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640 GMAT - Help Needed

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Joined: 26 Jul 2017
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Concentration: Strategy, Organizational Behavior
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640 GMAT - Help Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 07:47
Hello Everyone,

I took the GMAT this morning and and bombed it big time. My Score: 640 (Q48,V30)

This score was something I was not expecting at all. I had been preparing for the past 2-3 months and my scores on the mock has been as follows:

GMAT Prep 1: 650 (Before any prep)

GMAT Prep 2: 700 (Q48, V38)

GMAT Prep: 3 710 (Q48, V39)

GMAT Prep 4: 770 (Q50, V44)

GMAT Prep 5: 690 (Q48, V36)

GMAT Prep 6: 680 (Q48, V35)

GMAT Prep 1(Repeat): 750 (Q50,V40)

If you look at all the practice tests , though they are not very consistent but overall I have been scoring in a decent range and I was expecting something in the range of 700 and 750. But that did not happen. I think there are two reasons to it:

1. I took pressure and did not manage my time well.

2. I got bogged down after giving my Quant section and did not focus on verbal properly and hence messed up the time.

I am think my biggest weakness has been time and SC. I am thinking of taking a proper course and repeating the exam in a months time. Any tips on what would work ? What mocks should i take especially to improve my quant score to Q51 ? (Since I have exhausted my GMAT Prep options)

Also, what would be a structured approach to go about it if I want to give it in 30 -45 days more ( we are talking 25-30 hours of study a week.) My target is around 750 ? Any success stories?

Any reviews on the Magoosh course. I am thinking of taking that.

Material used so far: CR Bible, MGMAT (All Guides+Advance Quant), OG 17,18(Verbal, Quant,)

Thanks
Magoosh Discount Codese-GMAT Discount CodesKaplan GMAT Prep Discount Codes
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Re: 640 GMAT - Help Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 16:57
Hi helas92,

First off, a 640/Q48 is a solid score (it's just a bit shy of the 75th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Before we can discuss how best to proceed with your studies, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

1) How long have you studied?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
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 (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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Re: 640 GMAT - Help Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Sep 2018, 21:30
Hey Rich,

Thank you for your response. So first thing is that I have cancelled the scores because this was something I was not expecting at all.

As far as your questions are concerned:

1.

My proper study period ( around 25 hours per week) has been 6-7 weeks. Before that I had been preparing on and off for 2-3 months.

2.

I have used the following materials:

- OG 17,18 + supplements ( Done all questions, my accuracy is 88-90% for Quant and 80-82% for Verbal ( SC around 79, and CR around 84-85).

- MGMAT SC

- Powerscore CR Bible.

- I saw a lot of Ron Purewall Videos which really helped me for my mocks. Especially the 770 which I got on the last mock day before the exam.

- MGMAt Advance Quant Book

3.

I was planning on applying to Round 1 but guess that is not happening. (I had written some my essays.) Now Round 2 is what I would ideally want.


4.

Ideally I am targeting programs in US 11-20 range. (Say CMU, Olin, Cornell, ). The problem I have is a low UG GPA (2.25), though I do have specialized masters (3.61) and I have done 3 credit courses (All A+/A). So a solid GMAT would be really helpful.


A question: Is it possible to get ESR for cancelled scores?
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Re: 640 GMAT - Help Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2018, 00:03
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Hi helas92,

I am sorry that your scores were not in line with your expectations. I would recommend that you use your ESR to plan your way forward. You may find this article on 3 steps to Analyze your ESR helpful to draw insights from your ESR. On completing this, you should look at this article on Retaking the GMAT – 5 step strategy. This article will help you with a structured approach to reach your target score. Here are a few success stories of students who went on to achieve their target score of around 750 in GMAT:
    • Rohan improved from 610 (Q46 V25) to 750 (Q50 V40). Click here to watch his very inspiring video interview.
    • Nishant improved from 570 to 740 on the GMAT. Click here to read about his incredible GMAT journey. Click here to watch his very inspiring video interview.
    • Jaqueline, mother of a 6-month old, improved her score from 640 (Q45 V32) to 720 (Q49 V40). Click here to watch her very inspiring video interview.

As you identified, time management and timing strategies are crucial to score well in the GMAT. Keeping this in mind, we have written the below two articles that will help you create a strategy that will help you maximize your scores.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to write to us on support@e-gmat.com in case you need a personalized study plan to reach your target score

Regards,
Aditee
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GMAT 1: 620 Q46 V30
GMAT 2: 640 Q48 V30
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Re: 640 GMAT - Help Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2018, 10:39
I have the exact issue with you, OP. I am trying to switch up my test order and start with Verbal. I'd rather focus on Verbal to gain 3-4 points and do Quant after.
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New post 25 Sep 2018, 13:24
Hi helas92,

I have a few follow-up questions about how you took your practice CATs:

1) On what dates did you take each of these CATs? 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 plan to take 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 (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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Re: 640 GMAT - Help Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2018, 17:20
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Hi helas92,

Sorry to hear about your GMAT. The good news is that your score of Q48 was right around where you were scoring on your practice exams. So, you should be happy about that, right?

