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# Feeling Frustrated

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Intern
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

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Updated on: 14 Oct 2017, 23:06
I've been studying for the GMAT for about two months now, and my score after the first practice CAT went up by 120 points (first try was a 350, I was absolutely freaked out by the format of the test and had no idea what was happening, second try a month later was a 470 and I felt decently confident but made some silly math mistakes), but now I feel kind of stagnant and stuck. I just tried to do another CAT but couldn't even complete it because it felt like CAT1 all over again, the PS questions didn't feel familiar.

I'm doing an online course, EMPOWERgmat, and I have really loved it so far, but after taking a new CAT today I feel like I haven't really been practicing the kinds of problems I need to be doing. With the syllabus, i'd been focusing a lot more on the Verbal section and DS questions, and I feel as though that put me at a huge disadvantage for PS questions.

Whats a way that I can utilize both my online course and my OG guides (more than I am now)? When I started the CAT today, I felt like I was seeing kinds of problems I hadn't seen in a while on the Quant section and it really frustrated me. It seems like I haven't been practicing actual problems enough, and i'm not sure what to do. I can follow the syllabus as i've been doing, but I don't know if that'll be enough. Any/all advice appreciated, thanks!

CAT1: 350 (Q9, V26)
CAT2: 470 (Q24, V31)

I study 2-3 hours a day, I go through the EMPOWERgmat schedule, which can be quizzes or reviews of different topics/strategies. I use a tracker to keep track of problems I am consistently getting wrong or mistakes I make, and I review all problems I get wrong on the CATs or quizzes.

Originally posted by futuremba96 on 14 Oct 2017, 22:33.
Last edited by futuremba96 on 14 Oct 2017, 23:06, edited 2 times in total.
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14 Oct 2017, 22:44
Hey futuremba96 ,

If you can share more details about your study schedule, strategies, which mocks you took both the times, how are you learning from your mistakes, base score, new score, sectional scores, weak areas and similar kind of information, we will be able to help you more.
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Intern
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

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14 Oct 2017, 22:46
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13058
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

### Show Tags

15 Oct 2017, 14:52
1
Hi futuremba96,

To start, raising your score 120 points in about 2 months (with improvements in both the Quant and Verbal sections) is a significant improvement. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores - and you freely admit that you've come across question types that you have not learned to deal with yet - so more study is clearly needed (and you will likely continue to improve as you continue to study).

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:

1) Have you filled out a CAT ANALYZER for this recent CAT? Can you define WHY you're currently getting questions wrong?
2) How far have you gone through the EMPOWERgmat Course?
3) What is your goal score?
4) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

If you'd rather discuss your studies privately, then you can feel free to PM me or email me directly.

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
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15 Oct 2017, 14:57
1
Hi futuremba96,

To echo the others, once you have some more information posted, it will be easier to provide advice. I personally had a positive experience with my limited use of EMPOWERgmat. I hope you reach your goals - I'm sure it's possible!
Intern
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

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15 Oct 2017, 16:06
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi futuremba96,

To start, raising your score 120 points in about 2 months (with improvements in both the Quant and Verbal sections) is a significant improvement. Many Test Takers spend 3 months (or more) of consistent study time before they hit their 'peak' scores - and you freely admit that you've come across question types that you have not learned to deal with yet - so more study is clearly needed (and you will likely continue to improve as you continue to study).

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:

1) Have you filled out a CAT ANALYZER for this recent CAT? Can you define WHY you're currently getting questions wrong?
2) How far have you gone through the EMPOWERgmat Course?
3) What is your goal score?
4) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

If you'd rather discuss your studies privately, then you can feel free to PM me or email me directly.

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

Hi Rich, just sent you a PM! Thank you!
Intern
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

### Show Tags

15 Oct 2017, 16:15
1) Have you filled out a CAT ANALYZER for this recent CAT? Can you define WHY you're currently getting questions wrong?
I did not finish the CAT from yesterday as I felt very frustrated and felt it wouldn't be beneficial if I kept going, as my scores would not truly reflect what I know. On the past CAT I completed, I made some silly math mistakes and felt over-powered by some of the passages on Verbal, though after doing more of the modules I felt very confident in the Verbal section and do believe I can get an even higher score now that I know more about pacing and different tactics to answer the questions.

