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First Diagnostic: Room to Improve?

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New post 09 Mar 2019, 21:35
Took my first diagnostic CAT from the MBA website completely cold today. Scored a disappointing but better than expected 460 (Q22)(V31)(IR7).

Haven't done a math problem since undergrad in 2015 and was never very good at it, so I am not surprised by that at all as I guessed on a lot of questions. A little disappointed in my verbal score, thought I would have done better on that although I did struggle a bit on SC. My goal is 700-720 in order to get into McCombs, Rice or Mays since I had a pretty low GPA (around 2.4-2.8 range). I have a good resume (construction project manager for high rise office/residential buildings), ECs, and will have strong essays as well as letters of rec.

I bought the OG and MGMAT book set to prep on Friday. That will be showing up tomorrow and I will start my studying. I plan to take studying very seriously as I am looking to get into an MBA program for a career/industry change, so I feel I will be very motivated. I will be pretty much starting over from square one learning foundations. All of that being said, what kind of score am I looking at realistically making given that I really give 110% to this? I feel like once I put some time and studying into learning the foundations and test strategies, my scores will improve significantly.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
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New post 09 Mar 2019, 21:56
texag15 wrote:
Took my first diagnostic CAT from the MBA website completely cold today. Scored a disappointing but better than expected 460 (Q22)(V31)(IR7).

Haven't done a math problem since undergrad in 2015 and was never very good at it, so I am not surprised by that at all as I guessed on a lot of questions. A little disappointed in my verbal score, thought I would have done better on that although I did struggle a bit on SC. My goal is 700-720 in order to get into McCombs, Rice or Mays since I had a pretty low GPA (around 2.4-2.8 range). I have a good resume (construction project manager for high rise office/residential buildings), ECs, and will have strong essays as well as letters of rec.

I bought the OG and MGMAT book set to prep on Friday. That will be showing up tomorrow and I will start my studying. I plan to take studying very seriously as I am looking to get into an MBA program for a career/industry change, so I feel I will be very motivated. I will be pretty much starting over from square one learning foundations. All of that being said, what kind of score am I looking at realistically making given that I really give 110% to this? I feel like once I put some time and studying into learning the foundations and test strategies, my scores will improve significantly.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
V31 and IR7 are very good scores for a first ("cold") practice test (V31 would not be a bad score on the actual exam, and IR7 would be a really good score on the actual exam). I think you should see major improvements in your scores if you work on the basics.

Have you already gone through this post?
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New post 10 Mar 2019, 06:43
Hello there


As you have mentioned that you got OG and Manhattan Guides for your prep and same is recommended material for self prep. Now you can start with Quant or Verbal which suits you. If you have started with Quant (Recommended in your case OF Q22) then Start with the Arithmetic. One month for learning Quant concepts and one month for practicing question and same practice for Verbal. During you Practicing question don't forget to make an error log to track your weak areas after practice. Once you know your weak areas revise your Concepts related to those areas and do some more Practice. 6-8 CATs are enough for practice the real tests. Make your Stamina for sitting 3 hours in the test and don't study more than 2 hours in one sit and 4 hours per day

Top CATs for Practice

1. Official GMAC CATs
2. Manhattan CATs
3. Kaplan CATs
4. GMAT Club Quant CATs

Happy Prep.

texag15 wrote:
Took my first diagnostic CAT from the MBA website completely cold today. Scored a disappointing but better than expected 460 (Q22)(V31)(IR7).

Haven't done a math problem since undergrad in 2015 and was never very good at it, so I am not surprised by that at all as I guessed on a lot of questions. A little disappointed in my verbal score, thought I would have done better on that although I did struggle a bit on SC. My goal is 700-720 in order to get into McCombs, Rice or Mays since I had a pretty low GPA (around 2.4-2.8 range). I have a good resume (construction project manager for high rise office/residential buildings), ECs, and will have strong essays as well as letters of rec.

I bought the OG and MGMAT book set to prep on Friday. That will be showing up tomorrow and I will start my studying. I plan to take studying very seriously as I am looking to get into an MBA program for a career/industry change, so I feel I will be very motivated. I will be pretty much starting over from square one learning foundations. All of that being said, what kind of score am I looking at realistically making given that I really give 110% to this? I feel like once I put some time and studying into learning the foundations and test strategies, my scores will improve significantly.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

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New post 10 Mar 2019, 09:40
texag15 wrote:
Took my first diagnostic CAT from the MBA website completely cold today. Scored a disappointing but better than expected 460 (Q22)(V31)(IR7).

Haven't done a math problem since undergrad in 2015 and was never very good at it, so I am not surprised by that at all as I guessed on a lot of questions. A little disappointed in my verbal score, thought I would have done better on that although I did struggle a bit on SC. My goal is 700-720 in order to get into McCombs, Rice or Mays since I had a pretty low GPA (around 2.4-2.8 range). I have a good resume (construction project manager for high rise office/residential buildings), ECs, and will have strong essays as well as letters of rec.

I bought the OG and MGMAT book set to prep on Friday. That will be showing up tomorrow and I will start my studying. I plan to take studying very seriously as I am looking to get into an MBA program for a career/industry change, so I feel I will be very motivated. I will be pretty much starting over from square one learning foundations. All of that being said, what kind of score am I looking at realistically making given that I really give 110% to this? I feel like once I put some time and studying into learning the foundations and test strategies, my scores will improve significantly.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.


