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5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>

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5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 06:36
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Hi All,

Heads Up! This is going to be a long "heart poured out" post, but kindly bear with me. I have not contributed to the GMATClub family till now. I was planning to do that once I had beaten the GMAT at its own game, in the first attempt itself. However, after 5 months of genuine, dedicated and committed dedication, not to forget the utter sacrifice of social life, I have failed myself. I gave my GMAT today and scored a dismal 670 (Q46 V35). I genuinely, genuinely need advice from this community on how to improve my score, what should be my retake strategy, how should I troubleshoot my failure and pick myself up and get going to achieve my target score, ranging from 730-750! As of now, I am feeling really disheartened, low, demotivated and sort of beaten down.

Something about myself:

2.5 years of work experience. Currently working with Nielsen India in the FMCG division (I work with Reckitt Benckiser's Consumer and Market Inisghts + Brand Teams)
Already an MBA in Strategic Marketing and Communication (specialization in Brand Management) from MICA (Tier 1 B-School)
Planning to pursue my second MBA after 2.5 years of work ex (Yes, I have time with me but I wanted to get done with GMAT so that I can focus on improving my profile further in the next 2 years so that I can have a strong candidature for the Top 15- 20 programs)

Study Resources:

Manhattan Guides - All 12 of them
MGMAT Mocks 1 - 5
OG 2019, OG Quant Review 2019, OG Verbal Review 2019
PowerScore CR Bible (in the last two weeks before my GMAT appointment i.e today)
E-GMAT Online Course (Both Verbal + Quant) including Scholaranium
GMAT Club Tests
GMAT Club CR Mega thread
GMAT Club Ultimate Quantitative Mega Thread
GMAT Prep Mocks 1-5
Magoosh SC Idioms Flashcards
Veritas Android App for CR
Slingfox CR & SC Notes
Thursdays with Ron (Just a couple of Videos on CR and DS, couldn't devote more time to that)
Over 50 debriefs and countless posts mentioning various strategies/approaches/tips tricks etc.

How It Unfolded

I started my GMAT Prep in the first week of August. As mentioned earlier, I wanted to get done with my GMAT, as soon as possible, so that I can focus on the rest of my candidature. Kicked off my preparation with the Official Guide. I read a lot of briefs which mentioned that it is okay if you don't give the diagnostic test right away and I followed the same course. I gave my CAT exam (Indian B-School test) in 2014 and had scored a 95 percentile, with 99.7 percentile in Verbal. To add to that, I did my undergrad in Engineering. So I started off with Quant. Took around a month, month and a half and finished the Manhattan Quant guides and OG, with over 80% accuracy. From thereon, switched my focus to Verbal. Focused on RC from the Manhattan Guide and Official Guide for a month. I used to devote 2 hours on weekdays, because of an immensely high work pressure job and around 6 hours on most weekends.
By the end of September, I made up my mind to purchase E-GMAT Self study Online course and started the verbal section. Till November end, I focused on All E-GMAT Videos (hundreds of hours of study material), Manhattan Guide for CR and RC and solved questions from the Official Guide as well. Starting December end, at the business end of my preparations, I realized I still haven't given a mock and might not have enough time to study my performance, improve and attempt the real GMAT. Hence, I took a date for 4th January.

I completed the Quant Review and the Verbal Review guides in the first 15 days of December, started practicing from E-GMAT's scholaranium and also went through the questions I had solved incorrectly till now. From December 18, I started taking sectional tests and full length mocks (I intentionally didn't take any mocks till the end because we know there is a dearth of accurate mocks out there plus my preparation was still underway, so didn't see any point). My performance (except for Scholaranium quizzes, which I was primarily using for Verbal but scoring a dismal 60% accuracy in CR) was as follows:

