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620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores

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620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2018, 07:52
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Hi All,

So I gave my GMAT today after preparing for 3 months. I had exhausted OG 2018 and OG Verbal. I had finished the first few important chapters in MGMAT SC. I had done questions from GMAT Wiley official site and given all the 6 PrepCAT tests. I got 700 in first 2 PrepCATs but then hovered at around 680 in rest 4 PrepCATs. I had an informal error log in the form of a small diary.
I had timing issues in verbal during prep tests but had no issue whatsoever in final test. Infact, I used to complete quant every time in Prep tests but ended up missing last 3 questions on the actual test.
I felt the verbal questions were easy on the actual test but Quant was extremely tough. Probably that's the reason I couldn't complete quant. My final breakup is
V 34
Q 44
IR 5

Needless to say, I canceled my score. I have gotten over it and now thinking what to do next. I am mainly looking at 1 year programs in US/UK. Therefore, my target score is around 700-710
I desperately need advice regarding what to do next. I'm ready to put in more efforts for getting a better score. However, I'm already 32 so don't want to wait for more years. Any advice is welcome.
Cheers
Manjit
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 17 Dec 2018, 13:21
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Hi Manjit,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

When you took your CATs:
1) On what dates did you take each of your CATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Did you take them at home?
4) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
5) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
6) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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

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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 09:04
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC! Thanks for the help.
I had given the 6 PrepCATs and here is my breakup:

PrepCAT 1 - 690 (V38 Q47)
PrepCAT 2 - 700 (V38 Q48)
PrepCAT 3 - 680 (V34 Q48)
PrepCAT 4 - 640 (V35 Q42)
PrepCAT 5 - 650 (V35 Q44)
PrepCAT 6 - 680 (V35 Q47)

I had given them at a gap of a week or so. However I had taken around 3 weeks gap after PrepCAT 2.
I had taken the tests at the same point in time as my official GMAT exam time
I used to finish the IR section but leave the AWA. I tried to maintain similar conditions as during my Official exam.
Can you please let me know what do you think of this?
I'm yet to get the ESR report. Would you suggest to get that?

Thanks for your help
Manjit
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 14:01
Hi Manjit,

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, the 6 CAT score results that you listed show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 670 +/- a few points). If you Official Scaled Scores that you listed are correct, then you are still technically performing in your 'range' (even though the 620 is a bit lower of a Score. You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. Raising this score to the point that you can consistently score 700+ will likely require at least another 1-2 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.

1) What application deadlines are you currently considering?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2018, 19:07
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Hi Manjit,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. Although 620 is not a bad start, a likely reason for your score drop from your practice exams to your real GMAT is that you had a number of lingering quant and verbal weaknesses that were exposed on test day. Looking at your previous study routine, it appears that your prep was centered on doing practice questions. While engaging in practice is a necessary part of improving your GMAT skills, such practice is only beneficial after you have studied the topics on which those questions are based. Thus, consider adjusting your study plan such that it allows for linear learning, meaning that you are able to learn and practice one topic at at time. By following such a structured study plan, you can find and fix your weaknesses and ensure that no stone is left unturned.

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.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. 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. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read 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 just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning 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. 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 logical meanings. 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 figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer 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 skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

In order to follow the path described above, you may consider using an online self-study course, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find it helpful to read this article about
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 09:23
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC and ScottTargetTestPrep

Thanks for your analysis and encouraging words. I'm really excited to give GMAT a second shot.
I have PM'ed you my ESR. In case you have some time, can you please analyze the same for me

Much thanks
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 10:17
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Hi, Manjit

I think the below links may help you

From souvik101990 https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 42361.html
From bb himself https://gmatclub.com/forum/how-to-impro ... 41670.html
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 14:30
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Hi Manjit,

I've sent you a PM with some notes on your ESR. I'd also like to know a bit more about your application timeline/plans:

1) What application deadlines are you currently considering?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2018, 16:26
Shouldn't q44 v34 be 640? I got the same breakdown on my second try

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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2018, 11:22
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Manjit wrote:
Hi All,

