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470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice

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470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 07 Jan 2019, 19:33
Hey guys,

I took a GMAC practice test with no prior prep several days ago and was less than thrilled with my results (470 27Q 27V 3IR). As with most on the forum, I had not been exposed to the types of questions and testing structure prior to the practice test other than briefly reading about it on the GMAC website.

I plan to take the test in approximately 2 months and have read on other threads on this forum that is advised to study somewhere in the ball park of 120-150 hrs. Luckily, I recently graduated from UG and have some time off prior to starting work to focus on the GMAT, so I had planned to commit between 2-3 hrs/day 5/6 days per week in preparation. Additionally, I attempted to divise a study strategy of my own based on some of the resources on this website and gathered that I needed to truly focus on fundamentals prior to jumping into too many practice questions or practice tests. After my first several days of studying, I have studied considerably longer than 2-3hrs a day and am worried this is unsustainable. I would absolutely consider myself a worry wort and when I feel overwhelmed I tend to overprepare!
After looking at the long list of concepts covered by the GMAT, I definitely feel overwhelmed!

As for materials, I have the OG 2019 Bundle(plan to save it for my later studies) and Kaplan 2019 Bundle. I have also been referring to GMAT Club Verbal & Quant as well as supplementary threads.

I would love to take the GMAT only once but after seeing my practice score, I figure it may take several attempts to reach my true target score. Based on what I have read on this website and given the duration of my studies, I am aiming for around a 600 on my first attempt. Ultimately, I truly aspire to score 700+(don't we all?). I plan to work for several years prior to applying, so I am in no immediate rush to achieve my target other than saving myself time and money! Any and all comments, recommendations, and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Also if this is categorized in the wrong forum or directed at an innappropriate audience, please point me in the right direction! Thank you in advance and best of luck to all fellow GMAT takers!

Thanks,

NCH2024

Originally posted by nch2024 on 04 Jan 2019, 17:28.
Last edited by nch2024 on 07 Jan 2019, 19:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2019, 18:54
Hi NCH2024,

Focusing on the GMAT now, long before you will actually be applying, is a smart choice. Many Test Takers actually spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you might need a longer study timeframe than you are currently planning for. Raising a 470 to the point that you could consistently score 700+ will require that you make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections.

"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 this CAT. 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 this recent 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?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2019, 21:45
nch2024 wrote:
Hey guys,

I took a GMAC practice test with no prior prep several days ago and was less than thrilled with my results (470 27Q 27V 3IR). As with most on the forum, I had not been exposed to the types of questions and testing structure prior to the practice test other than briefly reading about it on the GMAC website.

I plan to take the test in approximately 2 months and have read on other threads on this forum that is advised to study somewhere in the ball park of 120-150 hrs. Luckily, I recently graduated from UG and have some time off prior to starting work to focus on the GMAT, so I had planned to commit between 2-3 hrs/day 5/6 days per week in preparation. Additionally, I attempted to divise a study strategy of my own based on some of the resources on this website and gathered that I needed to truly focus on fundamentals prior to jumping into too many practice questions or practice tests. After my first several days of studying, I have studied considerably longer than 2-3hrs a day and am worried this is unsustainable. I would absolutely consider myself a worry wort and when I feel overwhelmed I tend to overprepare!
After looking at the long list of concepts covered by the GMAT, I definitely feel overwhelmed!

As for materials, I have the OG 2019 Bundle(plan to save it for my later studies) and Kaplan 2019 Bundle. I have also been referring to GMAT Club Verbal & Quant as well as supplementary threads.

I would love to take the GMAT only once but after seeing my practice score, I figure it may take several attempts to reach my true target score. Based on what I have read on this website and given the duration of my studies, I am aiming for around a 600 on my first attempt. Ultimately, I truly aspire to score 700+(don't we all?). I plan to work for several years prior to applying, I am in no immediate rush to achieve my target other than saving myself time and money! Any and all comments, recommendations, and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Also if this is categorized in the wrong forum or directed at an innappropriate audience, please point me in the right direction! Thank you in advance and best of luck to all fellow GMAT takers!

Thanks,

NCH2024


At this level, you should be focusing on the basics. This is fortunate, in that moving from 470 to 600 is much easier than moving from 600 to 700 according to most experts on the forum. At this level, you are likely missing a lot of sub 600 level questions. I would start working through medium and hard level questions from the OG. Make sure to time yourself on every question. For every question you missed, I would first try to work out the question under unlimited time (now that you have already attempted it under timed conditions) To see if you can figure out what you missed. It is important to not only look for conceptual areas, but also silly mistakes you might have made (am I writing all the info on the pad, am I doing too much math in my head etc?). If you cannot figure out how to get the question right, proceed to search the forum for the question (Most questions have made it this way in some form or another) and read others solutions. Keeping a notebook/error log is absolutely necessary imo. I also find it tremendously helpful to read over the log in its entirety every day to try to keep previous mistakes fresh in your head.

