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730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help

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730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 06 Sep 2018, 03:48
Hi,


I am writing to get your advices and opinion on my current issue.
I am a non-native English speaker and I have been preparing for the GMAT for the last 5 month pretty intensively, please find below the chronology of my study:

1. 2 months only OG questions – then First GMAT PREP: 620
2. 1 months all the Manhattan Books – then Second GMAT PREP: 640. I realized I could reach q 48/49 with the previous material but I was still far away on my verbal – roughly Q 30.
3. 1 month – Enroll on E-Gmat courses Verbal only: The course was pretty amazing and I really learned a lot.
4. 1 month practice on test + OG questions + Egmat questions:
a. Retake GMAT PREP 1: 740
b. Retake GMAT PREP 2: 770
c. GMAT PREP 3: 740 (q48, v42)
d. GMAT PREP 4: 690 (q48, v42)
e. GMAT PREP 5: 690 (q47, v37)
f. GMAT PREP 6: 730(q49, v41)


Most of my mistakes were pretty silly on the Quant on the first 10 which was pushing me down below the Q50.
The verbal was always the same : few mistakes on the RC, 1 or 0 in CR, and then SC which varies from 2/3 to 4/5.
The SC is clearly my weakness and I practice all the question of OG Guide verbal 2018 plus OG 2018 + all the questions from EGMAT so roughly 600/700 questions and my accuracy was above 80% after the egmat course.

I went confidently to the test last Tuesday and scored a miserable 650: Q44, V35. I worked a lot before to go to the test and did one text the day before. So one can argue that I was “tired” but I am very skeptical. Indeed, I started with the AWA IR QUANT VERBAL, and I still scored 8/8 on IR.

I was completely choked with the question in math – very different than what I what been working on. And I did silly mistake as well, at least for the first 10.
Regarding the verbal, CR and RC was business as usual but I think SC was a blood bath, literally couldn’t find any pattern with the question, and couldn’t apply grammatical rules.

I am waiting the ESR to confirm all that and will attach it once I received.

So R2 are coming soon and i need to get this 720 minimum: I am planning to pass the test end of September again.

For the math i am planning to do 20+ gmat club test to get out of my comfort zone and be prepare for the next D-Day + get this Q50.

Regarding verbal, I need advice: I have exhausted all the Egmat questions, and all the 2018 questions. I scored above 80% and i was confident before the test. So what can i do in the next 3 weeks to re-build my confidence and practice to improve?

I think about working on all the previous SC question from OG 2017 TIL 2000..
Read 2/3 RC per day to keep improving my vocabulary and my efficiency - 4/5 hard a day.

If you have any advice - please let me know - thanks for your help,

PS 1: I have not come across one debrief that had the same issue that I have - Is my situation exceptional ?

Originally posted by stevenb28 on 05 Sep 2018, 18:42.
Last edited by stevenb28 on 06 Sep 2018, 03:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2018, 00:59
Hi stevenb28

I am sorry that your test scores were not in line with your expected scores. Since you are e-GMAT student, I would request you to send us an email using your registered id on support@e-gmat.com. Please do not forget to reference this post. Looking at your data from course dashboard and Scholaranium will help us in giving you precise inputs for the way forward.

Looking forward to your email.

Regards,
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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2018, 04:24
Hi Payal,

I emailed EGMAT at the address you mentioned at 00.01 NYC time to get as well your insight. You will see that i practice all the egmat SC questions. Please bear in mind when analyzing the data that there are skewed as most of the attempts were done done at work. Therefore, the timing is not representative and some questions were not answer for some attempts.

I finally have my ESR which I just attached. My guess was well founded.

For Verbal:
RC - BAU: My score is equivalent to V41
CR - Score equivalent to V40: still have room for improvement: I have 60% under analyze and critique: What types of question is it exactly? I will practice couples a day before the next exam
SC - the blood bath - score equivalent to V28

For Quant:

Very interesting: I have 0% under rates/percent and 40% under Geometry so I guess I have to work this specific areas. I will used GMATCLUB question but if any people have any advices for this specific area I am happy to receive it.

