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GMAT After Action Review Plan

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GMAT After Action Review Plan  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2018, 09:21
Hi All, I need some help to deep-dive and understand my ESR score. I am currently aiming to apply in round 2. It's a big talk from my current situation but I am determined to break the 700.

From my first preparation,
1) Quant - did not revise topics too thoroughly, but did all the questions on OG 2017- and recognize what the traps that are and learn the concepts by doing the questions.
I used this method as I was brought up to learn that you excel in maths not by reading but by doing
2) Verbal - Read all the manhanttan books and only managed to finish all the SC (my weakest) and half of CR and RC in OG 2017, OG 2017 quant and verbal review.

I gave myself strict timeline. As such, i spent one month of studying, with one week of leave to study before attempting the GMAT.

Before the exam in 2016, i was scoring 690(test 1), 710 (test 1) and 660 (test 2) on the GMATPrep software. However, I did not perform that well on the real exam - 620. I spent so much time on detailed RC questions that i resorted to guessing on SC questions (my weakest portion). At the same time, when I was doing the CR question, i was spending too much time trying to mental prep myself to ask myself "what makes sense" instead of going on an auto-pilot "i know this concept/trap and how to tackle it". From my experience, on the exams i did well back in college, I am able to see path clearly from how to start and end the question. If i am unable to do so, I will falter. However, I am not sure if this mindset is flawed, since we are not talking about a content type question.

For my second preparation in 2018, I prepared one month before, but took 2 weeks of leave for intense preparation.
1) I honed my quant and verbal skills through Magoosh and E-GMAT. Admittedly, I completed Magoosh entire video lessons but probably half the questions. I completed the entire SC course (my weakest area) and RC videos, while supplementing CR with powerscore.
2) I did finish first few quant topics on gmatclub tests but not enough time to complete in entirety.
3) I was trying to go into section-wise proficiency in my second preparation, focusing on one topic that I falter. As such, I did not redid the entire quant OG 2017 and OG 2017 quant review, but rather did the questions that i recorded in my error logs on my first run. As such, I think my quant did suffer as i think that there might be questions that i have done correct initially were overlooked, questions that are prone to careless mistake. I did OG 2017 and OG 2017 verbal review (all of SC), but 1/3 in RC and 1/3 in CR. For RC, i got the hang of it via Gin's Strategy but on CR i felt that the result was unpredictable when I am not thinking straight (for example, i get first 4 all assumptions question wrong, but after a quick 20 mins review and calming myself down, I can get the remaining assumptions questions all correct.)

I was scoring GMATPrep 700 (redid test 1 - new format web), 720 (fresh attempt in GMATPrep software test 3 old format), 690 (redid test 2 - new format web). I chose to ignore, but I also thought the little things affected my performance. I was supposed to start at 1230pm, but i arrived early in a new test center and did my clearance early. As such, the test center dictated me to start early at 1210 instead, and that freaked me out a little. I thought i have time to meditate a little and calm myself down. Secondly, i was not used to solving the quant sections with markers. Verbal matters little since when i mapped the verbal RC and CR, I wrote short forms. And SC i used it to only draw crosses. In the end my verbal up by two points from 2016, and my quant drop by two points from 2016. In the end, I got a 610 - and it was a performance that is way too drastic from my GMATPrep, considering test 3 was a fresh attempt.

I also spent too much time on RC detail on first run, spent too little time on RC detail on second run.

In both runs, I felt that:
1) I did not follow a strict process to answer the questions (first run was SC, second run was CR)
2) Felt that the exam stress affected me greatly
3) Too rushed after the first quarter, Q8-Q16. I might have made some mistakes that does not reflect my ability - but I was under the impression that I should complete the entire test in time
4) Gave myself a timeline too strict to take the tests (1 month of serious studying)

I think that i need to strengthen my process if I were to be able to tackle any curve balls, keep a consistent result and maintain my exam stress (i think i get affected too easily when i do not have a plan. I am a native English speaker and quite comfortable with Quants. However, i find myself stepping on traps when I do not have a clear mind.

