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710 -> 690 -> target 750+: GMAT retake strategy? (w/ESR)

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710 -> 690 -> target 750+: GMAT retake strategy? (w/ESR) [#permalink]

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New post 15 Apr 2017, 22:55
Hello there! Fellow GMAT takers and experts.

My score of the first attempt (mid-Feb 2017) of GMAT was 710 (Q50, V36, IR5), while the second attempt (mid-March 2017) was shockingly 690 (Q49, V34, IR7). I would like to apply to top ~10 MBAs in the US this fall, so I plan to retake GMAT in the next 1-3 months. My target is to score a minimum of 730 but better 750+ for my application.

A brief background
Non native English speaker. Social science major in college.

Preparation for the first attempt
I finished OG and OV and flipped through the MGMAT SC guide. It took me roughly 2 months (~9 hrs/day, 2 days a week) to go through the materials. It may be worth noting that I didn't time myself when I did the practices. On the weekend before the first attempt, I took GMAT prep 1 (700, Q49 V36 IR4) and prep 2 (720, Q50 V38 IR8). I wasn't entirely satisfied with the prep scores, but I anticipated some "magical moments" might happen on d-day.

Result of the first attempt
The test went more smoothly than I expected: I finished 10 mins earlier for Q, and 5 mins earlier for V. Yet it turned out that the GMAT prep score was quite predictive of the score of my first attempt (710, Q50 V36). Apparently I f* up with my SC - according to ESR, percentile rankings of sub-sections were CR 98th, RC 85th, and SC 46th. See verbal ESR as below:
Attachment:
first.png
first.png [ 269.44 KiB | Viewed 1216 times ]


Preparation for the second attempt
After the first attempt, I thought the strategy to improve was obvious: improve my SC. With that in mind, I revisited the MGMAT SC guide, but this time more thoroughly. I also reviewed the SC questions in OG and OV, and made less error compared to my first time of practice.

Additionally, I bought MGMAT CAT tests and took all 6 of them:
1 (640, Q42 V36)
2 (670, Q46 V35)
3 (640, Q39 V38)
4 (660, Q44 V36)
5 (680, Q44 V38)
6 (680, Q45 V37)

It took me 1 month (~8 hrs/day, 2 days a week) for the preparation. Just before the test, I retook GMAT prep 1 and scored 740 (Q49 V41).

Result of the second attempt
I was completely shocked at the test center when I saw my score: 690 (Q49 V34). I did feel a bit rushed for both Q and V sections, since I concluded from my first attempt that I wrote the test slightly too fast and may have erred some questions because of that. Surprisingly, this time I f* up my CR - CR 39th, RC 80th, and SC 77th. Apparently I allocated more time on SC and less time on CR this time. My hypothesis is that given the enough time (like avg. 2 mins/question) on each question, I might be able to answer more verbal questions correctly. Verbal ESR as below:
Attachment:
second.png
second.png [ 265.35 KiB | Viewed 1213 times ]


Questions
So, given the situation here, what do you think my problems/weaknesses are? How would you suggest me to prepare for my next (and hopefully the last) attempt targeting a 750+? What are the areas I should work on, and how I should approach it? Any recommended materials apart from the ones I have gone through?

Any suggestions are highly appreciated!

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Re: 710 -> 690 -> target 750+: GMAT retake strategy? (w/ESR) [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 07:27
tropicalpore wrote:
Hello there! Fellow GMAT takers and experts.

My score of the first attempt (mid-Feb 2017) of GMAT was 710 (Q50, V36, IR5), while the second attempt (mid-March 2017) was shockingly 690 (Q49, V34, IR7). I would like to apply to top ~10 MBAs in the US this fall, so I plan to retake GMAT in the next 1-3 months. My target is to score a minimum of 730 but better 750+ for my application.

A brief background
Non native English speaker. Social science major in college.

Preparation for the first attempt
I finished OG and OV and flipped through the MGMAT SC guide. It took me roughly 2 months (~9 hrs/day, 2 days a week) to go through the materials. It may be worth noting that I didn't time myself when I did the practices. On the weekend before the first attempt, I took GMAT prep 1 (700, Q49 V36 IR4) and prep 2 (720, Q50 V38 IR8). I wasn't entirely satisfied with the prep scores, but I anticipated some "magical moments" might happen on d-day.

Result of the first attempt
The test went more smoothly than I expected: I finished 10 mins earlier for Q, and 5 mins earlier for V. Yet it turned out that the GMAT prep score was quite predictive of the score of my first attempt (710, Q50 V36). Apparently I f* up with my SC - according to ESR, percentile rankings of sub-sections were CR 98th, RC 85th, and SC 46th. See verbal ESR as below:
Attachment:
first.png


Preparation for the second attempt
After the first attempt, I thought the strategy to improve was obvious: improve my SC. With that in mind, I revisited the MGMAT SC guide, but this time more thoroughly. I also reviewed the SC questions in OG and OV, and made less error compared to my first time of practice.

Additionally, I bought MGMAT CAT tests and took all 6 of them:
1 (640, Q42 V36)
2 (670, Q46 V35)
3 (640, Q39 V38)
4 (660, Q44 V36)
5 (680, Q44 V38)
6 (680, Q45 V37)

It took me 1 month (~8 hrs/day, 2 days a week) for the preparation. Just before the test, I retook GMAT prep 1 and scored 740 (Q49 V41).