So I gave my GMAT today after preparing for 3 months. I had exhausted OG 2018 and OG Verbal. I had finished the first few important chapters in MGMAT SC. I had done questions from GMAT Wiley official site and given all the 6 PrepCAT tests. I got 700 in first 2 PrepCATs but then hovered at around 680 in rest 4 PrepCATs. I had an informal error log in the form of a small diary.
I had timing issues in verbal during prep tests but had no issue whatsoever in final test. Infact, I used to complete quant every time in Prep tests but ended up missing last 3 questions on the actual test.
I felt the verbal questions were easy on the actual test but Quant was extremely tough. Probably that's the reason I couldn't complete quant. My final breakup is
V 34
Q 44
IR 5

Needless to say, I canceled my score. I have gotten over it and now thinking what to do next. I am mainly looking at 1 year programs in US/UK. Therefore, my target score is around 700-710
I desperately need advice regarding what to do next. I'm ready to put in more efforts for getting a better score. However, I'm already 32 so don't want to wait for more years. Any advice is welcome.
Cheers
Manjit


The 620 might be enough. What type of school do you to attend in the UK or US?
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2018, 14:27
Manjit wrote:
Hi All,

So I gave my GMAT today after preparing for 3 months. I had exhausted OG 2018 and OG Verbal. I had finished the first few important chapters in MGMAT SC. I had done questions from GMAT Wiley official site and given all the 6 PrepCAT tests. I got 700 in first 2 PrepCATs but then hovered at around 680 in rest 4 PrepCATs. I had an informal error log in the form of a small diary.
I had timing issues in verbal during prep tests but had no issue whatsoever in final test. Infact, I used to complete quant every time in Prep tests but ended up missing last 3 questions on the actual test.
I felt the verbal questions were easy on the actual test but Quant was extremely tough. Probably that's the reason I couldn't complete quant. My final breakup is
V 34
Q 44
IR 5

Needless to say, I canceled my score. I have gotten over it and now thinking what to do next. I am mainly looking at 1 year programs in US/UK. Therefore, my target score is around 700-710
I desperately need advice regarding what to do next. I'm ready to put in more efforts for getting a better score. However, I'm already 32 so don't want to wait for more years. Any advice is welcome.
Cheers
Manjit


I believe that although the official mocks are good enough to judge your capabilities and you will score somewhat in that range on the actual GMAT, the OG's are not sufficient enough for practice. There is some room for you to improve in quant section. I will suggest you to take the GMATclub mocks as they are harder. For verbal you can go for Manhattan mocks or question bank. GMATclub is a wonderful resource. Try to look for a pattern in your error logs and work on your weaknesses.

Since you haven't mentioned about the source of your preparation, and you went through first few chapters of MGMAT SC, I would suggest you go through all the concepts. Sometimes we believe we know something but in reality we don't!
I'm still in the preparation phase and to my utter surprise, I found so many constructions that we use in our colloquial language that are wrong! It's so difficult to correct that habit but you need to.

You'll easily reach your score. If your basics are crystal clear, 700 is very easy to achieve.
All the best :)
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2018, 22:33
houston1980 wrote:

The 620 might be enough. What type of school do you to attend in the UK or US?


Hi houston1980

I'm mainly looking at 1Y programs in US and UK. Since I'm from India, I expect the avg score of Indian applicants to be on the higher side and hence I think 620 is not enough. I would love to know your views on this

Thanks
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2018, 22:37
Prateekj05 wrote:
I believe that although the official mocks are good enough to judge your capabilities and you will score somewhat in that range on the actual GMAT, the OG's are not sufficient enough for practice. There is some room for you to improve in quant section. I will suggest you to take the GMATclub mocks as they are harder. For verbal you can go for Manhattan mocks or question bank. GMATclub is a wonderful resource. Try to look for a pattern in your error logs and work on your weaknesses.

Since you haven't mentioned about the source of your preparation, and you went through first few chapters of MGMAT SC, I would suggest you go through all the concepts. Sometimes we believe we know something but in reality we don't!
I'm still in the preparation phase and to my utter surprise, I found so many constructions that we use in our colloquial language that are wrong! It's so difficult to correct that habit but you need to.

