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# General Advice - Bombed Verbal Unexpectedly

Author Message
Intern
Joined: 30 Jul 2018
Posts: 10
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 750 Q48 V45

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20 May 2019, 12:08
Hello,

Thank you in advance for any advice you may have. I'll quickly provide some background to my situation.

I've been studying for the GMAT for 1-2 months and took the exam today. I was able early in my studies to assess my strengths and weaknesses - it seemed that I struggled with quant and naturally excelled at the verbal section. My first GMAT prep test was Q44 V44. I took 4 more exams and had quant scores ranging 42-45 and verbal scores ranging 41-45. I felt comfortable with verbal and focused on quant. Practice tests were taken under test-day conditions.

Today I scored Q48 V35...this was a success for me on the quant section, but I am shocked at my performance on the verbal section. I expected to be in the 41-45 range that I scored in on practice tests. 35 will not do for my target schools (I expect to apply fall 2019).

My current plan is as follows:
1) order ESR to see what happened on verbal
2) continue to work quant and now also focus on verbal (based off ESR findings)
3) retake GMAT in 2 weeks to assess whether the verbal score was a fluke (to the downside)
4) Based on these scores put together a 4 week study plan and take the test again

Here are my questions:

1) What do you think may have happened on verbal? What does this mean?
2) Do you agree with my go-forward plan or have other suggestions?

I look forward to any advice.

Thanks very much,
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15933
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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20 May 2019, 13:37
1
Hi slave2gmat1993,

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. Before we discuss those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) What type of study routine were you following? How many hours did you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?

Goals:
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). Since you're planning on purchasing the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you. You won't be able to post any attachments until you have at least 5 forum posts, so you can feel free to email me directly with your ESR if you prefer.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
CEO
Joined: 15 Jul 2015
Posts: 3064
Location: India
GMAT 1: 780 Q50 V51
GRE 1: Q170 V169

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20 May 2019, 18:47
1
slave2gmat1993 wrote:
Here are my questions:

1) What do you think may have happened on verbal? What does this mean?
2) Do you agree with my go-forward plan or have other suggestions?

I look forward to any advice.

Thanks very much,
1. It may not mean anything. Score drops occur for a number of reasons, and not always for reasons under the test taker's control. As long as you were not already familiar with the questions you saw on your GMATPrep tests, you should be capable of getting a V40+ on the actual exam.

2. Make sure that you have a good time management strategy in place (if you don't already) before taking the test again. Bad time management is something that can cause the kind of score drop you saw in verbal.
_________________
Intern
Joined: 30 Jul 2018
Posts: 10
Location: United States
GMAT 1: 750 Q48 V45

### Show Tags

20 May 2019, 13:51
EMPOWERgmatRichC wrote:
Hi slave2gmat1993,

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. Before we discuss those potential issues though, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on how you've been studying and your goals:

Studies:
1) What type of study routine were you following? How many hours did you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?

Goals:
3) What is your overall goal score?
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?

While the ESR doesn’t provide a lot of information, there are usually a few data points that we can use to define what went wrong on Test Day (and what you should work on to score higher). Since you're planning on purchasing the ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you. You won't be able to post any attachments until you have at least 5 forum posts, so you can feel free to email me directly with your ESR if you prefer.

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

1) What type of study routine were you following? How many hours did you typically study each week?
2) What study materials have you used so far?
- For quant, I've used the MGMAT strategy books and OG questions; I studied on average 3 hours per weekday and 10 hours per weekend from March to today
- I didn't use specific materials for verbal; I was OK with my practice test scores of 41-45 so I just reviewed incorrect questions from GMAT prep practice tests and did some OG problems

3) What is your overall goal score?
Overall score goals are Q48/Q49 (I was close to this) and V45+ (I achieved this level on a practice test so my goal would be to score at least V45 on the real thing)
4) When are you planning to apply to Business School?
I am planning to apply to business school this fall
5) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
Planning to apply to M7 assuming I get a GMAT score within the range

My plan now is to focus on verbal in the near term while staying fresh on quant and to retake GMAT ASAP to determine if this verbal score was an extraneous event...

