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5th GMAT Retake under certain conditions? How to start?

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5th GMAT Retake under certain conditions? How to start? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2017, 07:33
Hello friends,

well, I'm back again and eager to give it another try for the 5th time. To be honest, I felt embarrassed to write this post as I go for my fifth time. But I know that there are many fellows in this forum who might face similar conditions, so we are not alone :) This time I would like to do certain things differently! One thing might be to rely more on expert's advice!
To my background: I just graduated from university in Business Management and Economics with a GPA of 3.3 at a pretty good school in Germany. My CV is not too bad either, but what lacks is a decent GMAT score for the schools I would like to apply. From what I have read my top schools have an average score of 680.
I took the GMAT in April 2017 and unfortunately I scored 640 (Q47/V31), which is not too far away from the average but probably not sufficient to be admissioned. Yet I feel like there is still potential upwards in my score! So my goal is a score of at least 680.

GMAT history:

February 2016: 610 (Q38/V37)
January 2017: cancelled (I think it was 580)
April 2017: 640 (Q47/V30)
April 2017: 640 (Q47/V31): 3weeks retake

Materials I have used:

- Complete Manhattan Strategy Set
- OG 16 + Verbal 16 + Quant 16
- GmatClub Tests (but not thoroughly enough)
- eGmat (I purchased the Online Course, but I have not really used it, as I thought it did not fit the MGMAT Style) -> To be honest, I was kinda confused, which might have also messed up my verbal strategy)
- some documents from the Forum
- Exam Pack 1 + 2

Study Strategy:

I have studied exactly for two months (in between I had some university exams, so I stopped studying for a week or two or so). I was able to study full time so I studied about 5-6 hours a day. The last weeks I have even studied up to 10 hours! Retrospective, I think I have studied too much but not thoroughly enough. I was not focusing on quality but rather quantity, so that I had the feeling to have covered every single concept.
I used an error log, but I have not repeated the concepts sufficiently. For the retake I had 3 more weeks to study, and I tried to focus on Verbal. Unfortunately I barely had original OG Problems left, so I tried to solve some problems from other sources, which led to more confusion. I think I also messed up because I have not sticked to the strategy. (i.e. Reading Comprehension...etc) Also I tried to do too many CATs (Score range 620 - 680) in my last weeks in order to prepare for real time conditions. So there were many things that didn't go too well.

Current Situation:

By now, six months have passed, and I have not touched any GMAT nor academic material since I was doing an full-time internship at a big company in Germany. I went out a lot and I kinda lost my focus. I guess my brain slowed down a bit as well :D
Anyways, now I am here and want to bang the GMAT! I am afraid that I lost my skills and knowledge that I had built half a year ago. (and I am pretty sure I did)
Yesterday, I took a CAT 1 from the Default GMAT Prep, and I have scored 670 (Q46/V36). I was soooooooo confused, as I did not know whether to cheer up or to cry.
I know that the new policy (about switching order) will come to favor for me, as I am planning to go for " Verbal - Quant - IR/AWA ".
I am planning to take the exam on the 20th of December, which gives me almost 3 months to go hard again. I can study full time...

My questions is now:

How should I approach my study strategy?
I don't want to waste too much time with concepts I am confident with, but it stresses me out to " skim/skip " something because it makes me feel that I might leave out something important.
Shall I go through the MGMAT strategy books again?
I am also willing to purchase another course with score guarantee, but will this really help? I cant afford to lose more money....(btw. I extended the eGMAT course)
My plan was to study as I have never faced the GMAT before... Is there any advice how I can tackle it?
It stresses me out, as I don't know how to start and I keep procrastinating!

I am very thankful for any help and advice!!!

Best Regards,
Melin

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Re: 5th GMAT Retake under certain conditions? How to start? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2017, 08:20
Hi Melin,
First up, I admire your tenacity and would strongly encourage you to go for it even if it is the 5th time. I believe nothing is more exciting than someone not giving up and putting in all the effort possible to achieve your full potential.

The good thing is that I feel you are decently self-aware and highlighted many of the points which you will need to change this time.

1) Quality >>> Quantity
If you do the most important 60-70% topics really well, you'll definitely cross 700. Train your brain to not feel bad about leaving out certain topics.

2) Be very strategic.. make a detailed list of topics and classify them into 3 types - know really well, have some knowledge but not enough, and know nothing at all. Then also classify those topics as very important for GMAT, moderately important, and not so important.
Now totally forget about topics which you know nothing about and are not so important.. and plan the strategy for other one accordingly.

I'm in a flight right now and about to take off.
I hope this is good enough to restart your prep.

In terms of material I feel Manhattan books + OG + GMAT Club threads/books should be enough.


Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum
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Re: 5th GMAT Retake under certain conditions? How to start? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2017, 22:46
Hi Melin,

Since you've taken the GMAT 4 times already, have you taken this recent practice CAT before? I ask because since you haven't studied for almost 5 months, we need to get an assessment of your current skills on a CAT that you have never seen before (and I have to assume that you've probably taken this CAT at least once). Thus, if this isn't a 'new' CAT, then you should plan to take a new, FULL-LENGTH CAT sometime soon - and in a realistic fashion (so take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you think you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.).

With a 640, you're actually closer to a 680+ than you probably realize, but you'll have to make some fundamental changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the GMAT to pick up those missing points.

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Rich
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Re: 5th GMAT Retake under certain conditions? How to start?   [#permalink] 27 Sep 2017, 22:46
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