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after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+

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Joined: 16 Jul 2018
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after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 02 Sep 2018, 23:03
Hi all,

I just gave my GMAT exam yesterday and can't say I was shocked but was dejected to see a score of 570 (Q44/V20something) pop-up once the exam was done.
Though I might be 'not the smartest' guy I know, I am still hopeful of getting past a 700. Having practiced questions and tests for the last two months, I do not find a score of 700+ to be outside the range of my aptitude.
Followed the following strategy since July, 2018. Really looking for some help on how to improve the score to a 700+.

Verbal:
SC - studied the types of SC errors from the princeton review books.
RC - no real strategy. But would definitely try and understand the passage clearly while reading and make notes on what each passage was trying to convey, what the passage as a whole was trying to convey and of course taking notes of short facts presented in the passage.
CR - Towards the end of my preparation, found that I was lacking the most in tackling the CR questions. The process I tried to use towards the end was, identify the question type, identify the conclusion and the premise and use the following table to decide on what the correct answer choice should do:

Causality question
Assumption - No other causes
Cause is not a coincidence
Weaken - Same cause no effect
Another cause same effect
Strengthen - Give another example of the same cause
Bring up another cause and rule it out

Planning question
Assumption - No problems with plan
Weaken - Identify a problem with plan either in execution or outcome
Strengthen - Bring up potential problem with plan and rule it out

Analogy question
Assumption - X and Y can be compared
Weaken - Show that X is different from Y in relevant ways
Strengthen - X and Y are indeed comparable/similar

Sampling question
Assumption - Sample is representative
Weaken - Reason(s) to show sample is not representative
Strengthen - Reasons to show sample is representative

Interpretation of Evidence
Assumption - No other way to interpret facts
Weaken - Show a different interpretation of facts
Strengthen - Facts have been interpreted correctly.

It is highly possible that if I give more time to the above approach for CRs, I might do well as I observed that during the actual test yesterday, when I noticed that I was running out of time, I completely abandoned ship on the above strategies and tried simply reading and answering (which I know is fatal). However, it would be great to get some expert and honest advice from this valuable forum on the above strategy. Would sticking to the above and perfecting them help? Or is it advisable to implement a different strategy for verbal that may have worked for most other students.?
I am definitely looking to improve my score in verbal to a 40+. In many of the practice tests, where I was fully focussed on the above strategies, I noticed I was being able to obtain a 35 to 37 at the most. SO I do have faith that I can make it.

Quant:

I am definitely more confident with this section and I know a 44 is not bad. But I am thinking of re-taking my GMAT in 2 months (2nd Nov' 2018). So would love to increase that score to a 50 at least in that time.

The main method I followed for preparing was practicing from the OG18 twice over and completing the entire MGMAT Advanced quant book. Although I left the latter for the last two weeks before test date (which also did not seem like a smart idea once I was done).

For both the verbal and quant, I practiced timed questions from the GMAT wiley portal and gave 6 MGMAT tests and the two GMAT prep tests one (sometimes two) every weekend.

MGMAT test 1 - 520 (V26/Q35)
MGMAT test 2 - 500 (V22/Q37)
MGMAT test 3 - 630 (V31/Q46)
MGMAT test 4 - 500 (V21/Q38) (had a horrible day for personal reasons and totally screwed this one up)
MGMAT test 5 - 590 (V28/Q44)
MGMAT test 6 - 590 (V26/Q45)
MGMAT test 1A - 580 (V28/Q42) (retake of test 1. Starting to get frustrated with steady late 500 scores)
GMATprep test 1 - 580 (V25/Q46)
MGMAT test 2A - 600 (V34/Q39) (not sure what happened in quant on this one)
MGMAT test 3A - 640 (V34/Q44)
GMATprep test 2 - 600 (V28/Q44)
GMATprep test 1 - 660 (V28/Q44) (I know, same sectional scores but different overall score. Not sure how that is possible, but that is how it is)

Any advice to increase my verbal scores to over 40 and my overall scores to over 700 would be greatly appreciated.

Pratik.

