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Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice.

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Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2017, 07:27
The past two weekends I'd done official GMAC practice tests and everything was going great:

720 Q48 V40
750 Q49 V44

All I was thinking was I just need to have the same performance that I had on my last practice test and I'm golden. Then on test day:
680 Q38 :( V44 !

I'm so annoyed that I fell so hard on quant after doing so well in practice. I remember stumbling a little bit out of the gate but towards the middle it felt ok, I was ahead on pacing the whole time though. Then by the end I was only getting very easy questions. Finished with 10 minutes to spare and came away with the 38. Obviously I rushed it.

Taking the test again Nov 4. What should I even do now? I'm almost out of OG questions, haven't looked at the gmatclub tests yet or e-gmat.

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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2017, 08:23
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NycEngineer wrote:
The past two weekends I'd done official GMAC practice tests and everything was going great:

720 Q48 V40
750 Q49 V44

All I was thinking was I just need to have the same performance that I had on my last practice test and I'm golden. Then on test day:
680 Q38 :( V44 !

I'm so annoyed that I fell so hard on quant after doing so well in practice. I remember stumbling a little bit out of the gate but towards the middle it felt ok, I was ahead on pacing the whole time though. Then by the end I was only getting very easy questions. Finished with 10 minutes to spare and came away with the 38. Obviously I rushed it.

Taking the test again Nov 4. What should I even do now? I'm almost out of OG questions, haven't looked at the gmatclub tests yet or e-gmat.


Hi NycEngineer,

Your practice tests does not suggest a Q38. But You rushed and had 10 minutes to spare and that where the doubt is. In making haste you might have marked some lower difficulty questions wrong initially. Such mistakes would not have allowed the algorithm to offer high difficulty level of questions.

So You might wanna spend $24.95 on ESR to get to the bottom of the test day story.

Did you take the GMATPreps fresh? look at this post to have some idea:
https://gmatclub.com/forum/experts-topic-of-the-week-8-9-17-7-reasons-why-your-gmat-score-fell-246658.html

Congrats on the awesome verbal score :)
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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2017, 08:41
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I 100% agree with everything HKD1710 just wrote. I can absolutely guarantee that you missed a bunch of easy questions on the quant, and you don't need to make too many of those errors to sink your chances of getting the score you want.

So really concentrate on making sure you re-read the quant questions and re-check your work. I don't think you need to worry about studying craploads of quant -- just make sure that you have a zero-tolerance approach to careless errors whenever you practice quant, and you'll be OK next time.

Congrats on the great verbal score, and good luck with your retake!
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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 05:05
Thanks for the info everyone. Fun fact, I like to warm up a bit by answering a few practice questions untimed as I start with quant and want my brain to be on already. While doing so I definitely multiplied 7 by 4 and got 35... so maybe it just wasn't my day for accuracy :)

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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2017, 10:39
Hey NycEngineer,

Congrats on the great verbal score - and overall score, too. I experienced a similar problem when I last took the GMAT. I had been scoring in the high-40s and ended up with a Q36 on the test (I scored a 47Q on my first try). I ordered the ESR and I don't think I started off very well, resulting in lower difficulty questions. My test was scheduled for 8:00AM and I don't think I was fully awake when I started the Q section. It sounds like you got a slow start- was your test early in the morning as well?

The GMAT Club tests are pretty tricky and do a good job solidifying your fundamentals. Maybe do a few of those before the retake.

Best of luck!

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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 17 Oct 2017, 08:42
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imo real GMAT/OG/GMAC practice questions are really different than unofficial practice b/c they are hard in an elegant way, and a lot of 3rd party practice problems are had b/c they take lots of time/computation.

so i tried stick to official questions for 1-2 weeks preceding the test to get used to that. maybe u did something diff't and were still in the 'hurry up' mode u need for things like manhattan etc tests??

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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2017, 06:31
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Just went again this weekend, 730 Q42 V48. Not as good as it could be but I think I'm going to stick with this not sure I can go through it again :/

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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2017, 07:05
NycEngineer wrote:
Just went again this weekend, 730 Q42 V48. Not as good as it could be but I think I'm going to stick with this not sure I can go through it again :/


Congratulations on the amazing score. V48??!! You are a living Verbal book! And here we are - lesser mortals struggling to reach even V40.

