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At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt

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Intern
Joined: 13 Nov 2018
Posts: 34
Location: United States
Schools: Tepper '21 (I)
GMAT 1: 650 Q39 V40
GMAT 2: 660 Q44 V37
GPA: 2.99
At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2019, 09:33
Good afternoon everyone,

Three weeks ago I took the GMAT for the second time. I scored a 660. I almost cried. I've spent roughly 4 months studying and have not gone anywhere. I went ahead and submitted my applications to 4 schools all in the 15 - 30 Rank. However, I am counting on a 700 to make sure that I get into at least one. I have AWESOME professional leadership experience from 2 deployments but, I'm pretty wigged out right now.

Anyway, for the good stuff:

My first attempt was November 1st: 650 (Q39, V40)
My second attempt after cramming for math was January 3rd: 660 (V44, V37)

That's right, had I kept my scores up I would have had a 690 and wouldn't be here on the forum whining.

So, here I am. Whining. Math is clearly my weakness. I make the most upsetting mistakes while under the gun. After spending the last 3 hours reading through study plans this morning, I somewhat think I need to review the fundamentals. I have EXHAUSTED the material in Veritas prep and have worked through a good majority of the material in Magoosh.

So, in addition to some words of encouragement, could anyone recommend some study plans? There are seriously thousands here and I'm not sure where to start. My drop dead date I've set is March 25th. After that I may just quit life and live in a box. I have 2 months and I'm an Unemployed Army Reservists so i have basically 8 hours a day to study.

Please, math Jesus, if you're out there, help me.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13585
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2019, 10:37
Hi MWithrock,

To start, a 660/Q44 is a solid Score - and it could be enough to get you into your first-choice School. That having been said, there's no harm in retesting - and you have the potential to pick up points in both the Quant and Verbal sections. From what you've described, there were two potential 'issues' with how you studied over the last couple of months. First, "cramming" rarely leads to great results on Exams such as the GMAT, so if you really were cramming during any phase of your studies, then that may have limited your improvement. Second, the Quant section of the GMAT is NOT a 'math test' - it's a 'critical thinking test' that requires lots of little calculations as you work through it. To score at a much higher level in this section, you need to become more of a 'strategist' and less of a 'mathematician.' It's likely that your general "math skills" are fine, but if you were too focused on "doing math", then you were likely NOT approaching the overall section in an efficient fashion - and that's costing you points.

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 how you've been studying and your goals:

1) Can you list out each of the study materials that you've used so far, including the CATs/mocks that you've taken?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) What Schools have you applied to? Are you planning to apply to any additional Schools?

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.

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/

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Intern
Joined: 13 Nov 2018
Posts: 34
Location: United States
Schools: Tepper '21 (I)
GMAT 1: 650 Q39 V40
GMAT 2: 660 Q44 V37
GPA: 2.99
At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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24 Jan 2019, 11:04
RICH!!! Thank you for your reply.

Cramming. Yes. 5 - 6 hours a day. for about 6 weeks. My math did improve but my verbal did not. I came off of active duty about a year ago so setting something down after a few hours its "natural". Also, for my first Exam, I finished through the entire Veritas course which I genuinely enjoyed. very helpful. However, for the second exam I Sat at my desk and did roughly 50 - 60 questions a day. This was from a combination of the GMATCLUB data base and Magoosh.

In any event - I Have a TON of scores which I will list as follows (Newest first, Oldest to the bottom):
VERITAS:

T690 / Q49 / V36
T650 / Q45 / V34
T680 / Q45 / V38
T660 / Q40 / V41
T620 / Q41 / V34
T620 / Q42 / V33
T640 / Q43 / V35
T590 / Q39 / V33
T650 / Q42 / V37
T640 / Q43 / V35
T640 / Q43 / V35

GMATCLUB Quant:
44 Wed Jan 02, 2019
37 Tue Jan 01, 2019
32 Fri Dec 28, 2018
28 Sat Dec 22, 2018
44 Tue Dec 18, 2018
39 Tue Dec 18, 2018
32 Sun Dec 16, 2018
35 Sun Dec 09, 2018
47 Thu Nov 29, 2018
39 Mon Nov 26, 2018

GMAT CLUB Verbal:
38 Sun Dec 16, 2018
36 Sat Dec 08, 2018
42 Tue Nov 27, 2018

Schools:
1. Cornell Johnson
2. CMU Tepper
3. Georgetown McDonough
4. Boston College Carroll

I think my Packets are strong. My military mentor who dragged me kicking and screaming all over the world and recommend me is a Major General in the U.S. Army. (I feel) My Essays are strong. I have 2 bachelors Degrees but my GPA is a messy 2.92. I have some things going for me. Some not. Hence the fear.

