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Apply with 610 or try harder?

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Intern
Intern
User avatar
B
Joined: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 46

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 165

Concentration: Marketing, Real Estate
GMAT 1: 550 Q37 V28
GMAT 2: 610 Q43 V31
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Apply with 610 or try harder? [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2017, 07:15
Hello all,

I have given GMAT 4 times until now (in terms of effort, 3 times since the 1st attempt was given without a single day of studying). My scores are as follows – 440, 550 (Q37 V28), 610 (Q43 V31) and 590 (Q40 V31). The last attempt of 590 was yesterday. Needless to say, I cancelled my score.
In each of my last 3 attempts, I wasn’t surprised with my score since it was proportional to my efforts as well as what I had scored in my mocks. In fact, I hadn’t even given sufficient mocks in the last 3 attempts.

In 2015 when I had got a 550, I had joined a physical coaching class in my city. I studied sincerely but my prep was not focussed (more of quantity than quality). Also, I realised that the book heavy approach was not for me. Last year in 2016, when I had got a 610, I had subscribed to EMPOWERgmat. I was quite happy with the course (especially Quant), but I will admit that I didn’t complete the course and did not take full advantage of it.

This time I hired a private tutor (Kalyan Chamarthi) for online one on one sessions. Started my sessions from the start of July. I am pretty happy with his coaching and I must admit that he really pushed me. I studied really hard, practised a lot of questions (only from OGs), maintained an error log, analysed my mistakes properly, gave 6 mock tests. Basically, followed a proper study plan. Plus having scored 680 & 670 in mocks, I feel a score of 590 is surely not in line and that I can do much better than that.

My mock test scores were as follows:
    Mock 1 - 520 (Q36 V25) – 30th Aug, 2017 (GMATPrep Default EP)
    Mock 2 - 630 (Q44 V 32) – 11th Sep, 2017 (GMATPrep Default EP-Reset, so I did see a few repeat questions)
    Mock 3 - 600 (Q42 V31) – 16th Sep, 2017 (GMATPrep EP 1)
    Then I practised for 2.5 weeks before taking the next mock and my score did increase
    Mock 4 - 680 (Q48 V35) – 4th Oct, 2017 (GMATPrep EP 1)
    Mock 5 - 670 (Q45 V37) – 7th Oct, 2017 (GMATPrep EP 2)
    Mock 6 - 640 (Q48 V30) – 10th Oct 2017 (GMATPrep EP 1-Reset, so I did see a few repeat questions)

OGs completed - Quant (half OG 10 and 3/4th OG 2016), SC (OG 11 & OG 10 & half OG 12), RC (OG 11 and 3/4th OG 2016), CR (OG 11 & OG 2016)

Exam day performance – I was feeling pretty relaxed and confident. I started the test with Verbal. Honestly, I found verbal questions to be slightly tougher than the one in mocks and OG. I had to slightly rush towards the last 5 or 6 qs (That has always been my problem in both the sections). But it wasn’t that I randomly guessed on all 5 or 6.
Quant, I found to be much easier than what I have faced in mocks. In fact, I found the quant in mocks tougher compared to OG. So, I was also wondering that how come I am getting easy questions (or so I thought). Again I had to rush slightly in the last 5-6 questions. However, one big mistake that I did was, when I reached the last qs, I had 1 minute left. Just when I finished solving it and was about to hit submit, the time got over. So, I don’t know if I got penalised because of this.

I have literally poured money on the preparation of this exam. In fact, I would like to mention that I have also taken a sabbatical from my job since mid-August for preparation of GMAT. GMAT has taken a toll on me financially as well as emotionally.

So, I am really confused now as to how much more should I try. I am going to speak to my tutor after a couple of days since he is out of town.

I have to anyhow apply this year in R2. Do you all think I should retake? If yes, then by when do you think I should give my GMAT? Ideally, I aim to get into top 25 US schools or the top 2-3 Canadian schools - My target score is 700, but then if I don't retake then I know I won't be able to target those schools with a 610. I sincerely need your advice as to what different should I do (I am literally clueless right now!!). I have also attached my ESR if that is of any help.

Btw, I am from India (30 years, Non-IT male, Real estate sales background)
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_________________

"The fool didn't know it was impossible, so he did it."

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 165

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Expert Post
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
P
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 10169

Kudos [?]: 3536 [0], given: 173

Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170
Re: Apply with 610 or try harder? [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2017, 22:44
Hi sam2016,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

When you took your 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) Before this most recent attempt, you had taken the GMAT 3 times before. You've noted the CATs that were 'resets', but are those really the only ones that you took more than once? Had you seen any of the questions on any of those CATs BEFORE (in a forum, practice sets, etc.)?

