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From 600 to 470! I need your advice...

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From 600 to 470! I need your advice...  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2018, 03:47
Hello everyone,

I took GMAT yesterday and scored... 470!
As you can imagine I am very disappointed and frustrated and don't know what to do now.

I started studying for GMAT 2 months ago: I studied for 2h per day from Monday-Friday and 12h on the weekends.
I purchased the entire collection of Manhattan Prep GMAT books and for the first 3 weeks I really focused on reviewing all the concepts.
For the next 5 weeks I got through all the questions from GMAT OG, Quant and Verbal review (several times).
I also did all the MGMAT CAT tests and just before the official exam I did the official GMAT Prep Test.

Here are my scores:
13/08 MGMAT CAT 1: 530 Q39 V25
19/08 MGMAT CAT 2: 580 Q40 V31
26/08 MGMAT CAT 3: 540 Q35 V30
02/09 MGMAT CAT 4: 500 Q35 V24
07/09 MGMAT CAT 5: 590 Q39 V32
14/09 MGMAT CAT 6: 520 Q30 V31
19/09 GMAT Prep: 600 Q44 V28
24/09 OFFICIAL GMAT: 470 (don't remember the percentiles for quant and verbal, I was so disappointed and canceled the score right away).

I was kinda hoping to score 630-650 because MGMAT CAT Tests are apparently harder than the real GMAT...
I found that Quant was easier and I tried to solve all the questions but doing that I didn't have enough time to finish the Quant part and had to guess few questions.
I literally don't understand why my score was so low especially in quant part.
As for the verbal I found it more difficult. Maybe the MGMAT tests are less accurate concerning the verbal part?

I will schedule my next GMAT for December so I have 2 months to prepare it. My target score is 650.
What do you guys would advise me? Has anyone had similar experience?
I'm thinking about doing the course of 28hours. Is it enough and is it worth the money because it's way too expensive?
I'm kinda lost and I don't even know where to start so your advice would be very helpful!

Thanks for your help!
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Re: From 600 to 470! I need your advice...  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Sep 2018, 22:03
Hi stardust22,

I am sorry that your scores were not in line with your expectations. I would recommend that you look at this article on Retaking the GMAT – 5 step strategy. This article will help you with a structured approach to reach your target score. Here are a couple of success stories of students who went on to achieve their target score despite a low score in the first attempt:
    • Richa followed a methodical approach and improved from 470 to 720 (V16 to V39). Click here to learn how she achieved this feat.
    • Askul improved from 520 (Q44 V17) to 710 (Q48 V40). Click here to read his inspiring GMAT journey.

Hope this helps! If you have any specific queries regarding your prep, please feel free to write to us at support@e-gmat.com. We would be happy to help!

Regards,
Aditee
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Re: From 600 to 470! I need your advice...  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Sep 2018, 21:54
Hi stardust22,

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:

When you took your CATs:
1) Did you take the ENTIRE CAT each time (including the Essay and IR sections)?
2) Did you take them at home?
3) Did you take them at the same time of day as when you plan to take your Official GMAT?
4) 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.)?
5) 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)?

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Re: From 600 to 470! I need your advice...  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2018, 22:08
stardust22 wrote:
Hello everyone,

I took GMAT yesterday and scored... 470!
As you can imagine I am very disappointed and frustrated and don't know what to do now.

I started studying for GMAT 2 months ago: I studied for 2h per day from Monday-Friday and 12h on the weekends.
I purchased the entire collection of Manhattan Prep GMAT books and for the first 3 weeks I really focused on reviewing all the concepts.
For the next 5 weeks I got through all the questions from GMAT OG, Quant and Verbal review (several times).
I also did all the MGMAT CAT tests and just before the official exam I did the official GMAT Prep Test.

Here are my scores:
13/08 MGMAT CAT 1: 530 Q39 V25
19/08 MGMAT CAT 2: 580 Q40 V31
26/08 MGMAT CAT 3: 540 Q35 V30
02/09 MGMAT CAT 4: 500 Q35 V24
07/09 MGMAT CAT 5: 590 Q39 V32
14/09 MGMAT CAT 6: 520 Q30 V31
19/09 GMAT Prep: 600 Q44 V28
24/09 OFFICIAL GMAT: 470 (don't remember the percentiles for quant and verbal, I was so disappointed and canceled the score right away).