18th Dec: GMAT Club CAT - Q42
19th Dec: MGMAT 1 600 Q45, V28 (DEVASTATED! I couldn't fathom what to do with this. It was a rude awakening) | GMAT Club CAT - Q41
20th Dec: MGMAT 2 580 Q40, V35 (Speechless....)
20th Dec: GMAT Club CAT Q36
21st Dec: GMAT Club CAT Q35
22nd Dec: GMAT Club CAT Q47
23rd Dec: GMAT Club CAT Q47
24th Dec: MGMAT 3 590 Q44 V28
26th Dec: GMAT PREP 1 690 Q49 (12 incorrect) V35 (12 incorrect) | GMAT Club CAT - Q47
28th Dec: GMAT PREP 2 690 Q49 (7 incorrect) V35 (12 incorrect)
29th Dec: GMAT PREP 3 690 Q49 (9 incorrect) V35 (11 incorrect) | MGMAT 4 Only Verbal - V33
30th Dec: GMAT Club CAT - Q47
31st Dec: GMAT PREP 4 700!! Q49 (5 incorrect) V36 (11 incorrect) | MGMAT 5 Only Verbal - V33
1st Jan: GMAT PREP 5 640!!! ( I was shaken, maybe I was burnt out) Q45 (13 incorrect) V32 (10 Incorrect!! How is it even possible!)
2nd Jan: GMAT Club CAT - Q46
4th Jan: ACTUAL GMAT 670!! (Q46, V35)

What were my weak points

Over the course of these mock tests, I did a thorough analysis of all these sectional test and Full Length CATs, and following were my observations:
1. I did improve a lot on Quant over time. Was doing a lot of silly mistakes in some tests but I was confident to score a Q49 in the real test as well
2. I am strong in SC. My accuracy on Scholaranium was 93%. In all the GMAT Prep Mock tests, I scored either 10/13 or 11/13 in SC. It was only in a couple of MGMATs where I struggled
3. I will agree that I didn't practice RC enough. RC slowed me down everytime in the Verbal Section. Again, mediocre accuracy in MGMATs but in GMAT PREP, 10/13 or 11/14 correct!
4. Now for the absolute DEVIL, Critical Reasoning! Many of the OG Questions were easy for me. Scholaranium threw the real CR gauntlet at me and I struggled throughout. Never had more than 60% accuracy. This started playing on my mind heavily once I saw the same trend repeating in the GMAT prep mocks. I ran through the EGMAT Videos and my notes, read Slingfox's CR notes, ordered Powerscore CR Bible because I read a lot of de-briefs which had mentioned a miraculous improvement in score for those people post Powerscore CR. To my frustration, It didn't work for me! I have screamed and cried at the top of my voice when I saw no improvement in my CR scores despite practicing questions from the CR megathread and going through the CR bible.

What happened today at the Actual GMAT

I overshot time on Verbal in all my mock tests except one. However, I was right on time today till the 18th - 19th question. I think a couple of CR questions after that slowed me down. However, A Bold Faced question presented itself at the 23rd mark! I was so elated because I had read that bold faced are the toughest of the CR questions on GMAT and if you get one, means you are on your way to a respectable or a super score! I kind of slipped on it I guess and lost more time. I attempted the last 3 questions in the last 3 minutes, two of those questions were CR questions! I didn't let that affect me since I had the fact in mind that i finally got a bold faced question in Verbal! never got one during any of the mocks! <Update: It's a big myth! I met someone today at the centre who got 2 bold faced questions but scored a V27>
Quant went exactly the way it went during the mocks. I finished well in time and was sure that I had got atleast 24 questions correct for sure. Submitted my essay and got a dismal 670! Cancelled the score right away!

I am Clueless right now!

I really am looking for a way out now. I have no idea how to approach my retake again. I ideally would like to give my preparations atleast a couple of months, but that being said, I am in the dark about how to proceed.
1. Should I consider some other Verbal course now that E-Gmat and their Pre-Thinking Approach didn't work for me in CR ( It is heavily time consuming!)]
2. Should I consider another course for Quant as well or continue to do GMAT Club tests! If yes, then which course (for both Verbal and Quant)
3. What should my approach for the retake strategy? How should I troubleshoot my performance now! I want this retake to be the last one now!
4. How to ensure that you don't slip from the scores you are getting in your mocks! I know it's vague but that Q47 slip from Q49 is bugging me like hell!
5. How do I solve this CR paradox! This has to be addressed right? It seems nothing is working out for me well.