We must have a lot to learn from you. Mind sharing some tips on the individual Verbal sections?

Best regards


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Yeah, I'll admit I don't really know how I do it, but here are my thoughts...

In terms of material, I went through the MPrep course, and after that did primarily OG and the special OG verbal book.
For time management, I find that some questions are incredibly easy and I can do in ~20 seconds. Most questions I do in ~1 minute. I plan on about 1.5 minutes to read any passage (mprep suggests 2-3, I am a fast reader, to improve at this read the NYTimes and WSJ every day). This leaves me the ability to spend even 3-5 minutes on really tough CR questions. I finished this most recent test 12 minutes early as well.

I was doing mprep tests in the beginning but switched to official practice only. My official practice scores were all about 44-46, 48 is the highest I'd ever seen.

It's my impression that to get a score this high you have to get almost every question correct. On my last practice I answered only 5 incorrect and got a 45 or 46.

In terms of strategy. For SC, make sure you know the basics of parallelism, ", which" structure and comparisons (i.e. don't compare a review of books to books themselves), both X and Y, neither X nor Y, "that" structure, complete clause after ";", -ing clause must immediate precede what its modifying, "being" is always wrong. Don't waste time learning the fancy names for them, I literally have no idea what a participle is. Just learn how the language should flow.

First step, quick glance at the first split to get they lay of the land. Next, slowly read and figure out what the sentence should mean. Attempt to apply the rules above while maintaining some kind of real meaning. Many answers will be wrong for some complex grammatical reason but really just don't mean anything the way they are written.

Most difficult sentence correction questions are just variations on this theme with large quantities of information. Learn how to focus on the phrases in the sentence that matter and ignore the rest. I put some idioms to heart but it is so rare to see them repeated that I'm not sure it's worth it. Then when all else fails, I listen to my ear if I have to.

For CR/RC, most important is to know exactly what the conclusion is. Boil it down to "because of X, Y will happen" With CR I try to picture the people/scenario in my mind very visually and then go over each question option and imagine it playing out, and I figure out if the result answers the question. Most CR answers are easily ruled out for either:
1. Doing the opposite (make the point stronger not weaker)
2. Being irrelevant
3. (Harder) affecting part of the argument, but not the right part, FOCUS on the the conclusion and do not be distracted.
4. (Harder) being to big a claim. Words like "always", "in general" "most" are red flags. The result should be very focused.
Get rid of these options quickly and then really think through the rest.

For RC, read the passage like you will have to summarize it for a friend later. This will help you get the broad strokes in. For any specific question, use your SC skills of reading only what matters to quickly distill the ideas relevant to the question. Then use your CR skills to find the answer hiding out there.

Verbal to me is much easier than quant (even though I'm an engineer, weird). The answer is RIGHT THERE staring at you. You don't have to do any long division to get to it. They will try and trick you, just know the tricks they use and don't be fooled.

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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2017, 14:46
Congrats on improving 50 points! That was great!!!
V48 is a killer score!

P.S. Some schools may be surprised by your Q42 since you are an engineer. Some look for a higher percentile ranking in Quant. I usually consider Q45 to be a safe start for the top 20. Just FYI, so it is not a surprise down the road - you may want to consult with an admissions consultant about your particular schools/profile. Thought you may as well research it now rather than scramble later.
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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice. [#permalink]

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New post 14 Nov 2017, 21:46
Congratulations for the great improvement in the score NycEngineer - 50 Points Jump is commendable! :-)

Also, thanks a ton for some great tips on verbal, you have put it in very simple form and easy to understand. Hope we all can learn something and apply that in our preparation.

This point you mentioned on RC was an eye-opener: For RC, read the passage like you will have to summarize it for a friend later. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

Best piece of advice and would love to try this as well during my preparation.

One request - I know you have covered some bit of time management, it would great if you can provide some more depth on the time management strategy specifically for the verbal section. My accuracy is improved, but what I need to work on is time management.

Thank you for the post and all the best for the applications. :-)
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Re: Bombed quant after a good trajectory, 680 Q38 V44, need advice.   [#permalink] 14 Nov 2017, 21:46
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