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Bombed official GMAT prep CAT #2

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Bombed official GMAT prep CAT #2  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2019, 11:15
Took a completely cold official GMAT CAT as a baseline three months ago and got a 590 (36Q, 35V), target score is 700 so obviously have some work to do particularly in Quant which I knew was a weakness. I have been studying hard the last three months about 15 hours per week consistently and recently felt like my preparations were really going well. Last two CATs I took about 5 and 7 weeks ago mostly for timing practice I got:

630 (43Q, 34V) - Kaplan CAT
600 (42Q, 32V) - MGMAT (something about MGMAT verbal really threw me off)

This past weekend feeling good I decided to take official GMAT practice test #2 and completely BOMBED with a 570 (35Q, 34V). I was legitimately shocked to see this score as I thought I was cruising during the Quant portion and 90% of my studying is devoted to Quant. I'm at a complete loss right now and really discouraged that after 3 months I've somehow gotten a worse score than when I started and knew nothing. When I took my baseline CAT I couldn't even attempt half the Quant problems, but on the recent one I knew how to approach and solve probably 80% of them and only got 10 wrong. Of those I got incorrect at least 4 were just silly mistakes.

I missed 3 easy questions in the first 7 to start and after that never seemed to get any harder problems, it's almost like the test stopped adapting even though I had multiple streaks of several questions in a row correct - it just kept giving me easy problems.

Really feeling discouraged and bewildered here, I know Kaplan and MGMAT aren't the real thing, but I've read that MGMAT quant is typically harder than the real thing so I expected something at least in the low 40s. Hoping it was just a fluke and I bombed and/or crumbled under the pressure. Admittedly I was feeling a little nervous, made careless mistakes I usually don't and my mind didn't seem as sharp as I would've liked.

Anyone else just unexpectedly bomb? Just looking for some words of encouragement, feeling pretty frustrated.
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New post 10 Dec 2019, 11:40
dddhhh82 wrote:

This past weekend feeling good I decided to take official GMAT practice test #2 and completely BOMBED with a 570 (35Q, 34V). I was legitimately shocked to see this score as I thought I was cruising during the Quant portion and 90% of my studying is devoted to Quant. I'm at a complete loss right now and really discouraged that after 3 months I've somehow gotten a worse score than when I started and knew nothing. When I took my baseline CAT I couldn't even attempt half the Quant problems, but on the recent one I knew how to approach and solve probably 80% of them and only got 10 wrong. Of those I got incorrect at least 4 were just silly mistakes.

After 3 month of quant preparation your quant score should be increased. As it did not increase we can assume that your quant preparation was in the wrong way, or you can take a GMATPREP mock test again to testify your recent score.
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New post 10 Dec 2019, 12:13
What source did you use to prepare for Quant?
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New post 10 Dec 2019, 12:48
I've mostly used GMATclub resources I've found here and dabbled in some TTP for a bit as well but tried to stick with mostly GMAT official problems. I think perhaps my problem is not doing enough mixed topic problems under timed exam conditions. The majority of my study outside of practice exams I tend to focus on one subject at a time (rates, percents, geometry, etc) and probably have not done enough mixed topic problem sets under time conditions.

I think what just confuses me the most is that I'd clearly improved my Quant based on my last two practice exams (even though they were unofficial CATs) and was feeling fairly good during the Quant portion of the exam so I was surprised to an almost unfathomably low Quant score. Perhaps I'll take another practice test this week to confirm if this was just a horrible day or not.
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New post 10 Dec 2019, 13:25
Yes, could just be a bad day. Let us know how did you go in your mock next week.

Don't worry, you got this!

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Re: Bombed official GMAT prep CAT #2  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2019, 13:52
Hi dddhhh82,

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 various CAT score results show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 600 +/- a few points). You handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. The fact that you've been scoring at this same general level for the last 3 months implies that you may have developed some 'bad habits' during your studies that are keeping you from scoring higher.

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) What specific study materials have you used so far (besides working on questions through GMATClub)? Have you taken any courses?
2) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
3) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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New post 11 Dec 2019, 12:04
Hi dddhhh82,

As has been mentioned it’s possible that you had an off day or it’s possible that you still have numerous weak areas in quant that are dragging down your quant score. In any case, feel free to reach back out after you take your next official practice GMAT, and I can provide some further advice.
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New post 11 Dec 2019, 22:11
Don't get disheartened. After reading through your post I also feel that you had an off day. Don't pass judgements about yourself on the basis of just one data point. Since you got many easy questions correct, I feel you have it in you to get a better score. Just ensure that you don't get easy questions wrong at the beginning of the test and ensure you improve your performance on the easy questions on an overall basis. Do get back to us with your recent mock score.

All the best!
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Re: Bombed official GMAT prep CAT #2   [#permalink] 11 Dec 2019, 22:11
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