Thank you for bearing with me and reading this post. I am just highly demotivated right now but I want to start off with my preparations asap! I am targeting 730-750!
To sign off, a dose of motivation for everyone out here and myself:

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they have been given than to explore the power they have. To change it. Impossible is not a fact. It is an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is Temporary. IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!
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GMAT 1: 490 Q39 V18
GMAT 2: 640 Q47 V30
GMAT 3: 670 Q50 V31
GMAT 4: 700 Q49 V36
GPA: 4
5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 10:00
1
1
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Hey!

It might feel like you scored less because you did not meet your score goal but a 670 is a great score really! So congratulations on that! :)

I used to take 6+ minutes per CR question on an average. But after some work on CR and finding a technique that works for me personally, I have cut down on my timing significantly.
The simple approach -
1. The conclusion - this is the most important thing and it is extremely extremely important that you are able to recognise the conclusion. If you are struggling with this then please first focus on finding the conclusion. (a few question types have no conclusion and a few have it in the stem)

2. Reasoning that supports the conclusion - after you recognize the conclusion and the premises, now you have to take a few seconds to make the logical link between the premises and the conclusion.
Why did the author state this premise?
What is the link between the premise and the conclusion?
How is the premise supporting conclusion?

3. Familiarise yourself with the types of questions and the wordings. Some need you to accept new information outside the argument. Some restrict you to only use information available in the arguement.
Also, the GMAT is good at hiding the question types and not stating them directly. This is done on purpose so u waste time deciphering what the stem is actually asking you.
Example - "The conclusion is based on doubts on the validity of which of the following statements?"

Being able to recognize question types immediately will save you quite some time. You will immediately be able to attack the question because you now know what you are actually supposed to find.

Know meanings of wordings such as 'qualifies'.

BTW the above stem in the example is a Weaken type question!

4. One of the most important things is to pay attention to every single word. Read slowly. Every modifier, ever damn word matters.
DO NOT MAKE YOUR OWN VERSIONS IN YOUR HEAD.

Example- "Z is not as good as Y"
If you read it in a lazy way and not pay attention. Then you might conclude this in your head "Z is worse than Y."
But did the arguement even say that? NOPE.
It might mean two things - Z can be better (or) worse than Y.

5. Doing all the above will most probably lead you to striking off 3 wrong choices and now you're stuck with 2 choices.
What do u do now?
This step is similar to step 4. Check for extreme words or words that are slightly changed from what they are in the argument.

Example - Campaigns for endangered species will not have much impact on the most important environmental problems.
Wrong AC will generalise about just "environmental problems".
But what do we need info about?
We are concerned about " most important environmetal problems".

This will mostly help you when you are stuck between two AC. There is always some slight change which matters a lot. And GMAT with its amazing questions makes it hard for us to find.

EXTRA -
Replace your "practice" with "practice + review".

The more you review, the more easy it gets for you to recognize eliminate the wrong AC.
Example -
- Capacity questions : Airport has 20 flights operating. The flight operating capacity of the airport decreased by 50%.
Does it mean only 10 flights can operate? Nope.
Maybe capacity was 1000.
So remove all such AC.
- Proportions/percentage questions: generally the AC which talk in numbers are wrong.
- when some plan/action is proposed: AC which talk about the past or similar plans that failed in the past or ones which say the plan won't happen are all generally wrong.
We need to focus on what will happen WHEN AND IF plan is implemented.

Will be happy if the above helps you even slightly. :D

My immediate tip for you would be to relax for a few days. Start fresh. Maybe change your study method and focus on building a personal technique that suits you. All the amazing debriefs we read on this forum mostly have things that worked for them personally. So find those techniques that work for you best. Develop them. Give your best shot the next time!

We are all rooting for you! :D
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
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Posts: 14347
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 13:40
1
Hi khulluskywalker,

First off, a 670/Q46 is a solid score (it's right around the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. There's certainly no harm in retesting though - and you have the opportunity to pick up some serious points in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Based on what you described about your studies, there are some ideas worth noting:

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 various CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 670 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. Raising a 670 to the point that you can consistently score 730+ will likely require at least another 1-2 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.

