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# Failed at second attempt 600 (560 two years ago). Please help!

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Current Student
Joined: 06 Sep 2015
Posts: 42
Concentration: International Business, Strategy
Schools: Johnson '19 (A\$)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V39
GPA: 3.73
WE: Business Development (Computer Software)

### Show Tags

23 Sep 2015, 09:24
Hi fellow GMAT-ers,

I really hoped and believed that I am going to write a post to share a success story today, but I failed and instead I am writing a how I failed post. This is the first post on for me, but I have spent a great deal of time on this forum over the months and even years. In top of this, I am also writing to request help, because I have pretty much spent almost all content and practice exams and at this point I feel pretty depressed and lost.

Little intro to my background:
I am 25 and from Kosovo. I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology (Kosovo Branch) on 2012 with a 3.73 GPA where I double-majored in Economics/Statistics and Management with a minor on International Relations. On 2010/2011 I did a year exchange in New York at Bard College and internet on a powerful NGO and on a title insurance business. After I came back I opened my own business (outsourcing) on software development, software consulting and virtual staffing. Currently I employee 5 people and am very happy with my team. Over the years I also had peaks where I did employ 12 people and even an outside app development team. In addition to this I have also tried various venture, the latest being a local online newspaper, which has a pretty steady growth. Lately on 2013, I went to Tuck school of business for a semester as part of a entrepreneurship training funded by the Ministry of Trade of Kosovo. Class and the program was amazing and taught me a lot.

Why an MBA: Working on these things I noticed I need to build more on my skills (especially on Competition strategy, capacity building and international marketing) and that is why I have decided to pursue an MBA, which can also help me build a network of clients and partners for my businesses. I decided I want to do an MBA with an International Business focus and also decided that I really need to go to an amazing school with an amazing program, so that the 2 year investment pays off.

Kosovo investing on human capital: For my story to make sense, I need to tell you that there are 4 different fellowships/scholarships in Kosovo that pay the MBA programs in full (including a stipend to live) if the candidate has plenty of experience, good academics and a strong plan to return back to Kosovo and contribute to its economy. My background and plan do make me a very strong candidate, however I am failing at GMAT. I did apply to three of them and have been invited for an interview at all three. On the first one (fulbright) who do not look at scores I am selected as a reserve candidate, mainly because there were other candidates who had less international experience than me. On the second one I went through all phases (scored a 600 on GMAT) and am awaiting a decision. On the third I will be going to an interview next week and will get in on a GMAT exam again on early November. So, basically this GMAT exam which is going to happen in 1 month and a week is my last chance ever.

TOEFL Official Score: 115/120 (September 2015)
GMAT Official Score: 560 Q:41 V:26 IR:4 AWA:5 (October 2012)
2nd GMAT Official Score: 600 Q:43 V:30 IR:3 AWA: (September 1015 - Official score is not yet ready)

Practice Exams:
Veritas prep 590 Q:39 V:32 (September 10 2015)
Economist GMAT 600 Q:40 V:34 (September 15 2015)
GMAT PREP 1 590 Q:38 V:34 (September 1 2015) - Before I started studying
GMAT PREP 2 640 Q:41 V:35 (September 14, 2015)
GMAT Club Verbal free test: 78% correct
Other tests (manhatann and Kaplan) scores are inflated as I did those test over time and believe it or not I had remembered many of the questions.

GMAT Story: I took GMAT on 2012 right after school. I did study for over three months and read Kaplan, Princetown, Manhattan IR. Did all questiong from OG 2013 back then and also did all manhattan and kaplan tests. Practically I did stufy over 200 hours and was doing 650s on practice exams, however I failed miserably with 560 on the real thing. Anyways, I decided not to go to business school as I felt that GMAT is not my thing. But, 3 years after here I am very convinced and super ready to pursue an MBA. Over the years I did read more NY times, the Economist and such and also attended a local GMAT class just so I keep my math and verbal content and strategy fresh. And yes I did improve my verbal score and even the TOEFL score, which I am very happy about. But, I am still failing bad. I read over a lot of stories and figured that you should not study too much on GMAT for a high score as there was a graph showing that if you over study then you will score less. So, basically this time I only studied for like 3 weeks, but again failed at 600. Here is the breakdown per each section:

