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Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.

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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 13:38
atr0038 wrote:
Wow, you and I are in a very similar situation. I just recently started studying for the GMAT with Magoosh, and then I ordered the MGMAT books, along with OG18. I took the MGMAT CAT a few weeks ago to see my starting point and scored a 590. I’m not sure how accurate this is, because I took the actual GMAT 5 years ago without a single minute of studying (All I needed was a 500 to get into my accounting program) and I scored a 650. For the real GMAT exam, I scored a 42 on the verbal, but on the MGMAT CAT, I scored a 32. When I went to analyze my MGMAT CAT Verbal score, I was at the 99th percentile half way through the exam. The second half of the questions were all 700-800 level, and I got about half of them right. Still not sure how I only scored a 32 if I was only seeing 700-800 level questions.

I started studying for quant with Magoosh lessons, and also have about a third left. Honestly, I don’t feel like watching the videos is the best use of my time for quant. I already understand most of the concepts, my problem is applying multiple concepts to a problem. I feel like my GMAT quant ability is improving a ton by actually working through the OG problems. I created an error log with Google Sheets, and I’ve been working through medium quant problem solving questions. I use the free software included with OG18 to set up practice quizzes. If I get a question wrong, I Google the question, and the first thing that always pops up is the solution for the question in the GMAT Club Forum. It’s been super helpful for me, and I highly recommend doing that when trying to improve your quant score. Also, don’t get discouraged if you’re missing a lot of questions, just learn from your mistakes.



Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum


Yes, that sounds like the exact same position!

I like that approach quite a bit with the OG18. Luckily I have that too, so I think that will be a nice supplemental resource to have.
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2017, 13:44
jsheppa wrote:
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi jsheppa,

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 CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 580 +/- a few points). Since both of these CATs were MGMAT CATs, it would help to know how well you perform on one of the Official GMAC CATs (since those Official CATs are the most realistic ones available).

Since you already appear to be working through a Course, there's the question of whether that Course best meshes with your personality or not (and how well that Course is helping YOU to improve). There's some logic to completing the Course that you're in (since you admit that there is Test content that you are not well-versed in yet), but if your current study routine is not helping you to feel confident about your studies, then a change might be warranted.

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


I actually just signed up for a month of EMPOWERgmat this afternoon! I begin your course this evening :)

I am going to work through the 3 month plan, supplementing that with some MGMAT/Magoosh resources for fundamentals I might need some extra work with. I will make sure to use one of my GMAC CATs the next time for that one.

I think this will be a positive change. My enthusiasm is still high and I got into really good study habits, so I'm ready for pure learning immediately.


Hi jsheppa,

I think that you have the right overall attitude to approach this process and score higher. Right now, it might be tempting to think about a lot of different aspects of the Exam (such as pacing and specific subjects in Quant and Verbal), but the key is to start developing specific Tactical skills that you'll end up using over-and-over on Test Day. You'll come to find that most GMAT questions are fairly straight-forward, but you have to stay calm, take the necessary notes and look for the built-in patterns that WILL be there in every question that you face.

If you have any additional questions, then you can feel free to contact me directly.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2017, 19:26
Today was a complete disaster. I took a GMAC CAT and scored a 530, a 60 point drop from my most recent MGMAT CAT. Going into this, I probably psyched myself up a little bit because this was after ~3-4 weeks of using EMPOWERgmat and I was very eager to see my improvement from last time.

When I began this CAT, I began with verbal. I felt OK, throughout it, but was surprised to learn how poorly I did, especially on CR. I thought my RC would be OK because I did review this quite a bit through the first section of EMPOWER, and that did turn out to be my best. My CR/SC was pretty miserable, which I'm not terribly surprised by since I haven't done any review on that yet. The scary part was that I basically disregarded everything I learned in practice and just kind of went on gut. Little did I know that would be a taste of things to come.

For quant, I pretty much ignored everything I learned, especially my 2 biggest tools (TEST IT and TEST THE ANSWERS.) Although I acknowledge that now, it terrifies me that in the face of a test with a timer and no prompt on a syllabus telling me to use one of those, I completely disregard all tricks that were taught to me. It honestly felt as if I went into this test without having just sunk 100 hours into studying.

