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Cancelled my score keeping my mock performance in Mind

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New post 17 Dec 2018, 07:10
Hi Everyone,

I completed my first GMAT attempt a few hours ago. I scored a disastrous 650 (Q48, V31, IR6) on the examination.
I qualify my score to be disastrous because of my performance on the different mocks I took.

My Mocks

Leading up to the test day, I took full-length CATs.
Please find the details here:

  • GMATPrep 1 - 590 (Q49, V35) - November 10, 2018 (Retake from a year ago)
  • Veritas 2 - 660 (Q46 V35) - November 18, 2018
  • Veritas 3 - 650 (Q46, V34) - November 24, 2018
  • GMATPrep 2 - 660 (Q46, V35) - November 25, 2018 - I did not start the exam well (Quant especially, was stumped at the first question). Rhythm plays a crucial role in my performance.
  • GMTPrep 3 - 710 (Q49, V39) - December 09, 2018
  • Veritas 4 - 690 (Q49, V36) - December 10, 2018
  • Veritas 5 - 670 (Q46, V36) - December 11, 2018
  • Veritas 6 - 670 (Q45, V37) - December 12, 2018
  • Veritas 7 - 700 (Q48, V38) - December 13, 2018
  • GMTPrep 4 - 710 (Q48, V38) - December 14, 2018
  • GMTPrep 5 - 700 (Q49, V36) - December 15, 2018 - The speakers in my room started playing music during my Verbal section
  • GMTPrep 5 - 430 (V38) - December 15, 2018 - The software malfunctioned; It did not present the Quant Section to me

While my target score is much higher than my mock scores, I decided to give GMAT once to get an experience of the real examination.

I have cancelled my score for 2 reasons
1. I don't wish to send this score to my target schools.
2. I don't believe this to be a true representation of my ability - I draw this conclusion based on my performance on various mocks.

However, I am not certain about the second point, and thus, want to seek your insight.

Examination Experience

I could tell that my performance was not going well.

The order I chose was - AWA IR Q V, similar to my mocks.

1. I was rattled at the end of IR
2. Could not start Quant well and felt that the questions were tougher than what I've seen on any other test.
3. I did not manage my time well on Quant, rushed on a few questions and ended up with over 4 minutes for the last question.
3. I could maintain the timing, as I did during my mocks, on the Verbal section.

Differences Between My Mock Exam Environment & GMAT

I gave my mock examinations in conditions as close to the real exam that I could replicate (Giving it in one sitting, Taking 8-minute breaks, Doing all the sections). The following are the changes I observed.


  • Apart from my mock on the 12th December, the mock environment was quieter than the real examination.
  • I wasn't particularly disturbed during the GMAT Examination, but it wasn't as quiet as I am used to.
  • I used A4 sheets for my mock and maintained my timing strategy on a different sheet. However, I was given a single booklet and a marker on the test; this was unsettling for me.
  • Test Nerves - I do not pride myself as a good test taker. As soon as I realized my Quant wasn't going well, I could feel my confidence dipping

Reason behind the post

I am posting this question for 2 reasons:
1. I feel like venting out my disappointment. It was extremely disheartening to see such a low score. I am so demotivated now that I am questioning if an MBA is really for me.
2. What do I do next?

Here, I want to understand if anybody else has faced a similar issue.
I've read that Veritas Prep Quant is far more difficult than GMAT so was fairly confident that I was doing well.
I was mentally prepared for a +- 20 point deviation from the 700 I scored on GMATPrep mock. However, judging by what I witnessed today this does not seem to be appropriate.

Additionally, I am not sure what do I do next?
Q. Should I accept this as my fate and reinstate my score?
Q. Should I schedule for a test ASAP and give it again?
Q. Should I redo my preparation to achieve my target score (according to the Mocks) and then book my date?

Any thoughts or suggestions are absolutely welcome.

Thank you so much for reading my cathartic post.
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New post 17 Dec 2018, 09:12
1
sandeeptds wrote:
Additionally, I am not sure what do I do next?
Q. Should I accept this as my fate and reinstate my score?
Q. Should I schedule for a test ASAP and give it again?
Q. Should I redo my preparation to achieve my target score (according to the Mocks) and then book my date?