Regarding your verbal score drop, assuming that you took your practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results of your official practice tests show that you should have been able to score higher than a V30 on test day. It’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. It’s also possible that despite scoring V36, V35, and V44, on your last three (non-repeated) exams, you still have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day.

That being said, you mentioned that timing was a major issue for you. Timing on the GMAT, as in life, improves as your knowledge, understanding, and skill improve. Timing does not improve simply by “trying to go faster.” In fact, when people try to force speed before they’re ready to go faster, they tend to end up making a significant number of preventable mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes badly erode people’s test scores. In addition, when people rush learning -- a common pathology of those trying to force speed -- they actually never end up developing the speed they seek. One of the great paradoxes of learning is that to develop speed, a student must slow down to ensure that he or she masters the material. Consider the following examples, which hopefully will bring you some more clarity:

Imagine your goal were to run a mile in four minutes, a difficult feat even for professional athletes. So, you get yourself a running coach. You show up on the field and ask, “Coach, how do I get faster?” The coach responds, “Well, just run faster.” So, you try your best to “run faster,” but you can't; you’re running a 12-minute mile. Out of breath, you come back to the coach and say, “Coach, I stink. How do I get faster?” Again, he says, “Just run faster.” So, you try again, but this time you fall and skin your knees. You keep trying to run faster. On the tenth attempt, you pull your hamstring, falling to the ground in pain. Over your next four months of recovery, you ponder why you couldn't run faster.

That situation would be insane, right? No qualified running coach would ever provide you with that advice, because the coach would understand that no one gets faster merely by trying to run faster. Instead, the coach would set you up on a linear, comprehensive plan to make you a BETTER runner. He may have you run progressively longer distances at relatively slow speeds. He may have you run up and down the stairs at the football stadium. He may have you run up and down hills. He even may have you engage in strength training, yoga, or Pilates to make you a more fit athlete. After all of that training, he finally would bring you back on the field and time you running the mile. At that point, he’d coach you on how to push yourself through the pain of sprinting and help you to understand what a four-minute-mile pace feels like. He now could help you with those things because you would be in the necessary shape to be receptive to them. So, you begin your run, and BOOM! You run a 6-minute mile. What happened? Well, you became a better runner. You became a fitter athlete. You became stronger.

Now imagine your goal were to play a complicated song on the piano. The tempo at which a pianist plays greatly impacts the way a song sounds. To make songs sound the way they should, often a pianist must play at a fast pace. But your experience with the piano is limited. Can you imagine trying to play the complicated song at full speed right at the outset? Doing so wouldn't be possible. Instead, you first need to master many aspects of the piano -- without really trying to get faster. In fact, you need to proceed slowly at first, sometimes very slowly. As you master the piano, you find that you’re able to play your song at progressively faster tempos. With time and dedicated, proper practice, you’re able to recreate the sound you seek. If in the early days of practicing you had tried to force speed instead of mastering your technique, you never would have become truly accomplished at playing the song.

The process of getting faster at solving GMAT questions is quite analogous to the process of improving one’s running speed or ability to play the piano at the proper tempo! To get faster, you must get better. As you further develop your GMAT skills, you will get faster at a) recognizing what a problem is asking and b) executing the necessary steps to quickly attack the problem.

The key takeaway is that once your GMAT knowledge improves, better timing will follow. In fact, a great way to know how well you have a mastered a particular topic is to be cognizant of your reaction time when seeing a particular question. For example, consider the following simple question with which many students who are beginning their prep struggle:

14! is equal to which of the following?

(A) 87,178,291,200
(B) 88,180,293,207
(C) 89,181,294,209
(D) 90,000,000,003
(E) 91,114,114,114

Upon seeing this question, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Grabbing a calculator to add up the values in the expression? Or are you able to quickly recognize that using the “5 x 2 pair rule” will allow you to efficiently attack the problem? (See the solution below.)

Solution:

14! = 14 × 13 × 12 × 11 × 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1.

Notice that there is at least one (5 × 2) pair contained in the product of these numbers. It follows that the units digit must be a zero. The only number with zero as the units digit is 87,178,291,200.

Answer: A

Although this is just one example of many, you see that you must have many tools in your toolbox to efficiently attack each GMAT quant question that comes your way. As you gain these skills, you will get faster.

Now, the million dollar question is, HOW do you gain such skills?

To improve your GMAT skills, you have to go through quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. 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.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

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 are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

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.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, 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 get faster at solving GMAT math questions .

Feel free to reach out with any questions,.
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Re: 640 GMAT - Help Needed  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Oct 2018, 21:00
I found tips in this article pretty useful: https://gmatclub.com/forum/most-compreh ... 76986.html. Hope that helps!
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Re: 640 GMAT - Help Needed &nbs [#permalink] 03 Oct 2018, 21:00
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