AWA: Super easy and I am very confident that I scored a 6 this time.
IR: This kills me. I only scored a 3 this time. I know how to solve all, but there is no chance I can finish this in time. I am always like 4 to 6 question behind. Seriously need help on this.
Q - Problem solving: This I do very poor and take forever. I feel that I can solve all questions, but there is not enough time. On the first questions on the super hard ones I often end up spending closes to 4 or 5 minutes and then on the later ones I speed to finish the section in time. On the real exam I got in I only had 20 seconds on the last question, which I made a mistake and realized it just 5 seconds after I hit Submit.
Q - DS: I like this part. I make fewer mistakes on this one and on some I solve them super fast saving time for the PS questions.
Q - Overall: I feel that I need to learn some strategies that I have missed somewhere and that I need to practice more to freshen up my computing speed more. I think with more practice on GMAT Club questions I can certainly score a 47, but the 49 and up seem impossible.
V - CR: I love this part. I hardly make a mistake on CR. If I do then it is going to up to 2 mistakes at most from like 15 questions. Both of the mistakes will probably be from the assumption needed to take to strengthen the argument. Anyways, I got the strategy and am practicing to score perfectly on this.
V - RC: This part is bit odd. On most of the texts I hardly make a mistake, but on some text i fail on almost all of the questions deriving from it. I have no idea why and need serious help to understand why and how to improve. As continuous mistakes I probably made on the real GMAT score brought down my score heavily.
V - SC: This part is the worst. No matter how hard I train I always fail miserably on this section. I usually score correct on 40 to 50% of the SC questions. Need serious help on this one as well.
Stamina: I feel that I lose the focus on the verbal section and just want to finish and be done with it. I feel that I am not prepared enough to sit on an exam for 4 hours and that is why I scored a lot less on the real thing on verbal section than on the practice exams. Please give me tips to avoid this. Should I start gym? What do I need to eat on the break? Help please.

The Great People of GMAT Club have already helped me as only by reading things from this very amazing community, I got my motivation back and am ready to fight the GMAT back.

However, I am totally lost, confused and scared. I only have one last chance to do the GMAT and that is on early November. I am super busy with jobs, but can certainly study 2 to 4 hours a day on weekdays and up to 6 hours a day on the weekends. I budgeted to spend up to \$200 for the GMAT prep this time. Budgeting the money was extremely hard at this time as first I come from a very poor country (economy and profits are nominal) and I am really struggling paying off apartment, car, salaries and some investments I have made. However, even-though it is really tough at this time, I will consider spending over \$500 if I somehow get to feel that I will score over the magical 700.

So, the Great People of GMAT CLUB help me on this very important path of mine. Please take the time to read my story (and I am sorry it is so big) and help me unblock myself and get back to studying by sharing any study tip, content you think can help me, programs that I should take, books I should buy or anything at all. Any small help means a great deal to me. Thank you in advance for any of the help you provide and thank you for help you have already given me.
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486

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23 Sep 2015, 14:12
1
Dear dardan1,

I'm happy to respond. I was touched by your moving story. Have hope, my friend!

First, I will recommend some free resources from Magoosh:
1) Here are some free Math & Idiom flashcards:
https://gmat.magoosh.com/flashcards?utm ... ampaign=RK
2) Here is a one-month study schedule:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/1-month-gm ... -schedule/
You may want to borrow some material from the 3-month study schedule for folks who want to boost their V score:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-gm ... l-focused/
3) Will these plans lead you to the magic 700 score? Read this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/gmat-study ... 0-or-more/
4) For making major improvements to your verbal score, read this:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/how-to-imp ... bal-score/

I realize your financial resources are limited. I want to recommend Magoosh, which is highly affordable. We have a score-guarantee of 50 points, and many Magoosh students improve more than that.
Here's a free SC lesson:
http://gmat.magoosh.com/lessons/944-substantive-clauses
Here's a free SC question:
Here's a free CR question:
https://gmat.magoosh.com/questions/5405
When you submit your answer to these, the following page will have a video explanation. Each one of Magoosh's 800+ practice questions has its own VE--- this immediate feedback really accelerates learning.

So, if you spend money on a Magoosh subscription, you will still have money left to buy Exam Pack 1, so that you could still take some official practice tests after you study more. All that together is well within your spending limits.

