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# Disappointing score - retake strategy

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Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2017
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 640 Q46 V33
Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2017, 11:06
Took the exam at 8AM yesterday and received a very disappointing score of 560.

I learned for about 2 months since July (although I already did some questions in January and Februar but had to stop preparation due to a lack of time) with an avg. of 4-8 hrs p. day with the following materials:
- Official Guide 2017
- Verbal Review
- Quant Review
- Manhattan (Read & summarized all principles in the book and did the End-of-Chapter-Questions)
- Official Prep Software

So I basically did all the questions in the OG 2017 + Quant & Verbal Review (some more than once) and wrote down all my false answers on flashcards (despite CR and RC, but SC in Word). Moreover I summarized the principles from the Manhattan Prep books on flashcards (about 300-500 flashcards together with the wrong answer flashcards) and did 3 Prep tests (+1 test 6 months before) and 1 Manhattan test.

Test Exams:
Without practice (half year ago when I first started learning for the GMAT): 550
1st: Q: 47 V:31 640 Prep test #1
2nd: Q: 44 V:32 620 Prep test #2
3th: Q: 47 V:39 700 Prep test #1 (six days before the test)
4th: Q: 42 V:30 590 Manhattan free test (two days before the test)

Although the last Manhattan test went not so good, I had a good feeling as the “official” prep test six days before the test (700) went very well.
Furthermore I did the Manhattan test after 10 hours of work/learning and not under real test conditions, so I thought the results might not be very accurate.
I received the following results today: Q: 36 V:31 Total Score: 560 | IR: 5

My Quant score is way below the average of previous exams and during the test I felt like I couldn’t apply the math principles and tricks. Nevertheless, my time management was way better than compared to the test exams. (e.g. on the 700 prep test I guessed about 3 questions at the end of Verbal) So maybe because of that, I was really surprised when I saw the results, as I was expecting at least 600+. Verbal went okay, didn’t feel like I was doing too bad.

I am pretty sure that I will retake the test but I’m not sure how much time I will need and how I should practice. I was thinking about just repeating my flashcards day-by-day, doing some practice questions and a weekly practice exam for about 3 weeks( e.g. 1/2 week off and 2.5 weeks practicing) , but I am not quite sure if this will really help me to improve my score.
I feel like there must be some other reasons that could explain e.g. my decline in the Quant score of about 9 points with the Manhattan (avg. 45 points) and even 10 points without (avg. 46 points).
My aim is about 650-670, though I would love to have 700+ .

Do you have any ideas regarding the preparation of my next exam?
Should I take the exam at a different time (e.g. 1 PM)? (I normally tend to wake up late)
How much time do you think I will need?

By the way:
Already found some mistakes (Don’t know if they are that major though):
Studied the day before the test, was a bit scared on the test morning

/EDIT: I started with the Quant section .
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2017, 11:32
1
Hi Karohpit,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. 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. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
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Intern
Joined: 19 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2017, 11:56
Hi
Can you please tell which section you attempted first .

Sent from my MotoG3 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2017
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 640 Q46 V33
Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 15 Sep 2017, 12:01
Hi Rich,

Concerning the CATs:
1) Yes I did them entirely every time and also used the same order as in my exam (Quant -> Verbal -> IR-> AWA)
2) Yes I took 3 of them at my parent's home and 1 at my own home
3) No, just the 700 CAT was at about the same time, as I took it at 10AM (approx. 2 hours after waking up like in the GMAT Exam). Also I did most of the CATs (exception: the 700 CAT) after working/learning for a few hours.
4) Some of the CATs yes (the Manhattan one e.g. because sth. from outside interrputed me). Though e.g. the 700 CAT and some of the other offical CATs were at test conditions (maybe the breaks were like a few seconds longer). I am pretty sure that I had no interruptions in most of the tests concerning Quant section (as I did Quant first).
5) The 700 CAT was exam 1 again, which i took about a month before already. Though it didn't seem that I knew any of these questions (also I had the first Quant question wrong, which did not happen on the first time of exam 1.) The other exams were all different ones and I didn't knew any of the questions.

Originally posted by Karohpit on 15 Sep 2017, 11:57.
Last edited by Karohpit on 15 Sep 2017, 12:01, edited 1 time in total.
Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2017
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 640 Q46 V33
Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2017, 12:00
surbhipuri wrote:
Hi
Can you please tell which section you attempted first .

Hey surbhipuri,

did Quant first, then Verbal, and finally IR and AWA.
Intern
Joined: 19 Sep 2016
Posts: 15
Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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15 Sep 2017, 12:19
Thanks for replying.I was just wondering whether selection order affects the difficulty level of questions in quant and verbal .experts any advice .

Sent from my MotoG3 using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2017
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 640 Q46 V33
Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2017, 07:55
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Karohpit,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. 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. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
4) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
5) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE?

