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Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking

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Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 09:17
Hi GMAT Club members,

First, thanks to all the active (and non-active) members for sharing and advising. Don't know how people did it before this forum was created.

Second, will be grateful for your thoughts on my actual first GMAT score (640 Q38, V40, IR 7 and not tired, with the Quant being the lowest ever scored out of my practice, whilst the Verbal being the highest):

i. I have used MGMAT and have completed 3 tests (within one week of each other and towards the end of my studies with the last two being 630 (Q42) and 640 (Q39);
ii. I have also used GMAT Club's notes, the forum and lots of other notes. Definitely have over-used the notes and have over-studied (I have studied since September but stopped in October and resumed end of December). I have an error log of random notes by topic. I tend to make mistakes on basic arithmetic (perhaps due to pressure). I also enjoyed reviewing the 700-800 questions (rather than the easy ones);
iii. The score is a surprise as the questions were fairly easy compared to GMATC and MGMAT. I am not good at maths generally but I am not too bad either and have score below Q40 only once;
iv. There is a lot at stake for me in doing well and gaining admission to an MBA (just to add some background, no drama);
v. Whilst I was calm during the exam, I did not sleep well the night before. At around 2-3AM (exam was at 12:00PM the next day) I knew that my chances were reduced;
vi. I completed the Verbal section first, followed by the Quant. I found that helps because I do not feel exhausted after the verbal, nor low on confidence
vii. Let me know if there is anything else you would like to know.
viii. I will be re-taking in 4-5 weeks, will full-time commitment.
ix. Aim: Q45-47, with a 700.

Do let me know if you have any pointers for someone in my position. What to focus on etc.? I think I am pretty calm as I have had many setbacks before and kind of know that I can do well on the Quant.

Thank you,

Medic
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Re: Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 10:58
Hi medic19,

I’m happy to provide some detailed advice but have some additional questions:

1) Please list the dates on which you’ve taken any practice GMATs, the total scores, and the quant, verbal, and IR scores, as well as how you were feeling while taking the tests. Also, please tell me where these tests came from (ex: mba.com).

2) Please describe how you studied. For how many hours a day did you study and for how many months? What resources did you use for your prep?

3) To what programs will you be applying? What are the deadlines for these programs?

4) By when would you LIKE to take the GMAT? By when MUST you take the GMAT?

5) For how many hours a day, on average, can you study between now and your next GMAT?

6) In your opinion, how prepared were you for the GMAT? It's important that you answer this question as objectively as possible.

7) Is there anything else that I should know? Anything else you’d like to tell me?

Once I learn a bit more about you, I can provide some detailed advice.

Thanks!
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Re: Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 16:44
medic19 wrote:
Hi GMAT Club members,

First, thanks to all the active (and non-active) members for sharing and advising. Don't know how people did it before this forum was created.

Second, will be grateful for your thoughts on my actual first GMAT score (640 Q38, V40, IR 7 and not tired, with the Quant being the lowest ever scored out of my practice, whilst the Verbal being the highest):

i. I have used MGMAT and have completed 3 tests (within one week of each other and towards the end of my studies with the last two being 630 (Q42) and 640 (Q39);
ii. I have also used GMAT Club's notes, the forum and lots of other notes. Definitely have over-used the notes and have over-studied (I have studied since September but stopped in October and resumed end of December). I have an error log of random notes by topic. I tend to make mistakes on basic arithmetic (perhaps due to pressure). I also enjoyed reviewing the 700-800 questions (rather than the easy ones);
iii. The score is a surprise as the questions were fairly easy compared to GMATC and MGMAT. I am not good at maths generally but I am not too bad either and have score below Q40 only once;
iv. There is a lot at stake for me in doing well and gaining admission to an MBA (just to add some background, no drama);
v. Whilst I was calm during the exam, I did not sleep well the night before. At around 2-3AM (exam was at 12:00PM the next day) I knew that my chances were reduced;
vi. I completed the Verbal section first, followed by the Quant. I found that helps because I do not feel exhausted after the verbal, nor low on confidence
vii. Let me know if there is anything else you would like to know.
viii. I will be re-taking in 4-5 weeks, will full-time commitment.
ix. Aim: Q45-47, with a 700.

Do let me know if you have any pointers for someone in my position. What to focus on etc.? I think I am pretty calm as I have had many setbacks before and kind of know that I can do well on the Quant.

Thank you,

Medic


Here's something I've written about discrepancies between practice test scores and official scores: https://www.manhattanprep.com/gmat/blog ... st-scores/

It does sound like a few of the things here apply to you: possible test anxiety, careless mistakes, focusing too much on the wrong types of problems while studying. It's also possible that there was an element of bad luck. Read over that article and let us know if anything there sparks further thoughts on your performance.
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Re: Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2019, 20:56
Hi medic19,

All of the information that you've provided is really helpful. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Assuming a similar 'swing' in how your CATs function, your 2 recent CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 640 +/- a few Scaled Score points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes.