I hope this helps. Even if you decide not to purchase Magoosh, take advantage of everything on that free blog: there's a lot there that can help you!

Best of luck!
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Current Student
Joined: 06 Sep 2015
Posts: 42
Concentration: International Business, Strategy
Schools: Johnson '19 (A\$)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V39
GPA: 3.73
WE: Business Development (Computer Software)

### Show Tags

23 Sep 2015, 15:44
Thank you so much Mike. I really appreciate your response and help. I really like Magoosh and have read a lot from its blog, including the study plans. I have even read its history, which is really interesting. I did install and learn from its apps (flash cards for math and idioms), which really did help me bring back what I had known before. I also watched on youtube Kevin's videos for AWA, which I believe was crucial for me to score probably a 6 this time, as I am pretty confident I really did well on that part.

I might have even seen the videos three years ago as a friend of mine borrowed me video materials, which might have been from Magoosh. Not very sure. Video lessons, 800+ questions, two practice exams and the video explanation on the incorrect answers seems amazing and also not expensive at all. I can certainly afford that. Do you think I can do all that from magoosh, do the new OG book, gmat prep new exam and some 200+ math questions from gmatclub within a month if I put in 3 hours a day on the weekdays and 10 hours on the weekend? More important on your experience do you think that is enough for me to increase my score by 100+ (more like 70+ as I believe my verbal score should have been 34, but I had problems with test stamina)?

Again, thank you so much.
Retired Moderator
Joined: 18 Sep 2014
Posts: 1114
Location: India

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23 Sep 2015, 18:50
1
hi dardan1

Relax. Many people are in same boat just like you.
Be positive as you are good in few things(CR and DS) and need to improve others.
Magoosh is good source for quant.
Egmat sc is too good since you have a problem with it. It is more than any other book or course.
Observe you have improved from 560-600 and will continue to do so until you give up.
Dont go for too many resources(you are right over this aspect).

All the best
Senior Manager
Joined: 14 Feb 2015
Posts: 450
Concentration: General Management, Operations
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.6
WE: Supply Chain Management (Manufacturing)

### Show Tags

24 Sep 2015, 05:34
1
This is a very interesting situation you're in. Definitely unconventional to say the least.

Is there a reason why you need a high score? Can you still get into some schools without a, say, 700? You mentioned strategy was what you needed to learn, and I think every single program offers that. For most people aiming for top schools, it is the future career they are looking at. However, for you, it seems like you will go back to Kosovo and possibly continue your business there, so an elite school really doesn't help you in that case. If you really want to, you might even be able to learn (to a more in-depth extent) by reading books on the subjects....just that you will not have the degree so I will not recommend that. You also said you were aiming for the connection, but how important is the connection from Columbia for instance, if you are going back to run your own venture, I see very little help your fellow classmates from Columbia can offer you, it might not even be stronger than what you could get from a third tier school.

Do not get me wrong, I think it is an awesome idea to get a higher GMAT score and enter a better business school, I just don't think you should worry too much if things do not work out 100% as you plan it. You are one of the very few cases which prestige of the school brand probably does not matter as much. Good luck either way.
Current Student
Joined: 06 Sep 2015
Posts: 42
Concentration: International Business, Strategy
Schools: Johnson '19 (A\$)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V39
GPA: 3.73
WE: Business Development (Computer Software)

### Show Tags

24 Sep 2015, 07:13
Mechmeraa,

Thanks for your suggestion and your words of motivation. I know many are in the same about and it is amazing to read and communicate with them. Makes it a lot easier and enjoyable. I read many great things about the E-Gmat Sc. Will check it out. Thank you so much.

Stevkang8,

Thanks for your comments and thoughts. I do agree with you on some things and would certainly make sense to go to tier 3 school if Kosovo would have been bigger in size and population or if I would have worked on some other industry. And, yes GMAT did get me tired and I did go through the same thinking (was about to give up). But, there is numerous benefits a prestigious school can give to me, even though I am going back to Kosovo. In fact, there is so many that going to a tier 2 school is just not worth the time and quitting what I have. Because, as you say I can learn that stuff from reading focused books.