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

Would you recommend going through the Quant and Verbal section of GMATClub and doing the questions sorted by difficult until I ace e.g. 5 questions of every difficult level in a row or should I try to completely restart for one month with another Course/Book Prep other than ManhattanPrep?
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12167
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2017, 12:15
Hi Karohpit,

From your prior post, there were a few 'red flags' in terms of how you took your practice CATs. Before we discuss those details though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2017
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 640 Q46 V33
Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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18 Sep 2017, 12:42
Hi Rich,

1) I basically repeated my flash cards in the days before the test. Moreover, two days before the test I did the Manhattan Prep GMAT. I corrected this test on the day before the exam and also did some exercises.
2) Didn't sleep very well. I went to bed early (aimed for about 8 hours of sleep), but woke up multiple times. Nevertheless, I didn't felt too tired on the test day.
3) The ride is approximately 15-20 mins. The test center is <3km from my home.
4) I didn't learn with headphones and/or earplugs at any time before the test. Somebody started with the essay section so I had to use the earplugs. But there were no other distractions.
5.) During the breaks I went to the restroom and after that took some sips of my powerade and ate a cereal bar.
6.) No not really.
7.) Guessed some questions on math and verbal but during the test. I think I didn't guess at the end of the sections, hence I was wondering about my score, as I had to guess always at the end of the sections during my CATs.

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Karohpit,

From your prior post, there were a few 'red flags' in terms of how you took your practice CATs. Before we discuss those details though, I have a few additional questions about the lead-up to Test Day and Test Day itself:

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12167
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2017, 10:55
Hi Karohpit,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's what happened here. By taking the CATs at home, taking them at different times of day, retaking a CAT that you had already taken, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.' By extension, your practice CAT scores were not accurate.

In addition, there are a variety of other factors that likely impacted your performance. The process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically shouldn't take more than 1 CAT per week. By taking a CAT two days before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' on Test Day. In addition, getting a poor night's sleep the night before the Exam would hurt most Test Takers - so that should not be overlooked.

Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. In addition, now that you've faced the Official GMAT, you can use your knowledge of that experience to better plan out how you will face the GMAT the next time you take it. Raising a 560 to a 650+ will likely take at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Intern
Joined: 07 Sep 2017
Posts: 6
GMAT 1: 640 Q46 V33
Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2017, 12:49
Thanks a lot. I agree that it was not the FULL GMAT experience with the CATs but i feel like I would have done way better if I would have taken another GMAT (different questions) one day after my exam. So I don't really believe that 560 reflects what I could have scored. Also 560 was the lowest result I had in all tests. Also I did some of the CATs at worse conditions (after a long working day) compared to the real GMAT.
Nevertheless you are right I need to learn again and give it another try.

1) As soon as possible. Would have scheduled my TOEFL in about 2 weeks if the GMAT would not have been that bad.
2) I'm planning to apply for the MiM at IE Business School, Rotterdam, LBS, ESADE and ESCP Europe.
3) Hope for about 2-3 hours on working days and about 8 hours at the weekend.

What would you think should be the time I need e.g. using another course like EmpowerGMAT ?

/EDIT: I now bought access to EMPOWERgmat for one month. Would you advice just studying from the course for the next weeks (and doing OG questions and CATS whenever requested in the course) or still doing e.g. 15-20 daily questions in the OG to not forget about the things I learned in the past 2 months? And would you advice still reading my selfmade Manhattan Prep Math/Verbal Principles Flash Cards and my mistake flashcards?

EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi Karohpit,

Test Day is a rather specific 'event' - the details are specific and they matter, so you have to train as best as you can for all of them. The more realistic you can make your CATs, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become - and that's what happened here. By taking the CATs at home, taking them at different times of day, retaking a CAT that you had already taken, etc., you weren't properly training for the FULL GMAT 'experience.' By extension, your practice CAT scores were not accurate.

In addition, there are a variety of other factors that likely impacted your performance. The process of taking (and reviewing) a CAT requires a significant amount of energy and effort - and takes time to 'recover' from. This is one of the reasons why you typically shouldn't take more than 1 CAT per week. By taking a CAT two days before your Official GMAT, there's a reasonable chance that you experienced some 'burn out' on Test Day. In addition, getting a poor night's sleep the night before the Exam would hurt most Test Takers - so that should not be overlooked.

Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level. In addition, now that you've faced the Official GMAT, you can use your knowledge of that experience to better plan out how you will face the GMAT the next time you take it. Raising a 560 to a 650+ will likely take at least another 2 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections.

1) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
2) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 12167
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy  [#permalink]

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19 Sep 2017, 19:15
Hi Karohpit,

You've named some specific Programs that you want to apply to, so it would help to know the exact application deadlines for each Program. That information would help to define your general 'timeframe' and amount of potential study time. If you were to limit yourself to just one month of additional study (and I want to reiterate - I do NOT think that that would be enough time for you to hit your score goal), then I would suggest that you stay focused on the Quant section. There are enough available points in that section for you to raise a 560 to a 650+ and Grad/Business Schools tend to place a greater emphasis on an applicant's Quant Scaled Score (that Scaled Score is generally seen as a 'measure' of how an applicant would handle the 'academic side' of the Program).

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

760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save \$75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
Official GMAT Exam Packs + 70 Pt. Improvement Guarantee
www.empowergmat.com/

***********************Select EMPOWERgmat Courses now include ALL 6 Official GMAC CATs!***********************

Re: Disappointing score - retake strategy &nbs [#permalink] 19 Sep 2017, 19:15
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