For verbal prep, I cannot stress how helpful it can be to train yourself to read at a pace of 150 WPM. There are many videos/resources online for training yourself to read at this pace. I would get in the habit of reading publications such as the Economist and Scientific American. It can be helpful to pick a 3 paragraph chunk in the middle of longer articles, and treat it like a RC question. For each paragraph try to identify the main point, and whether it is argumentative or descriptive. For CR, I suggest getting a book such as Manhattan GMAT, Veritas or Powerscore, to help guide you through the basics of CR logic such as identifying premises, etc.

Finally, something that I read a lot but did not follow through with until about 9 months ago was "aim for quality of study not quantity" I was putting in about 35 hours a week studying plus my full time job for quite a while, and was mostly grinding through problems without a thorough enough analysis. This not only burnt me out, but did not add much to my ability level, and hurt my confidence, as I felt like I was running uphill without making any progress.
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Re: 470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2019, 19:52
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi NCH2024,

Focusing on the GMAT now, long before you will actually be applying, is a smart choice. Many Test Takers actually spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so you might need a longer study timeframe than you are currently planning for. Raising a 470 to the point that you could consistently score 700+ will require that you make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections.

"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 this CAT. 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 this recent CAT, how many questions did you get wrong....
1) Because of a silly/little mistake? Q:4,V:3
2) Because there was some math/verbal that you just could not remember how to do?Q:6V:4
3) Because the question was too hard?Q:3V:2
4) Because you were low on time and had to guess?Q:1V:1
5) How many Verbal questions did you 'narrow down to 2 choices' but still get wrong?V:4

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


My main issues with the IR section were my relative unfamiliarity with the types of question, but I also struggled mightily with timing on this section!

I really appreciate your response and help!

Best,

NCH2024
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Re: 470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2019, 20:01
ocelot22 wrote:
nch2024 wrote:
Hey guys,

I took a GMAC practice test with no prior prep several days ago and was less than thrilled with my results (470 27Q 27V 3IR). As with most on the forum, I had not been exposed to the types of questions and testing structure prior to the practice test other than briefly reading about it on the GMAC website.

I plan to take the test in approximately 2 months and have read on other threads on this forum that is advised to study somewhere in the ball park of 120-150 hrs. Luckily, I recently graduated from UG and have some time off prior to starting work to focus on the GMAT, so I had planned to commit between 2-3 hrs/day 5/6 days per week in preparation. Additionally, I attempted to divise a study strategy of my own based on some of the resources on this website and gathered that I needed to truly focus on fundamentals prior to jumping into too many practice questions or practice tests. After my first several days of studying, I have studied considerably longer than 2-3hrs a day and am worried this is unsustainable. I would absolutely consider myself a worry wort and when I feel overwhelmed I tend to overprepare!
After looking at the long list of concepts covered by the GMAT, I definitely feel overwhelmed!

As for materials, I have the OG 2019 Bundle(plan to save it for my later studies) and Kaplan 2019 Bundle. I have also been referring to GMAT Club Verbal & Quant as well as supplementary threads.

I would love to take the GMAT only once but after seeing my practice score, I figure it may take several attempts to reach my true target score. Based on what I have read on this website and given the duration of my studies, I am aiming for around a 600 on my first attempt. Ultimately, I truly aspire to score 700+(don't we all?). I plan to work for several years prior to applying, I am in no immediate rush to achieve my target other than saving myself time and money! Any and all comments, recommendations, and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Also if this is categorized in the wrong forum or directed at an innappropriate audience, please point me in the right direction! Thank you in advance and best of luck to all fellow GMAT takers!

Thanks,

NCH2024


At this level, you should be focusing on the basics. This is fortunate, in that moving from 470 to 600 is much easier than moving from 600 to 700 according to most experts on the forum. At this level, you are likely missing a lot of sub 600 level questions. I would start working through medium and hard level questions from the OG. Make sure to time yourself on every question. For every question you missed, I would first try to work out the question under unlimited time (now that you have already attempted it under timed conditions) To see if you can figure out what you missed. It is important to not only look for conceptual areas, but also silly mistakes you might have made (am I writing all the info on the pad, am I doing too much math in my head etc?). If you cannot figure out how to get the question right, proceed to search the forum for the question (Most questions have made it this way in some form or another) and read others solutions. Keeping a notebook/error log is absolutely necessary imo. I also find it tremendously helpful to read over the log in its entirety every day to try to keep previous mistakes fresh in your head.