With a 640, you're closer to a 700+ than you probably realize, but you'll have to make some fundamental changes to how you "see" (and respond to) the Quant section to pick up those points. It's worth noting that the Quant section is NOT a 'math test', so you do NOT need to be a 'math genius' to score at a high level. However, you will have to be organized with your work and you have to avoid making little mistakes (which you admit is an issue for you). Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) 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 (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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Re: Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2019, 10:50
Hi Scott, Rich, Chelsey,

Thank you for your very quick replies! I will address Scott's questions and hopefully these will clarify everything further.

1) Please list the dates on which you’ve taken any practice GMATs, the total scores, and the quant, verbal, and IR scores, as well as how you were feeling while taking the tests. Also, please tell me where these tests came from (ex: mba.com) A: I took 4 tests in total 2 weeks prior to my exam. I generally felt pretty nervous during all of them. The amount of stress was correlated to my performance as I scored higher on those where I felt less confident. Apart from incomplete tests (where I took verbal only) I scored (approximately) 620 (Q42, V37) and 650 (Q45, V35) on two MBA.com tests. I then scored 630 (Q42, V35) and 640 (Q38, V40) on the last two MGMAT tests, which I found to be quite difficult.

2) Please describe how you studied. For how many hours a day did you study and for how many months? What resources did you use for your prep? A: I would say I studied on average for 5 hours per day over the last 2 months, with full time study over the last three weeks.

3) To what programs will you be applying? What are the deadlines for these programs? A: I will be applying for the final round of certain top-European business schools. If things goes a bit better, then I may consider applying to the US in the summer.

4) By when would you LIKE to take the GMAT? By when MUST you take the GMAT? 28 March, leaving some room to re-take again by 16 April, when it is actually due.

5) For how many hours a day, on average, can you study between now and your next GMAT? 6-7 hours per day (or more if needed)

6) In your opinion, how prepared were you for the GMAT? It's important that you answer this question as objectively as possible. A: In my opinion I was prepared reasonably well but with the benefit of hindsight perhaps not so much. I had all the formulae down but perhaps little of the technique.

7) Is there anything else that I should know? Anything else you’d like to tell me? A: no, I do not think so. I am not a natural test-taker but other than that I think I have given a pretty good overview of the situation.

I'll find a way to post my ESR.

Kind regards,

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Re: Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2019, 12:40
Hi medic19,

A March 28th Test Date gives you about 3.5 weeks of additional study time - and you could potentially improve a great deal in that time. That having been said, you will have to train to handle the Quant section in a different way than you have been over the last 2 months. If you'd rather not post your ESR publicly, then you can feel free to PM or email it to me directly.

Based on everything that you've described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Quant Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in under a month, so the time commitment wouldn't be too intense. We have a variety of free resources on our site (www.empowergmat.com), so you can 'test out' the Course before setting up an account.

If you have any additional questions, then just let me know.

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Re: Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2019, 22:23
Hi, medic19

There could exist discrepancies in score. Many students are struggling with inconsistent scores and become frustrated. Considering the information given in the upper part, your quant score is quite unstable. You can lose points a lot if you making mistakes in basic questions. It could be more detrimental to your total score than getting wrong answers in hard questions. There could be two reasons why your quant is not improved.

First, you could have skipped missing points and concepts that you didn’t fully understand. You need to refine and review the basic concepts. But, you don't have to review all the topics, since your score shows that the problem is not rooted in lack of basic establishments and rudiment one. You’d better analyze your test records and find out the concepts in which you constantly got the wrong answer. Focus on that part. Taking the online class or self-studying by reading the books that only covers that part is okay with you. However, if you answered wrong in most of the types, then it could be the problem of weak basic. In this case, you should focus on solidifying all the topics that are covered in GMAT quant. Again, it is impossible to hit the score over 45 without solid establishment.

Second, the cause of ‘swing’ in scores could be test-anxiety. You said that you cannot sleep well at night before the official exam. As you know, physical condition is one of the most important and influential factors on the test day. Especially, sleeping is related with brain activity. Therefore, you should adjust your physical condition at least 2 weeks before the test. You’d better condition your daily routine perfect for the test. For example, you can determine when to go to bed, when to wake up and so on. To perform at your optimal level on the day, your body should be already set perfectly for the test. And given my experience, only one week is not that enough for your body. There are two thing helpful to get sleep. The first one is lower-body bathing. Before you sleep, bathing for 20 minutes can help your body relax. Also, it brings your temperature down, which enables you to sleep sound. The second one is drinking some hot milk or tea. It can also help your deep sleep.

Please let us know if you have further questions.
You can reach us at info@mathrevolution.com

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Re: Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2019, 11:53
Hi medic19,

Thank you for the detailed response. The good news is that despite studying for only 2 months, you’ve managed to score as high as 650 on official practice tests. That said, to improve your GMAT score by 50+ points, you will 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 had to know 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 quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find it helpful to read the following articles: How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT and The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with further questions. Good luck!
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Re: Actual Quant Score Lower than Tests. Actual Verbal Higher - Retaking   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2019, 11:53
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