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Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice.

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Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 09 Dec 2017, 22:54
Hello experts. I'm really suffering from a serious crisis in confidence after sitting for my GMAT this past Tuesday (Dec 5 2017). It's the second time I have taken it and really blew the timing on verbal the first time. My timing was solid this time and really expected a 700+ score. I was flabbergasted and truly shocked to see a 660 flash across the screen (V39 Q42 IR6). This is exactly the same score I received when I canceled my Nov 18 2017 test (V32 Q48 IR8) when I totally bombed the verbal timing and had to rush through the last 10 guessing on many of them. You can imagine my frustration in totally flip-flopping a lower verbal score for a then lower quant score. And I cannot even attribute poor quant performance to timing as I finished with a solid 3-4 minutes on my final q. I feel so demoralized. Ugghh. I have rarely scored this poorly in quant in all of my practice tests. I do not recall many if any missed calculations in PS, so I assume my bad performance was based on silly trap answers and poor DS performance. My personal assessment is also that I keep scheduling the exam for 8:00am telling myself I will be fresh. I only do 5 OG quant and verbal warm up q's the day of exam (in an attempt to keep my mind fresh). And I have always ordered the exam V Q IR AWA, thinking I should start fresh with my strong suit and warm up with verbal, which is most akin to my daily reading. I also read the news before the test, thinking that is a bit of a verbal warm-up as well. I rarely study and have never done practice exams this early. I have usually done practice exams between 10am and 4pm. I study from 10am to as late as 1am. I have done solid 10 hour study blocks (with breaks for eating and other things of course). I do not think fatigue or mental exhaustion is my issue. I do think it is getting enough good warm up and just waking my mind up to do this special task at hand. I have noticed silly mistakes in the first ten q's often- usually much worse (sillier) for Quant. Some things to note about me. I am older candidate. 43 about to turn 44. I have not done math like this in over 20 years. Having said that, I won the NYS State Physics Award in High School and consider myself strong quantitatively nonetheless. But that means that I am fine with a Q48, which I thought had become my baseline. I am now a stronger verbal student and believe I will pick up more additional points there than going from Q48 to 51 (if that's even possible). I practiced as an attorney for years and have taken the LSAT and perform well in verbal. Although I do feel like I have hit a plateau there as well, particularly with CR (specifically with CR Assumption Qs). I have been studying for about 4 months now and my test performance to date is as follows:

Sep 26, 2017
Economist GMAT CAT
550 Q41 V26 IR5

November 14, 2017
GMAT Prep- Exam 1
700 Q47 V39 IR7

November 16, 2017
GMAT Prep- Exam 1
730 Q48 V42 IR8
*(IR not accurate here as the software ran the same exact IR Q's as previous exam. I think this test made me a bit cocky and could not see getting less than this.)

November 18, 2017
ACTUAL GMAT (CANCELED)
660 Q48 V32 IR8
I totally blew the verbal timing (had to fly through and guess most of the last 10. I canceled and booked minimum days out. But continued to study strongly in between.

November 20, 2017
Kaplan CAT 2
700 Q47 V39 IR7

November 21, 2017
MGMAT CAT 1
630 Q40 V36 IR3.66 (it actually gives decimal score- weird)
I chalked this up to 3rd party tests being too hard (as I told myself with all of the following Kaplan and PR exams). This made me frustrated and I cut out 3rd party exams as discouraging and confusing. I did see value in practicing on more difficult problems and therefore time pressures. But as it was getting closer to exam time I was worried the foreign patterns would throw me off and started curtailing 3rd party exam usage. But not until I took 3 more.

November 22, 2017
Kaplan CAT 2
690 Q46 V39 IR7
Kaplan is now going down and I'm getting worried. I would say Kaplan feels most like actual GMAT at this point but a little tougher on grading and some bizarre and tough CR questions.

November 24, 2017
Princeton Review CAT 1
650 Q39 V41 IR4
I told myself their grading is too tough as I had less incorrect responses than GMAT Prep software.

November 28, 2017
Kaplan CAT 3
650 Q45 V34 IR5
At this point I start cursing Kaplan as rigged to get me to sign up and vow to stop using all 3rd party exam software.

For my remaining study time, run tons of question drills from OG (I have 5 of them) and GMAT Club quizzes and forum Qs. Read a few things like excerpts from Sackman's Total GMAT Verbal, but focus of study is mostly question drills. I felt good going into my exam on Dec 5 and tapered studying and relaxed and meditated a lot. Ate a good breakfast the morning of but I normally cannot sleep that well the day before the scheduled tests (usually bouncing up at 4am or so). I only do 5 verbal and 5 quant Qs to warm up.

