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Failed (bad) twice

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Failed (bad) twice  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Jun 2019, 19:08
Hi all,

After failing my 1st test with only a score of only 350 by studying with the book "cracking the GMAT", I invested $400 in Exampal, completed the course and studied upwards of 6 hours a day only to fail AGAIN today with ONLY a 380. Math and Integrated reasoning as well as time pacing is my downfall. At this point I have invested over $1000 into this test, about 6 months (on and off) of intense studying and am nowhere near a 500, the score you need to get into my selected MBA program.

I am defeated and completely devastated as I feel hopeless and don't know what else to do in order to improve my score. I do not have the means to spend $1000+ on a private tutor and did not find Exampal to be much help when it came to the actual test. I was/am an exceptional student. I was on the Dean's list multiple times, got prestigious scholarships, achieved straight A's my last semester of undergrad, and graduated with a 3.6 GPA. I do not understand why this test is so hard for me. I have NEVER been a good standardized test taker, but feel this test is nearly impossible for me.

I should mention I have diagnosed timed test anxiety, but feel as if I would be denied testing adaptions by GMAT as I did not utilize specialized testing in college being each professor provided more than enough time to complete the exam.

At this point I am looking for ANY tips and tricks to improve my score and stay motivated without having to shell out thousands of dollars. I NEED third time to be the charm or I am seriously ready to give up and that is NOT like me at all.

What can I do, please help?!

Thank you for any advice in advanced!!

- Alexis Bushy
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New post 19 Jun 2019, 22:53
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ABushy Welcome to GMAT Club!

For a 380 total score, you must have gotten below 20 in the quant section. In that case, you hardly got questions correct at any difficulty level. Therefore, your quant fundamentals are extremely weak. I strongly recommend that you sign up for an online quant course; you would need to first learn quant concepts and then practice rigorously over a duration of 3-6 months. With the right resources, you can easily improve your overall score. Hang in there!

Also, I would recommend you to purchase the Enhanced Score Report. Per the forum rules, you will have to make at least 5 posts to become eligible to attach files. Therefore, could you try sending me the ESR over a direct message? Alternately, you can reach the 5 posts marks and then attach the file yourself.

At this point, you should read some of the best GMAT stories available in the forum.
Best GMAT Stories: https://gmatclub.com/forum/best-gmat-stories-period-98512.html
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New post 20 Jun 2019, 01:02
Hi there!
I totally feel your pain, yet I strongly advice you not to be down by your failures, but rather learn from them.
Ok, now to fun stuff. Let's be serious, a score of 350-380 tells that you lack almost all basic concepts. At this point of time, I would encourage you not spend money on esr as it won't tell you much. Rather, work on building concepts. If you can't afford spending on online course or private tutor, cover all MGMAT series, seriously do it. Those books have everything you need. Read one paragraph/chapter/book 2-3 times at least to grasp all concepts and then move on to practice. Also, you may want to check this page https://gmatclub.com/forum/ultimate-gma ... 44512.html , it too has everything you need for quant.
If you have specific question or even not, feel free to pm me. I will be happy to help you because when I was in your shoes I was helped too.
Happy studying and cheer up
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Re: Failed (bad) twice  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 07:25
1
ABushy wrote:
Hi all,

After failing my 1st test with only a score of only 350 by studying with the book "cracking the GMAT", I invested $400 in Exampal, completed the course and studied upwards of 6 hours a day only to fail AGAIN today with ONLY a 380. Math and Integrated reasoning as well as time pacing is my downfall. At this point I have invested over $1000 into this test, about 6 months (on and off) of intense studying and am nowhere near a 500, the score you need to get into my selected MBA program.

I am defeated and completely devastated as I feel hopeless and don't know what else to do in order to improve my score. I do not have the means to spend $1000+ on a private tutor and did not find Exampal to be much help when it came to the actual test. I was/am an exceptional student. I was on the Dean's list multiple times, got prestigious scholarships, achieved straight A's my last semester of undergrad, and graduated with a 3.6 GPA. I do not understand why this test is so hard for me. I have NEVER been a good standardized test taker, but feel this test is nearly impossible for me.

