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Devastated -- 640 [Q45 V33]

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Devastated -- 640 [Q45 V33]  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 01:05
I have been preparing for the GMAT rigorously for the past 3 months or so. I started by solving the OG-15 (probably my biggest mistake) with relative ease and noticed tangible improvements in my mocks — 560 to 690 to 720 in a matter of 2 months. When my score topped out at 720, I did a bit of reading and stumbled across GMATClub. It was then that I realized the fundamental gaps in my prep.

I began reading all the posts compiled by Bunuel and Souvik and started developing strategies for tackling each section. Within weeks I noticed movement in my mock test scores. Verbal was my strength, Quant was my weakness. I’d regularly get between a V41-V44 and my Quant score, which was stuck at Q47 for the longest time, finally got pushed to Q49/50.

I had the self-awareness to know that I was never going to get Q51 — the number of hours that I’d have to put in to push from Q49 to Q51 were unrealistic — so I decided to focus on Verbal and target a V44. I was hunting for a Q49 V44.

I gave my last three mocks in the two weeks before the test and got:
730 [Q49 V42]
760 [Q49 V44]
740 [Q50 V40]

(I was exhausted and jittery in the final mock so much so that my vision lost focus, getting very blurry and I’d take twice the amount time of time to read through the problem. I attributed my poor verbal score to my exhaustion. In my penultimate mock, I faced a few CR questions that I had solved earlier, which explains the inflation in the score. I was aware of this — by all accounts, I thought 730/740 was my level and my likely score.)

Test day:
I’d had 8 hours of sleep each night in the two nights before test day but my eyes were too strained from 15-odd hours per day of prep I had put in the three weeks prior. The extra two hours sleep a night didn’t help much.

I considered doing Quant first since it would be less focus-intensive and help my eyes get acclimated to the screen but decided against it because in all the mocks I had taken, I’d never done Quant first.

I started with Verbal and could feel that I was messing up because of exhaustion. The first 10 or so questions went terribly. I feel like I did pretty well in the final two-thirds of the section, mostly because the questions were quite simple. I got a boldface and an evaluate question in the mid-20s so I was hopeful. In the break, I remember analyzing the performance, thinking that I’d messed up in the beginning but that I had done enough to cover up for it. I was expecting V40. (Since the performance was similar to the one on my final mock.)

I solved the first Quant question within the minute and proceeded to the second: a question I had never seen in the course of my extensive prep. I’m not a natural at quant and I'm a fairly linear thinker; I excel at the kinds of questions I’ve seen before. This one was pretty weird. I should have just guessed and moved on but it was the SECOND question. I could not bring myself to guess and I spent 12 minutes on it. I’m pretty sure I got it wrong. I made the call because I’d got Q49 and Q50 on my final two mocks and I’d finished the section with 15-18 minutes to spare. The rest of the section went swimmingly and I was catching up on the lost time pretty well. Right around question 22 I faced a circumscribed square/triangle question that seemed difficult at first, but once I saw the threads I needed to pull, I solved it under two minutes. But my answer wouldn’t match the options. I spent around 4 more minutes before giving up moving on. The heat was on in the last few questions — I had to solve 5 questions in 6 minutes. The last 3 particularly were so simple that I knew I could have done the calculations if I had just 5 more minutes. I didn’t, and I had to approximate. I approximated wrong. [Or so it seems.]

I was disoriented in my second break and ended up taking more than the allotted time. 90% of the section had gone off without a hitch and I hoped that I’d get at least a couple of the last few guesses right. As I was finishing up my essay, I knew I had made a mess of things and expected around 690. The 640 score shocked me as I had never gotten a score that low (apart from the first time I took the mock unprepared.)

I’m not sure what to do now. I’ve canceled my score but I know I can’t put in the kind of time I had been putting in as I have to work on my applications. I have to make the R-2 deadlines. I don’t know what to do next. I’ve exhausted all my resources (OG-15, OG-19 GMATPrep 1-4) and a vast majority (60-70%) of the verbal questions on GMAT Club. I’m very, very confused right now and would appreciate any help and guidance.
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Re: Devastated -- 640 [Q45 V33]  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2018, 22:00
Hi shaarang,

I am sorry to know that your scores were not in line with your expectations.
In your post you have already mentioned what your biggest mistake was. You had burned out before your test day and that affected your performance to begin with. The extent of it may be a question but it definitely was one of the factors for score drop. I think you should start by ordering your ESR and analyzing it. You may use this article on ESR Analysis in 3 steps to analyze your ESR. From this analysis you will know which the problem areas in your test day performance were. You can then improve upon them without exerting yourself as much as you did previously before the test day.

Hope this helps! For any further GMAT specific queries, you can write to us at support@e-gmat.com.

Regards,
Aditee
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Re: Devastated -- 640 [Q45 V33]  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 17:14
Hi shaarang,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. I understand that you are quite upset at the moment, but let’s try to look at some positives. Despite spending 12 minutes on the second quant question and another 4 minutes on question 22, you still scored a Q45! That’s not so terrible, right? Furthermore, if you felt exhausted during your exam, it’s no shock that your tiredness dramatically affected your verbal performance.

Even with those hurdles, you still somehow managed a 640!! So, let’s look at the glass as half full rather than half empty, OK?

Since you were able to consistently score between 730 and 760 on your practice exams, you are clearly capable of scoring higher on the actual GMAT. Thus, one thing you must do before your next GMAT is alleviate the pressure on yourself. By doing just that, you should be able to walk into the GMAT with a fresh head and perform to your peak ability level on test day!

Regarding how to move forward, spend some more time going 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 would have had 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.

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.

