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# Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.

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Manager
Joined: 17 Mar 2018
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Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2019, 06:16
Hi.
I recently have attempted 2 gmat exams.
the first one was an abysmal 540 (Q 44, V21) I ordered the enhanced score, and worked on my weak points.
In a hurry I took a date of 20 days later in order to make it for admission deadlines for Round 2.
Unfortunately this time I got 590 (Q 39, V34). Pretty sure time management was bad with this one, as verbal received 1RC(3Q) 2CR and 1 SC in the last 5 mins. In quant I feel i might have been penalized because I submitted the last answer on 1 sec left on the clock, so it may have not been registered.

All this while, I have been on self-study. I plan to give a 3rd attempt by end of Feb 2019, in order to make it to the final round of my choice of business programs.

Has anyone faced this sort of an issue? Is it doable to get a 670+ in 1month. I have the opportunity of flexible work hours, so can easily devote 10-13 hrs a day to practice with ease.
In my honest opinion, I dont think I have an issue with concepts anymore, but maybe on how I apply it to the questions.

Look forward to hearing any suggestions.
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Re: Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2019, 11:25

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day did not go as well as hoped. While not officially answering the last Quant question may have 'stung' your Score a little, it would NOT have been by much - if at all (meaning that you maybe lost 10 points off your Total - meaning that you might have hit 600 - but that one question would NOT have turned a Q44 into a Q39).

Since the end of February is about 7 weeks away, you technically have longer than 1 month of potential study time - and raising a 590 to a 670 is doable in that longer timeframe. You'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections though. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Exam, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Before I can offer you the specific advice that you’re looking for, 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?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?

Goals:
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
5) What are the exact application deadlines for each of those Programs?

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

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Manager
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Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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08 Jan 2019, 14:22
Hi Rich,
Thanks for your message.
I understand quant was bad, probably because to focus on verbal, I put quant on the back burner- and it showed in this exam.
1) How long have you studied?
bits and pieces from March 2018 (basically Quant from the basics), but full time for a min of 8hrs from Sept 2018.
2) What study materials have you used so far?

Manhattan and OG.
3) How have you scored on EACH of your CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
This was the surprising bit the scores ranged from 650-710.
My first mock was on March 2018- in the app was 540, the next was on Sept 2018, after 1 review of Manhattan was 560, but since then my score has consistently been better.
I used GMATPrep. Free Prep (4 times each) exam prep 1 and 2 (2 times each). All in all 14 exams. I'd try to stimulate the exam environment (keep books and notes away, avoided pausing in most exams)

Goals:
4) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
My main target is few European B-school and the deadlines for those ones are in the 1st week of March.

Look forward to your input on how I can improve my strategy for GMAT.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Re: Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2019, 20:19

To start, regardless of how you choose to study going forward, it's important to remember that 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/mocks, the more likely the score results are to be accurate. The more you deviate, the more "inflated" your practice scores can become. When you take CATs in the future, it's important that you take each one in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.).

The scoring algorithm on the Official GMAT is far more complicated than most people realize. Since that algorithm is proprietary, no GMAT company has an exact match for it, thus CAT scores can vary a bit based on the 'biases' involved in their respective designs. The most realistic CATs available are the 6 from GMAC, but retaking a CAT that you've already taken is NOT a realistic way to assess your skills. Seeing even a few 'repeat' questions can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc. (meaning that they would likely all be better than they normally would be). Thankfully, the CATs from Kaplan, MGMAT and Veritas are all 'close enough' to the real thing that they will provide you with a relatively realistic score assessment (assuming that you use the CAT correctly).

You might choose to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. While the ESR doesn't provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong (and what you should work on to score higher). If you purchase the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

1) What is the latest that you can take the Official GMAT?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

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Manager
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Re: Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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09 Jan 2019, 23:46
1
Hi Rich.
The idea of giving an exam in a different location is helpful, and will certainly do that.

I am trying to submit my applications by first week of March, hence the available dates are Feb 26/28. I plan on a minimum of 10 hrs a day for GMAT practice, however only after 22nd Jan, as I have some travels in between.
I did purchase an ESR for my first score- 540. Im not keen on getting a second one for the recent exam.
I can certainly share my ESR for the first one with you.