I should mention I have diagnosed timed test anxiety, but feel as if I would be denied testing adaptions by GMAT as I did not utilize specialized testing in college being each professor provided more than enough time to complete the exam.

At this point I am looking for ANY tips and tricks to improve my score and stay motivated without having to shell out thousands of dollars. I NEED third time to be the charm or I am seriously ready to give up and that is NOT like me at all.

What can I do, please help?!

Thank you for any advice in advanced!!

- Alexis Bushy


Hi ABushy,

Welcome to GMATCLUB. Please do not be disheartened. GMAT is a test of perseverance. Around 3 months is good enough to improve your score. It's a good thing you have taken GMAT once. You now know your weaknesses and can work on them. If you are willing to study dedicatedly for that period, you are sure to achieve your goal. I think you need to solidify you base and adopt a proper technique to answer the questions. I believe you may benefit from taking a GMATPREP course. If you are willing, there are some great GMAT prep companies that can help you with your preparation.

In order to make an informed decision I would highly encourage you to go to their websites and try on their free trial and decide for yourself which one do you like better. You try out free access to EmpowerGMAT, Magoosh and TTP as they have great reviews on GMATCLUB.

If you are looking for a good course in verbal, I would highly encourage you to consider e-gmat verbal online or the e-gmat verbal live course. They are both amazing courses especially designed for non-natives. They offer almost 25% of their courses for free so you can try out their free trial to decide which one you want to go for. Plus the e-gmat Scholaranium which is included in both the courses is one of the best verbal practice tools in the market. You can easily track your progress in that you can identify your strengths and analyze and improve on your weak areas.

I must add that if you are particularly looking to discover and improve on your weak areas in Quant; a subscription to GMATCLUB tests is the best way to do that. They are indeed phenomenal and will not only pinpoint your weak areas but also help you improve on them.

Further taking multiple mocks might help. Apart from the GMATPREP, Manhattan GMAT tests and Veritas Prep Tests in my experience have good verbal and Quant section and will certainly help you point out and improve your weak areas.

Further another advantage of taking many mocks is to build up your stamina. Apart from the GMATPREP tests, taking practice tests of any major GMATPREP company ought to do that.

I would also encourage you to purchase GMATPREP QP 1 for some great additional practice.

Lastly, you can check out a very interesting article by Mike McGarry from Magoosh detailing a 3 month study plan

https://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/3-month-g ... -students/. You will find it very helpful as it gives out a study plan as per your needs.

Hope this helps. All the best.
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New post 20 Jun 2019, 08:25
Dear Abushy, I will just say that don't give up and work harder. I think your basics in both quant and Verbal are not good enough. You can start with the free resources on this forum, then once you progress, you will have a better idea on which program to enrol for. Best of luck.

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Re: Failed (bad) twice  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 10:40
ABushy wrote:
At this point I am looking for ANY tips and tricks to improve my score and stay motivated without having to shell out thousands of dollars. I NEED third time to be the charm or I am seriously ready to give up and that is NOT like me at all.

What can I do, please help?!

Thank you for any advice in advanced!!

- Alexis Bushy


I'm sorry you're having a tough time. One thing I'm curious about: how have you scored on practice tests you've taken, particularly tests that you took 'realistically' (using the same amount of time, same length and number of breaks, etc. as the official test)? How about when you do official practice problems: are you usually able to get easier problems right? Does it take you a long time to solve official problems? I'm asking because it would be helpful to know (and for you to think about) where exactly the issue is coming from: is it JUST that you're having a tough time taking the official test in the official testing environment, or is it something to do with your level of knowledge or how you're practicing, or both?
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Re: Failed (bad) twice  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jun 2019, 19:35
Hi ABushy,

I'm sorry to hear that this second attempt did not go as well as hoped. Many people find the GMAT to be challenging though - so you're not alone. Thankfully, a 500 is a relatively modest goal - and regardless of how you choose to study going forward, you should remember that - to hit a 500 - you do NOT need to correctly answer ANY questions that you think are too hard or too weird. If you think that a question is too difficult, then you should 'dump' it immediately (just take a guess and move on). This will help you to 'save' time that you can then spend on the other, 'gettable' questions (it should also help with any Test Taking anxiety that you might feel).

