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680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?

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Joined: 23 Jun 2018
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GMAT 1: 680 Q45 V38
GMAT 2: 720 Q48 V41
WE: Military Officer (Military & Defense)
680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2018, 10:49
Just took my first GMAT and was extremely disappointed. I've never had timing issues before but today I left 2 questions blank when I ran out of time.

Actual: 680 (45Q/38V)

Since I knew skipping 2 questions had just ruined my score, I could barely focus on verbal and think my score suffered because of this. Since I think my verbal scores lower when I tend to not be focused, should I take the verbal section first? Also what should I do the next 2 weeks? I am rescheduled for August 7 and I think 700+ is definitely achievable. Should I go ahead and schedule a third exam?

History:
GMATPrep1: 670 (44Q/38V)
MGMAT 1: 590 (41Q/32V)
GMATPrep2: 700 (48Q/37V)
GMATPrep3: 720 (49Q/40V)--one week prior to actual exam

Prep:
MGMAT SC
Kaplan 800
GMATClub CATs
GMACC Practice exams
OG 2018 collection

Thank you!!
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GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: 680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jul 2018, 18:03
Hi mkil23,

To start, a 680/Q45 is a solid score (it's right around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice Business School. As such, a retest might not be necessary.

Not answering those last 2 Quant questions likely hurt your Score a bit, but you also have to consider how you were performing during the last 'block' of questions leading up to that point. If you were quickly rushing through a bunch of questions - and you got a number of them wrong as a result - then not answering those last 2 questions simply increased the severity of the hit to your Score (and might not actually be the only issue that you had with the Quant section).

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:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) On what dates did you take each of your practice CATs?
3) Have you had these types of pacing issues in the Quant sections of your CATs? Do you frequently have to 'rush' to finish the Quant section?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Re: 680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2018, 09:18
mkil23 wrote:
Just took my first GMAT and was extremely disappointed. I've never had timing issues before but today I left 2 questions blank when I ran out of time.

Actual: 680 (45Q/38V)

Since I knew skipping 2 questions had just ruined my score, I could barely focus on verbal and think my score suffered because of this. Since I think my verbal scores lower when I tend to not be focused, should I take the verbal section first? Also what should I do the next 2 weeks? I am rescheduled for August 7 and I think 700+ is definitely achievable. Should I go ahead and schedule a third exam?

History:
GMATPrep1: 670 (44Q/38V)
MGMAT 1: 590 (41Q/32V)
GMATPrep2: 700 (48Q/37V)
GMATPrep3: 720 (49Q/40V)--one week prior to actual exam

Prep:
MGMAT SC
Kaplan 800
GMATClub CATs
GMACC Practice exams
OG 2018 collection

Thank you!!

Your verbal seems to be in line in what you were getting in the mocks. So there's doesn't seem to be much of a deviation there. The quant is where I think you can improve. And yes, leaving 2 questions unanswered definitely hurt you. Also, generally speaking it is easier to push your quant up by say 3 points than verbal from your current score.

Do complete the questions in OG, in case you haven't already done so. The first few would seem easy, but the last 25-30% are the ones where you should focus on and make sure you understand each and every one of those.
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GMAT 1: 750 (Q50; V40; IR 8; AWA 5.5)
Debrief: https://gmatclub.com/forum/first-attempt-750-q50-v40-ir-8-awa-245721.html

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GMAT 1: 680 Q45 V38
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Re: 680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jul 2018, 16:31
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi mkil23,

To start, a 680/Q45 is a solid score (it's right around the 85th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice Business School. As such, a retest might not be necessary.

Not answering those last 2 Quant questions likely hurt your Score a bit, but you also have to consider how you were performing during the last 'block' of questions leading up to that point. If you were quickly rushing through a bunch of questions - and you got a number of them wrong as a result - then not answering those last 2 questions simply increased the severity of the hit to your Score (and might not actually be the only issue that you had with the Quant section).

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:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied?
2) On what dates did you take each of your practice CATs?
3) Have you had these types of pacing issues in the Quant sections of your CATs? Do you frequently have to 'rush' to finish the Quant section?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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



Rich,

I've studied for about 6 weeks with 2 weeks being mostly devoted to studying (vacation from work) so my hours are pretty high.

GMATPrep1 22JUN
Manhattan Prep CAT 1JUL (took in terrible conditions, loud coffee shop, basically wasted time)
GMATPrep2 2JUL (took this to get a better idea about my progress due to the Manhattan CAT flop)
GMATPrep 3 13JUL

Also, I have NEVER had timing issues, I usually finish Quant with 1-2 minutes left. For verbal I've finished with 20 minutes left twice and 3 minutes left once (my best one) which is why I think I've been rushing through/not focusing and am considering starting off with verbal.

