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  • The winning strategy for 700+ on the GMAT

     December 13, 2018

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From 620 to 600!! Need help to cross 700+ soon

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Joined: 02 Feb 2016
Posts: 101
Location: United States
Concentration: Finance, Technology
Schools: LBS '18, IE April '17
GMAT 1: 620 Q48 V27
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From 620 to 600!! Need help to cross 700+ soon  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 29 Sep 2018, 04:59
Hi

I have spent 2 yrs in GMAT preparation with two attempts but got disappointingly low scores of 620 and 600 respectively. I used the following resources

Manhattan books and mocks
Powerscore CAR
OGs
Gmatprep mocks
Gmatclub tests

I started out in March 2016 with Manhattan books and OGs. Post 1-2 months started giving Manhattan mocks with break in July since was traveling. and my highest score was 640. I used to have a study schedule with topics created in excel to track myself.In nov-dec couldn't prepare due to personal commitments

Got back to study and completed OGs. In april again was on a break due to travelling though tried to keep in touch via GMAT apps. Came back revised and practiced and started giving experts global mocks in which scores ranged from 620 to 750. Started tests in July alongside gmatprep where scores were 620, 660 690 then 730 on repeat. Booked slot for October 2017. Chose the order Quant-Verbal-IR-AWA. Quant was going well till 15th question or so when I took time for some questions and finally had to rush at the end. Verbal is my achilles heel, however I was comfortable with sentence correction compared to rest of the two sections. Similar to quant had a time crunch and had to finish in a rush. I still wasn't sure how I had done but thought quant was still good. Post finishing with IR and AWA clicked to receive scores and to my utter disappointment got 620 with Q48 and V27.

I obviously cancelled my scores. Post taking a break of few days got back to study mode again with suggestions from some gmatclub members. Got down and revised Official Guide for Verbal and then started giving gmatclub tests for quant. For CR had read the official guide especially the solutions to the questions and revised the notes. In gmatclub mocks for quant was scoring q45-50 with 50 and 49 in two tests and 48 couple of times. I also revised gmat official question pack which I had purchased in first attempt and then purchased exam packs 1 and 2.

I used to practice gmatprep questions for quant and verbal. Used to do RCs every other day and SCs and CRs alongside. Used to do 2-3 RCs from gmatclub and gmatprep. Used to give mocks every alternate week or so and then towards the exam date i.e. 21st april gave mocks almost every weekend. Scored 660, 690,660 and 600 in the 4 gmat exam packs with q47-49 and verbal 31-35. Used to review the mocks and do all questions during the week. Then post analyzing the mocks, I used to practice weak areas mostly in CR in which I was scoring the lowest and RC and SC was hovering 35-40 but in last mock where I scored 600, it went down. In the last week before the retake I did not do any mock and instead just reviewed error logs, wrong questions in mocks and my notes.

Went to appear for the exam which was a shorter format now. However I could not practice any mock of the shorter format since Gmatpreps and other companies had not come up with the updated versions for the mocks. started with quant again. First question itself was a bit tricky and related to work/rate. Though I was comfortable with the topic I could not solve it even after say 5-6 mins and then made a calculated guess and moved on. There was another questions based on probability which I had solved in my practice long back but somehow got confused in 2 options and selected the wrong option i think but my first option was correct I felt. Section went by and I thought I managed well post few questions and even finished on time with correct answers in last segment.

Came to verbal. Got some SC's and CR's which I thought I did correct and then came an RC passage which was quite difficult for me and was not sure in the answers. Went ahead with rest of the questions. Felt that RCs were really hard. Finished with verbal then IR and AWA. Clicked on to see the scores and was shocked to see 600 with an even more shocking score of Q44 (Verbal was almost same V28. I thought probably I screwed up in the beginning and I was right when ordered my ESR. Got 43% correct in first section in quant rest was fine probably made just 4 mistakes after that in whole exam (86% in two sections and 71% in last). In verbal 62% in first section, 86%, 71%, and 38% in last 3 sections. So I actually screwed in the first section in both quant and verbal.