Hi, welcome to the GMATClub, congratulations on the diagnosis test score. It is a very good score for a beginner. Don't worry about the Quant score. First, Pl go through the concepts and complete the OG then focus on practice questions. You can crack the dreamt score. All the best for your preparation.
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New post 10 Mar 2019, 10:01
AjiteshArun wrote:
texag15 wrote:
Took my first diagnostic CAT from the MBA website completely cold today. Scored a disappointing but better than expected 460 (Q22)(V31)(IR7).

Haven't done a math problem since undergrad in 2015 and was never very good at it, so I am not surprised by that at all as I guessed on a lot of questions. A little disappointed in my verbal score, thought I would have done better on that although I did struggle a bit on SC. My goal is 700-720 in order to get into McCombs, Rice or Mays since I had a pretty low GPA (around 2.4-2.8 range). I have a good resume (construction project manager for high rise office/residential buildings), ECs, and will have strong essays as well as letters of rec.

I bought the OG and MGMAT book set to prep on Friday. That will be showing up tomorrow and I will start my studying. I plan to take studying very seriously as I am looking to get into an MBA program for a career/industry change, so I feel I will be very motivated. I will be pretty much starting over from square one learning foundations. All of that being said, what kind of score am I looking at realistically making given that I really give 110% to this? I feel like once I put some time and studying into learning the foundations and test strategies, my scores will improve significantly.

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.
V31 and IR7 are very good scores for a first ("cold") practice test (V31 would not be a bad score on the actual exam, and IR7 would be a really good score on the actual exam). I think you should see major improvements in your scores if you work on the basics.

Have you already gone through this post?


Thank you that is very encouraging to hear! I did go through, it is what gave me the idea to take the diagnostic CAT and where I discovered the OG and MGMAT.

Was thinking about supplementing it all with Magoosh as well. Is that too much material? I don't want to be overwhelmed.
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New post 10 Mar 2019, 13:10
Hi texag15,

Many Test Takers are unhappy with their initial practice scores, but you really shouldn't be. That 460 is just a measure of your skills right now - and you'll improve on that result over time as you learn more about the content, Tactics and little 'secrets' of the Exam. That having been said, raising a 460 to the point that you could consistently score 700+ will likely require at least 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. 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 your timeline and goals:

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

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New post 10 Mar 2019, 13:49
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi texag15,

Many Test Takers are unhappy with their initial practice scores, but you really shouldn't be. That 460 is just a measure of your skills right now - and you'll improve on that result over time as you learn more about the content, Tactics and little 'secrets' of the Exam. That having been said, raising a 460 to the point that you could consistently score 700+ will likely require at least 3 months of consistent, guided study - and you'll have to make significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. 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 your timeline and goals:

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

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


Rich,

I would like to start school in the Fall of 2020, so I think that gives me plenty of time to study and apply, I would like to apply for the first round. I hope to study at least 10 hours a week, 2 hours a day during the week and 5 over the weekend, maybe more if I can.
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New post 10 Mar 2019, 14:42
Hi texag15,

Focusing on the GMAT now - well in advance of when you plan to apply - is a smart choice. Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level; since your current Study Plan is also book heavy, it's possible that you might get stuck as well. You can certainly start off working with the books that you're purchased though, but you'll likely end up needing to invest in some new, non-book resources at some point.

Since you're not facing any immediate deadlines, I suggest that you study as you choose for the next 2-3 weeks, then take a NEW, FULL-LENGTH CAT (with the Essay and IR sections). Once you have that Score, you should report back here and we can discuss the results and any adjustments that you might make to your Study routine.

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New post 10 Mar 2019, 20:10
texag15 wrote:
Thank you that is very encouraging to hear! I did go through, it is what gave me the idea to take the diagnostic CAT and where I discovered the OG and MGMAT.

Was thinking about supplementing it all with Magoosh as well. Is that too much material? I don't want to be overwhelmed.
Here's the thing: you don't have to take that decision now. As long as the material you've chosen is good, you will probably not benefit from adding any additional material, at least not at this stage.

The first "stage" of your prep could be the easiest (just revision) or the most frustrating (everything is new!), but you need to get it out of the way. Don't try to optimize the little things right now. That means that you can take the decision to add more test prep material later, once you have a better idea about what you need to work on. That's when you'll be able to post specific questions about the products of different providers here.

All the best :)
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New post 11 Mar 2019, 18:00
Hi texag15,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. You have successfully completed the first step: taking a diagnostic to get a baseline score. Since you are 240+ points from your score goal and scored Q22/V31, it’s clear that you have some major work to do to improve to a 700+. That being said, your next step is to lay out a sound and thorough study plan. Ideally, you want to follow a linear study plan that allows you to start with the foundations and move to more advanced topics. By following a structured and methodical approach, you can master each topic individually as you progress through GMAT quant and verbal. If you can study in such a way and follow a realistic timeline, there is no reason why you cannot achieve your GMAT score goal.

Certainly, if you’d like more specific advice on how to improve your GMAT quant and verbal skills, feel free to reach back out, and I’d be happy to help. Also, you may find it helpful to read the following articles: How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT — A Mini Guide for Success, Developing the Proper Mindset For GMAT Success, and How Long Should I Study for the GMAT?

Good luck!
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Re: First Diagnostic: Room to Improve?   [#permalink] 11 Mar 2019, 18:00
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