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From 380 to 400 to 460. Exam Date Near - So Lost

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From 380 to 400 to 460. Exam Date Near - So Lost [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2007, 11:24
Hi Everyone.

I've been a silent lurker around here for a long time.


I took the GMAT 3 times so far (as you can see) and honestly, I don't know what to do.


I have an exam on December 29th.

So far, I went through the ENTIRE OG 11 Book (EVERY QUESTION ANSWERED) and the OG Verbal Review.


I don't know what to do anymore. My exam is less than 2 weeks. I have a Liberal Arts Degree in Public Relations/Journalism.

I need at least a 550 to be competitive, and I already went to an interview the school I want to get into. She told me that as long as I write the GMAT again and meet the minimum, I can get in. Cause other components of my application are very strong (I'm a Canadian, and planning on attending an MBA program here).

Ever since I scored that 460, I've been visiting this forum regularly. I did a few practice questions from your forum, but honestly its really depressing.

Here's the history background:



380- Q17 V23 June 22/07
400- Q23 V21 July 28/07
460- Q22 V30 October 27/07



What am I going to do? I feel burnt out already. This is my last week at work as next week is the holidays. I did GMAT Prep a few nights ago and got 400 then 500. My next strategy is to rely on Kaplan CD cause thats the one I used last time and it boosted me from 400 to 460.

I really need the help I can get. I know the basics of Mathematics, but when they word it the way they do on GMAT, its like WTF!!!!!????


Maybe I am stupid.

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New post 19 Dec 2007, 12:11
Hey mjoeb,

Keep your head up. You can get your 550 but I wouldn't rush in head first to take the test again so soon.

Personally, I think you should delay your test date (if you can). Look through and find out what is causing you the most problems.

It appears the quant section is giving you more problems than verbal so I'd focus there first.

You say you've done all of the problems in OG11, but do you understand why you missed the problems you did? Do you need to practice more geometry? Line equations? Fractions?

I strongly recommend the MGMAT math series (all of them). Take your time to do the exercises and you'll start to get the hang of the questions that the test asks.

Use the Chinese Zip File for practice problems as well.

Again, don't rush out and try to solve 1,000 problems in a week. Instead, evaulate your weak areas and focus in one item at a time.

Oh yeah, how is your timing? If you don't finish the test on time, you get a HUGE penalty. Math can be tough with timing b/c some of the PS questions take more than the 2 minutes you are supposed to average. You usually make up time during the DS questions.

Don't lose hope. Stay focused. Keep practicing. Keep posting. Keep asking questions.


-JJ

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Re: From 380 to 400 to 460. Exam Date Near - So Lost [#permalink]

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New post 19 Dec 2007, 13:21
mjoeb wrote:

I took the GMAT 3 times so far (as you can see) and honestly, I don't know what to do.



Have you assessed your weak areas? Is it PS or DS or both for quant? Arithmetic, Algebra, or Geometry? Which verbal questions are you getting mostly wrong? SC, CR, or RC? Are you running out of time?
Have you maintained an error log? Anything else going on in your personal or professional life that would give you reason to not be performing at your peak?

I think you should reschedule, if you can. Push it out until the latest you can. Regroup, assess your weaknesses, acknowledge your strengths, and then make your plan. You need to focus on getting the highest score you can. You need to get a 550. But, you need to know that you will score a 600+. Just visualize that you can do it. You know you can.

mjoeb wrote:

So far, I went through the ENTIRE OG 11 Book (EVERY QUESTION ANSWERED) and the OG Verbal Review.



Buy the Manhattan GMAT Prep series for your areas of weakness. There are a total of 7 books. These helped me a lot with the proper tools to get the best answers. Review from cover to cover. Then start over again with OG 11 and Verbal Review. You should pick up the Quant Review OG as well and go through that.

You need to do more Computer Adaptive Tests as well after reviewing everything in the books in order to give you a better assessment of where you stand.

Good luck.

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New post 19 Dec 2007, 21:44
hello everyone

thanks for responses.

i would postpone my gmat.... except for one thing:


i did an interview already at the MBA school i want to go to. the lady told me she likes my application, (i have solid GPA and good work experience and references)....but the problem is:

GMAT! she said to write it as soon as possible so then it'll be easier for me to be accepted. if i wait until later, the spots might be taken by ppl with much stronger applicants.