2) How far have you gone through the EMPOWERgmat Course?
I am now at 1.21, though I have done 2 CATs. The second CAT, where I received a 470, was after I started the course and I took that CAT on September 10th.

3) What is your goal score?
My goal score is a 650-700, though higher would be fantastic.

4) When are you planning to take the GMAT?
I was planning to take it in December, but may push it to February to ensure I have enough time to study and master the test.

5) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
My application should be in by March 10th.

6) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
A top 5 program.
Intern
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

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29 Oct 2017, 14:20
So I completed the full CAT and received a 540!!! Guys, not gonna lie, i'm freaking out. My Q score was a 36! I went from 9, to 24, to 36! My V score was a 27, which was lower than last time and i'm a little bummed about that, but I can work through it and figure out what the issue is (my guess is CR, those seemed to get me). But holy cow. Just thought i'd share! I cannot believe I got a 36 on the Quant! I understand there's still lots of work to do to reach my score, but i'm pretty happy with my progress. Now I just gonna figure out where to go from here.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13058
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
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29 Oct 2017, 18:23
Hi futuremba96,

You continue to make really nice progress, so your hard work is clearly paying off. As you review this CAT, beyond focusing on the obvious things (the questions that you got wrong - and WHY you got them wrong), you should also note the Tactics and patterns that you were able to use to get questions correct (as they will likely be useful again on later CATs - and on Test Day).

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
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Intern
Joined: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

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16 Feb 2018, 21:47
Figured i'd give some sort of update, my study plan got VERY derailed over the winter as I had to focus on school/outside projects, but I am approximately 1 month away from my test date and am ramping up my studying! I switched over to the Manhattan GMAT books since I didn't have the time/opportunity to keep up with my monthly EmpowerGMAT, and as of today my most recent CAT score is a 590! Q39 and V32. I am super stoked about my Q score, but very bummed out about my Verbal. I'm gonna do my best to focus as much as I can on both things to improve, but I am slightly stressing about how i'll get a) more consistent with my skills and b) get the darn verbal score up even higher.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13058
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

### Show Tags

17 Feb 2018, 12:09
Hi futuremba96,

With this 590, you're closer to a 640 than you probably realize, so it's really important to define WHY you're getting questions wrong. In simple terms, how many questions did you get wrong on this CAT that you COULD have gotten correct? And what would you do differently the next time you see a similar question (hint: the answer almost always involves taking more notes, labeling your work, etc.)?

1) What is your exact Test Date?
2) 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: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

### Show Tags

17 Feb 2018, 23:32
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi futuremba96,

With this 590, you're closer to a 640 than you probably realize, so it's really important to define WHY you're getting questions wrong. In simple terms, how many questions did you get wrong on this CAT that you COULD have gotten correct? And what would you do differently the next time you see a similar question (hint: the answer almost always involves taking more notes, labeling your work, etc.)?

1) What is your exact Test Date?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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

Awesome, I am very glad to hear that! My test date is March 17th, 2018 at 12:00pm! Nice Saturday afternoon time, gives me a chance to eat a good breakfast. I'm aiming to study at least 2-3 hours per day for the next 2 weeks, and ramp it up to 4 hours each day the last week+. Again, my dream score is between 650-700, ideally a 700. I'm ready to continue working hard. For this CAT, it was Exam 2 in the new GMATPrep software, I had never taken it before though I did see 1 Q question that looked familiar. I chose to do V first, then Q, IR, and the essay. I honestly felt great during V and horrible during Q as I assumed I was bombing each question haha.

For Quant I got 15 wrong in the following order: #1, 5, 8, 10, 16, 19, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37
Any I got wrong from 28-37 were guesses because I had about 10 minutes left, but after working through them I absolutely would have gotten them right if I had the time (except for #35). Of these 15, there were 9 I know I could have gotten correct, the first 3 being before #24. The other 6 I was unsure of. This included some algebra, geometry (especially triangles), average speed, and meters/kilometers.

