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Aiming for 350 to 700+

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Aiming for 350 to 700+  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 00:30
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Some background:

I took a practice test with the Economist GMAT tutor, and scored a 350. This was two days ago. I had not studied for the GMAT at all, did poorly as a high school but ok in college (I was very lazy), so have very little foundation to work off of. I don't believe I am stupid, as may be indicated by this test. I am coming down from the initial discouragement, but my personal consolation is "you don't know what you don't know", so I am not taking this initial score too seriously.

My first official test will be about five to six months from now, and I have built a plan around that timeframe using recurring recommendations from this site. I am older now, and feel that I have the work habits necessary to stick to my plan.

I am currently on deployment, and have two months left. During this time I will be able to dedicate only about 2-3 hours a day to preparation. Upon returning I should be able to dedicate an average of 6 a day. Assuming days off, this puts me somewhere in the ballpark of 650+ hours of deliberate practice.

I am going to take another practice test after completing the economist GMAT course, which I estimate will take a little over a month, and from there will schedule my practice tests more regularly. I will use this score to adjust my plan.

I wanted to post this to get thoughts from the community here at GMAT club. Does anyone have an experience like this one?
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Re: Aiming for 350 to 700+  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 01:12
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Welcome to GMAT Club!

Kudos for posting and sharing a low score result. People sometimes assume that the GMAT indicates a mental evaluation but it does not. Many high IQ individuals (to their shock and disgust) score quite low on the test because it is not a logic or mental capacity test. Rather it is a test of high school math and grammar.

So all those things that you thought were useless at school and got skipped are now calling your name. Sorry. All the shortcuts you took and things you skipped, will now have to be in- taken and un-skipped. That’s the only way, and you can no longer afford it or allow yourself to take shortcuts or cut corners. That’s the only way, and you can no longer afford or allow yourself to take shortcuts or cut corners.

Before you dive into the economist course however, I would recommend getting some background info to cover things such as basic geometry, arithmetic, and other things that may not be covered in detail in a course. (Courses assume a certain level of proficiency). I would recommend the mgmat math foundations and mgmat Verbal foundations. The two books specifically designed for folks who skipped parts of high school curriculum or have not used it for a long time.

It would be more efficient to start with the basic material and then go through the course rather than vice versa. You should consider the course as your final training and culmination of which will be taking the test. Don’t consider it as the beginning - it is not dipping your toe in the water. For that you can get a general book and be done.

PS. One last suggestion - work to get a perfect or near perfect score on each section. Don’t just blast through the course thinking that you will catch up later or cover the material later or it will somehow appear later. It won’t. There is no “later”. Do it now and then and don’t move past the chapter, section, or quiz until you get at least 90% of questions correct. Also because you have skipped quite a bit of basic high school math, if you run into a question and you don’t know why a solution worked one way or another, make sure you investigate that. It may seem like a rabbit hole but at this stage you need to chase all those rabbit holes and to the bottom of as many as possible. Remember, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Good luck!

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Re: Aiming for 350 to 700+  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 09:08
Hi gmatmuggle,

Many Test Takers are unhappy with their initial practice scores, but you really shouldn't be. It's just a measure of your skills right now - and you're going to be improving those skills in the coming weeks and months of study. You've also given yourself plenty of time to study - which is good. Since you have an immediate plan in place, I suggest that you work through that Course to the best of your ability. Once you've completed it (and you've taken a few practice CATs), you should post back and we can discuss your scores and how to best continue your studies.

I'd like to know a bit more about your overall timeline and your goals:

1) What is your goal score?
2) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
3) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: Aiming for 350 to 700+  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 09:38
Rich,

1. My goal score is a 720 or higher.
2. I am planning on applying in January 2019. if this fails I will apply again in September 2019.
3. I am applying to GSB, HBS, Sloan, and Haas, in that order of priority.

Thank you for your reply. My impression of the Economist GMAT so far is good - it refreshes your understanding
of the fundamentals. For the sake of a simple plan, I will stick to this course for these early stages.

I am in the military and on deployment, and this course is especially useful for these circumstances.

I am currently six hours into my preparation.