Look forward to hearing back.
EMPOWERgmat Instructor
Status: GMAT Assassin/Co-Founder
Affiliations: EMPOWERgmat
Joined: 19 Dec 2014
Posts: 15933
Location: United States (CA)
GMAT 1: 800 Q51 V49
GRE 1: Q170 V170

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20 May 2019, 15:10
Hi slave2gmat1993,

There's no harm in retaking the GMAT soon, but if your practice CAT Scores were 'inflated' - and you're not properly preparing for Test Day - then you might end up continuing to study in an unrealistic fashion and wasting some time, money and effort by retaking the GMAT too quickly. I think that the data in your ESR would help to define how you 'responded' to Test Day in a bit more detail. Until we have that data though, I have a few follow-up questions about how you took your CATs:

1) On what dates did you take each of your CATs and how did you score on EACH (including the Quant and Verbal Scaled Scores for each)?
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
_________________
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

The Course Used By GMAT Club Moderators To Earn 750+

souvik101990 Score: 760 Q50 V42 ★★★★★
ENGRTOMBA2018 Score: 750 Q49 V44 ★★★★★
Target Test Prep Representative
Status: Founder & CEO
Affiliations: Target Test Prep
Joined: 14 Oct 2015
Posts: 9042
Location: United States (CA)

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23 May 2019, 17:07
Hi slave2gmat1993,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. The good news is that you had a really solid quant score. Clearly, something happened with verbal, so the question we need to ask is why you scored so high on verbal on your practice exams but lower on the real GMAT.

Assuming that you took your official practice exams under realistic testing conditions, the results show that on a good day, you are capable of scoring higher than V35. Thus, it’s quite possible that nerves, stress, tiredness, or a combination of all three negatively affected your test-day performance. However, it’s also possible that you have some lingering weaknesses that were exposed on test day.

Scoring high on GMAT verbal tends to involve using logic and noticing key details. However, it is possible to get some verbal questions right by looking for patterns that you have already encountered in your preparation. Looking for patterns will not always work, though, and if the patterns you are familiar with don’t show up in the questions that you see on the actual GMAT, your verbal score will not be very high. So, another possible reason for the difference between your verbal scores on practice tests and your verbal score on the real GMAT is that in your preparation, you did not really learn to do what you have to do in order to score high on verbal. Rather, you picked up on some patterns that were effective in getting you relatively high scores on practice tests.

Since we are not totally certain why your score dropped, I think you can move forward with your plan for the next few weeks, and if you do not hit your score goal on your next GMAT, then we can discuss a longer-term strategy.

Feel free to reach out with further questions. Good luck!
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CrackVerbal Representative
Joined: 22 Apr 2019
Posts: 50

### Show Tags

30 May 2019, 06:37
slave2gmat1993 wrote:
Hello,

Thank you in advance for any advice you may have. I'll quickly provide some background to my situation.

I've been studying for the GMAT for 1-2 months and took the exam today. I was able early in my studies to assess my strengths and weaknesses - it seemed that I struggled with quant and naturally excelled at the verbal section. My first GMAT prep test was Q44 V44. I took 4 more exams and had quant scores ranging 42-45 and verbal scores ranging 41-45. I felt comfortable with verbal and focused on quant. Practice tests were taken under test-day conditions.

Today I scored Q48 V35...this was a success for me on the quant section, but I am shocked at my performance on the verbal section. I expected to be in the 41-45 range that I scored in on practice tests. 35 will not do for my target schools (I expect to apply fall 2019).

My current plan is as follows:
1) order ESR to see what happened on verbal
2) continue to work quant and now also focus on verbal (based off ESR findings)
3) retake GMAT in 2 weeks to assess whether the verbal score was a fluke (to the downside)
4) Based on these scores put together a 4 week study plan and take the test again

Here are my questions:

1) What do you think may have happened on verbal? What does this mean?
2) Do you agree with my go-forward plan or have other suggestions?

I look forward to any advice.

Thanks very much,

Hi slave2gmat1993,

Having a GMAT test-day letdown is one of the most painful experience

Here are a couple of reasons why your test-day score could have been lower than your practice test scores:

Reason #1: You might have practiced with non-official tests

Reason #2: you were nervous or stressed on the test day

If you have an ESR report, do submit to us for a Free analysis. We will be able to give you specific and actionable insights after evaluating your ESR report.

It could be possible that you are facing issues with specific concepts on the GMAT or need guidance with advanced 700+ level questions.

You could look at GMAT Personal Tutoring Sessions to determine your problem areas and learn strategies to tackle them successfully
_________________
Re: General Advice - Bombed Verbal Unexpectedly   [#permalink] 30 May 2019, 06:37
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# General Advice - Bombed Verbal Unexpectedly

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