For Verbal, I also got 15 wrong in the following order: #3, 4, 9, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 24, 27, 28, 29, 33, 40
There were 5 SC, 6 CR, and 4 RC. I have yet to really cover these topics, as I just started the Critical Reasoning book. There were 8 I could have gotten correct if I took a closer look at them (3 SC, 4 CR, 1 RC). I am a little frustrated, as I feel that RC can be a little vague (i.e. the hypothesis, phenomenon science type questions). I'm trying not to get too down about it and reminding myself I did get 26 of the V correct, just gotta brush up and get my techniques down.

For Q, I will definitely do my best to manage my time more, as I am inclined to believe those last 6 I guessed on could have made some difference in my score. For V, I just need to keep practicing and getting my techniques down to make sure I understand what I read which note-taking may help.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13058
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

### Show Tags

18 Feb 2018, 11:43
Hi futuremba96,

Many Test Takers face pacing issues while dealing with either the Quant or Verbal section (or both) - so you're not alone. That having been said, pacing issues don't exist on their own though - they're the results of OTHER issues. Maybe you're not taking enough notes (or taking them in a dis-organized fashion), maybe you end up reading and rereading and rereading the prompt (and/or the answer choices), maybe you're trying to do too much work 'in your head' (which tends to be the least efficient way to work through most prompts - AND it increases your chances of making a silly mistake). This is all meant to say that you should consider HOW you work through each question and what you might do to become more 'efficient' with the overall process.

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: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

### Show Tags

18 Feb 2018, 19:07
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi futuremba96,

Many Test Takers face pacing issues while dealing with either the Quant or Verbal section (or both) - so you're not alone. That having been said, pacing issues don't exist on their own though - they're the results of OTHER issues. Maybe you're not taking enough notes (or taking them in a dis-organized fashion), maybe you end up reading and rereading and rereading the prompt (and/or the answer choices), maybe you're trying to do too much work 'in your head' (which tends to be the least efficient way to work through most prompts - AND it increases your chances of making a silly mistake). This is all meant to say that you should consider HOW you work through each question and what you might do to become more 'efficient' with the overall process.

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

I'll definitely keep that in mind and begin to home in on my pacing! Also, do you think seeing repeat questions in the tests will hurt me? Or not really, since i'll see new questions as my abilities improve/questions I see get harder?
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 13058
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

### Show Tags

19 Feb 2018, 12:12
Hi futuremba96,

I assume that you're asking about 'repeat' questions because you've either seen some on your practice CATs or you're planning to retake a CAT that you've already taken. Seeing even a few 'repeat' questions can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc., - and all of those factors tend to lead to unrealistic, 'inflated' score results. Thus, if your goal is to receive a realistic assessment of your current GMAT skills (relative to how you might perform when taking the Official GMAT), then that likely will NOT happen if you're seeing repeat questions.

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: 22 Sep 2017
Posts: 12

### Show Tags

19 Feb 2018, 12:23
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi futuremba96,

I assume that you're asking about 'repeat' questions because you've either seen some on your practice CATs or you're planning to retake a CAT that you've already taken. Seeing even a few 'repeat' questions can 'throw off' the Scoring Algorithm and impact your pacing, energy levels, fatigue, etc., - and all of those factors tend to lead to unrealistic, 'inflated' score results. Thus, if your goal is to receive a realistic assessment of your current GMAT skills (relative to how you might perform when taking the Official GMAT), then that likely will NOT happen if you're seeing repeat questions.

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

Got it, thanks! I would assume then that there is no value in retaking the CATs in the GMAT Prep software? Or is there value, since there is still the chance for me to see new/harder questions. I feel good about my 590 score, as that was a new exam and I missed the 1 i'd seen before, so the tests are a good opportunity for me to practice and test my learning. I do have 6 tests from the books that I had not previously taken from MGMAT, and I planned to take 1 or 2 tests a week leading to my exam.
Re: Feeling Frustrated &nbs [#permalink] 19 Feb 2018, 12:23
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# Feeling Frustrated

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