Thank you, and I am open to any and all input!
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Re: Aiming for 350 to 700+  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jul 2018, 09:57
gmatmuggle wrote:
Some background:

I took a practice test with the Economist GMAT tutor, and scored a 350. This was two days ago. I had not studied for the GMAT at all, did poorly as a high school but ok in college (I was very lazy), so have very little foundation to work off of. I don't believe I am stupid, as may be indicated by this test. I am coming down from the initial discouragement, but my personal consolation is "you don't know what you don't know", so I am not taking this initial score too seriously.

My first official test will be about five to six months from now, and I have built a plan around that timeframe using recurring recommendations from this site. I am older now, and feel that I have the work habits necessary to stick to my plan.

I am currently on deployment, and have two months left. During this time I will be able to dedicate only about 2-3 hours a day to preparation. Upon returning I should be able to dedicate an average of 6 a day. Assuming days off, this puts me somewhere in the ballpark of 650+ hours of deliberate practice.

I am going to take another practice test after completing the economist GMAT course, which I estimate will take a little over a month, and from there will schedule my practice tests more regularly. I will use this score to adjust my plan.

I wanted to post this to get thoughts from the community here at GMAT club. Does anyone have an experience like this one?


Hi,

Great, now the journey begins and be ready for some bumpy ride. Preparing for GMAT is like moulding your habits to suit your preps. Go through this link slow and steady. Every word of this is important. Implement everything as much as possible. I am sure you can beat GMAT.

https://blog.targettestprep.com/how-to- ... -on-gmat/#

Hope this will help you to get into the GMAT mindset.

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Aiming for 350 to 700+  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2018, 15:48
Hi GMATMuggle.

One person who worked with me started at 380 and ended up scoring 750.

It took her a while, but she kept finding ways to make her score go higher, and, eventually, she blew away her target.

I believe that a key reason that she succeeded in hitting her score goal is that she realized what the GMAT actually tests, which is not math or grammar, but skill in getting things done. Sure you need math skills and some knowledge of the English language in order to score over 700. At the same time, what you really need is an eye for detail, skill in coming up with ways to find correct answers, strong logical reasoning skills, and the ability to be careful and accurate in your work.

So, as you are preparing for the GMAT - notice, I said "preparing", not just studying - make sure that, in addition to strengthening your math skills and learning language rules, you develop the skills listed above. and remember, the focus of your work should not be just to learn a bunch of "stuff" or to read a lot of explanations, but rather to learn to come up with ways to arrive at correct answers.

Rocking the GMAT is just a matter of having the skills to do so. If you can read English and do basic algebra, you already have most of the skills that you need. Now, to get to 700+, you have to develop your skills some more, fill in gaps in your knowledge, and learn how to apply those skills and that knowledge to getting correct answers to GMAT questions.

Clearly, you can hit your score goal. Just play the test like a game, and keep improving your game until you hit your score goal.

By the way, to get a more accurate sense of how you would score on the real GMAT and to get some experience answering questions pretty much exactly like the ones on the real test, use the official GMAT Prep practice tests available on mba.com. The first two are free, and there are four more that you can buy. Since you have a ways to go in order to hit your score goal, probably, you should use a mix of official practice tests and test prep company tests. Each time you take a practice test, review how you did, and figure out what you could learn in order to score higher on the next one.

Enjoy the game!
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Re: Aiming for 350 to 700+  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2018, 20:49
Hi gmatmuggle,

As you continue to study, you should report back periodically with your practice CAT score results. That way, you can potentially receive advice on a 'rolling basis' (as opposed to showing up 3 months from now and asking for advice 'cold'). Raising a 350 to a 720+ will be a challenging task - and you'll have to make big 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. My advice at this point would be to try to not be 'overwhelmed' by everything that you're going to be learning. The GMAT can be broken down into lots of little 'pieces' - and you shouldn't expect to master any of those pieces too quickly. Keep working and hone your skills; if you've trained properly, then you'll find that much of what you'll do on Test Day will remind you of work that you've already done.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Aiming for 350 to 700+ &nbs [#permalink] 10 Jul 2018, 20:49
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