You'll easily reach your score. If your basics are crystal clear, 700 is very easy to achieve.
All the best :)


Thanks Prateekj05 for your suggestions..much appreciated. I would definitely check the GMATclub mocks as they are recommended by many on GC forms. I'm currently going through MGMAT, but I feel my preparation is lacking. Any other books/courses that you are aware of?

Thanks
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2018, 03:37
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Manjit wrote:
Prateekj05 wrote:
I believe that although the official mocks are good enough to judge your capabilities and you will score somewhat in that range on the actual GMAT, the OG's are not sufficient enough for practice. There is some room for you to improve in quant section. I will suggest you to take the GMATclub mocks as they are harder. For verbal you can go for Manhattan mocks or question bank. GMATclub is a wonderful resource. Try to look for a pattern in your error logs and work on your weaknesses.

Since you haven't mentioned about the source of your preparation, and you went through first few chapters of MGMAT SC, I would suggest you go through all the concepts. Sometimes we believe we know something but in reality we don't!
I'm still in the preparation phase and to my utter surprise, I found so many constructions that we use in our colloquial language that are wrong! It's so difficult to correct that habit but you need to.

You'll easily reach your score. If your basics are crystal clear, 700 is very easy to achieve.
All the best :)


Thanks Prateekj05 for your suggestions..much appreciated. I would definitely check the GMATclub mocks as they are recommended by many on GC forms. I'm currently going through MGMAT, but I feel my preparation is lacking. Any other books/courses that you are aware of?

Thanks


Hey Manjit!

It all comes down to how much time you have? If you are interested in a course, then you can go for egmat for verbal and target test prep for quant. But mind you, you will need at least 3 months to cover both of these.
If you want to go the bookish way, then for CR get powerscore, Aristotle RC grail for RC and Manhattan for SC. These books are comprehensive when it comes to the theory but lacks questions.
You can also check out the following link for verbal resources:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/welcome-to-t ... 62910.html
Check out the comparison of various verbal books and online courses over here:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ve ... ml?fl=menu

For Quant, you can follow this thread:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/all-you-need ... 40445.html

Manhattan books are really good if you want to clear your basics. But they lack questions. For that you can buy Veritas Prep guides.
Checkout the reviews over here and go for whatever suits your needs:

https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-ma ... ml?fl=menu

Lastly, even if you are getting an answer correct, don't skip the explanation. You'll always learn something new when you go through the explanation. But it all comes down to the amount of time you have.

Good Luck!

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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2018, 04:36
Hi Manjit,
Main points are
1) Three months preparation is not good enough to score 720+ score.
2)Gmat is tricky exam ,apart from concepts ,you should be careful of traps and there are plenty.
3)More practice required.
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Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2018, 09:31
Hi Manjit, Quant was obviously a bigger issue for you in the actual exam. The fact that you could not complete the last 3 Quant questions, could have shaved off 2-3 points.

Out of curiosity, did you leave the last 3 quant questions un-attempted or did you randomly mark the responses?
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620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Dec 2018, 03:04
EducationAisle wrote:
Hi Manjit, Quant was obviously a bigger issue for you in the actual exam. The fact that you could not complete the last 3 Quant questions, could have shaved off 2-3 points.

Out of curiosity, did you leave the last 3 quant questions un-attempted or did you randomly mark the responses?


I couldn't attempt..was so involved in the 4th last question that I couldn't see the timer.

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New post 23 Dec 2018, 06:36
ok..curiously, GMAC suggests that if you had randomly marked the options and completed the Quant section, you could have perhaps scored 10-20 points more.
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GMAT 1: 420 Q26 V13
GMAT 2: 540 Q44 V21
Re: 620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2018, 04:08
EducationAisle wrote:
ok..curiously, GMAC suggests that if you had randomly marked the options and completed the Quant section, you could have perhaps scored 10-20 points more.


This is an eye-opener for me
EducationAisle - is this true for the verbal section as well (missing 3 questions for instance not-attempted may deduct 30 points from my final score?)
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620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Dec 2018, 04:12
This advice is largely for Quant only.

However, this point should not really be a part of your strategy, since it will not alter your score by a huge margin; perhaps just 10-20 points upwards (10-20 points total, and not per question).
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Ashish
EducationAisle, Bangalore

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620 in first attempt. How to increase my scores &nbs [#permalink] 25 Dec 2018, 04:12

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