Any thoughts or suggestions are absolutely welcome.

Thank you so much for reading my cathartic post.
1. There is no need to reinstate this score right now. You can always get it back later if you decide to go with this score.
2. Your call. How do you feel about a retake, and are there any deadlines involved?
3. Focus on the range, not the outliers. Although (given the number of 700s you got on your GMATPreps) it's very likely that you are already in a good position to get a 700 on the actual exam, it'll be "safer" to book your next appointment when you start getting practice test scores that are slightly higher than your target score.

Most importantly, remember that it's very unlikely that a test taker will perform to his or her potential on the first attempt, because of the inherent inaccuracy of the measuring process. This is frustrating, but also normal. Keep at it, and all the best.
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New post 17 Dec 2018, 09:17
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Hi sandeeptds,

Thank you for the detailed post. I am happy to provide some advice but first would like to learn more about your situation with the GMAT. I have some questions:

1) Please describe how you studied. For how many hours a day did you study and for how many months? What resources did you use for your prep?

2) To what programs will you be applying? What are the deadlines for these programs?

3) By when would you LIKE to take the GMAT? By when MUST you take the GMAT?

4) For how many hours a day, on average, can you study between now and your next GMAT?

5) In your opinion, how prepared were you for the GMAT? It's important that you answer this question as objectively as possible.

6) What is your GMAT score goal?

Once I learn some more about your, I can provide some further advice.

Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.
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New post 17 Dec 2018, 11:05
ScottTargetTestPrep

Thank you for the follow-up questions. Please find my response here:

1) Please describe how you studied. For how many hours a day did you study and for how many months? What resources did you use for your prep?


My preparation is a story in itself. I have been on again off again with GMAT for over a year now.
At my best, I was able to study for over 3 hours on a weekday and over 5 hours on a weekend.
The materials that I have used so far are:

While I did learn something from each material, the absence of a structured time-table caused me to spend my time haphazardly. I tried my best to follow a timetable but couldn't manage to do so.

2) To what programs will you be applying? What are the deadlines for these programs?
I would like to apply to the M7 + Berkley in the US and 4 programs in Europe (LBS, INSEAD, Judge, Oxford).
I want to apply for 2020 intake, so that leaves me with at least 8 months for most universities' Round 1 deadlines.

3) By when would you LIKE to take the GMAT? By when MUST you take the GMAT?
Ideally, since I am still in the zone I would like to take the GMAT again within 3 months.
I can take the GMAT till July 2019.

4) For how many hours a day, on average, can you study between now and your next GMAT?
I can contribute nearly 4 hours a day on weekdays and 5 - 6 hours a day on weekends.

5) In your opinion, how prepared were you for the GMAT? It's important that you answer this question as objectively as possible.
For my target score - 760 - I wasn't prepared.
I was positive for a score of 680-720.
Breaking it down further by section, I was confident of scoring Q49 and V between 36 and 39.

6) What is your GMAT score goal?
Keeping my profile in mind and the schools I am targetting, I believe I need to score north of 730, which is the average for most of these Schools.
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New post 17 Dec 2018, 11:16
AjiteshArun wrote:
sandeeptds wrote:
Additionally, I am not sure what do I do next?
Q. Should I accept this as my fate and reinstate my score?
Q. Should I schedule for a test ASAP and give it again?
Q. Should I redo my preparation to achieve my target score (according to the Mocks) and then book my date?

Any thoughts or suggestions are absolutely welcome.

Thank you so much for reading my cathartic post.
1. There is no need to reinstate this score right now. You can always get it back later if you decide to go with this score.
2. Your call. How do you feel about a retake, and are there any deadlines involved?
3. Focus on the range, not the outliers. Although (given the number of 700s you got on your GMATPreps) it's very likely that you are already in a good position to get a 700 on the actual exam, it'll be "safer" to book your next appointment when you start getting practice test scores that are slightly higher than your target score.

Most importantly, remember that it's very unlikely that a test taker will perform to his or her potential on the first attempt, because of the inherent inaccuracy of the measuring process. This is frustrating, but also normal. Keep at it, and all the best.


