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Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks

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Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 09:11
Hi all,

Today I did my first gmat and I bombed it:

Q: 47
V: 29
Score: 630

It was a devastating especially since the official GMAT practice mocks that I have done before yielded the following:

Nov 16: Mock 1: Q49 V29 650
Dec 7: Mock 2: Q49 V35 700
Dec 13: Mock 3: Q50 V39 740


I definitely had timing issues in the exam (both types where I felt I was running out of time so I sped up likely making careless mistakes only to have extra time at the end!) and first exam jitters potentially but other than that I’m very confused.

Are the GMAT official practice mocks not a real representation of the real thing? I did my mocks under exam conditions.

I know where I went wrong in Q: I psyched myself out and likely made some silly mistakes. But for V it is turning out to be a crapshoot.

In the mocks and OG I have done, I have been pretty decent with CR. RC is mostly good, but SC seems to be an issue- seems like SC is the easiest one to improve, but its taking me some time.

I am writing another exam in 16 days as I am applying for round 2 this year, but would appreciate any tips anyone can provide in my situation.

What are typical reasons for doing decent in the mock and crap on the exam? Did your first one also not go well? What would you recommend I do to get to a competitive score in 2 weeks (sounds impossible, but I feel I have the keys in everything except for SC but it’s getting there)?

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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 10:37
Were you nervous or was it the time pressure.

Your mock score shows a constant improvement.
Were questions in mocks familiar to you. I suggest please buy extra mocks and evaluate your score before taking another exam.
Nov 16: Mock 1: Q49 V29 650
Dec 7: Mock 2: Q49 V35 700
Dec 13: Mock 3: Q50 V39 740
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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 11:23
Thanks for the response friend.

I felt I wasn’t nervous, but I think inside I totally was.

Few things threw me off a bit:
- small but we don’t get a pen and paper but a marker and a board for the exam
- the first question in quant was hard...I think this is a common theme in the GMAT, I spent two minutes on it and guessed
- timing: I felt I had too little time in the middle, sped up, and then ended up with too much time towards the end
- I thought I did 31 questions in V but was in question 30...when I got to actual question 31 I clicked a choice but was NOT able to submit- not sure if that would impact my score, I know there’s a penalty for missing
- In verbal I felt I was running out of time in the middle so sped up, but ended up having 6 mins for last 2 questions

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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 12:35
the6kid - I am sorry to hear that you did not do well. V40 is very different from V29. What were you scores in the Scholaranium platform - Ability scores, Accuracy scores (E, M, H)? We can look into your account and

1. Give you a true estimate of your ability?
2. Provide direction as to what you need to work on?

-Rajat
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Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 12:50
Hi the6kid, sorry to hear about the mishap. Since you have gotten 700+ on two of the official practice tests, I have no doubt that ability wise you are capable of scoring 700+ on the real thing. Now, you need to be honest and think hard about what happened during the exam. Were you too nervous? Did you revert back to bad habits (e.g. over-invested in some questions, rushed, and so on)? If so, you may want to address those issues.


P.S. I believe that if you selected the answer on the last question, the GMAT accepts it as a submitted answer.

Good luck!
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New post 15 Dec 2019, 12:59
Thank you all for engaging. Appreciate your comments.

For V, I feel I should hopefully be able to pull a 36, but a V40 is quite tough and maybe the one time I got close (39) may have been a bit lucky. It’s been SC that has destroyed me mostly.

I have not yet seen my ESR as there is some sort of a problem in the system. What I do know is that I have the capability to get 730 (my target score) but will I be able to get it within two weeks is unclear.

I feel I can consistently hit 49 in Q and the first GMAT experience was an outlier.

As for bad habits, I think I did revert to them- all those you mentioned I did. I hope I am able to resolve this mindset.

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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 15:45
Hi the6kid,

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. Before we discuss any of those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How long have you studied? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Did you take any other CATs/mocks besides the three that you listed? On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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 on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 16:07
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
1) How long have you studied? How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Did you take any other CATs/mocks besides the three that you listed? On what dates did you take EACH of your CATs/mocks and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?


1. I have been studying for the last 5 weeks. I have studied around 20-30 hours per week (2 hours each day on the weekdays 10 hours each day on the weekend), I would say I have clocked over 125 hours by now.
2. I have used Manhattan (finished all of the books), E-GMAT for SC, and then OG for questions (Wiley questions)
3. Nope, I only did those mocks and my scores were the following:
Nov 16: Mock 1: Q49 V29 650
Dec 7: Mock 2: Q49 V35 700
Dec 13: Mock 3: Q50 V39 740

4. I am applying in 3 weeks, essays and recs are nearly done- GMAT is left
5. HBS, Wharton, Stanford, and Columbia.
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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 16:22
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Hi the6kid,

I've responded to your PM with some additional questions and advice.

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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Dec 2019, 16:51
Hi, 630 is a tough entry for hbs, Stanford, columbia and wharton. I suggest that you redo OG 2020 thoroughly and comprehend all answer explanations thoroughly (especially for sc).

For Quant and Verbal, you can get additional exercises from OG quant Review 2020 and OG Verbal Review 2020. Read comprehensively the entire answer explanations (expecially for SC) from each book.

Wish you luck for next attempt.

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New post 16 Dec 2019, 01:32
My 2 cents
There can be many factors affecting your score in an adaptive test. In my opinion, it is quite difficult to tell the exact reason.
One of the options might be to take the practice test at home without breaks and see your performance. Test conditions at home can be actually quite different than the actual test considitons.
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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Dec 2019, 08:42
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Hi the6kid,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT.

The good news is that you scored well on quant, right? That said, I understand that you are not satisfied with your verbal score, so the question we need to ask is why you scored so high on your practice exams but lower on the real GMAT.

Assuming that you took your official practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results show that, on a good day, you are capable of scoring higher than V29. Thus, it’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. However, it’s also possible that you have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day. Although I’m unsure of how you prepared, it’s possible that, in your preparation, particularly in verbal, you did not really learn to do what you have to do in order to score high on the actual GMAT. Rather, you picked up on some patterns that were effective in getting you relatively high scores on practice tests. So, for you to hit your score goal, your preparation, particularly for verbal, probably needs to be more complete, meaning that you have to go through the various types of GMAT questions carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills.

For verbal specifically, you have to become more skilled at clearly defining the differences between trap choices and correct answers. Otherwise, you will get stuck guessing between two choices or be surprised to find that you incorrectly answered questions that you thought you answered correctly. Becoming more skilled in this way takes carefully analyzing all of the answer choices to lots of verbal questions to develop an eye for the logical differences between the choices. In other words, you have to go beyond answering practice questions and reading explanations to doing deep analysis of questions to learn to see everything that is going on in them.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

If you’d like more specific advice on how to improve your quant and verbal skills, feel free to reach back out. Good luck!
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Re: Bombed first GMAT after decent performance on mocks   [#permalink] 16 Dec 2019, 08:42
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