An MBA can be used for both to change the career or strengthen the one you have. I want to go there for the later. I want to grow my firms and be able to handle 6 or even 7 figure projects and more important be able to land those projects. Right now for the past years I have gotten close to that, but have not managed well and it was certainly hard to land. Moreover, I also want to develop virtual global products and sell globally. So, here is how the elite school would help me on what I want to do:

1. A prestigious school has better professor and a better program. On an international business program I will get to travel and see emerging markets and opportunities followed there. Some tier 2 programs do have that, but it is not as good as or as in depth as the ones done at elite schools (elite schools have semester long programs on emerging markets). I have friends at a few schools on the top 100, and so had the chance to compare and see. Some of the emerging markets on the world that I will get to see are ahead of Kosovo on econ development, while some are behind it. So, certainly would be beneficiary to get to see where Kosovo is headed and know how to prepare for that.
2. 95% of the projects I have worked on were for clients and markets abroad (I only did a handful of projects in Kosovo). However, I did the projects from Kosovo and often did not see the client, so developing trust on clients was crucial. I intent to continue taking on projects outside Kosovo and so a MBA degree from elite schools certainly makes it 100 times easier to find and land jobs. One would rather trust a project (especially big ones) to graduates from top tier schools than from some unknown school. Much of the market I operate is hyper-competitive and so the degree can make a huge difference and maybe even be crucial for the success. Knowing the market well, I don't think I will ever be able to close a 7 figure project with a degree from not so elite school.
3. Columbia classmates upon completing their degree will go on to work on famous private equity firms, which fellow classmates from tier 2 won't. And so for me to have friends or folks from school alumni network on those places is certainly amazing. The start ups the private equity firms invest on will need software development, consulting and maybe even a full partner on technical fields. So, definitely a huge help and opportunity for me to grow.
4. Again the friends and connections I will build at elite schools, and also the school institutes and network can also help me fund ideas of mine for global virtual products. Tier 2 schools might help on this too, but not at all close to what an elite school can do for you on this aspect. I visited Dartmouth (Tuck school for Business) for 3 months as part of the DEN - Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network and the entrepreneurship spirit and support there is just incredible and breath-taking. It almost guarantees success to an entrepreneur.
5. Lastly, I am just 25 and haven't done the MBA yet, nor have I worked on various industries yet, so I can't tell for sure if I am going to stay in Kosovo forever or even I am going to work on the same industry forever. Even-though I like a lot what I do, I have researched and looked at other industries and am particularly interested on IB for Kosovo or the region, which could be something I can do later. Anyways the one thing I know for sure is that life is so much better, brighter and easier for the one graduating Tuck or other elite school than for the one finishing something on the Top 100, and that is the exactly the same even for folks living in the tiny interconnected Kosovo and elsewhere in the world. In fact, I think that if I stay home for two years (time needed to finish the MBA) and I continue to work hard, while I read books on landing huge contracts and handling huge projects I can certainly grow painfully to a 6 figure projects and then even do the rest of the ideas I have. So, an MBA school if it cannot provide what the elite school can, then is not worth it for me.
6. Ah one more thing. I also need the high GMAT score to win the fellowship/scholarship and compete with other hundreds of other people from Kosovo trying to get one of the 60 all paid fellowships. With the current score, it is probably impossible.

So, really need to get my score above 700+, otherwise I just spent all my time on nothing.
Senior Manager
Joined: 14 Feb 2015
Posts: 450
Concentration: General Management, Operations
GMAT 1: 740 Q50 V40
GPA: 3.6
WE: Supply Chain Management (Manufacturing)

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24 Sep 2015, 07:54
1
That is good thinking process behind your decision. Again, I am totally supportive of people trying to get a decent GMAT score, and entering an elite school. I will not dwell on the connection thing since you have already provided an elaborated view from your perspective – which is very thorough and well done – I will talk about something different.

Be careful of government scholarships. 60 full rides sounds amazing, and I hope you get one, but those can be treacherous. My dad was part of ROC’s navy (Taiwan), and he got a full ride from the navy to get his master in marine engineering in MIT. Sounds good for a lower-middle class kid from a third world country (at that time) doesn’t it? The catch was, he worked for the navy for the next 25 years in his life, and was paid like crap. His high school and college friends who had crappy local education all made more than him in the private sectors. Not that my father did poorly (he got us all to Canada), but I personally think, with the work ethics and intelligence, it might be financially more sound for him to forego that opportunity and just get a normal degree from a local school.