I am applying this fall to HBS, MIT LGO, Wharton, Kellogg, Booth. I'm active duty military and deploy in the fall so I have to get my applications in by mid-September so they can be considered Round 2.

I hope to take GMAT twice more August 7/24.

Thanks again!
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Re: 680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jul 2018, 11:35
Hi mkil23,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so with 6 weeks of study time, it's possible that you just have not put in enough time and effort to score higher yet.

From what you describe, your 'issue' with the Quant section on Test Day was something that you had not experienced before. When these types of issues 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) 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 (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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Re: 680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jul 2018, 00:15
Hi mkil23,

680 is a great score and I agree 700+ is achievable if you put in the required effort. Your score indicated fairly good hold over concepts and their application on GMAT like questions. The most efficient way forward for you would be to plug your weaknesses. You may follow the below steps to plug the weaknesses:

    1. Evaluate topic level weaknesses by taking Ability Quizzes
    2. Isolate weak topics (Go to Skill data sections)
    3. Improve upon them

Akshay improved from a 700 to 750 with 10 days of dedicated preparation. Click here to watch his video interview and learn how he achieved this.

You may take the Verbal section first if it makes you more confident about your performance. GMAT doesn’t care about the order in which the sections are attempted but you do get penalized for not attempting the questions so you may want to guess if you do not have the time to solve it.

Hope this helps!

Regards,
Aditee
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Re: 680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jul 2018, 11:06
Hi mkil23,

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

Looking at your practice test scores versus your actual GMAT, it’s clear that leaving two quant questions blank had a negative impact on your GMAT quant score. However, the larger issue is determining WHY you had a timing issue on your real GMAT. Since timing was never an issue for you previously, it’s possible that nerves got the best of you on test day, which led to some abnormal behavior when taking the quant section. The other possibility is that some of your quant weaknesses were exposed when you took the real GMAT.

To be on the safe side, consider giving yourself more time prior to taking your next GMAT, and use that time to fully analyze and fix any remaining quant weaknesses. Remember, as your GMAT skills improve, your timing should naturally become more consistent, as it is likely that you will spend a little more time to carefully answer questions that you are answering too quickly now and spend a little less time answering questions that you find particularly challenging now.

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:

20^2 + 21^2 + 22^2 + 23^2 + 24^2 + 25^2 = ?

A) 3,055
B) 2,060
C) 3,066
D) 3,704
E) 3,077

Upon seeing this question, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Performing all of the calculations by hand? Grabbing a calculator to add up the values in the expression? Are you spending 60 seconds or more just thinking about what the question is really asking or how it could be efficiently solved? Or do you quickly recognize that there is a simple solution that utilizes the concept of units digits?

If you are able to quickly recognize that using the units digits will allow you to attack the problem quickly and efficiently (see the solution below), the question becomes very basic.

Solution:

Because each answer choice has a different units digit, instead of finding the actual sum, we can just find the units digit of the sum. Let’s use the units digit of each square to determine the units digit of the sum.

- The units digit of 20^2 must be 0, since 0^2 = 0.
- The units digit of 21^2 must be 1, since 1^2 = 1.
- The units digit of 22^2 must be 4, since 2^2 = 4.
- The units digit of 23^2 must be 9, since 3^2 = 9.
- The units digit of 24^2 must be 6, since 4^2 = 16.
- The units digit of 25^2 must be 5, since 5^2 = 25.

Once we have this information, we can sum the units digits: 0 + 1 + 4 + 9 + 6 + 5 = 25. Thus, the units digit of the sum is 5. Answer choice A is the only choice with a units digit of 5.

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

Finally, you may find my article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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Re: 680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake?  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2018, 05:19
Hi all! Quick update for everyone:

I retook the GMAT yesterday, August 7 (17 days after my initial 680 score)...

I reached my target score!!
720
48Q
41V
8IR

For the 17 days in between exams, I only did some light studying since I felt confident about the skill level I was at during my previous attempt (score reflected not finishing the exam). I ordered the ESR from GMACC and it provided useful information about the types of questions I struggled with my first time and also showed me data about timing.

On test day I decided to take the verbal section first because I felt like I was losing focus when I started exams with the Quant section.

When I submitted my essay and saw my score I was beyond excited!

Thank you all for the tips and help along the way!
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Re: 680 Without finishing Quant...Strategy for retake? &nbs [#permalink] 08 Aug 2018, 05:19
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