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Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis

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Intern
Joined: 30 Aug 2017
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Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 23 Jun 2019, 15:39
Hello,

I've long been a lurker of the forums but would like to take the time to thank the community for all the fantastic content and advice I've been able to take advantage of.

I took the GMAT for the first time yesterday, after ~1.5 months of prep and was pretty disappointed as my score was pretty far off vs. my mocks & way short of my goal of 720+

Final breakdown:

640 (41Q, 37V)

Link to ESR screenshot: https://imgur.com/a/GgeXCAU

Latest mocks:

OG #2: 750 (49Q, 44V)
OG #1: 720 (44Q, 45V)
Economist GMAT Free Exam: 700 (48Q, 38V)
MGMAT #6: 650 (41Q, 38V)

I do think my nerves got the better of me on this attempt, but I'm hopeful this will be vastly suppressed during my next attempt.

On quant - I thought I rushed the first 10 questions but based on the ESR it doesn't seem like that had too much of a negative impact... However I never would have expected my Geometry to be that weak. I could be more confident in all areas however.

On verbal - I'm pretty confident in this section, but during the real exam I spent too much time second guessing and checking my answers, leading to a rushed final quarter and my score definitely took a hit there. Nevertheless, SC is an area I could definitely get more comfortable in.

Here's my preliminary plan for how I'll tackle the test again, which I'm thinking of scheduling within the next 3 weeks.

- Re-do MGMAT Geography questions and re-do MGMAT CATs (all 6 exhausted) with a focus of getting really comfortable with Quant
- Work through 10-20 OG questions (I purchased the set of 200 Quant and 200 Verbal questions) every day to make sure I'm re-calibrating with the right "feel" of the real thing
- Take OG CATs #3, 4, 5 each weekend over the next 3 weeks

Would love to get everyone's thoughts.

Originally posted by Eapfep on 23 Jun 2019, 07:11.
Last edited by Eapfep on 23 Jun 2019, 15:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 07:22
Eapfep You can attach the ESR as well as Screenshot so that experts can help you

There will be Upload attachment option available.
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 07:29
2
To tackle the exam anxiety,
Almost all of the students have struggled to some degree with anxiety on test day. For the vast majority, that anxiety stems from fear of poor exam performance, which often snowballs into a myriad of unknown, future consequences, including negative admissions decisions.

Anxiety is detrimental because it impedes the ability to think clearly, and the GMAT is a test of critical thinking skills. Holding back this most important ability will hinder your performance on test day.

While there are several exercises to combat anxiety (one of which is outlined below), the overall best way to address this is to think of the GMAT as a way to push yourself confidently in a private, one-to-one encounter with the test.

Think of this private communication with the test as the ultimate challenge to prove to yourself that you know what you’re doing, and you’re ready to show the admissions committee what you’re made of. If you have done the work, if your base skills are where they should be, then you will be ready. It is all about preparation and the application of knowledge. You are ALREADY smart—now you are just teaching yourselves new patterns to recognize.

Using breathing techniques to counter anxiety on GMAT test day

Whether from nerves or intense concentration, breathing during a test often ranges from shallow to non-existent.

This automatic response may have served our ancestors well when faced with threats or when they were hunting, but you would be wise to ignore this on the GMAT. Simply put, your brain is an oxygen fiend. Under normal conditions, the brain consumes 20% of your total oxygen, despite making up about 2% of your weight.

You can imagine what happens in “test mode.” The lesson here is simple but priceless: just keep breathing. If, like me, you have trouble putting this into practice, automate the process:

Take a deep breath each time you submit an answer.
Take another after you read the question.
Take one more whenever you get stuck.
Your brain will thank you by running more efficiently and bringing all that horsepower to bear on those really tough problems.

Remember: If you're not breathing deeply and regularly, you are not operating at full capacity. If you have a habit of forgetting to breathe, make a new habit of taking a deep breath at regular intervals.

Posted from my mobile device
Intern
Joined: 30 Aug 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 07:32
Hmm, doesn't seem like I've posted enough on the forums in order to attach. I'll PM you
Intern
Joined: 30 Aug 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 07:34
1
jaykpatel21 wrote:
To tackle the exam anxiety,
Almost all of the students have struggled to some degree with anxiety on test day. For the vast majority, that anxiety stems from fear of poor exam performance, which often snowballs into a myriad of unknown, future consequences, including negative admissions decisions.

