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can't break 710 on official CATs

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can't break 710 on official CATs  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 19 Mar 2019, 18:32
hi! new on here—i've been prepping and can't break 710 consistently. scored 710 (q48v40), then 740 (q48v42), 720 (q49v40), 710(q49v36), and 710 (q49v39)

super frustrated that my scores aren't trending the way i want them to--any help/tips would be appreciated!

Originally posted by alittlemorerock on 19 Mar 2019, 18:17.
Last edited by alittlemorerock on 19 Mar 2019, 18:32, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: can't break 710 on official CATs  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 18:29
alittlemorerock wrote:
hi! new on here—i've been prepping and can't break 710 consistently. scored 710 (q48v40), then 740 (q48v42), 720 (q49v40), 710(q49v36), and 710 (q49v49)

super frustrated that my scores aren't trending the way i want them to--any help/tips would be appreciated!
Have you analyzed these tests to identify the areas that you need to work on? It's probably not going to be particularly easy, as 710 is itself a very good score (which means that you don't have many weaknesses). If I had to guess, I'd say that quant is the one you should focus on right now.

Also, you might want to edit the 710 (Q49 V49) score, as 49 on both quant and verbal would lead to a higher total score.
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New post 19 Mar 2019, 18:35
AjiteshArun yeah, i'm taking it in a week, but been studying 4-5hours a day for the past month or so. for IR anyway i know that those mistakes are careless ones, but for quant, i'm not getting a single kind of topic consistently wrong? so that's why i'm not sure how to look at it
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Re: can't break 710 on official CATs  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 18:59
alittlemorerock wrote:
AjiteshArun yeah, i'm taking it in a week, but been studying 4-5hours a day for the past month or so. for IR anyway i know that those mistakes are careless ones, but for quant, i'm not getting a single kind of topic consistently wrong? so that's why i'm not sure how to look at it
Are you taking the actual exam soon? In that case, you should probably focus on consolidation rather than on major score improvements. Make sure that your timing strategy is in place and that you execute it on the day of your exam. You might need to reduce the number of hours you're putting in as well: you want to conserve your energy for the actual exam.

Otherwise, it's not just about getting a question wrong. As someone who is consistently getting very good scores, you shouldn't expect any low-hanging fruit here. That is, it'd be great if there is some small problem in your approach that can be fixed quickly, but don't depend on it. Go through the questions you've done and check whether there are some things in the quant section that take more time on average, that you are generally uncomfortable with, or that lead to careless mistakes in an exam situation. You may need more practice questions and tests (if you have the time to do them).
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Re: can't break 710 on official CATs  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2019, 20:37
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Hi alittlemorerock,

Assuming that you took these CATs in a realistic fashion that matches what you'll face on Test Day, then you appear to be a really strong critical thinker - which is good. At higher-and-higher score levels, the GMAT becomes really 'sensitive' to little mistakes (especially on 'gettable' questions), so to score higher, you really have to nitpick WHY you're getting questions wrong. In simple terms, how many questions have you been getting wrong on each CAT that you COULD have reasonably gotten correct if you had just done a little more work (or organized your work in a slightly different fashion)?

If your Test really is in about a week, then you shouldn't try to make any major changes to how you handle the Exam - and you should not try to 'cram' either. Some general review and light practice would be fine, but you would be better served by getting some extra rest so that you can go into Test Day calm, clear-headed and ready to work.

Beyond all of that, 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 in total?
2) What study materials have you used so far?

Goals:
3) What is your goal score?
4) When is your exact Test Date?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

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Re: can't break 710 on official CATs  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2019, 18:14
Hi alittlemorerock,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. So, 710 is a great start! That said, in order to improve your GMAT score, you need to go through go through GMAT quant and verbal carefully to find your exact weaknesses, fill gaps in your knowledge, and strengthen your skills. The overall process will be to learn all about how to answer question types with which you currently aren't very comfortable and do dozens of practice questions category by category, basically driving up your score point by point. 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.

For example, if you find that you are not strong in answering Number Properties questions, then carefully review the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions and practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. Let’s say you are reviewing Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: Strengthen and Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, find the Conclusion, Must be True, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what you had to know to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

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.

Also, you may find my it helpful to read this article about
[url=http://blog.targettestprep.com/how-to-score-a-700-on-the-gmat/] how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with further questions. Good luck!
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Re: can't break 710 on official CATs  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Mar 2019, 06:47
alittlemorerock wrote:
hi! new on here—i've been prepping and can't break 710 consistently. scored 710 (q48v40), then 740 (q48v42), 720 (q49v40), 710(q49v36), and 710 (q49v39)

super frustrated that my scores aren't trending the way i want them to--any help/tips would be appreciated!


Hi alittlemorerock,

I think you are already doing great in Mocks. To improve your score further, you should focus a bit more on Verbal. Taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practice tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase the GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice.

Hope this helps. All the best!
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Re: can't break 710 on official CATs   [#permalink] 21 Mar 2019, 06:47
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