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# Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed

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Intern
Joined: 02 Oct 2017
Posts: 3
Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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13 May 2018, 12:51
Hey,

I took my GMAT last week for the first time and scored a depressing 540. I started to study for the GMAT in January, when I scored a 560 on the Princeton Review mock exam.

I completed the book ,,Cracking the GMAT“ and studied 2-3 hours every day in January and February, most of the time with the official guide. However, I couldn’t study a lot in March because of other exams. I returned to study full time in April, when I studied at least 7 hours per day. I completed the math book here on gmatclub, the verbal books of Manhattan, the Kaplan GMAT workbook and all the official guides. Additionally, I solved a lot of questions which were posted in this forum. I got approx. 90% right on Sub-600 questions and 60% on the 600-700 questions.

These are my mock exam statistics: 640 (mba.com, beginning of March), 580 (Manhattan, beginning of April), 680 (Kaplan, mid of April), 640 (Veritas Prep, Beginning of May)

My problem is that I don’t see an especially weak area, because my quantitative and verbal scores are pretty balanced. Maybe my Quant score is a little bit lower on average. Even though I am pretty devasted about scoring so low on my actual gmat, I want to retake it in two months to reach my target score of 650.

I need some help with the right strategy to reach that goal. I thought about taking the math Mathrevolution Online Course to enhance my Quant score and the E-Gmat verbal course. Do you think these two would be helpful, even though I feel pretty confident with all the concepts proved on the gmat? I already spent so much money on my gmat prep, however my actual gmat result of 540 showed me that my strategy didn’t pay off.

Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
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Joined: 03 Apr 2018
Posts: 83
Location: United Arab Emirates
GMAT 1: 700 Q49 V35
GPA: 4
Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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13 May 2018, 13:24
Going from 540 to 650 is going to take at least 3 months of consistent prep.

540 means you have problem with basics. For 650 you need nearly hundred percent accuracy on sub 600 and about 70 percent accuracy on 600-700

Also don't focus on practicing too much but rather on learning

Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
SVP
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 2019
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169
Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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13 May 2018, 21:03
JRiverside wrote:
Hey,

I took my GMAT last week for the first time and scored a depressing 540. I started to study for the GMAT in January, when I scored a 560 on the Princeton Review mock exam.

I completed the book ,,Cracking the GMAT“ and studied 2-3 hours every day in January and February, most of the time with the official guide. However, I couldn’t study a lot in March because of other exams. I returned to study full time in April, when I studied at least 7 hours per day. I completed the math book here on gmatclub, the verbal books of Manhattan, the Kaplan GMAT workbook and all the official guides. Additionally, I solved a lot of questions which were posted in this forum. I got approx. 90% right on Sub-600 questions and 60% on the 600-700 questions.

These are my mock exam statistics: 640 (mba.com, beginning of March), 580 (Manhattan, beginning of April), 680 (Kaplan, mid of April), 640 (Veritas Prep, Beginning of May)

My problem is that I don’t see an especially weak area, because my quantitative and verbal scores are pretty balanced. Maybe my Quant score is a little bit lower on average. Even though I am pretty devasted about scoring so low on my actual gmat, I want to retake it in two months to reach my target score of 650.

I need some help with the right strategy to reach that goal. I thought about taking the math Mathrevolution Online Course to enhance my Quant score and the E-Gmat verbal course. Do you think these two would be helpful, even though I feel pretty confident with all the concepts proved on the gmat? I already spent so much money on my gmat prep, however my actual gmat result of 540 showed me that my strategy didn’t pay off.

1. I think that 540 you got is not representative of your current capability. You have 600+ scores on almost all your tests (and most importantly, on a GMATPrep test). As such, you might get a better score just by taking the GMAT again.

2. You might want to take a few more GMATPrep tests to see whether you are able to consistently touch or cross that 650 target you have set yourself.

3. Additional practice material could come from new sources, but that's something that you are in the best position to take a call on. Again, it depends on how well you do on the other GMATPrep tests you take.

