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640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward

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Joined: 29 Jun 2016
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GMAT 1: 640 Q48 V29
GMAT 2: 680 Q44 V38
640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2017, 20:27
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Hi everyone - first ever post on the GMATClub Forum. Appreciate all contributors to this community - amazing stuff.

I took the official GMAT today and got a 640 (48Q, 29V, 5 IR). I was absolutely dumbfounded by how poorly I did in Verbal and was expecting to score somewhere between a 680 and 720.

Quick description: 30 y/o Indian American male with a BS in Chemical Engineering and MEng in Sustainable Energy Engineering; currently work for an Electric Utility as a Power Systems Engineer; ideally hoping to get into a top 10-15 school

Materials used: OG 2017, MGMAT Guides (including Advanced Quant, not including CR), PowerScore CR Bible, random material from the GMATClub forums

Practice CAT results:
MGMAT 1 (01/16/17): 590 (Q36, V34, IR 3)
MGMAT 2 (02/20/17): 650 (Q43, V36, IR 3)
MGMAT 3 (03/17/17): 640 (Q45, V33, IR 5)
MGMAT 4 (03/25/17): 640 (Q40, V37, IR 5, AWA Write 6)
GMATPrep 1 (03/31/17): 690 (Q48, V36, IR 5, AWA Write 6)

I took the Manhattan GMAT nine week in-person course and found both the organization of assignments and the pacing of problems quite helpful. The class was very engaging and the instructor (as I'm sure all from Manhattan are) was great. My main weaknesses were obviously in Verbal, specifically though CR and RC (main idea). I spent three weeks after the course preparing on my own before the official exam, which meant going through the remaining OG problems (not all of the Quant, but most if not all of the Verbal) and redoing questions I flagged. I was scoring > 80% on SC, so for Verbal I mainly focused on CR as a whole as well as RC main idea and inference questions. A few days before the test I went through all of the CR Challenge Set (from the GMATClub forums) and got at least 70% correct of each CR question type.

First off, hats off to all who can score a 6 or above on the IR. I can't seem to get above a 5.

Secondly, I feel pretty comfortable with Quant and have no problem scoring around a Q48.

Finally and most importantly, I need advice on how to proceed forward (I obviously need to work on Verbal). I feel as though my official Verbal score may just be an anomaly since it is my lowest Verbal score to date, and just to clear the air, I did not lose steam or struggle with fatigue towards the end. In addition, the fact that I scored at least a V36 on three out of my last four practice tests just boggles my mind.

I'm planning to retake on May 1st, which gives me a little less than three weeks. I am also planning to purchase GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 and go through the PowerScore CR Bible again.

Any help/advice/food for thought would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2017, 21:27
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Hi fatank04,

You are doing great on quant, and as you said the focus should be on the Verbal, while maintaining or perhaps pushing up the quant to 50/51. For the verbal, I would say go find a good tutor who can specifically address your issues in the verbal section. Sometimes it is hard on your own to figure out what is missing, and it is far more efficient to work with a tutor. That is what I would do at this stage.

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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2017, 10:45
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Hi fatank04,

First off, a 640/Q48 is a strong score (it's right around the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Since it sounds as though you are committed to retesting, we have to consider the details around how you took your CATs and if there were any aspects to Test Day that you did not properly account for.

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) 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.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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GMAT 1: 640 Q48 V29
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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 11 Apr 2017, 12:36
Thanks Rich!

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
Yes
2) Did you take them at home?
No, I took them all at a library in a cubicle setting
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
Yes, I took them all around 2pm (which was the same time as my official exam)
4) 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.)?
No, I kept the testing scenario as close to the real thing as possible
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?
I never saw the same question twice in any of the CAT's I completed

I just bought the ESR and am waiting to gain access to it.

I would like to add that I'm usually a bit pressed for time on the Verbal section, but on the official exam I went a bit faster than my normal pace and was sometimes 2-3 minutes ahead of my benchmarks. Though I think I would attribute that to getting better with timing, but maybe I rushed a tiny bit more than I should have.

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GMAT 1: 620 Q47 V28
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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2017, 04:29
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fatank04 wrote:
Hi everyone - first ever post on the GMATClub Forum. Appreciate all contributors to this community - amazing stuff.

I took the official GMAT today and got a 640 (48Q, 29V, 5 IR). I was absolutely dumbfounded by how poorly I did in Verbal and was expecting to score somewhere between a 680 and 720.

Quick description: 30 y/o Indian American male with a BS in Chemical Engineering and MEng in Sustainable Energy Engineering; currently work for an Electric Utility as a Power Systems Engineer; ideally hoping to get into a top 10-15 school

Materials used: OG 2017, MGMAT Guides (including Advanced Quant, not including CR), PowerScore CR Bible, random material from the GMATClub forums

Practice CAT results:
MGMAT 1 (01/16/17): 590 (Q36, V34, IR 3)
MGMAT 2 (02/20/17): 650 (Q43, V36, IR 3)
MGMAT 3 (03/17/17): 640 (Q45, V33, IR 5)
MGMAT 4 (03/25/17): 640 (Q40, V37, IR 5, AWA Write 6)
GMATPrep 1 (03/31/17): 690 (Q48, V36, IR 5, AWA Write 6)

I took the Manhattan GMAT nine week in-person course and found both the organization of assignments and the pacing of problems quite helpful. The class was very engaging and the instructor (as I'm sure all from Manhattan are) was great. My main weaknesses were obviously in Verbal, specifically though CR and RC (main idea). I spent three weeks after the course preparing on my own before the official exam, which meant going through the remaining OG problems (not all of the Quant, but most if not all of the Verbal) and redoing questions I flagged. I was scoring > 80% on SC, so for Verbal I mainly focused on CR as a whole as well as RC main idea and inference questions. A few days before the test I went through all of the CR Challenge Set (from the GMATClub forums) and got at least 70% correct of each CR question type.

