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600 Baseline Score - GMAT in 8 weeks

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Joined: 03 Sep 2018
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Location: Canada
GPA: 2.84
WE: Business Development (Consumer Products)
600 Baseline Score - GMAT in 8 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2018, 08:14
Hey everybody,

longtime lurker, first-time poster (so please be gentle lol)

Wanted to give a little background of where I'm at and where I want to be; see if I'm being realistic.

I've studied for the GMAT 3 years ago very on-off, but never ended up taking the exam. I decided to try taking a GMAT Official Practice to see if it was worth pursuing.

My baseline score was a 600 (Q35 | V37).

I had a very difficult time with Quant timing and simply not knowing/remembering very basic things like Trig formulas, inequalities and anything about circles lol.

I had no idea what an "integer" was given that my high-school math was exclusively conducted in French many years ago. I'm a Native English speaker that reads a good amount so Verbal shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I'm aiming for a 730, so I would need to average a (Q45|V45) distributions.

I scheduled the GMAT for November 14th, 2018 - Roughly 8 weeks out.

I have a relatively strong Quant foundation; BComm (Economics) + First-year courses for MSc (Financial Economics) so I hope I can see a strong improvement with a little review.

Materials on hand
OG2019
OG2019 Quant
OG2019 Verbal
OG2016

Any materials or online services you guys can suggest?
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Re: 600 Baseline Score - GMAT in 8 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2018, 15:39
Hi Pakman33,

To start, a 600 is a solid initial CAT Score (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years) - and your V37 shows that you're already a fairly strong critical thinker. To hit your Goal Score, you will certainly have to work on your 'content knowledge', but it's worth noting that the Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it, meaning that you'll want to put a certain amount of effort into learning and practicing the proper Tactics.

Based on what you have described about your Study Plan and timeline, there are some things that you should consider about your plans going forward. First, many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level, so you'll likely end up needing to invest in some non-book resources. Second, raising a 600 to a 730+ will likely require at least another 3 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. Your current timeline is for only 8 weeks though, so you might need to consider pushing back your Test Date.

Before I can offer you any additional advice, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and goals:

1) Do you have an exact Test Date yet (and if so, then what is the date?)?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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600 Baseline Score - GMAT in 8 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Sep 2018, 23:39
1
Hello Pakman33,

You have a very good baseline score to start from !
Apart from the material, that you are following you might also want to go through GmatClub's Question of the Day collection(both quant and verbal).
You can find them here.
These are handpicked questions and are awesome, especially the verbal ones.

Do make it a point to go through them before appearing for your official Exam.

Pakman33 wrote:
Hey everybody,
longtime lurker, first-time poster (so please be gentle lol)

Wanted to give a little background of where I'm at and where I want to be; see if I'm being realistic.

I've studied for the GMAT 3 years ago very on-off, but never ended up taking the exam. I decided to try taking a GMAT Official Practice to see if it was worth pursuing.

My baseline score was a 600 (Q35 | V37).

I had a very difficult time with Quant timing and simply not knowing/remembering very basic things like Trig formulas, inequalities and anything about circles lol.

I had no idea what an "integer" was given that my high-school math was exclusively conducted in French many years ago. I'm a Native English speaker that reads a good amount so Verbal shouldn't be too much of a problem.

I'm aiming for a 730, so I would need to average a (Q45|V45) distributions.

I scheduled the GMAT for November 14th, 2018 - Roughly 8 weeks out.

I have a relatively strong Quant foundation; BComm (Economics) + First-year courses for MSc (Financial Economics) so I hope I can see a strong improvement with a little review.

Materials on hand
OG2019
OG2019 Quant
OG2019 Verbal
OG2016


_________________

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If my post was of any help to you, You can thank me in the form of Kudos!!
Applying to ISB ? Check out the ISB Application Kit.

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Joined: 03 Sep 2018
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
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WE: Business Development (Consumer Products)
Re: 600 Baseline Score - GMAT in 8 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2018, 07:45
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Pakman33,

To start, a 600 is a solid initial CAT Score (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years) - and your V37 shows that you're already a fairly strong critical thinker. To hit your Goal Score, you will certainly have to work on your 'content knowledge', but it's worth noting that the Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it, meaning that you'll want to put a certain amount of effort into learning and practicing the proper Tactics.