Also I met a guy after the exam who told me that he was getting 700-720 consistently in mocks including gmatpreps but he also got a low score of 610 only. So don't know if its got to do with change of format or what but it's surprising to see such a big drop from your average scores. All my mock scores were mostly 650-700 except the last mock where I scored 600.

Now I am really disillusioned about GMAT and do not know from where to go from here, since I joined my old company again as it was near my residence so that I could be less bothered but the work pressure is still there. I went to US in may for a work assignment and got back in firdt week of august. I thought of applying this year with a GMAT score of 700+ but now I am really not sure how to go about it. I am also looking to switch my job now so my focus right now is on that.

Kindly advise how to approach my preparation for the third attempt to cross 700 and what resources to use especially in verbal where I am weaker. I will also be attaching my ESRs in some time for both my attempts.

Update: Please find attached my ESRs. Kindly provide your inputs based on this.

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Originally posted by kreel11 on 17 Aug 2018, 23:25.
Last edited by kreel11 on 29 Sep 2018, 04:59, edited 2 times in total.
Manager
Manager
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Status: Trying...
Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 104
Location: India
GMAT 1: 660 Q51 V27
GMAT 2: 690 Q48 V37
GPA: 4
WE: Consulting (Internet and New Media)
Re: From 620 to 600!! Need help to cross 700+ soon  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Aug 2018, 02:20
kreel11 wrote:
Hi

I have spent 2 yrs in GMAT preparation with two attempts but got disappointingly low scores of 620 and 600 respectively. I used the following resources

Manhattan books and mocks
Powerscore CAR
OGs
Gmatprep mocks
Gmatclub tests

I started out in March 2016 with Manhattan books and OGs. Post 1-2 months started giving Manhattan mocks with break in July since was traveling. and my highest score was 640. I used to have a study schedule with topics created in excel to track myself.In nov-dec couldn't prepare due to personal commitments

Got back to study and completed OGs. In april again was on a break due to travelling though tried to keep in touch via GMAT apps. Came back revised and practiced and started giving experts global mocks in which scores ranged from 620 to 750. Started tests in July alongside gmatprep where scores were 620, 660 690 then 730 on repeat. Booked slot for October 2017. Chose the order Quant-Verbal-IR-AWA. Quant was going well till 15th question or so when I took time for some questions and finally had to rush at the end. Verbal is my achilles heel, however I was comfortable with sentence correction compared to rest of the two sections. Similar to quant had a time crunch and had to finish in a rush. I still wasn't sure how I had done but thought quant was still good. Post finishing with IR and AWA clicked to receive scores and to my utter disappointment got 620 with Q48 and V27.

I obviously cancelled my scores. Post taking a break of few days got back to study mode again with suggestions from some gmatclub members. Got down and revised Official Guide for Verbal and then started giving gmatclub tests for quant. For CR had read the official guide especially the solutions to the questions and revised the notes. In gmatclub mocks for quant was scoring q45-50 with 50 and 49 in two tests and 48 couple of times. I also revised gmat official question pack which I had purchased in first attempt and then purchased exam packs 1 and 2.

I used to practice gmatprep questions for quant and verbal. Used to do RCs every other day and SCs and CRs alongside. Used to do 2-3 RCs from gmatclub and gmatprep. Used to give mocks every alternate week or so and then towards the exam date i.e. 21st april gave mocks almost every weekend. Scored 660, 690,660 and 600 in the 4 gmat exam packs with q47-49 and verbal 31-35. Used to review the mocks and do all questions during the week. Then post analyzing the mocks, I used to practice weak areas mostly in CR in which I was scoring the lowest and RC and SC was hovering 35-40 but in last mock where I scored 600, it went down. In the last week before the retake I did not do any mock and instead just reviewed error logs, wrong questions in mocks and my notes.

Went to appear for the exam which was a shorter format now. However I could not practice any mock of the shorter format since Gmatpreps and other companies had not come up with the updated versions for the mocks. started with quant again. First question itself was a bit tricky and related to work/rate. Though I was comfortable with the topic I could not solve it even after say 5-6 mins and then made a calculated guess and moved on. There was another questions based on probability which I had solved in my practice long back but somehow got confused in 2 options and selected the wrong option i think but my first option was correct I felt. Section went by and I thought I managed well post few questions and even finished on time with correct answers in last segment.