Originally posted by silenthunter on 02 Sep 2018, 20:47.
Last edited by silenthunter on 02 Sep 2018, 23:03, edited 1 time in total.
Intern
Joined: 30 Jun 2017
Posts: 1
Location: India
GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V35
GPA: 2.71
Re: after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+  [#permalink]

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02 Sep 2018, 22:04
For 700 plus score, sectional score of Q50 and V35 and above will be OK for ppl gud in quant.
Since you want to do it in two months the preparation has to be planned very strategically. U will not be able to cover everything again. So better to build upon your strength and be realistic. Improving from v20 to v40 will be a fight in two months and may demoralise you more if you don't get it. For verbal it was a fight for me too but from my experience I can say that manhattan books are good but their practice exams do not match with GMAT standards of verbal. So if I were in your place I would have straight away gone for some ready made external help (coaching) for verbal to increase my chances, practice OG on their online platform in a strictly timed environment, find out my strengths and weakness, build upon my strength to maximise my score and work on the basics of my weakness topics and try to solve and improve the medium level questions in those topics.
For quant better to first check in which topics or type of question you are faltering. No harm in completing the basics of those topics first before attempting questions again. A lot of patience is required in preparing quant because most of the time we take it for granted and leave the basics of quant. Also I don't think that there is lot of advance quant required for GMAT. I think GMAT official guide do cover all the types of questions but still if u want you can also try the free sectional test on GMATclub which have good questions covering various topics. I did them 10 days before my final GMAT and it did add some extra knowledge.
In addition to above it is important to analyse the time taken for each question and whether all questions are attempted.

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Re: after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+  [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2018, 13:43
Hi Pratik,

To start, many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so it's likely that you just have not put in enough time and effort to have scored higher yet.

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, most of your CAT score results - along with your Official Score - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 600 +/- a few points). Raising a 570 to the point that you can consistently score 700+ will likely require at least another 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

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 your overall goals:

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Intern
Joined: 01 Mar 2018
Posts: 9
Re: after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+  [#permalink]

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03 Sep 2018, 23:32
I had a similar situation with my practice exam. I just posted a thread on how I plan to improve my score. Maybe it will be of help to you. Best of luck!
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Re: after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+  [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2018, 09:00
Hi silenthunter,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Based on the description of your previous study routine and the scores of your practice exams vs. your real GMAT, it’s clear that you were taking practice exams before you were ready.

GMAT practice tests best serve two main purposes. The first purpose is to provide diagnostic information. In other words, by taking a practice test, you can get a sense of what types of GMAT questions you’re comfortable answering and arrive at a reasonable estimation of how you would score on the GMAT at that point in time. The second purpose is, naturally, to provide a way to practice taking the GMAT and handling its various challenges, such as time pressure and the varying difficulty of the questions presented.

People often misuse practice tests as primary learning tools. You may have seen posts that go something like the following: A person with a score goal of 740 has been preparing for six weeks, has already taken all six of the official practice tests, and is wondering why her scores have been 600, 590, 570, 610, 600, and 560. In such a case, the person likely has been using practice tests as primary learning tools, meaning that taking practice tests has been much of, or possibly most of, what she has been doing to drive up her score.

Of course, you can benefit from taking one diagnostic practice test early in your preparation. Furthermore, once you’ve done substantial preparation and mastered much of the content tested on the GMAT, when you sit for practice tests, they will actually show, to some degree, lingering weak areas that require further study. I say “to some degree” because although practice tests provide a pretty good approximation of how a person would score on the GMAT at a particular point in time, the sample size of questions on any practice test is rather small (31 quant questions and 36 verbal questions), so practice tests don’t do a very good job of pinpointing specific areas of weakness.

