for you. Its 50% timing and temperament, 50% content. You can always learn more content but staying calm and keeping good time can only be learned through talking practice tests.
My biggest fear was that I would never be able to get more than a 500 (my initial tests were poor). I've surpassed that now. I'm feeling a lot more positive and confident about getting a decent score. I'm aiming for 650 +. Im sitting the real exam at the end of January. I still have A LOT of work to do. Hopefully between now and then, with more practice and hard work I will be able to add another 70+ points to my score.

For those of you in a similar position, keep working, keep doing a lot of practice tests. I would recommend that you read Malcolm Gladwell's book, The Outliers. He writes about how the likes of Bill Gates positioned themselves to be so successful. Gates has a great business mind but is also a very talented programmer. Before he even went to Harvard he had considerably more programming experience than most of his classmates. Gladwell calls it the 10,000 hour rule. You need to have 10,000 hours of practice at something before you become an expert. All of the practice Gates had made him look extremely gifted and talented. Although he was just that, he was also writing software from a very young age and had at least 10,000 hours worth of practice.

So unless you are a straight up genius, you can't beat the GMAT without considerable practice and hard work. The more hard work you put in the better your GMAT results will be, the more confident you become, the easier you will find it to focus during the exam, the better your timing will be, the less silly mistakes you will make.. it snowballs from there. I spoke to a friend who got a 730 score recently and he said that coming up to his exam, when he looked at a question he would be able categorise it and be able to come up with a solution for solving it within the first 20 seconds of reading the question (I know I'm certainly not at that stage!!). He said the only way he got that good was through hard work and practice!

I will post again when I take my next practice exam.

Good luck to everyone.
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Re: 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten [#permalink]

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06 Dec 2009, 22:47
If you need to significantly improve your verbal score, I would suggest reading the Manhattan SC guide again, as well as using Powerscore's CR or LR book. Another method for SC is to go through the OG guides and then review every single question. Completely read all of the explanations.
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Re: 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2009, 05:09
I am sorry to say but I don't agree with you.

It's not all about hard work. It's about knowing - "what you know and what you don't - It's about working smart. it's about knowing your weakness and working on weakness rather than doing repeated mistakes or so many hours.

I mean to say - it's important to put efforts but in right direction.
(I know what hard works means. I have spend straight 7 moths for GMAT preparation before my first GMAT attempt - 3 months sleeping less than 4 hrs working 10 hrs a day, I have also tried 18 hrs a day reading on week-end manytimes.) Result 620. (GMATprep scores was 700 to 740)

So hard work is important but in the right direction. It's not all about hard work.
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Re: 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2009, 07:05
Spoilt.
Work smart not hard – I completely agree. 10,000 hours of hard work is not analogues to do doing directionless study. Familiarity with the exam and good exam technique can only be gained by doing practice exams and working on your weaknesses. I have been using an error log from the start. The error log has played an integral role in guiding my study.
I have found all of the MGMAT books really useful. The SC guide is particularly good. Even for a native speaker I am still learning a huge amount.
The formula I am using is working for me so I am going to stick with it. Of course everyone is different!
7 months isn’t that bad. I met a guy who got a 780. Took him 6 years to get that score
Good luck!
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Re: 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten [#permalink]

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07 Dec 2009, 20:56
Aztec wrote:
Spoilt.
The formula I am using is working for me so I am going to stick with it. Of course everyone is different!

I believe there are sereral ways to reach destination, but the path you choose does matter a lot.

May be you are not improving because you are not on the correct path or you are sticking to your "10000 hrs" formula, may be you haven't tried alternate method.
May be my reasoning is flawed , after all I haven't read CR for 6 years as your 780 guy. May be.
Goood Luck !!
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Re: 440 Baseline - Pummelled But Not Beaten   [#permalink] 07 Dec 2009, 20:56
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