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) On what dates did you take your 2 Official GMATs?
2) How have you scored on EACH of your practice CATs/mocks (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for EACH)?
3) On your last Official GMAT, did you have to 'rush' through a bunch of questions to finish any of the sections? Do you remember how many? Did you leave any questions unanswered (meaning that you ran out of time and didn't get to some of the questions)?

Goals:
4) When are you planning to retake the GMAT?
5) When is the application deadline for the Business School that you're interested in?

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New post 21 Jun 2019, 09:39
Hi Alexis,

I’m sorry to hear about how things went with your GMAT. I know things may seem bad right now; however, if we can get you on the right study path, you’ll be able to achieve your 500 GMAT score goal.

Regarding how to move forward, since you have been studying for 6 months and have been unable to score a 500, you need to look at HOW you have been studying and make some changes right? Furthermore, since you scored 380, it’s clear that you are still lacking the GMAT quant and verbal fundamentals you need for a 500. That said, for your next attempt, you need to ensure that you are following a study plan that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic starting with the foundations before moving to more advanced concepts. Let me expand on this idea further.

If you are learning about Number Properties, you should develop as much conceptual knowledge about Number Properties as possible. In other words, your goal will be to completely understand properties of factorials, perfect squares, quadratic patterns, LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, and remainders, to name a few concepts. After carefully reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of how to answer Number Properties questions, practice by answering 50 or more questions just from Number Properties. When you do dozens of questions of the same type one after the other, you learn just what it takes to get questions of that type correct consistently. If you aren't getting close to 90 percent of questions of a certain type correct, go back and seek to better understand how that type of question works, and then do more questions of that type until you get to around at least 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

When you are working on learning to answer questions of a particular type, start off taking your time, and then seek to speed up as you get more comfortable answering questions of that type. As you do such practice, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get right. If you got a remainder question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not properly apply the remainder formula? Was there a concept you did not understand in the question? By carefully analyzing your mistakes, you will be able to efficiently fix your weaknesses and in turn improve your GMAT quant skills.
Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see, types that you would rather not see, and types that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

Follow a similar routine for verbal. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken The Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice, so that you can track your skill in answering each type. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific question type? Were you doing too much analysis in your head? Did you skip over a keyword in an answer choice? You must thoroughly analyze your mistakes and seek to turn weaknesses into strengths by focusing on the question types you dread seeing and the questions you take a long time to answer correctly.

When practicing Reading Comprehension, you need to develop a reading strategy that is both efficient and thorough. Reading too fast and not understanding what you have read are equally as harmful as reading too slow and using up too much time. When attacking Reading Comprehension passages, you must have one clear goal in mind: to understand the context of what you are reading. However, you must do so efficiently, so you need to avoid getting bogged down in the details of each paragraph and instead focus on understanding the main point of each paragraph. That being said, do not fall into the trap of thinking that you can just read the intro and the conclusion and thereby comprehend the main idea of a paragraph. As you read a paragraph, consider how the context of the paragraph relates to previous paragraphs, so you can continue developing your overall understanding of the passage. Furthermore, as you practice Reading Comprehension, focus on the exact types of questions with which you struggle: Find the Main Idea, Inference, Author’s Tone, etc. As with Critical Reasoning, analyze your incorrect Reading Comprehension answers to better determine why you tend to get a particular question type wrong, and then improve upon your weaknesses. Keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to analyze such passages, read magazines with similar content and style, such as The Economist, Scientific American, and Smithsonian.