For you, make sure you check your government scholarship program’s regulation and read all the fine prints. You mentioned you “might” change your view and work in the US or somewhere else other than Kosovo after, and if your government has something against that (of course it does), it will be extremely challenging.

Lastly without spending too much time talking about what we already know, I will bring the focus back to your GMAT. From what you wrote above, I see no issue with your logic and fluency in English. Your V30 should be the biggest opportunity of improvement, and it should not be hard. I recommend you using the Manhattan GMAT prep. I see no issue in your reading comprehension and logical analysis, do a bit of practice and reading on sentence correction, and I think you will be delighted by the easy improvement you will see. You are in IT, and you scored a Q43, I think you will need some refreshing in the concepts and learn how to pace yourself. Again, we don’t have your GMAT actually breakdown so I am just making inference form what I see here, but I hope you will do well.

It is always good to see someone who wants to try hard and do better, I have no intention here to discourage you or anything. All the best, and let us know a bit more details in your GMAT, maybe we can offer more insights.
Current Student
Joined: 06 Sep 2015
Posts: 42
Concentration: International Business, Strategy
Schools: Johnson '19 (A\$)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V39
GPA: 3.73
WE: Business Development (Computer Software)

### Show Tags

24 Sep 2015, 10:34
Thank you so much for your thought and help. I truly appreciate them. Especially thank you for sharing your father's story.

I want to actually be able to contribute to country's economy and also give back as this is not the first scholarship I have gotten from it, but there is cases where I can contribute more if I am working out of the country. So, I did look at those full rides and what they have as requirements. Of course they don't want me to leave the country as there is no point then on paying the full ride for me. However, they won't limit me to what I can work, but they do waive the right to get a working visa in US (only in US) for the next two years only. But, that doesn't matter much right now as I like what I do and how much I earn. The MBA (skill set earned, knowledge gained, connections built, and credentials improved) I believe will at least triple what I earn and so with that income I will certainly be happy as I am not just going to earn a 6 figure but will also employ fellow Kosovars and contribute to country's economy. If for any reason that doesn't happen or I fail then I can look for jobs on places other than US or wait for the two year to pass and then find a job in US. However, if I do score very high on GMAT and am able to register on an elite school then it really doesn't matter anymore if get the scholarship to pay for it or no as the value I get from that MBA surpasses the money needed to pay for it. So, if I don't get the scholarship, I will somehow find a way to pay for it anyways.

Thanks for commenting on my thinking process and please feel free to say anything about it. I will truly appreciate any comment as I understand I am not 50 years old and know everything or have as much experience as many over here. Please do comment freely on it and on anything else. I might be making a mistake by looking at the decision in such detail and specifics, but being an IT business type of the guy I can't help it. And thank you much for the comment you have given to me so far. Truly appreciate them.

Getting back on GMAT. I actually just received the official score, which I am posting below:

19 September 2015 V30 / 58% Q43 / 55% T600 / 60% AWA5.5 / 81% IR3 / 25%
13 October 2012 V26 / 43% Q41 / 48% T560 / 47% AWA5.0 / 59% IR7 / 81%

Of course they don't provide much detail about it, however from my observations and the practice exams I think I do know my weak parts and where I failed.

1) On Q and IR. Looking at these scores (the drastic fall on IR) and also knowing that math (especially word problems), statistics, econometric and such has always been my strongest part as all my grades on undergrad on such classes was a pure easy A, I can tell I just need more practice to remove rust from memory and increase speed on solving PS. I know all the content, but probably lack some strategy and also content does not come to me very fast. So, need to learn strategies to do things fast and practice content I know. What do you think would be best for that?

2) On Verbal. On SC particularly I am doing very poor. I am good at catching parallelism and verb tense errors, and I think I am pretty good with idioms as have learned them over the year and for TOEFL. However, the rest I am not that good. I purchased the MGMAT book for SC on kindle and plan to do that together with the OG homework they give on the book. Is that good enough or what else I can do to improve that? What did work for you?