Result of the second attempt
I was completely shocked at the test center when I saw my score: 690 (Q49 V34). I did feel a bit rushed for both Q and V sections, since I concluded from my first attempt that I wrote the test slightly too fast and may have erred some questions because of that. Surprisingly, this time I f* up my CR - CR 39th, RC 80th, and SC 77th. Apparently I allocated more time on SC and less time on CR this time. My hypothesis is that given the enough time (like avg. 2 mins/question) on each question, I might be able to answer more verbal questions correctly. Verbal ESR as below:
Attachment:
second.png


Questions
So, given the situation here, what do you think my problems/weaknesses are? How would you suggest me to prepare for my next (and hopefully the last) attempt targeting a 750+? What are the areas I should work on, and how I should approach it? Any recommended materials apart from the ones I have gone through?

Any suggestions are highly appreciated!


What topics have you been missing on the MGMAT SC? Have you tightened those up? How has your SC trended over time on the MGMAT tests?
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710 -> 690 -> target 750+: GMAT retake strategy? (w/ESR) [#permalink]

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 18:59
Hey okay, please find my MGMAT CAT SC performance as below...

Overall stats
Average
Avg. % Right: 63%
Avg. time right/wrong answers: 1:21/1:38
Avg. difficulty right/wrong answers: 710/730

Trend
Avg. % Right: 47% > 53% > 80% > 73% > 73% > 80%

By topic performance
Below/ Equal to avg. % of Right Topics
Idioms: 40%
Modifiers: 50%
Subject-verb agreement: 60%
Comparisons: 63%

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New post 16 Apr 2017, 22:59
Hi there ,
The 2nd ESR suggests that , during the course of your verbal section , you tend to take longer time during the start of the section and have lesser time remaining towards the end of the section. Why don't you time your performance?

Regards,
HK

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710 -> 690 -> target 750+: GMAT retake strategy? (w/ESR) [#permalink]

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New post 19 Apr 2017, 07:05
Hatakekakashi wrote:
Hi there ,
The 2nd ESR suggests that , during the course of your verbal section , you tend to take longer time during the start of the section and have lesser time remaining towards the end of the section. Why don't you time your performance?

Regards,
HK



Sounds like something I can work on! Any suggestions on a better way to practice that?

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New post 19 Apr 2017, 13:10
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tropicalpore wrote:
Hatakekakashi wrote:
Hi there ,
The 2nd ESR suggests that , during the course of your verbal section , you tend to take longer time during the start of the section and have lesser time remaining towards the end of the section. Why don't you time your performance?

Regards,
HK



Sounds like something I can work on! Any suggestions on a better way to practice that?


While it is advised to have a strong start in both sections , always practice with timing. No matter what question you do , do not take over 2 minutes , if you do so , look at the answer n figure out the right answer. Many a times to get the first 10 questions right , most students tend to spend more time to get them right , thus losing time in the later part of the section. If you can do this with practice it would be brilliant

75 min 41 question in verbal
in 15 mins let's say you solve 11 then you would be having 30 questions 60 minutes , ideally 2 per question which would be better in solving the trickier questions
we may get one RC during the intial 11 questions
so a passage in say about 9 minutes then you are left with 6 minutes and u can do about 4-5 and it would again come down to about 9-11 questions in the first 15 minutes

Also to complete within the set 15 minutes , dont rush through questions . practice in such a way that you will be able to solve 11 questions in 15 mins
Hope this helps

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710 -> 690 -> target 750+: GMAT retake strategy? (w/ESR) [#permalink]

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New post 21 Apr 2017, 13:07
On second test it took you 2 mins on average to solve SC... I think that there is a lot room for improvement and that you should aim for something like 1:15. Give that Manhattan 2nd (or 3rd) pass, and read it thoroughly (or use magoosh/egmat, whatever works for you). You need to know those rules very well to be able to save time for RC/CR and avoid having to guess bunch of questions.
This is a good place to start:
http://gmatclub.com/forum/gmat-sentence ... 59966.html

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New post 24 Apr 2017, 13:34
Sorry to hear this buddy. Most people wouldn't have bothered to re-take after getting 710. Perhaps you got higher than you should've the first time or maybe the 2nd time you had a bad day. Only way to find out is write a 3rd time and spend 1-2 months on verbal!

Good luck
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New post 02 Aug 2017, 01:52
Hi!

On same boat as you - average 700 for 2 GMATs- could you please update whether you went ahead for 3rd attempt? I am considering giving a third attempt and would love to get some tips from you.
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GMAT chronicles : 670-->660--> 700--> 650--> 680-->660--> 610-->700 (main exam)-->710--740-->700 (main exam again) -->Target 740+

Never never never never NEVER give up!!


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710 -> 690 -> target 750+: GMAT retake strategy? (w/ESR) [#permalink]

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New post 04 Aug 2017, 19:49
GmatBawse wrote:
Hi!

On same boat as you - average 700 for 2 GMATs- could you please update whether you went ahead for 3rd attempt? I am considering giving a third attempt and would love to get some tips from you.


Hey, I'm afraid I won't be able to offer any "tips" here, since each of my 3rd and 4th was no better than my 1st attempt. Current strategy is to focus on my application package - after all, 700+ is already a ticket to many top b schools. Anyway, stay strong, and good luck with whatever you've decided to do!

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New post 05 Aug 2017, 00:53
Hey tropicalpore

Thanks for the response. Although it was difficult for me to stop obsessing over GMAT and although some consultants have advised me that my score is low for target schools, similar to you I am also focussing my attention on research. It is a crucial aspect of the application as a whole. There are several cases when even 750+ cannot guarantee an admit if the essays and application aren't solid. So focussing energy on essays now.


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GMAT chronicles : 670-->660--> 700--> 650--> 680-->660--> 610-->700 (main exam)-->710--740-->700 (main exam again) -->Target 740+

Never never never never NEVER give up!!


I can and I will- watch me.

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Re: 710 -> 690 -> target 750+: GMAT retake strategy? (w/ESR)   [#permalink] 05 Aug 2017, 00:53
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