Came to verbal. Got some SC's and CR's which I thought I did correct and then came an RC passage which was quite difficult for me and was not sure in the answers. Went ahead with rest of the questions. Felt that RCs were really hard. Finished with verbal then IR and AWA. Clicked on to see the scores and was shocked to see 600 with an even more shocking score of Q44 (Verbal was almost same V28. I thought probably I screwed up in the beginning and I was right when ordered my ESR. Got 43% correct in first section in quant rest was fine probably made just 4 mistakes after that in whole exam (86% in two sections and 71% in last). In verbal 62% in first section, 86%, 71%, and 38% in last 3 sections. So I actually screwed in the first section in both quant and verbal.

Also I met a guy after the exam who told me that he was getting 700-720 consistently in mocks including gmatpreps but he also got a low score of 610 only. So don't know if its got to do with change of format or what but it's surprising to see such a big drop from your average scores. All my mock scores were mostly 650-700 except the last mock where I scored 600.

Now I am really disillusioned about GMAT and do not know from where to go from here, since I joined my old company again as it was near my residence so that I could be less bothered but the work pressure is still there. I went to US in may for a work assignment and got back in firdt week of august. I thought of applying this year with a GMAT score of 700+ but now I am really not sure how to go about it. I am also looking to switch my job now so my focus right now is on that.

Kindly advise how to approach my preparation for the third attempt to cross 700 and what resources to use especially in verbal where I am weaker. I will also be attaching my ESRs in some time for both my attempts.

Posted from my mobile device



You might be scoring more in your mocks because you are writing a mock test out of the same questions that you have studied. I have a decent memory & if I solve a question once, I can remember the correct option. Because of this, I ended up getting 730+ in my gmatprep mocks but my actual score was 660. I made it a point to attempt mocks from a completely different source from what I was studying. Although I lagged behind in Quant in my second attempt, I really believe that it was because of an unlucky day, something that even you seemed to have faced in your second attemp.

Onward & upward from here, buddy! Cheers!
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Posts: 4294
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Re: From 620 to 600!! Need help to cross 700+ soon  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2018, 18:29
Hi kreel11,

I’m sorry to hear how things have been going with your GMAT! Hang in there, my friend. I’m confident I can help get you on the right path. Believe it or not, your score of 600 on your most recent GMAT is not all bad news. Since you scored 600 on your last mock, the fact that you scored 600 on your real GMAT should not be a complete shock. Sure, you scored higher than 600 on some practice exams, but you weren’t consistently scoring above 700, right?

Given that you have been battling the GMAT since 2016 and have not made a significant score improvement, you really need to look at HOW you have been preparing, and potentially make some changes. Moving forward, you will want to follow 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 example, let’s say you’re studying Critical Reasoning. Your first goal is to master the individual Critical Reasoning topics: Strengthen the Argument, Weaken the Argument, Resolve the Paradox, etc. As you learn about each Critical Reasoning question type, do focused practice so that you can track your skill in answering each type of question. If, for example, you get a weakening question wrong, ask yourself why. Did you make a careless mistake? Did you not recognize the specific Critical Reasoning 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 Reading Comprehension 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 reason that your Sentence Correction performance has not improved is likely that you have not been working on all three of those aspects.

Regarding what you know, to be successful in Sentence Correction, 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 in the sentence clearly refer to nouns in the sentence? 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 in a Sentence Correction question, 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. For instance, 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 that would have extended 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’ll then want to practice with SC questions that test you on skills from multiple Sentence Correction topics.

Although your quant is stronger, you can follow a similar process for that section. For example, if you are reviewing Number Properties, be sure that you practice 50 or more questions just from Number Properties: LCM, GCF, units digit patterns, divisibility, remainders, etc. 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. Number Properties is just one example; follow this process for all quant topics.

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.

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.

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.

Let’s do this!!!
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Re: From 620 to 600!! Need help to cross 700+ soon &nbs [#permalink] 24 Aug 2018, 18:29
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