Sentence Correction is a bit of a different animal compared to Reading Comprehension and Critical Reasoning. There are three aspects to getting correct answers to GMAT Sentence Correction questions: what you know, such as grammar rules, what you see, such as violations of grammar rules and the logic of sentence structure, and what you do, such as carefully considering each answer choice in the context of the non-underlined portion of the sentence. To drive up your Sentence Correction score, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects.
Regarding what you know, first and foremost, you MUST know your grammar rules. Let's be clear, though: GMAT Sentence Correction is not really a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning the grammar rules is so that you can determine what sentences convey and whether sentences are well-constructed. In fact, in many cases, incorrect answers to Sentence Correction questions are grammatically flawless. Thus, often your task is to use your knowledge of grammar rules to determine which answer choice creates the most logical sentence meaning and structure.

This determination of whether sentences are well-constructed and logical is the second aspect of finding correct answers to Sentence Correction questions, what you see. To develop this skill, you probably have to slow way down. You won't develop this skill by spending less than two minutes per question. For a while, anyway, you have to spend time with each question, maybe even ten or fifteen minutes on one question sometimes, analyzing every answer choice until you see the details that you have to see in order to choose the correct answer. As you go through the answer choices, consider the meaning conveyed by each version of the sentence. Does the meaning make sense? Even if you can tell what the version is SUPPOSED to convey, does the version really convey that meaning? Is there a verb to go with the subject? Do all pronouns clearly refer to nouns? By slowing way down and looking for these details, you learn to see what you have to see in order to clearly understand which answer to a Sentence Correction question is correct.

There is only one correct answer to any Sentence Correction question, there are clear reasons why that choice is correct and the others are not, and none of those reasons are that the correct version simply "sounds right." In fact, the correct version often sounds a little off at first. That correct answers may sound a little off is not surprising. If the correct answers were always the ones that sounded right, then most people most of the time would get Sentence Correction questions correct, without really knowing why the wrong answers were wrong and the correct answers were correct. So, you have to go beyond choosing what "sounds right" and learn to clearly see the logical reasons why one choice is better than all of the others.

As for the third aspect of getting Sentence Correction questions correct, what you do, the main thing you have to do is be very careful. You have to make sure that you are truly considering the structures of sentences and the meanings conveyed rather than allowing yourself to be tricked into choosing trap answers that sound right but don't convey logical meanings. You also have to make sure that you put some real energy into finding the correct answers. Finding the correct answer to a Sentence Correction question may take bouncing from choice to choice until you start to see the differences that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to take the time to see the differences between answers and to figure out the precise reasons that one choice is correct.

To improve what you do when you answer Sentence Correction questions, seek to become aware of how you are going about answering them. Are you being careful and looking for logic and details, or are you quickly eliminating choices that sound a little off, and then choosing the best of the rest? If you choose an incorrect answer, consider what you did to arrive at that answer and what you could do differently to arrive at correct answers more consistently. Furthermore, see how many questions you can get correct in a row as you practice. If you break your streak by missing one, consider what you could do differently to extend your streak.

As with your Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension regimens, after learning a particular Sentence Correction topic, engage in focused practice with 30 questions or more that involve that topic. As your skills improve, you w(ill want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses. You also may find it helpful to read the following article about The Phases of Preparing for the GMAT.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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Re: Failed (bad) twice  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2019, 00:56
Hi ABushy,

Sorry to hear about your bad test experience and don't get discouraged by this attempt. You can find lots of stories, on gmatclub, in which people have achieved their dream score in subsequent attempts.


I guess you need to improve both your Quant and Verbal basics first and then move on to the application part.

For Quant, I would suggest you go thru Manhattan Quant guides and couple them with GMAT club tests.

For verbal, I would suggest you enroll for egmat.

Hope this helps
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Re: Failed (bad) twice   [#permalink] 26 Jun 2019, 00:56
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