I also do not like these GMAC CATs. I understand that they are from the writers of the GMAT, but it is unfortunate that there are no detailed solutions, statistics of my right/wrongs, or really any indication of the level of questions I'm getting right/wrong. I wish there were something like MGMAT CAT results.

So at this point, I straight up want to quit. I just dumped 2-3 months of my life studying intensely and tricking myself into thinking I was retaining these strategies and instead I am regressing and doing worse than I did when I came in knowing nothing. REALLY depressing.
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Nov 2017, 20:11
Hi jsheppa,

To start, the scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. I think I mentioned this before, but 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 3 CAT score results are still 'in the range' of one another (560 +/- a few points). This is meant to say that 'your way' of approaching these CATs will continue to earn you a Score in the 500s UNTIL you make the necessary changes to how you 'see' (and respond to) this Exam.

Your recent comment about 'ignoring everything that you learned" is similar to one that you made back on October 1st ("I don't feel like I was able to recall anything I learned while studying - and honestly I can't tell if what I reviewed just didn't show up, or if I just froze and wasn't able to see what questions were really asking").

Now that this has happened twice - after focusing on two different sets of study materials - some analysis is necessary. "Review" is an important part of the Study process, as it helps you to recall past lessons/Tactics/tips/etc. Before taking this CAT, did you complete the Pre-CAT Warm-Up? Those Warm-Up Modules are there to help you get in the right Tactical mindset before you begin your CAT. From what you describe, you might need to do some additional strategic review before starting your CATs.

A full review of this CAT is in order and you should re-attempt all of the questions that you got wrong (using the Tactics that you've learned) - even if it's just to help you better define the questions that you think are too hard. I bet that there are plenty of questions that you could/should have gotten correct. Going forward, one of your 'goals' should be to review your prior CATs repeatedly so that you can 'ingrain' the Tactics and patterns that helped you to answer questions on each CAT. Those patterns WILL repeat on future CATs (and on Test Day), so you need to be able to draw on that knowledge if you want to perform up to your capacity.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 08:17
As always, thank you for the detailed response, Rich.

I did do the warm-up, but I did it the night before. I did surprisingly poorly, was a bit frustrated, and then called it a night. The next day my morning got derailed and I took the test ~15 hours after the warm-up, so I think I lost the purpose of the warm-up. Next time, I'll do it right before the test.

I added my mistakes to the log within EMPOWER last night and got my first impressions of what went wrong. I caught a few stupid math mistakes. I wish there were answer explanations of these rather than just the right answer. I guess I got used to you telling me via videos a possible strategy for a given problem. After work today I'm going to go through it again and attempt the problems again when there's no pressure.

I think more than anything I just need to learn to get into the right mindset. I don't know how I'm going to do that. I practice at a way higher level than my test performance would suggest. I've never taken a standardized test that I cared about before, so this is totally new to me.
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Nov 2017, 13:41
Hi jsheppa,

The primary benefit of each Pre-CAT Warm-Up is that it will help you get in the right 'strategic mindset' right before you begin your CAT. Thus, working through that Module the night before you took this CAT wasn't as useful as if you had completed the Module the morning you took your CAT.

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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 13:41
jsheppa wrote:
Hi All,

First post here in what will most likely be a proper and productive membership :)

I'm 32, native English, full time job, BA graduation ~10 years ago, and haven't taken a standardized test since 2002. While in school, I put 0 effort toward studying, so this is a new endeavor. Since entering the workforce, I've been a commodity trader and have worked client-facing jobs in fintech (read: I critically read and write about numbers constantly.) In my spare time I read quite a bit, both fiction and nonfiction.

Applications for the programs I'm looking at are due August 2018. I'd like to take my first (hopefully only) GMAT in February-ish. For the past ~5 weeks, I have been following Magoosh's 6 month study plan. It's good, but the frustrating part is that the OG and Magoosh assigned problems aren't tied at all to the videos I am watching. For problem solving I might be hitting a few simple integer questions that are familiar, but then I'll get decimated by geometry. It's really demoralizing.

At this point, I'm worried about just blindly following a set of weekly instructions. I'm a motivated self-studier, I have no problem putting in the hours and dedicating myself to the goal. However, I have never prepared myself for anything like this before, so I do not know how to create a study plan tailored to myself. There's a few posts here and there, but what I'm really looking for are study plans that are sort of adaptive. Something that keeps better track of my progress while giving me some instructions on what sections I should be studying.