First off, hats off to all who can score a 6 or above on the IR. I can't seem to get above a 5.

Secondly, I feel pretty comfortable with Quant and have no problem scoring around a Q48.

Finally and most importantly, I need advice on how to proceed forward (I obviously need to work on Verbal). I feel as though my official Verbal score may just be an anomaly since it is my lowest Verbal score to date, and just to clear the air, I did not lose steam or struggle with fatigue towards the end. In addition, the fact that I scored at least a V36 on three out of my last four practice tests just boggles my mind.

I'm planning to retake on May 1st, which gives me a little less than three weeks. I am also planning to purchase GMATPrep Exam Pack 1 and go through the PowerScore CR Bible again.

Any help/advice/food for thought would be greatly appreciated.


I got the same exact score as you did with Q48 and V28 but a 7 in IR.

I too am thinking of retaking and focusing on verbal. I will give myself more than 2 weeks though since I decided I need a break from GMAT prep and will take on verbal alone. My advice to you is to identify your weakness in verbal. They say that RC is the most difficult to improve and SC is the easiest. Analyze your ESR if you got one and then plan.

I will also buy the official GMAT prep CATs exam packs and do those. During my prep I only did the Q and V sections for any CAT and this, I found, inflated my scores. I was expecting a 690 and ended up with a 640. So I will attempt the official GMAT prep CATS 1-6 (exam packs 1+2) even the AWA and IR and see how to take it from there.
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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 12 Apr 2017, 17:17
Hi fatank04,

Once you have your ESR, I'll be happy to analyze it for you (you can either post it here or PM it to me). While ESRs don't provide too much information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define exactly what you should be working on to improve your score.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

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GMAT 1: 640 Q48 V29
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640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 07:23
Thanks Rich, will do! By the way, I contacted GMAC as to why my unofficial score and ESR report haven't been displayed on the website. They informed me that my scores are "on hold". Do you have any insight as to what that means? Could my score be incorrect, or is this just the norm since my score hasn't yet been fully processed?

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi fatank04,

Once you have your ESR, I'll be happy to analyze it for you (you can either post it here or PM it to me). While ESRs don't provide too much information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define exactly what you should be working on to improve your score.

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

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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2017, 11:44
Hi fatank04,

During the 'busy' time of year, it wouldn't be unheard of for an Official Score to take 1-2 weeks to be 'certified' (remember that your Essay also has to be graded). During April, I suspect that it would probably take less than a week though (and since you took your GMAT just 3 days ago, we're still in that 'window' of time).

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 14 Apr 2017, 11:14
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi fatank04,

During the 'busy' time of year, it wouldn't be unheard of for an Official Score to take 1-2 weeks to be 'certified' (remember that your Essay also has to be graded). During April, I suspect that it would probably take less than a week though (and since you took your GMAT just 3 days ago, we're still in that 'window' of time).

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


Hi Rich - attached is my ESR report. Looks like I bombed the Reading Comprehension portion, which I'm very surprised to see. I also seemed to have dropped off significantly in the final quarter of the Verbal section in general, which also surprises me since I felt just as good as I did for the other parts of the test. Thanks!
Attachments

ESR report.pdf [425.64 KiB]
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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2017, 12:45
Hi

Your quant score is good enough but you are weak in Verbal
first of all there is 2 points are available in your quant which you can improve
and approx 11-12 points gap is in verbal which can be improved
so quant is not a big deal for you but verbal is
focus the concept of verbal you are weak in, do practice again and again after reading every concept of verbal
review your practice of each question and make an error log it will help you to tackle your mistake at the end
take 3 to 4 more CATs and also review them each.
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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2017, 22:31
Hi fatank04,

I've sent you a PM with some notes/suggestions on this ESR. Since your focus now will be primarily on the Verbal section, it would help to know how you handle the major questions types in that section.

1) What 'steps' do you go through when dealing with a typical SC, RC and CR prompt?
2) How often do you take notes (vs. just doing work 'in your head')?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
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Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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www.empowergmat.com/

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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward [#permalink]

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New post 08 May 2017, 00:19
Hi fatank04,

In verbal, if you are looking for some great practice go for the e-gmat Scholaranium. The e-gmat Scholaranium is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas. Further to improve your score, taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP and Manhattan GMAT tests, Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have a good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

As for exam day, make sure to carry an energy bar and a bottle of Gatorade, which you can eat/drink during your break.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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Re: 640 (48 Q, 29V) - advice going forward   [#permalink] 08 May 2017, 00:19
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