3) On verbal RC. I almost always score perfectly on this even on the hardest readings, however sometimes on some reading I entirely fail on each question from that reading and I haven't able to know why. Could it be that my focus is getting tired, or is that I need to read more biology, chemistry and science texts to learn to keep the focus up? What could improve me on this

4) On verbal overall. On practice test I was always scoring 34 to 35, but on the actual test I failed with a 30. I think that might have been that I either got too tired by the end of the exam (lost focus and patience) or that I somehow scored poorly on the first questions and then no matter how hard I tried I kept getting easy questions and so score did not improve much. What strategy do you recommend for this? I finish this right on time, so have no timing issue on this section. Should I practice doing full tests to improve focus stamina? Maybe even go to the gym more often? Or eat something during the break (maybe drink coffee)? What worked for you?

I agree with you that I can probably improve a little (4 to 5 points) on Q for the time I have and improve by much on verbal (score the same 35 as in practice exam and improve by I hope 4 points so a 39) as SC is practically something that can be learned. Thinking of also getting magoosh premium to keep practicing and check out strategies I am missing and also do e-gmat for SC. Is that good? What do you recommend for my case? More importantly, how much time should I be studying, if the exam is on early November (a month and two week time to study)?

Thank you for reading this and taking the time to respond. I cannot say how much thankful I am.
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486

### Show Tags

24 Sep 2015, 15:02
1
dardan1 wrote:
Thank you so much Mike. I really appreciate your response and help. I really like Magoosh and have read a lot from its blog, including the study plans. I have even read its history, which is really interesting. I did install and learn from its apps (flash cards for math and idioms), which really did help me bring back what I had known before. I also watched on youtube Kevin's videos for AWA, which I believe was crucial for me to score probably a 6 this time, as I am pretty confident I really did well on that part.

I might have even seen the videos three years ago as a friend of mine borrowed me video materials, which might have been from Magoosh. Not very sure. Video lessons, 800+ questions, two practice exams and the video explanation on the incorrect answers seems amazing and also not expensive at all. I can certainly afford that. Do you think I can do all that from magoosh, do the new OG book, gmat prep new exam and some 200+ math questions from gmatclub within a month if I put in 3 hours a day on the weekdays and 10 hours on the weekend? More important on your experience do you think that is enough for me to increase my score by 100+ (more like 70+ as I believe my verbal score should have been 34, but I had problems with test stamina)?

Again, thank you so much.

Dear dardan1,
I'm happy to respond as well. I see that you already have gotten good advice in this thread.

I will just say that it is a naive assumption of students that
[quality prep material] +[study time] = score increase
It's not that simple. It's not a straightforward proportion, where more studying always produces better results. Yes, it is important to have high quality study materials, such as MGMAT and Magoosh. Yes, it is important to put in adequate time. Both of those are essential----necessary but not sufficient. If you want to achieve excellence---and a score of 700 is an excellent score---then you have to bring the habits of excellence to every aspect of your studying. It's an entire perspective, a mindset, that has to become habitual. Among other things, too much attachment to the outcome is counterproductive. It's about getting engrossed in the learning itself, so much so that the idea of getting this or that score is virtually irrelevant to you. It's about pushing yourself to ever deeper levels of understanding with each and every concept, never thinking that you are "done" with any concept. It's about assiduously learning from mistakes, striving never to make the same mistake twice. It's about mastering not only the academic content and strategy, but also practicing all the stress management skills, to reduce your anxiety and build focus. Folks focus almost exclusively on cognitive skills, academic knowledge, when they prepare for the GMAT, and they underestimate the vast importance of ones emotional orientation. Excellence is not an idea or a strategy. Excellence comes from the heart.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Current Student
Joined: 06 Sep 2015
Posts: 42
Concentration: International Business, Strategy
Schools: Johnson '19 (A\$)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V39
GPA: 3.73
WE: Business Development (Computer Software)

### Show Tags

24 Sep 2015, 15:47
Mike,

I can't agree with you more. Everything makes total sense and I am super happy you brought this to my attention. I have read stories of people doing a lot less the times after the first one. Even me, as I did terribly bad on IR portion on the second time I got it. I did a 7 the first time and then a 3 this last time. I felt entirely lost on the IR section and so totally agree that having the right emotions while studying and taking the exam is a big portion of excelling in the GMAT.