....

see?


also, this beast took a big part of my life already.

i worked through KAPLAN Math workbook for the whole year last year learning basics of mathematics. then i realized my studying approach is wrong cause i didn't realize gmat uses word problems that mask the concepts i'm supposed to figure out...

so now i finally understand basic math there's just one problem:

timing & uncovering the tricky word problems.

i know every single formula etc...

just when its in word problems, its so....ahhhhh! frustrated.

also, another reason why i dont watn to postpone writing this exam is because its already taken a toll on my work life and private life.

i cut out contact with family cause i'm "so busy" , and even my manager noticed that something is distracting me from my work >.<

horrible, just horrible.


i need to get this over with once and for all. so it won't affect my work life and i can only do it during the christmas holidays.


PS: my boyfriend (yes, i am a girl :-D ) initially got 560 on his GMAT. Then, after using the Kaplan CD (the one i'm using now) for just ONE WEEK, he got 650. i'd like to think i have the same level of intelligence he does, so if he can do it, i hope i can too!

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 07:25
mjoeb -
This is tough. . .please do not make the mistake of comparing your abilities to others. It throws off you whole mojo. Trust me!!! That was my biggest flaw. That took a huge toll on me, because I knew I could do better. I scored a 410 on my first attempt and need to be in the mid to high 500's to be considered at my school of choice.

Like everyone has said, focus on your weaknesses. That helped me a lot. As I practice the problems and stategies i got from the PR book i'm doing a lot better on the test. Scored a 520 on the first PR practice test. I will take the 1st GMATPrep this weekend which will give me a better idea of how I will do on the test.

I know you have interviewed already, but do you think it will hurt you to push to next entry deadline? Do you mind telling us the school?

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 07:49
humbled4real wrote:
mjoeb -
This is tough. . .please do not make the mistake of comparing your abilities to others. It throws off you whole mojo. Trust me!!! That was my biggest flaw. That took a huge toll on me, because I knew I could do better. I scored a 410 on my first attempt and need to be in the mid to high 500's to be considered at my school of choice.

Like everyone has said, focus on your weaknesses. That helped me a lot. As I practice the problems and stategies i got from the PR book i'm doing a lot better on the test. Scored a 520 on the first PR practice test. I will take the 1st GMATPrep this weekend which will give me a better idea of how I will do on the test.

I know you have interviewed already, but do you think it will hurt you to push to next entry deadline? Do you mind telling us the school?




Hi there!

Yes, the school is in Toronto actually. It's called Rotman (part of University of Toronto).

...

I don't want to prolong this battle anymore.

I've been doing the Kaplan CD, and I seem to understand it better.

I went through all the OG questions, and it seems that I'm only lacking in timing and silly mistakes.


...i really don't know if i should take the risk or postpone it.

but the admissions committee is really expecting my score.

i'd call her and ask if i can postpone, but its gonna look like i'm very weak, and i have been studying intensively.

as a matter of fact, i study better than I did the first time (the first time, i made notes, etc and tried to memorize basic formuals)...

then i realized what GMAT really is about.


but now, I do have basic knowledge of mathematics (something I was lacking initially).

and i just need to test my problem solving skills.

Oh dear I dont' know what to do.

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 07:52
[quote="mjoeb"


Hi there!

Yes, the school is in Toronto actually. It's called Rotman (part of University of Toronto).

...

I don't want to prolong this battle anymore.

I've been doing the Kaplan CD, and I seem to understand it better.

I went through all the OG questions, and it seems that I'm only lacking in timing and silly mistakes.


...i really don't know if i should take the risk or postpone it.

but the admissions committee is really expecting my score.

i'd call her and ask if i can postpone, but its gonna look like i'm very weak, and i have been studying intensively.

as a matter of fact, i study better than I did the first time (the first time, i made notes, etc and tried to memorize basic formuals)...

then i realized what GMAT really is about.


but now, I do have basic knowledge of mathematics (something I was lacking initially).

and i just need to test my problem solving skills.

Oh dear I dont' know what to do.[/quote]

Well don't freak out. . . that would be the worst thing to do at this point. Go in with a positive attitude. You'll do fine. If you think you can get into the mid range of the 25-80% you will get in.

Best of luck. Please let us know how you do.

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 07:56
humbled4real wrote:
[quote="mjoeb"


Hi there!

Yes, the school is in Toronto actually. It's called Rotman (part of University of Toronto).

...

I don't want to prolong this battle anymore.