I was kinda hoping to score 630-650 because MGMAT CAT Tests are apparently harder than the real GMAT...
I found that Quant was easier and I tried to solve all the questions but doing that I didn't have enough time to finish the Quant part and had to guess few questions.
I literally don't understand why my score was so low especially in quant part.
As for the verbal I found it more difficult. Maybe the MGMAT tests are less accurate concerning the verbal part?

I will schedule my next GMAT for December so I have 2 months to prepare it. My target score is 650.
What do you guys would advise me? Has anyone had similar experience?
I'm thinking about doing the course of 28hours. Is it enough and is it worth the money because it's way too expensive?
I'm kinda lost and I don't even know where to start so your advice would be very helpful!

Thanks for your help!


You should better focus on a solid study plan with sound strategy. Here is a study plan for you

Best Books

For learning Concepts

Manhattan Quant Guides
Manhattan Verbal Guides
For CR: The Powerscore GMAT Critical Reasoning Bible
For RC: Aristotle RC Grail

For Practice

The Official Guide for GMAT 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review 2015-18
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2015-18

Best Courses

1. Empower GMAT
2. Math Revolution (Only Math)
3. E-GMAT (Only Verbal)

You can start with Quant or Verbal which suits you. If you have started with Quant then Start with the Arithmetic but if started with verbal then start first with Sentence correction. 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

Good Luck
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Re: From 600 to 470! I need your advice...  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2018, 22:37
@Startdust22

I am sorry for the score but i guess apart from using resources u must have done some mistake, wither u strategy to tackle gmat wasnt right or must be missing something. First of all, develop a proper plan and start working on weak areas. remember if u do a lot of mistakes in easy and medium level questions u wont be getting good score so its possible that u are answering hard questions right but doing mistakes in easy question. dont forget to review ur error log in weekly basis and give mock every weekend. Its very important to analyse your mock.
Have you ordered ur ESR? this will help u too
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Re: From 600 to 470! I need your advice...  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Oct 2018, 02:08
If you're getting quant scores in the 30s then "reviewing all the concepts" should be replaced by "learning all the concepts". I'm not saying this as a quant genius. I had never heard of prime factorisation. I did not know how to use an exponent. I did not know long division. My most recent GMATClub quant test had a score of 50. I still feel that I don't know some concepts.
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Re: From 600 to 470! I need your advice...  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Oct 2018, 16:17
Hi stardust22,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. Believe it or not, your story is not all that unique, and that is a good thing! Many GMAT-takers study their butts off, do well on practice exams, and then experience a score drop on test day. Keep in mind, however, that on the majority of your practice exams you were scoring well below your score goal. So, in reality, your score drop was not that jarring, right?

That being said, to ensure that you don’t experience a similar result on your next exam, you need to follow a thorough and organized study plan so you can improve your verbal and quant skills. For example, let’s say you begin by studying quant. If you are learning about Number Properties, 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.

Each time you strengthen your understanding of a topic and your skill in answering questions of a particular type, you increase your odds of hitting your score goal. You know that there are types of questions that you are happy to see and types that you would rather not see, and types of questions that you take a long time to answer correctly. Learn to more effectively answer the types of questions that you would rather not see, and make them into your favorite types. Learn to correctly answer in two minutes or less questions that you currently take five minutes to answer. By finding, say, a dozen weaker quant areas and turning them into strong areas, you will make great progress toward hitting your quant score goal. If a dozen areas turn out not to be enough, strengthen some more areas.

You can work on verbal in a similar manner. For example, let’s say you start by learning about Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to fully master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each question type, do focused practice so 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 Reading Comprehension, 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. You can perfect your reading strategy with a lot of practice, but keep in mind that GMAT Reading Comprehension passages are not meant to be easy to read. So, to better prepare yourself to tackle 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, you likely will have to work on all three of those aspects. Furthermore, the likely reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is that you have not been working 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 Sentence Correction skills improve, you will then want to practice with questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

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 quant and verbal materials, so take a look at the GMAT Club reviews for the best quant and verbal courses.

You also may find my article with more information regarding
how to score a 700+ on the GMAT helpful.

Feel free to reach out with any further questions.
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Re: From 600 to 470! I need your advice...  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Oct 2018, 19:56
stardust22

Sorry to hear that! I found tips in this article pretty useful: https://gmatclub.com/forum/most-compreh ... 76986.html. Hope that helps!
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Re: From 600 to 470! I need your advice... &nbs [#permalink] 04 Oct 2018, 19:56
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