Finally, you may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Re: Devastated -- 640 [Q45 V33]  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 17:27
shaarang wrote:
I have been preparing for the GMAT rigorously for the past 3 months or so. I started by solving the OG-15 (probably my biggest mistake) with relative ease and noticed tangible improvements in my mocks — 560 to 690 to 720 in a matter of 2 months. When my score topped out at 720, I did a bit of reading and stumbled across GMATClub. It was then that I realized the fundamental gaps in my prep.

I began reading all the posts compiled by Bunuel and Souvik and started developing strategies for tackling each section. Within weeks I noticed movement in my mock test scores. Verbal was my strength, Quant was my weakness. I’d regularly get between a V41-V44 and my Quant score, which was stuck at Q47 for the longest time, finally got pushed to Q49/50.

I had the self-awareness to know that I was never going to get Q51 — the number of hours that I’d have to put in to push from Q49 to Q51 were unrealistic — so I decided to focus on Verbal and target a V44. I was hunting for a Q49 V44.

I gave my last three mocks in the two weeks before the test and got:
730 [Q49 V42]
760 [Q49 V44]
740 [Q50 V40]

(I was exhausted and jittery in the final mock so much so that my vision lost focus, getting very blurry and I’d take twice the amount time of time to read through the problem. I attributed my poor verbal score to my exhaustion. In my penultimate mock, I faced a few CR questions that I had solved earlier, which explains the inflation in the score. I was aware of this — by all accounts, I thought 730/740 was my level and my likely score.)

Test day:
I’d had 8 hours of sleep each night in the two nights before test day but my eyes were too strained from 15-odd hours per day of prep I had put in the three weeks prior. The extra two hours sleep a night didn’t help much.

I considered doing Quant first since it would be less focus-intensive and help my eyes get acclimated to the screen but decided against it because in all the mocks I had taken, I’d never done Quant first.

I started with Verbal and could feel that I was messing up because of exhaustion. The first 10 or so questions went terribly. I feel like I did pretty well in the final two-thirds of the section, mostly because the questions were quite simple. I got a boldface and an evaluate question in the mid-20s so I was hopeful. In the break, I remember analyzing the performance, thinking that I’d messed up in the beginning but that I had done enough to cover up for it. I was expecting V40. (Since the performance was similar to the one on my final mock.)

I solved the first Quant question within the minute and proceeded to the second: a question I had never seen in the course of my extensive prep. I’m not a natural at quant and I'm a fairly linear thinker; I excel at the kinds of questions I’ve seen before. This one was pretty weird. I should have just guessed and moved on but it was the SECOND question. I could not bring myself to guess and I spent 12 minutes on it. I’m pretty sure I got it wrong. I made the call because I’d got Q49 and Q50 on my final two mocks and I’d finished the section with 15-18 minutes to spare. The rest of the section went swimmingly and I was catching up on the lost time pretty well. Right around question 22 I faced a circumscribed square/triangle question that seemed difficult at first, but once I saw the threads I needed to pull, I solved it under two minutes. But my answer wouldn’t match the options. I spent around 4 more minutes before giving up moving on. The heat was on in the last few questions — I had to solve 5 questions in 6 minutes. The last 3 particularly were so simple that I knew I could have done the calculations if I had just 5 more minutes. I didn’t, and I had to approximate. I approximated wrong. [Or so it seems.]

I was disoriented in my second break and ended up taking more than the allotted time. 90% of the section had gone off without a hitch and I hoped that I’d get at least a couple of the last few guesses right. As I was finishing up my essay, I knew I had made a mess of things and expected around 690. The 640 score shocked me as I had never gotten a score that low (apart from the first time I took the mock unprepared.)

I’m not sure what to do now. I’ve canceled my score but I know I can’t put in the kind of time I had been putting in as I have to work on my applications. I have to make the R-2 deadlines. I don’t know what to do next. I’ve exhausted all my resources (OG-15, OG-19 GMATPrep 1-4) and a vast majority (60-70%) of the verbal questions on GMAT Club. I’m very, very confused right now and would appreciate any help and guidance.

Can you tell me where did you find those mock tests??


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Intern
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Joined: 06 Sep 2018
Posts: 32
Location: India
Concentration: Finance, Entrepreneurship
GPA: 3.1
WE: Analyst (Investment Banking)
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Re: Devastated -- 640 [Q45 V33]  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2018, 18:28
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:
Hi shaarang,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. I understand that you are quite upset at the moment, but let’s try to look at some positives. Despite spending 12 minutes on the second quant question and another 4 minutes on question 22, you still scored a Q45! That’s not so terrible, right? Furthermore, if you felt exhausted during your exam, it’s no shock that your tiredness dramatically affected your verbal performance.

Even with those hurdles, you still somehow managed a 640!! So, let’s look at the glass as half full rather than half empty, OK?

Since you were able to consistently score between 730 and 760 on your practice exams, you are clearly capable of scoring higher on the actual GMAT. Thus, one thing you must do before your next GMAT is alleviate the pressure on yourself. By doing just that, you should be able to walk into the GMAT with a fresh head and perform to your peak ability level on test day!

Regarding how to move forward, spend some more time going 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 would have had 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.

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.

Finally, you may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.


Hi ScottTargetTestPrep.

Thank you so much for taking the time out and responding to my frustrated rant. I'm going to back to the basics and starting my Verbal prep from scratch by watching Thursdays with Ron (since many on this forum have sworn by the series) and as you suggested, identifying my weaknesses in Quant and perfecting those question-types. Could you recommend a quality question bank? I've exhausted my OGs and from my experience on the GMATClub, it seems the popular prep companies have material that doesn't necessarily mimic the GMAT questions.

Thanks again for all your help and tips!
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Re: Devastated -- 640 [Q45 V33] &nbs [#permalink] 31 Oct 2018, 18:28
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