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750 Practice test to 690 Exam Day - Expert Advice and ESR Review Neede

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Joined: 29 May 2018
Posts: 9
Location: Canada
GMAT 1: 740 Q48 V44
GPA: 3.5
750 Practice test to 690 Exam Day - Expert Advice and ESR Review Neede  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 17:58
Hi everyone,

This is my second time writing the exam. I first wrote it years ago and only studied with the OG guide for about 6 weeks. I managed to get a 700 but I wanted a much stronger score this time. I thought I was in good shape heading into the exam. I wanted a score of 750+ and had achieved these scores a few times. Unfortunately I had a sudden performance drop on exam day. I am not sure why this happened I would love a review from experts.

I prepped using the OG 2018, OG Verbal Review, OG Quant Review, and the entire Manhattan study guide set. I also used these forums extensively.

My scores are as follows:

GMAT Prep Exam 1 - 690 43Q 41V Taken June 26 - I took this one on the downloaded GMAC software after a couple of weeks of initial study.

GMAT Prep Exam 1 Retake - 680 40Q 41V - Taken July 10 - I took this on the downloaded GMAC software.

Manhattan Test 1 - 650 40Q 38V Taken July 17

Manhattan Test 2 - 620 37Q 37V Taken August 2 - (very discouraged after this one)

GMAT Prep Exam 2 - 750 47Q 47V Aug 7 - Taken on the GMAC software. This was very encouraging and in the range I am aiming for

GMAT Prep Exam 3 - 720 47Q 41V Taken Aug 13 - I had time management issues on this one. I missed the last Q question entirely and got the last 6 verbal questions incorrect because of rushing.

GMAT Prep Exam 4 - 730 48Q 41V Taken Aug 22 - Surprised at this score. I got a 48Q with 13 incorrect but only a 41V with 6 incorrect.

GMAT Prep Exam 1 Retake 2 - 760 48Q 47V Taken Aug 26 - Taken online. I saw some repeats but since my performance had improved I saw almost no repeats on the quant section and some on the verbal. This was more for practice anyways.

GMAT Prep Exam 2 Retake 2 - 760 49Q 45V Taken Aug 28 - Taken online. Some repeats this time. I'm sure the score is not indicative. This was more for practice.

GMAT Prep Exam 5 - 750 48Q 45V Taken Aug 31 - Only three verbal questions incorrect but still only a 45, which I thought might be wonky but I was feeling encouraged.

Actual test - 690 42Q 42V

I don't know what to make of this sudden drop. I thought my nerves were fine but perhaps they had an effect. I may have just been off that day since I did 3 warmup questions and got all 3 CR questions incorrect. As you can see from my ESR, I did not do well on CR at all. This is unusual since my incorrect Verbal split on recent exams have been fairly even with CR and SC, about 1-3 wrong for each question type. I did have to rush to finish the quant section, and lost 2 minutes due to my break going over the time limit, but I still finished the verbal section with 3 minutes to spare.

I have booked an exam for a month from now. I did not manage to go through all of the material I bought, namely the OG Quant Review and the Manhattan Advanced Quant guidebook. Since I have another month my goal is still to achieve 750+, preferably 770. I'm considering getting a tutor to point any weak areas I may have.

Any guesses as to why an area of strength would suddenly tank?

How should I reassess my current weaknesses?

Does my target score seem reasonable?

I would appreciate any insights you can give me from my prep history and the ESR.


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750 Practice test to 690 Exam Day - Expert Advice and ESR Review Neede  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Sep 2018, 22:32
Sorry to hear that your GMAT didn't go well. Although 690 is a good score and is close to the 90th percentile, if you think you can score higher you should go for a retake. There may be many reasons for sudden drop in actual test result such as fatigue, less sleep, exam pressure, etc. It happens to most candidates. But be assured next time you will have less pressure. IMO you must revise error logs and analyze your mistakes and start working on them.
looking at your Quant and Verbal splits, it is Quant that has let you down and not Verbal. A score of 42 in Quant means you have to work on the basics a bit more. There are mixed reviews on the MGMAT advanced Quant guide. I think a subscription to Gmatclub tests would help to take your score to around 48-50. And if you can maintain your Verbal score at the current level, you are on your way to a good score. All the best.
The following post on ESR will help you: ... 21111.html

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Re: 750 Practice test to 690 Exam Day - Expert Advice and ESR Review Neede  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Sep 2018, 02:55
Hi shayr14,

I am sorry that your scores were not in line with your expectations. It is clear from your score that the biggest scope of improvement is in Quant, Algebra and Geometry specifically.

Quant Improvement

I would recommend that you do the following:

We are conducting a Free Algebra Webinar this weekend. In this webinar you will learn how to master the most challenging Inequalities and Absolute Values questions in GMAT. Register here to reserve your spot.

Verbal Improvement

Your only area of concern in Verbal is CR. I invite you to attend our Free CR Webinar to learn Pre-Thinking to tackle 700+ level CR questions with ease. Register here to reserve your spot.


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Re: 750 Practice test to 690 Exam Day - Expert Advice and ESR Review Neede  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2018, 17:24
I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. The good news is that 690 is a solid score and is on the low end of the score range from your practice GMATs. The real question is why your score wasn’t more like your scores from your latest practice exams. While you may think your nerves were OK, remember that you are aiming for an amazing GMAT score, so it’s quite possible that you put a lot of pressure on yourself to perform on test day. In my experience, I’ve seen that putting too much pressure on yourself (whether consciously or unconsciously) can have a negative effect on your test-date performance. Try to alleviate some of that pressure prior to taking your next GMAT.

That being said, between now and your retake, 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. 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.

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

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
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Re: 750 Practice test to 690 Exam Day - Expert Advice and ESR Review Neede   [#permalink] 11 Sep 2018, 17:24
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