My plan is to:
1) Go through my materials again, manhanttan SC, RC and CR. E-gmat, Magoosh quant, manhanttan advanced quant review, powerscore RC and CR. GMAT club test questions.
2) Create a definitive process to tackle each type of question
3) Redo the entire quant and verbal OG, including the verbal review and
4) Manhanttan test (left 3-4), GMATPrep (leaving 5-6 for mid revision and final revision) while redoing (1-4)

On the extras, i think i need to have more sleep, be less stressed at work, start meditating and exercise more frequently. I know that I am a person who usually cant do things right the first time (cant wing it), but usually shows great improvement after working on my weakness.

I tried to analyse as much as I can, but i think that i might have missed out some points. Any comments on my strategies or/and ESR will be greatly appreciated.
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Re: GMAT After Action Review Plan  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2018, 10:57
Hi keyboardandmouse,

I'm sorry to hear that Test Day didn't go as well as hoped. GMAC has publicly stated that the Official Score that you earn on Test Day is within +/- 30 points of actual ability. Your two Official Scores show that you essentially performed the same each time (about 620 +/- a few points) even though the format of the Exam as changed and it's been 2 years between attempts. These results show how consistent you are in your performances - you handle certain aspects of the GMAT consistently well, but you also make certain consistent mistakes. It's also likely that you have some inherent 'bad habits' that are keeping you from scoring higher. This is meant to say that to hit your Score Goal, you're going to have to make some significant changes to how you "see" (and respond to) the overall Exam. Thankfully, the GMAT is a consistent, predictable Test, so you CAN train to score at a higher level.

Before we discuss the data in your ESRs, it would help if you could provide a bit more information on your timeline and goals:

1) What Schools are you planning to apply to?
2) When are you planning to next take the GMAT?
3) Going forward, how many hours do you think you can consistently study each week?

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Re: GMAT After Action Review Plan  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Aug 2018, 16:29
Thank you for your reply.

1) I am planning to apply to US schools whose the class average is around 690-710 (4 in total, max 8)
2) Planning to take the gmat end September.
3) 2-3hrs per day, 5 hrs on weekend

I agree that I might have been picking up bad habits, which need to be rectified.

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Re: GMAT After Action Review Plan  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 07:23
The ESR is very general in nature, and thus it is not a great tool to learn from. Nonetheless, it can help you answer some basic questions such as:
In which topics my performance was far better than others, and which require an in-depth revision? This is mostly important if you only have very short time to prepare for your next test, and would like to focus on just a few specific topics.
Are there certain specific areas in which I’m wasting too much time, and if so - in which other areas should I use extra time? For example, if Reading Comprehension takes you too long, but a few extra minutes would give you a lot more additional correct answers on Critical Reasoning, your test strategy should be to skip some RC questions in order to gain more CR correct answers.
Which kind of skills should I improve? Note that the ESR gives you quite vague understanding of what these skills are, but an extremely low performance on grammar-oriented questions or in CR inferring-an-idea questions is a great indicator of where you should start your preparation.

In order to give you more personal advice, I would need to go over your full ESR and have a better understanding of who you are:
How many times have you taken the GMAT?
Are you a native English speaker or not?

Please attach your ESR in this chat, and I’d be happy to analyze it for you.
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Re: GMAT After Action Review Plan  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Aug 2018, 10:40
Hi keyboardandmouse,

I've sent you a PM with notes on your ESRs and some additional suggestions for your studies going forward.

GMAT assassins aren't born, they're made,
Rich
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760+: Learn What GMAT Assassins Do to Score at the Highest Levels
Contact Rich at: Rich.C@empowergmat.com

Rich Cohen

Co-Founder & GMAT Assassin

Special Offer: Save $75 + GMAT Club Tests Free
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www.empowergmat.com/

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Re: GMAT After Action Review Plan &nbs [#permalink] 14 Aug 2018, 10:40
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