I've been doing the Kaplan CD, and I seem to understand it better.

I went through all the OG questions, and it seems that I'm only lacking in timing and silly mistakes.


...i really don't know if i should take the risk or postpone it.

but the admissions committee is really expecting my score.

i'd call her and ask if i can postpone, but its gonna look like i'm very weak, and i have been studying intensively.

as a matter of fact, i study better than I did the first time (the first time, i made notes, etc and tried to memorize basic formuals)...

then i realized what GMAT really is about.


but now, I do have basic knowledge of mathematics (something I was lacking initially).

and i just need to test my problem solving skills.

Oh dear I dont' know what to do.


Well don't freak out. . . that would be the worst thing to do at this point. Go in with a positive attitude. You'll do fine. If you think you can get into the mid range of the 25-80% you will get in.

Best of luck. Please let us know how you do.[/quote]


what does 25-80% mean?


honestly, i am begining to wonder if GMAT is a measure of intelligence.

i didnt' think i was stupid cause i have a degree- but yet, if i wrote the exam 3 times and only got 460, then maybe i do lack intelligence.

people tell me it's all about practice. but oh, i'm not sure.

i do believe in being positive though. cause i changed my attitude somewhat during my 3rd gmat sitting. however, id ontk now what to do at this point.

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 08:05
Most schools will post the average GMAT score and then the range of GMAT scores of those accepted.

Girl, you'll be fine. The GMAT, in my opinion, only accesses how well you take test. Although it is an important aspect of the application process, you can shine in other ways.

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 08:58
humbled4real wrote:
Most schools will post the average GMAT score and then the range of GMAT scores of those accepted.

Girl, you'll be fine. The GMAT, in my opinion, only accesses how well you take test. Although it is an important aspect of the application process, you can shine in other ways.



oh thank you humbled4real

...


see, the admissions lady already told me that she likes my application. gmat score is just too low.

the ranges last year are 540-780. she wants me to fall somewhere in that range. :(

dammit.

i'm at 460 right now and don't know if it's possible to boost 100 points with a kaplan CD. i already did OG 11 and verbal review.

...i'm not aiming for 700+ like other genuises around here.
(i guess that does make me dumb).

but i'm not good with practical thinking. ...

so much is riding on this.

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 10:02
Never give up! Review all those questions. Focus on wrong questions! Make sure you understand why you're wrong. Group them together. You will find out many questions check the same point from different angles.

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 10:57
jhgmat wrote:
Never give up! Review all those questions. Focus on wrong questions! Make sure you understand why you're wrong. Group them together. You will find out many questions check the same point from different angles.



i don't want to give up. but today is thursday and my exam is next saturday.

what can i do?

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 14:14
mjoeb wrote:
jhgmat wrote:
Never give up! Review all those questions. Focus on wrong questions! Make sure you understand why you're wrong. Group them together. You will find out many questions check the same point from different angles.



i don't want to give up. but today is thursday and my exam is next saturday.

what can i do?


mjoeb,

enough people have given you some solid advice here. you need to get yourself together, get your plan in gear, and don't waste anytime now if you're going to take the exam next week. get off the forums and study!!!

get some new reference materials, i.e. the Manhattan GMAT series, because apparently the ones you have aren't helping you. sometimes, you just have to shake things up a bit if you want a major change. and you need that major change in order to jump 100 points on the GMAT. radical changes demand radical measures.

i apologize if i sound harsh here, but you need to get yourself focused on the task at hand. as you said yourself, your future in business is riding on the line here with your admission to rotman. it's time to be serious, and take the advice you've been given seriously. everyone here wants to help you, not put you down.

you are as intelligent and smart as you want to be. show the GMAT that you own it!

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New post 20 Dec 2007, 17:01
Have you ever thought of maybe putting school off a year so that you can have a stronger application? It sounds as if you need more time to address the GMAT and I don't think a few days will cut it.

No sense in taking a test when you don't feel comfortable yet. Just my 2 cents.

On the other hand, if you feel confident this time around and your nerves are over (lots of folks do poorly b/c of nerves the first time around), I'm sure you can get your 550 (or better!)

Just remember to RELAX the day before your test. Don't touch materials. You'll probably feel the urge to study up until the last moment, but your brain needs a break. :)

You want to go into the test with a fresh brain, not one that is exhausted.


-JJ

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New post 29 Dec 2007, 18:39
I've lost the war.