Anxiety is detrimental because it impedes the ability to think clearly, and the GMAT is a test of critical thinking skills. Holding back this most important ability will hinder your performance on test day.

While there are several exercises to combat anxiety (one of which is outlined below), the overall best way to address this is to think of the GMAT as a way to push yourself confidently in a private, one-to-one encounter with the test.

Think of this private communication with the test as the ultimate challenge to prove to yourself that you know what you’re doing, and you’re ready to show the admissions committee what you’re made of. If you have done the work, if your base skills are where they should be, then you will be ready. It is all about preparation and the application of knowledge. You are ALREADY smart—now you are just teaching yourselves new patterns to recognize.

Using breathing techniques to counter anxiety on GMAT test day

Whether from nerves or intense concentration, breathing during a test often ranges from shallow to non-existent.

This automatic response may have served our ancestors well when faced with threats or when they were hunting, but you would be wise to ignore this on the GMAT. Simply put, your brain is an oxygen fiend. Under normal conditions, the brain consumes 20% of your total oxygen, despite making up about 2% of your weight.

You can imagine what happens in “test mode.” The lesson here is simple but priceless: just keep breathing. If, like me, you have trouble putting this into practice, automate the process:

Take a deep breath each time you submit an answer.
Take another after you read the question.
Take one more whenever you get stuck.
Your brain will thank you by running more efficiently and bringing all that horsepower to bear on those really tough problems.

Remember: If you're not breathing deeply and regularly, you are not operating at full capacity. If you have a habit of forgetting to breathe, make a new habit of taking a deep breath at regular intervals.

Posted from my mobile device

Wow, this is fantastic advice. I'd really like to start consciously practicing this in all my practices.
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Concentration: Operations, Finance
GPA: 3.94
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 07:34
Hi,

While attempting the official mock, did any of the questions seem familiar to you? It is possible that some of the questions were already encountered by you.

Rather than attempting MGMATs again (where some questions might be repeated), I'd suggest you to revisit the six tests, see what mistakes you made. Try other quality mocks.

Subacribe to gmatclub tests. One sectional a day should be enough.

During the last two weeks, stick to Official material for verbal prep. As you mentioned, if it's mainly the exam pressure that got to you, just fine tune your test-taking strategies.

Taking OG 3,4,5,6 would be a good idea.

All the best!

Posted from my mobile device
Intern
Joined: 30 Aug 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 07:39
baliga007 wrote:
Hi,

While attempting the official mock, did any of the questions seem familiar to you? It is possible that some of the questions were already encountered by you.

Rather than attempting MGMATs again (where some questions might be repeated), I'd suggest you to revisit the six tests, see what mistakes you made. Try other quality mocks.

Subacribe to gmatclub tests. One sectional a day should be enough.

During the last two weeks, stick to Official material for verbal prep. As you mentioned, if it's mainly the exam pressure that got to you, just fine tune your test-taking strategies.

Taking OG 3,4,5,6 would be a good idea.

All the best!

Posted from my mobile device

Not that I can recall. I made a conscious effort to avoid encountering any official OG questions before tackling those OG CATs #1 and #2. I may check out the GMAT club exams, thanks!
Intern
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 07:41
1
Eapfep wrote:
baliga007 wrote:
Hi,

While attempting the official mock, did any of the questions seem familiar to you? It is possible that some of the questions were already encountered by you.

Rather than attempting MGMATs again (where some questions might be repeated), I'd suggest you to revisit the six tests, see what mistakes you made. Try other quality mocks.

Subscribe to gmatclub tests. One sectional a day should be enough.

During the last two weeks, stick to Official material for verbal prep. As you mentioned, if it's mainly the exam pressure that got to you, just fine tune your test-taking strategies.

Taking OG 3,4,5,6 would be a good idea.

All the best!

Posted from my mobile device

Not that I can recall. I made a conscious effort to avoid encountering any official OG questions before tackling those OG CATs #1 and #2. I may check out the GMAT club exams, thanks!