I might have understood and started to practice what you talk about here, but I think it was a bit late to make a difference. The last week prior to the exam, I started checking in on the very depth of each and every question that I did. I checked on where I was making a mistake and how to not make it again. I also checked on how I could be doing things faster and dig in on the concepts even more by checking other people way of thinking on each question. On almost all of the questions, I came back to this forum to see if someone else did the same question and what was their approach. I believe that helped me the most and I will continue doing that. In addition to that I did start working on emotional orientation (got a hotel next to the exam center, started to forget the big picture, focused on each and every question etc). I even had a big sticker on my study room saying "One at a time". I often spent crazy amount of time investigating a particular question and its answers, trying to see how the test makers are trying to trick test takers. And, I feel that I need to be doing the same set up as most of the time I felt really good this time on the exam. On the test day and throughout studying the last week I was very calm, but indeed did not feel that I studied enough to excel. I knew there were plenty of concepts, questions, tricks, I left unchecked and that needed more time and focus from me to be able to succeed on those. I hope this is what you talk about and that I am on the right path to study the right way.

If this the right thinking then I think you guys pretty much gave me everything I need. I have the study materials I need (Magoosh premium account, gmat exam prep 1, mgmat sc book and e-gmat sc course if needed), the right kind of motivation, the right way to study and the right feeling about the GMAT and business school itself. Will be re-starting studying tomorrow and I hope to be writing a success story the next time. Thank you so much to all of you. Truly appreciate your help.
Current Student
Joined: 06 Sep 2015
Posts: 42
Concentration: International Business, Strategy
Schools: Johnson '19 (A\$)
GMAT 1: 710 Q49 V39
GPA: 3.73
WE: Business Development (Computer Software)

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27 Jan 2016, 11:25
1
I did it!. I scored the 700. a 7 on IR and 6 on essay.

Mike's and Magoosh's advice on bringing habits of excellence on this were crucial. In fact I did not study that hard this time. I actually only did 5 days of non-stop practice before I scored the 700. So, it was a big surprise for me to see such a big improvement.

It took few more attempts and some more work, but I did it.
First attempt after this was on November where I improved by just a bit with 620 and then the last one was January 11, where I did the 700.

Magoosh subscription helped a lot, Manhattan SC, OG and the score report of the last test.

Thanks to all of you for all of the amazing advice and words of encouragement. Without you I would probably fail in both of the attempts. I will provide more details on my study and what I did, if someone is interested.

Now, I am applying to Duke, MIT, UCLA, UCS and Georgetown, whereas before Brandeis MBA and Fordham MBA where a stretch for me.

Again, thank you guys.
SVP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 2009
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169

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28 Jan 2016, 22:11
dardan1 wrote:
I did it!. I scored the 700. a 7 on IR and 6 on essay.
Good job. All the best for the applications!
_________________
Current Student
Joined: 08 Feb 2016
Posts: 69
Location: India
Concentration: Technology
Schools: AGSM '20 (A)
GMAT 1: 650 Q49 V30
GPA: 4

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22 Feb 2017, 21:58
d5321 wrote:
I did it!. I scored the 700. a 7 on IR and 6 on essay.

Mike's and Magoosh's advice on bringing habits of excellence on this were crucial. In fact I did not study that hard this time. I actually only did 5 days of non-stop practice before I scored the 700. So, it was a big surprise for me to see such a big improvement.

It took few more attempts and some more work, but I did it.
First attempt after this was on November where I improved by just a bit with 620 and then the last one was January 11, where I did the 700.

Magoosh subscription helped a lot, Manhattan SC, OG and the score report of the last test.

Thanks to all of you for all of the amazing advice and words of encouragement. Without you I would probably fail in both of the attempts. I will provide more details on my study and what I did, if someone is interested.

Now, I am applying to Duke, MIT, UCLA, UCS and Georgetown, whereas before Brandeis MBA and Fordham MBA where a stretch for me.

Again, thank you guys.