I just came back from the testing center.


...I got 390.


Thats even lower than the 460 I got.



God, am I pathetic.

I memorized all the math formulas, and I have a Liberal Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations (I EVEN GRADUATED WITH HONOURS FOR GOD'S SAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)



wtf is wrong with me.

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New post 30 Dec 2007, 00:11
Hi mjoeb,

I agree with misterJJ2u. You should consider waiting until next year. I'm not sure if you're a woman of faith, but personally I would take this current trend as a sign that this is not the appropriate time to enter business school.

Also, it does not appear as though you are preparing for the exam very strategically. Your recent score reflects that. Personally, I compare the GMAT to a game of process improvement. Optimization (an engineering term) seeks to map out a process and eliminate all the defects in the process. Simply taking the exam (process) over and over again isn't going to improve your score (output), just as Ford running its production line the same way over and over again isn't going to increase output or decrease defects.

This is a similar approach you need to take with the GMAT. It's not a matter of if the process will work (do I have the intelligence?). To make the process work, one only needs to make a payment and show up at the test center. It's a matter of removing all the defects from the process. Maximizing your output takes intelligence, running the process is automatic; by the time you take the exam the process will already be mapped out and thoroughly tested!

The good news is the GMAT is a standardized exam. This means the process is predictable and the methods to optimize the process are usually fairly easy to pin-point, i.e. timing, knowing the fundamentals(which are limited), psychological, etc. Concurrently, the fine people of the GMAT club have analyzed nearly every aspect of possible improvement and have provided countless tools for addressing them!

As the others have said, you need to put a stronger emphasis on analyzing your weaknesses (defects in the process). There are numerous tools including error grids, GMAT-specific timers, 1000 question banks, guides, etc. to assist you.

It's also apparent the pressure of your application deadlines is getting to you and affecting your prep. As the others have said, half of the battle with the GMAT is psychological. A solid year of prep will allow you to have a life AND optimize your GMAT strategy. The good news is you have the application ready to go, so you basically have a year to just work on the GMAT. If you decide to wait, relay to the admins that you have decided to postpone your application until next year.

I would not tell them it's because of the GMAT though. Link it to some other aspect of your professional career. For example, an opportunity to increase your professional experience has been provided to you and you believe taking this opportunity will further increase the value you can add to classroom discussion as a future MBA student of x university. You can add a clause in your SoP next year explaining your scores. This will show maturity on your part, not defeat. As a future MBA, you are already learning how to make a tough business decision. This will not be the first one you will face so hang in there. Waiting a year is no big deal in the grand scheme of things. :-)

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New post 30 Dec 2007, 00:26
I also wanted to add, that the Cause and Effect Diagram is a simple tool you can use to analyze your weaknesses if you are having trouble identifying them. They're pretty fun too! :-D

http://www.rff.com/sample_cause_effect.htm

http://www.skymark.com/resources/tools/cause.asp

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New post 30 Dec 2007, 01:00
Adam6378 wrote:
Hi mjoeb,

I agree with misterJJ2u. You should consider waiting until next year. I'm not sure if you're a woman of faith, but personally I would take this current trend as a sign that this is not the appropriate time to enter business school.

Also, it does not appear as though you are preparing for the exam very strategically. Your recent score reflects that. Personally, I compare the GMAT to a game of process improvement. Optimization (an engineering term) seeks to map out a process and eliminate all the defects in the process. Simply taking the exam (process) over and over again isn't going to improve your score (output), just as Ford running its production line the same way over and over again isn't going to increase output or decrease defects.

This is a similar approach you need to take with the GMAT. It's not a matter of if the process will work (do I have the intelligence?). To make the process work, one only needs to make a payment and show up at the test center. It's a matter of removing all the defects from the process. Maximizing your output takes intelligence, running the process is automatic; by the time you take the exam the process will already be mapped out and thoroughly tested!

The good news is the GMAT is a standardized exam. This means the process is predictable and the methods to optimize the process are usually fairly easy to pin-point, i.e. timing, knowing the fundamentals(which are limited), psychological, etc. Concurrently, the fine people of the GMAT club have analyzed nearly every aspect of possible improvement and have provided countless tools for addressing them!

As the others have said, you need to put a stronger emphasis on analyzing your weaknesses (defects in the process). There are numerous tools including error grids, GMAT-specific timers, 1000 question banks, guides, etc. to assist you.