December 5, 2017
ACTUAL GMAT
660 Q42 V39 IR6

To be honest performance is not necessarily out of range (on the low end). If you can be up or down 30 points on any given exam, then I'm probably a 690/700 scorer who under stressful exam conditions is performing on the lower end of that range. I do however feel it is not reflective of my skillset and the amount of study time I have put in. I FEEL like with the stars aligned I can hit 750. I have always been a 90+% performer on standardized tests. But I also do not feel like I have "cracked" the GMAT. I've had some aha moments in Quant and SC, but still find myself missing or feeling squeamish around inequalities and absolute values- something my actual exams drilled. I don't feel like I have gotten behind the exam's psychology and do not believe I am good at spotting trap answers as evidence of this. I also feel like I've hit a bit of a plateau on CR. I can get them all right or miss 5 (sometimes "easy" ones). Performance there seems a bit random.

Some expert advice would be greatly appreciated. Please know that I have not taken any course and much of my study regimen owes a great debt of gratitude to blogs and forum posts of experts such as:
Mike McGarry
Bunuel
Scott Woodbury-Stewart at Target Prep
Mitch Hunt
and many many more.

Thank you! Any advice from any experts would be greatly appreciated.

Originally posted by datatrader on 07 Dec 2017, 12:40.
Last edited by datatrader on 09 Dec 2017, 22:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 15:07
Hi datatrader,

First off, your prior 660/Q48 is a strong score (it's right around the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools/Programs you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of them here:

http://gmatclub.com/forum/ask-admission ... tants-124/

If you do choose to retest, we really have to analyze how you're approaching the overall Exam. The 'swings' in your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores (over the roughly 2 weeks between Official GMATs) show that you have the capacity to score at a high overall level, but you're not 'responding' to the GMAT in a consistent fashion.

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:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 20:07
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi datatrader,

First off, your prior 660/Q48 is a strong score (it's right around the 80th percentile overall), so it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. As such, a retest might not be necessary. Depending on the Schools/Programs you plan to apply to, you would likely find it beneficial to speak with an Admissions Expert about your overall profile. There's a Forum full of them here:


If you do choose to retest, we really have to analyze how you're approaching the overall Exam. The 'swings' in your Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores (over the roughly 2 weeks between Official GMATs) show that you have the capacity to score at a high overall level, but you're not 'responding' to the GMAT in a consistent fashion.

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:

1) What study materials have you used so far?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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


Rich, you too have been an amazing source of inspiration and education. Great posts and one of the more memorable tag-lines. Thank you so much for reaching out.

1. Early on I bought and read all of:
OG 11th Ed (along with 2015, 2018 digital OG, 2018 Quant digital and 2018 Verbal digital- all of these parenthetical OGs to dig into later as final batch of test Qs before the exam).
Kaplan 2018 Prep Plus (to get behind the exam's psychology).
Ace the GMAT (good broad overview and good sample of Qs- looking back not totally accurate).
Cracking the GMAT (Princeton Review- not super helpful- skimmed).

Then as time went on to fill out soft spots:
MPrep Number Properties
MPrep Advanced Quant (dug in a little, but realized my problem was gaining consitency on the easy and middle ground, not 50/51 Qs- so have not used much).
Powerscore SC Bible. Skimmed. Not incredibly helpful.
Jeff Sackman, Total GMAT Verbal. Love Jeff's blog posts. But did not feel like I received any huge epiphanies. Also just skimmed.

I have also used a plethora of free resources from MPrep and Kaplan. Have really enjoyed GMAT Club quizzes as they target identify weaknesses (that's how I discovered my issue with CR Assumptions). Just started using these belatedly. I also found Math Revolution's Quant analysis very helpful. I did not find their lessons on DS as helpful, but I also did not want to invest too much into a new strategy at that point. It also seemed like more of a fallback plan in times of confusion/desperation.

2. R2. January 5 for my schools. That means I have my 21 days to reschedule and this is my last attempt before R2.

3. Maybe just Stanford MSx and Wharton for R2. I would maybe open up depending on how those go.

Love to hear your feedback.

Best
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Re: Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2017, 22:06
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Did you order the ESR (Enhanced Score Report) from your last test? If so, then feel free to post it here. Sharing that information with the GMAT Club community would help us give you more specific advice.
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Harvard grad and 99% GMAT scorer, offering expert, private GMAT tutoring and coaching, both in-person (San Diego, CA, USA) and online worldwide, since 2002.

