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640 first attempt - planning to retake

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640 first attempt - planning to retake [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 02:44
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I sat my first GMAT exam last Friday July 21st in London and this is my debrief. I hope this post can be useful to someone, and additionally I'd love some feedback on how I can go about preparing for my resit.

Very briefly: I am aiming for a 700+ score, something that I achieved in my practice tests, and so I was very disappointed to receive a 640 last week, a score that I instantly cancelled. In my preparation for the exam I have focused much more on Quant as this has traditionally been my weak point.

I have posted a detailed break down of my 640 score at the bottom of this post (courtesy of the GMAT Enhanced Score Report).

Materials:
- I bought the complete set of Manhattan prep books. The quant in particular I would highly recommend; the verbal books were OK, although I have been quite strong in this area to begin with.
- I also picked up the Manhattan Advanced Quant textbook. While not essential reading, I found this very helpful in forming an 'attack' strategy for questions, focusing on 'hacking' particularly tricky questions rather than simply working through a traditional method to arrive at an answer.
- I can't overstate the usefulness of GMATClub - both from the online question banks and forums to the downloadable PDF 'GMATClub Math Book'.
- I also had access to the Veritas practice exams and questions banks, which I did not utilise too much.

Strategy (or lack thereof):
- My aim was mainly to work through the full suite of textbooks (quant and verbal) taking practice tests as I progressed.
- I worked through a large number of GMATClub question banks (my Workbook informs me I tried 691 Verbal and Quant questions on this website :-D !).
- Altogether, I took 7 practice tests (4 official GMATPrep tests and 3 Veritas).

Practice results (by date):

GMATPrep 1 (Feb 2017): 640 (can't get breakdown of Q and V scores from GMATPrep software - any pointers?)
GMATPrep 2 (Jun 2017): 690 (Q 47, V 38, IR 8)
GMATPrep 3 (Jul 2017): 720 (Q 47, V 42)
GMATPrep 4 (Jul 2017): 660 (Q47, V 30-something, again I can't get V score from the GMATPrep software).

Veritas scores are below. Honestly, I found it hard to 'motivate' my self properly for these, and I didn't put too much emphasis on the absolute scores I received, instead using them as practice for fatigue, timing etc.

Veritas 1 (April 2017): 600 (Q 37, V36)
Veritas 2 (Jun 2017): 590 (Q37, V34)
Veritas 3 (Jun 2017): 640 (Q 44, V34)

Real GMAT exam 21st July (London):
- Overall 640
- Verbal 41 (94th percentile)
- Quantitative 36 (31st percentile)
- IR 5 (55th percentile)

Some further detail on my Quant score, which clearly requires the most work:

- I chose the order: Quant, Verbal, IR, Essay.
- Problem Solving: 25th percentile
- Data sufficiency: 43rd percentile

- Arithmetic: 48th percentile
- Algebra/Geometry: 10th percentile

The ESR stated the following: "You responded correctly to 71% of the first set of questions, 43% of the second set of questions, 29% of the third set of questions and 43% of the final set of questions..
The average difficulty of questions presented to you in the first set of questions was Medium, the average for the second set of questions was Medium High, the average for the third set of questions was Medium and was Medium for the final set of questions."

"The average time it took you to respond to the first set of questions presented was 2:13, the average time for the second set of questions was 2:14, the average time for the third set of questions was 2:24 and 1:31 for the final set of questions."


An observation from the ESR is that I am spending a significant amount of time on quant questions I get incorrect (over 2.5 minutes) versus questions I get correct (less than 2 minutes) - is this an issue?

It seems obvious to me that something went pretty drastically wrong on test day in my Quant section. Additionally, I'm amazed at how badly I scored in the "Algebra/Geometry" section (10th percentile :oops: !) Nervousness was certainly a factor, as was going in 'cold' (i.e. I will definitely practice a couple of questions before beginning my next test).

Any comments or pointers would be greatly appreciated as I go about preparing for my resit.
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Re: 640 first attempt - planning to retake [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 02:51
Hi

As I can see in your post, you have scored Quantitative 36 which is not a very good score . You can easily raise your Q score.
You can read manhattan advance section and GMAT Club quannt book .
After this please take gclub quant tests . using these tests you can easily raise your score to Q49/50
_________________

Thanks
71 tough IR questions218-ds-questions-for-practice
awa-ppt-the-best-resource-for-gmat
new-critical-reasoning-super-megathread-updated

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Re: 640 first attempt - planning to retake [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 04:04
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Have you taken practice exams in that exact order or was this your first attempt with quant first? It's hard to tell what went wrong, but it may just have been a lot of simple mistakes that you made throughout. This could be nervousness, pacing issues (the opening set was done pretty slowly leaving you behind), or just carelessness.

I don't think you need to worry much about your knowledge since you scored a q44 on Veritas, a noticeably harder test, and q47 consistently on mocks. It's unlikely that all of these were luck. Focus on the basics and form a routine for problems so that you avoid carelessness. If you can do that, you should be able to clear 700 with a q46/v40 or better.
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Re: 640 first attempt - planning to retake [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 04:18
cxa0897 wrote:
Have you taken practice exams in that exact order or was this your first attempt with quant first? It's hard to tell what went wrong, but it may just have been a lot of simple mistakes that you made throughout. This could be nervousness, pacing issues (the opening set was done pretty slowly leaving you behind), or just carelessness.