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level - and it's certainly possible that this has happened to you as well. While I'm sure that you worked through lots of practice questions, "your way" of approaching the Exam never got you to your Goal Score 'range', so some changes will be required to that routine. This is meant to say that you would likely find it beneficial to invest in some new, non-book resources that focus on Quant and Verbal Tactics.

The process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically should not take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. By taking so many CATs in the two weeks right before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' on Test Day. Even if you didn't "feel" tired, the drop in your Quant Scaled Score certainly implies that you were not at your best.

You might also 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 went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

1) Assuming that you would want to retest relatively soon - going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/
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Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2019, 00:46
blitzkriegxX wrote:
Hey!

It might feel like you scored less because you did not meet your score goal but a 670 is a great score really! So congratulations on that! :)

I used to take 6+ minutes per CR question on an average. But after some work on CR and finding a technique that works for me personally, I have cut down on my timing significantly.
The simple approach -
1. The conclusion - this is the most important thing and it is extremely extremely important that you are able to recognise the conclusion. If you are struggling with this then please first focus on finding the conclusion. (a few question types have no conclusion and a few have it in the stem)

2. Reasoning that supports the conclusion - after you recognize the conclusion and the premises, now you have to take a few seconds to make the logical link between the premises and the conclusion.
Why did the author state this premise?
What is the link between the premise and the conclusion?
How is the premise supporting conclusion?

3. Familiarise yourself with the types of questions and the wordings. Some need you to accept new information outside the argument. Some restrict you to only use information available in the arguement.
Also, the GMAT is good at hiding the question types and not stating them directly. This is done on purpose so u waste time deciphering what the stem is actually asking you.
Example - "The conclusion is based on doubts on the validity of which of the following statements?"

Being able to recognize question types immediately will save you quite some time. You will immediately be able to attack the question because you now know what you are actually supposed to find.

Know meanings of wordings such as 'qualifies'.

BTW the above stem in the example is a Weaken type question!

4. One of the most important things is to pay attention to every single word. Read slowly. Every modifier, ever damn word matters.
DO NOT MAKE YOUR OWN VERSIONS IN YOUR HEAD.

Example- "Z is not as good as Y"
If you read it in a lazy way and not pay attention. Then you might conclude this in your head "Z is worse than Y."
But did the arguement even say that? NOPE.
It might mean two things - Z can be better (or) worse than Y.

5. Doing all the above will most probably lead you to striking off 3 wrong choices and now you're stuck with 2 choices.
What do u do now?
This step is similar to step 4. Check for extreme words or words that are slightly changed from what they are in the argument.

Example - Campaigns for endangered species will not have much impact on the most important environmental problems.
Wrong AC will generalise about just "environmental problems".
But what do we need info about?
We are concerned about " most important environmetal problems".

This will mostly help you when you are stuck between two AC. There is always some slight change which matters a lot. And GMAT with its amazing questions makes it hard for us to find.

EXTRA -
Replace your "practice" with "practice + review".

The more you review, the more easy it gets for you to recognize eliminate the wrong AC.
Example -
- Capacity questions : Airport has 20 flights operating. The flight operating capacity of the airport decreased by 50%.
Does it mean only 10 flights can operate? Nope.
Maybe capacity was 1000.
So remove all such AC.
- Proportions/percentage questions: generally the AC which talk in numbers are wrong.
- when some plan/action is proposed: AC which talk about the past or similar plans that failed in the past or ones which say the plan won't happen are all generally wrong.
We need to focus on what will happen WHEN AND IF plan is implemented.

Will be happy if the above helps you even slightly. :D

My immediate tip for you would be to relax for a few days. Start fresh. Maybe change your study method and focus on building a personal technique that suits you. All the amazing debriefs we read on this forum mostly have things that worked for them personally. So find those techniques that work for you best. Develop them. Give your best shot the next time!