It's also apparent the pressure of your application deadlines is getting to you and affecting your prep. As the others have said, half of the battle with the GMAT is psychological. A solid year of prep will allow you to have a life AND optimize your GMAT strategy. The good news is you have the application ready to go, so you basically have a year to just work on the GMAT. If you decide to wait, relay to the admins that you have decided to postpone your application until next year.

I would not tell them it's because of the GMAT though. Link it to some other aspect of your professional career. For example, an opportunity to increase your professional experience has been provided to you and you believe taking this opportunity will further increase the value you can add to classroom discussion as a future MBA student of x university. You can add a clause in your SoP next year explaining your scores. This will show maturity on your part, not defeat. As a future MBA, you are already learning how to make a tough business decision. This will not be the first one you will face so hang in there. Waiting a year is no big deal in the grand scheme of things. :-)



Thank you for your kind words. I used to consider myself a woman of faith, but I feel as if lately, there's no hope in anything anymore.

The university of Toronto said that they really like me, and they do want me in the program, but the GMAT score is just too low. They already have my application, so even if I told them to hold onto my application for a bit, i think they can figure it out that it is a result of my GMAT score.

I dont know what to do in the mean time. I have one last chance left (application deadline is April 30th, so I just need to write GMAT before then).

I was thinking of enrolling in the Kaplan course, but there is no way I can afford 1K on the chance that i MIGHT pass.

At this point, i am beginning to think maybe intelligence is a factor in the gmat. because i've been practicing countless hours, and i still cannot perform decently.

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New post 30 Dec 2007, 11:05
Quote:
I dont know what to do in the mean time. I have one last chance left (application deadline is April 30th, so I just need to write GMAT before then).


Well, you have a solid 4 months, why not give it one last shot!?

Do you know the specific areas you are struggling with? Is it time or the concepts? Have you been practicing under timed conditions?

Also, what is your strong area? Focus on your strongest area and make it perfect. For example, in verbal my strongest area is reading comp. I'm working on making this area perfect to offset my weaknesses with the SC section.

Quote:
So far, I went through the ENTIRE OG 11 Book (EVERY QUESTION ANSWERED) and the OG Verbal Review.


That's great you answered all the questions! That means you probably understand the basics. However, you may not be using the most efficient methods for solving the problems. You have to work on increasing your speed.

Your scores are pretty sporadic. I'm not expert, but it seems to me that that you need to work on your test taking skills. Are you performing sets when you practice from the OG? In other words, time yourself and practice questions in sets of 37. You need to build up your mental stamina. Answering questions is one thing, but answering them in sets under timed conditions is another. From now on, you need to mimic the test conditions as much as possible. Are you finishing the test?

Download the GMAT timer at the top of the forum. This is a great tool. It will show you just how long you're taking per question. Further, you can look at the questions that took up the most time and begin to find trends. "Do I get stuck on probability problems", "Am I taking too much time on number property questions", and sometimes "Am I being too stubborn and not knowing when to just guess and move on". Personally, my goal is that I must be able to set up a problem in one minute. If it's taking me more than a minute to set up the problem, I need to guess and move on. If you encounter a question you don’t know how to do on the test, there are guessing strategies you can incorporate.

If this happens during my prep time then this tells me I do not know the fundamentals well enough. But the important thing is you don't want to waste too much time on one question during the actual test. That will really throw you off. Are you answering all the questions on the test or are you leaving some blank?

Quote:
Thank you for your kind words. I used to consider myself a woman of faith, but I feel as if lately, there's no hope in anything anymore.


There's always hope!

Look at this neat story:

http://www.urch.com/forums/just-finishe ... d-mom.html

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New post 30 Dec 2007, 19:59
Well, I am pretty much in your same situation. Almost exactly, which is a little scary. I initially scored a 410, when I went to retake, I scored a 380. By that time I had already applied to my school of choice. I completely choked. I haven't thought about the GMAT in 8 months, because like Adams mentioned I saw that as a sign that maybe B-school was for me at this moment.

Some people are not good test takers. For me, I just get bored. Sitting there for the 4 hours is a challenge. I become very anxious and that is my struggle. Honestly, evaluating you weaknesses is helpful.

I think 3 months is plenty time to devise a good strategy that will help you to do better. What score is Univ of TO looking for???

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 0

  [#permalink] 30 Dec 2007, 19:59

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