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550 GMAT - 4th Attempt - I don't know what to do

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550 GMAT - 4th Attempt - I don't know what to do  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2019, 13:37
I am not even sure where to begin. I am frustrated in myself. More so about why I cannot obtain a 650+ score than even getting into business school. Just for the sake of a human with a brain. I have spent about 4 years studying for the GMAT (last 2 years I have taken my study very seriously - cut down social life - no partying - isolated myself). I see the GMAT as a disease to be honest at this point given my scores. In October 2019, I had hope when I wrote the exam (3rd attempt) as I got 610 - Q47 V28 (33rd percentile in SC, 55 in CR and 55 in RC). Previously on my second attempt, I scored 590 Q35 V35 and the first attempt 510 Q39 V23ish.

I thought with another month of studying for Verbal and trying to perfect Quant, I would score higher than 610. I focused primarily on Verbal as I did horrible my third attempt in Verbal.

From October 24, 2019 (day after third attempt on the GMAT) to about the end of November:

Quant
I did custom GMATCLUB quizzes per topic (aside from perms/combs and geometry) to ensure my mind was still sharp in Quant (quizzes were about 20-30 questions each – 500/600 Level). I did not do a lot of quizzes, just quizzes here and there. To be honest, I have practiced so many questions available in the GMATClub Quiz bank that I am used to the feel of 500-600 Level GMATCLUB Quant Quizzes and my accuracy was decent per topic (70% or higher). The only two topics that I struggled with on the GMAT Club 500-600 Level Quiz questions were Work problems and Absolute Values (about 50% accuracy on 20 questions). A week prior to my exam I was focused a lot on Quant by reviewing the TTP course - creating custom quizzes per chapter - medium to hard level questions (all chapters aside from perms and combs/probability and Geometry - this course really helped me bump up my Quant score from 35 to 47). I thought to myself, if I scored Quant 47 without studying Perms/Combs and Geo, I should be able to repeat the Q47 score or at least close to it (44-47 range).

Verbal
SC and CR - I registered for the e-gmat Verbal course and completed about 25% of the verbal section. The SC section was taking me longer to complete than I had expected - I thought to myself there was no way I would be able to complete the verbal course in a month’s time with doing enough practice. I changed my Verbal approach by doing medium to hard level SC and CR (official guide questions available per topic on this forum). I read through the Manhattan SC book (I have read it many times) to make sure I did not forget basic grammar. My accuracy was not the best in SC, but I made notes and tried to understand where I went wrong. A week prior to my exam, I completed some medium to hard level SC questions on the practice questions purchased from mba.com - my accuracy was about 81%. I felt confident for SC. I made sure I broke sentences down into subject-verb pairs or modifiers and take things from there – read each sentence bit by bit analyzing the bits. More so, I was getting most of the medium to hard level questions on CR correct (the only question types I was struggling with were bold face and inference questions). I practiced about a 100-total medium to hard level CR questions from the Official Guides. For CR, initially I did not time myself as I really wanted to use logic and not rush into things – this strategy really helped as I explained to myself why each of the 4 answers are wrong and why the one I picked is right (my accuracy increased studying this way). My timing improved from about 5 minutes per question to about 2:50 minutes (there were very few questions overall that took me longer than 2 minutes – they were extremely hard – as in GMATCLUB rating of 75-95% hard).

RC - I was doing extremely hard level LSAT passages - getting at most 2 wrong answers out of a set of 5 or 7. I was making sure that I understood each passage before attempting the questions and given the complexity of the passages, I was spending about 16-18 minutes on each (I completed about 3 passages a day)

Day of Exam

Heading into the exam that I wrote today, I felt confident overall with Quant and Verbal. During the exam, I felt the Verbal section was easier compared to the question types I practiced for SC, CR and RC. My timing wasn’t the best. At question 11, I had 40 minutes left. At around question 24, I had about 12 minutes left, and I had to really rush into things and move fast with some of the SC questions and even guessed some RC passage questions and CR. I found Quant to be hard – I had a decent mix of Geometry, Perms/Combs and Probability. At about Question 22, I had 8 minutes left on Quant and had to hurry up and guess the last 6-7 questions (from questions 1-10 I had to guess about 3, so total I had to guess on about 9-10 questions). I started off Quant with good timing – at question 11 I had about 41 minutes left. During the middle set of questions (11-20) I spent too much time on some questions I did not know how to complete or approach. All in all, once the exam was over, I saw 550 Q40 V26 and cancelled my score. I was in disbelief in myself. I just could not process how it happened and literally just had no reaction – I sat there frozen and then left the centre.

I do not like making up excuses, but the last 2 attempts at the exam, I was not able to sleep the night before. I have noticed my mind is so active. When I woke up today, I felt tired. To make things even better, my exam was at 8am. For all the exams I have written, they were all scheduled at 8am. Some say a good sleep and even a week of rest is good, which I agree. However, one cannot just score so bad as I did given my practice, multiple attempts and confidence.

I do not know what to do. I need some suggestions. I need advice. My US business school dreams are shattered so I will stick to Canada. I really do not know how to approach my study going forward. I am going to apply R2 deadlines but I really want to re-write the exam. I know a 610 is not as competitive of a score for top schools in Canada. I want to re-write the exam – not to prove to business schools – to prove to myself that I am at least in a decent percentile of overall scores. Yes, a 650 will do wonders for me in terms of business school applications and I want to score higher than 610. But I have taken this 550 score very personally. To put things into perspective, I feel like trash.
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Re: 550 GMAT - 4th Attempt - I don't know what to do  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Dec 2019, 15:34
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550 GMAT - 4th Attempt - I don't know what to do  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2019, 08:53
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Hi Oa7,

I’m sorry to hear how things have been going with your GMAT. From your story, it’s clear that you have been putting a TREMENDOUS amount of pressure on yourself, and I can’t help but think that pressure has been negatively affecting your performance on test day.

Regarding quant, I see that you used TTP for about a week? Honestly, if you were to complete the entire TTP course, not only would you score higher than Q40, but I think you could score higher than Q47.

Regarding verbal, your approach to SC looks a bit grammar heavy. Also, breaking the sentences into bits might have worked in the past sometimes, when SC questions were different from the ones that appear on the test now, but, these days, generally, you have to read the sentences holistically. Breaking them into bits can actually make seeing what you have to see more difficult.

Meanwhile, 8 am may be a little early to take the test, especially if taking it at that time results in your not having much time for warmup questions.

In any case, hang in there, my friend. By getting some rest and destressing, possibly partly by scheduling your test a little later in the morning; completing the TTP quant course; and adjusting the way you approach SC questions, you should be able to drive your score to 650+.

If you’d like to chat further about your gameplan moving forward, feel free to reach out to me directly.
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550 GMAT - 4th Attempt - I don't know what to do   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2019, 08:53
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