Regarding the gmat prep exams, yes- many of them were repeated. Although I went through the process of doing each question with all steps, so that the time factor would be normal, however I was confident with the answer selection, as I had done them earlier and revised the same.

However, Im not sure if I should invest in other prep exams- as I do believe GMAT prep is the most authentic one so far. However, Ive just bought 2019 OG Bundle, so have access to the online wiley questions, and can create an exam atmosphere in it.

Look forward to hearing from you.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13375
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2019, 12:30

From this last message, it's not clear what type of studying you will be able to do for the next 10 days (before January 22nd), but the timeframe from January 22nd to February 26th is just 5 weeks - and that might limit how much you can improve. In addition, studying 10+ hours a day is NOT a good idea (I've never asked anyone to study that much, since it greatly increases the chances that you will 'burn out' before Test Day - and that is something that we want to avoid).

Since your 2nd GMAT performance is considerably different from your first (especially in the Verbal section), that first ESR won't necessarily tell us much about your current skills (again, especially in the Verbal section), so I don't think that data is too meaningful at this point. To hit your Goal Score in the timeframe you've defined, you're going to have to commit to some specific tasks - including taking FULL-LENGTH CATs in a realistic fashion (and it's unclear whether you are actually willing to do that work or not). At this point, you've been studying "your way" for quite some time - and ended up with 2 Official Scores that did not make you happy. For this next attempt, you have to decide what's MORE important: continuing to approach this process your way OR committing to a guided Study Plan that will put you in the best position possible to hit your Goal Score.

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!*****

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Re: Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2019, 18:32

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Since you scored 540 and 590, despite the fact that you’ve scored higher on some of your practice exams, the data from your two GMATs shows that you have some major weaknesses that must be addressed in order to improve to 670. Although it’s far from a guarantee, if you work your butt off for the next month, you could improve your GMAT score.

Moving forward, you need to follow a structured study plan that allows you to individually review and study each quant and verbal topic, so you can find your weaknesses and fill in knowledge gaps. I realize that you think the “concepts” are not the issue, and while that may be partially true, you must remember that before you can master the application of concepts, you need to know those concepts like the back of your hand. So, if you can study such that you master each individual topic, I believe that you will better be able to apply particular quant and verbal concepts when doing GMAT questions.

If you’d like more specific advice on how to improve your quant and verbal skills, feel free to reach back out. Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!
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Manager
Joined: 17 Mar 2018
Posts: 66
Re: Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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11 Jan 2019, 03:59
Hi Rich.
Thanks for your message. I have also concluded that my way of studying isnt right.
It's clear that something in the way Im doing my questions isnt right, and I am unable to get clarifications there and then.

I've signed up with an institute in my city right now, so hopefully the guidance will help me assess my weak points and plan of action to overcome it.
Manager
Joined: 17 Mar 2018
Posts: 66
Re: Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.  [#permalink]

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11 Jan 2019, 04:01
ScottTargetTestPrep wrote:

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. Since you scored 540 and 590, despite the fact that you’ve scored higher on some of your practice exams, the data from your two GMATs shows that you have some major weaknesses that must be addressed in order to improve to 670. Although it’s far from a guarantee, if you work your butt off for the next month, you could improve your GMAT score.

Moving forward, you need to follow a structured study plan that allows you to individually review and study each quant and verbal topic, so you can find your weaknesses and fill in knowledge gaps. I realize that you think the “concepts” are not the issue, and while that may be partially true, you must remember that before you can master the application of concepts, you need to know those concepts like the back of your hand. So, if you can study such that you master each individual topic, I believe that you will better be able to apply particular quant and verbal concepts when doing GMAT questions.

If you’d like more specific advice on how to improve your quant and verbal skills, feel free to reach back out. Also, you may find it helpful to read this article about how to score a 700+ on the GMAT.

Good luck!

Hi Scott,
Thanks for your message.

After spending some time taking a break, Ive signed up with an institute for a study guide. Perhaps the way I've studied is not right or my doubts have not been completely cleared.
Hopefully, the guidance from f2f training will help me.
Re: Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590. &nbs [#permalink] 11 Jan 2019, 04:01
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# Disheartened with my GMAT performance. 540 to 590.

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