For example, let’s assume that of the 31 quant questions on a given practice test, you encounter one Rate-Time-Distance question and get it wrong. Should you conclude that you need extensive work on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Of course not. Similarly, what if you correctly answered the Rate-Time-Distance question? Are you good to go on those questions? Maybe. But maybe not. In fact, let’s assume that you took six practice tests, saw a total of six Rate-Time-Distance questions, and correctly answered them all. Can you conclude that you’re solid on Rate-Time-Distance questions? Probably not. One thing that makes the GMAT challenging is the vast potential for variation in the questions. There are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of variations of Rate-Time-Distance questions that can appear on the test. So, correctly answering five or six (or ten) Rate-Time-Distance questions doesn’t really tell you too much. You must take care not to over-infer based on practice tests alone.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects. Furthermore, the reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is likely that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, to be successful in Sentence Correction, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns in the sentence clearly refer to nouns in the sentence? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing that you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey meanings that make sense. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices in a Sentence Correction question, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. For instance, are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently that would have extended your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regiments, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your Sentence Correction skills improve, you’ll then want to practice with SC questions that test you on skills from multiple SC topics.

Although your quant is stronger, you can follow a similar process for that section. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. As you 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.

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 Beat the GMAT reviews for the top-rated GMAT courses.

how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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Re: after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+  [#permalink]

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05 Sep 2018, 20:38
Hi,

Thank you all for your very very valuable feedback! I have taken a couple of days to think about my options. Here is what I have decided. Since I am a working professional, and will be able to spend a few hours in the morning and a couple of of hours at night on weekdays and most of my weekends dedicated to studying, I figured it would be best to go with an online course for the GMAT verbal. I may be living in a country where English is a foreign language, but having obtained all of my education in English through out my life did make me falsely confident of tackling the GMAT verbal with the knowledge that I already possessed in English grammar. I have decided to take up the E-GMAT online verbal course after considering multiple reviews of the same in this platform and others. Went through the initial introductory lectures and they seem quite comprehensive, helpful and have made me realize that I need to consider a step by step learning process and follow it diligently for the verbal and give it the time and effort it needs.

As far as quant is concerned, I am still in the process of deciding how to get my score from 44 to 50+. I am quite familiar with most of the knowledge being tested on the gmat for quant but I guess it's about learning how to get the questions correct within the time allotted for each question (as suggested in the above response). This is mainly because, I can answer answer most of the questions correctly but spend more than two minutes on certain questions to be sure of the answer and that puts me in trouble for the final third of the section. Any further suggestions on tackling the quant would be highly appreciated. I will definitely check out the reviews of courses recommended on the above responses.

I also did see a question regarding which schools I am looking to apply to.

My main choices are as follows:

1. ISB (India)
2. ROTMAN school of management (Canada)
4. Hong Kong university of science & technology (Hong Kong)
5. HEC Paris

I understand that it may be possible to get in to the above schools for a full-time MBA with a 680 or a 690, but considering my profile of an Indian IT work background, I understand that I will need a GMAT score far higher than the averages for the schools mentioned above. Please do correct me if I have made an error in judgement here.

I was originally looking to apply this year (fall 2018), however given my obtained GMAT score and that I will need to give time to reconsider and fix my approach to the exam, my goal is to apply in fall 2019 with a far more serious plan for the same that needs to be stuck to as much as possible.

Again, thank you very much for your responses so far, if anyone has anything more to add, regarding any of my points above, it would be highly appreciated. I really appreciate the honesty in all of the responses received so far. This is a great platform that I intend on participating in more actively.

Regards,

Pratik.
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Re: after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+  [#permalink]

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06 Sep 2018, 12:17
Hi Pratik,

The GMAT is a big 'critical thinking test', so while you don't have to be a genius to score at a higher level, you do need to be a flexible-enough thinker to take advantage of how GMAT questions are written. Most prompts can be solved in more than one way - so it's possible that "your way" of approaching the Quant and Verbal sections is actually limiting how much you can improve. This is meant to say that while knowing the content/formulas/rules is an important part of what you need to work on, it's far from the only thing - and to score 700+, you will have to make some big changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) the Quant and Verbal sections.

Based on everything that you’ve described, I think that you would find the EMPOWERgmat Total Score Booster to be quite helpful. Most of our clients complete that Study Plan in under 2 months, but your goal should NOT be to try to rush through any of that material. 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 you can feel free to contact me directly.

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

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Re: after two months of study, ended up with a 570! :( Looking for 700+   [#permalink] 06 Sep 2018, 12:17
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