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

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Kudos [?]: 3536 [0], given: 173

Intern
Intern
User avatar
B
Joined: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 46

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 165

Concentration: Marketing, Real Estate
GMAT 1: 550 Q37 V28
GMAT 2: 610 Q43 V31
Reviews Badge
Re: Apply with 610 or try harder? [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 19 Oct 2017, 14:19
sam2016 wrote:
Hello all,

I have given GMAT 4 times until now (in terms of effort, 3 times since the 1st attempt was given without a single day of studying). My scores are as follows – 440, 550 (Q37 V28), 610 (Q43 V31) and 590 (Q40 V31). The last attempt of 590 was yesterday. Needless to say, I cancelled my score.
In each of my last 3 attempts, I wasn’t surprised with my score since it was proportional to my efforts as well as what I had scored in my mocks. In fact, I hadn’t even given sufficient mocks in the last 3 attempts.

In 2015 when I had got a 550, I had joined a physical coaching class in my city. I studied sincerely but my prep was not focussed (more of quantity than quality). Also, I realised that the book heavy approach was not for me. Last year in 2016, when I had got a 610, I had subscribed to EMPOWERgmat. I was quite happy with the course (especially Quant), but I will admit that I didn’t complete the course and did not take full advantage of it.

This time I hired a private tutor (Kalyan Chamarthi) for online one on one sessions. Started my sessions from the start of July. I am pretty happy with his coaching and I must admit that he really pushed me. I studied really hard, practised a lot of questions (only from OGs), maintained an error log, analysed my mistakes properly, gave 6 mock tests. Basically, followed a proper study plan. Plus having scored 680 & 670 in mocks, I feel a score of 590 is surely not in line and that I can do much better than that.

My mock test scores were as follows:
    Mock 1 - 520 (Q36 V25) – 30th Aug, 2017 (GMATPrep Default EP)
    Mock 2 - 630 (Q44 V 32) – 11th Sep, 2017 (GMATPrep Default EP-Reset, so I did see a few repeat questions)
    Mock 3 - 600 (Q42 V31) – 16th Sep, 2017 (GMATPrep EP 1)
    Then I practised for 2.5 weeks before taking the next mock and my score did increase
    Mock 4 - 680 (Q48 V35) – 4th Oct, 2017 (GMATPrep EP 1)
    Mock 5 - 670 (Q45 V37) – 7th Oct, 2017 (GMATPrep EP 2)
    Mock 6 - 640 (Q48 V30) – 10th Oct 2017 (GMATPrep EP 1-Reset, so I did see a few repeat questions)

OGs completed - Quant (half OG 10 and 3/4th OG 2016), SC (OG 11 & OG 10 & half OG 12), RC (OG 11 and 3/4th OG 2016), CR (OG 11 & OG 2016)

Exam day performance – I was feeling pretty relaxed and confident. I started the test with Verbal. Honestly, I found verbal questions to be slightly tougher than the one in mocks and OG. I had to slightly rush towards the last 5 or 6 qs (That has always been my problem in both the sections). But it wasn’t that I randomly guessed on all 5 or 6.
Quant, I found to be much easier than what I have faced in mocks. In fact, I found the quant in mocks tougher compared to OG. So, I was also wondering that how come I am getting easy questions (or so I thought). Again I had to rush slightly in the last 5-6 questions. However, one big mistake that I did was, when I reached the last qs, I had 1 minute left. Just when I finished solving it and was about to hit submit, the time got over. So, I don’t know if I got penalised because of this.

I have literally poured money on the preparation of this exam. In fact, I would like to mention that I have also taken a sabbatical from my job since mid-August for preparation of GMAT. GMAT has taken a toll on me financially as well as emotionally.

So, I am really confused now as to how much more should I try. I am going to speak to my tutor after a couple of days since he is out of town.

I have to anyhow apply this year in R2. Do you all think I should retake? If yes, then by when do you think I should give my GMAT? Ideally, I aim to get into top 25 US schools or the top 2-3 Canadian schools - My target score is 700, but then if I don't retake then I know I won't be able to target those schools with a 610. I sincerely need your advice as to what different should I do (I am literally clueless right now!!). I have also attached my ESR if that is of any help.

Btw, I am from India (30 years, Non-IT male, Real estate sales background)


Hey Rich,

Thanks for the revert. Here are my replies.

