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720 to 650 -Story of the mighty fall

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Intern
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Joined: 06 Aug 2019
Posts: 2
Location: United States
Schools: AGSM '21
GMAT 1: 650 Q49 V28
720 to 650 -Story of the mighty fall  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2019, 15:43
Hello Experts

bb, GMATNinja @EmpowergmatRIch ScottTargetTestPrep daagh Bunuel

Need advice and help - but before that, here goes my sob story - :cry:

I gave my GMAT today and scored a pretty low score -a 650 which was quite low from what I have been getting on the GMAT Prep Tests.
My range of scores was mostly 700-720 but GMAT wreaked its havoc on me today. Totally devastated :(

In terms of my performance, it used to be pretty consistent
GMAT Prep 1- 700
GMAT Prep 2 - 710
GMAT Prep 3 - 710
GMAT Prep 4 -720

Quant (consistent Q49)
Verbal (~35-38 on GMAT / 28 on actual exam :cry: )

Synopsis of the D- Day -

Verbal timing threw me off guard.
For first 10 questions, things were pretty good, even got a bold face question. Nailed it, beamed with confidence and then moved to next question.
That's when it started.-
I faced a really big RC passage with 4-5 para (quite dense and obscure). The passage took me a lot of time and everything went downhill from there. I was left with only <20 minutes to do ~21 questions all of which I guessed and hence the result.
In fact, I got 4 RCs (2 Medium level, 1 difficult/ very difficult, 1 easy; in the order of appearance).
Can you please suggest me some tips and advice on how to improve. I aim to score ~720-740.
What should be the things to keep in mind for the GMAT retake and manage my timings.
Also, any suggested practice material apart from the official one (OGs and GMAT Prep software - consumed it totally)

Many Thanks
Blue!
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Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 14824
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: 720 to 650 -Story of the mighty fall  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2019, 16:28
Hi Bedazzledblue,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops 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. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, 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? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
4) What were your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for your Official Score (the 650)?

Goals:
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) 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 on Test Day (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: 720 to 650 -Story of the mighty fall  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Aug 2019, 19:10
Hi Blue,

The good news is that you scored really well on quant, right? That said, I understand that you are not satisfied with your verbal score, so the question we need to ask is why you scored so high on your practice exams but lower on the real GMAT.

Assuming that you took your official practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results show that, on a good day, you are capable of scoring higher than V28. Thus, it’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. However, it’s also possible that you have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day. Although I’m unsure of how you prepared, it’s possible that, in your preparation, particularly in verbal, you did not really learn to do what you have to do in order to score high on the actual GMAT. Rather, you picked up on some patterns that were effective in getting you relatively high scores on practice tests. So, for you to hit your score goal, your preparation, particularly for verbal, probably needs to be more complete, meaning that you have to go through the various types of GMAT questions 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 verbal specifically, you have to become more skilled at clearly defining the differences between trap choices and correct answers. Otherwise, as you experienced, you will get stuck guessing between two choices or be surprised to find that you incorrectly answered questions that you thought you answered correctly. Becoming more skilled in this way takes carefully analyzing all of the answer choices to lots of verbal questions to develop an eye for the logical differences between the choices. In other words, you have to go beyond answering practice questions and reading explanations to doing deep analysis of questions to learn to see everything that is going on in them.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

If you’d like more specific advice on how to improve your verbal skills, feel free to reach back out. Good luck!
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Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 06 Aug 2019
Posts: 2
Location: United States
Schools: AGSM '21
GMAT 1: 650 Q49 V28
Re: 720 to 650 -Story of the mighty fall  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Aug 2019, 06:52
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Bedazzledblue,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops 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. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, 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? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
4) What were your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for your Official Score (the 650)?

Goals:
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) 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 on Test Day (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


I studied for 2 months, atleast 6-7 hours a day. I used the e-gmat verbal course, OG18, Verbal Review, Quant Review, GMAT Prep Questions and Tests.
The GMAT prep Tests were taken on following dates -
2/4/2019 -690 (Q49,V30)
5/6/2019-690 (Q49, V30)
10/7/2019 - 710 (Q49, V36)
15/7/2019-710 (Q49,V36)
25/7/2019-720(Q49,V38)
1/8/2019-710(Q49,V37)

The Scales scores for the test were Q49 and V28.

I Plan to apply this year so that I can join the course next year.
Colleges I plan to apply are Kellog, Tuck, Insead, Booth and Wharton (dream school).

I have a good 4.5 years work ex in consulting and have been an academically strong candidate with an engineering graduate with a GPA of 4.
GMAT Club Bot
Re: 720 to 650 -Story of the mighty fall   [#permalink] 08 Aug 2019, 06:52
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