For verbal prep, I cannot stress how helpful it can be to train yourself to read at a pace of 150 WPM. There are many videos/resources online for training yourself to read at this pace. I would get in the habit of reading publications such as the Economist and Scientific American. It can be helpful to pick a 3 paragraph chunk in the middle of longer articles, and treat it like a RC question. For each paragraph try to identify the main point, and whether it is argumentative or descriptive. For CR, I suggest getting a book such as Manhattan GMAT, Veritas or Powerscore, to help guide you through the basics of CR logic such as identifying premises, etc.

Finally, something that I read a lot but did not follow through with until about 9 months ago was "aim for quality of study not quantity" I was putting in about 35 hours a week studying plus my full time job for quite a while, and was mostly grinding through problems without a thorough enough analysis. This not only burnt me out, but did not add much to my ability level, and hurt my confidence, as I felt like I was running uphill without making any progress.


This is incredibily helpful and encouraging! I really appreciate your response.

Coincidentally, I have subcribe to and read the Economist so that will be easy to add to my regimen. As you mentioned, timing is key, and I have generally found that to be a weakness of mine when taking standardized tests. I will have to truly focus on this as part of my prep.

As for the first month, do you advise maybe 2-3 hrs a day of concept review with maybe an additional hour of RC/CR practice on rotating days? and maybe on the weekend OG practice?

Thanks in advance and best of luck in your MBA/GMAT process,

NCH2024
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Re: 470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2019, 21:11
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Hi nch2024,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. The good news is that you completed a big first step by taking a practice exam to get a baseline score. Since you scored 470 and are 230 points from your 700 score goal, you probably will need more than just 2 months to improve your GMAT score. Fortunately, you DON’T need to rush your GMAT prep. So, my suggestion is that you take as long as you need to improve your GMAT skills.

The GMAT is a demanding exam, so it’s not shocking that you are currently feeling overwhelmed. That being said, the best way to fight that feeling is to ensure that you are following a gradual and linear study plan that allows you learn each topic individually, starting with the foundations and then moving to more advanced topics. If you find that you are unable to study in that way, you may consider using an online self-study course. If you decide to go that route, check out the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

If you’d like further advice on how to improve your quant and verbal skills or regarding your study plan, please reach back out, and I’ll be happy to provide some detailed advice. You also may find it helpful to read the following articles about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT and how long to study for the GMAT.

Good luck!
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Re: 470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2019, 12:07
1
Hi NCH2024,

You shouldn't worry about IR just yet (most Business Schools still don't consider it a relevant part of the application) - and IR actually has a lot in common with Verbal CR (meaning that as you improve in CR, you'll likely see improvement in IR as well).

If you can commit to the type of study schedule that you listed - and commit to a longer timeframe overall - then I think that you could improve a great deal. Assuming that you want to be efficient with your studies, you will need consistent, professional guidance, so that you can learn all of the patterns, tactics and 'secrets' of the GMAT (without having to try to figure out all of that stuff on your own). As such, you would likely find it beneficial to invest in a GMAT Course of some kind (either Guided Self-Study or instructor-led). Most GMAT Companies offer some type of free materials (practice problems, Trial Accounts, videos, etc.) that you can use to 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a variety of those resources at our site (www.empowergmat.com). I suggest that you take advantage of all of them then choose the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget.

If you have any additional question, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2019, 09:23
Hi nch2024,

Improving from 460 to 700+ will require a structured approach and it is possible to achieve that improvement in the first attempt. Here are a few success stories of such students:
    - Richa followed a methodical approach and improved from 470 to 720. Click here to learn how she achieved this feat.
    - Askul improved from 520 to 710. Click here to read his inspiring GMAT journey.
    - Harshit improved from 520 to 740. Click here to watch his video interview. Click here to read his very inspiring debrief.

To reach your target score, you must first create a personalized study plan. It will help you improve to your target score in a systematic and efficient manner. You may refer to this article, Personalized Study Plan for 150+ Score Improvement, to create your own plan. If you have any queries regarding it, please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com. We would be happy to help.

Regards,
Aditee
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Re: 470 on First GMAT Practice...Looking for Advice   [#permalink] 09 Jan 2019, 09:23
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