We are all rooting for you! :D







Thank you so much for sharing your approach towards CR questions with me. Yes, I am planning on taking a one week cooldown period post which I'm going to go all in on the preparations again. The problem I am facing in these questions is that most of the times I am not able to "Pre Think" the assumption or the answer in my head, so I straightaway jump to the answer choices after figuring out the premise and the conclusion and that is when I struggle when there are more than one or two options which seem as if they could be the right explanation to weaken or strengthen the argument. I hope your approach works out for me. As you have mentioned, do you have a list of identified patterns/questions on CR or if you could tell me how to go about making one for myself for my retake, that would be great! I know for a fact now that no book can help me now. If I need to scale up to V40 from V35, it will have to be more of a tactical pursuit rather than just keep on solving more questions until you get better strategy.

Thank you so much for your help :D
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Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2019, 01:14
g
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi khulluskywalker,

First off, a 670/Q46 is a solid score (it's right around the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. There's certainly no harm in retesting though - and you have the opportunity to pick up some serious points in BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Based on what you described about your studies, there are some ideas worth noting:

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 various CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 670 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. Raising a 670 to the point that you can consistently score 730+ will likely require at least another 1-2 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.

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level - and it's certainly possible that this has happened to you as well. While I'm sure that you worked through lots of practice questions, "your way" of approaching the Exam never got you to your Goal Score 'range', so some changes will be required to that routine. This is meant to say that you would likely find it beneficial to invest in some new, non-book resources that focus on Quant and Verbal Tactics.

The process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically should not take more than 1 CAT per week - and your last CAT should be taken about 1 week before Test Day. By taking so many CATs in the two weeks right before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' on Test Day. Even if you didn't "feel" tired, the drop in your Quant Scaled Score certainly implies that you were not at your best.

You might also 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 went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

1) Assuming that you would want to retest relatively soon - going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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




Hi Rich,

Firstly, thank you so much for finding the time to go through my journey and replying to this. :)
Yes, the fact that I score a 690, 690, 690, 700 and a 640 made me realise that there is something I am consistently getting wrong. While for verbal, I knew it was CR but despite going through multiple books and the GMAT Club CR thread, the same score and the same low accuracy rate was frustrating me because I wasn't able to figure out why am I not able to get CR right.

This leads me to your suggestion of going through non-book resources for Quant and Verbal tactics. Are you suggesting some other online prep course? I am considering taking EmpowerGMAT's 3 month course to get me through. It would be great if you can help me in understanding how to go about TRAINING to improve myself in handling both Quant and Verbal section better to reach 730+ level.

I think you have rightly mentioned that my book heavy approach made me 'stuck' at a particular approach and I was not able to figure out alternative strategies or recognize patterns perhaps in the type of questions or 'How to Attack GMAT' questions in a different way.

This being said, I want to take a one week cooldown period and start my preparations again by next week. I am ready to again devote 2 hours on the weekdays and atleast 6 hours on the weekends for my study. It would be really helpful if you can help me on what should be my overall approach this time, how to identify these non-book tactics and reach my desired level. While I have identified a few weak areas like CR in verbal, and taking too much to read the RC passage or visiting the RC passage multiple times and some areas like DS problems of Rates, Mixture and in some cases, Absolute values etc., I think I need to draft a holistic strategy to ace the GMAT this time!
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Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jan 2019, 18:20
Hi khulluskywalker,

I think that taking a little 'time off' from your studies to relax a bit would be a good idea. Once you're ready to get back into 'study mode' you should post back here (or you can contact me directly through PM or email) and we can talk about how best to proceed.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

*****Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!*****

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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jan 2019, 21:02
1
Hi khulluskywalker,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, DO NOT be demotivated, my friend! Your actual GMAT score came right in line with your practice test scores. So, it’s not as if you bombed your GMAT, OK? Also, 670 is not a bad start!!

That being said, I agree that you need to improve your quant and verbal skills to achieve your 730+ goal score. So, you need to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. 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.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.
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Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2019, 11:58
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Hey again khulluskywalker!

