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First ever mock test, scored very low. Need help!!

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First ever mock test, scored very low. Need help!!  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 31 Mar 2019, 22:05
Hello gmat club,

Long time lurker here. Finally decided to give GMAT after much deliberation and took a mock test today.
This is my first ever GMAT test. I did not know what type of questions would be asked. I did not prepare at all. I read the GMAT master study plan thread and then learned that mock test would tell me where I am. Long story short, it was a disaster. I was not mentally prepared for such a long test. I was too tired at the end of IR. My score is very poor. I scored Q37 and V34 and IR5 for a total of 630. Got only half of the questions correct for IR.

On review, I found that I made silly mistakes in Quant and especially in IR. I want to score more than 730. I am especially worried about Quant. I am committed to learn and put in the work needed. What should I do, which books to start with? My target is to give GMAT in 4 months. Any advice/help is greatly appreciated !!

To add more info, I am targetting 2020 intake. I will be going for PT MBA and my target schools are Haas, Kellogg and UCLA. I know its a stretch but I am sure I can do it if I put in the effort.

Originally posted by jirang on 31 Mar 2019, 20:57.
Last edited by jirang on 31 Mar 2019, 22:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First ever mock test, scored very low. Need help!!  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2019, 22:03
jirang wrote:
Hello gmat club,

Long time lurker here. Finally decided to give GMAT after much deliberation and took a mock test today.
This is my first ever GMAT test. I did not know what would be asked in GMAT or what type of questions would be asked. I did not prepare at all. I read the GMAT master study plan thread and then learned that mock test would tell me where I am. Long story short, it was a disaster. I was not mentally prepared for such a long test. I was too tired at the end of IR. My score is very poor. I scored Q37 and V34 and IR5 for a total of 630. Got only half of the questions correct for IR.

On review, I found that I made silly mistakes in Quant and especially in IR. I want to score more than 730. I am especially worried about Quant. I am committed to learn and put in the work needed. What should I do, which books to start with? My target is to give GMAT in 4 months. Any advice/help is greatly appreciated !!

To add more info, I am targetting 2020 intake. I will be going for PT MBA and my target schools are Haas, Kellogg and UCLA. I know its a stretch but I am sure I can do it if I put in the effort.


Hey Buddy,

If you feel you are lacking concepts, I would suggest looking at target test prep for Quant and e-gmat for verbal. Keep practicing questions topic/concept wise.

Once the concepts are covered then look to solve only the OG questions. Always helps to focus on OG very close to the actual exam.

All the best!
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 22:52
You need special focus on Quant jirang. What resources have you been using so far?
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 22:54
eabhgoy wrote:
jirang wrote:
Hello gmat club,

Long time lurker here. Finally decided to give GMAT after much deliberation and took a mock test today.
This is my first ever GMAT test. I did not know what would be asked in GMAT or what type of questions would be asked. I did not prepare at all. I read the GMAT master study plan thread and then learned that mock test would tell me where I am. Long story short, it was a disaster. I was not mentally prepared for such a long test. I was too tired at the end of IR. My score is very poor. I scored Q37 and V34 and IR5 for a total of 630. Got only half of the questions correct for IR.

On review, I found that I made silly mistakes in Quant and especially in IR. I want to score more than 730. I am especially worried about Quant. I am committed to learn and put in the work needed. What should I do, which books to start with? My target is to give GMAT in 4 months. Any advice/help is greatly appreciated !!

To add more info, I am targetting 2020 intake. I will be going for PT MBA and my target schools are Haas, Kellogg and UCLA. I know its a stretch but I am sure I can do it if I put in the effort.


Hey Buddy,

If you feel you are lacking concepts, I would suggest looking at target test prep for Quant and e-gmat for verbal. Keep practicing questions topic/concept wise.

Once the concepts are covered then look to solve only the OG questions. Always helps to focus on OG very close to the actual exam.

All the best!


Thanks for the suggestions. I will check them out.
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 22:58
EducationAisle wrote:
You need special focus on Quant jirang. What resources have you been using so far?


Nothing actually. This is my first ever GMAT test. I did not know what would be asked. I have seen a couple of questions here and there but never decided to get serious about MBA till now. I am trying to follow bb's GMAT study plan thread, so I will be giving Quant Diagnostic test from TTP or Math Revolution to see what I am lacking and what I should do to improve. What are your suggestions?
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 23:10
ok..if you're starting completely cold, V34 is actually quite decent.