Glad to hear. You just have to practise what Jaykpatel21 suggested! :D
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 08:11
FYI - there is no overlap in questions between the official guide 2019 or 2020 and GMAT prep Tests. There is no such thing as OG tests.

Posted from my mobile device
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Intern
Joined: 30 Aug 2017
Posts: 7
Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 08:21
bb wrote:
FYI - there is no overlap in questions between the official guide 2019 or 2020 and GMAT prep Tests. There is no such thing as OG tests.

Posted from my mobile device

Thank you for the clarification. I essentially only worked off of MGMAT before starting my OG#1/#2 exams.
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 08:31
Dear Eapfep,

In my opinion, you may need to practice the CAT more to simulate how the real exam is. And since you now have the experience, I think you will do okay in your next attempt but don't rush into it. Plan it. Cheers.

Posted from my mobile device
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 15:28
Hi Eapfep,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you studied for just 1.5 months, then that might help to explain why you did not score higher yet. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. Before we discuss any of those potential issues, or the data in your ESR, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Have you taken any other CATs/mocks besides the ones you listed? If so, then how have you scored on EACH of those other CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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23 Jun 2019, 15:38
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Eapfep,

Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores, so if you studied for just 1.5 months, then that might help to explain why you did not score higher yet. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. Before we discuss any of those potential issues, or the data in your ESR, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) How many hours do you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) Have you taken any other CATs/mocks besides the ones you listed? If so, then how have you scored on EACH of those other CATs (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich

Hi Rich,

1) I generally do 2 hours on weekdays (1 in the morning before work, 1-2 in the evenings) and on average 4-5 hours on each day of the weekend
2) I've read through the Manhattan GMAT books and worked through all the practice exams and CATS. I've also worked through some of the problems here on GMAT Club.
3) Yes, here's the breakdown for all my other Manhattan GMAT CATs

MGMAT #5: 620 (42Q, 33V)
MGMAT #4: 640 (42Q, 36V)
MGMAT #3: 590 (40Q, 32V)
MGMAT #2: 620 (39Q, 35V)
MGMAT #1: 680 (37Q, 45V)

As you can see, the spread is all over the place. I likely put too much emphasis on my two most recent OG exams, which lulled me into a false sense of confidence..

4) I would like to apply by Round 2 at the latest in the current year (for 2020 entry), but would be great to squeeze in 1-2 Round 1 applications.
5) Primarily aiming for M7, with a strong motivation for Columbia ED

Appreciate any advice you may have. Thanks!
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Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2019, 11:12
Thank you for everyone’s help so far. I’ve just taken the OG #3 exam and ended up with 690 (44Q, 40V). Based on this I have more work to do than previously expected. I would really like to push my quant scores consistently into the ~48 range.

I’m planning on doing 10 OG quant problems a day, but would like to supplement with a daily quiz of 20-30 questions. I’ve worked through some of the free resources on GMAT Club and found it relatively helpful. Would appreciate any recommendations for practice materials.

Given this I’ll likely push out my re-write date by maybe a week or so and just blast myself with GMAT Quant questions for the next 20+ days.
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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24 Jun 2019, 19:59
Hi Eapfep,

I've sent you a PM with an assessment of your ESR and some additional questions.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis  [#permalink]

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25 Jun 2019, 18:56
Hi Eapfep,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Looking at your range of practice test scores, from 590 to 750, it appears that you have a variety of quant and verbal weaknesses that are holding you back from hitting your 720+ score goal. Thus, rather than your rushing a retake in the next 3 weeks, I recommend that you give yourself much more time to dive back into your GMAT prep and greatly improve your quant and verbal skills. Also, rather than just engaging in practice, you should follow a more linear study plan that allows you to first learn each quant and verbal topic AND THEN practice each topic until you’ve gained mastery.

Certainly, if you’d like more advice on how to improve your skills, I’d be happy to provide some detailed advice. Also, you may find it helpful to read the following articles about How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT and The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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Re: Disappointing first GMAT attempt - ESR analysis   [#permalink] 25 Jun 2019, 18:56
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