Unfortunately I don't have any list really. All the examples were the ones I could remember as I typed that post. This will come to you naturally as well if you just spend some time reviewing each question. At times I used to spend almost 15-30 minutes per question on review initially. Just solve 10 questions, but review them thoroughly. Once you get familiar with AC and the traps Gmat uses, you can start doing timed sets.

Regarding your prethinking problem -
When you prethink, don't do it too deeply. Frankly, when you think about assumptions, there are hundreds of ways we can have an assumption. So there is no point in wasting time in trying to come up with an assumption that is too detailed or that should exactly match the AC.
Relax and only come up with the link between the premises and the conclusion. This link is the main issue you should focus on.
Based on this link, frame a question in your head. That should be the prethinking you do.
The AC must be able to answer this prethinking question that you made.
And for the 9999999th time - Do not miss any details or modifiers in the premises and the conclusion.

I will try to explain with an example.
Quote:
For several years, per capita expenditure on prescription drugs in Voronia rose by fifteen percent or more annually. In order to curb these dramatic increases, the ministry of health prohibited drug manufacturers from raising any of their products' prices. Even though use of prescription drugs did not expand after this price freeze, per capita expenditure for prescription drugs continued to increase by a substantial percentage each year.

Which of the following, if true, most helps to explain why the ministry's action did not achieve its goal?

(A) After price increases were prohibited, drug manufacturers concentrated on producing new medications to replace existing products.

(B) The population of Voronia rose steadily throughout the period.

(C) Improvements in manufacturing processes enabled drug manufacturers to maintain high profit levels on drugs despite the price freeze.

(D) In addition to imposing a price freeze, the government encouraged doctors to prescribe generic versions of common drugs instead of the more expensive brand-name versions.

(E) After price increases were prohibited, some foreign manufacturers of expensive drugs ceased marketing them in Voronia.


Let's keep it simple.
Remember, we cannot skip any modifiers. And no lazy reading.


Prethinking - OK so the AC should convince me as to why expenditure increased even though 1. use did not increase and 2. Price increase prohibited.
Important modifier "per capita".

Frankly that's all is my prethinking. It's always a question in my head that focuses on the main issue of the argument. Thats what works for me. Simple and don't miss any words or modifiers.

Coming to POE -
B) The most common trap. What if we did lazy reading n missed "per capita"? Then we would be definetly choosing this one.
Notice that if that modifier was missing then this would be a contendor.

C) Does this answer our question? Nope.

D) I like the govt of Voronia. They are doing soo much about this issue. Doctors are prescribing cheaper medicine. So shouldn't the expenditure decrease?
Doesn't answer our prethinking.

E) okay. So expensive drugs are marketed less. So less people would buy these expensive drugs. Again like D, the option is doing the opposite.

Note - this is supposed to be a hard question. So don't worry if you got it wrong initially.

Also I'm really bad at explaining things. So if you did not understand something above then please feel free to ask me to explain it again.

Good luck!
Ping me whenever you see some progress with your CR! We'll celebrate together! ;)

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Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2019, 10:34
[quote="ScottTargetTestPrep"]Hi khulluskywalker,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, DO NOT be demotivated, my friend! Your actual GMAT score came right in line with your practice test scores. So, it’s not as if you bombed your GMAT, OK? Also, 670 is not a bad start!!

That being said, I agree that you need to improve your quant and verbal skills to achieve your 730+ goal score. So, you need to go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. 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.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the




Thank you so much for the help Scott! The methodological approach to not practice but practice + review does make me realize a couple of mistakes which I made during my preparations and which I definitely should work on this time.
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Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2019, 19:12
My pleasure! Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Good luck!
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

Founder and CEO

Scott@TargetTestPrep.com
TTP - Target Test Prep Logo
122 Reviews

5-star rated online GMAT quant
self study course

See why Target Test Prep is the top rated GMAT quant course on GMAT Club. Read Our Reviews

If you find one of my posts helpful, please take a moment to click on the "Kudos" button.

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Re: 5 Months - 670 (Q46 V35) - Need Strong Retake Strategy/Advice <HELP>   [#permalink] 14 Jan 2019, 19:12
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