One of the only known humans to have taken the GMAT 5 times and scored in the 700s every time (700, 710, 730, 750, 770), including verified section scores of Q50 / V47, as well as personal bests of 8/8 IR (2 times), 6/6 AWA (4 times), 50/51Q and 48/51V (1 question wrong).

You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y8zh6qby Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

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Re: Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2017, 13:16
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Did you order the ESR (Enhanced Score Report) from your last test? If so, then feel free to post it here. Sharing that information with the GMAT Club community would help us give you more specific advice.


I just purchased but do not believe it is ready yet. I will check back shortly.
Thx.
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Re: Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2017, 18:41
Hi datatrader,

Your studies so far have been 'book heavy' - and many Test Takers who study in that way end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level. In addition, it's unclear whether you may have gotten a bit 'lucky' on one of your Official GMATs or not, so I have a few questions about how you took your practice 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: in an online forum or in a practice set)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

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www.empowergmat.com/

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Re: Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2017, 23:09
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Player, 660 is great! Leave well-enough alone. If you are an attorney, why do you want to earn an MBA? Anyway, focus on the quant w/expert advice. Take the GMAT @1PM. Good luck.
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Re: Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2017, 13:14
mcelroytutoring wrote:
Did you order the ESR (Enhanced Score Report) from your last test? If so, then feel free to post it here. Sharing that information with the GMAT Club community would help us give you more specific advice.


Please see attached ESR (Enhanced Score Report).
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Re: Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2017, 13:19
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi datatrader,

SEE ALL CAPS BELOW.

Your studies so far have been 'book heavy' - and many Test Takers who study in that way end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level. In addition, it's unclear whether you may have gotten a bit 'lucky' on one of your Official GMATs or not, so I have a few questions about how you took your practice CATs: I WOULD LIKE TO THINK LESS LUCK AND MORE I'M A BIT INCONSISTENT ON SOME FOUNDATIONAL SUBJECT MATTER (LIKE INEQUALITIES AND ABSOLUTE VALUES).

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
YES. MAYBE BLEW THROUGH AWA ON 1 TEST, BUT GENERALLY DID IN ALLOTTED TIMES. ONCE THE IR SECTION WAS TOTAL REPEAT.

2) Did you take them at home?
YES ALWAYS.

3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
NO AND I THINK THIS IS BIG ISSUE. I ALWAYS TOOK BETWEEN 10A AND 4P AND SAT FOR OFFICIAL EXAMS AT 8A.

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.)?
NEVER PAUSED. BUT DID DRINK TEA DURING MY EARLY HIGH PERFORMANCE EXAMS. OTHERWISE WAS A BIT LOOSE ON BREAK TIME MAYBE TAKING A FEW MORE MINUTES THAN NORM. I CUT BACK ON THAT TOWARD END OF PRACTICE CATS.

5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: in an online forum or in a practice set)?
NO. OTHER THAN IR SECTION EXPLAINED ABOVE, NEVER ANY REPEAT Q'S.

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


THANKS!
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Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice. [#permalink]

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New post 09 Dec 2017, 15:43
Top Contributor
Thanks for sharing your ESR! A few initial observations:

1) There is something quite strange about the "Sub-Section Ratings" portion of your ESR, which suggests that GMAC made an egregious mistake: it says that you scored 5th percentile in every sub-section on both Quant and Verbal, though your scores were clearly higher than that. This is an issue that you should definitely contact GMAC about, because at the moment you cannot use this section to discern your respective strengths and weaknesses by question type.

Image
Image

Luckily, there is a workaround: you will notice that in the blue "Summary" portion, your scores in each sub-section are still provided (though once again the percentile information is incorrect). You can see that on Verbal, for example, your main weaknesses are Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension.

Image

2) You only got 7 questions wrong on Verbal out of the 30 counted questions. Just a couple more questions correct, and you could have had a V42.

Image

3) On Quant, you answered 9 questions incorrectly out of the 28 counted questions. Again, just a few more questions correct could have made a huge difference in your score.

Image

The takeaway here: you're only a handful of correctly answered questions away from an elite GMAT score.
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One of the only known humans to have taken the GMAT 5 times and scored in the 700s every time (700, 710, 730, 750, 770), including verified section scores of Q50 / V47, as well as personal bests of 8/8 IR (2 times), 6/6 AWA (4 times), 50/51Q and 48/51V (1 question wrong).

You can download my official test-taker score report (all scores within the last 5 years) directly from the Pearson Vue website: https://tinyurl.com/y8zh6qby Date of Birth: 09 December 1979.

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Actual GMAT 70 point drop and 6 point drop Quant. Need Expert Advice.   [#permalink] 09 Dec 2017, 15:43
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