I can't thank you enough for even taking the time to post in my thread.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13585
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2019, 15:12
Hi MWithrock,

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 FULL CAT score results - along with your 2 Official Scores - show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 650 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. The Q49 on your most recent CAT is something of an "outlier", so I'm curious if you had taken that CAT before. Unfortunately, retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to assess your skills. Seeing even a few 'repeat' questions can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. (meaning that they would likely all be better than they normally would be). By extension, however you choose to approach this next phase of your studies, you will need to use NEW CATs (with questions that you have NOT seen before).

With a 660, you're actually closer to a 700+ than you probably realize. Based on what you stated about your GPA, focusing on your Quant skills during this next phase of your studies would be a good idea. Many Business Schools view an Applicant's Quant Scaled Score as an indicator of how that Applicant might handle the 'academic side' of the Program - and while a Q44 is a solid performance - it won't impress anyone. This is meant to say that by focusing on Quant Tactics, you'll be better able to increase your GMAT Score AND better impress how Business School Admissions Officers will view your potential to handle their respective Programs. All things considered, you could potentially retest in a month (or less) and hit your Score Goal.

1) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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!*****

Intern
Joined: 13 Nov 2018
Posts: 34
Location: United States
Schools: Tepper '21 (I)
GMAT 1: 650 Q39 V40
GMAT 2: 660 Q44 V37
GPA: 2.99
At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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26 Jan 2019, 08:23
Quote:
1) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

Whatever is needed. 10 hours a day if I need to. Anything is sustainable for 2 months.

I'm also taking the Math revolution strength and weakness assessment now. I'll post up my results this afternoon.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13585
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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26 Jan 2019, 12:02
Hi MWithrock,

We have enough data (in the form of Official Scores and CAT Scores) to define your current Quant 'ability level' and assess that your general math skills are fine, so taking additional tests or CATs isn't necessary (you'll almost certainly score at the same general level).

Furthermore, while it's great that you have the available free time to study up to 10 hours a day, that type of 'volume' is NOT necessary - and studying that much (especially over a longer period of time) would greatly increase your chances of 'burn out' before Test Day (and that's something that we want to avoid). On any given day, I suggest that for every 2 hours of study time you put in, you take an hour "off" before you restart your studies (the exception being on the days when you take a CAT).

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 (and you can also feel free to contact me directly through PM or email if you prefer).

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!*****

Intern
Joined: 13 Nov 2018
Posts: 34
Location: United States
Schools: Tepper '21 (I)
GMAT 1: 650 Q39 V40
GMAT 2: 660 Q44 V37
GPA: 2.99
Re: At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2019, 07:48
Hi Rich,

I took a look at the site and subscribed. I sent you a PM. I'm going to start toying with the Quantbooster this morning.
Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4972
Location: United States (CA)
Re: At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2019, 09:51
HI MWithrock,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, the good news is that a Q44 is not a bad starting point! That being said, since you feel as though you’ve been treading water for a number of months, you really need to look at HOW you have been preparing and make some changes, right? If you can follow a linear and structured study plan that allows you to individually learn and then practice each quant topic, you CAN improve your GMAT quant score.

Let’s say you are learning about Number Properties. First, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

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.

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 materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant courses.

You also may find it helpful to read this article about how to improve your GMAT quant score.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
500+ lessons 3000+ practice problems 800+ HD solutions

Intern
Joined: 13 Nov 2018
Posts: 34
Location: United States
Schools: Tepper '21 (I)
GMAT 1: 650 Q39 V40
GMAT 2: 660 Q44 V37
GPA: 2.99
Re: At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2019, 10:25
Hi Scott, I read through your article on Quant improvement. Thank you. multiplication gets me from time to time and I know its costing me points. For example, running questions this morning I thought 7x8 was 48 instead of 56. I'm trying to train myself to slow down when I do the arithmetic.

I'm also going to spend the next few days taking a few CATs to identify my major weaknesses.

In any event, I appreciate your words and am not giving up.
Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 4972
Location: United States (CA)
Re: At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt  [#permalink]

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30 Jan 2019, 19:00
My pleasure! Keep up the hard work, my friend.
_________________

Scott Woodbury-Stewart
Founder and CEO

GMAT Quant Self-Study Course
500+ lessons 3000+ practice problems 800+ HD solutions

Re: At my Wits end. Looking for a study plan for 3rd attempt   [#permalink] 30 Jan 2019, 19:00
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