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660. Not there yet but not giving up and neither should you.

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660. Not there yet but not giving up and neither should you.  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 26 Nov 2018, 22:10
Hi all,
I took the GMAT for the 4th time this past Saturday and scored my 2nd lowest score on the real thing. In retrospect, I really should have seen this coming because I did not change my study strategy much from my 3rd attempt.
Here are my GMAT scores:
- 650 43Q 37V
- 700 45Q 40V
- 670 47Q 35V
- 660 47Q 34V

This entire time I’ve been focusing on Quant (prioritizing quantity over quality) and winging it in verbal. Getting 40V (39 in SC, 45 in RC and 38 in CR) on my 2nd attempt gave me a false sense of security that Verbal was simply down to luck and that I could usually hold my own since my practice tests have always been around 40v. I’m going to do my due diligence in verbal starting today, while also doing my best to push my quant score to a 49 or 50.
So this is my plan, what do you think?

Verbal:
- Go through the Manhattan SC guide at my own pace, making sure to internalize the info
- Go through the Powerscore CR bible
- Watch Thursdays with Ron Videos
- Do OG and Verbal review questions to practice and check GMATClub to see how they were tackled by peers (and participate!)
- Maintain Error Log

Quant:
I’m following bb ´s guide for how to increase your score from 45 to 51 for this (thanks so much for this resource!)
- Go through OG questions and reach at least a 90% hit rate + check answers for each and every question to see how it could have been solved faster. This is a big one because I still aim to approach each question algebraically because I fear making the wrong move, which is probably keeping me from reaching 49+.
- Review OG Error Log + GMATCLUB Test Error Log on a consistent basis (I’ve taken the GMATCLUB Tests and had results ranging from 36 to 49, bookmarked all the ones I needed to.) This is one of my biggest regrets, I had one but always pushed back reviewing the questions until it was too late.
- Do 600-700 level questions from GMATClub and once I reach a hit rate of 90% move on to 700 level Questions (aim for 75% hit rate AT LEAST.)
- Take GMATClub tests again and try to hit 49+ on a consistent basis.

Practice tests:
I’ve done the official ones way too many times for the scores to be anywhere near accurate so I’ll be purchasing the Veritas and Manhattanprep practice tests next. But to give you a bit of an idea, when the GMATPrep exams were still fresh, my scores would range between 710 and 740 (Quant would always be either 49 or 50).

Resources available: Kaplan 800 (never touched it), Full MGMAT Collection + Adv Quant Book (never touched neither Verbal books nor Adv Quant Book), GMATPrep question pack (old software), OG + Verbal & Quant Review 2018

Resources Used: OG 2015, EMPOWERgmat course, Target Test Prep course, GMATClub Tests, Magoosh Premium and Veritas Course.

I’ll be applying next year (R1 hopefully) so I have time but not too much of it because I need to fit in doing HBXCore and taking a few classes to build an alternative transcript. My 2nd score is not bad, I know, but the breakdown is not the best and I need a much higher GMAT score to mitigate a sub 3.0 GPA.

Any feedback on this strategy? Whatever happens, I will not give up and if any of you are in a similar situation reading this post, know that we’re brothers in arms and the GMAT won't win. We will.

Originally posted by tuttifrutti453 on 26 Nov 2018, 13:36.
Last edited by tuttifrutti453 on 26 Nov 2018, 22:10, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 660. Not there yet but not giving up and neither should you.  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2018, 20:48
Hi tuttifrutti453,

GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your 4 Official GMAT Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 670+/- a few points; the V40 on your 2nd attempt is a bit of on 'outlier' though). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. Considering how long you've been studying, it's possible that you've developed some 'bad habits' that will take time to fix (meaning that you have to replace those bad habits with new 'good habits'). From what you describe, I assume that you worked through lots of practice questions - and your plans going forward seem to also revolve around doing lots of practice questions (and reviewing past practice questions). It's not clear what you are going to do DIFFERENTLY though. If you continue to study 'your way', then you will likely end up with another Score in the high-600s.

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:

1) On what dates did you take each of your 4 GMATs? How long did you study before each attempt?
2) How long did you use the EMPOWERgmat Course and which Study Plan did you use?
3) What is your goal score?
4) When are you planning to retake the GMAT?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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New post 26 Nov 2018, 22:00
Hi EMPOWERgmatRichC,

Thanks so much for responding.

I focused on doing as many questions as possible because I thought repeated exposure to questions would help me avoid falling into the same traps (laziness on my part.) This time, I wanted to actually learn from my mistakes to avoid making them again and that’s where I thought reviewing the error log consistently came in.

Also, I mentioned doing practice questions primarily to see how they were solved different ways that are hopefully more time efficient but just as accurate. That way I can practice those methods. To be completely honest, I use triage and the test the answers approached fairly rarely, because I know how to tackle most questions the math way and it just seems to be the fastest way in the heat of the moment. So, I agree, I’m trying to get rid of this bad habit and this way my way of cultivating a better habit.

Please note that the above is mostly relevant to Quant. That’s why I wanted to follow @bb’s plan to hopefully achieve 49+.