1) No. Simply because now that we can choose the order of the sections, I started the actual exam with Verbal followed by Quant, IR and AWA. In my mocks also, I started with the same order except that I skipped IR & AWA. In fact, this is what my tutor suggested me to do. I understand this was not acceptable earlier because our brains need to get trained to handle the mental drain that AWA & IR will cause before we even start with the important sections of Quant and Verbal. But why should this be a problem now?
2) Yes, I took them at home. But I kept it as realistic as possible. I wasn't in my comfy home clothes but I wore what I would be wearing for the real exam. I even wore earphones during the mocks.
3)My actual exam started at 5 pm. I did not take the mocks at the exact same time but I took all of them in the evening @ times between 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm
4) No. What I ate, what I drank, the break time was exactly as per the real exam. Except as mentioned before I did not take IR and AWA.
5) There were just 2 resets from the 6 mocks I took before the real exam (the scores were 630 and 640 respectively). And yes I did see a few repeat questions on them. Surprisingly, my highest scores of 680 and 670 were not resets. So except for the 2 resets, I did not see any repeat questions at all.

One thing I would like to point out Rich is a pattern that I noticed in my last 3 attempts, which includes the one this year. In 2015 when I scored 550, I had taken 2 weeks leave from office. Last year in 2016, when I got 610, I had not taken a single day leave. And this year when I scored 590, I took a 2.5 months sabbatical from my job. In both 2015 and this year, since I wasn't working, GMAT was the only thing on my mind and it made me very stressed. I had stopped all other activities during the respective leave/sabbatical. On some nights, I wasn't able to sleep. Whereas last year, I was not that stressed, I continued my daily routine and I guess that showed in the score.
_________________

"The fool didn't know it was impossible, so he did it."

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 165

Expert Post
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
P
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 10169

Kudos [?]: 3536 [0], given: 173

Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170
Re: Apply with 610 or try harder? [#permalink]

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New post 20 Oct 2017, 14:35
Hi samdighe16,

From your prior post, there were some 'red flags' in terms of how you've been taking your CATs. Before we discuss those points though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Kudos [?]: 3536 [0], given: 173

Intern
Intern
User avatar
B
Joined: 16 Jul 2011
Posts: 46

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 165

Concentration: Marketing, Real Estate
GMAT 1: 550 Q37 V28
GMAT 2: 610 Q43 V31
Reviews Badge
Re: Apply with 610 or try harder? [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 22 Oct 2017, 05:16
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi samdighe16,

From your prior post, there were some 'red flags' in terms of how you've been taking your CATs. Before we discuss those points though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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


Hi Rich,

Below are my replies.

1) My exam was on Monday @ 5 pm. On the previous 3 days, I must have studied for about 3 odd hours each day. I stopped studying @ 7.30 pm on Sunday. After that, I did not study anything at all.

2) Well, I was quite anxious on the few days leading to the exam and could not sleep properly, so my physician had given me sleeping pills for the prior 3 nights. However, the night before the exam, I could not sleep for quite some time in spite of taking the pill. Finally, I slept at 4.30 am and slept peacefully till about 12.30 pm. Then I ate something light, went down to buy some stuff and then again rested for an hour, got up at 2.45 pm and then had a light lunch. In short, in spite of sleeping late, I still slept for the required hours and was fresh and alert before the exam.

3)It was a 15 mins cab ride. In the cab, I was listening to one of my fav songs to pump myself up.

4) Not at all except during the AWA section at the end because that is when everyone else was also taking that section, so there was some keyboard noise. Of course, we were provided high-quality sound cancellation headphones during the exam.

5)During the 1st break between Verbal and Quant, I ate a banana, had some Gatorade and water, went to the toilet and then before leaving the toilet, sprinted at the same place, threw some fists in the air and shouted to myself "C'mon" (I used to follow the same pump up routine during the mocks). In the 2nd break, since I was pissed with myself for failing to click Submit for the last quant qs, I just went to the toilet, relieved myself and came back. I just wanted to get done with IR and AWA to see my final score.

6) No.

7) Yes. Slightly, as mentioned in my 1st post, I had to slightly rush in the last 5-6 qs. However, I don't mean that I guessed every qs. I would say I must have guessed alternate qs in these last 5 to 6 qs.
_________________

"The fool didn't know it was impossible, so he did it."

Kudos [?]: 3 [0], given: 165

Expert Post
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
User avatar
P
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 10169

Kudos [?]: 3536 [0], given: 173

Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: 340 Q170 V170
Re: Apply with 610 or try harder? [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 22 Oct 2017, 15:23
Hi samdighe16,

I've sent you a PM with some notes about this recent performance and suggestions about how to improve.

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

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
  Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Kudos [?]: 3536 [0], given: 173

Re: Apply with 610 or try harder?   [#permalink] 22 Oct 2017, 15:23
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