Based on what you have described about your Study Plan and timeline, there are some things that you should consider about your plans going forward. First, many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level, so you'll likely end up needing to invest in some non-book resources. Second, raising a 600 to a 730+ will likely require at least another 3 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. Your current timeline is for only 8 weeks though, so you might need to consider pushing back your Test Date.

Before I can offer you any additional advice, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and goals:

1) Do you have an exact Test Date yet (and if so, then what is the date?)?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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



Thank you for prompt response EMPOWERgmatRichC!

1) The exact test date is November 14th, 2018 at 8 AM EST

I scheduled this date primarily because it aligned with the R1 deadline of my target school.

2) Planning to apply right after taking the GMAT; November 14th.

3) After I took the GMAT Practice test this past week, I saw that I was well in range for my target school(s). I decided to schedule it to avoid losing the time slot.

My Profile at a glance:
Male, 27 Years old (At the time of admission)
Canadian Citizen, Québec Resident
BComm (Economics Major + International Business Minor) @ 2.84/4.3
MSc (Financial Economics) 6 Credits @ 3.65/4.3
1+ Year experience at large MNC as Ops Administrator
2+ years Experience at a startup as Manager FP&A, then Dir. Finance

Target Schools are

i) HEC Montréal (Avg GMAT 630)

I live in the province of Québec, which is why HEC Montréal is my preferred program. Tuition is effectively covered by the government and it represents the best ROI by a significant margin. Ranked between top 3-5 in the country for a combination of recruitment (MBB, MNC, Local Banks, etc), Post-grad salary and reputation.

ii) McGill (Avg GMAT 670)

Toss up between HEC Montréal & McGill (Desautels) for overall quality and reputation (at least in Québec), McGill gets the edge for global reputation but isn't worth spending 10x the tuition. A steep scholarship could make it a tough call between HEC Montréal.

...

iii) Ivey (Avg GMAT 678)

iv) Rotman (Avg GMAT 665)

Both above schools are head and shoulder above the rest in Canada, they just cost too much and would require extensive logistics costs for me to consider without a steep scholarship.

The reason I'm aiming for a 730 is to offset my low undergrad GPA, the lower range of experience & put me in the running for some tuition assistance; primarily at McGill.

To clarify the 8-week timeline; I have taken some time off to focus on the GMAT. I can realistically put in 25-30 hours a week (3-5 hours/day).

How are the EMPOWER 2-Month study plan results?

I like your product offering, especially with the Official GMAT Exams included. I just don't need 3-Month access.
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Re: 600 Baseline Score - GMAT in 8 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Sep 2018, 09:53
Hi Pakman33,

At this point, there's no way to know for sure what YOU are capable of achieving in 2 months (as far as a GMAT Score is concerned). Statistically-speaking, you would have a better chance of hitting your Score Goal with a longer study timeframe, but you could still potentially improve a great deal in 8 weeks. With a 2-month Study Plan, signing up for the month-to-month Account would make sense - and you can purchase the Official Exam Packs a-la-carte (at a discount).

Given what you have described about your GPA and Work Experience, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and application plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admission ... tants-124/

If you have any additional questions, just let me know - and you can feel free to contact me directly.

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

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Re: 600 Baseline Score - GMAT in 8 weeks  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 08:39
Hi Pakman33,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. The good news is that 600 is a pretty great baseline score. Although your verbal score is currently stronger than your quant score, you will need to work on both sections to improve your score to 730. Furthermore, since you don’t have a lot of time, make sure to study your butt off between now and your test date. That being said, I have some advice on how to proceed.

To improve your quant and verbal skills, you need to follow a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you can slowly build mastery of one GMAT topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced topics. For example, if you are learning about Number Properties, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

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.

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 start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each Critical Reasoning question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice, but keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle such passages, begin reading magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, it is likely that you will have to work on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not really a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning the grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. Likely, the main reason that Sentence Correction has not "clicked" for you is that you have not put enough work into developing your skill in seeing what is going on in the various versions of the sentence that the answer choices create. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you are answering Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off, and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

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.

Regarding your prep materials, I see that you are using a few of the OGs. While those books can be helpful, I find that they are most helpful when paired with more robust materials, such as an online self-study course. If you decide to use additional materials, you should check out 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.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: 600 Baseline Score - GMAT in 8 weeks &nbs [#permalink] 27 Sep 2018, 08:39
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