Keep in mind that scores do move up and down for a lot of reasons and that only a large number of attempts can guarantee that you'll get the score you deserve. A few people get their target score on the first attempt, but many more need to retake the exam (sometimes twice, thrice...).
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Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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14 May 2018, 10:02
Hi JRiverside,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

1) Were these CATs in the 'old' format or the new, shorter format?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Did you take them at home?
4) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
5) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
6) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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

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# Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

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Intern
Joined: 02 Oct 2017
Posts: 3
Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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15 May 2018, 04:03
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi JRiverside,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as planned. When these types of score drops occur, the two likely "causes" involve either something that was unrealistic during practice or something that was surprising (or not accounted for) on Test Day. If you can answer a few questions, then we should be able to figure this out:

1) Were these CATs in the 'old' format or the new, shorter format?
2) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
3) Did you take them at home?
4) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you took your Official GMAT?
5) Did you ever do ANYTHING during your CATs that you couldn't do on Test Day (pause the CAT, skip sections, take longer breaks, etc.)?
6) Did you ever take a CAT more than once? Had you seen any of the questions BEFORE (re: on a prior CAT, in an online forum or in a practice set)?

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

Hey Rich,

the Kaplan and the Mannhattan one were in the new format, the other ones were in the old format.
I always started with Quant as my first segment, followed by Verbal. I completed the essay and IR questions really fast, because i was just concerned about my score.
I took my tests at the library where i studied most of the time, and around the same time i would actually sit for the exam.
I didn´t do anything which i couldnt do on testday, and i got the feeling that i saw some questions on the mba.com ones before.

Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
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Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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15 May 2018, 10:11
Hi JRiverside,

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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: 02 Oct 2017
Posts: 3
Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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22 May 2018, 05:53
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi JRiverside,

1) What did you do in the 3 days before your GMAT?
2) How did you sleep the night before your Test?
3) How long was the ride to the Test Center from your home?
4) Were there any distractions at the facility or during the Test?
5) What did you do during the two 8-minute breaks?
6) Did you finish any sections early?
7) Did you have to rush to finish any sections (and guess on questions just to finish on time)?

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

Hello Rich,

sorry for coming back that late.

I have really big problems with test anxiety etc, so i think thats one of my biggest weaknesses. However i dont think that this affected me a lot during the exam, because i felt really calm. Timingwise, I felt good, only reading comprehension bothered me a lot, because i didn´t know that you had to scroll up in order to see the first paragraph. So i started to read with the second paragraph.
VP
Status: It's near - I can see.
Joined: 13 Apr 2013
Posts: 1365
Location: India
GMAT 1: 480 Q38 V22
GPA: 3.01
WE: Engineering (Consulting)
Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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22 May 2018, 09:31
JRiverside wrote:
Hey,

I took my GMAT last week for the first time and scored a depressing 540. I started to study for the GMAT in January, when I scored a 560 on the Princeton Review mock exam.

I completed the book ,,Cracking the GMAT“ and studied 2-3 hours every day in January and February, most of the time with the official guide. However, I couldn’t study a lot in March because of other exams. I returned to study full time in April, when I studied at least 7 hours per day. I completed the math book here on gmatclub, the verbal books of Manhattan, the Kaplan GMAT workbook and all the official guides. Additionally, I solved a lot of questions which were posted in this forum. I got approx. 90% right on Sub-600 questions and 60% on the 600-700 questions.

These are my mock exam statistics: 640 (mba.com, beginning of March), 580 (Manhattan, beginning of April), 680 (Kaplan, mid of April), 640 (Veritas Prep, Beginning of May)

My problem is that I don’t see an especially weak area, because my quantitative and verbal scores are pretty balanced. Maybe my Quant score is a little bit lower on average. Even though I am pretty devasted about scoring so low on my actual gmat, I want to retake it in two months to reach my target score of 650.

I need some help with the right strategy to reach that goal. I thought about taking the math Mathrevolution Online Course to enhance my Quant score and the E-Gmat verbal course. Do you think these two would be helpful, even though I feel pretty confident with all the concepts proved on the gmat? I already spent so much money on my gmat prep, however my actual gmat result of 540 showed me that my strategy didn’t pay off.

Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Study Plans : https://gmatclub.com/forum/the-definiti ... ml?fl=menu

QZ
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EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
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Posts: 13368
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GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170
Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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22 May 2018, 10:17
Hi JRiverside,

To properly define what went wrong on Test Day - and to help you to better prepare for your next attempt - I'm going to need more information and you're going to have to provide far more information than you have currently provided. In these types of situations, the details matter a great deal, so I'm really going to need answers to all of my questions before I can offer you the specific advice that you're looking for.

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!*****

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Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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29 Jul 2018, 21:45
JRiverside wrote:
Hey,

I took my GMAT last week for the first time and scored a depressing 540. I started to study for the GMAT in January, when I scored a 560 on the Princeton Review mock exam.