Hi d5321

My story is similar to yours (except the success part) I scored 650 (Q49,V30) in 2016, but after 5 months of exhaustive study, I got 630(Q47,V30).
Strange thing is that I was scored exact 700 on GMATprep mocks( initial weeks of Feb'17) and a 670 on a Manahattan mock in Jan'17 end.
But 4 days before the exam , I got a 640 on a GMATPrep mock and ultimately 630 on the actual test.
I am devastated.
Despite trying earnestly for a Q50/51, my Q actually went down by 2 points and verbal continued to be a disappointment.
Don't know what to do.
CR is my weakest area. My mind simply goes blank when I encounter a CR question (this has been happening ONLY in the last mock and the actual exam. Before that I was getting good mock scores).
During the actual test I started off well, with 4-5 SC questions and I am sure I did them correctly. But what happened during the exam, I really don't know.
CR was looking too easy. RC looked just fine.
I have a full time job that takes 12 hours of my day, sometimes more.
Can you or other wonderful people here provide some guidance, please ?

Not so cheerful & still in a state of 110% shock,
ajay2121988
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4486

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22 Feb 2017, 23:06
ajay2121988 wrote:
Hi d5321

My story is similar to yours (except the success part) I scored 650 (Q49,V30) in 2016, but after 5 months of exhaustive study, I got 630(Q47,V30).
Strange thing is that I was scored exact 700 on GMATprep mocks( initial weeks of Feb'17) and a 670 on a Manahattan mock in Jan'17 end.
But 4 days before the exam , I got a 640 on a GMATPrep mock and ultimately 630 on the actual test.
I am devastated.
Despite trying earnestly for a Q50/51, my Q actually went down by 2 points and verbal continued to be a disappointment.
Don't know what to do.
CR is my weakest area. My mind simply goes blank when I encounter a CR question (this has been happening ONLY in the last mock and the actual exam. Before that I was getting good mock scores).
During the actual test I started off well, with 4-5 SC questions and I am sure I did them correctly. But what happened during the exam, I really don't know.
CR was looking too easy. RC looked just fine.
I have a full time job that takes 12 hours of my day, sometimes more.
Can you or other wonderful people here provide some guidance, please ?

Not so cheerful & still in a state of 110% shock,
ajay2121988

Dear ajay2121988,

I'm happy to respond. I'm sorry to hear about your discouraging experience.

My friend, I strongly suggest you read this post:
Lower on the Real GMAT than on Practice Tests
My friend, that blog is about you--the mind going blank on CR--it's all there.

Once you read that blog, the linked blogs will be very important.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Mike
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Current Student
Joined: 08 Feb 2016
Posts: 69
Location: India
Concentration: Technology
Schools: AGSM '20 (A)
GMAT 1: 650 Q49 V30
GPA: 4

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23 Feb 2017, 03:34
Thanks Mike.

This is wonderful. I am still reading it and in all probability I'll read all this again.

Thank you so much.

mikemcgarry wrote:
ajay2121988 wrote:
Hi d5321

My story is similar to yours (except the success part) I scored 650 (Q49,V30) in 2016, but after 5 months of exhaustive study, I got 630(Q47,V30).
Strange thing is that I was scored exact 700 on GMATprep mocks( initial weeks of Feb'17) and a 670 on a Manahattan mock in Jan'17 end.
But 4 days before the exam , I got a 640 on a GMATPrep mock and ultimately 630 on the actual test.
I am devastated.
Despite trying earnestly for a Q50/51, my Q actually went down by 2 points and verbal continued to be a disappointment.
Don't know what to do.
CR is my weakest area. My mind simply goes blank when I encounter a CR question (this has been happening ONLY in the last mock and the actual exam. Before that I was getting good mock scores).
During the actual test I started off well, with 4-5 SC questions and I am sure I did them correctly. But what happened during the exam, I really don't know.
CR was looking too easy. RC looked just fine.
I have a full time job that takes 12 hours of my day, sometimes more.
Can you or other wonderful people here provide some guidance, please ?

Not so cheerful & still in a state of 110% shock,
ajay2121988

Dear ajay2121988,

I'm happy to respond. I'm sorry to hear about your discouraging experience.

My friend, I strongly suggest you read this post:
Lower on the Real GMAT than on Practice Tests
My friend, that blog is about you--the mind going blank on CR--it's all there.

Once you read that blog, the linked blogs will be very important.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Mike
Re: Failed at second attempt 600 (560 two years ago). Please help! &nbs [#permalink] 23 Feb 2017, 03:34
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