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600 GMAT Score - Help revising study plan

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 17:37
Hi there,

I took my first GMAT test yesterday and scored 600 (35 Q/38 V).

While not a high score, I was honestly very happy with the score as I had been performing quite poorly on my CAT practice exams:
Date Q V IR Total
7-14-2019 36 36 3.1 600
7-21-2019 37 31 4.5 570
7-28-2019 28 35 3.1 530
8-4-2019 29 34 3.8 530
9-1-2019 36 33 3.1 580
9-14-2019 33 33 7 550

I was becoming disillusioned with study and the practice exams, because I was putting in the time, understanding more concepts, but not seeing a consistent improvement in my scores. You'll see that I ended with the same score as my first practice test, so clearly I have to change what I am doing.

Here is what I did up until yesterday:
-Study Plan: I was following the Magoosh 3 month study plan with a focus in Math.
-Length of Time: I started on June 10th.
-Efforts: In the beginning, I couldn't keep up with the study schedule-- reviewing videos was taking me quite a while because concepts were quite rusty. For a while in the beginning I just watched lesson videos, taking notes and not doing practice questions. I started doing more questions + tests in July.
-Weaknesses: I was starting from a very basic place with math, as I hadn't really taken it since high school and am not in a quant heavy field. I was never bad at math, but am not recently practiced and mental math/basic concepts were very rusty. When I look at my error log, the concepts aren't just in one concentrated area--they're spread across subjects.
-Strengths: I did not really put in much study time to verbal. I read the Economist somewhat, studied some idioms and practiced the essay. I could certainly take some time to improve here and earn myself a few points, but quant is my focus.

Here are my goals:
-I'd love to at least get to a 650. Of course anywhere close to 700 would be amazing, but I want to be realistic.
-Have a decent quant score; make easy improvements to verbal
-Translate more knowledge into strategy and problem execution

Looking for input on:
-Length of time to study + hours per week - Right now I am scheduled to retake in 6 weeks, but could push that out somewhat.
-Minimum Quant Score - With a lesser quant profile, what minimum score might you aim for? I want to prove that I can handle quant in b-school.
-Study Plan - Should I focus on the basics with concentrated review? Do I need to suck it up and pay for a course? Should I keep doing what I'm doing and just recognize that I needed more time given where I was starting?

In general, I found that when I set a strict study plan aside, and delved deep into a concept, that's really when the learning became deeper and more ingrained. If I took the time after reviewing a problem I got wrong and delved into that concept, say percent increases that's when the learning stuck a bit more. But I'm not sure how to structure my time so I'm covering enough concepts + incorporating test taking strategy to execute on problems. This deep learning can take 30, 40, 60 minutes at times.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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600 GMAT Score - Help revising study plan  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 19:25
Hello,

Welcome to gmatclub. You are in the right place. Since you will be okay with 650, 600 is not a bad start. I believe you are closer to your goal than you realize. To gain the extra 50+ points, you will have to carefully identify your weaknesses (especially in quant) and turn them to strengths. Did you order your ESR? You should order one if you haven't done so already. Please post your ESR here once you have it and I am sure the experts will be more than happy to help.

Best wishes!
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Re: 600 GMAT Score - Help revising study plan  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Sep 2019, 20:13
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Re: 600 GMAT Score - Help revising study plan  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2019, 18:43
Hi q389,

Since you have been studying for some time and scored 35Q/38V on your latest exam, it’s clear that in order to hit your 650 score goal, you need to improve your quant score. Since your quant score on any exam has not climbed higher than 36, moving forward, you need to follow a study plan that allows you to learn GMAT quant from the ground up. In other words, follow a study plan in which you learn each GMAT quant topic individually, and then practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery. Although this process may take more than 6 weeks, it’s necessary for you to truly improve your quant skills.
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Re: 600 GMAT Score - Help revising study plan  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Sep 2019, 19:15
Hi q389,

With a 600, you're actually closer to a 650+ than you probably realize. That having been said, if you're actually going to keep studying until you hit 700+, then you will likely need at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study before you can consistently score at that higher level. Your immediate 'needs' are clearly in the Quant section - a Q35 would be seen as a 'red flag' at many Programs; thankfully, 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. This is meant to say that to score at a significantly higher level in the Quant section (and thus, overall), you'll need to change how you "see" (and respond to) that section of the Test

All things considered, you could potentially improve a great deal in 6 weeks, but before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) Did you use any other study materials besides the course that you mentioned? What 'brand(s)' of practice CATs did you use?

Goals:
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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 on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 22 Sep 2019, 15:58
Thank you all for your help!

Hours per week: I was studying 2 hours per weekday + 4-5 on the weekend, for a total of about 15 hours per week. I can continue that, but may need to adjust to write my essays...
Materials:
I inherited the Manhattan Prep books towards the end of my study: Quant + Verbal books. Also have "GMAT Roadmap" and "Advanced Quant"
I also own, but haven't really used: McGrawHill's "Conquering the GMAT and Integrated Reasoning" + The 2019 GMAT Official Guide
I was using the Manhattan Prep CAT exams for the first 5 and tried the GMAC for the 6th attempt.

I'm planning on applying for Round 2 (January 2020), and need to simultaneously write my essays leading up to this deadline.

I need to trim my list, but here are my top 6:
-Yale SOM
-UC Berkeley Haas
-Oxford Saiid
-Cornell Johnson
-INSEAD
-UT Austin McCombs


For background, I work in non-profit/education and have 5 years of experience with a history of promotions. I currently work on the senior leadership team of a non-profit.

I feel mixed about spending money on the ESR....will consider the purchase. Thanks for the offer to analyze!!
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Re: 600 GMAT Score - Help revising study plan  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Sep 2019, 13:40
Hi q389,

To start, you have named some highly-competitive Schools, so beyond needing a strong GMAT Score, you will need a strong OVERALL profile AND you'll need to properly 'market yourself' to each individual Program that you apply to. As such, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile and plans. There's a Forum full of those Experts here:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admissio ... tants-124/

From what you described, your studies so far have been 'book heavy'; unfortunately, many Test Takers who study in that way end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. Thus, you might find it beneficial to invest in a GMAT Course of some type (either Guided Self-Study or instructor-led), so you should plan to look into the available options.

Most GMAT Companies offer some type of free materials (practice problems, Trial Accounts, videos, etc.) that you can use to 'test out' a product before you buy it. We have a variety of those resources at out site (www.empowergmat.com). I suggest that you take advantage of all of them then choose the one that best matches your personality, timeline and budget.

If you have any additional question, then you can feel free to contact me at any time.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
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Re: 600 GMAT Score - Help revising study plan   [#permalink] 23 Sep 2019, 13:40
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