AjiteshArun

Thank you so much for your response.

Quote:
2. Your call. How do you feel about a retake, and are there any deadlines involved?

I do have time on my side so I can take the exam with a fair amount of preparation. I was planning to retake the examination to target a 95 %ile + score.

Quote:
it'll be "safer" to book your next appointment when you start getting practice test scores that are slightly higher than your target score.

That is great advice, will look to do that.

What I am unable to determine is whether the mocks misled me into believing an inflated view of my ability or was it my test day performance. Do you have any insights with respect to this?
Thank you for considering to answer my queries.
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New post 17 Dec 2018, 20:04
sandeeptds wrote:
What I am unable to determine is whether the mocks misled me into believing an inflated view of my ability or was it my test day performance. Do you have any insights with respect to this?
Thank you for considering to answer my queries.
Unless you were already familiar with some of the questions on your GMATPreps, the scores you got were representative. If anything, it is the GMAT itself that is a less accurate measure of your ability in some ways (test anxiety and exam pressure play a greater role in the actual exam).

Again, view the score you are capable of not as a number, but as a range.
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New post 19 Dec 2018, 18:59
Hi sandeeptds,

Thank you for the response. So, the good news is that you have PLENTY of time to study before your applications are due, so you can wait to take the GMAT until you are safely hitting your score goal on practice exams. The other piece of good news is that your quant score on your real GMAT was pretty much in line with your quant scores on your practice exams. That being said, to hit 730+ (or even your 760 goal score), you’ll need a major bump in your verbal and a slight bump in quant, right?

To improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills, you should follow a clear and structured study plan so that you can keep your prep organized a see a clear path to the finish line. By following such a study plan, you will be able to methodically find and fix your weaknesses and fill in gaps in knowledge. 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, 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. 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 go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a Weaken the Argument 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, if anything, you would have needed to know in order 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.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice, but keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, it is likely that you will have to work on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending under two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and those reasons are not that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answer were always the one that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey logical meanings. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences and figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could have done differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

Although your quant is stronger, you can follow a similar process for that section. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 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.

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 verbal and quant 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.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.

Good luck!
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New post 20 Dec 2018, 04:58
Hi sandeeptds,

I have sent you a detailed note with regards to this post over the email. Did you get a chance to check it? Please feel free to write to us in case you have any further queries or need further help with the plan.

Looking forward to your response.

Regards,
Aditee
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New post 07 Jan 2019, 02:48
AjiteshArun ScottTargetTestPrep egmat

I apologize for the delay in my response. While I wasn't able to be prompt with my response, I did take all of your inputs into account and have decided to take up the task again. However, I plan to improve my ability and re-take the examination with an aim to score higher than what I was scoring in my mocks.

Before I respond to each of you individually, I would like to thank all of you for taking time in answering my query and for your empathy.
Also, Happy New Year :) I hope this year brings you a lot of happiness and success.

--------

AjiteshArun

Quote:
Unless you were already familiar with some of the questions on your GMATPreps

Apart from the first test, all of them were a first time take for me.

Quote:
Again, view the score you are capable of not as a number, but as a range.

I will be sure to keep this in my mind.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I truly appreciate your support.

--------

ScottTargetTestPrep

Quote:
To improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills, you should follow a clear and structured study plan

I agree with this Scott. One of the reasons why my prep might have fallen short is the focus on areas specific to my performance and ability. I will be sure to account for it this time around.

Quote:
So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as the Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian

I will look to include this in my preparation.

Quote:
Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning?

On Analyzing my ESR I could identify this as a point of improvement.

Quote:
You also may find my article with more information regarding

This was a great read. Thank you so much for sharing it with me.

Finally, thank you so much Scott for elaborating each aspect of the test with such fine detail. I am truly in awe of your response.

egmat

Hi Aditee, I did get a chance to go through your e-mail and have responded to it. Thank you so much for your response.
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New post 10 Jan 2019, 18:17
Glad you agree with me! Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Re: Cancelled my score keeping my mock performance in Mind &nbs [#permalink] 10 Jan 2019, 18:17
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