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GMAT 640 First Attempt

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Joined: 11 Jun 2017
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GMAT 640 First Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2018, 00:35
Hi Everyone,

I've been a silent-reader of this forum, and dreamed of posting a debrief only when I rocked the GMAT. However, that certainly isn't the case. I've been preparing for the GMAT since June 2017. Yes, I know that is a fair amount of time but with a job and lot's of responsibilities, I'm sure most of you would empathize! :) Anyway, I took my GMAT yesterday (2nd Nov) and scored a disappointing 640 (Q47 V32 IR7). Quants was never my strong-point, so it very well matched my target. In the GMAT Mocks (1 to 6), I had consistently been scoring Q44,Q47,Q48 or Q49. However, Verbal was a bomb. V32 is lowest that I have scored ever, my mock scores were between V36 and V41. From the ESR, it seems that I bombed the first and second section of Verbal. This is really disappointing since I always ensured to get the first 10 questions correct even if it took me 20 minutes, and similarly get at least 7 questions correct in the second section within 15 minutes. However, for a very weird reason (probably stress!), I didn't follow this strategy, and was also kind-of taken aback by the second question, which I couldn't solve and had to guess. Another surprise was getting 2 long RCs (4 paragraphs) for which I was not mentally prepared. In all the GMAT Prep mocks that I had taken, never had I got 2 long RCs, so I never expected that to happen and seeing a 4 paragraph RC in second section itself just scared me and made me conscious of time and jittery ( I don't know why, but I felt that I was just left with 30 minutes for the next 23 questions). 1 long RC with 3 long paragraphs was what I expected. Verbal Time Management has always been a struggle for me, and that's why I came up with this strategy of 20-15-15-15 minute split for each section, in which I'd ensure to answer all RC questions, but skip every third SC or CR question. I'm trying to attached my ESR, for advice and suggestions, but since I've never posted earlier, I'm not allowed to.

Given that I've been preparing for more than a year, I just want to re-take the exam ASAP. My target score is a minimum of 680, while the target schools are:

Well any school in Canada :), but here's the list:
1. HEC Montreal
2. Ivey Business School
3. Schulich
4. Rotman
5. Any 1 year program in the US, Canada or the UK with adequate ROI.

Any help/suggestion would be highly appreciated.

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Re: GMAT 640 First Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Nov 2018, 08:16
Hi sunnyjayaswal,

I am sorry to know that your scores were not in line with your target scores. It looks like the exam stress got to you.

Since you are not able to share your ESR here, you must analyse it yourself. You may use the guidelines shared in the article - 3 steps to analyze the ESR to analyze your ESR yourself. If however you still have any queries related to your ESR, you can write to us at and we will be happy to help you.

We understand how efficient time management is critical to getting a good score in the GMAT. I think you will find this article on Timing Strategies to maximize your score to be very useful. Using this article you will be able to create a timing strategy that is personalized to you. Once you create a timing strategy for yourself, you must try it on a mock test to see if you able to execute it. If you have any concerns, please feel free to write to us.

Hope this helps.

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Re: GMAT 640 First Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2018, 19:50
Hi sunnyjayaswal,

I’m sorry to hear how things went with your GMAT. First off, a year of studying is no joke! The fact that you were able to keep up with your prep for such a long time shows that you have some real mental fortitude. So, let’s try to figure things out and get you on the path to GMAT success.

Regarding your latest score, a Q47 seems right in line with your practice exam scores, so great job! Regarding the drop in your verbal score, it seems likely that timing/nerves negatively affected your performance in that section, right? One main reason for your timing issues is that you are following a flawed timing strategy. For starters, you DO NOT need to get the first 10 questions correct on the verbal section to lock in a good score. If you were unwilling to give up on question number 2 (a question you probably were not going to get correct), then you wasted valuable time that you needed for later in your exam, right? Furthermore, there is no guarantee that you will get a certain number of long and/or short Reading Comprehension passages, so you need to be prepared for any combination of those on test day. Since you had a predetermined notion of what you were expecting to see, when that did not happen, you clearly panicked and that negatively affected your performance. Lastly, I don’t think that skipping questions needs to be a part of your verbal timing strategy. Ideally, you want to have a shot at answering all questions in the time allotted. If you are unable to do so, it may be a sign that you have some lingering weaknesses that are holding you back from efficiently answering verbal questions.

Here is some advice you can follow regarding your verbal timing, starting with Reading Comprehension:

On the GMAT, you can expect a total of four RC passages (although you do not know when you’ll see them). RC passages are either long (containing 4 questions) or short (containing 3 questions). You should spend roughly 2 to 3 minutes reading the short passages and 3 to 4 minutes reading the long ones. Since you should have a rough idea of what you read after reading the passage, each question should take you roughly 30 seconds to 1.5 minutes to answer. Thus, look to spend a total of about 6 to 8 minutes on each RC section.

Sentence Correction:

You will see 11 to 13 SC questions, and each question should take you between 60 and 90 seconds. As you improve your SC skills, you should be able to answer each question in closer to 60 seconds.

Critical Reasoning:

You will see between 11 and 13 CR questions. As you probably know, CR questions tend to be written in a convoluted way to bait you into missing key details. Thus, it’s usually best to spend between 90 seconds and 3 minutes on each CR question.

Feel free to reach out with further questions.

Scott Woodbury-Stewart

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Re: GMAT 640 First Attempt  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Nov 2018, 23:52
Hi sunnyjayaswal,

With a 640, you're actually closer to a 680+ than you probably realize - and there are a variety of ways for you to pick up those missing points (you could pick up all of those points in just the Verbal section or a 'mix' of Quant and Verbal). Thus, it's important to define your timeline in more detail, so that we can put together the proper Study Plan for this next phase of your studies:

1) What are the exact application deadlines for each of the Schools that you plan to apply to?
2) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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 (and what you should work on to score higher). If you email me your ESR, then I'll be happy to analyze it for you.

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Re: GMAT 640 First Attempt   [#permalink] 07 Nov 2018, 23:52
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