For verbal, I honestly haven’t done my due diligence. I don’t really know the SC rules. For CR, I went through the Powerscore Bible in 2 or 3 days before my 3rd GMAT and if I go though it again and practice what I’ve learned, I’m sure I’ll see improvement. For RC, it’s almost down to luck as far as I’m concerned (got 45 for that section on my 2nd attempt but 29 on my 3rd and 34 on my 4th.) Not exactly sure how I can practice that section apart from doing questions but I’m sure I can look around the forum for some inspiration.

As for the answers to your questions, here you go:

1. Oct 2017 (about a year on and off), June 2018 (4 months), July 2018 and November 2018 (4 months.)
2. 3 months, I did the full course plan (quand and verbal).
3. 730+. I am very aware of how hard it is to reach this level but I still believe I can do it. I just need to be steered towards the right direction.
4. By the first half of 2019 hopefully. I don’t want to rush into scheduling the retake.
5. I would love a Top 30 school but it’s hard to say at this point because of my GMAT scores.

I do not want the same outcome, so I appreciate you letting me know that this approach might just get me a similar score. I am 100% ready to listen so fire away!

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New post 27 Nov 2018, 04:27
Hi tuttifrutti453,

It is good to see that you are determined to reach your target score. I also see a lot of clarity in your plan which is again very good. 5th time has been the charm for a lot of GMAT takers. I am sharing a couple of such stories with you. You may find them useful in creating your own plan.
    • Prawee (550 to 740) used all the books and local coaching classes but was unable to improve her GMAT score beyond a certain point. She changed her approach and finally scored 740 in her 5th attempt and got a $180,000 fellowship cumulatively from 3 top business schools. She is currently pursuing MBA from Kellogg. There was a time when Kellogg was not even on her radar. Click here to watch her interview.
    • Rohit Bansal scored a 740 (Q51 V40) in his fifth attempt which allowed him to secure admits from Kellogg, ISB and interview calls from Tepper as well as UCLA. Click here to watch his amazing video debrief.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com in case you need any further help.

Regards,
Aditee
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New post 27 Nov 2018, 08:48
Thank you very much @egmat/Aditee, I'll listen to these testimonies asap and won't hesitate to reach out.

In terms of quant, I'm uploading an attachment of the Best and Worst results of the GMATClub Test section (hope that's ok!) It might make more sense to exclusively practice questions on each topic (starting from the weakest) instead of approaching this retake in a more holistic way.
Attachments

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bw.jpg [ 115.34 KiB | Viewed 201 times ]

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Re: 660. Not there yet but not giving up and neither should you.  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2018, 22:58
Hi tuttifrutti453,

To start, your 700/Q45 is a fantastic Score (it's just a bit shy of the 90th percentile), so you could comfortably apply to just about any Schools that interest you. As such, a retest might not be necessary. 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/

If you are certain that you want to rest, then here are some ideas to keep in mind. As a general rule, "review" is an exceptionally important part of the GMAT training process; your ability to define WHY you're getting questions wrong is essential to defining the areas that you need to work on (and the specific things that you need to 'fix'). If you were not completing a Mistake Tracker/Error Log after taking each CAT - and not focusing on learning and practicing the Tactics that you were presented, then that would help to explain why you have not hit your Score Goal yet.

The GMAT is a remarkably consistent and predictable Exam, but it does not sound as if you were properly focused on taking advantage of those consistencies. To hit your Score Goal, you cannot afford to 'wing it' through the Verbal section. Everything that you'll see in the Verbal section is predictable - the tricky part about the Verbal overall is that Verbal questions do not have a 'safety net' - meaning that if you make a little mistake on a Verbal question, you won't realize it (you'll just convince yourself that one of the wrong answers is correct). Thus, you really have to train to spot (and take advantage of) all of the patterns that appear in the Verbal section and you have to get good at taking consistent, organized notes. 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. To score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.'

All things considered, you're actually closer to a 730+ than you probably realize - and you could potentially retest in 1-2 months and hit your Score Goal. To reiterate the prior point though - regardless of which study materials you use, you have to be focused on making the necessary changes to how you "see" (and respond to) the Exam.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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www.empowergmat.com/

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Re: 660. Not there yet but not giving up and neither should you.  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Nov 2018, 08:32
Hi tuttifurtti453,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help.

So your plan seems pretty solid. Since verbal is your biggest weaknesses you need to follow a verbal study plan that allows you to learning linearly so that you are first learning each topic and second engaging in focused practice to ensure mastery. From what I’ve read, it seems as though you plan to follow that type of plan.

Regarding quant, since you most recently scored a Q47, it’s clear that you have a pretty high proficiency of GMAT quant. So to improve your quant score go through GMAT quant 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.

If you’d like some more detailed advice of how to study for both quant and verbal, feel free to reach back out, and I’d be happy to help.

Also, you may find it helpful to read the following articles about how to learn more, learn faster, and retain more knowledge while prepping for the GMAT and how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!
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Re: 660. Not there yet but not giving up and neither should you. &nbs [#permalink] 30 Nov 2018, 08:32
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