I don't think you need to worry much about your knowledge since you scored a q44 on Veritas, a noticeably harder test, and q47 consistently on mocks. It's unlikely that all of these were luck. Focus on the basics and form a routine for problems so that you avoid carelessness. If you can do that, you should be able to clear 700 with a q46/v40 or better.


cxa0897, thank you so much for taking the time to respond with some very wise words. Yes - all tests I have done to date have been in that order (Quant, then Verbal, then IR and essay).

I am hopeful this was a one-off, i.e. nerves played a big part. I think I'm going to focus a large effort on algebra/geometry theory and questions over the coming days.

Do you have any suggestions regarding the gap between retaking? I am thinking of booking for a retake on August 25th.
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Re: 640 first attempt - planning to retake [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 04:40
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ilovefrankee wrote:
cxa0897 wrote:
Have you taken practice exams in that exact order or was this your first attempt with quant first? It's hard to tell what went wrong, but it may just have been a lot of simple mistakes that you made throughout. This could be nervousness, pacing issues (the opening set was done pretty slowly leaving you behind), or just carelessness.

I don't think you need to worry much about your knowledge since you scored a q44 on Veritas, a noticeably harder test, and q47 consistently on mocks. It's unlikely that all of these were luck. Focus on the basics and form a routine for problems so that you avoid carelessness. If you can do that, you should be able to clear 700 with a q46/v40 or better.


cxa0897, thank you so much for taking the time to respond with some very wise words. Yes - all tests I have done to date have been in that order (Quant, then Verbal, then IR and essay).

I am hopeful this was a one-off, i.e. nerves played a big part. I think I'm going to focus a large effort on algebra/geometry theory and questions over the coming days.

Do you have any suggestions regarding the gap between retaking? I am thinking of booking for a retake on August 25th.



"The average time it took you to respond to the first set of questions presented was 2:13, the average time for the second set of questions was 2:14, the average time for the third set of questions was 2:24 and 1:31 for the final set of questions."

Starting with this, you have just about 2 minutes and 2 seconds per question for the entire math section, and you should be able to solve the first half of them quicker than that. They are "generally" the easier questions you will face. You spent 10 extra seconds on average through the first half. You were even slower on the next 1/4, and that cost you in the last 1/4 where you had to rush.

If you have leftover practice exams, take one or two of them and try seriously. Work on pacing here, it's very important to know when to give up and guess. If you have no idea how to solve a problem, narrow down the answer choices to two or three and take a guess. Don't waste valuable time you could use later on.

Other than that, I would spend time working on medium problems, doing them quickly and accurately. These are mostly the 500 and 600s on the forum. You should be able to do almost all of these in ~1:30 and get them correct. You can't get to the hard questions on the test if you can't get past the mediums in the beginning.
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Re: 640 first attempt - planning to retake [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2017, 05:51
cxa0897 wrote:
ilovefrankee wrote:
cxa0897 wrote:
Have you taken practice exams in that exact order or was this your first attempt with quant first? It's hard to tell what went wrong, but it may just have been a lot of simple mistakes that you made throughout. This could be nervousness, pacing issues (the opening set was done pretty slowly leaving you behind), or just carelessness.

I don't think you need to worry much about your knowledge since you scored a q44 on Veritas, a noticeably harder test, and q47 consistently on mocks. It's unlikely that all of these were luck. Focus on the basics and form a routine for problems so that you avoid carelessness. If you can do that, you should be able to clear 700 with a q46/v40 or better.


cxa0897, thank you so much for taking the time to respond with some very wise words. Yes - all tests I have done to date have been in that order (Quant, then Verbal, then IR and essay).

I am hopeful this was a one-off, i.e. nerves played a big part. I think I'm going to focus a large effort on algebra/geometry theory and questions over the coming days.

Do you have any suggestions regarding the gap between retaking? I am thinking of booking for a retake on August 25th.



"The average time it took you to respond to the first set of questions presented was 2:13, the average time for the second set of questions was 2:14, the average time for the third set of questions was 2:24 and 1:31 for the final set of questions."

Starting with this, you have just about 2 minutes and 2 seconds per question for the entire math section, and you should be able to solve the first half of them quicker than that. They are "generally" the easier questions you will face. You spent 10 extra seconds on average through the first half. You were even slower on the next 1/4, and that cost you in the last 1/4 where you had to rush.

If you have leftover practice exams, take one or two of them and try seriously. Work on pacing here, it's very important to know when to give up and guess. If you have no idea how to solve a problem, narrow down the answer choices to two or three and take a guess. Don't waste valuable time you could use later on.

Other than that, I would spend time working on medium problems, doing them quickly and accurately. These are mostly the 500 and 600s on the forum. You should be able to do almost all of these in ~1:30 and get them correct. You can't get to the hard questions on the test if you can't get past the mediums in the beginning.


Again, this is excellent advice, cxa0897. My only concern as I continue to work through question banks is that I will re-encounter this questions in my remaining two practice GMATPrep tests. I suppose at this stage, that may be unavoidable.
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Re: 640 first attempt - planning to retake [#permalink]

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New post 01 Aug 2017, 11:17
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I don't think there is any issue with repeating problems, especially on the quant side. I made an effort at the end of my prep to go back to resolve all of the problems I had gotten wrong. It was great for recognizing the traps I had fallen into or the mistakes I had made. And if I got it wrong again, I knew for sure that it was a topic I needed to address.
Re: 640 first attempt - planning to retake   [#permalink] 01 Aug 2017, 11:17
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640 first attempt - planning to retake

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