If you see any more stuff- please do not hesitate to share,
Thanks again for your help, this is much appreciated,
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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Sep 2018, 13:46
Hi stevenb28,

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. 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 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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New post 06 Sep 2018, 13:54
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)? Yes
2) Did you take them at home? Yes
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT? Yes
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.)? No
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)? Apart for the 2 retake that I did on GMAT PREP 1 and 2 no.

I did work a lot before the exam – took 4 days off and roughly did 10 hours of study/day + mock the day before.
Not sure what happened to be fairly honest. It is clearly link to my understanding since SC and rates/percents on quant (mainly word problem I assume) went wrongly.

Thanks for your help Rich,
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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2018, 21:12
Hi stevenb28,

From your prior post, there were some 'red flags' in terms of how you took your CATs. Before we discuss those issues - and the data in your ESR - I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 07:18
1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT? D-1: took a test + additional questions ; D-2: review log errors questions for 8 hours ; D-3: take a test + log errors question review
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test? not well 4 hours
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home? 30 min
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test? no
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks? drink water
6) Did you finish any sections early? 1 min earlier in both
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?no
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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 09:24
stevenb28 wrote:
1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT? D-1: took a test + additional questions ; D-2: review log errors questions for 8 hours ; D-3: take a test + log errors question review
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test? not well 4 hours
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home? 30 min
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test? no
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks? drink water
6) Did you finish any sections early? 1 min earlier in both
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?no


I think the test in D-3 and 4-hour sleep are the main reasons for your decrease in score. I experienced the same thing: studied the day before, drank coffee to study... then cannot sleep. My score in 2nd time is 30 lower than the first time. I took the 3rd test after that 1 month (not study much, but sound sleep) and increased my score...
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New post 10 Sep 2018, 09:33
Yes it is clearly possible and I hope it is the reason to be fairly honest with you… Anyway I booked the new test for the 1st of October and will try to secure a q50 , v35+ on the test.
May I ask you what were your scores on the first and second attempt?

Thanks for your help – appreciate it 
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730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 09:43
stevenb28 wrote:
Yes it is clearly possible and I hope it is the reason to be fairly honest with you… Anyway I booked the new test for the 1st of October and will try to secure a q50 , v35+ on the test.
May I ask you what were your scores on the first and second attempt?

Thanks for your help – appreciate it 


First attempt 680, second 650, third 710, fourth 710, fifth - final 730

For your information, before the first score 680, the first GMAT Prep CAT I took in exam condition is 740 :-), but after that, when I paid attention to my weakness (SC), my GMAT Prep scores went down to 660 - 650...

If you need more help, you can PM me... as I have experience of rollercoaster scores, so I probably know why...
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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 16:36
Hi stevenb28,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. Assuming 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 650 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 690, 690, and 730, on your last three exams, you still have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that you achieved your score goal on only two of your last four practice exams. However, with some further hard work and dedicated prep, you can improve your GMAT score.

Moving forward, you need to go through GMAT 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 would have had to know in order 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 verbal and quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.
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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 16:57
Hi stevenb28,

I've sent you a PM with some additional notes/suggestions based on your ESR.

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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 13:01
stevenb28 wrote:

PS 1: I have not come across one debrief that had the same issue that I have - Is my situation exceptional ?

Sorry to hear about the test-day letdown, stevenb28! It's funny, I had both your post and this one open in different browser tabs, and thought that they were exactly the same post. The titles are strikingly similar.

So no, your situation is absolutely not unusual at all! This is incredibly common. The "I just kicked the GMAT in the balls!" posts get all of the attention, but every one of those posts, there are several that have exactly the same issue as you encountered. Here's an article dedicated exclusively to this situation, since it is so darned common.

You've already attracted the attention of some very smart and helpful people (clearly, EMPOWERgmatRichC immediately noticed some key issues), so I won't say much more, other than the fact that you are absolutely not alone in your struggles. Good luck with your retake!
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New post 08 Oct 2018, 04:00
Hi all,

Thank you very much for all your answers - Rich, GmatNinja, Scott - very appreciated. Chibil we are now taking on whatsapp anyway but thx again :)
I took the gmat last monday and scored 710 - i will revert with a short review and share my gmat experience.

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Re: 730 on Gmat Prep and 650 on Real Gmat - need help   [#permalink] 08 Oct 2018, 04:00
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