I completed the book ,,Cracking the GMAT“ and studied 2-3 hours every day in January and February, most of the time with the official guide. However, I couldn’t study a lot in March because of other exams. I returned to study full time in April, when I studied at least 7 hours per day. I completed the math book here on gmatclub, the verbal books of Manhattan, the Kaplan GMAT workbook and all the official guides. Additionally, I solved a lot of questions which were posted in this forum. I got approx. 90% right on Sub-600 questions and 60% on the 600-700 questions.

These are my mock exam statistics: 640 (mba.com, beginning of March), 580 (Manhattan, beginning of April), 680 (Kaplan, mid of April), 640 (Veritas Prep, Beginning of May)

My problem is that I don’t see an especially weak area, because my quantitative and verbal scores are pretty balanced. Maybe my Quant score is a little bit lower on average. Even though I am pretty devasted about scoring so low on my actual gmat, I want to retake it in two months to reach my target score of 650.

I need some help with the right strategy to reach that goal. I thought about taking the math Mathrevolution Online Course to enhance my Quant score and the E-Gmat verbal course. Do you think these two would be helpful, even though I feel pretty confident with all the concepts proved on the gmat? I already spent so much money on my gmat prep, however my actual gmat result of 540 showed me that my strategy didn’t pay off.

Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

Hi, JRiverside

No worries!
You can surely improve your score.
Since we are specialized in math, we can give you advice on math only.
Also, please note that GMAC prep tests are reliable but other test prep scores can vary as the logic of scoring is not exactly same as GMAC, so don't soley rely on test prep scores.

Based on the score, it seems like you need to work on your basic math skills first before studying GMAT Math.
It seems like you already know the concepts but you didn't study them for many years so all you need is to go over the basics to refresh your memory
If you would like to study basics first, you can also learn them on our website as we offer them as free lessons.

In order to excel in quant, you need to understand how GMAT Math works.
In fact, GMAT is a logic test, not a general math test. That is, you need to learn the logic to tackle GMAT questions.
You can still solve GMAT questions with the conventional method. If you aim to hit a high score (Q49-51) on quant, the conventional method is time-consuming and tends to be inefficient. Hence, we strongly recommend learning the logic, which you can learn from our online course.

If you are interested in learning the logic, we would like to recommend for you to try our free trial pack in which you get to learn our unique approaches (so called Variable approach for DS and IVY approach for PS) that save your problem solving time significantly.

If you have any further question, please refer it to info@mathrevolution.com.
We can respond to your more promptly via email.

Happy Studying!

Jin
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Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed  [#permalink]

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01 Aug 2018, 10:09
Hi JRiverside,

I’m sorry to hear about how things went with your GMAT. Since you have studied for quite some time and are not seeing the score improvement you need, you really need to look at HOW you have been studying and potentially make some changes. In your previous study routine, it appears that you did not fully master GMAT quant and verbal prior to practicing OG and forum questions, and thus your score has stagnated. Moving forward, you will need a study plan that allows you to learn linearly, such that you can slowly build GMAT mastery of one topic prior to moving on to the next. Within each topic, begin with the foundations and progress toward more advanced concepts.

For verbal, follow a similar routine. Let’s say you are learning about Critical Reasoning. Be sure that you first learn the necessary concepts of Critical Reasoning questions and then practice a large number of Critical Reasoning questions: strengthen and weaken the argument, resolve the paradox, find the conclusion, must be true, etc. As you go through the questions, do a thorough analysis of each question that you don't get correct. If you missed a weaken question, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize what the question was asking? Did you skip over a key detail in an answer choice? Getting GMAT verbal questions right is a matter of what you know, what you see, and what you do. So, any time that you don't get one right, you can seek to identify what, if anything, you would have needed to know in order to get the right answer, what you had to see that you didn't see, and what you could have done differently to arrive at the correct answer.

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 at least around 90 percent accuracy in your training. If you get 100 percent of some sets correct, even better.

So, work on accuracy and generally finding correct answers, work on specific weaker areas one by one to make them strong areas, and when you take a practice GMAT or the real thing, take all the time per question available to do your absolute best to get right answers consistently. The GMAT is essentially a game of seeing how many right answers you can get in the time allotted. Approach the test with that conception in mind, and focus intently on the question in front of you with one goal in mind: getting a CORRECT answer.

In order to follow the path described above, you may need some new verbal and quant materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.
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Re: Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed &nbs [#permalink] 01 Aug 2018, 10:09
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# Five months of work didn’t pay off, new strategy needed

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