I have all of the Manhattan Prep Books, OG2018 books, and Magoosh Premium. I enjoy Mike's Magoosh videos - he's a great instructor, but I worry that I listen to him and then quickly forget it. I think the Manhattan Books might be a good alternative, but just cracking open books and reading doesn't seem like a good study plan. Basically I would like my hand held for 6 months, but the thought of giving an instructor a few thousand dollars scares me.

I'll be taking my first CAT tomorrow (10/1) - I think it will tell me I stink across all of Quant and my Verbal is that of a native speaker that hasn't taken a test in a while. Any guidance about where to put my time would be appreciated!


Hey :), i would say we are in the same boat :) but let me tell you one important thing: Test - whatever it is - is not to something to worry about - by worrying you simply create psychological barriers, so forget about anxiety, and relax :) all in all whatever if you truly want to achieve something in this life, you will definitely get it just stay motivated and keep on moving towards your goal- also we live only once so make sure you enjoy life along with preparation :) Try to keep a right balance, dont go into extremes, work on your weaknesses - don`t try to solve as many as possible questions but rather focus on a couple of quality questions so you can get under the "skin" of GMAT, analyze each question carefully and along with it write down formulas/rules/conclusions you learn from the question :) i am not GMAT expert but that's my advice. Good Luck! :)
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2017, 07:12
dave13 wrote:
Hey :), i would say we are in the same boat :) but let me tell you one important thing: Test - whatever it is - is not to something to worry about - by worrying you simply create psychological barriers, so forget about anxiety, and relax :) all in all whatever if you truly want to achieve something in this life, you will definitely get it just stay motivated and keep on moving towards your goal- also we live only once so make sure you enjoy life along with preparation :) Try to keep a right balance, dont go into extremes, work on your weaknesses - don`t try to solve as many as possible questions but rather focus on a couple of quality questions so you can get under the "skin" of GMAT, analyze each question carefully and along with it write down formulas/rules/conclusions you learn from the question :) i am not GMAT expert but that's my advice. Good Luck! :)


Taking it easy and keeping the right balance is always the hardest, isn't it? :lol:

Thank you for the kind words. We'll get through this!
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2017, 07:17
Thereces wrote:
Wow, I have found here so much of useful tips for myself as well! Because now I have almost the same situation as the author of this thread.
By the way, dear, what is your result for now?


About 1.5 weeks ago I took another practice CAT and scored a 630, Q38 V37. The verbal is encouraging because I still know I have a TON of improvement left since I have not put much time into that at all. Q38 is also encouraging because I am still at the stage of building foundations. I haven't yet put time into dedicated question answering - I'm still working on learning material.

So, I know I can achieve my score...it just might take another 300-400 hours.
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2017, 14:33
1
Just wanted to vent some frustrations here, as I just finished another CAT. This time it was the actual GMAT Prep test, my 2nd one so far. Granted, it is 100 points better than the first one I took on 11/12/17, it's still the same score as my last MGMAT test on 12/3/17, and still less than my original quant score on 10/1/17. I feel like I keep on spinning my wheels, despite putting in probably close to 200 hours of study.

At this point I'm holding on to hope that once I complete my foundation syllabus on EMPOWER and then begin rigorous GMATClub test question practice I will see some improvement.

This stupid test is SO frustrating.

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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question.  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2017, 16:30
Hi jsheppa,

You've clearly made some nice improvements to how you handle the Verbal section of the Exam, but your Quant Scaled Scores (going back 3 months) are almost all in the same 'range.'
Scores in the Q37 - Q40 range aren't all that different from one another - and an increase/decrease could come down to just a couple of lucky/unlucky guesses on a few DS questions - meaning that you continue to 'respond' to the Quant section in the exact same ways that you did 3 months ago. In basic terms, regardless of the concepts/Tactics/etc. you've learned during that time, you are not properly using any of that knowledge when you take your CATs. As you review this CAT, you really have to put in the effort to define WHY you got those questions wrongs AND whether you could have used a different approache to get to the correct answer.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Another "I'm old and how do I GMAT?" question. &nbs [#permalink] 30 Dec 2017, 16:30

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