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6 Months of study, from 640 in Apr to 640 in Sep!

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6 Months of study, from 640 in Apr to 640 in Sep!  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 03 Sep 2017, 21:32
Hey all,

So I recently sat for my GMAT on Saturday September 2nd, and scored a 640 (48Q, 29V, 7IR), totally bombing the verbal portion, after having scored 690-750-640-700 on my last 4 fresh, non-retake, practice exams, the first of which is from Veritas Prep, and the final two of which are from Exam Pack 2. Below is a list of all my exams taken chronologically...

GMATPrep 1, 4/22/17 - 640 (Q45, V33)
MGMAT CAT 1, 5/3/17 - 650 (Q41, V35)
MGMAT CAT 2, 5/21/17 - 580 (Q38, V31)
MGMAT CAT 3, 6/3/17 - 630 (Q44, V32)
MGMAT CAT 4, 6/12/17 - 610 (Q38, V35)
Veritas CAT 1, 6/15/17 - 660 (Q46, V35)
Veritas CAT 2, 6/22/17 - 620 (Q43, V33)
Veritas CAT 3, 7/8/17 - 660 (Q48, V33)
GMATPrep 2, 7/9/17 - 650 (Q48, V31)
MGMAT CAT 5, 7/11/17 - 630 (Q42, V34)
Veritas CAT 4, 7/15/17 - 680 (Q49, V32)
Veritas CAT 5, 7/27/17 - 660 (Q49, V32)
Veritas CAT 6, 8/2/17 - 670 (Q49, V33)
MGMAT CAT 6, 8/5/17 - 660 (Q44, V36)
Veritas CAT 7, 8/6/17 - 710 (Q50, V37)
GMATPrep 3, 8/9/17 - 690 (Q49, V35)
GMATPrep 4, 8/15/17 - 750 (Q51, V40)
GMATPrep 5, 8/28/17 - 640 (Q47, V31)
GMATPrep 6, 8/30/17 - 700 (Q49, V35)

On test day...I opted for Q-V-IR-AWA. During my first break, I had my granola bar, drank some Gatorade, and used the restroom. To my surprise when I asked how much time was remaining in my break, they had told me I had used 12 minutes. Stress level over 9000!!!! During all of my practice exams, I've never spent more than 5 minutes eating a snack and using the restroom... I lost 5 minutes of my time for the Verbal section, and feel like this contributed to my underwhelming Verbal score....Now when I received my score I was feeling just okay about my Quant score, however my my jaws dropped when I saw my verbal score... I just received my Enhanced Score Report and saw that although I had scored a 41 in CR and 37 in SC (which I believe is I could have definitely performed better on), my RC score was a measly 20!!! I felt absolutely crushed that my final score was the same as the score of my first practice exam...

Study Material
-OG Quant '16
-OG Verbal '16
-Manhattan Prep SC
-Manhattan Prep Numbers Properties
-GmatClub forums

I plan to sit for the exam again in 2 months (also have around 16 days of PTO to use before the new year and would be more than willing to take another week off to prep), and intend on nailing it this time around. I usually spent around 15-20 hours a week for the last 6 months preparing along with taking the week off before my exam to get in the zone. I've already ordered the Manhattan Prep Critical Reasoning and Manhattan Prep Reading Comp books and am heavily considering getting Magoosh Premium for guidance, but if anyone can give me some advice on how to structure my studying to better solidify my verbal proficiency, that'd be much appreciated! I'd like to score 720+

Originally posted by clee1827 on 03 Sep 2017, 14:06.
Last edited by clee1827 on 03 Sep 2017, 21:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 6 Months of study, from 640 in Apr to 640 in Sep!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2017, 21:25
Sometimes the first test doesn't go as planned. Don't worry, get your ESR and look at the section you performed poorly. Spend a lot of time imporivng that section and you can gain a higher score.
Winners dont make excuses.

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6 Months of study, from 640 in Apr to 640 in Sep!  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2017, 11:50
Hey clee1827,

If you were to ask me, this score is probably just pressure playing its part!
I can't even imagine thinking straight knowing that I have lost around 5 of my 75 minutes, especially
in the Verbal Section. Kudos on bouncing back with a 37 and 41 in SC and CR after losing that time :)

Ordering an ESR was a very wise thing and since it is clear that you still need help in the
Reading Comprehension Section. Work on it in a methodical way
(Do 4-5 RC's from Official sources on a daily basis. Start from OG10 and work your way
to the OG 18).

Might want to have a look at this link to check out some strategies(Helped me a lot) ... 83101.html

For math(Scoring a Q48 means that you have probably mastered all/most of the concepts)
I would recommend you to subscribe for the GMATPrep tests and also solve 700+ questions
in both the tests and other sources you could get your hands on! You should follow Bunuel
and work on all the problems sets in his signature(eg. Devil's Dozen, 12 Easy Pieces, etc... )
All you need is to understand are those small pieces of information(eg. missing zero/fractions
while solving a DS question) that you are probably missing now and this should probably get you to Q50/51

Hope that helps you.
You've got what it takes, but it will take everything you've got
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: 6 Months of study, from 640 in Apr to 640 in Sep!  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2017, 14:38
Hi clee1827,

First off, a 640/Q48 is a solid score (it's right around the 75th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools that you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of them here: ... tants-124/

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 - and if we ignore the 750/Q51/V40 (which was an 'outlier' on many different levels) - most of your CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (660 +/- a few points). By extension, this 640 isn't that surprising - it's at the "lower end" of your range, but it IS in your range.

You mentioned something that makes me question whether you took your CATs in a completely realistic fashion. If you took those 19 CATs in a realistic way, then you would have had 38 8-minute breaks to deal with. Over the months and months of practice, you should have developed a pretty good 'sense' of what 8 minutes "felt like" and tailored what you did during those 2 breaks to properly fit that timeframe. On Test Day though, you had to ASK how much time had passed - and then you were surprised by the fact that it was 12 minutes. Thus, if you weren't properly prepared for that part of the Exam, there were likely other areas that you also weren't properly prepared for. Test Day is a rather specific event - and to score 720+, you really have to train for every aspect of it (including what you do throughout the Day of the Exam and what you do during your 2 breaks). Now that you've faced the Official GMAT, you should be able to use that experience to better prepare for your next attempt. To raise your score 80 points though, you will likely need to invest in some new practice materials and learn/practice some new Tactics.

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Re: 6 Months of study, from 640 in Apr to 640 in Sep!   [#permalink] 07 Sep 2017, 14:38
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