Also, before you appear in another diagnostic quant test, you might want to go thru your High School (sophomore/class 10th) Quant book, so that you at least refresh basic concepts and formulas (prime numbers, geometry etc.), otherwise you could again be staring at a low Quant score that is actually not representative of your actual academic ability.
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New post 31 Mar 2019, 23:20
EducationAisle wrote:
ok..if you're starting completely cold, V34 is actually quite decent.

Also, before you appear in another diagnostic quant test, you might want to go thru your High School (sophomore/class 10th) Quant book, so that you at least refresh basic concepts and formulas (prime numbers, geometry etc.), otherwise you could again be staring at a low Quant score that is actually not representative of your actual academic ability.


Thanks for the suggestion. But unfortunately, I don't have any such book. As you said, I forgot number theory, permutation and combinations etc., It was pretty depressing given the fact I am an engineer. Since I don't have any high school Quant book, do you have any suggestion on what I should buy or look for (something online maybe?)
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New post 02 Apr 2019, 09:32
Hi jirang,

I’m glad you reached out, and I’m happy to help. First off, 630 is not a bad start! That said, since you need to improve to 730, you should follow a structured and linear study plan that allows you to individually learn each GMAT quant and verbal topic, starting with the foundations and progressing to more advanced concepts. By following a structured and methodical approach, you can ensure that you master each topic individually. Let me expand on this idea further.

Let’s say, for example, you are learning about Number Properties. First, 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.

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, 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, it is likely that you 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 just a test of knowledge of grammar rules. The reason for learning 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 under 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 those reasons are not 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 answer were always the one 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 meanings that make sense. 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 repeatedly until you start to see the differences between the choices that make all choices wrong except for one. Often, when you first look at the choices, only one or two seem obviously incorrect. It may take time for you to see what you have to see. Getting the right answers takes a certain work ethic. You have to be determined to see the differences 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 that resulted in your arriving at that answer and what you could do differently in order 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 have done 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 will then 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 consider using an online self-study course, 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 articles about
How to Score a 700+ on the GMAT and How to Increase Your GMAT Quant Score.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions. Good luck!
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Re: First ever mock test, scored very low. Need help!!  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Apr 2019, 12:15
Hi jirang,

If you truly took this initial CAT without any preparation, then your 630 is a great result (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years) - so you're a strong critical thinker overall. With 4 months of potential study time, I think that you would have a good chance to raise this Score to a 730, but you'll have to make some significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. 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 your goals:

1) What study materials do you currently have access to?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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New post 02 Apr 2019, 23:11
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi jirang,

If you truly took this initial CAT without any preparation, then your 630 is a great result (the average Score on the Official GMAT hovers around 550 most years) - so you're a strong critical thinker overall. With 4 months of potential study time, I think that you would have a good chance to raise this Score to a 730, but you'll have to make some significant improvements to how you handle BOTH the Quant and Verbal sections. 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 your goals:

1) What study materials do you currently have access to?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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


Thanks for the reply. Yes, I took it without any study. I was following the study plan posted in the master thread, to see where I stand and then formulate the study plan.
For your questions, answers are given below.
1. I have access to my friends' 2016 MGMAT complete guide and OG bundle 2016. I did not buy new guides because I wanted to get familiar with the topics at first, practice the problems in those books then get the latest books. I was going to start with MGMAT math foundations.
2. I can study 2-3 hrs weekdays (each day) and 6 hrs on weekends (each day).
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Re: First ever mock test, scored very low. Need help!!  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Apr 2019, 21:13
Hi jirang,

Many Test Takers who use a 'book heavy' study approach end up getting 'stuck' at a particular score level. Even the best books are limited in what they can teach you; they also can't force you to approach questions in a certain way and their explanations are often one-sided. However, you can start off with the books that you have and we can track your progress. At some point, you'll likely need to invest in some new, non-book study materials though.

I suggest that you study as you see fit for the next 3-4 weeks, then take a NEW, FULL-LENGTH CAT - and do so in a realistic fashion (take the FULL CAT - with the Essay and IR sections, take it away from your home, at the same time of day as when you'll take the Official GMAT, etc.). Once you have that score, you should report back here and we can discuss the results and how best to proceed.

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Rich
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Re: First ever mock test, scored very low. Need help!!   [#permalink] 03 Apr 2019, 21:13
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